Post-World War II Germany

Tom Sorosiak

10:00 – 11:00 AM, Tuesdays

February 14 – March 14 (no class 4/7; 4 weeks)

After WWII, Germany was rebuilt with two very different eastern and western states. Discover how this rebuilding happened, particularly with communist rule in East Germany and implementation of the Marshall Plan’s implementation in West Germany. The development of critical components of Western Germany will be the primary focus. Also, contrasting issues from 1945-1989 within a divided Germany will be studied. A contemporary insight into the same issues in a unified Germany, from 1989 to the present will be addressed.

Tom Sorosiak retired from teaching in the History Department at BGSU. He has taught a graduate course and workshops on Holocaust education and genocide.


Great Decisions – 2023

Hugh Grefe

1:30 – 3:00 PM, Tuesday

February 14 – April 4 (8 weeks)

 Delve into the biggest topics in international news! Explore topics ranging from economic warfare to energy geopolitics to current events in Iran.

Discussions are based on materials from the Foreign Policy Association which selects eight critical issues each year. Read a chapter in the briefing book at home, then watch a televised briefing at the start of class before diving into a spirited and structured discussion of the most critical global issues facing America today. The textbook required for this class, Great Decisions, is available for purchase online. The book is also available at the Lourdes Welcome Center for $31 payable by cash or check only.

Facilitator and previous participant Hugh Grefe earned a Master of Arts in History at the University of Toledo and has served in a variety of senior staff and board roles in the greater Toledo community. In 2002 he was awarded a Fannie Mae Foundation Fellowship to participate in the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.


Plaster Relief Carving: an Introduction to Sculpture

Patrick Dubreuil

11:00 – 1:00 PM, Tuesday

February 14 – March 21 (6 weeks)

In this class we will break the two-dimensional plane to create bas relief (or “low relief”) using a sculptural technique in which the design is only slightly raised above the flattened surface. The process has been used for centuries and is not difficult.

First, select an image -your original design or from another source- as the inspiration for the carving.You will be instructed on form shadow sequence, how light defines form. We will then cast a plaster slab, transfer the design to the plaster and begin carving. Finish by taking home your own beautiful carved relief sculpture.

A Toledo native, Patrick Dubreuil has taught in the Lourdes Art Department for 13 years since getting his M.F.A. from BGSU.


Old Testament

Paul Mueller

1:30 – 3:30 PM, Wednesdays

February 15 – March 15 (5 weeks)

Have you ever wondered how we got the Bible? Jews and Christians alike read what Christians call the Old Testament, which is divided into recognizable sections. Where did these books originate, why were they written, and who wrote them? This course will explore the sources and contents of this important book.

Paul Mueller is an adjunct instructor of theology at Lourdes University. He received his Master of Arts degree in theology at Lourdes in 2011, and his doctorate in theology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh in 2021. He is an active member of St. Joseph Parish in Sylvania, Ohio.


Introduction to Figure Drawing

Patrick Dubreuil

11:00 – 1:00 PM, Thursday

February 16 – March 23 (6 weeks)

Develop a basic understanding of the human form and how to draw it. We will begin by breaking down the figure into basic shapes and learning how they relate to each other. Then we will work with the skeleton to understand the structure of the body. We will finish our study by drawing a live model.


America’s Heartland: National Park Sites in the Midwest

Jan Whitaker

10:00 – 11:30 AM, Wednesdays

February 22 – March 1 (2 weeks)

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis and Indiana Dunes National Parks in northwestern Indiana are well known, but do you know about all 20 national park sites in the Midwest? Some are known for their historic significance, such as the home of Abraham Lincoln, others for their scenic beauty. Jan Whitaker has visited each of these parks in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Armchair travelers are invited to learn the stories behind each of these national park sites.

An inveterate traveler, willing to go anywhere anytime, Jan Whitaker is an Ohio native with a lifelong interest in the history of our area. Previously Jan spoke about the 1,200-mile Buckeye Trail and shared personal stories of her hike, as well as NPS sites in Michigan and Ohio.


