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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 several Sarasota/Manatee locations 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 for courses.

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Spring 2014
ART   S14A01-L Bienvenue à la Belle Epoque! France (1871-1914)
6 weeks Wednesdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  02/26/201404/02/2014
 •  State College of Florida - Lakewood Ranch  •  $85
This course examines the exhilarating, scandalous, and intimate relationships of young artists and authors who shaped the magical era known as La Belle Epoque. European Revolutions, The French Impressionists, Picasso, and The Lost Generation will be discussed. This course will be particularly exciting and relevant for those Pierian Spring travelers on the Seine River cruise from Paris to Normandy in the fall of 2014.
, February 26-April 02
135
Baila Miller
  S14A02-A From Dung to Gold
4 weeks Tuesdays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  03/11/201404/01/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $60
In this interactive course, you will learn about a spellbinding array of materials that the earth has yielded to artists. Acquire an understanding of gold, silver, copper, marble, clay, wood … and even dung! Marvel at the intuitively simple and brilliantly complex techniques invented by artisans over the millennia. Explore the forces that damage artworks and how art conservators fight back.
, March 11-April 01
A15
Claudia Deschu
ARCHITECTURE & LANDSCAPE  S14AC01-A Landscaping for Florida
6 weeks Mondays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  03/03/201404/07/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
Learn to create an environmentally friendly landscape, introduce native and Florida-friendly plants into your existing landscape, and identify all the plants in your landscape. Learn correct planning, planting and pruning techniques. The course will begin with one classroom session; the remaining classes will be field trips to local gardens and plant nurseries.
, March 03-April 07
A18
Nancy Paul
CURRENT ISSUES  S14CI01-A Going Out in Style
6 weeks Wednesdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  02/26/201404/02/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
Nothing else is as certain in life except taxes, yet no one wants to discuss death. Explore what we know about dying in America and the consequences of not planning for this inevitability. Consider ways to improve your experience at the end of life.
, February 26-April 02
A17
Kathy Black
EARTH & BEYOND  S14E01-A Close Encounters of the Bird Kind
8 weeks Wednesdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  02/12/201404/02/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $110
(Sorry, this class is now closed.)
This course will share the joys of birding by teaching bird identification with hands-on adventures in the field. One classroom session will be followed by seven field trips to some of the best birding “hotspots” in Sarasota and the region. You will learn about the latest field guides, binoculars and birding etiquette. The course is scheduled so members may have an opportunity first to identify wintering birds and later, the migrating birds in the springtime. First class 9:30-11:30; Field trips 8:00-11:00.
, February 12-April 02
A18
Owen Comora
  S14E02-O An Earthbound Human’s Guide to the Universe
4 weeks Mondays,  6:30 – 8:30 pm  •  03/03/201403/24/2014
 •  Bishop Planetarium  •  $60
Designed for the backyard stargazer and armchair Master of the Universe. Each week combines a seasonal star talk with a discussion of astronomy’s big ideas. Discussions cover the Big Bang, stars & galaxies, our solar system and the search for life. This is an evening course at Bishop Planetarium, South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton, FL 34205, 941 746-4131, Ext. 22.
, March 03-March 24
A16
Jeff Rodgers
ECONOMICS  S14EC01-A What's Happening to the Global Economy?
6 weeks Thursdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  02/27/201404/03/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
Money, goods, jobs, information, and people move easily across national boundaries in the contemporary world. Some people benefit, others lose. Recent events underscore the global economy’s volatility and vulnerability to disruptions. This course examines key developments, problems, and future prospects.
, February 27-April 03
A15
Al Eckes
  S14EC02-A The Business Aspects of Medicine: Medical Necessity, Waste, Fraud and Abuse
4 weeks Mondays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  03/03/201403/24/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $60
How we try to define and restrict payment for those health care goods and services that most experts agree are worthwhile (without using "death panels"). Using specific examples we will also identify instances of wasted and purloined dollars and culpability.
, March 03-March 24
A15
Martin Kodish
  S14EC03-A It's the Economy, Stupid
6 weeks Mondays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  03/03/201404/07/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
Focus on the major economic issues of our day: deficits and debt in the US and Europe; the distribution of income, poverty and the state of the American Dream; unemployment; US economic power and much more.
, March 03-April 07
A15
Ayse Somersan
HISTORY  S14H01-A The History of African American Life in Sarasota
6 weeks Thursdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  02/27/201404/03/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
A historical review of the African American experience in Sarasota from the earliest settlement of the town to the present. The course is taught by a native son who is both a product of the experience and a contributor.
, February 27-April 03
A17
James Brown
  S14H02-S Normandy 70 Year Anniversary
4 weeks Mondays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  03/03/201403/24/2014
 •  Senior Friendship Center  •  $60
Prior history, deception and invasion, what went wrong, what was luck, D-Day, the breakout, what if it failed? Travelers taking the Pierian Spring Seine River Cruise in September 2014 will find this course of particular interest.
, March 03-March 24
Rubin Bldg/Dwyer
George Stassa
IDEAS & SPIRITUALITY  S14I01-A Gateways to the Sacred: Rites, Symbols, and Ceremonies of the World’s Religions
6 weeks Mondays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  03/03/201404/07/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
From sacred baths to sacred meals, from incense to icons, from festivals to funerals, the practical expression of religion always involves doing something or using something to get in touch with the ultimate source of meaning and purpose in life. In this course we will explore the main rituals, symbols, and ceremonies of major religions of the world, both eastern and western.
