Wednesday Seminars

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Bible Stories Your Clergy Never Told You

Bible stories are not just for kids. We’ll explore the deeper meaning and controversies surrounding biblical tales through art, music, and Midrash (Jewish rabbinic legend). What really happened in that garden? Why did Noah give Ham such a harsh punishment? Did Jephthah really sacrifice his own daughter? Whom did David really love? These are among the provocative biblical tales we’ll explore through the lens of Jewish interpretation and adult eyes.

6 Wednesdays, March 14 – April 18
9:30–11:30 a.m. at River Campus

Judy Chessin has been the rabbi at Temple Beth Or for 33 years. She teaches in a wide variety of Jewish, interfaith, and school settings throughout the larger Dayton community. She and her congregation have enjoyed a verse-by-verse scriptural study of the Bible for the past 24 years.


History of Bluegrass Music

This seminar explores the history, geography, sociology, economics, and—of course—the music of one of North America’s most distinctive cultural phenomena: bluegrass music. We will cover appreciation of instrumental and vocal techniques, sources of repertoire and style, electronic (radio, phonograph, digital) and live performance venues, the most influential performers of the 1940s through the present, growth in audiences in the U.S. and worldwide, influences of technology, and likely futures for the genre.

6 Wednesdays, March 14 – April 18
9:30–11:30 a.m. at River Campus
Recommended text: Rosenberg, Neil. Bluegrass: A History (University of Illinois Press 2005). Amazon: $13.08+ used, $25.48+ new
Advance Preparation for first seminar: Introduction, pp. 1-146

Fred Bartenstein, a native of Virginia and graduate of Harvard College, has performed many roles in bluegrass and country music, including magazine editor, broadcaster, musician, festival emcee, talent director, and scholar. In his professional life, Bartenstein  has been a manager, CEO, and consultant for nonprofits, government and business. He is co-author of The Bluegrass Hall of Fame (2014), editor of Josh Graves: Bluegrass Bluesman (2012), Roots Music: Collected Writings of Joe Wilson (2017), and Lucky Joe’s Namesake: The Extraordinary Life and Observations of Joe Wilson (2017), and teaches undergraduate bluegrass and country music courses in the University of Dayton’s Music Department.


iPhone Apps for the Adventurous - NEW

What else is out there for iPhone? This seminar will focus on third-party apps for iPhone. If you have already mastered most of the Apple apps in the beginner and intermediate classes, this seminar will introduce you to other apps, such as travel, entertainment, research, photos, productivity, education, and social media. The focus will be on demonstration, but you may bring an iPhone to class for hands-on practice. Demonstrations will be using the latest IOS 11.

  • Wednesdays, March 14 – April 18
    9:30–11:30 m. at River Campus
    Seminar limit: 20

Mary Riordan is a retired educator, guidance counselor, and technology consultant. She currently serves on the UDOLLI Board of Advisors as Curriculum Co-Chair. Mary teaches seminars on iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and various social media. Her iPhone is her second BFF! 


WWII Human Interest Movies

These are WWII movies about people. The story can take place before, during or after WWII, but WWII caused the story. No fighting nor battles – just human interest. All will be interesting. Some will require a hankie (unless you lack empathy).

  • 6 Wednesdays, March 14 – April 25
    9:30-11:30 m. at River Campus

Terry Hawk has a B.S. in Business Administration from Ohio University and an MBA from the University of Dayton. He worked in advertising and sales, as well as taught for 42 years. His lifelong love of movies means he has watched some of his favorite movies as many as 10 to 20 times.


An Engineer Discovers Art - NEW

The objective is to give people who currently have a limited appreciation of art some pointers of what to look for and what to look at to better understand why art is something worth knowing. A secondary objective is to develop an appreciation of the fact that the  Art Institute is a significant asset for Dayton. First Session is an Intro to the Dayton Art Institute, with a quick tour of all the galleries, and a discussion of the architecture of the Institute. Session two will be a brief overview of the timeline of art from cave art thru contemporary art, and quick lesson in drawing, and the beginnings of my three-element process of understanding a piece of art: what the piece represents, what style has been used, and what was the artist like.  Session three thru five will focus on the Many Faces of the DAI, based on a previously developed tour thru several galleries, focusing on “faces” in paintings and sculpture. Featured will be seven selected pieces and their “faces”. The selected pieces are: Toscani’s Madonna of Humility; Sarenceni’s Judith and the Head of Holofernes; Rubens’ Heads of an Old Man; Brackman’s Life About Me; Power’s Eve Disconsolate; Bergeret’s Marius Meditating Among Ruins of Carthage; Bouguereau’s Song of the Nightingale. Other pieces will be used as appropriate. The final session will be a guided tour of the current “special exhibition” then on display at the Art Institute.

