Spring Term 2014 - Courses and Workshops

We are proud to offer the following courses and workshops for the Spring 2014 term. Our courses span a wide range of topics and special interests. While there are no exams or grades, some classes may assign at-home readings. Classes typically have 15-25 students, although some may have enrollments exceeding 50. Single-term membership entitles members to take three courses.

Restless Earth: The First 4 Billion Years

Restless Earth: The First 4 Billion Years

Instructor: Fred T. Mackenzie, Prof. Emer., UHM Oceanography and Geology and Geophysics
Dates: Tuesdays, February 4, 11, 18, 25
Time: 9:30am - 11:30am
Enrollment limit: 24
Location: Krauss Hall 111

Description: Earth is a continually evolving planet. In this class, we’ll address this evolution, concentrating on changes over time of Earth’s atmosphere, seas and life. Questions we’ll address are: What is the “Big Bang” of Earth origination? What are the “Goldilocks” and “Faint Young Sun” paradoxes? How did life evolve? What were the early primitive atmosphere and oceans like? Why were only bacteria and other prokaryotes around for nearly 3 billion years before the evolution of animals? What was the Snowball Earth? Following the “Big Bang” of organic evolution, how did the air and seas of Earth evolve in concert with organic evolution? Where is the planet going under human influences?

Jack Kerouac & The Beat Generation

Jack Kerouac & The Beat Generation

Instructor: Raymond Steiner, Ph.D., Philosophy
Dates: Wednesdays, February 5, 12, 19, 26
Time: 9am - 11am
Location: Krauss 112
Enrollment limit: 20

Description: Jack Kerouac was a uniquely American phenomenon. His best known novel, On the Road, is included in many serious anthologies of 20th Century American prose. Besides the innovative characteristics of his writing, Kerouac influenced succeeding generations and played a major part in shaping counter-culture ‘60s. It is my view that there is even more to Kerouac’s popularity and literary acceptance than his published works and that his passing signaled a fundamental change in the character of the country. Kerouac, along with three of his friends, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, formed the heart of what became known as the Beat Generation. This course will offer a brief sketch of the Beats and this literary genre -- an introduction for some and a fond review for others.

Cave Art and Frescoes in India

Cave Art and Frescoes in India

Instructor: Gita Kar, writer, story-teller
Dates: Fridays, February 21, 28; March 7
Time: 10am to Noon
Location: Krauss 111

Description: Much of the art from ancient India survives in caves and includes prehistoric drawings and paintings in natural caves as well as elaborate frescoes in rock-cut artificial caves such as those found at Ellora and Ajanta. In these three presentations, we’ll explore the history, geology, religious significance, and, most particularly, the magnificent art in these monumental caves. We’ll discover why the Ellora Cave complex, built into vertical cliff faces between the 5th and 10th Centuries, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bernstein and Dudamel: Charismatic Conductors

Bernstein and Dudamel: Charismatic Conductors

Instructor: Jim Hesse, Musician and Actor
Dates: Thursdays, Jan. 23, 30; Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27
Time: 1pm - 4pm
Enrollment limit: 24
Location: Krauss Hall 111

Description: The New York Times called Leonard Bernstein “one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history.” From 1954 on, he became nearly as famous for his acclaimed educational work in televised Young People’s Concerts as for his conducting of concerts with the world’s leading orchestras. Now, another conductor, Gustavo Dudamel, maestro of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is inspiring young musicians and drawing rave reviews worldwide. As a successful product of Venezuela’s music educational program, El Sistema, Dudamel is reaching out to youths in underserved areas and proving to be a passionate, inspiring conductor and educator for audiences of all ages. This course will offer a musical appreciation of the charismatic conductors, Bernstein and Dudamel.

Before the Beginning: Secrets of Space and Time

Before the Beginning: Secrets of Space and Time

Instructor: Harriet Natsuyama, PhD, Astrophysics
Dates: Monday, January 27; Wednesday January 29; Monday, Feb. 3
Time: 1 - 4pm, first 2 sessions; Noon - 4pm, February 3
Location: Krauss 112

Description: We know, from our previous course, how the universe was created from nothing. But what came before? What drives time and manifestation? How does it affect us, our daily lives?

This course is both a seminar and comprehensive workshop about the field of space and time as seen by ancient sages and modern physicists, as told by myths, poetry, and equations. It extends our previous courses on dark matter and energy, quantum mechanics, Mayan calendar, astronomy, and consciousness. We seek to understand how this world is being created anew--here and now.

