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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 6 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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– All Courses – Your Selection      

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Winter 2015
ART   W15A01-LWR Now See This: A Brief History of 21st Century Art
6 weeks Thursdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  01/15/201502/19/2015
 •  State College of Florida - Lakewood Ranch  •  $85
Contemporary art – sometimes referred to as Post-Internet art – is the subject of these seminars. This art addresses political and social concerns, environmental degradation, individual and collective neuroses, and the relationship between the materials chosen and the style of the work.
, January 15-February 19
135
Kevin Costello
ARCHITECTURE & LANDSCAPE  W15AC01-LWR Bricks, Mortar, Steel, and Stone
4 weeks Wednesdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  01/14/201502/04/2015
 •  State College of Florida - Lakewood Ranch  •  $60
In this survey, we will discuss how the passion and exuberance of architects and structural engineers define the world in which we live. We will begin with an overview of the history of architecture; continue with Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn, and Frank Gehry's 20th and 21st century marvels.
, January 14-February 04
135
Baila Miller
EARTH & BEYOND  W15E01-MUS The Grand Tour
6 weeks Mondays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  01/12/201502/23/2015
 •  South Florida Museum  •  $85
(No Class January 19 Martin Luther King Day)
Using the Bishop Planetarium, South Florida Museum and Parker Manatee Aquarium as our classroom(s), each week we’ll take walking tours to explore the history of our universe, our solar system, our planet, life and humans.
, January 12-February 23
Jeff Rodgers
  W15E02-ARG The Joys of Birding
6 weeks Wednesdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  01/14/201502/18/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
(Sorry this course is now closed.)
This course will begin with one classroom session followed by five field trips to area birding "hot spots." In the classroom, members will learn about the best field guides and binoculars for birding. Proper birding etiquette and field trip preparation will be discussed. In the field trips, the class will learn where to find and how to identify many of our resident and wintering birds. For beginning and intermediate birders. First class 9:30-11:30 a.m.; Field trips 8:00-11:00 a.m.
, January 14-February 18
A2
Owen Comora
ECONOMICS  W15EC01-ARG Education, Earnings and Inequality
4 weeks Wednesdays,  9:45 – 11:45 am  •  01/14/201502/04/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $60
This course will focus on inequality in the United States, with emphasis on the role of education. We will look at the meaning and measurement of inequality, trends in inequality, why it is occurring, and what options we have for reducing the gap.
, January 14-February 04
A5
Frank Slesnick
EDUCATION  W15ED01-CAH American Education in Crisis: Yes, No, Maybe?
6 weeks Wednesdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  01/14/201502/18/2015
 •  Center for Arts & Humanity  •  $85
Explore major issues currently facing American education including Core Curriculum, Privatization of Schools, School Choice (e.g., Vouchers, Charter Schools), Use of Standardized Tests (e.g., Merit Pay, Teacher Evaluation, College Admission, International Comparisons), and Impact of Poverty on Student Performance. School visits and dialogue with educational leaders will supplement class sessions.
, January 14-February 18
1st Floor Conference Room
Robert V. (Bob) Carlson
GOVERNMENT & POLITICS  W15G01-CAH The Supreme Court: Current Issues
4 weeks Tuesdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  01/13/201502/03/2015
 •  Center for Arts & Humanity  •  $60
(Sorry this course is now closed.)
Discuss 2014 decisions (and dissenting opinions) on separation of church and state, abortion rights and free speech, religious rights of corporations, campaign finance and recess appointment powers of the President. Introductory lecture followed by discussion.
, January 13-February 03
1st Floor Conference Room
Bill Cotter
HISTORY  W15H01-ARG Remarkable Americans
6 weeks Mondays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  01/12/201502/23/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
(No class January 19th Martin Luther King Day.)
Study the lives, contemporaries and historical context of some remarkable Americans: President James A. Garfield, Marjorie Merriweather Post, the Teapot Dome Scandal and William Randolph Hearst. Reading and discussion are encouraged.
, January 12-February 23
A5
Stan R. Nikkel
  W15H02-SFC The Roaring Twenties: Flappers, Finance, Fads and Films
6 weeks Mondays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  01/12/201502/23/2015
 •  Senior Friendship Center  •  $85
(No Class January 19th Martin Luther King Day)
A study of the social, financial, political and psychological revolutions that marked this decade of decadence, dance halls and the Depression. There will be images, sounds and film of this era that shaped the life of our parents and influenced following generations.
, January 12-February 23
Rubin Bldg/Dwyer
George Stassa
  W15H03-ARG Smugglers, Slavers, Robber Barons, and Their Fortunes
6 weeks Tuesdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  01/13/201502/17/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
