Enroll in Vanderbilt Osher spring 2017 classes

Vanderbilt Osher lifelong learners enjoy academically rigorous classes without homework (Vanderbilt University / Steve Green)

The August total solar eclipse, Appalachian Dulcimer Archive, and brain and spinal cord disorders are among the diverse topics offered by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt this spring.

Other Vanderbilt Osher classes will examine Vanderbilt Libraries in the digital age, historical legal challenges and other issues faced by the LGBT community, and rhythm across many musical genres and cultures. Foreign policy discussion groups also are scheduled in Nashville and Brentwood.

“Our renowned faculty members enjoy teaching these intellectually stimulating classes to lifelong learners who are 50 and older,” says Norma Clippard, director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt. “We no longer have a membership fee to participate; students only pay for the classes they want to take. [rquote]This term’s special offerings include performances by the Nashville Ballet and the Nashville Jazz Workshop.[/rquote]”

The following courses, which usually meet weekly for six weeks, are scheduled for spring 2017:

Osher Steel Drum Band, taught by Mat Britain, director, and Alli Puglisi, assistant director, of the Vanderbilt Steel Band Program. No prior musical experience is required. This seven-week class begins March 26, from 1 to 2:30 p.m., at the Blair School of Music.

Understanding Disorders of the Brian and Spinal Cord, taught by Jeanette Norden, professor of cell and developmental biology, emerita, in the School of Medicine; The class will focus mainly on head trauma, stroke, brain tumors and Parkinson’s disease. The first class is March 27, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., at St. George’s Episcopal Church.

From the Moon to the Edge of the Visible Universe: Astronomy Sampler II; Topics include the upcoming total solar eclipse, the Hubble Space Telescope and more. Robert O’Dell, Distinguished Research Professor of Astrophysics; Billy Teets, Dyer Observatory outreach astronomer; and Duane Lee, a Fisk–Vanderbilt Bridge postdoctoral fellow in the physics and astronomy department, will team-teach the class, which begins March 28, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m., at The Temple.

Intellectual Sampler, a perennially favorite class team-taught by six experts in a variety of disciplines and fields; Students will begin meeting March 28, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., at The Temple.

A Rhythmic Journey through the Ages, taught by noted musicians and educators Beth and Danny Gottlieb, along with members of the Lt. Dan Band with Gary Sinise; The curriculum is a mixture of history, anthropology and sociology with a focus on rhythm that has aroused, comforted and entertained people. The first class is March 29, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m., at The Commons Center.

Carole Bucy, right, MA’72, PhD’02, professor of history at Volunteer State Community College and historian for Davidson County, taught an Osher class about controversial presidential elections last November. (Vanderbilt University / Steve Green)

Developing Moral Intelligence, taught by Katharine Baker, associate director of the Cal Turner Center for Moral Leadership in the Professions; This course seeks to further students’ ethical awareness and values-based action. Questions to be explored include “What enables me to speak up about what I believe is ‘right?'” The class will begin March 29, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., at The Commons Center.

Great Decisions—Foreign Policy Discussion Group (Brentwood), led by Ben Adams, who has been involved with Great Decisions for more than 10 years, and longtime Osher class participant Stu Miller; The first meeting is March 29, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., at Dyer Observatory.

Great Decisions—Foreign Policy Discussion Group (Nashville), led by Keith Simmons, a retired attorney and 1976 Vanderbilt Law School graduate; The first meeting is March 29, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at St. George’s Episcopal Church.

Gay Then, Gay Now, team-taught by Robert Covington, professor of law, emeritus; Chris Sanders, executive director of the Tennessee Equality Project; Susan Wiltshire, professor of classics, emerita; and Rebecca Chapman, senior lecturer, Department of English; Topics to be covered include the treatment of homosexuality in earlier civilizations, legal challenges faced by this community, and a sampling of “queer literature.” The first class is March 30, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m., at The Commons Center.

Vanderbilt Libraries: Beyond the Card Catalogue, team-taught by Hilary Craiglow, director of the Walker Management Library; Celia Walker, director of special projects; Clifford Anderson, associate university librarian for research and learning; Melissa Mallon, director of the Peabody Library and director of liaison and instruction services; Larry Reeves, associate dean and director of the Alyne Queener Massey Law Library, and Holling Smith-Borne, director of the Anne Potter Wilson Music Library at the Blair School; Topics include digital humanities, an introduction to legal resources, and exhibitions and experiential learning. The class begins March 30, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., at The Commons Center.

OLLI at the Ballet; Students will join Mitchell Korn, senior lecturer at the Blair School of Music; and Paul Vasterling, artistic director and CEO of the Nashville Ballet, for discussion, demonstration and participation in the “world of dance.” The class will gather at The Martin Center for four sessions, beginning April 4, from 2 to 3 p.m.

OLLI at the Nashville Jazz Workshop; Guests will enjoy lunch as syncopated rhythms and stories bring jazz legends, and the era they lived in, back to life for those in attendance. This one-time session will be April 26, from 12:45 to 2:15 p.m., at the Nashville Jazz Workshop.

Click here to sign up for classes. For more information, email Norma Clippard or call 615-343-0700.