Living U—Lifelong Learning

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Spring 2022

Registration is open from January 18 through February 4, 2022.

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LB01 Open World – Visual Perception

Virtual - Zoom

If you are fascinated with how self-driving cars are able to distinguish a tree from a person, or how self-driving cars are able to distinguish a tree from a person, or how computers are able to recognize your fingerprint or your eyes, come learn about current research in the field of visual perception. While there are many technological advancements in visual perception, much of this research has taken place in static situations. The open, dynamic, vast, and unpredictable world creates many more complexities. Dr. Shu Kong will discuss this topic from the aspects of data distributions, handling the unknowns, visual learning methods, and multimodal perceptions. About the instructor: Dr. Shu Kong Shu Kong is a postdoctoral fellow in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He earned a Ph.D. in computer science at the University of California Irvine, ad his research interests span computer vision and machine learning as it pertains to autonomous vehicles and interdisciplinary research. His latest interdisciplinary research outcome include a high-throughput vision system for pollen analysis, which has been featured by the National Science Foundation for opening a "new era" of fossil pollen research.

LB02 The 60 Year History of the Sanford Alderfer Auction and Real Estate Company

Dock Woods - Chapel and Zoom 275 Dock Drive, Lansdale, PA

This is a storytelling and visual presentation about the beginnings of the Sanford Alderfer Auction company founded in 1958 by Sanford A. Alderfer, and then joined by his brother, Harold Alderfer. Sanford's son, Sandy, will share about his experience in the auction and real estate businesses, and how they have evolved over time. He will provide insight on how the industry may look moving forward. About the instructor: Sandy Alderfer Sanford "Sandy" Alderfer is the president/CEO of the Sanford Alderfer Real Estate and Auction Company, which specializes in all types of real estate transactions and commercial liquidations. He has been a licensed auctioneer and realtor since 1973. Sandy graduated from Christopher Dock Mennonite High School in 1970 before attending Goshen College for two years, and later graduated from Reisch Auction College in 1973. In honor of his work he has been inducted into the National Auctioneer Association's Hall of Fame, as well as the Pennsylvania Auctioneer Association's Hall of Fame. Sandy and his wife, Gail, live in Harleysville.

LB04 Easy and Safe Gardening for Seniors

Dock Woods - Chapel and Zoom 275 Dock Drive, Lansdale, PA

This course focuses on how to make gardening a safe and enjoyable activity for seniors. We will cover topics including accessible garden designs, supportive gardening equipment and ergonomic tools, and gardening strategies for different living environments. Join us for tips and tricks for safe and low-maintenance gardening for seniors! Please note: This course has an enrollment limit of 30 persons. About the instructor: Christine Sinotte Christine Sinotte is a certified Penn State master gardener affiliated with the Montgomery County Extension program in Creamery, PA. Her mission is to educate the community about best practices of horticulture, including environmentally friendly approaches. Gardening is not only a personal passion of Christine's, but her career, as she manages various events and workshops at Floral and Hardy of Skippack. She lives in Skippack with her husband, three children, two goats, and dog.

LB05 Agriculture Today and What’s Expected in the Future

Dock Woods - Chapel and Zoom 275 Dock Drive, Lansdale, PA

Join Andrew Frankenfield, a Montgomery County agricultural educator, to learn about some of the latest farming advancements and challenges. We will look at agriculture as it exists in today's society, and what to expect in the future. The topics of biotechnology, globalization, equipment, no-till farming, yields, environmental impacts, biofuels, and markets will be discussed. About the instructor: Andrew Frankenfield Andrew Frankenfield has a bachelor's degree in agribusiness and M.B.A. in food and agribusiness from Delaware Valley College. He has worked for the Penn State Extension in Montgomery County since 2001, where he is part of the field crops and forages team that focuses on grain crop and forage production, pesticide education, and farm business management. Andrew is the sixth generation to live on his family's farm, where he manages and sells seasonal vegetables at the Frankenfield Farm Market. In addition he assists his father and son with managing a small herd of Black Angus cattle. Andrew and his wife, Tanya, live in Souderton and have three children.

