Mountains and Canyons - NEW

Hear about the people and events that shaped these national and international treasures. 

• Why the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Like No Other Park: The most visited park’s beauty, wildlife, historical events and original settlers will be covered.
• Grand Canyon Adventure: Incredible scenery and fascinating stories of canyon characters and historical events of one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
• Everest: Exciting stories of people who climbed the mountain – and how it is accomplished. Plus the Sherpas who paved the route for them.
• Transforming the Blue Ridge Mountains into Shenandoah National Park: Historical places, Skyland and a presidential retreat site, along with the best ways to spend time in the park.

4 Mondays, March 17 – April 7
9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at River Campus

Bill Deitzer has hiked in all 50 states and studied the history of many U.S. national parks. He was the first Ohioan to complete all 800 trail miles in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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The Road to the Civil War - NEW

America’s crucible of suffering, the Civil War, will be the focus of this seminar. Borne of the eloquence of Thomas Jefferson and the wisdom of James Madison, the United States was a beacon to the world as a new and unique form of republican government. What basic moral and legal principles failed, requiring a bloody civil war that gave rise to a rebirth of freedom? We will examine the key issues, events and public figures which led to such a calamitous but necessary war.

6 Mondays, March 17 – April 28 (NO SEMINAR ON APRIL 21)
9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at River Campus

Shearl J. Roberts, J.D., is a native Daytonian. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton in 1953, a Juris Doctor from the University of Cincinnati in 1958 and a Master of Science in financial Services from American College in 1983. He was on the intercollegiate debating team at the University of Dayton, served as editor-in-chief of the University of Cincinnati Law Review and is a frequent lecturer on law and civic-related subjects.

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The American Baseball Park - NEW

This seminar will examine the American baseball park, from the Elysian Fields to the entertainment center of today. We will look at the evolution and place of the baseball park from its humble beginnings to the sophisticated structures of the present. The geography, construction, finances, politics, events and social implications of baseball parks will be discussed.

6 Mondays, March 17 – April 28 (NO SEMINAR ON APRIL 21)
9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at River Campus
Seminar Limit: 25

John Schleppi is retired from the department of health and sport science of the University of Dayton. He taught the history of American sport on the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as methods and organization courses in the sport management program. He is a member of the national Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and its baseball parks committee, and he chairs the local chapter of SABR. He is also a charter member of the North American Society for Sport History. Schleppi has visited more than 60 major league and 400 minor league baseball facilities over the past 50 years.

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Greek Myths and Poetry - NEW

Have you read or heard allusions to Greek myths and wondered about their meaning and relevance? This seminar will help you understand. We will examine many important Greek myths as they have appeared in poetry from Homer to Louise Glück.

6 Mondays, March 17 – April 28 (NO SEMINAR ON APRIL 21)
9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at River Campus

Gary Mitchner is professor emeritus of English and poet laureate of Sinclair Community College. He taught Greek mythology and poetry for almost 40 years and has been a moderator of previous seminars on poetry.

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Who Asked For This? How Did We Get Here? Where Are We Going? - NEW

UDLLI participants have lived through the most dramatic changes any generation has ever experienced. From rotary phones, card catalogs and vinyl records to fast food, the World Wide Web and everything digital, we find ourselves in a world we never expected. Why? Did we ask for this? And what will happen next? This seminar will invite participants to share experiences from coming of age in the post-WWII years to the transformations in subsequent decades of social change, technological innovation and economic upheavals.

6 Mondays, March 17 – April 28 (NO SEMINAR ON APRIL 21)
9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at River Campus

Squire Brown, Ph.D., is a retired aerospace engineer with a passion for the history of technology. He is a docent for the National Museum of the USAF as well as an active member of the Society for the History of Technology and the Society for Industrial Archeology.

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Why Be Moral? - NEW

Why should I be moral — because God wills it, or because there is an objective moral universe? Or is morality simply a human invention? Is morality absolute, or is it relative to the social context? What if morality is nothing more than a tool used by the powerful to keep others under their control? Don’t expect definitive answers to these questions, but come prepared to think and discuss.

6 Mondays, March 17 – April 28 (NO SEMINAR ON APRIL 21)
9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at River Campus

Bob Reece is a retired professor from Wright State. His Ph.D. study focused on ethics.