Native American Myths, Legends and Lore from the Assiniboine to the Zuni

Barbara Mauter

10:00 – 11:30 AM, Friday, February 24

An eclectic sampling of just some of the many timeless Native stories, legends and myths will be shared. Mighty hunters, clever women, and talking animals fill these stories, along with wisdom, principles, and taboos. These are narratives which were told and shared amongst different Native American cultures as they tried to explain the unknown, mysteries of life, and how they came to exist on Turtle Island.

Barbara Mauter is an adjunct instructor with over 20 years’ experience teaching college. She has taught and presented various workshops for UT, BGSU, Monroe County Community College, and Lifelong Learning at Lourdes University. She is known for her critical thinking class activities. Barbara’s interests center around how our minds work, reading, thinking, and Native American culture and history.


Plants: The Green Superstars We Ignore

Marya Czech

10:30 – noon, Mon, Feb. 27– March 27 (5 weeks)

Explore the world of plants, above and below ground. From microscopic ancestors to the largest organisms on Earth, plants shape our planet. Discover all that plants do above and below ground, from renewing our atmosphere to providing medicine, even communicating with each other in a “wood-wide web!” Plants can alleviate the effects of climate change, so we neglect them at our peril.

Instructor Marya Czech is a retired professor from the Lourdes University Biology Department and currently works as a regional environmentalist.


Changing Politics in a Time of War

Jarosław Szczepański

10:00 – 11:00 AM, Thursday, March 2

Exclusively online

The war in Ukraine is one of several factors to have caused major shifts in European populations, shifts which have significant consequences. We will analyze the ongoing conflict and contemporary European-Asian relations from the lens of demopolitics, the shaping of politics by demography. Due to differences in demographics, the Old World has problems that the US does not have to consider. The specific example of the special status of Ukrainians in Poland and Poles in Ukraine will be presented.

Jarosław Szczepański trained as a political scientist and lawyer and currently works as an assistant professor from the University of Warsaw in Poland. He was a 2021 Fulbright Fellow at the Ohio State University. He recently conducted research at Victoria University of Wellington as a Visiting Scholar.


Ukrainian Easter Eggs

Stas’ Krukowski

2:00 – 4:00 PM, Thurs, March 2 – 23 (4 weeks)

Ukrainian Easter Eggs, also known as pysanky, are a beautiful tradition of folk art that dates back centuries. The word pysanky is taken from the Ukrainian word “to write,” which gives a hint into how it’s done. Creating these precious eggs takes focus and attention to detail, but the results are stunning. Come create your own Easter egg!

Stas’ Krukowski is the manager at All Good Things Art and Gift Shop, and has worked with the Sisters since November of 2021. He is from the Toledo area, and has been creating and selling art since his early childhood taking lessons on Saturday mornings at the Toledo Museum of Art. Stas’ finds inspiration in the beauty of the natural world, and enjoys sharing his artistic interpretation through a variety of mediums like painting, sculpture, photography, and poetry.


Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation


Pamela Tomassetti Hulbert

10:00 – 11:30 AM

Tuesday and Thursday, March 7 and 9

Mindfulness is a state or quality of non-judgement with the self. Meditation is a practice to help rest in that state or quality. Our culture is very focused on training the mind. For most of us, there is a distinct disconnect with our body. Mindfulness practice is for enhancing our connection with our body, which reduces distraction and relaxes our thinking mind. Finding and resting in the body can quiet the conditional mind, and allow a true sense of self in the present moment, a very safe space, a place where deeper wisdom can arise.

Mindfulness is best understood by experiencing the practice. In this class you will explore formal and informal practices of the body through breath work and body scans, of emotions through self-compassion and loving-kindness, and of thoughts through labeling, and noting. Like anything, the more we practice the better we get. Wear comfortable clothing, bring a yoga mat, and a journal.

Pamela Tomassetti Hulbert is Mindful Schools Certified Mindfulness Instructor. Pam has taught mindfulness to k-12 students, parents, faculty, and staff. She has been practicing in and out of the school setting for six years.


Women of Jeep and World War II

Tedd Long

10:30 – 11:30 AM, Friday, March 3

When the United States entered World War II, American women were called on to serve the nation in many ways, as widespread male enlistment left a massive gap in the industrial labor force. In fact, between 1940 and 1945, the female labor force grew by 50 percent. In the Toledo area, women helped power the community’s war effort at factories throughout Northwest Ohio. Many of these women made parts so American industry could meet the wartime production demands for Jeeps. Discover the stories of women workers and Jeep; there was a war to be won!

