Lifelong Learning Institute at Virginia Tech
  Lifelong Learning Institute at Virginia Tech

Lifelong Learning Institute at Virginia Tech

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Courses

Fall term begins the week of week of September 30.

Catalogs Available Beginning August 21

Registration opens August 26

Most classes are 1 ½ hours, one day per week, for 3 or 6 weeks

Preview Fall 2019 Offerings:


View Course Descriptions
- or -
Download an updated Catalog: LLIFall2019catalog.pdf


Also check our events page for information about scheduled upcoming events.


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Archives


Course Descriptions

MONDAY

October 7-28, 2019

Virginia 1619 and the Origins of a Nation

Course #:567160-001
Time: Mondays, 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Dates:4 weeks: Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28
Location: Warm Hearth Village Center
Class Limit: 70
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): Peter Wallenstein

Is Jamestown—more precisely, the Virginia colony in 1619—America's "big bang"? We will reconsider several big events associated with the year 1619, including the first meeting of the House of Burgesses, the arrival of the first black Virginians, and the recruitment of a substantial number of English women for the colony. Other topics can include the headright system of land acquisition, the establishment of the Church of England, and the "first official Thanksgiving" in English North America. How did these developments unfold, with what short-term consequences, and with what longer-term implications?

September 30 - November 4, 2019

Paint Your Own Barn Quilt

Course #:567160-002
Time: Mondays, 10:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Sept. 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4
Location: Blacksburg Community Center, Community Room
Class Limit: 16
Cost: $35
Materials fee: $30
Instructor(s): Linda Olin and Anne Campbell

We will discuss barn quilts, do a planning sketch, and learn color theory and painting techniques.

Class members will paint a 2 x 2-foot barn quilt on aluminum with premium exterior semi-gloss enamel with primer over the 6-week course. The Indian Star quilt design will be the basic pattern drawn, with each class member selecting colors and specific pattern.

September 30 - November 4, 2019

TED Talks

Course #: 567160-003
Time: Mondays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Dates:6 weeks: Sept. 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4
Location: VT Public Safety Building, Room 153
Class Limit: 20
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): Dean Spader

TED talks are short, well-prepared, understandable presentations by remarkable, innovative, articulate persons on over 2,500 topics in almost every area of life. We'll watch and discuss three different talks in each class session, chosen initially by the instructor and then by volunteer class members who select a TED talk of interest and then initiate discussion. TED talks broaden exposure to new ideas and initiatives, prompting lively conversation and debate.

Want to see what kinds of talks we might choose? Visit www.TED.com. TED talks are designed to be "ideas worth spreading."

October 7 - November 11, 2019

Learn to be Happy - Practice the Science of Happiness

Course #:567160-004
Time: Mondays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4, 11
Location: Hillel at Virginia Tech
Class Limit: 15
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): Vicky Dierckx

Happiness is one of the top values in life. Yet, only within the last two decades has happiness been the subject of scientific study. This course relies on the science of well-being and positive psychology to provide tools that lead to a happier and more fulfilling life. The class emphasizes use of these tools by older adults who are trying to age successfully. Each class session will employ theory, exercises, and discussion and will be reinforced by fun homework assignments that provide opportunities for using skills learned.

We'll talk about what happiness is and why it is important; why family and friends are critical to happiness; how being kind helps both others and you; how simple gratitude can increase happiness; and how to be resilient when things go wrong.

September 30 - November 4, 2019

Weird Animals You Should Love or at Least Appreciate

Course # 567160-005
Time: Mondays, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Sept. 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4
Location: Corporate Research Center, 1880 Pratt Dr., Suite 2018
Class Limit: 36
Cost: $35
See Course Instructors

COURSE COORDINATORS
Anne McNabb and Don Mullins

September 30. Cockroaches: A Group of Creepy, but Cryptic, Perplexing Insects That Are Survivors!
Don Mullins, Professor Emeritus, Entomology, Virginia Tech

Cockroaches are regarded as loathsome pests who rely on speed, agility, and numbers to invade the home. In reality, this insect group is amazingly diverse. They can resemble other insects. Some are hairy, several snorkel, some chirp, many are devoted parents, and males of several species light up. The ability of some species to adapt to different environments is notable, since they are found in tropical, alpine, arctic as well as desert environments.

