Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College

Winter 2024 Course Schedule

January 22 - March 4


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

Click on the course names below for individual course descriptions and instructor bios. All times are Eastern.

Online registration is closed. Please call 413-236-2190 to add or register for courses.

Where are classes held?

  • Our schedule includes courses online and in-person 
  • In-person classes this semester will be held the following locations
    • Berkshire Community College, Pittsfield, MA
    • Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA
    • Stockbridge Library, Stockbridge, MA 
    • and on the hiking trail!

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

Need help deciding what to sign up for?

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.)

2024 Winter Semester Course Schedule

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

MONDAYS

Instructor: Kathleen Duguay
Times: 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom

This class will reveal many of the apparent “mysteries” of our language, while we explore the origins and progression of the English language throughout its long and circuitous history.

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

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

Headlines will have a one-week delay and will start on January 29 and extend to March 11.

Instructor: Bryan McKersie
Times:
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom

Through lecture, videos and discussion, learn about CRISPR technology and the alternative ways that it is being used to change our food.

Instructor: Buck Beasom
Times: 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Sessions: 4 - please note dates
Location: Zoom

This course traces the development of military aviation during World War II, the designers and fliers who participated in that development and how that process led to the greatest clash of machines in the history of warfare.

Please note dates on course description page.

TUESDAYS

Instructor: Katherine Kidd
Times: 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Sessions: 6
Location: Hybrid - Zoom and in-person at BCC
Limit: 25 in-person, no limit on Zoom

This course re-examines the legacy of the British empire through the course of colonization including economic, social and political dimensions.

Instructor: Nancy Walters
Times:
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom
Limit: 25

We will examine the novel in terms of how the author experiments with language and incorporates the political, historical, and religious context of Victorian Dublin.

CLOSED - AT CAPACITY

Instructor: Ken Stark
Times:
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Sessions: 6
Location: In-person at the Berkshire Museum

Mily Balakirev, César Cui, Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Borodin worked together to create a distinct Russian national style of classical music. We will explore their biographies, listen to their music, and discover how they changed the face and the history of the genre of classical music.

Instructor: Lou-Ellen Barkan
Times: 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom
Limit: 10

In this workshop-style course, participants will use the art and craft of storytelling to transform their personal story into one that connects with readers.

CLOSED - AT CAPACITY

WEDNESDAYS

Instructor: Thaddeus Kubis
Times: 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Sessions: 4
Location: In-person at BCC

Limit: 12

Looking to enhance your travel based photographic skill set? This 4-week workshop-style course will allow you to “Shoot like a Pro!”

Instructor: Jamie Keller
Times: 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom

In this course, participants will translate Ovid’s poems and letter from Penelope to Odysseus and from Dido to Aeneas.

Instructor: Mary Rogers
Times:
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom
Limit: 25

Explore how Chaucer plays with his text in the context of his sources and the literary, social, and political environment of his day. Prepare to have fun -- remember, this is Chaucer!

CLOSED - AT CAPACITY

Instructor: Don Barkin
Times:
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Sessions: 6
Location: In-person at Stockbridge Library
Limit: 15

Explore how poets capture certain places to look into the power of place to enchant and animate dreams, wounds, and values.

Note: In case of inclement weather this course will meet on Zoom.

CLOSED - AT CAPACITY

Instructor: Christine Casey
Times:
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom

Come join us for a weekly focus on a single opera (one per session), including a brief biography of the composer, librettist, first performances and artists, followed by a slideshow of significant scenes in the opera, paired with audio excerpts from an exceptional recording of that opera.

Instructor: Kate Sontag
Times: 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Sessions: 8
Location: Zoom
Limit: 20

We will consider the evolution of how poets respond to the natural world through observation, meditation, witness, and environmental consciousness.

This class will not be recorded.

THURSDAYS

Instructor: Brian Hailes
Times: 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Sessions: 5
Location: Hybrid - Zoom and in-person at BCC
Limit: 25 in-person, no limit on Zoom

The course will consider what we mean by classical music and will include a brief history, an introduction to the most common forms such as symphonies and concertos, the importance of great composers such as Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, an introduction to opera, and an overview and discussion on how to listen to and what to listen for in classical music.

Instructor: Harriet Wetstone
Times:
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Sessions: 4
Location: In-person at BCC
Limit: 25

This course will explore the progression from classical to romantic to modern piano composition and discuss the ways in which the piano repertory has woven itself into the fabric of our lives.

Instructor: Noel Staples Freeman
Times: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Sessions: 6
Location: In-person at BCC
Limit: 20

This course will provide a foundation for understanding and performing African rooted dance styles. It's an excellent way for participants to get acquainted with the basics.

CLOSED - AT CAPACITY

Instructor: John and Katherine Kidd
Times: 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Sessions: 6
Location: In-person at Various Locations
Limit: 12

Join us for winter hiking on trails in central Berkshire County. Please read the full description for information on trail types, lengths, etc.

     CLOSED - AT CAPACITY

Instructor: Jeanne Randorf
Times: 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom
Limit: 25

Through Colette’s artful storytelling and profound insights into human nature we will examine the lives of those who lived on the fringes of ‘polite society’. Come join us to reflect on a world that was and is.

CLOSED - AT CAPACITY

Instructor: Laycolaion Freeman
Times:
1:30 – 2:45 p.m.
Sessions: 6
Location: In-person at BCC
Limit: 12

This course will teach active older adults of all abilities basic self defense, situational awareness and personal safety tips in a safe and supportive environment.

CLOSED - AT CAPACITY

Instructor: Richard Matturro
Times:
3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom

The movie is considered one of the best films ever made, but the man remains a mystery. We will watch two films and discuss Lawrence’s complicated life and his efforts to prevent the intractable Middle East conflicts that exist to this day.

FRIDAYS

Instructor: Ron Strickland
Times: 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Sessions: 5
Location: Zoom

Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness presents a stark critique of nineteenth century colonialism and capitalism. This course will examine Conrad’s work through historical and sociopolitical lenses, supplemented by clips from three filmed versions.

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

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

Instructor: Mary Jane Incorvia Mattina with Guests
Times: 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Sessions: 6
Location: Zoom

Join six medical professionals exploring advances in medicine with topics including: aging, colorectal diseases, access to medical care in North Adams, cancer care, plastic surgery, and dentistry.


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 from 9:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. Eastern at 413.236.2190.


Sign up for our free email newsletter, and don't miss out on our great programs!
Support OLLI at Berkshire Community College and lifelong learning!

OLLI: the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College
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

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software