Journalism and Ideas

Keith C. Burris, Ph.D.

3:00 – 5:00 PM, Tuesdays, Sept. 5 – Oct. 10 (6 weeks)

Journalism is much more than reporting the news. This class will explore such topics as covering the powerful and the powerless (the poor), the corruption of language, populism and its varieties, fascism and its roots, socialism and liberalism, journalism and war in democracy, and the duty of intellectuals in an open society. There will be plenty of time in class for discussion of these important topics.

Registration includes a copy of the book The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, volume 4, edited by Orwell and Angus, which will be the foundation of the course.

Keith C. Burris, Ph.D. wrote for the Toledo Blade from 1986 to 1988 and again from 2013 to 2022. His most recent position was Editorial Director and Vice President of Block Newspapers. In addition to writing for several other newspapers, Keith has also taught at Washington & Jefferson College, the University of Hartford, Trinity College, and West Virginial University.


Mastering Perspectives in Drawing

Patrick H. Dubreuil

10:00 – noon, Wednesdays

Sept. 6 – Oct. 11 (6 weeks)

Take a creative journey exploring the fascinating world of perspective drawing. This course is designed to equip aspiring artists and enthusiasts with the foundational knowledge and practical skills needed to confidently create lifelike and visually engaging three-dimensional drawings. Delve into the principles of linear perspective, learning about vanishing points, horizon lines, and how to accurately depict depth and dimension in your artwork.

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


Foundations of Constitutional Law: Landmark Cases that Shaped American Jurisprudence and History

Shari O’Brien, Ph.D., J.D.

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

Thursdays, September 7 – 28 (4 weeks)

Do you wonder how the US Supreme Court came to wield such power over American law and, by extension, American life? Would you be intrigued to learn how the Court ruled historically on great questions impacting free markets, free speech, the working classes and the companies who hired them, states’ rights’, and the limits of presidential and legislative power? Then please join us in exploring pivotal cases of SCOTUS from its infancy through the Industrial Age, the Civil War, the Gilded Age, and into the post-World War I years. You may be gratified by some rulings, dismayed by others, or perhaps impressed by the foresight of a brave dissent. You will be amazed as you see how the Supreme Court evolves over decades. Insight will be gained into the backstories of some influential justices, and we will even vote on the worst and best decisions! We will conclude with a review of the Supreme Court’s most recent term.

Dr. Shari 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.


The Essence of Mobility

John Winlock, Jr.

9:30 – 10:30 AM, Thursdays

Sept. 7 – Sept. 28  (4 weeks)

This class will educate you on the importance of being mobile and also demonstrate why we should place our attention on how well our bodies can move through the various different planes of motion that it is capable of. Within our discussion we will identify with what mobility is, what affects our mobility, and how we can improve it beyond what is required for our normal daily activities. This class has something for everyone regardless of physical fitness and will open our minds on the true capabilities of our body and movement.

John Winlock, Jr. is a Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Performance Enhancement Specialist Certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. His various specializations allow John to help people to move-pain free and perform effectively and efficiently through the physical demands placed on their bodies daily. Coach John has been helping people for six years and looks forward to helping you next!


Figure Drawing Fundamentals

Patrick H. Dubreuil

1:00 – 3:00 PM, Wednesdays

Sept. 6 – Oct. 11 (6 weeks)

Explore the art of drawing the human figure in a stimulating and supportive environment. Whether you are a beginner seeking to develop a strong foundation in figure drawing or an experienced artist looking to refine your skills, this course promises to elevate your figure drawing abilities. Live model sessions will provide students with invaluable experience in drawing from life, helping them develop the ability to observe and depict the human form accurately.


Solutions to Climate Change: Evaluating the Options

Dr. Andy Jorgensen

10:00 – noon, Monday

Sept. 11 – 18 (2 weeks)

Recently we have experienced several very serious climate change impacts – record worldwide temperatures in July, continuing forest fires producing unhealthy air across much of the US, and extreme flooding in the Northwest of the country. Clearly, this is a time to get serious about Solutions to climate change. Each Solution offers a unique path for reducing the con-sequences of climate-related problems, but each also carries a set of limitations as well as advantages. Should everyone switch to electric vehicles or are we better off investing in technology to capture carbon dioxide directly from the air? Some think we should eject dust particles in the atmosphere to partly block the sun, while others think that hydrogen is the ideal energy source for the future. Reducing the impact of climate change is an imperative for our society, but we must clearly consider the pros and cons for each possible solution.