October 7. Horseshoe Crabs: From Awe to Science to Management
Eric Hallerman, Professor, Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech

While most people regard horseshoe crabs as primitive creatures that wash up on beaches, the crabs have ecological and economic importance. Horseshoe crab populations have declined dramatically over the past century, and fishery managers are working to rebuild them. Researcher Eric Hallerman will describe how his work on relative abundance, movement, and population genetics ties in to adaptive management of the fishery.

October 14. Vultures, the Sexy Lives of Nature's Flying Janitors
Bob Sheehy, Professor, Biology, Radford University

Although vultures fill an important role in the environment, they are much maligned and often scorned, probably because of their association with death and their food preferences. Many cultures, however, look on vultures with reverence. We will discuss worldwide vulture varieties and their evolutionary relationships. We will explore vulture behavior, culture, and ecology, and perhaps develop an appreciation of these magnificent birds.

October 21. Spiders: Versatile but Underappreciated Predators
Brent Opell, Professor, Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech

We will survey the kinds of spiders that are common in our area and learn about the biology, natural history, and webs of these small predators. A little understanding may make spiders less intimidating and more approachable for those who are afraid of them.

October 28. Life in the Dark: Bats and Other Cave Dwellers
Bill Keith, District Conservationist of Botetourt, Craig and Roanoke Counties, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Bonsack, Virginia

Many people associate bats with caves. Caves are divided into three zones: entrance zone, twilight zone, and zone of total darkness. We will explore all three cave zones and the bats that inhabit them, but spend much of our time discussing those bat species that are adapted to life in total darkness.

November 4. How Snakes Move: From Slithering to Gliding
Jake Socha, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, Virginia Tech

Snakes have no legs, but they manage to get around effectively in a wide variety of environments. Recent studies have shown how they modify their locomotor patterns to slither, climb, swim, and even fly. Here we'll examine some of the biomechanical solutions that snakes have evolved to deal with their limbless condition, and we'll discover that it's not so bad being long and skinny with no fingers or toes.

September 30 - October 21, 2019

Harry Potter: A Phenomenon of Children's Literature

Course #:567160-006
Time: Mondays, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Dates: 4 weeks: Sept. 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21
Location: VT Public Safety Building, Room 153
Class Limit: 32
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): Kaye Graham

Between 1995 and 2007, J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series broke virtually all international records for press runs and sales. We will examine the way the books revitalized the field of children's literature and look at the range of critical response. We'll ask ourselves what millennial anxieties lurk beneath the surface of the novels, try to account for the phenomenon of fandom, look at some key pieces from the film series, explore the Wizarding World park, and discuss the possibilities of adult enjoyment of children's fantasy fiction. We will look at the links to the British school story, the fairy tale, the mystery novel, the sports story, and explore the role of heroes/antiheroes. We will examine the fascinating career of J.K. Rowling and try to understand why these novels resonated with a wide audience. This course will focus on the first three novels in the series: Sorcerer's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, and Prisoner of Azkaban.

READING
Please read each novel before the class session at which it will be discussed (sessions 2, 3, and 4).

September 30 - November 4, 2019

Appreciating Italian Wines

Course #: 567160-007
Time: Mondays, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Sept. 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4
Location: Vintage Cellar, 1338 South Main St., Blacksburg
Class Limit: 25
Cost: $35
Wine fee: $100
Instructor(s): Randall Horst

This class will focus on Italian wines. Wines from major regions of Italy will be tasted including from Piedmont, Veneto, Tuscany, and Apulia. Both red and white wines from these regions will be featured including Sangiovese, Barbera, Montepulciano, Nero d'Avila, Primitivo, Dolcetto, Pinot Grigio, Traminer, Chardonnay, Moscato, and Prosecco.