LB06 A Rose in a Ditch

Dock Woods - Chapel and Zoom 275 Dock Drive, Lansdale, PA

Come to hear the captivating life story of Julie Henning as documented in her recently published book, A Rose in a Ditch. This first generation Ameriasian was protected by the strong right hand of the Almighty God before she ever knew who He was. She offers her story as a testimony to how God is actively at work through the challenges and joys she has experienced. About the instructor: Julie Henning Julie Henning was born in South Korea in 1953, and was named Goo Sooni. She never knew her father, and was raised by her mother until she died when Julie was 13 years old. While studying and living at the Pearl S. Buck Opportunity Center in Sosa, Korea, Julie caught the attention of the Nobel Prize-winning author, Pearl S. Buck. Pearl brought Julie to the United States in 1968 and raised her as her daughter. After Buck's death, Julie was adopted by an older couple at age 19. Julie is burdened by the cause of Ameriasians, and has addressed the obstacles they face through her writing, on radio and television interviews, and in U.S. congressional hearings. Julie and her husband, Doug, live in Souderton.

LB07 The Beautiful and Resilient Armor of Seashells

Virtual - Zoom

Seashells from snails, oysters, scallops, clams, and mussels are beautiful and eye-catching. They can be brightly colored and opalescent, and come in a variety of different and dramatic shapes. However we might not often think about a shell's most important purpose as a remarkable biological armor. Seashells can withstand a lifetime of accumulating physical insults, and unlike man-made armor, can repair themselves. Join this class to learn more about shells: What are they? How are they made? How are they so good at protecting the animals they shelter? About the instructor: Rachel Crane Rachel Crane is a postdoctoral scholar in biology at the University of California at Davis. She has always been curious about the amazing, the strange, and especially the less traditionally charismatic animals that fill our world. Rachel grew up in North Carolina and earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Swarthmore College, studying how worms burrow through mud. After graduating she returned to North Carolina, where she worked at Duke University studying mantis shrimp: a marine animal with a strike that can shatter snail shells. She then went on to earn her Ph.D. in biology from Stanford University, studying how seashells provide protection from predators and the environment.

LB08 Hymns Past and Present

Souderton Mennonite Homes - Summit View Auditorium 207 W Summit St, Souderton, PA

Hymns are songs of praise. In this course we will consider how the singing and composition of hymns have evolved and changed over the past centuries. We will be guided through a progression of hymns and hymn singing dating all the way back to early chants. We will review our present day variety, and trace how these songs came to be. About the instructor: Ralph Alderfer Ralph Alderfer received his bachelor's degree in music education from Eastern Mennonite University and his master's degree in music from the University of Iowa. Additionally he completed a church and music study at Westminister Choir College. Ralph taught choral music at Iowa Mennonite School for three years, and at Dock Mennonite Academy for 19 years. He has spent more than 25 years directing the Franconia Lancaster Choral Singers. He and his wife, Doris Kolb, are residents of Souderton Mennonite Homes.

LB09 Dental Anthropology: The Whole Tooth and Nothing But the Tooth

Dock Woods - Chapel and Zoom 275 Dock Drive, Lansdale, PA

Teeth are the unsung heroes of anthropology. They are an incredibly rich source of information, and yet people hardly think about them unless they are causing pain. Because teeth preserve better than any other part of he body, much of what we know about ancient populations is based on their teeth. Shara Bailey, course instructor, is an expert in studying teeth of past populations. In this course we will learn about: How anthropologists use bumps and grooves on the teeth to inform us on geographic ancestry. How growth rings, similar to tree rings, can tell anthropologists how old someone was. What the microscopic scratches on your teeth can tell us about your diet. How cavities and periodontal disease can inform us about diet and health of people in the past. Dr. Bailey will provide a slide presentation and have some sample teeth for learners to examine. About the instructor: Dr. Shara Bailey Shara Bailey is a professor of anthropology and director of the Center for the Study of Human Origins at New York University. Her research focuses on answering questions about human evolution from a dental perspective. While she often studies Neanderthals and modern human origins, some of her research extends back to our early ancestors. Dr. Bailey is frequently called upon to diagnose and interpret new fossil finds, and her research has been featured on National Public Radio, The History Channel, National Geographic, and the PBS documentary series, NOVA.

LB10 The Problem of Evil and the Existence of God

Dock Woods - Chapel and Zoom 275 Dock Drive, Lansdale, PA

The problem of evil has troubled thoughtful men and women for the entire history of humanity. If there is a loving, all-powerful God, how can evil exist? Does the reality of evil, suffering, and death mean that God doesn't exist? This course will examine how various religions and cultures have grappled with the problem, comparing and contrasting their answers with those of Christianity. Our approach will be primarily philosophical, but we will look briefly at some ways in which these ideas can help us deal with our own very real suffering and heartache. About the instructor: Tom Sanders Tom Sanders is a resident of Dock Woods and has been an avid reader of philosophy and theology for more than 50 years. He is an experienced adult Sunday School teacher and taught high school chemistry for five years at Germantown Academy. After a 33-year career as a research chemist, he retired from Rohm and Haas/Dow in 2011. He and his wife, Shirley, raised two boys, both of whom are active in studying and living out their faith.

