Turning Your Life Into Literature

The purpose of this course is to motivate you to write stories from your past, the events and people who created you. It’s exhilarating! And, someone after you will thank you profoundly. You will write stories of 750 words or fewer. Learn tips from the leader, write at home, then read your stories in class. This is a window on a past that only you know; start now!

Stretching the Truth: Creating Fiction From Life

Our lives are a kaleidoscope of memories: moments both happy and sad. In this course, those memories will be refracted through the prism of imagination to create their fictional counterparts. With the freedom that fiction allows, what was once fact can be set loose to roam wherever we wish. There will be no required reading, but you will have the option of bringing in a brief passage of either fiction or memoir that strikes you, to read to the class and tell why you chose it. There will also be free-writing from a prompt which will trigger a recollection.

Shakespeare: Three Roman Plays

The Roman plays are different from each other. Julius Caesar raises questions about government, rebellion, loyalty, and rhetoric. Coriolanus abounds in powerful characters and demanding themes. The great Antony and Cleopatra is a tragic love story on many levels, combining history and politics with powerful unforgettable characters. All are distinguished by great poetry. Some film versions of the plays will be included. Recommended text: Any good text of Shakespeare’s plays.

Music in Poetry: Sense Follows Sound

This poetry/writing course will explore the “music of poetry”—patterns of vowels and consonants that expand meaning. We will examine how music works in successful poems by modern masters. Then we will devise strategies to make our own poems more musical, more accessible and stronger. You will be asked to write a poem a week.

Mike Ross’s (ubifil@charter.net) poems have appeared in Potomac Review, The Evansville Review, Waterways, and others. He has studied with Sharon Olds, Joan Murray, Eamon Grennan, and Robert Bly, among others.

It Takes a Woman

This course will offer biographical and critical information about several women of historical importance, with discussion concerning each woman’s contributions to the arts, society, and other areas as well. A list of websites, readings, books, etc., will be provided by email.

Intermediate French D

This course is a continuation of Intermediate French C and is intended for those who have taken those courses or have a similar background in French (approximately equivalent to high school French II or college French 102). If in doubt, email the instructor to discuss your experience with the language. We will continue to develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. A textbook will be provided. You may wish to buy the accompanying workbook.

Homer’s Odyssey

The epic tale of Odysseus’ adventures as he travels from the Trojan War back to his family and kingdom is a feast for the mind and the imagination. As we journey along with him, we shall explore the epic’s many pleasures as well as its monumental influence on Western civilization’s ideas, values and art. Required text: Homer: The Odyssey, Robert Fitzgerald, ISBN: 0-679-72813-9. Cost: $13.00

Even Deadlier: Sinful Stories from Great Books

Participants will read (before class) and discuss sixteen wicked tales from some of the world’s best writers, all guaranteed to ignite your moral imagination! There are no lectures, and everyone is encouraged to participate. Stories include Torch Song by John Cheever, Babylon Revisited by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Custard Heart by Dorothy Parker, and Nuns at Luncheon by Aldous Huxley. Required Text: Even Deadlier: A Sequel to The 7 Deadly Sins Sampler, published by the Great Books Foundation, ISBN: 978-1-933147-45-1. Cost: $19.95 (new).

Dickens’s Children

Charles Dickens’s treatment of childhood, especially the theme of childhood innocence in a corrupt world, is central to understanding his novels. The course will examine two of the many novels that center on child protagonists, one from early in his writing career, one written much later. By comparing the two novels, Oliver Twist and Great Expectations, participants in the course will try to understand Dickens’s message to a corrupt and materialistic world, a world many people find still recognizable today.

Crime Fiction: American Detectives

This survey course focuses on three types of American detective fiction: police detectives, tough guy private eyes, and women private investigators. The course will consist of brief lectures to describe the genre at the beginning of each class, followed by extensive group discussion and sharing on the day’s topic. There is a suggested reading list for each of the subgenres, and participants will be expected to read at least two books from each list (and hopefully, tell the group about others that aren’t on the list).