Dr. Andy Jorgensen is a Retired Associate Professor of Chemistry & Environmental Sciences, UT. Dr. Jorgensen has studied the science of climate change and how best to present the facts about the problem to a wide range of audiences.


Back to Basics: Drawing Shape and Form

Patrick H. Dubreuil

10:00 – noon, Mondays

Sept. 11 – Oct. 16 (6 weeks)

Whether you are an absolute beginner or someone looking to reinforce their artistic skills, this course will help you develop confidence in expressing yourself through drawing. With fundamental elements of drawing you can create compelling two-dimensional representations of the world around you. Unlock your artistic potential and let your creative journey begin!


Ukraine and Music

Dr. Christopher Williams

3:30 – 5:00 PM, Mondays

September 11 – 25 (3 weeks); Exclusively online

In 2014, the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine was thrust into the headlines with Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea. Eight years later, Russia launched a full-bore land invasion of Ukraine with the stated aim of “denazifying” the country and eliminating its leadership and independent culture. Ukraine is now extensively covered, classical music included.

This course assesses the place of Ukraine in the classical music world from three perspectives: the way Ukraine has been represented in music, from Liszt’s tone poem “Mazepa” to Tchaikovsky’s opera of the same name; Ukrainian music of the 20th and 21st century, from “Carol of the Bells” (Shchedryk) in 1914 to early 20th century composers Sergei Bortkyevich and Boris Lyatoshinsky to the living composer Valentin Silvestrov; and the role played by Ukrainians in the classical music world of today, from Vladimir Horowitz and Igor Markevitch to conductor Oksana Lyniv, pianist Anna Federova, and singer Lyudmillea Monastyrska. These figures combine to illuminate a central idea: the creation of a Ukrainian musical identity distinct from Russia.

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.


Paper and Pencil Drawing: Student’s Choice

Patrick H. Dubreuil

1:00 – 3:00 PM, Mondays

Sept. 11 – Oct. 16 (6 weeks)

Everyone needs help to reach their full potential and become the artist they want to be. Bring your drawing questions and unfinished projects so our experienced instructor can help you to improve your technique. Lessons and exercises will be based upon requests from the students. If you are baffled by blending or finding textures tricky, join us for answers in a comfortable and supporting studio!


More of the Stories They Tell

Sheila Otto

10:30 – noon, Wednesdays

Sept. 13 – Oct. 4 (4 weeks)

In the recent spring semester, storyteller/ spiritual director Sheila Otto offered a class in which wisdom stories from around the world were shared. Returning by popular demand, this follow-up class will use the same format to listen, read, and explore ideas through stories. This class will introduce new stories which are actually very old and from many traditions, including Greek myths, Indigenous Peoples, and even familiar fairy tales. Many of these very short stories are from collections published by Anthony DeMello, a Jesuit priest born in India and widely known for integrating western and eastern spirituality.

The stories are short but long on wisdom and together we will explore their meanings. Be prepared to laugh, wonder, ponder and share. It is possible that a story might change how you see things around you. As storytellers like to say, ‘all stories are true, some actually happened’ (the title of Sheila’s book available on Amazon).


German Wines

Nicholas Kubiak

6:30 – 8:30 PM, Wednesday, September 13

Known for castles, folktales, and beer, this northern European country also makes some of the world’s best wines! Dry to sweet, sparkling to still, table and dessert… wines of all kinds have been made here for centuries! Join us as we discuss the challenges, history, and traditions of making wine along these winding river valleys and the steep mountains of Germany from the Roman times to today. You will taste 6 wines, and please feel free to bring food for pairing.