6 Wednesdays, March 14 – April 18
9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Dayton Art Institute
Seminar Limit: 20
Handouts will be provided. The students will be required to buy tickets to the special exhibition (last time it was $11), and tickets to tour the permanent collection galleries ($5 each for the first and last sessions.)

Joe Scullion is a retired NCR executive who, up until 2012, had little exposure or  interest in art. Having taken the Art Institute’s year-long Docent Training Course ending in 2013, he has developed a deep interest in most areas of art, and is eager to share the awakening he has experienced with others.


Biking the Dayton Region’s World Class System of Bike Trails

This is an active participation, recreational biking seminar and is intended to introduce participants to the excellent system of biking trails available to residents of our region. After an initial introduction class, the moderators and participants will meet each week to explore a different section of the 350-mile system of connected bike trails. The weekly rides will be approximately 18-20 miles round trip and usually include a lunch stop. We will meet weekly at 11 a.m. at a trail access point, bike for 45 minutes to an hour, have a picnic lunch or stop at a restaurant and return to our starting point. All riding is on easy-grade, rails-to-trails, paved bikeways. This is low-impact, leisurely, recreational  biking!  PLEASE NOTE: Due to normal Dayton weather conditions, this seminar will meet later than the regularly scheduled dates for the spring term and extend through the month of May. An initial introductory classroom meeting will be held April 25; weather permitting, biking will begin the following week.

6 Wednesdays, April 25 – May 30 (Note later start date)
11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. at River Campus – first session only. Bike trips will begin at 11 a.m.
Seminar limit: 16
Special equipment: Bicycles in good riding condition, bicycling helmets, appropriate sportswear and ability to transport bikes to weekly destinations. Participants should bein good physical condition for recreational biking (approx. 10 miles/hour for one to two hours).

Bill and Ann Schuerman have been recreational bikers for over 20 years and have explored most of the 350 miles of bikeways in the region. For the past 15 years, they havetaken weeklong recreational bike trips throughout Europe.


Talk With the Chief

“Talk with the Chief” is a seminar designed to put law enforcement professionals, those in command positions of police departments throughout the Miami Valley, in a discussion based setting. The police professional will make a presentation involving their police agency and provide information to the seminar participants on a wide range of topics to include trends in law enforcement, emerging technologies, information sharing, crime control, investigations, organizational structure, resource sharing, research, policy development, legislation, critical incident management, recruitment, hiring, and retention. Each presentation will be followed by a question and answer period or focused topics of interest.

6 Wednesdays, March 14 – April 18
12:30–2:30 p.m. at River Campus

Jeffrey W. Mitchell is the Chief of Police for the City of Lebanon, Ohio, a nationally accredited law enforcement agency. A retired special agent from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, he has extensive experience in conducting felony criminal, fraud, and counterintelligence investigations. Chief Mitchell has an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Dayton. He is a graduate of the Police Executive Leadership College, Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, and the Certified Law Enforcement Executive program. Chief Mitchell is an adjunct instructor at the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy, London, Ohio.


Self-Ownership…What a Concept! NEW

This seminar is designed specifically for women who want to become more personally powerful. I will provide information to help women discover, nourish, and trust their own wisdom….to take ownership of their lives. Participation/discussion will be encouraged. Information will be provided through handouts, PowerPoints, and facilitated conversation. This is not group therapy. However, gaining information and support can be therapeutic. A few highlights from my two previous seminars (‘Boundaries’ and “Personal Power’) will be sprinkled throughout the new material. Let’s have fun in the process!

6 Wednesdays, March 14 – April 18
12:30–2:30 p.m. at River Campus

Mary Bajus, RN, has specialized in providing psychotherapy to individuals, couples, families, and groups for over 40 years. She is certified in Gestalt Therapy and Marriage and Family Therapy. She was an adjunct professor at Sinclair Community College for 22 years. Mary has supervised and mentored mental health professionals from Sinclair, Wright State University, and Miami Valley Hospital. Her current focus is helping women discover, nourish, and trust their own wisdom. She is a member of the Ohio Nurses Association and the American Nurses Association.


The History of Classical Music Part 2

We’ll conclude the classical era (1750-1825) and study the works of Schubert and Rossini. Then we’ll move to the Romantic era (1825-1900) and Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Chopin. Major historic events of each era will be noted as well as biographies of the composers and examples of their works through CDs and DVDs.