Tedd Long is an author, photographer, lecturer, and curator of As a local history storyteller, Long greatly appreciates the rich history of the Maumee Valley and the Great Lakes Region.


The Stories They Tell: Wisdom Stories Across Traditions

Sheila Otto

10:30 – noon, Wed., March 8 – April 5 (5 weeks)

Using stories from the world’s great faith traditions, storyteller/story listener Sheila Otto will invite participants to explore the possibility of meaning and personal truth. Stories from Christian, Jewish, Middle Eastern and Asian traditions will stimulate an appreciation of different faith traditions, the power of humor, and story as guides for our personal journeys. Many of these stories are from collections published by Anthony DeMello, a Jesuit priest born in Bombay, India and widely known for integrating western and eastern spirituality.


Sake It to Me

Nicholas Kubiak

6:30 – 8:30 PM, Thursday, March 9

Sake has mystified drinkers for centuries. Surrounded by ceremony and history, this beverage is often mistakenly called a wine because of its appearance and alcoholic content, however, it is made in a process known as multiple parallel fermentation, in which a grain (rice) is converted from starch to sugar followed by conversion to alcohol. This class will delve into the details of how sake producers use this method of production, the history of the beverage, serving techniques, and the quality levels. We will taste 6 examples and please feel free to bring foods to pair.

Nicholas Kubiak is a Certified Specialist of Wine and Spirits and a veteran of our local wine industry.


Film Scores in the Golden Age of Hollywood

Dr. Christopher Williams

3:30 – 5:00 PM, Mondays

March 13 – 27 (3 weeks); Exclusively online

This course focuses on the music of five composers who combined to weave the sound world of American cinema in its great age from the early talkies to the films of Alfred Hitchcock and science fiction movies. Max Steiner (King Kong, Gone with the Wind, Casablanca); Erich Wolfgang Korngold (Adventures of Robin Hood, The Sea Hawk, King’s Row); Franz Waxman (Rebecca, The Philadelphia Story, Sunset Boulevard,); and Miklós Rózsa (The Thief of Bagdad, Double Indemnity, Lady on a Train, Ivanhoe,) all had to flee Central Europe in order to escape the Nazis. Korngold, Waxman, and Rózsa all had flourishing careers in Europe before they left. Bernard Herrmann (Citizen Kane, Jane Eyre, Psycho,) was American-born but had a guiding hand in the same trends of cinema the others helped shape.

Over three class meetings, we will discuss the disparate ways these five composers worked collaboratively with directors and studio music teams, the different film genres they helped shape, and the different techniques they employed to create the soundstage of the most successful films they worked on.

Dr. Christopher Williams holds a Ph.D. in Music History and Literature from the University of California at Berkeley, and has taught at UT, BGSU, the Universität Salzburg, and in the joint program of the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University.


The 1940’s: American History and Culture Experienced through Poetry

Shari O’Brien, Ph.D., J.D.

1:00 – 3:45 PM, with a generous break.

Tuesdays, March 14 – April 4 (4 weeks)

Appealing to enthusiasts of history, popular culture, and poetry alike, our class will explore the momentous decade of the forties. While poet W. H. Auden called it the Age of Anxiety, this was a highly complex time, marked in nearly equal measures by enormous courage and cowardice, good and evil, joy and anguish. We will be moved by poems of greats like Frost, Gwendolyn Brooks, Theodore Roethke, and Muriel Ruckeyser, as well as stirring, grace-filled poetic passages from speeches by King George, Churchill and FDR, and even beautiful or whimsical song lyrics. Through these, history and culture are mirrored. Time traveling together will be exciting!

Dr. O’Brien has doctorates in English and law; she worked in United States District Court. Publishing five law review articles as well as hundreds of essays and poems in national journals, she taught writing and poetry for twenty-seven years at UT and continues to practice law and write poetry today.


General Custer

Dr. Dwayne Beggs

1:00 – 2:00 PM, Thursdays,

March 16 – April 13 (5 weeks)

George Armstrong Custer earned a place in US history for the stinging embarrassment of the Battle of Little Bighorn and Custer’s Last Stand. Yet Custer had a colorful and distinguished career before this. At West Point, he was frequently disciplined, nearly expelled and ultimately finished last in his graduating class. However, during the Civil War Custer distinguished himself in multiple battles, rising quickly through the ranks. As major general, Custer’s cavalry units were crucial in blocking the movements of General Lee’s retreating forces which helped hasten his surrender at Appomattox and the end of war. Learn the history of this remarkable man!