The wine fee for this course is $100. Mail a separate check for the wine fee only to Vintage Cellar, 1338 South Main Street, Blacksburg, VA 24060. Note on your check that it is payment for the LLI Wine Appreciation course. Credit card payment also accepted in advance (call 540-953-2675) or at the first class session.

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TUESDAY

October 1- November 5, 2019

Sampler

Course #:567160-008
Time: Tuesdays, 9:00 - 10:15 a.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Nov. 5
Location: Warm Hearth Village Center
Class Limit: 75
Cost: $35
See Course Instructors

COURSE COORDINATOR
Molly McClintock

This engaging sampler course treats participants to a wide range of speakers and topics—something different each week.

October 1. Rock Churches of SW Virginia
Historian April Martin will share the story of the local rock churches built by the Rev. Robert Childress between 1919 and 1954. Suggested reading: The Man Who Moved a Mountain, by Richard C. Davids. A separate LLI field trip to visit six of the churches is listed in the Events section of the catalog.
Instructor: April Martin

October 8. Stories of Mounted Search and Rescue
Humans and horses make excellent search and rescue teams. They can move quickly and navigate difficult terrain to find lost or missing people. Leah will share stories and photographs of some of her rescue experiences with her equestrian partner, Quixote.
Instructor: Leah Coffman

October 15. Stories of a Forensic Chemist
Diane will talk about her work as a forensic chemist analyzing clandestine meth labs for various policing agencies. She'll discuss the "CSI" effect and how it negatively impacts criminal prosecutions.
Instructor: Diane Catley

October 22. Sudden Spring: Stories of Adaptation in Climate-Changed South
Rick Van Noy chronicles who is affected by climate change, how communities in the South are responding, and why this matters. His book, Sudden Spring, highlights stories of people and places adapting to the impacts of a warmer climate and what communities in the South are doing to become more climate resilient. Books will be available for purchase.
Instructor: Rick Van Noy

October 29. Building a Bird: The Roots of Avian Anatomy
Birds, unique compared to all other living vertebrates, have a deep history that can be traced for hundreds of millions of years through the fossil record. As living dinosaurs, birds actually inherit most of their unique features from the much larger ancestors.
Instructor: Sterling Nesbitt

November 5. Letterboxing: The World's Slowest Growing Hobby
Letterboxing combines artistry, puzzling, hiking, and treasure hunting. Starting in England in 1854, participants "plant" and find hidden boxes, collecting stamp images, and having adventures. Come hear stories of great hunts and see examples of funny and creative stamps.
Instructor: Manna Lundberg

October 22- November 5, 2019

The Building Blocks of Music

Course #:567160-009
Time: Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Dates: 3 weeks: Oct. 22, 29, Nov. 5
Location: Hillel at Virginia Tech
Class Limit: 25
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): David McKee

The course will introduce students to the building blocks of music providing an unintimidating overview of the skills needed to develop a better understanding—whether listening, playing, writing, or analyzing music. The course will cover basic material such as pitches and scales, intervals, clefs, rhythm, form, meter, phrases and cadences, and simple harmony. Each class will include live performances by professional and student musicians with opportunities to interact with the performers.

October 8- November 5, 2019

Getting Your Ducks in a Row

Course #:567160-010
Time: Tuesdays, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Dates: 4 weeks: Oct. 8, 15, 22, Nov. 5 (skip Oct. 29)
Location: Blacksburg Presbyterian Church, Hatcher Conference Room
Class Limit: 20
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): Isabel Berney and Sandy Schlaudecker

This course walks you through preparation of your funeral plans so that they reflect your wishes and so that your survivors are not left with difficult choices at a time when they are least able to respond. The instructors will guide a conversation with participants about these difficult topics that are often not openly addressed. Working through these details in advance will give both you and your family members a measure of peace.

Some of the topics to be covered include documents and tools to facilitate end-of-life considerations, planning a funeral that reflects your wishes and comforts your survivors; writing your obituary/epitaph; and strategizing how to have positive conversations with family members about your end-of-life choices.