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


A Call to Action: Care for Our Common Home

Marya Czech

10:30 – noon, Thursdays

Sept. 14 – Oct 19 (6 weeks)

For those who care about the environmental changes our Earth is undergoing and want to learn more and do more, we can find no better handbook than the writing of Pope Francis: Laudato Si’—On the Care of Our Common Home. Published in 2015, this en-cyclical is a call for global action on key issues including environmentalism, poverty, biodiversity, and agricultural economics. The major concepts of each chapter will be presented with time for discourse, discussion, and formulation of possible action plans. A copy of the Laudato Si’ document will be given to each participant.

Instructor Marya Czech is a retired professor from the Lourdes University Biology Department and currently works as a regional environmentalist. Guest appearance by Dr. Andy Jorgensen, Associate Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at UT.


Painting From Nature

Mary Jane Erard

1:00 – 3:00 PM, Wednesday, Sept. 20

Plein air painting is about painting a landscape while within it. The practice was key to the French Impressionists in their desire to paint light and its changing, ephemeral qualities. The French expression “en plein air” directly translates to “in the open air.” Explore how to choose a scene to paint and prepare your sketch. Then, when the light is perfect, block in colors with watercolor. Follow this with a layer of soft pastel over your watercolor sketch to build up color and details.

All supplies will be provided. The class will be working outside on drawing boards. If weather does not permit painting outside, a special space inside will be available where students can see outside through large windows.


Gone But Not Forgotten: Edward Drummond Libbey’s Role in Toledo Education

Sue Terrill

10:00 – 11:00 AM, Friday Sept. 22

Mr. Edward Drummond Libbey’s influence in the early 20th century continues today, especially in education, through his endowments and vision. Mr. Libbey’s legacy is tied to that of the former Libbey High School, named in his honor, which opened in September 1923 –one century ago! Though Libbey High School was named to the National Register in 2011 due to its architecture and progressive educational programs, its last class graduated in 2010 and it was demolished in 2012.

The first class graduated from Libbey High School in June 1924. Now the Historic Edward Drummond Libbey High School Centennial Alliance encourages all Libbey alumni groups to support each other in celebration of the upcoming 100th year. Learn about the efforts to preserve the legacy of Mr. Libbey, and this school, including digitizing both the school’s yearbooks and the school newspaper “The Crystal.” There is also an annual Florence Scott Libbey 5k Run!

Sue Terrill graduated from Libbey High School and was an advocate for keeping the school open or repurposed. Sue worked to secure places for Libbey HS artifacts, most notably the WWII memorials. Sue is also co-founder of the annual Edward Drummond Libbey Day.


Near Death Experiences – Anything to Them?

John Krochmalny

10:00 – noon, Tuesday

September 26 – October 3 (2 weeks)

Many people have experienced something supernatural when brought to a crisis or catastrophic event in their lives. Afterwards these experiences are often described as life changing. People’s perspectives of life and the world are not the same as what they had before. In this class we will apply the Scientific Method to analyze various examples of near-death experiences to determine if there really is anything to them and what can be learned from such examples.

John Krochmalny has considerable higher-education teaching experience as an instructional designer and technical trainer.


Abstract Art: It’s Great, But Is It Art?

Sharon Havelak

2:00 – 3:30 PM, Wednesday, Sept. 27

The Great Masters of early 20th century art, including Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, and Wassily Kandinsky, all had firm foundations in traditional art forms. We will look at what led them to move to abstraction and why they were able to do it successfully. You will gain an appreciation for their artwork and an understanding of why it is held in such high esteem. Learn what it takes for a work of art to be considered a masterpiece.

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.


Orchids 101: Easy Repotting, Care, and Fertilizing Tips

Dr. Cheryl Dong

2:00 – 4:00 PM, Thursday, Sept 28

Ever been tempted by a supermarket orchid only to be heartbroken when the buds fall and leaves start yellowing? Learn practical tips and care instructions for a range of popular orchid species. We learn about some of the common conditions that orchids face: including root rot, stem rot, spider mites, and viral infections. We will go over basics from watering to growing media to fertilization schedules and address common myths about orchids like the “just add ice” watering method.

Dr. Cheryl Dong is an Assistant Professor Public History at BGSU and on the Board of Directors at the National Council of Public History. Orchids are her hobby and she will bring some of her favorites to class!