Dr. Dwayne Beggs has taught popular classes on many military conflicts for Lifelong Learning. Dr. Beggs earned a M.A. and a Ph.D. in U.S. Diplomatic History from BGSU. He also holds an M. Div. and served as a Youth Pastor / Associate Pastor for 22 years.


History of Poland – 10th Century to the 16th Century

Tom Sorosiak

10:00 – 11:00 AM, Tuesdays

March 21 – April 11 (4 weeks)

Beginning with the first ruling Dynasty of Poland in 910, the chronological history of Poland will be studied through 1599. Included in this class will be a presentation of how events like wars, religion, kings, and culture impacted the lives of the people and the development of every aspect of the Polish nation.


Islamic Art

Chris Rilling

1:00 – 3:00 PM, Wednesday, March 22

Strongly influenced by the teachings of Muhammad, Islamic art encompasses traditions from a wide range of lands, periods of history and genres since the 7th century. Traditionally non-representational, it uses plant forms, calligraphy and geometric patterns to embellish surfaces from small objects to large buildings.

Chris Rilling is both an educator and artist. After receiving a master’s in art education from the University of Toledo, Chris taught art and art history at Owens Community College and Northview High School.


Art and Classical Music in the 20th Century

David Enstone

9:30 – 11:00 AM, Thursdays

March 23 – April 6 (3 weeks)

During the 20th century both the Arts and Classical Music worlds evolved dramatically. In our first class we will discuss and analyze how, and to what extent, these two worlds changed, and how sometimes they influenced each other. The second class will focus specifically on the evolution of the US Abstract Expressionist Art Movement with an analysis of the works and lives of the artists Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still and Jackson Pollack. The final class will focus on the lives and works of the composers Maurice Ravel, Gustav Holst, and Philip Glass.

David Enstone has previously taught classes on the Cotswolds, New Mexico, the United Kingdom, and classical guitar for Lifelong Learning.


The Papacy: The Best, Worst, and Most Important

Paul Hood, Jr., JD, LL.M.

10:00 – 11:30 AM, March 24 – 31 (2 weeks)

The papacy is the oldest, longest-continuously running institution in the world. Of the 266 Popes who have occupied the Cathedra Petri (Chair of St. Peter), some have been exceptional, e.g., Pope St. Gregory I the Great and Pope St. John Paul II the Great, while others have been forgettable to downright awful. Discover the best and worst ten Popes and the compelling evidence for these selections. The second class meeting will reveal ten close calls, turning points, and transformational events in the history of the papacy.

A native of Louisiana, Paul Hood obtained his undergraduate and law degrees from Louisiana State University and an LL.M. in taxation from Georgetown University Law Center before settling down to practice tax and estate planning law in the New Orleans area. Paul has taught at the University of New Orleans, Northeastern University, The University of Toledo College of Law and Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law. A passionate history buff, Paul is a self-described amateur papal historian (boasting a personal library of papal history books that exceeds 100), and has given numerous speeches about the history of the papacy and the popes.


Old Masters of Baroque Art

Sharon Havelak

1:00 – 2:30 PM, Friday, March 24

Baroque art is known for exuberant extravagance, ornate details, and theatrical lighting. Yet within this style are three distinct approaches. Explore the when, why, who and how of the three variations to better understand this grand art.


Snapshot: a Brief History of Photography

Kristin Baldeschwiler

3:00 – 5:00 PM, Thursdays

March 30 – May 4 (6 weeks)

Photographs capture moments in time, and this class will explore the major moments in the history of photography from the 19th through the 21st century. You will learn about the development of cameras and the printing processes developed by early photographers.

You will also meet the photographers who established and expanded this art form and examine the iconic images that have made an enduring impact.

Instructor Kristin Baldeschwiler received her BA in Art History from Lourdes University, works at St. Vincent Medical Center, and is the artist/owner of Baldeschwiler Art & Design, LLC.