6 Wednesdays, March 14 – April 18
12:30–2:30 p.m. at River Campus

Franklin Lewis, J.D., received his bachelor’s degree from Case Western Reserve University and his Juris Doctor from The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law. He served as trustee for the Cleveland Institute of Music (1988-96) and as secretary and associate general counsel for the East Ohio Gas Co., from which he retired in 1995. He also served as assistant director of law (public utilities) for the city of Cleveland until his retirement in 2004. He currently serves on the boards of UDOLLI, Temple Israel, and the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance.


Agatha Christie: Who’s Your Favorite Detective?

Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple are Agatha Christie’s best-known detectives, but there  are others, including Ariadne Oliver and Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. We will watch several videos to help you determine which is your favorite: Death on the Nile with Peter Ustinov as Poirot, The Mirror Crack’d with Angela Lansbury as Miss Marple, Third Girl with Poirot (David Suchet) and Ariadne Oliver (whom many feel is most like the author), and 4:50 from Paddington with Joan Hickson as Miss Marple, as well as one selection from Partners in Crime, the 2015 BBC series featuring Tommy and Tuppence.

6 Wednesdays, March 14 – April 18
12:30–2:30 p.m. at River Campus
Recommended texts: Death on the Nile, The Mirror Crack’d, Third Girl, 4:50 from Paddington (also known as What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw! and Murder She Said). Christie’s works are generally available anywhere books are sold.

Mary Ann Gasior has a PhD in English literature, taught at Wright State and other universities, has moderated 10 previous UDOLLI seminars, and is a member of the Board of Advisors. She has also been a fan of mysteries since joining the Mystery Book Club in junior high school.


Awake, My Soul! Choral Masterworks from a Singer’s Perspective - NEW

This seminar explores some of musical history’s great works for chorus, giving you a chance to listen to those works and learn how a chorister prepares, technically and spiritually, for a performance of a major sacred or secular musical piece. Each class will focus on one longer or two shorter works, all of which the moderator has sung in concert with semi-professional choruses. Among the works we may explore are Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. John Passion and Mass in B minor, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis,  the renowned Requiems of Mozart, Brahms, Berlioz and Verdi, Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil (aka Vespers), Ralph Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony, and Ariel Ramirez’s Misa Criolla. (Works not chosen for this course might show up in similar future courses). We’ll first discuss the importance of choral music and vocal music generally as a significant form of individual and collective expression. Then each class will include background on the composer and an outline of that week’s musical work, a chance to listen to all or major portions of the work on professional recordings, perspectives from the moderator on the challenges and joys of preparing for and singing the varied choral parts, and class responses. One class will feature Bach Society of Dayton music director John Neely, speaking on how he prepares choristers and other performers for Bach’s powerful St. John Passion. This course is open to everyone—not only trained musicians but anyone who enjoys what we often call “classical music” and who wants to add an “insider’s” look from one performer’s point of view to hearing these marvelous choral compositions.

6 Wednesday, March 14 – April 18
3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at River Campus

Larry Hollar is an experienced chorister who’s enjoyed rehearsing and performing  under conductors such as Robert Shaw, Norman Scribner, Leonard Slatkin, Mstislav Rostropovich, John Neely, and Neal Gittleman during a 25-year tenure as a baritone singer with the Choral Arts Society of Washington (DC), the Bach Society of Dayton, and numerous church choirs. Larry has sung in the Spoleto Festival in Italy; St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and the Basilica di San Francesco in Assisi, Italy; the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, WY; Carnegie Hall; and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC as well as Dayton-area venues. He sang on a Grammy Award-winning classical recording of John Corigliano’s First Symphony with the National Symphony Orchestra. He now leads the Hispanic choir at College Hill Community Church in Dayton. Larry is retired from organizing and policy work with Bread for the World and serves as stated clerk for the Presbytery of the Miami Valley. He has taught two popular recent UDOLLI courses on baseball—another of his major passions. a wood-fired brick bread oven in his backyard.


Film Noir 7: Psychopaths! NEW

There’s nothing like a crazy killer to keep the good guys on their toes in film noir. They can appear normal, even charming, on the surface, but underneath lack conscience and empathy. They’re violent men who kill without mercy, without reason, and often without provocation – time bombs on two legs and the clock is ticking. Meet some of the baddest in these black- and-white thrillers. We’ll focus on films that you probably haven’t seen, discuss the cast and crew, talk about what makes a film noir, and learn a little about how movies are made.

6 Wednesdays, March 14 – April 18
3:00-5:00 p.m. at River Campus

Fred Oliver is a retired Base engineer and life-long movie fan. He’s been a UDOLLI student for the last five years. His seminars on great science fiction movies got good reviews and his first six film noir seminars proved popular. Students also liked his seminars on the Big Band and Easy Pop eras.

Contact Us

Special Programs and Continuing Education

300 College Park 
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 7011

Phone: 937-229-2605; FAX: 937-229-3500