This course focuses on how a few rich and powerful American business leaders made their fortunes. Includes John Jacob Astor, John Brown, Andrew Carnegie, Joseph P. Kennedy, John D. Rockefeller, and Cornelius Vanderbilt. Evaluate their business practices, contemplate ethical issues, and consider their legacies. Discussion is encouraged.
, January 13-February 17
A1
Al Eckes
  W15H04-ARG Remarkable Americans
6 weeks Wednesdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  01/14/201502/18/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
(Course Closed)
Study the lives, contemporaries and historical context of some remarkable Americans: President James A. Garfield, Marjorie Merriweather Post, the Teapot Dome Scandal and William Randolph Hearst. Reading and discussion are encouraged. Instructor permission required: nikkbrom@aol.com
, January 14-February 18
A1
Stan R. Nikkel
HUMAN BODY & MIND  W15HB01-ARG The Neurobiology of Social Behavior
6 weeks Mondays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  01/12/201502/23/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
(No class January 19th Martin Luther King Day)
The ascendancy of humans to dominate this planet is largely the result of our ability to adapt and cooperate in social groups. This course will explore our unique biological capacity to communicate, to read the intentions of others and to enter into complex relationships.
, January 12-February 23
A1
Alan B. Grindal
IDEAS & SPIRITUALITY  W15I01-ARG Eastern World Religions: Part I – Historical Development
6 weeks Mondays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  01/12/201502/23/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
(No Class January 19th Martin Luther King Day)
This course explores the four major world religions arising from India and China- Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism- in terms of their historical origins (including the lives and teachings of the Buddha, Confucius and Lao-Tzu), their developmental phases, and main divisions.
, January 12-February 23
A1
James W. Johnson
LITERATURE  W15L01-SFC Tolstoy: Great Short Works
4 weeks Tuesdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  01/13/201502/03/2015
 •  Senior Friendship Center  •  $60
Tolstoy's short stories are compressed gems, often fully as rich and worthy of study as his greatest novels. In these stories, Tolstoy writes about courtship, marriage, jealousy, happiness, death, resistance to authority, war and the conflict between a Europeanized Russia and a Muslim Chechnya. Participants are expected to read about 80 pages a week and to actively share their insights and interpretations as we carefully discuss the text of each story.
, January 13-February 03
Rubin Bldg/Dwyer
Julie Altshuler
  W15L02-ARG Hemingway's Anti-War Novels
6 weeks Tuesdays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  01/13/201502/17/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
Close reading and analysis of three novels: The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, and For Whom the Bell Tolls. Some recent criticism maintains that in these works Hemingway the artist overshadows Hemingway the man.
, January 13-February 17
A5
Phillip Buck
  W15L03-SFC Henrik Ibsen: The Games People Play
6 weeks Wednesdays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  01/14/201502/18/2015
 •  Senior Friendship Center  •  $85
Ibsen was a scathing critic of the middle-class ignorance and hypocrisy of his day. We will discuss the following plays in sequence: An Enemy of the People, The Wild Duck, Rosmersholm, Hedda Gabler and The Master Builder. In-class readings as time and interest make possible.
, January 14-February 18
Main Bldg/Beveridge
Len Blanchard
  W15L04-ARG The Pleasures of Lyric Poetry
4 weeks Thursdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  01/15/201502/05/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $60
(This course has been moved to the spring term.)
The pleasures of lyric poetry are many: auditory, linguistic, imaginative, emotional and intellectual. We will read a variety of short poems with the goal of increasing our understanding of one of the oldest and most effective forms of verbal communication. Come prepared to be challenged—and rewarded.
, January 15-February 05
A1
Stuart McDougal
  W15L05-PRE Philip Roth: The Next Nobel Prize Winner???
6 weeks Thursdays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  01/15/201502/19/2015
 •  First Presbyterian Church  •  $85
Philip Roth's great contributions to literature have been recognized by numerous awards, but not the BIG ONE. His challenging plots, his unforgettable characters, and his various writing styles are extraordinary. As we sample Roth's growth as an author we will applaud his genius.
, January 15-February 19
Forum
Phyllis Jaffe
MUSIC  W15M01-CON The Symphonic Life II: Inside Musicians' Lives
6 weeks Mondays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  01/12/201502/23/2015
 •  First Congregational United Church of Christ  •  $85
(No Class January 19th Martin Luther King Day)
This course is a continuation of the hugely popular “The Symphonic Life I” course available in the fall and will explore additional aspects of the life and work of Orchestral musicians. Students are encouraged, but not required, to enroll in “The Symphonic Life I” course before taking this course. Six musicians from the Sarasota Orchestra offer one lecture each on the following topics:

• Traditions of the Orchestra (B. Traba): Why does the Concertmaster walk out onstage last? Why does the oboe tune the orchestra? What's the REAL story on clapping between the movements of symphonies? Learn the origin of some of classical music's quirkiest traditions and how they are changing today.

• A Week in the Life (A. De Sorgo): The concerts you hear come together in orchestra rehearsals, but what does each musician do individually outside of the concert hall? How much do musicians practice? How do they maintain their instruments? What's up with those people who make their own reeds, anyway? Do musicians teach? Do they play elsewhere? Spend "a week in the life" of a typical orchestral musician.

• Performance Practice (J. Spivey): Focus on the evolution of style, as it relates both to individual instruments and to the orchestra as a whole. "Performance practice" will be central to our discovery of the way composers expected (and now expect) musicians to interpret what is on the page. From the harpsichord of the Baroque Era to the synthesizer of our time, keyboard instruments will receive special attention.

• What Does a Conductor Really Do? (J. Vibbard): The door opens, and an enigmatic figure confidently walks to the podium and takes a bow, only moments before turning, placing his/her arms in the air and commanding a start to the music. But is this all the equally famed and infamous Maestro, Conductor, Kapellmeister does? Take a peek into the sprawling and diverse career of a conductor, and discover some of those little insider quirks and idiosyncrasies of this often misunderstood profession.

• Playing "By Ear" (L. Cambis): While it seems obvious that musicians use their ears when they play, few understand the subtleties of pitch, intonation and rhythm which professional musicians must constantly assess while playing. Learn the basics of Solfege, the primary ear training method used in conservatories, major and minor tonalities, and how orchestral musicians hear with their eyes (note reading/sight reading) and visualize with their ears (pitch and interval recognition)!