Unraveling Misconceptions and Truths About Today’s Workforce

Gary Bentley

1:00 – 2:30 PM, Monday, Oct. 2

There is no doubt that today’s workforce has evolved, as has the definition of workplace. Often, we read and hear in the media that the younger workforce is self-obsessed, hates to be told what to do, and wants praise for the smallest achievements. In this course we will analyze the characteristics of the generations and discuss common myths about them. Many workplace issues such as “quiet quitting”, “The Great Resignation”, and “grumpy staying” will be defined and discussed. This class should lead to greater understanding of each of the common characteristics of the past and current generations, and how today’s workplace is no longer always defined as an office or building.

Retired Assistant Professor Gary Bentley taught in the College of Business and Leadership at Lourdes for 18 years. He previously retired from the 180th Fighter Wing where he held several positions including Personnel Officer, Medical Service Corps Officer, and Executive Officer. He is a past president of the Toledo Area Human Resource Association and has an MBA from the University of Findlay.


A View from the Bench

Judge Michelle A. Wagner

1:30 – 2:30 PM, Tuesday, October 3

Judge Wagner will explore the misconceptions and realities of Ohio’s municipal courts –from plea bargaining to compassionate care– all in the name of justice. Judge Wagner has proven to be persuasive, convincing the law department to assign special prosecutors to domestic violence cases and establishing a waiting room within the courthouse for victims of domestic violence. These bold actions ensure victims of domestic violence have a safe and secure place to wait prior to court and prevent the defendant from harassing or intimidating victims as they wait in a public hallway.

Judge Michelle A. Wagner currently serves as the presiding/administrative judge of the Toledo Municipal Court. She was first elected in 2011 and her career also includes 15 years as a prosecuting attorney for the Sylvania Municipal Court. Judge Wagner has served for six years on the Domestic Violence Advisory Committee to the Ohio Supreme Court. She received her bachelor’s degree from BGSU and law degree from UT.


Never Stop Believing and Hoping: Follow the Symbolism in Their Eyes Were Watching God

Amy Schloegl

3:30 – 5:00 PM Tuesdays

Oct. 3 – 17 (3 weeks)

Eatonville, Florida, an all-black town, was the hometown where author Nora Zeale Hurston was raised, and subsequently the setting for the main character, Janie. Follow this compelling story of Janie’s journey as a black woman, raised by her grandmother, a former slave, as she finally reaches her horizon and accomplishes her dreams despite the tragedies she faces along the way. Hurston masterfully incorporates political, social, and emotional barriers for the young black protagonist to confront, battle, and overcome to emphasize the power of hope and the ability to stay true to herself while realizing the laws of nature. Together we will read this novel, explore how protagonist Janie Crawford “ripens from a vibrant, but voiceless, teenage girl into a woman with her finger on the trigger of her own destiny.” (National Endowment for the Arts). Our discussions will embody and delve into the intentional symbolism that Hurston incorporates to inspire the reader to never give up hope.

Registration includes a copy of Nora Zeale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Please read the first 4 chapters of the novel before the first session on October 3rd.

Amy Schloegl is a 31-year veteran English teacher. Amy received her teaching degree and Masters of Reading Diagnosis from Bowling Green State University. Amy currently teaches and oversees the English Department at Sylvania Northview High School.


The Greatest Event to Never Happen in Toledo

Tedd Long

2:30 to 4:30 PM, Thursday, October 5

Learn the story of the failed effort to host the Ohio Centennial and Northwest Territory Exposition in Toledo in 1903. Plans were to conduct a “world’s fair-style” event that would draw hundreds of thousands of people and be on par with the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893. It’s an incredible story with a sad ending.

Tedd Long is an author, blogger, photographer, lecturer, and curator of As an admitted local history geek, Tedd enjoys sharing his appreciation for the rich past of the Maumee Valley through his storytelling.