Ethnicity in American Films

Ethnicity in American Films

Instructor: Susan Nance, Amer. Studies, BA, MA, ABD and AP Government/Politics, AP U.S. History
Dates: Mondays, February 10, 24; March 3, 10, 17, 31; April 7
No class: Presidents’ Day holiday and Spring Break
Time: 9am to Noon
Location: Krauss 112
Enrollment limit: 10

Description: The primary mythic cliché of America is that of the “melting pot.” With the obvious exceptions of those people already here and those brought against their will, Americans have been made up of people who chose to come here, regardless of individual reasons. How these disparate arrivals became one people will be the focus of this film class.

Exploring Natural Sacred Places of the World

Exploring Natural Sacred Places of the World

Instructor: Les Sponsel, Prof. Emer., UHM Anthropology
Dates: Wednesdays, March 5, 12, 19; April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; May 7, 14
No class: March 26
Time: 10:30am - Noon
Location: Krauss 111

Description: In this multi-media course that explores the intersection of ecology, religion, and peace, we will survey sacred aspects of mountains, rocks, caves, waters, animals, and plants throughout the world. Connections with tourism, pilgrimage, conservation, and spiritual ecology will be considered. This 10-session course aims to enhance awareness of sacred places in nature.

Culinary Cinema: The ‘60s

Culinary Cinema: The '60s

Instructor: Tom Sheeran
Dates: Wednesdays, February 19; March 12; April 9; May 14
Time: 3pm - 6 pm
Location: View films in Krauss 111. Map/directions to post-film restaurant sites will be provided.
Enrollment limit: 24

Description: The cultural revolution of the late 1960s is often reflected in the experimental and daring nature of films made in that era. The abolition of the restrictive Hayes Code also contributed to a greater freedom in representing sexuality and contemporary relationships. We reject the adage that says “...if you remember the ‘60s, you were'’t there...” and in this series revisit some of the land- mark films of the period that we remember as important in reflecting the momentous social and political changes of the time. The four films that we’ll review include:

As in previous Culinary Cinema classes, post-film dinners will be held at local restaurants, locations to be announced in advance of each film session. We aim for pleasant, quiet neighborhood places with reasonable prices and entrees mostly under $20. Participants will pay on-site for their own meals and drinks.

Raja Yoga: Integrating body, mind, and spirit

Raja Yoga: Integrating body, mind, and spirit

Instructor: Gita Kar, writer, story-teller, Raja Yoga practitioner of the Satyananda Yoga lineage.
Dates: Mondays, January 27; February 3, 10, 24; March 3, 10, 17, 31; April 7
No class: February 17 and March 24 for Spring Break
Time: 9:30am - 11:30am
Location: Krauss 113 (and other locales TBA)
Enrollment limit: 12

Description: In her life in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, where she lived for 39 years, Gita Kar was constantly surrounded by yogis and spiritual masters from the Bihar School of Yoga. Her mother Guru Prakash was one of the first practitioners of Swami Satyananda, founder of the Bihar School of Yoga. Gita began her training under Swami Satyananda Saraswati and continued her study and practice under the guidance of Guru Prakash. She lives and teaches in Minneapolis, MN, and is spending a few weeks this winter in Honolulu. Raja Yoga is a system of transformative health practices that integrate the physical, mental and spiritual energies of the practitioner. In this workshop, we’ll do simple body movements to help relieve and man- age physical discomfort. We’ll also practice several breathing techniques that produce specific health benefits, and learn how to harness and enhance our energy and enjoy the effects of meditation and deep yogic relaxation which help to reduce hypertension and stress levels. This workshop will offer a progressively inward journey through the body’s physical and subtle energies.

Life Writing Workshop

Life Writing Workshop

Instructor: Ann Rayson, MA, PhD, Assoc. Prof. English (retired) UHM; professional editor
Dates: Alternate Tuesdays, February 4, 18; March 4, 18; April 1, 15, 29
Time: 1:30pm to 3pm
Location: Krauss 112
Enrollment: 10

Description: This life writing workshop will explore the significant people, places, and events that have shaped our lives. We will share rough and finished writing; engage in creative writing exercises in class to prompts; and edit, revise, and peer review longer pieces of writing. The objective of the class is to gain a better understanding of self and culture and acquire techniques for more effective expression. Please bring the required text (see above) to every class session and be ready to participate in discussions and spot writing responses to prompts.

Writer’s Circle

Writer’s Circle

Dates: Alternate Tuesdays beginning January 28, with subsequent class meetings on February 11, 25; March 11; April 8, 22; May 6
No class: Spring Break, March 25
Time: 1pm - 3pm
Location: Krauss 112
Enrollment limit: 6

Description: Those with a yen to write are invited to participate in this circle of serious writers. As a peer-led group, we will take turns informally reading our own work for reaction and comment. Participants will have a chance to submit work on a regular basis. Previous participants will be given enrollment preference.

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