Living U—Lifelong Learning

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Fall 2021

*REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED. Please contact Maribeth Benner, Living U coordinator, at 215-368-4438 to see if any classes have availability.

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Don’t Miss a Beat! The 50th Anniversary of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra

Dock Woods Chapel and Zoom

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a return to our full symphony orchestra. Please join us as we present a program of chamber music by principal players of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra along with anecdotes and composer biographies related to our upcoming season. Each class member will receive a complimentary concert ticket, and discounted season tickets will be available for purchase. Come share in the excitement of our 50th anniversary and the return of live music! About the instructors: Jane Nechin, Hannah Richards, Emily Guglielmi Jane Nechin (principal flute) graduated from West Chester University and teaches music in the Abington School District. She is the principal flute with Orchestra Society of Philadelphia and directs the Chancel choir and Herald Ringers at Sanctuary Church in North Wales. Hannah Richards (viola) graduated with degrees in viola performance and music business from the Hartt School/University of Hartford. Hannah has performed extensively with The Divine Hand Ensemble and the Lehigh University Orchestra. Hannah maintains an active private studio through ArcoNet and Clemmer Music. Emily Gulglielmi (violin) attended Philadelphia Musical Academy (now University of the Arts). Emily taught strings in both the Centennial and Upper Dublin school districts and is currently principal second violin for the SPSO. Emily teaches privately and also as a faculty member of the Ambler School of Music.

(Ph)aces and Features of the Moon

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

Note: This class has been rescheduled since the printing of the course brochure. The new date is September 28. Learn about the phases of the moon, eclipses, and the varied features that can be seen on the moon with the naked eye, binoculars, and telescopes. Note the general areas of the Apollo landing sites. You will learn the differences between craters, basins, mare, valleys, domes, and rilles, and how best to view them and how they might have formed over the millennia. Some audience participation will reveal some of the mechanisms of crater formation. The talk will culminate with a virtual fly in and around Crater Tycho! About the instructor: Dr. Albert Lamperti A retired professor of anatomy and cell biology at Temple University School of Medicine, Dr. Lamperti taught histology and neuroanatomy to first year medical, dental, and podiatry students for 37 years. He also taught astronomy for non-science majors at Chestnut Hill College for five years. Astronomy is an avid hobby, a welcome distraction from work, and now a welcomed avocation in retirement.

America’s Impressionism: Echoes of a Revolution

Virtual - Zoom

One of the most enduring—yet complex and even contradictory—styles of art ever produced in this country, American Impressionism captured and held public attention for more than a century. The style was appreciated for its fairy tale views of an elegant American yesteryear, while at the same time carrying the imprimatur of Paris and reflecting the origins of modernism. Why should an artistic movement based, in large part, on the enterprise of capturing momentary visual events in paint linger so long on American palettes? This lecture explores the conditions that made the style so popular in the United States, revealing a nuanced history of art interchange in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, far more complicated than the straightforward imitation of a foreign style. About the instructor: Dr. Amanda C. Burdan Amanda C. Burdan is curator at the Brandywine River Museum of Art and has organized many exhibitions on the fine and decorative arts of the United States. She joined the curatorial staff of the Brandywine River Museum of Art in 2012, and previously worked in the curatorial departments at the Florence Griswold Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art. She earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. at Brown University. Her next exhibition, “America’s Impressionism: Echoes of a Revolution” opens at the Brandywine on October 9, 2021.

Healthy Cooking for One to Two People

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

Learn tips and ideas for healthy cooking for one to two people, review what healthy cooking looks like, suggestions for meals, and how to handle leftovers. If cooking seems like too much work, Marianne Kane will provide you with easy meal ideas that take very little time and effort that anyone can do! Eating right is important for our overall health and well-being. About the Instructor: Marianne Kane Marianne Kane has had a lifetime interest in healthy eating and overall wellness. She earned her B.S. in nutrition from Penn State in 1995. Marianne has worked in food service for her whole career (30+ years) from a grocery store to long-term care facilities. Marianne is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She has served as the nutrition care manager for Souderton Mennonite Homes for the past 24 years.

Top Questions Answered About Dementia

Dock Woods - Chapel 275 Dock Dr, Lansdale

Have you ever wondered how to reduce the risk of cognitive decline? Are you interested in learning about the difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia? Do you know how to identify if a memory lapse is part of normal aging or might be dementia? Join us for an informative session during which a dementia care expert will answer these questions and much more. About the instructors: Jennifer Brush and Mandy Cheskis Jennifer Brush, MA, CCC/SLP serves as program director, Montessori Education for Dementia, St. Nicholas Montessori College in Dublin, Ireland. Passionate about enriching the lives of people with dementia, she is on a mission to put the focus of care on the person’s preferences, interests and abilities. Jennifer is the author of Montessori for Elder and Dementia Care and many other books and articles on dementia. She has been a pioneer contributor in the area of spaced retrieval memory intervention. Mandy Cheskis is dedicated to providing quality health care to people living with dementia. She has worked for more than 25 years as a speech language pathologist. She earned the AMI practitioner certificate in Montessori for Aging and Dementia and is recognized as a master clinician in cognitive communication deficits. She is committed to preserving the abilities of people living with dementia and maintaining pathways for meaningful connections.

