Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College

Winter 2023 Course Schedule

January 17 - March 6


No tests, no grades, just learning for the joy of learning!

Click on the course names below for individual course descriptions and instructor bios.

Registration is Open Now!


Sign up for the Winter Open House - Thursday, January 5 at 2:00 p.m. EST.

Classes marked limited registration may fill up quickly.

Our schedule includes courses online and in-person at Berkshire Community College, 1350 West Street, Pittsfield, MA.

Courses held online are recorded so if you miss one, or your schedule doesn't work for a particular course, you can request recordings and watch the class sessions on your own time. (Note: in-person classes are not recorded.)

To register by phone call the OLLI office at 413.236.2190.

We look forward to seeing you!

(Note: you need to be an OLLI at BCC member to register for courses. Membership information can be found here.)

2023 Winter Semester Course Schedule

Click on the course names below for full descriptions and instructor bios.

If you prefer to download a .pdf of this course listing, please click here.

MONDAYS

Times: 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. EST
Sessions: 4
Location: Zoom
Instructor: Marney Schorr
Limit: 15

Join art therapist, Marney Schorr, as we review, discuss and create images inspired by women artists who bravely challenged assumptions and defied expectations in the art world.

Times: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. EST
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom
Instructor: Jeff Mann

Today's Headlines is a moderated discussion course that provides an opportunity to voice your opinions on national and international issues.

Times: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. EST
Sessions: 6
Location: In-Person at BCC
Instructor: Elizabeth Young
Limit: 25

This course will explore six stories about fiction itself, as we see how they affect us artistically, psychologically, and politically, and experience even more pleasure in reading as a result!

Times: 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. EST
Sessions: 4
Location: Zoom
Instructors:
Bill Sturgeon and Francesca Spina

This course will discuss the unique and challenging differences between criminal offenders and terrorist/extremist offenders in a correctional environment on a domestic and international level.

Times: 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. EST
Sessions: 6
Location: In-Person at BCC
Instructor:
Greta Phinney
Limit: 12

This class will introduce the basics for those who are new to mindfulness meditation, and provide ongoing support for those to whom the practice is familiar. All are welcome!

Times: 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. EST
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom
Instructor:
Bryan McKersie

CRISPR technology has brought a revolution in biology, medicine, and agriculture because we can now modify the genetic makeup of any organism, including ourselves. Which of these technologies should we enthusiastically embrace, which should we ban, and how should we regulate these applications?

TUESDAYS

Times: 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. EST
Sessions: 6
Location: In-Person at BCC
Instructor:
Dr. William Cameron

Limit: 22

Aristotle’s view of “the good life” is markedly at odds with modern views of ethics. We will look briefly at Aristotle’s divergence from his teacher, Plato, on whether anyone does bad things knowingly.

Times: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. EST
Sessions: 4
Location: In-Person at BCC
Instructor: Harriet Wetstone

Limit: 30

Each session features a genre of chamber music including information about musical and historical context, and discussion about the ways in which composers, performers and listeners contribute to the nature of the listening experience.

Times: 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. EST
Sessions: 5
Location: In-Person at BCC
Instructor: Michael Feldberg

Limit: 80

The United States has become deeply divided over the role that religious values should play in shaping law, public policy, education, health care and other social issues. This course will explore the nation’s history of religious liberty and some of the complex legal and moral questions raised by the First Amendment’s prohibition of an "establishment" of religion and its guarantee of religion’s "free exercise."

Times: 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. EST
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom
Instructor: Jeannie Woods

This course will examine three contemporary plays that dramatize the tension between assimilating to American culture and preserving one’s native culture, the daily battle against discrimination, and the courage it takes to carve out a new life and identity in a strange and often hostile land.

WEDNESDAYS

Times: 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. EST
Sessions: 4 with additional in-person session
Location: Zoom and 2/15 In-Person session
Instructor: Ann Berman

This play prompts us to awaken our faith in the power of love and forgiveness, as well as in the power of theater. We will cover the text through reading aloud and discussion, and presentation of supplementary material.

Times: 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. EST
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom
Instructor: Jerry Schaufeld

Limit: 18

There is an endless array of new products, services and technologies available to us on a daily basis. What are the resources that allow this to happen? Who are the inventors… and what are the processes that allow this to happen?

Times: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. EST
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom and In-Person at BCC
Instructor: Katherine Kidd

Limit: 30 for In-Person; No limit for Zoom

The death of Queen Elizabeth and numerous new scholarly studies are raising many questions about the nature of the UK’s imperial actions and their multifaceted legacy. We will consider aspects of the legacy of the British empire in Canada, Sierra Leone, India and Pakistan, Kenya, and Malaysia.

Times: 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. EST
Sessions: 5
Location: Zoom and In-Person at BCC
Instructor: Peter Podol

Limit: 30 for In-Person; No limit for Zoom

After an overview of the history and evolution of theater in Spain this course will examine and analyze closely four plays.

Times: 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. EST
Sessions: 6 sessions with 2 additional optional 
Location: Zoom
Instructor: Kate Sontag

Limit: 20

By discussing a wide variety of ekphrastic poems and their respective artworks, we will examine the techniques poets use to draw inspiration from, interrogate, celebrate, and transform the visual into the verbal as well as share our own reactions.

THURSDAYS

Times: 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. EST
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom
Instructors: John Dickson and Guests

Each class will feature a historical society from a different town each week, whose historians will talk about significant events and people in their past, as well as their society’s planned programs.

Times: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. EST
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom
Instructor: Nancy G. Walters

Limit: 25

We will examine William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying in terms of how Faulkner experiments with language and employs cubism and country music to create the work that he intended to be his “tour de force.”

Times: 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. EST
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom
Instructor: Jamie Keller

Join me as we read the myths in Latin and consider the language, poetry and interpretations of some of the greatest stories ever told!

Times: 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. EST
Sessions: 4
Location: Zoom
Instructor: Linda Goff

This class will teach you the basics of card making. Instruction will build your confidence in designing and decorating cards that will please your friends and family!

Times: 3:30 - 6:00 p.m. EST
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom
Instructor: Richard Matturro

In this class we will view all six of Leni Riefenstahl’s feature films in their entirety, with time set aside to consider Riefenstahl’s history, her contradictions, and her art.

FRIDAYS

Times: 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. EST
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom
Instructor: Carl Atkins
, MD

In this course, we’ll talk about how to understand Shakespeare’s way of speaking and, more importantly, how to follow the story he tells in The Sonnets.

Times: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. EST
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom
Instructors: Peter Bluhm and Tony Segal

Join us to discuss science news appearing in the Tuesday “Science Times” section of The New York Times, plus magazines and journals.

Times: 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. EST
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom
Instructors: Various Presenters

There will be five instructors for this course, a perennial OLLI favorite, who will update the attendees on recent advances in ophthalmology, cardiology, vascular surgery and the All of Us research program.


Please note that you must be an OLLI at BCC member and have created a login account to register for classes online. How to create a login account. You can register by phone 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Eastern at 413.236.2190.


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Partners in education with Williams College, Bard College at Simon's Rock and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

1350 West Street | Pittsfield, MA 01201 | 413.236.2190 | olli@berkshirecc.edu

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