Simply Sacred: the Art of Vincent van Gogh

Sharon Havelak

1:00 – 2:30 PM, Monday, April 3

Van Gogh’s art is unique but not just for his use of light and color and giant brushstrokes. His compassion for the poor and his sense of the divine shine just as brightly as the colors of his paintings. Take a deeper look at van Gogh’s view of the world to learn more about the person as well as his iconic images.


Love as an Antidote to Hate

Bahu S. Shaikh, M.D.

10:00 – 11:30 AM, Wednesday, April 12

What is universal love? What do the major religions teach us about love? Can hate be neutralized by developing a loving attitude towards others? How does one person love all of mankind? We will discuss love through the works of poets such as Rumi and Khalil Gibran as well as contemporary authors such as “Dr. Love” Leo Buscaglia of University of Southern California.

Bahu S. Shaikh, M.D., is a member of Islamic Center of Greater Toledo and a member of Muslim Christian Dialogue Group based at the First Presbyterian Church of Maumee Ohio. He has been a speaker at the Islamic Center as well at the Maumee church.


The 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, A Century of Progress and Its Legacy

Karen Kiemnec

1:00 – 3:00 PM, Wed., April 12 – 19 (2 weeks)

The 1933 Chicago World’s Fair —also known as the Century of Progress International Exposition— offered millions of people in the depths of the Great Depression a hopeful vision that highlighted futuristic changes on the horizon. This fair was unique in many ways including how it lives on today in buildings still in use as well as in scientific innovations that were introduced at the fair that are now part of our everyday lives. Come learn about the fair, its architectural styles (both innovative and traditional), its impact on morale during the Great Depression, and where we can still see examples from the fair today.

Karen Kiemnec received a master’s degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Vermont and worked in that field for over 18 years in state and local government and for a statewide nonprofit organization. Through her work, she developed personal and professional ties to buildings from the fair.


New Testament

Paul Mueller

1:30 – 3:30 PM, Wednesdays

April 12 – May 10 (5 weeks)

Where did the Christian New Testament come from? How were the documents chosen to be included? This course will investigate the sources and contents of the New Testament, also looking at books that were not included. We will examine the methodology of deciding which would be taken into the ultimate canon of the New Testament.


Sicilian Wine

Nicholas Kubiak

6:30 – 8:30 PM, Thursday, April 13

Known for its sandy beaches, salty seafood, and volcanic-influenced wines, Sicily is a mecca for lovers of all things smoky, saline-tinged, and terroir-driven. If earthy reds, refreshing whites, or sweet dessert wines sound enticing, then this the class for you! Let’s dive into learning about this beautiful land and its wines. We will taste six wines and you are welcome to bring your own food to pair.


Handmade Spring Cards

Sr. Roselynn Humbert

1:00 – 3:00 PM, Fridays, April 14 – 21 (2 weeks)

Enjoy two afternoons of crafting cards with Sr. Roselynn Humbert and her volunteers. Each class will provide instructions and materials for creating three greeting cards. A variety of techniques will be used including stamping, embossing, dye cutting, and coloring. Personalize your cards with various greetings stamps and dyes so you can make the cards you need, such as birthday, congratulations, get well, and more. Brighten someone’s day with the gift of a handmade card!


Debussy and Ravel: Why Impressionism?

Dr. Christopher Williams

3:30 – 5:00 PM, Mondays

April 17 – May 1 (3 weeks); Exclusively online

The beloved French composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel are often lumped together under the rubric “Impressionism.” This is problematic on several levels, not least because they belonged to different generations and did not themselves use or approve the term. But the moniker remains apt for those who would seek a musical parallel to the revolutionary approach to painting that prevailed among French artists like Monet, Renoir, and Pissarro. Both composers were known for their creative and splashy use of orchestral color, virtuoso piano music, and for their development of new forms and genres. Even their approach to opera was unusual.

This class will survey the principle works of both composers, including Debussy’s Afternoon of a Faun, La Mer, Nocturnes, and the opera Pelléas et Mélisande, and Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe, La Valse, and Alborada del Gracioso, and attempt to define what makes these figures so unique in the history of Western music. We will also highlight the influences they drew both from prior music, such as Wagner, the Russian tradition, and even 18th century French composers. They also took inspiration from other parts of the world, notably the Balinese music they heard at the Paris Exposition of 1889 and 1900.