Focusing on Resilience: The Importance of Staying Positive

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

Resilience is defined as the ability to navigate adversity and grow through challenges. This presentation and discussion will focus on resilience and positivity. We will look at how gratitude is therapeutic, and how being present, making adjustments, and having a sense of purpose are building blocks of resilience. We will focus on the importance of staying positive and how we can identify internal and external resources to help us. We will consider lessons that we have learned during the pandemic. About the instructor: Dr. Kathleen Fisher Dr. Kathleen Fisher is a nurse educator and researcher at Drexel University. As a nurse and a nurse practitioner she has enjoyed working with many different groups of people including native Americans in Alaska and on the Hopi reservation, with migrant farmworkers from the eastern shore of Maryland, with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and with people experiencing homelessness. Dr. Fisher has collaborated with Drexel and Living Branches in dementia care strategy programming since 2017. She cherishes working with the residents and staff at Living Branches and has enjoyed using a “transformative, participatory action research approach.” She plans to complete a study on resilience at Living Branches.

Gravity and You, or How to Lose Weight Without Dieting

Dock Woods Chapel and Zoom

We will discuss your personal relationship with gravity and suggest several methods of shedding pounds (in some cases micro-ounces) by letting gravity work for you rather than against you. Among the subjects under discussion will be international travel, bad driving habits, subterranean exploration, lunar observations, barometric pressure, and ocean tides. With luck and concentration, you will leave with a deeper understanding of gravity, free fall, space dust, and a new realization of what is meant by “weight.” About the Instructor: Obie Ralphs After growing up a nomad moving between eleven towns in seven states coast to coast Obie has settled down, living with his wife, Bobbie, in this area for the past 55 years. He graduated from Penn State with a B.S. in physics in 1963 and spent the next ten years with Bell of PA before beginning his real career teaching math and physics at North Penn High School. During that time he and Bobbie owned and operated Our Family Toys, a craft business inventing, making, and selling wooden mechanical desk toys. Since retiring in 2004 they have enjoyed playing Celtic music with Quadas Dulcimer Club. In 2016 they moved from the woods of Salford Township to the Woods of Dock.

The Francis B. Shaw Historic District Walking Tour

Magill Schoolhouse 56 S. Main St, Doylestown

This course has been filled. This walking tour explores little known information on the emergence of the Doylestown Railroad Station that changed the history of the region, and a catastrophic fire that threatened to reverse the progress of a town. You will see examples of post-revolutionary expansion of commercial and residential buildings and learn about the global impact of a nationally known agricultural manufacturing company and how it became the Doylestown Agricultural Works that we recognize today. Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing that is appropriate for the weather. Participants will need to be able to stand and walk for 70 minutes on uneven terrain. This one hour walking tour will begin at 10:15 a.m. Take the shuttle or drive on your own to the Magill Schoolhouse, 56 S. Main Street, Doylestown, PA, where the tour will start. Bring a packed lunch to enjoy together after the tour. Tour limit: 19 people. The cost for the shuttle and the tour: $25.00, cost for the tour only: $10.00. About the tour guide: Pat Witek Pat Witek relocated from New Jersey in 1994 and has lived in Doylestown ever since. She worked at Doylestown Hospital as the director of quality initiatives for 23 years and was the patient safety officer for most of that time. Recognizing the rich historical heritage at the hospital and in the community, she is dedicated to amateur historical research since her retirement in 2019. She volunteers at the Doylestown Historical Society and focuses on the history of the Doylestown Borough. Pat has many interests that she shares with her husband, including travel, classic movies, and following the adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Recurring

The Arab/Israeli Dilemma: from the Bible through World War I

Dock Woods - Chapel 275 Dock Dr, Lansdale

No issue has dominated the world’s continuous attention over the past 70 years more than the Arab/Israeli dilemma. Since the founding of Israel in 1948 there have been multiple wars, conferences, and refugees. This course will look at the historic background behind the Arab and Israeli claims for the land known as Palestine up to World War II. The intention is to clarify the impact of World War I which turned a dispute based on factual realities into one dominated by partisan fears and passion. 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: Jeff Heim Jeff Heim teaches lifelong learning courses at Widener University, Immaculata University, as well as with other local organizations. He earned his B.S. in secondary education and an M.A. in ancient/medieval history from Penn State University and an M.A. in British colonial history with an emphasis on India from Temple University. For 37 years he taught high school students in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Recognizing his work and study with Arabic novels, India, and a Middle East Conference for teachers, he has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for Humanities, the Fulbright Program, and the Annenberg Foundation.