, March 03-April 07
A15
James W. Johnson
LITERATURE  S14L01-L Chekhov and Albee: Masters of Disillusion
6 weeks Thursdays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  02/27/201404/03/2014
 •  State College of Florida - Lakewood Ranch  •  $85
Anton Chekhov and Edward Albee share an interest in exploring the frustrations, fears and foibles of their characters in their plays. This course will examine the tensions and emptiness which surround and suffocate the dramatic figures in The Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, A Delicate Balance and many more of their writings.
, February 27-April 03
125
Phyllis Jaffe
  S14L02-P Fathers and Daughters in Shakespeare
4 weeks Tuesdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  02/25/201403/18/2014
 •  Plymouth Harbor  •  $60
Many of Shakespeare’s plays reveal the relationship between fathers and daughters. In some of the comedies as well as the tragedies the Bard illuminates the varieties of behavior within a family. Punitive, mistrusting, loving, misjudging, dictatorial and interfering are some of the aspects that W.S. dramatizes. We will explore the brilliance of Shakespeare’s depictions and revel in his psychological insights.
, February 25-March 18
Pilgrim Hall
Phyllis Jaffe
MUSIC  S14M01-A The Swing Era: The Big Bands, Singers, Venues and Social Forces that Made Jazz America’s Popular Music
6 weeks Wednesdays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  02/26/201404/02/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
(Sorry this class is closed.)
From 1935-45, big band jazz became America’s most popular music and the centerpiece of our first “youth culture”, Re-live these exciting times through videos, recordings, and observations by guest musicians as we explore the greatest bands and singers and their impact on today’s jazz.
, February 26-April 02
A15
Henry Ettman
  S14M02-A Chamber Music-Know it Better, Love it More
6 weeks Thursdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  02/27/201404/03/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
(Sorry, this class is now closed.)
An analysis of the greatest masterpieces of the repertoires from the baroque through the classic, romantic, and contemporary eras. Participants will receive a list of preparatory listening and musical examples will be heard in class.
, February 27-April 03
A15
Joseph Silverstein
  S14M03-O The Symphonic Life Too
6 weeks Mondays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  03/03/201404/07/2014
 •  Center for Arts & Humanity  •  $85
(Note: Two sessions meet at Bayfront Center.)
This new course is a continuation of the hugely popular “Symphonic Life” 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” course before taking this course. Class size is limited. Six musicians from the Sarasota Orchestra offer one lecture each on the following topics: • Traditions of the Orchestra (Betsy Hudson 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 (Adam DeSorgo): 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 an average Orchestral musician. • Performance Practice (Jonathan 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. March 3, 17, 24 and 31 - Meet at Center for Arts and Humanity. March 10, April 7 - Meet at Bayfront Center.
, March 03-April 07
1st Floor Conference Room
Betsy Hudson Traba
 | 
Abraham Feder
 | 
Jonathan Spivey
 | 
Adam De Sorgo
 | 
Justin Vibbard
 | 
Lena Cambis
THEATER & FILM  S14TH01-P Japan by Film
6 weeks Tuesdays,  2:00 – 4:30 pm  •  02/25/201404/01/2014
 •  Plymouth Harbor  •  $85
Experience corporate and domestic life in modern Japan through two radically different directors. Study, watch, and discuss Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru, The Bad Sleep Well, and High and Low, and Yasujiro Ozu’s Late Spring, Early Summer, and An Autumn Afternoon.
, February 25-April 01
Pilgrim Hall
Joyce Stith
  S14TH02-A Best Movies You've Never Seen
6 weeks Wednesdays,  2:00 – 4:30 pm  •  02/26/201404/02/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
Watch and discuss deserving, overlooked, under-appreciated films of the past decade: Poetry (2010), Take Shelter (2011), Higher Ground (2011), Across The Universe (2007), I Am Love (2009), Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World (2003).
, February 26-April 02
A17
Marilyn Eckberg
  S14TH03-A How to See What You Saw at the Movies
4 weeks Mondays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  03/17/201404/07/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $60
More adventures at the movies. Increase your knowledge of film, powers of observation, and learn to analyze the art and meaning in cinema. Adventure out weekly (on your own) to see an assigned movie. The following week the class will explore the movie - its themes, storytelling style, filmic techniques, directors’ and actors’ previous work, etc.
, March 17-April 07
A17
Kathie Moon
WRITING  S14W01-A Anatomy of A Murder Mystery
4 weeks Wednesdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  03/19/201404/09/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $60
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.
, March 19-April 09
A17
Noreen Wald
WOMEN  S14WM01-A Jewish Women With Attitude
6 weeks Tuesdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  02/25/201404/01/2014
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
(Sorry, this class is now closed.)
This course will introduce you to Jewish women who have had a profound effect on their time - authors, actors, activists, and athletes. Read a Grace Paley short story or a Marge Piercy poem. Familiarize yourself with the art of Judy Chicago. Sit back and enjoy video performances of Bette and Barbra. Hear the story about Annie Londonderry who rode her bicycle around the world in 1894. The characters change every year but what they all have in common is - Attitude!
, February 25-April 01
A17
Beth Ann Salzman