Fall/Winter 2020-21 Courses

ONLINE in 2020

All Fall/Winter 20/21 Courses will be Online via Zoom

If you would like a low-key practice session to become more familiar with Zoom, please email Michou for additional information.

September 2020

Tuesday, Sept 15, 2020
10-11 a.m.
FREE

Zoom Jumpstart is an interactive course to introduce you to the basic operation and options available to a Zoom user. Students will receive detailed instructions on how to install the Zoom application on their computer and information about the platform itself. The session will introduce students to how we will hold courses and interest groups this fall. A link will be emailed for the session, along with instructions. At the time of the session, class, students will follow the instructions using their computer, which will connect them to the Zoom session. The instructor will then walk them through the basic functions and options of the Zoom platform, demonstrate some of the features, practice using the features with them, and answer questions or address issues. The session will last about an hour.

Instructor: Tim Surratt

Tim Surratt holds a BS in Chemistry from U of Delaware and a PhD in Chemical Physics from Cal Tech. He did Post-Doctoral Studies in Physics at the University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign. Tim worked for 23 years at AT&T Bell Labs in Naperville IL as an engineer, computer architect, and manager. He subsequently served as the Quality Director for WMS Gaming, a slot machine company, for 7 years.

Register for Zoom Jumpstart 9/15


Wednesday, Sept 16, 2020
2-3 p.m.
FREE

Zoom Jumpstart is an interactive course to introduce you to the basic operation and options available to a Zoom user. Students will receive detailed instructions on how to install the Zoom application on their computer and information about the platform itself. The session will introduce students to how we will hold courses and interest groups this fall. A link will be emailed for the session, along with instructions. At the time of the session, class, students will follow the instructions using their computer, which will connect them to the Zoom session. The instructor will then walk them through the basic functions and options of the Zoom platform, demonstrate some of the features, practice using the features with them, and answer questions or address issues. The session will last about an hour.

Instructor: Tim Surratt


Tim Surratt holds a BS in Chemistry from U of Delaware and a PhD in Chemical Physics from Cal Tech. He did Post-Doctoral Studies in Physics at the University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign. Tim worked for 23 years at AT&T Bell Labs in Naperville IL as an engineer, computer architect, and manager. He subsequently served as the Quality Director for WMS Gaming, a slot machine company, for 7 years.

 

Register for Zoom Jumpstart 9/16

Thursday, Sept 17, 2020
10-11 a.m.
FREE

Zoom Jumpstart is an interactive course to introduce you to the basic operation and options available to a Zoom user. Students will receive detailed instructions on how to install the Zoom application on their computer and information about the platform itself. The session will introduce students to how we will hold courses and interest groups this fall. A link will be emailed for the session, along with instructions. At the time of the session, class, students will follow the instructions using their computer, which will connect them to the Zoom session. The instructor will then walk them through the basic functions and options of the Zoom platform, demonstrate some of the features, practice using the features with them, and answer questions or address issues. The session will last about an hour.

Instructor: Tim Surratt

Tim Surratt holds a BS in Chemistry from U of Delaware and a PhD in Chemical Physics from Cal Tech. He did Post-Doctoral Studies in Physics at the University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign. Tim worked for 23 years at AT&T Bell Labs in Naperville IL as an engineer, computer architect, and manager. He subsequently served as the Quality Director for WMS Gaming, a slot machine company, for 7 years.

Register for Zoom Jumpstart (Phone/Tablet - morning) 9/17 


Thursday, Sept 17, 2020
2-3 p.m.
FREE

Zoom Jumpstart is an interactive course to introduce you to the basic operation and options available to a Zoom user. Students will receive detailed instructions on how to install the Zoom application on their computer and information about the platform itself. The session will introduce students to how we will hold courses and interest groups this fall. A link will be emailed for the session, along with instructions. At the time of the session, class, students will follow the instructions using their computer, which will connect them to the Zoom session. The instructor will then walk them through the basic functions and options of the Zoom platform, demonstrate some of the features, practice using the features with them, and answer questions or address issues. The session will last about an hour. ;

Instructor: Tim Surratt

Tim Surratt holds a BS in Chemistry from U of Delaware and a PhD in Chemical Physics from Cal Tech. He did Post-Doctoral Studies in Physics at the University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign. Tim worked for 23 years at AT&T Bell Labs in Naperville IL as an engineer, computer architect, and manager. He subsequently served as the Quality Director for WMS Gaming, a slot machine company, for 7 years.