Recurring

Militarism and Our Youth

Virtual - Zoom

We will discuss the United States military and its effects on our youth, particularly young people of color. We will discuss the cost (economically, emotionally, and spiritually). We will discuss other ways our young people could serve their communities and country, until they are mentally, emotionally and spiritually mature. About the instructor: Cyneatha Millsaps Cyneatha Millsaps is a co-pastor of Prairie Street Mennonite Church in Elkhart, Indiana. She is executive director of Mennonite Women USA. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana, and her master of divinity degree from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana. She previously served with Mennonite Central Committee as a program director for the Great Lakes in which she was responsible for programming in the areas of restorative justice, mass incarceration concerns, youth and young adult service, and various social justice initiatives. She worked for several years directly with victims of domestic violence. Cyneatha is the founder of BAPS (Black American Princesses), a mentoring program for young African American females between the ages of eight to 17. She and her husband, Steven, have seven children and 20 grandchildren.

Hospice Chaplaincy: Ministry of Listening

Dock Woods - Fisher Auditorium 275 Dock Dr, Lansdale

This course will cover the history of chaplaincy, the general purpose of spiritual care, and the unique ministry of end-of life care. Discussion will occur surrounding hospice and the perceived attitudes towards comfort care. Questions to be discussed: What does it mean to be a chaplain/pastor? What is a ministry of listening? About the instructor: Phyllis Ward Phyllis Ward is the pastor of worship at Grace Mennonite Church and a full-time hospice chaplain at Doylestown Hospital Hospice. Phyllis was a former music teacher at Penn View Christian (now Dock Academy) and Meadowbrook School in Abington. Phyllis loves to sing, play guitar, travel, and grow vegetables and herbs. Phyllis has one fur baby, a golden doodle, Henry.

Three Generations of Wyeth Art

Virtual - Zoom

Three generations of Wyeth artists have lived and painted in the Brandywine Valley, starting with N. C. Wyeth, known for his dynamic illustrations for classics such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, and continuing with his daughters, Henriette and Carolyn Wyeth, and son, Andrew Wyeth. The third generation of this creative family includes N. C. Wyeth’s grandson, Jamie Wyeth. Although each family member has a distinct style, these artists share a commitment to painting subjects they know well. This lecture will give an overview of the art and inspirations of this talented family. About the Instructor: Mary Cronin Mary Cronin is the dean of education and public programs at Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, Pa. At the museum, she develops and leads programs for visitors of all ages. Mary has a B.A. in art history from Swarthmore College and an M.A.T. in museum education from The George Washington University.

The Seagoing Cowboys and the Heifer Project: Healing a Broken World

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

Dan West had no inkling that an idea implanted in his mind in 1938 would lead to the “trip of a lifetime” for some 7000 men ages 16 to 72 after World War II. This illustrated talk will tell the story of the Heifer Project which Dan West founded after his relief work during the Spanish Civil War. It will include the story of the “seagoing cowboys” who tended livestock shipped by the Heifer Project and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration to devastated countries after World War II. We’ll look together at the legacy of these cowboys and the Heifer Project. About the instructor: Peggy Reiff Miller Peggy Reiff Miller is the author of the children’s picture book, The Seagoing Cowboy. She has been researching, writing, and speaking about the seagoing cowboys since 2002. She writes a twice-monthly blog about this history on her website at www.seagoingcowboys.com. She is currently working on a book about the first decade of the Heifer Project, today’s Heifer International, an organization for which she serves as a historical consultant. She lives with her husband, Rex, in Englewood, Ohio.

Therapy Dogs: Training, Certification, and Benefits

Dock Woods - Chapel 275 Dock Dr, Lansdale

This presentation will provide an overview of therapy dogs, their disposition, training, certification, and where they serve. We will consider the difference between a therapy dog and a service dog, and learn about the benefits of therapy dogs. About the instructor: Dr. Alice L. Hoersch Dr. Alice L. Hoersch taught geology and environmental science at La Salle University for 42 years and served as an executive assistant for five university presidents for 23 years. She earned a B.A. in geology from Bryn Mawr College and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Johns Hopkins University. She served as a faculty member and consultant for Project Kaleidoscope, a national organization devoted to improving undergraduate science education. She has a three-year-old therapy dog, Dyson, who visits residents at Living Branches.