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Canadian Short Stories Part III - NEW

We will be reading and discussing stories in our anthology, The New Oxford Book of Canadian Short Stories in English. One day will be devoted to the short stories of Alice Munro, 2013 winner of the Nobel Prize in literature. The last seminar we will watch Away from Her, the film made from Alice Munro’s short story “The Bear Came Over the Mountain.” It is necessary to have taken Parts I and II to take Part III.

6 Mondays, March 17 - April 28 (NO SEMINAR ON APRIL 21)
12:30 – 2:30 p.m. at River Campus

Required Text: The New Oxford Book of Canadian Short Stories in English, edited by Margaret Atwood and Robert Weaver, Oxford University Press, 1997. Available at Amazon and other online booksellers.

Advance preparation: For the first session, read “Flowers for Weddings and Funerals” by Sandra Birdsell, “Celia Behind Me” by Isabel Huggan, “One Good Story, That One” by Thomas King and “Deer Heart” by Bonnie Burnard.

Priscilla Mutter has been teaching at UDLLI for many years and is currently serving on the UDLLI board of advisers. Her special interests are literature, especially short stories and film. She lives in Clayton on the Stillwater River with her husband, Dane.

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Vietnam: A Retrospective - NEW

We will discuss the Vietnam War and how it affected us then and now — politically, socially, culturally and historically. We will hear from several people who served in Vietnam, some who protested the war, those who served in other countries in the Peace Corps and those at home who had strong feelings either for or against the war or were noncommittal. We will hear from the U.S. Army prosecutor for Lt. William Calley’s appeal case (the My Lai Massacre). We will cover the cultural contributions in music and literature and stimulate discussion with documentary film. Finally, we will discuss the Vietnam War legacy that is embedded in our country’s psyche. As much time as possible will be given in each session for class discussion and reflection on Vietnam: A Retrospective.

6 Mondays, March 17 – April 28 (NO SEMINAR ON APRIL 21)
12:30 – 2:30 p.m. at River Campus

Tim Hrastar’s career spans more than 45 years as a self-employed communications and business development consultant and coach for professional service firms — focusing on the legal profession — as well as an audiovisual writer-producer-director of corporate programs. He has been involved with UDLLI since 2005, is currently a member of the UDLLI board of advisers and has moderated several programs on history and social issues since 2006. 

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Be Well Naturally - NEW

Come explore a six-week series with us on the secrets of natural health, designed to give you tools to feel well naturally. Each week will focus on a different topic, including Ayurveda, the science of self-healing (a holistic medicine from India that is 5,000 years old); meditation and its amazing benefits; reflexology to heal the whole body; shamanic healing to access healing information; dry needling and myofascial release therapy for pain management; and Reiki and energy balancing for whole-being healing. 

7 Mondays, March 17 – May 5 (NO SEMINAR ON APRIL 21)
12:30 – 2:30 p.m. at River Campus

Anjali Brannon, practitioner and owner of the Ayurveda Natural Health Center in Beavercreek, Ohio, has been in practice for more than 12 years. Before that, she studied for three years with Dr. Vasant Lad at the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, N.M., as well as in India. She is also a board-certified polarity practitioner, certified Arvigo Maya abdominal massage practitioner, cranio-sacral practitioner, somatic trauma resolution practitioner, Synergy yoga and dance teacher, and volunteer Natural Path meditation instructor. In addition to speaking on the wisdom of these health modalities for both local and national organizations, Brannon was a U.S. delegate at the 2003 Global Holistic Health Summit in Bangalore, India. She is also a Catalyst Council founding member for the Campaign for Better Health, a Washington, D.C.-based alliance of organizations for complementary medicine. Her practice is part of the University of Cincinnati family medicine’s alternative medicine rotation. Brannon has been the featured guest on three different TV shows and a radio show on health. She and her skilled team at the Ayurveda Natural Health Center love to teach and give people tools to keep themselves in balance naturally.

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Rockin' Across the USA - NEW

This will be a multimedia seminar beginning with the music from New Orleans; Muscle Shoals, Ala.; Memphis, Tenn.; Bristol, Tenn.; New York City; Philadelphia; Seattle; and Los Angeles. It will cover the producers, writers, artists and, in some cases, the back-ups and record labels, as well as their place on the various charts. 

6 Mondays, March 17 – April 28 (NO SEMINAR ON APRIL 21)
12:30 – 2:30 p.m. at River Campus

Benjy Klein has taught seminars including The Brill Building, Where Rock and Roll Began, Women of Rock and Motown. His style encompasses background materials, handouts, PowerPoint and videos, all woven into a comprehensive, easy-to-understand format that will bring to the forefront of your mind the happier days of our youth through music. He has had a lifelong passion for rock ‘n’ roll music, delights in sharing his knowledge and welcomes discussion of a much simpler time in our lives.

