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Course Catalog > Description of Courses
MUSIC AS A MIRROR OF HISTORY  Moderator:  Pat De Titta (919-929-2129,   This is the second of a series of 45 minute lectures (Great Courses) that incorporates excerpts of classical music.   These detailed lectures offer a revelatory look at music through the lens of history.  The result is a view of the remarkable interface between the events of history and a rich musical repertoire from the time of Italy's quest for nationhood to the present.  This is as much a course about history as it is about music.  It reminds us that history is not only available by studying events, but also by examining many diverse forms of human expression, including great music.  The course is taught by Prof. Joseph Greenberg, a longtime favorite of our students.  Time will be allotted for discussion and additional information.  NOTE:  Both new students and those from the spring 2017 term are welcome. Wednesday, 11:00-12:30.

PERSONAL HISTORY  Moderator:  Bobbie Lubker (919-967-2996,  Our generation has lived through major historical events, all documented by historians.   But, only we can document our own personal experiences, reactions and perceptions during such dynamic times.   We will support each other's individual efforts to record in writing what we have lived through, so that our stories will not be lost to the next generation.   We will encourage and aid our dev-eloping a sense of accomplishment, as we convert memories and perceptions into written stories to make our writing more engaging to readers/listeners.   Thus, we'll write, read aloud our writing, listen to all and appreciate.   NOTE:  Both new students and those continuing from previous terms are welcome. Wednesday, 9:15-10:45.

THE SCIENCE OF EXTREME WEATHER    Moderators: Neil Stahl (919-357-0811, and Judith Barrett (919-533-6008,    Everyone talks about the weather, but joining our class will help you understand it, predict it, marvel at its glory and fierceness, and protect yourself from its hazards.   By watching and discussing 24 videos from Great Courses, featuring Professor Eric R. Snodgrass, Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois, we will learn how blizzards, flash floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, heat waves, and such happen – and what to do if you are experiencing one.   We will view two lectures per session.   A more detailed description of this course can be found at   Come and enjoy “the Weather” with us. Thursday, 11:00-12:30.

THE SCIENCE OF SELF   Moderator:  Bisharah Libbus (919-771-6567,   In this course, Prof. Lee Silver of Princeton University (and Great Courses), will review how genetics serves as the foundation of the organism and how the revolution in human genomics is shaping our understanding of human variation and personality – what goes into making a human.   He will focus on tracing the far-reaching principles discovered by Austrian monk and botanist Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-1884) – discoveries, titled Mendel's Laws:  how genes and chromosomes shed light on inheritance.   Specifical-ly, we will learn about the tools of genomics and biotechnology:  *how genomics and biotechnology opened doors into un-derstanding the function of genes; *how variation and evolution connect humans over wide spans of time; *how genetics helps to unlock brain chemistry, personality and mental disease; *how they control tissue differentiation; *how humans vary over wide spans of time; and *how evolution informs our past relations.   This is your chance to gain understanding of modern genetics and how it illuminates our understanding of human variation and personality. Thursday, 11:00-12:30.    

SELECTED PLAY READINGS & DISCUSSIONS  Moderators:  Meyer Liberman (919-417-0674, and Alan Tom (919-933-8972;  We will be selecting classic plays from such playwrights as Chekhov, Shaw, Ibsen, and others.  Members will read scenes, engage in discussions, and view movie renditions.   NOTE:  Class registration is limited to twelve. Tuesday, 11:00-12:30.


SHORT STORIES  Moderators:  Marcy Sacarakis (610-428-9916, and Jane Maske (919-265-4009,  Class members will discuss one story each week from the most current edition of eitherThe Best American Short Stories  or  The O. Henry Prize Stories, both available in paperback at Flyleaf Books and Amazon.  We will conduct lively discussions about the writing, themes, plots, characters and the story's relevance to us.   Each class ends with poetry readings, chosen by a member.   NOTE:  Both new and continuing students are welcome. Wednesday, 9:15-10:45.
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