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Course Catalog

Check out all 71 ways to exercise your mind!

We offer courses in 20 subject categories, led by our accomplished faculty.
Classes are held in numerous locations in the Sarasota/Manatee area at convenient times.

The classes at PSA are intimate, seminar-style courses, from 4 to 8 weeks long.
They are designed to meet the needs of people whose curiosity and intellect refuse to retire.

Click on the course codes below to see full course descriptions and to sign up.

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Fall 2014
ART   F14A01-A 2014-15 Test Course
4 weeks Mondays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  10/20/201411/10/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $1
This is a course to test 2014-15 course registration.
, October 20-November 10
A18
Kathy Black
  F14A01-LWR Flights of Fancy: A Brief History of Birds in Art
6 weeks Thursdays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  10/23/201412/04/2014
 •  State College of Florida - Lakewood Ranch  •  $85
(No class Nov 27)
Bird representations in art have conveyed spiritual, psychological and decorative purposes. These seminars address the uses of ornithological imagery in art and literature, examining man’s fascination with birds and their emotional significance in every period of human history.
, October 23-December 04
135
Kevin Costello
CIRCUS  F14C01-SCA Step Right Up! You Are Never Too Old to Join the Circus
4 weeks Wednesdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  10/22/201411/12/2014
 •  Sailor Circus Arena  •  $60
Circus is the art form responsible for making Sarasota world famous. Learn from Circus Stars with their amazing skills and astonishing daring. Topics include: Legacy and Vision; History of the Circus from England to America; Circus Acts and Center Ring Stars; The Serious Art of Clowning; The Education of a Professional Circus Clown; Portrait of a Circus Family; History of Sailor Circus; Circus Arts and the Times. For more information about The Circus Arts Conservatory and Sailor Circus Academy, visit www.CircusArts.org.
, October 22-November 12
Karen Bell
 | 
Robin Eurich
CURRENT ISSUES  F14CI01-LWR Discussing Controversial Issues Part I
4 weeks Thursdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  10/23/201411/13/2014
 •  State College of Florida - Lakewood Ranch  •  $60
Where do you stand on the important issues of the day? Your opinions on the issues are the focus of this course. At the beginning, a vote is taken to see which side of an issue the class favors. At the end, another vote is taken to see if any views have changed.
, October 23-November 13
135
Tom Dietrich
EARTH & BEYOND  F14E01-ARG The Science and Art of Forecasting Weather
4 weeks Tuesdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  10/21/201411/11/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $60
Become your own "meteorologist" using forecast models, weather satellites, and observations to understand changing weather patterns. Learn how to protect yourself and your family from the weather dangers that face us throughout the year.
, October 21-November 11
A1
Bob Harrigan
  F14E02-A Introduction to Florida’s Birds
4 weeks Wednesdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  10/22/201411/12/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $60
More than 600 species of birds have been recorded in Florida, and close to 300 different species in Sarasota County alone. Learn how to identify some of the most common birds by sound, behavior and habitat. One classroom session and three field trips.
, October 22-November 12
A5
Jeanne Dubi
HISTORY  F14H01-ARG Christopher Columbus: Hero or Villain?
6 weeks Mondays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  10/20/201412/01/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
(No Class November 24)
Columbus was a transitional figure between the Medieval and Early Modern worlds. His historical reputation has swung from hero (1892) to villain (1992). Study/discuss all four of his momentous voyages so you can draw your own conclusions.
, October 20-December 01
A1
Jay Davis
  F14H02-ARG Pius XII and the Holocaust: Complicit Coward or Prudent Pastor?
4 weeks Tuesdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  10/21/201411/11/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $60
Declared “Venerable” by the Catholic Church in 2009, Pope Pius XII is one of the most controversial religious figures in modern times because of his apparent public ambiguity regarding the persecution of Jews by the Nazis during World War II. In this course we will explore the arguments of both those who proclaim him a hero, and those who condemn him as a traitor of the Christian faith.
, October 21-November 11
A1
James W. Johnson
  F14H03-ARG Epidemics! Contaminated Water. Dietary Deficiencies. How They Changed World History!
4 weeks Wednesdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  10/22/201411/12/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $60
From the black plague to current HIV, Ebola outbreak in Africa, and the cholera epidemic following the Haiti earthquake, these events shape history. Vaccines and sterilization have had enormous effect on healthcare; an American President's death resulted from his physicians' refusal to observe basic cleanliness. Vitamin deficiencies have led to deaths or serious illness. Finally, polio is making a "comeback".
, October 22-November 12
A1
Arthur Geller
IDEAS & SPIRITUALITY  F14I01-ARG Mennonites and Amish: History, Belief and Life
4 weeks Mondays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  10/20/201411/10/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $60