Verdi’s Operatic Revolution

Dr. Christopher Williams

3:30 – 5:00 PM, Mondays

October 9 – 23 (3 weeks); Exclusively online

The works of Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) form the heart of the operatic repertory to this day. Nearly half of his 37 operas can be seen staged somewhere at any given time. Works like Rigoletto, La Traviata, Il Trovatore, and Aida stand among the most popular and beloved creations for the lyric stage. His late works Don Carlos, Otello, and Falstaff are among the most highly respected music dramas ever written.

What is less widely considered is that Verdi achieved his fine balance between popularity and serious drama by adapting the conventions of Romantic Italian opera to the service of a seamless dramatic flow. This class will consider strategically chosen instances and scenes that illustrate the structural pursuit of music drama, drawing from the three major periods of his production:  his prolific early period (what he called his “galley years,” the middle period that produced his revolutionary scores like Macbeth and Rigoletto, and his last, Shakespeare-influenced masterpieces.


National Issues Forum: Voting

Hugh Grefe

1:00 – 2:30 PM, Tuesdays, Oct. 10 – 24 (3 weeks)

Many Americans are concerned about the US election system although we don’t agree on the main problem or how best to fix it. Is it too hard to vote? Is the system too easy to man-ipulate? Do we have rules that make voting fair and accessible to all? Are we doing enough to ensure accuracy and credibility of elections?

This discussion class uses materials prepared by the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI). 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 under-standing of the issues that our elected leaders were struggling with, but there was also little opportunity to express informed opinions to those in positions of influence.

Participants will receive a publication from NIFI, “Elections: How Should We Encourage and Safeguard Voting?” to read prior to class. Class meetings will be spent in structured discussions and group deliberation.

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.


Election in Poland: a Test For Global Democracy

Jarosław Szczepański

10:00 – 11:00 AM, Thursday, October 12

Exclusively online

Amid Europe’s worst conflict in decades, there will be an election in Poland, the country at the front line and a crucial U.S. ally. This national election that will determine whether the governing Law and Justice party (known by the Polish acronym PiS) can solidify its power with a third term in office. PiS is nationalistic and has emerged as a leading voice against the Kremlin in Europe. Critics accuse PiS of being autocratic, interfering in the judiciary, eroding the rule of law, and restricting human rights. The main opposition is the more liberal Civic Platform party, along with the agrarian party and the party of moderate Catholic Szymon Holownia. Learn about this important election and potential impacts on the rest of Europe.

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 OSU. He recently conducted research at Victoria University of Wellington.


Christianity – The First Two Hundred Years

Paul Mueller

1:30 – 3:30 PM, Thursdays

Oct. 12 – Nov. 9 (5 weeks)

This course will cover the early history of Christianity, including the effects of the writings of the early doctors of the Church. We will start with the beginning of the Church at Pentecost and proceed through the next two hundred years, which will include the process for the development of foundational Christian doctrines.

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.


Cheese, Crackers, and Castles…Toledo style

Ted J. Ligibel

2:00 – 4:30 PM

Friday, October 13

Revel in the history of one of Toledo’s oldest businesses that started with a wheel of Swiss cheese. Taste some of the flavors of the past while also learning about the architects who helped make Toledo look like Toledo!

Rensch & Company was founded in 1882 by two immigrant brothers from Switzerland. Over the years it grew into Toledo’s premier imported food emporium, introducing to Toledo many of the imported delicacies now found in many local groceries. Great grandson of one of the founders, Toledo historian and architectural sleuth, Ted Ligibel, will be your table d’hôte connoisseurial guide as we take a glimpse into the fascinating history of the 130+ year tenure of the company in downtown Toledo.

Samples of foods that were sold by Rensch’s will tempt your taste buds, including Emmentaler Swiss cheese, Carr’s Table Water Crackers, Italian salami, and French petit fours.

Then sit back and participate in a discussion about some of Toledo’s most famous architects, like E.O. Fallis, D. W. Gibbs, David L. Stine, Norval  Bacon, and George S. Mills. Pick your favorite buildings, tell us stories of your connection to them, and even discover places that have been gone so long their memory has all but faded from Toledo’s memory.