October 1- November 5, 2019

The Great Gatsby: An American Masterpiece in Novel and Film

Course #:567160-011
Time: Tuesdays, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Dates: 5 weeks: Oct. 1, 8, 22, 29, Nov. 5 (skip Oct.15)
Location: VT Public Safety Building, Room 155
Class Limit: 16
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): Michael Squires

In 1925, in his prime, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby, which became the iconic evocation of the American Twenties. The novel has inspired two excellent films, one in 1974, with Robert Redford; the other in 2013, with Leonardo DiCaprio. We'll read the novel, in sections, against both films, hoping to answer these questions: How does the novel achieve the status it has earned? Do the films do justice to the novel's Twenties milieu? Finally, do the sympathies that readers develop for the novel's characters translate into their film equivalents?

READING AND VIEWING
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby. Scribner paperback edition 2018. ISBN-13: 978-0-7432-7356-5 ,br> The Scribner paperback edition and the two films, now remaindered DVDs, are inexpensive

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WEDNESDAY

October 2-23, 2019

Mineral Springs Resorts in Montgomery County

Course #:567160-012
Time: Wednesdays, 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Dates: 4 weeks: Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23
Location: VT Public Safety Building, Room 153
Class Limit: 32
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): Sherry Wyatt
Victoria Taylor
Linda Haney
Lynn Reed

COURSE COORDINATOR
Anne Judkins Campbell

By the early 1800s several mineral springs resorts had opened in the New River Valley. A 1911 publication noted that Virginia was second only to New York in the number of commercial springs. Early visitors came by stagecoach, but by 1854, the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad had completed its line from Lynchburg to Wytheville. Tourism in the area flourished, and many of the region's mineral springs developed into lavish resorts and spas. By the turn of the 20th century, the popularity of mineral springs began to decline; however, Crockett Springs survived into the 1930s. We'll explore the history of four springs in three classroom sessions then conclude with a field trip to the sites of the resorts.

CLASS SESSIONS
1. History of Mineral Springs: Montgomery County's mineral springs resorts of the 19th century were intended as both health-giving and entertaining. The health benefits of the waters were often touted in the resorts' advertisements, but the social opportunities, the cool mountain air, and the entertainment offered to the well-to-do patrons were more important.

Yellow Sulphur Springs was located about three and one-half miles north of the Christiansburg Depot. The buildings of the resorts are described as being "new" in a publication of 1859; however the same publication notes the resort had been attracting visitors "for nearly sixty years." Following the arrival of the V&T railroad, the owners of Yellow Spring built a turnpike from the resort to the railroad station in Cambria.

2. Alleghany Springs was located on the South Fork of Roanoke River, near present-day Shawsville. Originally opened in 1853, by 1880 the resort hotel had expanded in size to provide accommodations for almost 1,000 guests. The resort closed in 1904 following a devastating fire. Crockett Springs was located on the South Fork of Roanoke River, several miles upstream from Alleghany Springs. Crockett Springs was the last mineral resort opened in Montgomery County. The resort was owned by the Virginia Arsenic Bromide and Lithia Springs Company, which erected a two and one-half story wood frame hotel at Crockett Springs in 1889. The resort closed in 1939.

3. Montgomery White Sulphur Springs, opened in 1855, was located near presentday Shawsville. From 1862-1865 a portion of the resort served as a Confederate General Hospital, with staff including Catholic nuns from Charleston, South Carolina. Three cemeteries, now privately owned, are associated with the property. The resort reopened and was a popular location for reunions, parties and hosted visitors from around the world, until it closed in 1904.

4. Car Pool Tour of Mineral Springs 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

October 2 - November 6, 2019

Justice: What Is the Right Thing to Do?

