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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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Spring 2015
ART   S15A01-ARG The Science of Art
4 weeks Tuesdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  03/03/201503/24/2015
 •  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 03-March 24
A1
Claudia Deschu
ARCHITECTURE & LANDSCAPE  S15AC01-ARG Landscaping for Florida
6 weeks Mondays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  03/02/201504/06/2015
 •  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 02-April 06
A5
Nancy Paul
CURRENT ISSUES  S15CI01-ARG Good to Go!
6 weeks Wednesdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  03/04/201504/08/2015
 •  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.
, March 04-April 08
A1
Kathy Black
  S15CI02-ARG American Exceptionalism
6 weeks Wednesdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  03/04/201504/08/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
Many politicians, theologians, and economists invoke “American Exceptionalism” to suggest that the United States offers a model for the world. Are we exceptional? This class will examine the history and meanings of the idea, both past and present.
, March 04-April 08
A1
Miles Williams
  S15CI03-LWR Discussing Controversial Issues Part II
4 weeks Thursdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  03/05/201504/02/2015
 •  State College of Florida - Lakewood Ranch  •  $60
(No Class March 12th)
A continuation of the Part 1 course with Different Topics! 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.
, March 05-April 02
135
Tom Dietrich
EARTH & BEYOND  S15E01-MUS An Earthbound Human’s Guide to the Universe
4 weeks Mondays,  6:30 – 8:30 pm  •  03/02/201503/23/2015
 •  South Florida Museum  •  $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 02-March 23
Bishop Planetarium
Jeff Rodgers
  S15E02-ARG Close Encounters of the Bird Kind
6 weeks Wednesdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  03/04/201504/08/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
(Sorry this course 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 five 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 am; Field trips 8:00-11:00 am .
, March 04-April 08
A5
Owen Comora
ECONOMICS  S15EC01-ARG It's the Economy, Stupid
6 weeks Tuesdays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  03/03/201504/07/2015
 •  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
A1
Ayse Somersan
HISTORY  S15H01-SFC World War II: Why Did The Allies Win?
6 weeks Mondays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  03/02/201504/06/2015
 •  Senior Friendship Center  •  $85
What factors determined the outcome in the success, or was it the errors of the Axis that resulted in victory in WWII? Strategic decisions on both sides contributed to the end of the conflict. Who, what, when, where, and why determined the resolution?
, March 02-April 06
Rubin Bldg/Dwyer
George Stassa
  S15H02-ARG The History of African American Life in Sarasota
6 weeks Thursdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  03/05/201504/09/2015
 •  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.
, March 05-April 09
A5
James Brown
IDEAS & SPIRITUALITY  S15I01-ARG Eastern World Religions: Part II - Worldview
6 weeks Mondays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  03/02/201504/06/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
Continue the exploration of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism, turning to an examination of their key teachings on the nature of ultimate reality, the world, human beings, and the path of spiritual transformation. Some of the fascinating concepts to be discussed include: reincarnation, karma, nirvana, and the Tao.
, March 02-April 06
A1
James W. Johnson
LITERATURE  S15L01-SFC George Bernard Shaw: The Fools These Mortals Be
6 weeks Tuesdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  03/03/201504/07/2015
 •  Senior Friendship Center  •  $85
Bernard Shaw was a wise and witty social critic. We will discuss the following plays in sequence: Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Man and Superman, Major Barbara, Heartbreak House and St. Joan. In-class readings as time and interest make possible.
, March 03-April 07
Main Bldg/Beveridge
Len Blanchard
  S15L02-ARG Hemingway's Early Short Stories (before 1939)
6 weeks Tuesdays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  03/03/201504/07/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
Hemingway famously said that good writers of fiction begin with something that actually happened in their lives and then make things up. The truth, he added, is in the things you make up. We'll seek the truth in these stories.