Silk Scarf Painting

Sharon Havelak

1:00 – 3:00 PM, Tues, April 18 – May 9 (4 weeks)

Looking for that perfect scarf? Try painting it! Explore the delight of painting a silk scarf with fiber reactive dyes. You will have the opportunity to paint at least three scarves, using different painting techniques. No previous experience necessary, just bring your creativity! All materials will be provided.

Sister Sharon Havelak, OSF, is an artist and adjunct instructor at Lourdes University. She previously managed All Good Things, a gift shop and gallery that offers items made by the Sisters of St Francis, but now gives more of her time to her art.


Current Issues Forum: Immigration

Hugh Grefe

1:30 – 3:00 PM, Tuesday, April 18 – 25 (2 weeks)

 Immigration is a global phenomenon, and immigration policies are often at the center of national public discourse in our country as well as other nations. What kind of immigration policies should we have as a nation, how will those policies affect our communities, and what values and goals will guide immigration decisions?

Immigration will be the focus of this semester’s current issues forum, a discussion class that uses materials prepared by the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI). Based in Dayton, Ohio, the NIFI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that serves to promote public deliberation about difficult public issues. The NIFI began to take shape in 1981 amid concern about the low level of civic literacy among Americans. Not only did the average person lack an understanding of the issues that our elected leaders were struggling with, we had little opportunity to express our informed opinions to those in influence.

Participants should read a free publication from NIFI, “Immigration: Who Should We Welcome? What Should We Do?” prior to class. Class meetings will be spent in structured discussions and group deliberation.


Planting a Succulent Garden

Jennifer Cummins Linehan

11:00 – noon, Wednesday, April 26

This is the perfect class for someone who has trouble keeping plants alive. Succulents only have to be watered once a month! Learn about these special plants and take home your own succulent garden made from the container and plants provided. These plants will never desert you!

Certified florist Jennifer Cummins Linehan owns and operates Beautiful Blooms by Jen.


Painting the City of Light

Stas’ Krukowski

1:00 – 4:00 PM, Thursday, April 27

Just mentioning Paris, the City of Light, brings many dramatic views to mind. So, we will use the city lights of Paris as the inspiration of this painting class. Lifelong Learning will provide the acrylic paint, brushes, canvas, and direction. You bring the inspiration and take home your own masterpiece!


How Woodrow Wilson Shaped the Contemporary World and Challenged Democracy

Tom Roka

1:00 – 3:00 PM, Fri., April 28 – May 12 (3 weeks)

Woodrow Wilson might be the most significant American to ever live. A highly regarded political scientist and Constitutional authority, Wilson moved away from his support of a Jeffersonian vision to favor greater governmental authority. His presidential term (1913-1917) witnessed the creation of the Federal Reserve and the Internal Revenue Service in order to regulate corporate power and the consequences of laissez-faire capitalism.

During WW I, Wilson rejected his 1916 Presidential promise of neutrality. Instead, his 14 Points and passage of the Espionage Act triggered two results: the greater role of government oversight in American freedoms and eventual authority in shaping global policies as the USA ascended into superpower status. This course will cover three major aspects of Wilson’s legacy. 1) How Protestantism shaped Wilson. 2) The intent of Wilsonian policies versus the results, particularly laying the groundwork for the FBI and employing media as a propaganda tool. 3) The long-term consequences of Wilson’s policies

Tom Roka is an adjunct instructor for several institutions, including Lourdes University. A college educator for nearly 30 years, Tom earned an MA from the University of Toledo.


Early American Battles in Our Own Backyards

Frank Kuron

10:00 – 11:00 AM, Tuesdays, May 2 – 9 (2 weeks)

When the American Revolution ended, many of the new United States citizens opted for a fresh start in the fertile wilderness lands west of the Appalachian Mountains. However, those lands were still occupied by numerous Native American tribes and British interests. Conflict was inevitable.

This class will present an overview of the many confrontations in the region we now call the Midwest; earlier known as the Northwest Territory. Between our birth in 1783 and the War of 1812, many of the most significant battles to shape our nation took place within a 150-mile radius of Sylvania, Ohio — some, just down the road!