LB11 Edison’s Concrete Piano and Twelve Other Scientific Flops

Souderton Mennonite Homes - Summit View Auditorium 207 W Summit St, Souderton, PA

Thomas Edison is a well-known genius, yet he did not live his life without experiencing failure. He had more scientific disasters than successes. Learn more about Edison and other famous scientists like Alexander Graham Bell and George Washington Carver, and their determined efforts to bring their strong visions to reality - no matter what anyone else had to say about them. About the instructor: Linda Doran Linda Doran taught at Montgomery County Community College as an academic advisor and instructor for computer applications, college success, and mathematics. Linda also served as a training and assessment coordinator for Montgomery County Workforce Development. She has created many interactive workshops that focus on life skill essentials, computer applications, and interpersonal communications.


LB12 Drawing with Watercolor

Souderton Mennonite Homes - Summit View Auditorium 207 W Summit St, Souderton, PA

Please note: this is a two-session course and will be held on Thursday, March 31 and April, 7. Enjoy a creative, hands-on class where you will learn how to make a "contour drawing," which teaches us how to really look at the object being drawn. Afterwards we will create a still-life composition using watercolors. The process of painting with watercolors will also be explained. All supplies will be provided. Please note: This course has an extra cost of $5.00 for supplies and has an enrollment limit of 10 persons. About the instructor: Laurie Martin Laurie Martin has been teaching art for 53 years in the Philadelphia School District to students of all ages. She also has experience in teaching classes at the collegiate level. Laurie considers herself a "printmaker" and is currently on scholarship at The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadephia.

LB13 Why Am I Taking These Pills? Medication Management for Seniors

Dock Woods - Chapel and Zoom 275 Dock Drive, Lansdale, PA

This class will provide helpful tips for medication management, and includes the best practices for overall medicine safety. We will define what polypharmacy is, and explain the potential dangers of taking certain medications simultaneously. You will walk away from this course having a better understanding of specific disease states, knowing whether medication is needed or not, the relationship between receiving a prognosis and a prescription, and strategies for reducing medication intake. About the instructor: Dr. Daniel Haimowitz Dr. Daniel Haimowitz is a geriatrician who specializes in both internal medicine and long-term care. He serves as the medical director at Living Branches, and is also involved in geriatric organizations on the local, state, and national levels. Dr. Haimowitz founded the Bucks County Long-Term Care Consortium, and is a nationally recognized leader in assisted living and advocacy for long-term care residents. His informative talks combine practicality with humor.

LB14 Fraktur from the Skippack and Salford Meetinghouse Schools, 1747-1836

Mennonite Heritage Center 565 Yoder Road, Harleysville, PA

This illustrated lecture will be presented at the Mennonite Heritage Center. Attendees will be seated in the Fraktur Gallery surrounded by original fraktur made over 200 years ago, and will learn about early settlers in the Lower Salford and Franconia townships. We will explore information about the creators and the purpose of these treasured pieces, and how they were used to simulate learning in a teacher-created, engaging environment. Participants will be able to view exhibits at the Center following the lecture. Please note: Participants will need to drive to the Mennonite Heritage Center on their own. It is located at: 565 Yoder Road in Harleysville. This lecture and tour is limited to 20 persons. About the instructor: Mary Jane Lederach Hershey Mary Jane Lederach Hershey is a graduate of Souderton High School, Goshen College, and Drexel Institute of Technology. She helped establish the Mennonite Heritage Center in 1974. Throughout the 1990s, she served as chair of the board of the Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania. Currently Mary is a trustee emeritus and volunteers in the archives at the Center. She authored the book, This Teaching I Present: Fraktur from Skippack and Salford Meetingouse Schools, 1747-1836. About the center:  The Mennonite Heritage Center is a museum, library, and archive collection dedicated to sharing the stories of the Anabaptist-Mennonite faith and life in eastern Pennsylvania. The Delaware Valley is host to a diverse range of Mennonite experiences from Pennsylvania Germans to Hispanics, Indonesian, and Vietnamese communities. The Center is open to the public and offers rotating exhibits, events, programs, and workshops.