Ted J. Ligibel, Ph.D., has over 49 years of experience in historic preservation having been involved in dozens of efforts to save historic places in Ohio and Michigan. He ran the nation’s largest graduate program in Historic Preservation at Eastern Michigan Univ-ersity, retiring in 2019. He has written extensively on local history, historic preservation, and historic architecture. Hope to see you in the past!


Investigating Reality

John Krochmalny

10:00 – noon, Tuesday

October 17 – 31 (3 weeks)

It has been stated that if 10 people see the same accident, all 10 people have different in­terpretations as to what happened. In our present society, the same news can lead to very different interpretations, beliefs, and behaviors – many times to conflicting ways. Personal bias used in both the delivery and in the interpretations of messages could be the root cause of many com­munications problems. In this class we will explore the human mind, its need for communica­tion with others, the tools we commonly use, and the application of the Scientific Method to reduce misunderstandings and promote critical thinking.


Snapshot: a Brief History of Photography

Kristin Baldeschwiler

3:00 – 5:00 PM, Tuesdays and Thursdays

Oct. 17 – Nov. 2 (3 weeks, twice per week)

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. Learn about the development of cameras and the printing processes developed by early photographers. 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.


A Pilgrimage into Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy …learn then lunch!

Paul Hood

10:00 – 11:30 AM Wednesdays (Dutch treat lunch after at the Lourdes Café)

October 18 – 25 (2 weeks)

In this course, we will study the early 14th century epic poem, The Divine Comedy, by Dante Alighieri, who began his work as follows: “Here beginneth the Comedy of Dante Alighieri, a Florentine by birth, not by character.” Much has been written about this famous poem and its importance in the canon of western literature. Learn the historical context of the Commedia and Dante, including a discussion of Dante’s unusual yet deliberate decision to write the 14th century work in a Tuscan dialect of Old Italian instead of the academic lingua franca of Latin or Greek. Each of the three sections –the Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise– will be discussed in turn.

This class will use the three paperback volume translation by Mark Musa, published by Penguin Classics (ISBN: 9780142437223).

After each class, everyone is invited to continue the discussion over lunch at the Lourdes Café (Dutch treat). Please join our pilgrimage.

A native of Louisiana and a passionate history buff, Paul Hood obtained his under-graduate 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, University of Toledo, and Ohio Northern University.


Petersburg to Appomattox: The End of the Confederacy Draws Near

Dr. Dwayne Beggs

1:00 – 2:00 PM, Wednesdays

Oct. 18 – Nov. 8 (4 weeks)

April 9th, 1865, was the end of the Civil War when General Robert E. Lee agreed to General Grant’s terms of surrender. For Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant and tens of thousands of Federal and Confederate troops fighting further south, the war stretched out for several more months. This class will focus on the pivotal Appomattox Campaign, fought from March 29 through April 9, between Confederate and Union Armies progressing from Petersburg to the Appomattox Court House. During this campaign, the Confederate Army sought to survive the attacks of the Union Army as well as the lack of needed supplies and the loss of men to desertion. For their part, the Union Army sought to deal the Confederate Army a crushing blow bringing the war to an end. Join us as we move from Petersburg to the front parlor of Wilber Mclean’s home where the war came to an official end.

Dr. Dwayne Beggs has taught many 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:  1700 to Present

Tom Sorosiak

10:00 – 11:00 AM, Mondays

October 23 – November 13 (4 weeks)

This class will address the history of Poland’s transition through four centuries of governmental rule. An inquiry into the impact it had on Poland’s place within the European community will be a major focus. The class will highlight governmental, economic, social, and historical aspects of those transitions which occurred in those centuries. A final two sessions will focus on the middle 20th century leading into the present contemporary issues faced by the citizens of Poland in 2023.

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


The Great American Travel Challenge:  Iconic Sights in the 50 States

Jan Whitaker

10:00 – noon, Thursday, Oct. 26

How well do you know the monuments, icons, and distinctive scenes of our country? This unique class will contain both friendly competition and lessons about the icons of each state in the Union! Everyone will be shown an unidentified but iconic sight and asked to write down the state in which it is located. Then the locations will be shared, along with the story of the site as well as other famous sights in each state. No grades, but there will be prizes for those who accurately identify the most states!