Register for Zoom Jumpstart (Phone/Tablet - afternoon) 9/17

Tuesday, Sept 22, 2020
10 –11 a.m.
FREE

As the Covid-19 epidemic spreads, people want to understand the science behind the most pressing questions. How do viruses spread, enter, reproduce, damage, and exit the body? How are viruses diagnosed and treated? What is herd immunity and how is it achieved? Why is a virus that is so similar to influenza so much deadlier? How will a vaccine be developed? Learn how to interpret new information using these core principles. With all the nonsense in the media, learn how to separate myth and speculation from solid science. No previous science background is needed for this lecture.

Instructor: Dr. Adam Moles

Dr. Adam Moles teaches medical microbiology at Western Washington University.

Register for Science Matters

October 2020

Wednesdays, Oct 7, 14, and 21, 2020 
2-3 p.m. 
$36 for members, $45 for non-members 

From 1929 to 1939 the United States, the richest nation in the world, suffered from unheard of high unemployment, dangerous public unrest, and a plummeting economy due to a severe economic collapse. President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the myriad of programs dubbed “Alphabet Soup,” was meant to mitigate the effects of the decade long Great Depression. These programs not only rescued the economy, but changed forever the relationship between the American people and the federal government. Thus, the three R’s of the New Deal—Reform, Relief, and Recovery—created the regulatory state, increased economic security for a broad swath of Americans, and laid the foundations for a national welfare policy. We will use the Social Security Act of 1935 as a guidepost for discussing the proper role of the government. 

Registration ends Sept. 30   
 
Instructor: Dr. June Hopkins 

 
Dr. June Hopkins, professor emerita from Georgia Southern University, Armstrong Campus, taught 20th Century American history there in Savannah for 18 years. She received her PhD in American history from Georgetown University in 1997 and is working on her third book. 

Register for Alphabet Soup

Fridays, Oct 9, 16 and 23, 2020 
2-3 p.m. 
$36 for members, $45 for non-members 

 
When we connect to the internet and interact with various web sites and programs, we both leave behind information about our activity and potentially open ourselves to various forms of electronic intrusion. This ranges from the information kept about our online activity by applications such as Google, to the interception of our communications in unsecured networks, to cracking your passwords and accessing your personal information. This course will explore the various ways by which we make ourselves vulnerable. We will explore and explain some technologies that can be used to mitigate intrusions, and will provide examples and approaches to use those technologies. 

Registration ends Oct. 2

Instructor: Tim Surratt 
 
Tim Surratt holds a BS in Chemistry from U of Delaware and a PhD in Chemical Physics from Cal Tech. He did Post-Doctoral Studies in Physics at the University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign. Tim worked for 23 years at AT&T Bell Labs in Naperville IL as an engineer, computer architect, and manager. He subsequently served as the Quality Director for WMS Gaming, a slot machine company, for 7 years. 

Register for Securing Your Digital Life

Tuesdays, Oct 13, 20 and 27, 2020 
10-11 a.m. 
$36 for members, $45 for non-members 

 
During the postwar era, U.S. rebuilt Japan and Europe, provided millions in foreign aid, built interstate highways, educated millions of GIs and put a man on the moon. Yet now we have crumbling infrastructure and a 21 trillion-dollar debt; we can’t afford our space program; Social Security and Medicare will soon be insolvent. Our educational system, once second to none, is floundering. How does this all compute? It doesn’t seem to make sense. We can answer the question of how modern industrialized societies, including the U.S., become great and how they lose their greatness, by understanding how they create and lose wealth. First we’ll see how modern market-based money economies create or lose surplus wealth. The second session will explore the impact of specific policy proposals on wealth. 

Registration ends Oct. 6
 
Instructor: Dr. Robin Rieck 
 
Dr. Robin Rieck earned an MBA in 1975 and Ph.D. in Business in 1983 from the UW. At WWU he taught Business, Government and Society and Business Statistics from 1981 through 2002. He developed Bingo Systems for nonprofits and served as commissioner/manager/player for the Aztecs baseball team. In the 2000s he helped rebuild a sailboat, managed a machine shop, and runs his own handyman business. It is important enough that I strongly believe that it should be offered before the November elections. 