LB15 Where Does Our Water Come from in the North Penn Area?

Dock Woods - Chapel and Zoom 275 Dock Drive, Lansdale, PA

This presentation will provide an overview of the quality, quantity, and cost of drinking water provided to the community from the North Penn Water Authority. We will learn where our water comes rom, how it gets to our homes and businesses, and how the public water system is operated, managed, and maintained. We will address water quality, including the treatment systems and testing processes that are utilized, and explain how systems have changed over the years to keep up with the demands of a growing customer base. About the instructor: Anthony Bellitto Tony Bellitto has been the executive director of the North Penn Water Authority since 1998, where he is responsible for all planning, engineering, operational, and financial aspects of the organization. North Penn Water Authority provides a daily average of 10 million gallons per day of water supply to 35,000 customers throughout Montgomery and Bucks Counties. Before moving to Pennsylvania, Tony was employed with the New York City Bureau of Water Supply and with consulting firms specializing in water supply and wastewater engineering. He is a member of the American Water Works Association and volunteers with their Water for People committee, which focuses on international water relief projects in poor communities around the world. Tony and his wife, Sharon, have been married for 34 years.

LB16 The Owls of Pennsylvania

Souderton Mennonite Homes - Summit View Auditorium 207 W Summit St, Souderton, PA

In this course we will follow photographer and videographer, Pamela Dimeler, as she presents a program on eight species of owls that live year-round or migrate into Pennsylvania. For 10 years she has been observing a pair of great horned owls in Delaware County, along with other birds and wildlife. Her multi-media program features photographs, videos, and audio of these birds and their calls, and include many interesting facts about these fascinating and mysterious owls. About the instructor: Pamela Dimeler Pamela Dimeler is the director and founder of the Parkside Academy of Music and Dance in the Delaware County borough of Parkside, where she has spent 35 years teaching music and dance to children of all ages. She is also a photographer and nature enthusiast, and has been observing a pair of great horned owls and other wildlife since 2012. In 2010 Pam had the honor of presenting her lecture on great horned owls at the International Owl Festival in Minnesota. Pam's other interests include instructing senior fitness classes at the Rocky Run YMCA and playing the Celtic harp in the Brandywine Harp Orchestra. Pam resides in Delaware County with her husband, Scott.

LB17 A Civil Rights Journey

Souderton Mennonite Homes - Summit View Auditorium 207 W Summit St, Souderton, PA

This course invites us to look at our country's past, and consider how it has shaped what is going on today. Join Jean and Steve Godsall-Myers for a presentation on the humbling and sobering "civil rights journey" that they took in June 2021. Their itinerary included stops along the Eastern shore of Maryland, in Wilmington, North Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, and what is known as the "civil rights triangle" of Montgomery, Selma, and Birmingham, Alabama. They stopped in Nashville and Clinton, Tennessee, Hardy and Farmville, Virginia, and Harper's Ferry, West Virginia before ending the trip right here in Lansdale for the town's Juneteenth celebration. About the instructors: Jean and Steve Godsall-Myers Jean and Steve Godsall-Myers both recall being in high school during the 1960s and have given attention in recent years to studying events they had "heard about" during that time. Jean is a retired German professor and Steve is a retired Lutheran pastor. Together they served as co-directors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Wittenberg Center. They are an active part of the Racial Justice Learning Group at Salford Mennonite Church.


LB18 The Supreme Court

Dock Woods - Chapel and Zoom 275 Dock Drive, Lansdale, PA

Please note: this course has five sessions, and will be held on Tuesday April 26, May 3, May 10, May 17, and May 22. This course will examine the Supreme Court: the least well-known of the three branches of the federal government, and highlight its powers, history, and personalities. Join us for a five-part series that will be broken into different topics including: "Essentials of the Supreme Court" "History of the Supreme Court" "Chief Justices of the Supreme Court" "The Unforgettable Personalities of the Supreme Court" You will gain a better understanding of how the Supreme Court works, what role it plays in the American government, and who the leaders and judges are that have served the Court. Please note: This class is offered through our collaboration with the Widener University's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. There is an extra Widener course registration cost of $30.00 per person. About the instructor: David Hudiak David Hudiak earned a bachelor's degree from Haverford College and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a licensed attorney, and member of the Bar Associations of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and the United States District Courts for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the District of New Jersey. His teaching experience includes paralegal classes and seminars in law school admission test preparation.

