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Lifelong Learning Institute: Spring 2018 Classes

The spring 2018 course schedule offered by The Lifelong Learning Institute of Elkhart County is designed to provide stimulating and affordable short courses in many fields for active seniors. Course brochures are available at the Goshen College Box Office and the Greencroft Goshen Community Center. Registration may be done at the Goshen College Box Office (located in the lobby of the Music Center), 1700 S. Main St., Goshen. Registration may also be made by phone and paid by credit card by calling (574) 535-7566.

Classes are held in Jennings Auditorium, Greencroft Goshen Community Center, unless otherwise noted.

Reading Genesis Well
Paul Keim
Feb. 27, Mar. 1, 6, 8; 2:00-3:30
This course will explore the book of Genesis using four different interpretive lenses. First, we will read Genesis within the context of other ancient origin stories. Second, we will take a literary approach, piecing together the puzzle of its careful composition and tracing its echoes. Third, we will plunge into the fascinating world of Midrash, the rabbinic interpretive tradition that interweaves elements of law, customary wisdom and exhortation. Finally, we will consider non-linear interpretations of Genesis themes, as reflected in art, music and poetry. The richly-textured and open-ended portrait that emerges is intended to enflame our theological imagination and illuminate our path. Paul Keim is Professor of Bible, Religion and Philosophy at Goshen College and Adjunct Lecturer in Biblical Languages at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.

Swashbuckling, Slapstick and Swordfights: A Journey to Penzance
Marcia Yost – Coordinator
Mar. 12, 14, 19, 21; 10:00-11:30
In our journey to Penzance, you will learn to know the pirates and the parody. You will venture into the realm of Gilbert and Sullivan as they created a whole new art form that became the basis for the dawning of the modern musical comedy. Expect to have some fun and learn not only about this show but a bit about the process in bringing a show to the Umble Center stage. You will be delighted with the music, and you will be inspired to share your best pirate “aarrrgghhh”! Marcia Yost has directed over 40 musicals. She is currently the Director of Arts at Goshen College supporting the arts in Goshen and around the state.

J. Lawrence Burkholder on Mennonite Ethics: from Isolation to Engagement
Lauren Friesen
Mar. 26-29; 2:00-3:30
The lectures will cover three forthcoming volumes on this topic. In Volume I, Burkholder explores the strengths and limitations of the stance Mennonites took on nonconformity, which meant withdrawal from society. Volume II expands an analysis of the limitations and proposes a solution whereby Mennonites can continue their ethical stance but become engaged in nonviolent solutions to social problems. Volume III applies the ideas in real-life situations. He concludes that nonviolent action on the local/congregational level is needed to continue our peace witness and resolve tensions in the world, introducing the concept of ambiguity as an ethical value while recognizing that the former absolutes no longer are viable. Lauren Friesen is the David M. French Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan and a Certified Docent at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.

It Can’t Happen Here: Handmaids, Farm Animals and the Dystopian Novel
Judith Davis
Apr. 2, 4, 9, 13; 10:00-11:30
George Orwell’s Animal Farm and Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale offer two perspectives on political systems and their effects on the individual. In this class, we will read and discuss these and other novels that present visions of dystopias, “imaginary places where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives.” Dystopian novels are often called cautionary tales: they depict what life could be under circumstances that are not so different from our own—for example, Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here. It will be helpful if you read Atwood and Orwell before coming to class; Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is also recommended. Judith Davis is Professor Emerita of French and Humanities, Goshen College where she served as director of communications, grant writer and teacher for French, English and women’s studies.

A Trip Around The World - In A Jennings’ Chair
Phyllis Miller – Coordinator
Apr. 18, 20, 23, 25; 10:00-11:30
Travel around the world through personal stories from folks who have lived and worked in other cultures. The four sessions will be divided by countries: Afghanistan by Bill and Phyllis Miller; South Africa by Anna and Joe Sawatzky; Indonesia by Sally Jo and Ron Milne; and Iran with Ervin Beck and Nasim Rasoulipour (a Goshen College student who is from Iran). Learn about their daily living, the highs and lows of becoming a part of another culture, what they brought home with them and what they found here upon reentering. Phyllis Miller taught kindergarten in the Middlebury Schools. She and her husband Bill served with Mennonite Central Committee, Mennonite Mission Network and Goshen College’s SST program. Since retirement they have been involved in Mennonite Disaster Service, Service Opportunities for Older People.

The Art of Life, Illness & Death
John Blosser
May 1, 3, 8, 9; 2:00-3:30
The very human experience of illness, death and dying has arguably inspired works of art for ages. We will examine some of the more significant works of literature and visual art that were born of these circumstances. Believing that clarity and hope may be found in the products of healers, survivors, and the grieving, the course will be broad in scope, interactive in nature and accessible. References and hopefully useful and interesting resources will be made available. As Professor of Art Emeritus from both Goshen and Hesston Colleges, John was invited to teach a course to nurses enrolled in the Goshen College RN to BSN degree program. Soon a number of friends expressed interest in this material, and thus this short LLI course was born!

A Taste of Personal History
Dawn Szabo
May 15, 17, 22, 24; 2:00-3:30
Have you thought about writing your life story but you don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’ve started to write your story, but your project has stalled. This class takes a theme-based approach to writing stories from your life. In class, we’ll prime your memories through prompts and discussion and offer writing tips that will help you add depth to your stories. Between classes, you’ll write a short story based on the theme presented. This is an interactive class where stories will be read by willing participants. Dawn Szabo worked for a Fortune 100 company prior to starting her own company, Blue Sky Life Stories, LLC. She branched out on her own in 2016 to help individuals and families preserve life stories in the form of audio or book memoirs. She is also a certified Guided Autobiography instructor.