Register for Societies

Thursdays, Oct 15, 22, 29 & Nov 5, 2020 
1:30-3:30 p.m. 
$96 for members, $120 for non-members 

 
We are now down to the last critical weeks before the General Election. What are the candidates’ positions in domestic and foreign policy and what are voters paying attention to? How much money is being raised and where does it come from? How do traditional and social media influence the voters? Do the debates matter? Insider vs. outsider, older vs. younger, right vs. left, information vs. “gut”…how will the voters decide? Our last class is after the election. What do the results tell us about our values? What is the future?

Registration ends Oct. 8
 
Instructor: Michou M. Yenokida 
 
Michou M Yenokida has a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. in Counselor Education from San Jose State University. She developed an intense interest in politics and taught Election courses for Osher in CA in 2008, for UW in 2012, and  for ALL in 2016 and 2018. She currently oversees the start-up of ALL Interest Groups and facilitates the World Affairs Discussion Group, now in its fifth year.

Register for Election 2020

Wednesdays, Oct 28, Nov 4 and Nov 11, 2020 
2-3 p.m.
$36 for members, $45 for non-members

One of the most admired American poets, Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) wrote vividly about creatures, places, and experiences with sly humor and without a trace of autobiographical self-pity that characterized her contemporaries. Consultant on poetry to the Library of Congress (Poet Laureate), winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the National Book Award and 16 others, and the first American and first woman to win the Neustad International Prize for Literature, she is nevertheless not well known to the reading public today. But even if you don’t consider yourself a poetry reader, you will enjoy becoming acquainted with her remarkable work. This class will be a conversation, looking carefully at just a few of her poems, and focusing on the way they achieve their effects. 

Registration ends Oct. 21
 
Instructor: Minda Rae Amiran 
 
Minda Rae Amiran, Professor Emerita of the State University of New York at Fredonia, started teaching English as a graduate student at Harvard University in 1954 and continued at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, and SUNY Fredonia, retiring in 1999. Her field is modern American literature with an emphasis on poetry and literary theory.

 

Register for Seeing

November 2020

Friday, Nov 13, 2020 
2-4 p.m. 
$24 for members, $30 for non-members 

Participants will learn about the structure, compositional techniques, and special characteristics of Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata Op. 57. Dr. Zavislak will discuss, demonstrate, and highlight unique elements that make this piece so powerful and emotionally stirring. The course will include a live performance of this sonata in its complete form by the instructor, American pianist Kay Zavislak.  

Registration ends Nov. 6

Instructor: Dr. Kay Zavislak 
 
Dr. Zavislak enjoys a multi-faceted career as a performer, teacher, adjudicator, and clinician. As a performer, Dr. Zavislak has given solo recitals and chamber concerts regionally and nationally, in addition to public performances overseas. She was Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Idaho Lionel Hampton School of Music and is currently on the faculty at the WWU Department of Music. 

Register for "Appasionata"

Saturdays, Nov 14 and 21, 2020 
10-11:30 a.m. 
$36 for members, $45 for non-members 

 
Are all men created equal? What hinders us from discovering what is true? These are the major questions in political philosophy to which we will devote ourselves over the course of two meetings. Our guides for the first question are Aristotle and Thomas Hobbes; to the second, Plato and Immanuel Kant. No knowledge of philosophy is required or expected, only a willingness to think and to converse. Handouts will be provided. No prior reading required.  

Registration ends Nov. 7

Instructor: Donald Antenen 

Donald Antenen studied Greek, Latin, & Biblical Hebrew at the University of Pennsylvania and the Liberal Arts at St. John's College in Annapolis. While in Philadelphia, he founded and led an annual community seminar on Plato. He now lives with his wife and daughters in Fairhaven.

Register for Political Philosophy

Tuesday, Nov 17, Wednesday, Nov 18 and Thursday, Nov 19, 2020 
2-4 p.m. 
$72 for members, $90 for non-members


While Europe was going through the Dark Middle Ages, science and learning were thriving in the Near and Middle East. We will briefly survey Islamic contributions to modern Western civilization and explore how the Arabs revived and built upon academic areas such as chemistry, medicine, mathematics, optics, and astronomy.
 