This will not be a simple names and dates memorization experience; but rather a look into some of the key personalities involved, some of the nitty-gritty details, and some of the reasons that motivated the fights.

Frank Kuron has published two early-American history books and is writing a third. He was a columnist for the former Toledo Free Press Newspaper, and gives American history presentations throughout the midwest.



The Story of Oklahoma

Brenda Sweeney

1:30 – 3:00 PM, Tuesdays, May 2 – 16 (3 weeks)

Hop aboard the surrey to Oklahoma and see the most irresistible Curly ever, Hugh Jackman! Rodgers and Hammerstein teamed up to tell the story of Oklahoma’s addition to the United States with charm, memorable music and dances that make it one of America’s unforgettable theater treats.

We will explore the very different personalities of the collaborators and the backstory of how the show came together as well as examine the universal themes that Oklahoma portrays by viewing the recorded show in three parts.

Brenda Sweeney earned a B.S. and M.Ed. from BGSU, then taught English, speech and drama for 25 years. She has performed in wonderful shows such as My Fair Lady, The Fantasticks, Once Upon a Mattress, A Little Night Music,, 42nd Street and a one- woman show about Edith Piaf. The Westgate Dinner Theater and The Croswell Opera House were two of her frequent stages. She has taught drama for many years and still loves to share the joy of theater.


Adrift: America in Charts

Bahu S. Shaikh, M.D.

10:00 – 11:30 AM, Wednesday,

May 3 – 10 (2 weeks)

America is facing daunting questions about its future. To understand how our nation arrived at our current political, economic, and social present we will take a hard look at its past -from 1945 to the present day- in numbers. Charts will be shared from the book Adriftby Scott Galloway, a New York Times bestselling author and professor at the NYU School of Business. These charts analyze our basic values as Americans and include topics such as education, health care, the economy, and social issues. The charts will serve as a springboard for interactive class discussions on a range of topics.


Beginner Birding

Elizabeth Anderson

9:00 – 10:30 AM, Friday, May 5 – 12 (2 weeks)

Learn the basics of bird identification in this introductory course! You’ll learn to look for size, shape, sound, markings, and more to identify common Ohio birds. A second session will put your newfound knowledge to use as we venture to Secor Metropark to practice birding in the field. This course includes a copy of the book AMNH Pocket Field Guide to Birds of North America (Eastern Region) for each student to keep.

Elizabeth Anderson received an English degree from Lourdes University and now works as an administrative assistant and author. Her novel, The Remarkable Retirement of Edna Fisher, debuted in April 2023. Elizabeth started birding 13 years ago and looks forward to sharing one of her favorite pastimes with Lifelong Learners.


The Ancient City of Petra and Its Impact on the Development of the Middle East

Patti Skaff

2:00 – 4:00 PM, Wednesday, May 10

Petra, one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage site, has a rich history. Located in a basin valley of the Shara Mountains, it was originally constructed in 200 BCE and became part of the famous Silk Road trade route connecting Asia and Britain. In this class we will take virtual walk down the long road of Petra’s history and culture.

Patti Skaff was offered a unique opportunity to join a U.S. State Department sponsored tour of Petra and all of Jordan. Patti was an international sales manager for 25 years who traveled professionally and personally to over 20 countries. She also taught International Business at Lourdes University in the College of Business and Leadership.


What has 6 Glasses and is Blind? This Wine Class!

Nicholas Kubiak

6:30 – 8:30 PM, Thursday, May 11

In this class you will be challenged to taste six wines blind. You will be tasked with trying to determine the grape and what county it is from. Working as a group or on your own, we will examine each wine and decode the messages that each wine is telling us. Over the 6 examples that we taste, we will sharpen our skills of sight, smell, taste and communication. You are welcomed to bring your own food to accompany the wine.


It’s About Time

Laura Megeath

10:30 – 11:30 AM, Thursday, May 25

Our concept of time is intimately linked to the sun and astronomy. Since ancient times the sky has been our clock and calendar. Journey into space for a lesson on time and time keeping.

Afterwards, continue the conversation in the Lourdes Café over lunch (price not included).

Laura Megeath is the Coordinator of both Lifelong Learning and the Appold Planetarium.

Do you have a talent or area of expertise you’d like to share?
Call 419-824-3707 to become a Lifelong Learning instructor!