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 regional National Park Sites she has visited.


Finger Lakes Wines

Nicholas Kubiak

6:30 – 8:30 PM, Thursday, October 26

What has five fingers and loves wine? New York of course! This bucolic region, defined by five long lakes called “the Finger Lakes” is nestled in the southern tier of New York State. The rolling hills and deep lakes make for the most unique area for agriculture but especially for grapes. Aided through years of experimentation and studies through Cornell University, the winemakers in this area have honed their skills, viticulture, and varietals to be perfectly crafted to the demands of the region. Let’s discuss how they are developing, taste some wine, and learn something new about this great area! You will taste 6 wines, and please feel free to bring food for pairing.


The History of the American Prison 1790 to Present  

Joseph Moran

10:00 – 11:30 AM, Friday, October 27

Every country has prisons, but the US leads the world in total number of people incarcerated, with more than 2 million prisoners nationwide (World Prison Brief, 2021). This leads to an incarceration rate of 629 people per 100,000—the highest rate in the world. How did our country get to this point? This class will address the evolution of the American prison system—its history, goals, and effectiveness.

Joseph Moran has an M.A. in Criminology from BGSU and taught at Lourdes University for 20 years, primarily Criminology and Penology. Joe retired from the Toledo Municipal Court Probation Department where he was a supervisor and briefly served as chief probation officer. In retirement, Joe has worked as a chemical dependency counselor at the Lucas County Correctional Center (jail) and serves as treasurer of the non-profit Toledoans for Prison Awareness.


Baking Sourdough Bread

Dean Ludwig

2:00 – 3:00 PM, Mondays

Oct. 30 – Nov. 20 (4 weeks)

In this class, you will learn to make your own sourdough bread that is both delicious to taste and beautiful to behold. We will use only four ingredients—flour, water, salt, and LOVE!  You will receive detailed instructions for each step of the process—from maintaining a starter, to building your dough, to shaping your loaves (or pizza crusts), to actually baking your bread (or pizza). To get you going, the instructor will share with you a small amount of his own precious starter, which he has been nurturing for decades. During the class, we will review the history of leavened sourdough breads (as opposed to flat breads), which is believed to have begun during the building of the great pyramids in Egypt some 5000 to 6000 years ago, only later to slowly spread across the Mediterranean to Europe. We will also touch on possible health benefits of fermented sourdough breads as opposed to yeasted breads. Compared to sourdoughs, fast rising breads made with yeast are a very modern development in the long history of bread.

Join instructor Dean Ludwig on this grand journey. Dean is a Professor Emeritus of Lourdes University, where he taught business, served as Dean of the College of Business and Leadership, and later as a Vice President. Both at Lourdes and earlier at the University of Toledo, Dean was recognized with multiple teaching awards.  More importantly for this course, Dean has been baking sourdough bread—and experimenting with and tweaking his process—for almost 30 years.


Art of the Steal

Rachel Stevenson

6:00 – 7:00 PM, Mondays; Exclusively online

Oct. 30 – Nov. 13 (3 weeks)

Enter the dark world of art theft in this online class. First, learn the definition of art theft when it comes to museums and private collec­tors, why art is stolen, and the stories of famous art heists. The second week will cover a few famous art thieves, including the only woman to plan a major heist. The last week will explore the work of the specialists who try to track down these missing masterpieces.

Rachel Stevenson is a public program­ming librarian in northwestern Pennsylvania. She has been interested in art theft for decades and studied art history under famous Welsh artist Osi Rhys Osmond.


National Issues Forum: Public Schools

Hugh Grefe

1:00 – 2:30 PM, Tuesdays

Oct. 31 – Nov. 14 (3 weeks)

From the very start, Americans have held widely divergent views on issues related to public schools. Many of these have to do with the methods by which we achieve an educated society. How do we ensure that our schools are accessible to all children? By what means do we hold students accountable for learning and schools accountable for teaching them? What is the role of families in the education of their children? What is the responsibility of schools in addressing social issues that affect their students? What is the most efficient and fair way to fund public education?