, March 03-April 07
A5
Phillip Buck
  S15L03-PRE Naughty, Naughty Chaucer
4 weeks Thursdays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  03/05/201503/26/2015
 •  First Presbyterian Church  •  $60
Ironic, humorous and delightful, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales illuminate the foibles and timeless behavior of humankind. His observations, both in the Prologue and the Tales, reveal his deep understanding of human nature. Together, we shall laugh and marvel at his insights.
, March 05-March 26
Forum
Phyllis Jaffe
MUSIC  S15M01-CON The Symphonic Life III: Inside the Repertoire
6 weeks Mondays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  03/02/201504/06/2015
 •  First Congregational United Church of Christ  •  $85
The third installment in the popular Symphonic Life series, this course will focus on symphonic repertoire from the Baroque period to the present day. Six professional musicians from the Sarasota Orchestra delve into music from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionist and Contemporary periods of music history, with an additional lecture on symphonic repertoire utilizing singers and choruses. Learn the history of many of the repertoire's most beloved and enduring works and get special recommendations on works you should get to know! No previous knowledge of classical music required!
, March 02-April 06
Chapel
Betsy Hudson Traba
 | 
Adam De Sorgo
 | 
Lena Cambis
 | 
Abraham Feder
 | 
Jonathan Spivey
 | 
Justin Vibbard
  S15M02-LWR The Most Exotic Entertainment: Opera!
4 weeks Wednesdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  03/04/201504/01/2015
 •  State College of Florida - Lakewood Ranch  •  $60
(No Class March 11th)
Would you like to know when Operatic entertainment began? How opera themes changed after the American and French Revolutions? Why Figaro from “The Barber of Seville” is so beloved? How did the “Chorus of The Hebrews” become the unofficial National Anthem of the Italian People? Why are Japanese Madame Butterfly and American Lieutenant Pinkerton singing in Italian? “Curiouser and curiouser…”
, March 04-April 01
135
Baila Miller
  S15M03-ARG Jazz in the Global Village: The Many Colors of Jazz from the 1970s to Today
6 weeks Wednesdays,  2:30 – 4:30 pm  •  03/04/201504/08/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
The expanding world of jazz now encompasses traditional and modern “mainstream” small groups and big bands, ethnic jazz, and the jazz education movement. Explore the music through videos, recordings, discussion, and insights from guests discussing personal musical visions and careers.
, March 04-April 08
A1
Henry Ettman
MEDIA  S15ME01-ARG Reporting the News: There's No Business Like News Business
4 weeks Thursdays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  03/05/201503/26/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $60
TV News expert Sam Roberts explores the reasons for the decline in the quality of news reporting, the business of news, news on the Internet and asks whether newspapers and the network news divisions will survive in the 21st Century.
, March 05-March 26
A1
Sam Roberts
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY  S15ST01-SFC Science and Geopolitics of Energy
4 weeks Tuesdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  03/03/201503/24/2015
 •  Senior Friendship Center  •  $60
Will fracking make the US a net exporter of energy? How does that impact Russia and China? Are advances in solar and conservation important? What about our outdated grid system? We will discuss the scientific breakthroughs and the breaking news.
, March 03-March 24
Rubin Bldg/Dwyer
Arthur S. Kesten
THEATER & FILM  S15TH01-FST Play Writing Workshop
6 weeks Mondays,  12:00 – 2:00 pm  •  03/02/201504/06/2015
 •  Florida Studio Theatre  •  $85
An intensive and hands-on class focusing on maximizing the dramatic possibilities of your play ideas. Each week the class will read and discuss short plays or scenes written by students. Writing prompts and constructive feedback will help you to hone the craft of play writing, understand audience expectations, and utilize theatrical conventions in hooking the viewer. Space is limited to the first 15 applicants.
, March 02-April 06
Studio
Beth Duda
WOMEN  S15WM01-ARG Jewish Women With Attitude
6 weeks Tuesdays,  9:30 – 11:30 am  •  03/03/201504/07/2015
 •  Argosy University  •  $85
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!
, March 03-April 07
A1
Beth Ann Salzman