Adventures in Lifelong Learning


9:00 am – 10:30 am

Course 101     

Hard Times:  At the Heart of Modern Civilization    

Dr. Helen Heineman

Published in 1854 in weekly installments, Hard Times was Dickens’ 10th novel. Different from his typical productions, it is his shortest work, a marvel of compression and packed richness, with fewer characters than in any of his novels. But despite its brevity, the Dickensian vitality is present with even greater force. Like many of his works, it has a cinematic quality, and is the art of a poetic dramatist. Set in an industrial town in the Midlands, it opens in a schoolroom and ends in a circus. Though focused on industrial relations. the novel presents the surrounding inhumanities of civilization and pays attention to family relations - parents and children, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, and even the issue of divorce.  Although the story is rooted in a specific time and place, the novel articulates the many ways in which life has changed as the world is transformed from a rural to an urban and industrialized civilization. 

Dr. Heineman will refer to the Penguin classics edition of the book; all editions are acceptable.  For the first meeting, please read “Book the First – Sowing”.

Course 102

Introduction to Brazilian Popular Music in the World
Dr. K. E. Goldschmitt

From the dawn of the 20th century, Brazil has promoted itself to the world through its musical strengths. The country is the birthplace of many well-loved genres including choro, samba, bossa nova, and baile funk. Brazilian musicians are also well established in international genres such as jazz, electronic dance music, hip-hop, and indie rock as well as romantic song styles. Brazilian popular song is considered by many to be a literary genre where songwriters such as Vinicius de Morais and Arnaldo Antunes describe themselves as poets and lyrics are widely understood as literature. This course will uncover the origins of the major musical developments in Brazil and explore how they express core components of Brazil’s history. We will emphasize the country’s legacy as one of the largest destinations of enslaved Africans and how that emerges in the country’s most enduring musical styles.

10:45 am – 12:15 pm

Course 103     

Can Congress Be Fixed?  

Dr. David Smailes

Few institutions in American political life seem more dysfunctional than Congress these days; many Americans express their unhappiness with Congress almost daily.  But has Congress always been this troubled, and can its problems be fixed today?  Join us as we discuss the nature of Congress, the changes the institution has been through in recent decades and some of the challenges faced by those trying to fix a Congress that seems stymied by filibusters, gerrymandering and partisan politics.

1:15 pm – 2:45 pm

Course 104 

The Art of Collage

Donna Melanson

As an art form, collage incorporates the use of pre-existing materials as part of a two-dimensional surfaces.  Each week, participants will create collages through various techniques:  

October 5th:  Japanese Notan Designs

Notan is a term that refers to the Japanese idea of balanced light and dark areas in a composition. In our session together, we will create a simple notan design inspired by botanical shapes and finish by framing the work to take home.

Artwork: student work, class of Donna Melanson, archival paper on board, 2018


October 12th: Fruit Still Life Collage    


Using the myriad color hues found in magazine pages, participants will create a beautiful image of a piece of fruit that will appear to have shading and shadows.  With just a few simple tools, this collage technique yields impressive final results.        

Artwork: untitled, Donna Melanson, paper on board, 2019

October 19th: Inspired by the Quilts of Gee’s Bend    


Participants will enjoy viewing and learning about the amazing quilts created by the women living in the Gee’s Bend area of Alabama since the early 1800’s. These starkly beautiful quilts, created with discarded materials, were stitched together according to the whims of the woman rather than a pattern or preconceived design. In this relaxing session, participants will piece together a simple collage inspired by the designs of the quilts.

Artwork: untitled, Jessie T. Pettway, cotton, c.1950

October 26th: Matisse Inspired

In this session, we will dive into the colorful world of Henri Matisse who made beautiful paintings in addition to being an exceptional collage artist. Participants will learn how to simplify the shapes of trees, mountains, clouds and other elements found in a landscape to create an expressive and beautiful collage in the style of Matisse.

Artwork: “Landscape at Collioure”, Henri Matisse, oil on canvas, 1905

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Course 105 

Food for Thought  

Karen White, M.Ed., RDN, LDN

Apple and Bananas!  Is it as simple as that?  In this course, participants will dive into the science behind the subject of nutrition.  What is a carbohydrate?  How much protein do I need?  What is the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats and which is which?  Which nutrients should I be most concerned with as I age?   Participants will learn the answers to these questions and have fun at the same time.  Registered Dietitian and FSU faculty member, Karen White, will take you through these answers.  Classes will include cooking demos and recipes!  Other topics to be discussed:  Reading the new food label, calcium, Vitamin D and fiber.