It’s About Time

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

“The ubiquity of clocks and watches, and the time obsessed culture of which they are both cause and effect, has led us to regard our way of timekeeping as coming with the territory, like the air we breathe. Nothing could be further than the truth.” (Times Pendulum xvii) We are all obsessed with TIME. This lecture will trace the history of timekeeping devices from the beginning of civilization. Included will be pictures and background information about the use of sunlight, water, fire, mechanical devices, wrist watches, and atomic energy to power our clocks. Some of the interesting questions covered include: How did we get from a stick in the ground to atomic clocks? Why do we have time zones? Where does your cell phone time signal come from? Why do clocks move in a clockwise direction? How did the Swiss become famous for wrist watches? Who established the first tower clock? What does the future hold for timekeeping? Come join us for a fun and educational exploration into the fascinating world of horology! About the instructor: Frank G. Hartwell After retiring from a 36 year career as a high school teacher and guidance counselor, Frank Hartwell reinvented himself as a horologist. Upon completing classes at the School of Horology in Columbia, PA, he started a clock restoration business, using more of the other side of his brain and lots of eye-hand coordination. In 2020 he restored almost 100 clocks. Mr. Hartwell’s fascination with horology began when he found his first clock in his grandparents’ attic. In addition to restoring clocks, he enjoys restoring antiques and making and marketing country wood crafts.

Recurring

What is Life?

Dock Woods - Fisher Auditorium 275 Dock Dr, Lansdale

In this course we will discuss the “Great Ideas in Biology” as presented in the book What Is Life? by Paul Nurse, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine. What distinguishes a living cell from a virus, like Covid-19, or a human-engineered device, like a cell phone? Please note: this course has an enrollment limit of 25 persons. About the Instructor: Dr. John Tyson Before retiring to Dock Woods with his wife, Linda, John Tyson was university distinguished professor of biological sciences at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. John earned a B.S. degree in chemistry from Wheaton College in 1969 and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Chicago in 1973. As a graduate student John began his transition from chemical physics to theoretical biology because many open problems in molecular cell biology caught his attention. After postdoctoral studies in biophysical chemistry and cell biology in Germany and Austria, John and Linda moved to Blacksburg in 1979, where they raised their four children (Jeremy, Christopher, David and Anna). At Dock Woods John continues to write scientific papers with his colleagues at Virginia Tech and other universities in the USA and Europe.

Anatomy of the Weather

Dock Woods - Fisher Auditorium 275 Dock Dr, Lansdale

This course will explain how a weather forecast is constructed, sharing the philosophy that AccuWeather applies to weather forecasting. Come to hear stories of some of the unique experiences that Dale Mohler has had as a weather forecaster, and some of the changes that have taken place in his field of work. We will consider together what we can expect in the future of weather forecasting. About the instructor: Dale Mohler Growing up in the 1960s and 70s in rural southeastern Pennsylvania, Dale Mohler witnessed several major weather events that prompted his interest in the weather. The 1966 blizzard and Hurricane Agnes were two significant weather events. He did a five minute weather discussion each day during the morning announcements in his senior year of high school. Dale graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. in meteorology. He began working for AccuWeather in 1981, and helped start the AccuWeather international forecasting department. He branched out into agriculture commodity weather forecasting in the mid-1990s. He has been the weather commodity forecaster for the Louis Dreyfus Corporation for the past 15 years.

Recurring

Music of the Christmas Season: 2021 Edition

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

Please join us for the 2021 edition of Music of the Christmas Season. We will again explore the music of this joyous season with two brand new playlists. Session one will focus on the secular celebration of Christmas with recordings by popular artists who have made recordings over the years to help us celebrate the holidays. Session two will explore traditional sacred and classical Christmas music that has been an inspiration to many over the years. As a follow up to the spring 2021 class on Bach, we will hear two selections from cantatas that are related to the Christmas season. We hope you will join us for this class that will both inspire and entertain you as we celebrate Christmas 2021. About the instructor: James 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.

A Town is Born: a History of the Borough of Lansdale

Dock Woods - Fisher Auditorium 275 Dock Dr, Lansdale

Beginning as a junction on the North Penn Railway in the mid-1850s, Lansdale quickly grew into a commercial and industrial hub. This class will highlight the people, places, and events which contributed to the borough’s growth through the late 19th and early 20th century. About the Instructor: Patricia Rieker As a lifelong resident of Lansdale, Patricia Rieker has always been interested in the history of the borough. She and her husband have owned a home in the West Ward for nearly fifty years. She was employed as an elementary school teacher in the North Penn School District until her retirement in 2010. Since that time, she has volunteered with the Lansdale Historical Society as a researcher and trustee. She enjoys presenting history programs to people of all ages.

Have questions? Have an idea for a class?

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

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