Participants will receive a publication from NIFI, “What Is The 21st Century Mission for Our Public Schools?” to read prior to class. Class meetings will be spent in structured discussions and group deliberation.


From Camelot To the Assassination: The Meaning of November 22, 1963

Tom Roka

2:30 – 4:30 PM, Wednesdays

Nov. 1 – 15 (3 weeks)

November 22, 1963 marks the 60th anniversary of JFK’s assassination This course examines the multiple intersections between this historical event and the mythologies that arose after the assassination. In particular, the following questions will shape this course: Can JFK’s presidency be objectively analyzed? Did his death elevate his status? Can a lack of faith in our institutions be traced back to this assassina­tion? How did popular culture exploit the assassi­nation? Are history and myth interchangeable?

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.


Space to Explore, with Grandkids!

Laura Megeath

Tuesday, Nov. 7

Show 1: 10:00 – 11:00 AM

Show 2: 1:30 – 2:30 PM

Launch into an adventure to explore our solar system and beyond! This special interactive planetarium program is designed for grand-parents and grandkids (related or not) as some local schools are closed on this date. Not only will we travel through space, but we will also travel ahead in time and get a preview of the upcoming total solar eclipse! Astronauts are required to be in kindergarten or older.

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

Creative Christmas Cards

Sr. Roselynn Humbert

1:00 – 3:00 PM, Fridays

November 10 – 17 (2 weeks)

Craft your own unique Christmas greeting cards with experienced card maker Sister Roselynn. Each class will provide you with instructions and materials for 3 cards. Tap into your artistic side with projects that can be completed in a short time with a minimum of materials. Techniques used in this class will include die cutting, embossing, watercolor, stamping, and using stickers.


Let’s Party!

Nicholas Kubiak

6:30 – 8:30 PM, Thursday, November 16

The holiday season is full of parties! Whether you are attending or hosting, there are always a lot of questions, sometimes about etiquette, sometimes about pairing. To take the stress out of this bustling time of year, let’s sip some of Nick’s favorite wines and discuss holiday hosting, how to be a great party guest, and some of the best wines that help to make this time of the year so special. You will taste 6 wines, and please feel free to bring food for pairing.


Israel, the Old-New Land

Daniel Pearlman & Tim Hagen

Tuesday, November 28

Session 1: 1:00 – 2:00 PM

Session 2: 2:30 – 3:30 PM

Israel is a country of many contradictions. It is a land thousands of years old but a country 75 years young. It mixes ancient cities with ever-growing skyscrapers. Tourists and tattooed hipsters bump shoulders with devout adherents of the three major monotheistic religions as well as those of other faiths and none. It is a land of conflict and a land of peace; the sea and the desert; flat coastal plains and steep mountain
tops; sun and snow. For countless people and for thousands of years, it is the center of the universe. Join local expert Daniel Pearlman on an educational tour of Israel through photos, videos, and stories of the land, the people, the history, and more. Then, you will have a chance to visit Israel through the use of Virtual Reality (VR) glasses, giving you a realistic 3D touring experience.

Daniel Pearlman is the Vice President of Community and Government Relations at the Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo. He previously lived in Israel and earned his Master’s degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Tim Hagen is the Project Manager and Technology Coordinator at the Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo, where he oversees a virtual reality program for seniors.


Holiday Wreath

Jennifer Cummins Linehan

1:00-2:00 PM, Wednesday, November 29

Deck the halls with a wreath that you will be proud to say you made yourself! Silk flowers and dried materials are designed to last throughout this season and still look great for years to come. Everything will be provided to create an eye-catching wreath for displaying inside or out.

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


German Christmas Markets

Claudia Stuecker

3:30 – 5:00 PM, Tuesday, December 5

The tradition of Christmas markets has been around for centuries and has become more beloved lately. Though open-air street markets are now held around Europe, the tradition began in Germany where there are usually now 2,500 to 3,000 holiday markets a year.

Grilled meats, mulled wine, and gingerbread hearts as well as toys and decorative craftworks have become a distinctive part of Germany’s cultural heritage. Come learn about this popular holiday tradition!

Claudia Stuecker teaches German and French at Northview High School.


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