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Wine Appreciation

The history of wine, variety of grapes used in making wine, types of wine, regions of wine production, wine and heart disease, how to read wine labels and the pairing of wine and food (and maybe a wee bit of wine tasting) are some of the offerings to be covered in this seminar.

6 Mondays, March 17 – April 28 (NO SEMINAR ON APRIL 21)
3 – 5 p.m. at River Campus
Seminar Limit: 35

Jason S. Bush is a level one sommelier. For the last eight years, he has been employed at Arrow Wine and Spirits, where he is lead wine buyer and manager.

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Garden Plant Primer - NEW

This seminar will be about plants, plants and more plants … with only a brief introduction to garden design. Annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees and vines are the basic categories that will be discussed. The class will also look at key selection points added to the gardening palette: shady favorites, naturally natives, yummy edibles, herbs for beginners and the seasoned veteran, and the “problem solver” plants (rain garden plants, drought tolerant, slope/erosion control plants and critter proof/resistant). Understanding the plant is just the start. Working on how to make it happen within your landscape is the goal.

6 Mondays, March 17 – April 28 (NO SEMINAR ON APRIL 21)
3 – 5 p.m. at River Campus
Seminar Limit: 25

Yvonne Dunphe is an OSU Master Gardener and graduate of Purdue University who has trained with David Jacke (Edible Forest Gardens). She has been employed with Five Rivers MetroParks for 13 years and has been teaching seminars in horticulture since 2002. She has been the horticulture consultant for Washington Township since 2002.

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Introduction to the Turkic World: History, Culture, Energy and Geopolitics - NEW

This seminar will examine the rich history and culture of Turkic nations and people, who currently number some 200 million spread across six Turkic nation-states (Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgizstan and Turkmenistan) and a dozen non-Turkic states (such as Russia, China, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan). It will emphasize the role and contribution of Turkish poetry, literature, carpet-weaving, film and music. Special attention will be given to several world-famous figures. The seminar will provide facts and figures on trade and economy and a section on geopolitics and geo-economics of the Turkic nations, including energy security and pipeline geopolitics.

6 Mondays, March 17 – April 28 (NO SEMINAR ON APRIL 21)
3 – 5 p.m. at River Campus

Recommended Text: The Turks in World History, Carter Vaughn Findley, Oxford University Press, 2004. Available at Amazon for $18.

Adil Baguirov earned his Ph.D. in political science (2002) and was a postdoctoral fellow (2007-11) at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University), and earned an undergraduate degree (1999) in international relations and business administration from the University of Southern California. He was recently elected member of the Dayton Board of Education (Dayton Public Schools) (2014-18), and he is the author of three monographs (books) and more than 30 academic journal articles.

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Maximizing Income in Retirement - NEW

Many retirees are searching for strategies to help maximize income after their working years. Join us for an informative discussion on topics such as finding yield in the current low interest rate environment, the value of dividends in retirement and establishing a spending policy that balances your desired lifestyle with preserving assets for a retirement that could last 30 to 40 years. 

6 Mondays, March 17 – April 28 (NO SEMINAR ON APRIL 21)
3 – 5 p.m. at River Campus
Seminar Limit: 25

Dan Johnson serves as a financial adviser with the McDonald Rubins Johnson Group at Merrill Lynch in Centerville and focuses on partnering with individuals and their families to implement successful retirement strategies. He is a business finance graduate of the University of Florida and is a Certified Financial Planner certificant.

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A Social History of Rock -n- Roll and Before - NEW

We will see vintage footage from great historical events and hear the music of that era, review the songs that were played during the war years and study the reasons for the big band era that was being taken over by the rockers of the 1950s and 1960s. Discrimination during the early rock ‘n’ roll years and the songs of the protest movement of the 1960s will be discussed. Hear and see Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Bob Dylan and dozens more. 

6 Mondays, March 17 – April 28 (NO SEMINAR ON APRIL 21)
3 – 5 p.m. at River Campus

Gary Ruff holds a bachelor’s degree from Wright State University and a master’s degree from the University of Dayton. He is a retired high school teacher and is interested in all types of music, especially from the 1920s to the 1960s. He has moderated more than 10 different music seminars for UDLLI.

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