Course #:567160-013
Time: Wednesdays, 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6.
Location: VT Public Safety Building, Room 155
Class Limit: 15
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): Dean Spader

This course introduces theories of justice by using a method developed by Michael Sandel at Harvard. Sandel's book has sold over a million copies, and he has been referred to as a "superstar" philosopher because his classes exceed 500 students. The course requires no specialized knowledge and uses the following method: a) a practical problem will be given to the class to discuss and solve; b) the theory of justice illustrated by this problem will be presented in a 15-30 minute overview; c) the class members will discuss other examples from society, their own communities, and their own lives illustrating this theory; and d) more extended readings and videos will be provided for those who wish to understand the theory and its uses in many current issues. See www. justiceharvard.org

REQUIRED READING
Michael J. Sandel, Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? 2009. ISBN-13: 978-0374180652

October 2 - November 6, 2019

The United States and the Arab World

Course #:567160-014
Time: Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Dates: 5 weeks: Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, Nov. 6 (skip Oct. 30)
Location: The German Club Manor, Southgate Drive
Class Limit: 50
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): William Ochsenwald

American involvement with the Arab countries of the Middle East has dramatically increased since the end of World War II. Diplomatic, military, and economic aspects of this relationship will be traced from the American perspective, with an emphasis on the period 1967 to 2019.

CLASS SESSIONS

  1. 1945-1967: Introduction; controversies; American foreign policy goals; World War II; Palestine/ Israel; decolonization and oil; Cold War; arms sales.
  2. 1967-1990: Peace process—Egypt and Palestinians; Lebanon 1982; Iran-Iraq War; Saudi Arabia and oil; Kuwait War.
  3. 1991-2008: United States as sole superpower; peace-making; Libya; al-Qa'ida and 2001 attacks; neo-conservatives; 2003 war in Iraq and effects.
  4. 2008-2016: Obama's opening to the Arabs; oil prices; Iraq again; the Arab Spring; the Islamic State; Syrian civil war; Arabs and the Iran nuclear deal; pivot to Asia?
  5. 2016-2019: Trump and America first; arms sales and oil; Syrian civil war; alliances; Saudi leadership; pivot to Asia—Act 2.

October 9 - November 13, 2019

Local Authors Exploring History

Course #:567160-015
Time: Wednesdays, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13
Location: VT Public Safety Building, Room 153
Class Limit: 32
Cost: $35
See Course Instructors

COURSE COORDINATOR
Suzanne Reisinger

This course will feature the work of local authors writing in different genres about historical events. Each session will begin with a reading, followed by a question/answer session and discussion.

CLASS SESSIONS

Biography: Threads in the Acadian Fabric: The Author's Family Story and the History of the Acadian People
Author: Simone Poirier-Bures

Autobiography: NeVer ForgeT (a reflection on the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings)
Author: Matthew Vollmer

Fiction: An Examination of the Evolution of a Place—South Louisiana from WWII through the 1960s
Author: Ann Goette

Historical Fiction: The Life of Isaac Granger, A Slave of Thomas Jefferson
Author: Larry Bechtel

Poetry: The Manhattan Project
Author: Gyorgyi Voros

Nonfiction: Keepers of the Tradition: Portraits of Contemporary Appalachian People [with Leslie Gregg, portrait artist]
Author: Michael Abraham

September 25 - October 30, 2019

Italian for Beginners/Travelers

Course #:567160-016
Time: Wednesdays, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Sept. 25, Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Location: VT Public Safety Building, Room 155
Class Limit: 12
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): June Stubbs

This course is an introduction to speaking and understanding the Italian language with an emphasis on cultural and artistic traditions so important to the traveler to this magnificent country. Always wanted to learn Italian? Plan to travel to Italy? Come join us as we begin this memorable journey! Andiamo!

October 2- November 6, 2019

Cuba in the American Imagination

Course #:567160-017
Time: Wednesdays, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Dates: 5 weeks: Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, Nov. 6 (skip Oct. 30)
Location: VT Public Safety Building, Room 153
Class Limit: 25
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): Joe Scarpaci

This course examines the multiple roles our neighbor-island to the south has played in creating a unique place-brand for itself over the past 200 years. A small island of just 11 million, it has embedded itself firmly in the minds of Americans in politics, sports, culture, and leisure.