• The Lives of Soloists and Chamber Musicians (A. Feder): Weeks away from home, traveling with instruments, practicing in hotels. Learn about the challenges of maintaining friendships, relationships, and a family for some of our most acclaimed artists who travel most of the year.
, January 12-February 23
Chapel
Betsy Hudson Traba
 | 
Adam De Sorgo
 | 
Jonathan Spivey
 | 
Justin Vibbard
 | 
Lena Cambis
 | 
Abraham Feder
  W15M02-ARG From the Dance Floor to the Concert Hall: How Jazz Evolved from Swing Era into Bop, Cool, and Mainstream Modern Jazz During the 40's Through the 70's
6 weeks Wednesdays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  01/14/201502/18/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
Trace jazz’s evolution from popular dance music to serious art. Explore the music and forces that shaped the new forms: bebop, cool jazz, big band concert jazz, “mainstream” and “trad”. We’ll use recordings, videos, discussions, and insights from guest musicians.
, January 14-February 18
A1
Henry Ettman
  W15M03-PRE Six Giants
6 weeks Thursdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  01/15/201502/19/2015
 •  First Presbyterian Church  •  $85
Every week the total output of solo, vocal, orchestral and ensemble music of a great composer will be studied. The six will be Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky. Participants will be supplied with lists of reading and listening that will supplement the classes. The goal is to sharpen the listening experience of concert goers.
, January 15-February 19
Forum
Joseph Silverstein
  W15M04-PRE The Many Voices of Ragtime
6 weeks Thursdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  01/15/201502/19/2015
 •  First Presbyterian Church  •  $85
Enjoy learning about Ragtime, America's own original music. Pianist extraordinaire Bob Milne shares its fascinating history and delightfully demonstrates - on the piano - its many varied styles, from early "ragged time" origins to 1890s Tearjerkers and 1920s New Orleans barrelhouses.
, January 15-February 19
Forum
Robert Milne
  W15M05-FST Solving More Musical Mysteries, Vol. IV
6 weeks Thursdays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  01/15/201502/19/2015
 •  Florida Studio Theatre  •  $85
Can such things as nature, folk music, stories, poetry, visual art, science, politics, war, theater, film, etc. be the inspiration for a composer? If so, what is the result? Listen to and look at works which result from an extra-musical source and discuss how each has influenced the resulting composition.
, January 15-February 19
Studio
William Wittig
  W15M06-FST Four Operas at Sarasota Opera, 2015
6 weeks Fridays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  01/16/201502/20/2015
 •  Florida Studio Theatre  •  $85
This spectacular season includes Verdi's profoundly beautiful "Don Carlos," the brilliant last opera by Rimski Korsakov, "Le Coq d'or," Mozart's creative setting of "The Marriage of Figaro" and Puccini's passionate masterpiece, "Tosca". Get the inside story: composer, music and comparison of works together with another cameo appearance (or more) by Mary Jane DeGenaro.
, January 16-February 20
Studio
William Wittig
MEDIA  W15ME01-ARG Reporting the News in the 21st Century
6 weeks Thursdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  01/15/201502/19/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
TV News expert Sam Roberts looks back at the "good old days," compares today's network and cable news programs, explores the constant conflict between the White House and the Press and presents questions of ethics in the world of journalism.
, January 15-February 19
A1
Sam Roberts
PLACES  W15P01-ARG Chicago - City of Broad Shoulders
4 weeks Mondays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  01/12/201502/09/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $60
(No class January 19)
In studying Chicago, we will cover the history of the city and its region, the politics, corruption, arts, plans, neighborhoods, humor, achievements and the future of the City. Course outline at chicagocityofbigshoulders.blogspot.com.
, January 12-February 09
A1
Craig Hullinger
SPORTS  W15SP01-ARG Baseball, It's More Than Its Seams
6 weeks Tuesdays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  01/13/201502/17/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
Learn all about America’s pastime in a fun and interactive way with Sarasota Herald-Tribune sports columnist Doug Fernandes. The course will explore baseball’s history, its impact through film and literature, and how many of its changes through the years have mirrored those in our society.
, January 13-February 17
A1
Doug Fernandes
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY  W15ST01-SFC Game Changers in Science and Technology II
6 weeks Tuesdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  01/13/201502/17/2015
 •  Senior Friendship Center  •  $85
From Watson and Crick in biology to Apple and Amazon in the worlds of computers and commerce, science and technology have changed our lives. We will examine the science behind the changes and the personalities responsible for making them happen.
, January 13-February 17
Rubin Bldg/Dwyer
Arthur S. Kesten
THEATER & FILM  W15TH01-FST Play Readers' Circle
6 weeks Mondays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  01/12/201502/23/2015
 •  Florida Studio Theatre  •  $85
(No Class January 19th Martin Luther King Day)
A book club focusing on the newest plays coming to FST’s literary department. Each week, read a play that you’ve never read before - a play that has received strong reviews from FST staff and may even be under consideration for development and production. A lively mix of discussion and analysis. Space is limited to the first 15 applicants.
, January 12-February 23
Studio
Beth Duda
  W15TH02-ARG Alfred Hitchcock: The American Years
6 weeks Tuesdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  01/13/201502/17/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
By the mid-forties, Alfred Hitchcock was well established in America and continuing his exploration of the American psyche. We will study a handful of his influential works from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s and continue to learn about the cinematic art as well. More suspense, romance, shocks, and thrills. Students are responsible for renting and viewing films before each week’s discussion.
, January 13-February 17
A5
Stuart McDougal
  W15TH03-ARG On the Red Carpet
6 weeks Wednesdays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  01/14/201502/18/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
Gear up for Hollywood's most prestigious and glamorous event, the Academy Awards. Watch all the nominated "Best Picture" movies (at local theaters on your own) then meet for in-depth discussion of each film. Examine every aspect of this fascinating, collaborative art form to learn who should win, and who will take home the coveted statue.
, January 14-February 18
A5
Marilyn Eckberg
WRITING  W15W01-SFC Anatomy of a Murder Mystery
6 weeks Wednesdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  01/14/201502/18/2015
 •  Senior Friendship Center  •  $85
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.
, January 14-February 18
Beveridge
Noreen Wald
  W15W02-ARG Got Stories? Part II
6 weeks Thursdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  01/15/201502/19/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
Open only to those students who have taken Part I. Continuation of writing of memoir or autobiography. Emphasis will be on refining and expanding the writing done in Part I, identification of audiences and dissemination of the work. Marketing and publishing possibilities will be discussed. Space is limited to the first 10 applicants.
, January 15-February 19
A5
Cheryl A. Smith