We will cover the founding of the city of Baghdad, the development of the House of Wisdom and its libraries, and an introduction to the translation movement and some of the scientists who translated the Greek, Hindu and Persian works, developed and built upon them. The study of medicine will include the training of physicians and the establishment of hospitals. We will follow how knowledge was transferred from Baghdad and the eastern Muslim world to Andalusia and Europe.
 
Knowledge of mathematics and science is not necessary for this class, just an interest history and the development of ideas that led to the Renaissance.. Lina Zeine was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. Lina retired as Professor Emerita from WWU’s department of Communication Sciences and Disorder. Topics in religious history are her passion. Lina has presented this course, and several other history courses on frequent occasions at Baha’i summer schools.

Registration ends Nov. 10

Instructor: Lina Zeine 

Lina Zeine was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. Lina retired as Professor Emerita from WWU’s department of Communication Sciences and Disorder. Topics in religious history are her passion. Lina has presented this course, and several other history courses on frequent occasions at Baha’i summer schools. 

Register for The Golden Age of Islam

December 2020

Tuesdays and Thursdays, Dec 1, 3, 8, and 10, 2020 
10-11 a.m. 
$48 for members, $60 for non-members 

It used to be that grandparents sat at the hearth with their grandchildren, filling the long dark evenings with stories of their lives and ancestors. Today, media, distance, and busyness often separate the generations, and our stories are not told or remembered. This interactive workshop will show you creative ways to pass on your family stories to the younger generation so they will not be forgotten. We will learn ways to find out more about your family stories and explore specific ways to pass on those stories and how to tell those stories effectively.  

Registration ends Nov. 24

Instructor: Rosemary Scott Vohs 

Rosemary Scott Vohs was classically trained in performance arts in her native England where she began presenting literature at the age of 6 with the London Academy for Music and Dramatic art. Rosemary teaches a variety of courses in storytelling, children’s literature, and readers' theatre for Woodring College of Education at Western Washington University. An award-winning performer, she has told tales in England, Australia, SE Asia and Canada as well the Pacific Northwest.

Register for Heirloom Storytelling

Wednesdays, Dec 2, 9 and 16, 2020 
10-11 a.m. 
$36 for members, $45 for non-members

The love affair between humans and dogs is a fascinating and unique story of self-domestication and co-evolution. This class explores how dogs evolved, how the partnership between dogs and humans came about and changed through the years, what makes dogs different from other domesticated animals, how dogs communicate with each other and humans, and how we can improve our dogs’ lives through better understanding of their needs and the messages they are trying to communicate.  

Registration ends Nov. 25

Instructor: Laurel Saville 

Laurel Saville is an author, communications consultant, and dog trainer. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature, a certificate in Applied Animal Behavior, and is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. 

Register for Dogs and Humans

Tuesdays and Thursdays, Dec 8 and 10, 2020 
2-3 p.m. 
$24 for members, $30 for non-members

Little is known about World War II on the home front and the terrible human price that was paid rebuilding our depression-era factories to overcome the Axis powers in four short years. FDR’s Lend-Lease program and the subsequent Alaska-Siberia air route (ALSIB), stretching 6,000 miles from Great Falls, Montana to Krasnoyarsk, Russia played major roles in the Allied victory. In 2015, Mr. Lang flew the route in the back seat of a WWII era T-6 Texan as part of an international team he helped organize. Discover Willow Run where Ford turned out a B-24 every hour; the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), America’s first female military pilots, unrecognized until recently; the building of the Alcan (Alaska) Highway, second only in difficulty to the Panama Canal; Canada’s role, and the rescue of downed pilots by the Indigenous peoples; and, the handoff to Russian pilots desperately waiting for aircraft in Fairbanks.  

Registration ends Dec. 1

Instructor: Craig Lang 

Craig Lang is a writer, educator, and international speaker. He has presented at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum; The National Press Club; Seattle’s Museum of Flight and universities in the United States and Russia. He has published articles in Warbird Digest Magazine; Sibirica–Berghahn Journals: Oxford Press; and has been recognized in Congressional Record. Craig is a graduate of Western Washington University and member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). 