TOPICS

  • Cuba's cultural and physical geography as the largest Antillean island
  • Race and slavery during the 19th century and how abolition, proposed annexation, and the Civil War influenced race relations
  • The Spanish-American-CUBAN War of 1898
  • "Steamship tourism" during the inter-war and prohibition eras
  • The Mafia and organized crime in the Las Vegas- Miami-Havana Triangle
  • The influence of the pioneering "I Love Lucy" sitcom of the 1950s
  • The portrayal of rumba, cha cha cha, and salsa in the world music scene
  • The 1959 Revolution, Fidel Castro, and the Afro- American community
  • >600 ways to kill Fidel Castro
  • Why the Castros were not altar boys
  • Post-Soviet Cuba in a global world and in the shadow of the Castro brothers

REQUIRED READING

Louis A. Pérez. Cuba in the American Imagination: Metaphor and the Imperial Ethos. 2008. UNC Press. ISBN-13: 978-0807832165

Joseph Scarpaci and Armando Portela. Cuban Landscapes: Heritage, Memory, and Place. 2009. Guilford. ISBN 978-1606233238. Available here: https://tinyurl.com/yclk225t

October 9- November 6, 2019

Roots of Appalachian Music

Course #:567160-018
Time: Wednesdays, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Dates: 5 weeks: Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6
Location: Corporate Research Center, 1880 Pratt Dr., Suite 2018
Class Limit: 36
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): Fred Benfield

The Appalachian region covers a significant part of 13 states ranging from southern New York to northern Alabama and Mississippi. Early European settlers in the southern Appalachian Mountains were mainly Scots-Irish and Germans who found the coastal plain and piedmont heavily occupied and moved on to the mountains, bringing their instruments and musical traditions with them. While the core of the region is mountainous, it borders on the piedmont, so music from other regions seeped into the Appalachians. In this course we will explore the roots that gave rise to the music one can hear performed around the region today.

We'll talk about tunes from the "old country," and persistent themes from these origins; Bluegrass as a new twist on tradition; various instruments and instrumentalists; and "Newgrass," "folkgrass," and where do we go from here?

CLASS SESSIONS

October 10 - November 14, 2019

The Supreme Court and the Fourth Amendment

Course #:567160-019
Time: Thursdays, 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Oct. 10, 17, 24, 31, Nov. 7, 14
Location: VT Public Safety Building, Room 153
Class Limit: 32
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): Jack Call

This class allows us to explore important and timely questions about police authority derived and shaped by Supreme Court decisions related to the Fourth Amendment.

  • Are the police given too much (or not enough) discretion in investigating criminal activity?
  • What limits are imposed on police discretion by the Fourth Amendment?
  • What role does the U.S. Supreme Court play in determining the extent of police authority?

The class will explore the definitions of search and seizure, who is subject to the requirements of the Fourth Amendment, the scope of the so-called "warrant requirement," the definition of probable cause, the standing requirement and its significance, the exclusionary rule, and the consequences of government violations of the Fourth Amendment.

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THURSDAY

October 10-31, 2019

Columbine: Lessons Learned

Course #:567160-020
Time: Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Dates: 4 weeks: Oct. 10, 17, 24, 31
Location: VT Public Safety Building, Room 153
Class Limit: 15
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): Stephen Owen
Tod Burke

Investigative journalist Dave Cullen's book, Columbine, is described on its dust jacket as follows: "On April 20, 1999, two boys left an indelible stamp on the American psyche. Their goal was simple: to blow up their school, Oklahoma City-style, and to leave ‘a lasting impression on the world.' Their bombs failed, but the ensuing shooting defined a new era of school violence— irrevocably branding every subsequent shooting ‘another Columbine.'… Drawing on hundreds of interviews, thousands of pages of police files, FBI psychologists, and the boys' tapes and diaries, he gives the first complete account of the Columbine tragedy."