Who are those people riding three-wheeled bikes in Sarasota? Why do they dress that way? What is a Mennonite? Are Mennonites and Amish the same? These questions and more will be addressed in this informative and engaging look at Mennonite and Amish history and traditions.
, October 20-November 10
A1
J. David Yoder
LITERATURE  F14L01-SFC George Bernard Shaw: Post World War I Prophet
4 weeks Wednesdays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  10/22/201411/12/2014
 •  Senior Friendship Center  •  $60
After World War I, Shaw questioned whether Western Civilization was, in fact, a civilization. His long work, Back to Methuselah, published in 1923 includes five plays covering the eons he concludes modern man will need to evolve fully. All five plays will be discussed.
, October 22-November 12
Beveridge
Len Blanchard
MUSIC  F14M01-PH The Symphonic Life
6 weeks Mondays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  10/20/201412/01/2014
 •  Plymouth Harbor  •  $85
(No class November 24)
Six professional musicians from the Sarasota Orchestra offer insights into various aspects of their profession and the classical music world in general. Topics to be covered include:
• Repertoire (B. Traba) - What's the difference between a "Romantic" piece and an "Impressionist" piece? Learn how to distinguish music from the seven major periods of western music history - just by listening!
• String Players in the Orchestra (A. Feder) - Responsibilities and roles of both the leaders and the section players. How do two people, twenty feet apart, play at the same time, with the same bowing, the same articulation, and the same intent?
• Chamber Music in the Orchestra (J. Spivey) - Sarasota Orchestra is one of a relatively few orchestras where small-group performances are officially promoted. Permanent quartets/quintets of winds, brass, and strings, as well as ""mix-and-match"" ensembles, offer opportunities for musicians to keep their solo chops in shape, while blessing their audiences with some of the best music ever written.
• The Audition Process (A. De Sorgo) - How do you get a job in a symphony orchestra? Walk though an "interview" process like no other profession requires!
• The Role of the Orchestra Librarian (J. Vibbard) - What does an Orchestra Librarian do? How do music publishers and librarians affect the performance of a work?
• Classical Music Education- USA vs. Europe: (L. Cambis) - Two different approaches, one same goal: Expose our children to the magic of classical music.
, October 20-December 01
Pilgrim Hall
Betsy Hudson Traba
Jonathan Spivey
Adam De Sorgo
Justin Vibbard
Lena Cambis
Abraham Feder
MEDIA  F14ME01-ARG Reporting the News: The Power and Influence of the News Media in America
4 weeks Tuesdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  10/21/201411/11/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $60
TV News expert Sam Roberts explores the influence of the media on world affairs, the way news decisions are made, who makes those decisions, and how technology has changed news reporting.
, October 21-November 11
A5
Sam Roberts
PLACES  F14P01-ARG Magical Mexico
4 weeks Mondays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  10/20/201411/10/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $60
Travel through "magical Mexico" by discovering its amazing art, traditions, buildings, folk tales, customs and celebrations. Explore 20 centuries of Mexican history through its ancient traditions, culture, food, music and architecture and be transported to its Pre-Hispanic times, the Colonial period, post Independence War era and Modern Mexico.
, October 20-November 10
A1
Claudia Johnson
THEATER & FILM  F14TH01-FST Behind the Scenes
6 weeks Mondays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  10/20/201412/01/2014
 •  Florida Studio Theatre  •  $85
(No class Nov 24)
This popular class takes you on a behind-the-scenes tour of the play creation process. From play selection, to initial concept, through the final performance, learn the “inside-scoop” on how a professional theater operates.
, October 20-December 01
Studio
Beth Duda
  F14TH02-ARG Mirth, Sexuality and Suspense: The Early Films of Alfred Hitchcock
6 weeks Thursdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  10/23/201412/04/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
(No class Nov 27)
With a career stretching from the silents to the seventies and comprising over 50 films, Alfred Hitchcock became one of the most influential directors of the 20th century. We will analyze some of his films of the thirties and forties and learn a great deal about the art of cinema as well. Come prepared to be amazed, amused, frightened and enlightened. Students are responsible for renting and viewing films before each week’s discussion.
, October 23-December 04
A5
Stuart McDougal
WRITING  F14W01-ARG Got Stories? Part I
6 weeks Thursdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  10/23/201412/04/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
(No class Nov 27)
Begin or continue writing your personal stories for yourself and your families. Discussion of life experiences through the lenses of societal, historical and political contexts will lead to the writing of memoir or autobiography. Identification of generational markers will help guide discussions and writing. Space is limited to the first 10 applicants.
, October 23-December 04
A5
Cheryl A. Smith
  F14W02-SFC Anatomy of a Murder Mystery
4 weeks Wednesdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  10/29/201411/19/2014
 •  Senior Friendship Center  •  $60
(Sorry, this course has been canceled.)
From Concept to Contract: Chapter by Chapter - character, setting, and plot. Begin with a body, master the muddle in the middle, and end with an edge. Delve into the mysterious world of publishing, including agents and editors. Learn how to write a synopsis and query letter.
, October 29-November 19
Beveridge
Noreen Wald