Register for ALSIB

Monday Dec 14 and Thursday Dec 17, 2020
10-11 a.m. 
$24 for members, $30 for non-members 

April 1 marked the 24th National Census of the United States. The Census has been controversial all the way back to 1790 when President George Washington became the first official to complain about an undercount. Congress hated the results of one Census so much they refused to do the constitutionally required reallocation of House seats.

Other arguments have included: How confidential is (and should be) the data collected? Are the questions too personal? Should we adjust the figures, or perhaps use a sample survey, which could be more accurate and less costly? Have working women been misrepresented? Are the homeless and minorities being counted? And, of course, should non-citizens be numbered at all? We will discuss 240 years of debate over the most government’s most expensive peacetime project.

Registration ends Dec. 7

Instructor: Robert Lopresti

Robert Lopresti was a government information librarian at Western Washington University for more than thirty years. His book on women in government statistics won the Lane/Saunders Research Award.

Register for U.S. Census

January 2021

Tuesdays, Jan 12 and 19, 2021 
10-12:30 p.m. 
$60 for members, $75 for non-members 

The Library’s immense collections are the basis for online programs and activities that address today’s need to understand recent confusion and uncertainty brought on by a world-wide pandemic, economic decline, and national social unrest. The focus will be learning to access a selection of materials available from the Library of Congress website that explore issues at the forefront of our national debate. This class introduces ways of accessing concerts, lectures, interviews, discussions, book talks, and webcasts that offer cultural engagement and intellectual inspiration on issues of contemporary concern. Those polarizing topics that have sparked culture wars, racial discord, and protests often seem overwhelming, but this class offers an online source of engagement and understanding from the world’s largest library. 

Registration ends Jan. 5, 2021

Instructor: Peter R. Young 

Peter R. Young has over five decades of professional library managerial and leadership experience in college, research, and national libraries. He holds a Master’s Degree in Library Service from Columbia University. With 20 years of experience in seven positions at the Library of Congress, and as Director of the National Agricultural Library and the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, he currently serves as Chair of the Whatcom County Library Foundation.

Register for The Library of Congress

Date: Wednesdays, Jan 13, 20, and 27, 2021 
10-11 a.m. 
$36 for members, $45 for non-members 

Climate disasters are now main line media events captivating a lot of public interest. People, businesses and financial institutions around the world are engaged as never before. However, in the ten years since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) there has been much talk but not a lot of action on the part of governments. Communities, including Bellingham are on the front line now looking at the hard choices that need to be made. In this class, David will help us make sense of the current science, and show examples of what people are doing in the US, Europe, and China. He will give us a glimpse at what we should all be preparing for in the future, including what we can each do to reduce our impacts. 

Registration ends Jan. 6, 2021

Instructor: David Roberts 

David Roberts is the principal at Kulshan Services, a consulting firm in Bellingham, where his focus is on water shed management, climate change and community resilience. David has his MS degree from University of Washington and worked for 27 years for the State of Washington in the Department of Ecology and Department of Natural Resources prior to starting his own firm. 

Register for Climate Change

Thursdays, Jan 14 and 21, 2021 
10-11:30 a.m. 
$36 for members, $45 for non-members 

Kabbalah, or Jewish Mysticism, is a beautiful tradition steeped in ancient texts and the wisdom of sages who wanted to delve deeper into many of the same questions that we ponder today. Nevertheless, it was unpopular with, and even ridiculed by, Jewish scholars and other spiritual seekers until recent years. In this two-session course, students will gain a basic understanding of what Kabbalah studies, how it is to be learned, and why its resurgence is important in today’s world. Students will examine various Jewish sacred texts from the Torah, Zohar and Hasidic masters. They will learn the terminology necessary to comprehend Kabbalistic ideas and they will discuss the topics of creation, God, and free-will. 

Registration ends Jan. 7, 2021

Instructor: Rabbi Joshua Samuels 

Rabbi Joshua Samuels has been serving Congregation Beth Israel in Bellingham as it’s spiritual leader for 8 years. He is an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion rabbinical school. One of his greatest joys was works with Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, who is considered one of the foremost authorities on Kabbalah in our generation.

Register for An Intro to the Kabbalah