Each class session will begin with a brief presentation by the instructors, followed by guided discussion of themes presented in the book. The course will also seek to identify "lessons learned" that inform the prevention of, response to, and recovery from other active shooter events.

REQUIRED READING
Dave Cullen, Columbine. Twelve Books, 2010. ISBN-13: 978-0446546928

Please read this book before the first class meeting. It contains a detailed account of the shooting and impacts and may be troubling.

October 3-31, 2019

How to Take and Process Memorable Photographs

Course #:567160-021
Time: Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Dates: 5 weeks: Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Location: Corporate Research Center, 1880 Pratt Drive, Suite 2018
Class Limit: 32
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): Joe Jennelle

This course is for those who wish to move from Automatic Mode to Manual Mode to increase options and improve results using single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras. (The course does not address cell phone camera photography.) Students will learn how to control aperture, shutter speed, and depth of field for desirable effect. The instructor will demonstrate a variety of important concepts and techniques for processing photos using Adobe Lightroom to improve out-of camera raw images. There will be lots of opportunity to ask questions. Students are urged to bring their cameras to experiment with new skills.

October 3- 31, 2019

GPS and Other Satellite Communications in Your Day-to-Day Life

Course #:567160-022
Time: Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Dates: 5 weeks: Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Location: Hillel at Virginia Tech
Class Limit: 16
Cost: $35
Materials fee: $30
Instructor(s): Tim Pratt

A Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver is now embedded in every cellular phone and almost every new automobile. GPS is the primary navigation system for all aircraft and ships and is used by air traffic control to ensure safe arrival of every passenger aircraft. GPS is just one example of Satellite Communication systems. Other common examples are the tracking of hurricanes by weather satellites and instant news reporting by television from anywhere in the world.

This course will discuss several examples of how satellite communications have impacted our lives and explain in lay terms how satellites stay in orbit, the systems that are needed to keep them working for 15 years, and how radio signals are transmitted and received via satellites.

October 10- November 14, 2019

The Anti-Federalists: Founders or Detractors of the U.S. Constitution?

Course #:567160-023
Time: Thursdays, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Oct. 10, 17, 24, 31, Nov. 7, 14
Location: VT Public Safety Building, Room 153
Class Limit: 25
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): Sidney "Al" Pearson

The Anti-Federalists opposed the Constitution that came out of the 1787 Philadelphia Constitutional Convention. But why did they oppose it? What were they for? Did their arguments influence the subsequent course of American constitutional development? How? The Anti-Federalists lost the argument over ratification, but their views are nevertheless essential to a more complete understanding of what the founding debates were about. They deserve to be considered among the founders of the American regime as much as the authors and defenders of the Constitution.

REQUIRED READING
Herbert J. Storing and Murray Dry, eds. The Anti- Federalist: Writings by the Opponents of the Constitution. Abridged Edition. U Chicago P, 1985. ISBN-13: 978-0226775654

October 3- November 7, 2019

The Hungry Reader: A Feast of Food Writing

Course #:567160-024
Time: Thursdays, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Nov. 7
Location: Hillel at Virginia Tech
Class Limit: 25
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): Britton Gildersleeve

The great food writer M.F.K. Fisher said that writing about food was really writing about human hungers: for love, for warmth, for friendship, and of course—for food. There's an amazing body of food literature finally being recognized, and we're going to sample some of it. Come join us as we share a feast of writing by wonderful writers: M.F.K. Fisher (the grande dame of food writing), Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingsolver, and Jeffrey Steingarten, as well as a roundtable of new writers.

