Host of short courses for senior citizens planned here this spring
The University of St. Thomas Center for Senior Citizens’ Education again will offer several short courses this spring on the university’s campuses in St. Paul and Minneapolis.
The courses are designed especially for those 55 and older and are taught by faculty members and experts from the community. The cost for each course is $50. Scheduled this spring are:
“‘There Lives the Dearest Freshness’: The Poetry of Herbert, Hopkins and Heaney” will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. Mondays, March 13 to May 15, in Thornton Auditorium on the university’s Minneapolis campus. Dr. Michael Mikolajczak, a professor and chair of St. Thomas’ English Department, will lead this course on two British and one Irish poet. They possess, Mikolajczak says, a “metaphysical sensibility.” A text is required for this program.
“Pathways to God: Jews, Christians and Muslims in Conversation” will be offered from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays from March 14 to May 23 in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium. Planned months ago, this program takes on new significance in the wake of the publication of editorial cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. Ten theologians and religious leaders from the three great monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – will explore with each other their understandings of who God is, and their different, and perhaps similar, pathways to God.
The program is co-sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Jewish-Christian Learning, which is located at St. Thomas and St. John’s University in Collegeville.
“From Tsar to Commissar: History of Russia” will be offered from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursdays, March 16 to May 18, in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the St. Paul campus. Dr. John Mazis, a native of Greece and assistant professor of Russian and European history at Hamline University, will explore the political, social, cultural and economic themes that characterized the evolution of Russia from a weak, second-rate state to one of Europe’s great powers during both its imperial and Soviet periods.
“Germany, Austria and Switzerland at the Heart of Europe: 200 B.C. through 2006” will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon Mondays from March 27 to May 22 in Thornton Auditorium on the university’s Minneapolis campus. Dr. Paul Schons, who has been teaching German at St. Thomas since 1967 and who founded its study-abroad programs, will examine the history of these three countries from before the birth of Christ to the present. Schons will include images, sounds and videos, as well as extensive internet references and e-mail supplements.
“Energy and Society: History, Consequences and Alternatives” will be offered from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays from March 29 to May 17 in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the St. Paul campus. Five faculty members and experts from the fields of energy, engineering and conservation will discuss how recent blackouts and oil-price increases can undermine the modern way of life. They will examine the development of the electricity system and petroleum economy, and alternatives that can help us reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
“Written That You Might Believe: Discipleship in John’s Gospel” will be offered from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursdays, March 30 to May 25, in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the St. Paul campus. Dr. Catherine Cory, a member of St. Thomas’ Theology Department since 1991 and now interim academic dean at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, will discuss the literary feature’s of John’s Gospel and some of its characters, especially those who are otherwise unknown from the other Gospels.
Returning to downtown Minneapolis this spring are three “Lunch ’n Learn” programs sponsored by the Center for Senior Citizens’ Education and the Medica Skyway Senior Center.
Dr. Art Rolnick, senior vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, will discuss “The Current State of the U.S. Economy” on Wednesday, March 8.
Felicia Weingarten, author of Ave Maria in Auschwitz: The True Story of a Jewish Girl in Poland, will read and talk about her autobiography on Friday, April 7.
Eric Black, a writer and columnist for the Star Tribune newspaper, will discuss “Journalism and Truth” on Friday, May 5.
Each luncheon program runs from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Room 201 (the Great Hall) of Opus Hall on the university’s Minneapolis campus. Cost of each lunch and talk is $20; partial scholarships are available.
The Center for Senior Citizens’ Education also offers one-to-one peer consultation services and a program that allows senior citizens to attend regular academic courses on a free, space-available basis.
For more information about the short courses or other programs, call the center at (651) 962-5188.