LB10 Tour of the MCC Material Resource Center

MCC Material Resource Center 737 Hagey Center Drive Unit C, Souderton, PA

Tour the MCC Material Resource Center and learn about the organization's work to support the Mennonite Central Committee. Attendees will see volunteers at work, making beautiful comforters for people in need, processing old t-shirts to sell as rags, and sorting and bailing items for recycling in the warehouse. You may also shop for unique gifts that have been handmade and re-purposed in the gift shop. Please note: This field trip takes place at 737 Hagey Drive, Unit C, in Souderton, and is limited to 30 students. Transportation for this field trip will not be provided, however carpooling is encouraged. Participants must be able to stand for 45 minutes to an hour. About the instructors: Sharon Swartzentruber and Edie Landis Sharon Swartzentruber has been coordinating the work at the MCC Material Resource Center in Elroy since 2010. She enjoys the variety of tasks that are involved her work, and the many inspiring volunteers who come and serve at MRC. Edie Landis has been a volunteer at MRC since 2015 and currently serves on the board of directors. She enjoys meeting and working with the many volunteers who are vital in helping MRC fulfill its mission.


LB20 Mozart and the Movie Amadeus

Souderton Mennonite Homes - Summit View Auditorium 207 W Summit St, Souderton, PA

*Please note: this is a two-session course, and will be held on Thursday, April 28 and Thursday, May 5. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a genius who composed many enjoyable works of music in a short lifespan. He is considered one of the greatest composers of all time. In this class we will learn about Mozart's life and music and watch clips from the 1984 movie, Amadeus. We will learn about some of the myths surrounding Mozart's life that are in the movie and sort out the facts from fiction. About the instructor: Jim Smith Jim Smith was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Lansdale. He graduated from North Penn High School and earned a degree in music education from Mansfield University. Jim taught elementary vocal music at Hiram Dodd Elementary School in the Allentown School District from 1973 until his retirement in 2007. He serves as the organist at Sanctuary United Methodist Church in North Wales and occasionally plays the organ in the Dock Woods Chapel. Jim and his wife, Sue, lived in Quakertown for 32 years. They moved to Dock Woods in 2014.

LB21 The Hatfields

Souderton Mennonite Homes - Summit View Auditorium 207 W Summit St, Souderton, PA

Join us for a comprehensive program on the history of Hatfield Township and Hatfield Borough. This presentation will feature more than 200 old photographs and will examine the formation of the township and its villages, as well as the impact that the railroad had on the Hatfield and Lansdale Boroughs. It will also recount how the countryside changed from farmland to suburbia during the 20th century, and how business and education in the community has evolved over the years. This course includes historic glimpses of Hatfield's businesses, churches, and schools. About the instructor: Larry Stevens Larry Stevens has been a resident of the Hatfield Borough for 55 years, and serves as the president of the Hatfield Museum and Historical Society. Ever since he founded the organization in 1991, Larry has worked to preserve the history of both the borough and the township. In the midst of the pandemic, the Hatfield Historical Society opened a museum in August, 2020, to make the community's history and collection more easily accessible to the public. Larry has written a number of books on Hatfield's history including: History of Hatfield Borough, 1898-1998, Walking Tour of Historic Hatfield Borough, and The Hatfield Horror - The Story of the Great Hatfield Train Wreck of 1900.


LB22 Two Wonderful Composers: Two Favorite Hyphenates

Souderton Mennonite Homes - Summit View Auditorium 207 W Summit St, Souderton, PA

Please note: This is a two-session course, and will be held on Thursday, May 19 and Thursday, May 26. We all know of J.S. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms. In the world of classical music, these and a handful of others are the acknowledged greats. What about the others that have, for one reason or another, been relegated to secondary status? This course explores a wealth of beautiful music that has been penned by those composers so relegated. Join us as we learn about the works of what instructor Gary Kaplan affectionately refers to as his "two favorite hyphenates," the elegant music of the French Charles Camille Saint-Saens, and the glittering fairy tale world of the Russian Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, beyond "Scheherazade." Come, make the acquaintance of these two wonderful composers! About the instructor: Gary Kaplan Gary Kaplan was born and raised in Philadelphia. He earned his bachelor's degree in art education from Temple University, and later a master's in art education from Beaver College (now Arcadia University). For 30 years Gary taught art in the Philadelphia public schools, and has been an avid lover of classical music and opera since childhood. His interests include art, art history, historical costume, history, and he has more than 300 operas in his collection.

Have questions? Have an idea for a class?

Contact Maribeth Benner,
Living U coordinator, at 215-368-4438.