REQUIRED READING

M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating. Houghton Mifflin 2004. ISBN-13: 978-1328662248

Ruth Reichl, ed. Best American Food Writing 2018. Houghton-Mifflin 2018. ISBN-13: 978-1328662248

Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food. Penguin, 2008. ISBN-13: 978-0143114963

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Harper Perennial 2008. ISBN-13: 978-0060852566

Jeffrey Steingarten, The Man Who Ate Everything. Vintage, 1998. ISBN-13: 978-0375702020

October 3- 31, 2019

Tasting and Tippling Through Time: Topics in Food History from Special Collections

Course #:567160-025
Time: Thursdays, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Dates: 5 weeks: Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Location: VT Newman Library, Special Collections
Class Limit: 25
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): Kira Dietz

Using materials from the history of food and drink collecting area in Special Collections, this course will be a fun, light-hearted look at the history of food in American culture. During the first session, we will talk about our collecting area, what we focus on acquiring, and how the materials get used. We will also begin our conversation of cooking in the American Colonies, where its origins are, and how an "American" culinary identity was born.

Each week during sessions 2-5, we will use a broad theme to view culinary history materials and talk about how materials depict, represent, or exemplify themes, as well as how they may (or may not) conform to culinary and social expectations of their time. Each theme will be a temporal survey, from early America to the 20th (and sometimes 21st) century, in which we will talk about how content, format, and context shaped the food history of the topic. Plus, we'll look at classic, curious, and questionably edible examples of recipes from the last three centuries and discuss why we've made the culinary choices we have.

October 4- November 8, 2019

Alla Prima Watercolor, Intermediate Level

Course #:567160-026
Time: Fridays, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8
Location: Blacksburg Community Center, Community Room
Class Limit: 15
Cost: $35
Materials fee: $35
Instructor(s): Jesi Pace-Berkeley

The focus of the class will be to work alla prima, which is "wet into wet." We will learn how to use underpainting, apply transparent layers, create and apply mature colors, and recognize and build up relative values. We will also learn how to include both hard and soft edges/shadow, control color temperature, layer total values, when to create a guide for highlights, why we must let the strokes follow the body of the subject, how to block in mid and darker shadows, when to use water to soften the edges, and why adding the local color "wet into wet" on top is often the best way to create a dynamic and expressive painting.

SUPPLIES
A list of supplies will be distributed in advance or at the first class meeting. Supplies will include a Plein Air Pro easel.

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FRIDAY

October 4-18, 2019

1969 in Music: 50 Years Later

Course #:567160-027
Time: Fridays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Dates: 3 weeks: Oct. 4, 11, 18
Location: Blacksburg Presbyterian Church, Fellowship Hall
Class Limit: 25
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): Jay Crone

This three-session course will celebrate the 50th anniversary of some of the most influential music of 1969, including the classical, jazz, and popular music genres. The most influential compositions, songs, composers, and performers active at the end of the tumultuous 1960s will be studied. The musical and socio-political trends that helped create the music of 1969 as well as the long-term influences of the music will be also discussed.

For our session on Jazz, we'll listen to Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman and the Sons of Coltrane. Our popular music sampler from 1969 includes Billboard #1s and Bob Dylan, who created a music genre. In our last session, we'll focus on Classical and Avant garde music from both European and American composers and musicians.

October 4- November 8, 2019

Memoir and Essay Writing

Course #:567160-028
Time: Fridays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Dates: 6 weeks: Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8
Location: VT Public Safety Building, Room 153
Class Limit: 15
Cost: $35
Instructor(s): Richard Gilbert

Revision is the basis of literary art—it's where what people call "writing" (quality prose) happens. In this class, students will read innovative and awardwinning essays, revise their own and compose new work, and share their writing with classmates. The instructor will provide exercises to stretch your range and offer ideas for developing your own selfediting process. Based on the richly collaborative workshop model—receiving peers' insights and commenting helpfully in turn—the class makes learning less narrowly instructor-based and brings more brainpower to each essay.

This class is suitable for both beginning and intermediate writers. Beginners may have written in the past, or yearn to write and want to tell a story. Intermediate writers have taken a previous class, compiled some fiction or nonfiction, or have begun a series of essays, a memoir, or a family history. Enthusiasm is the core prerequisite!

REQUIRED READING
Edwidge Danticat, Brother, I'm Dying. Vintage, 2008
Darin Strauss, Half a Life. Random House, 2011

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