Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Oak Hill Offers Senior Scholars Program for Spring at Berry College

The Berry College Senior Scholars Program returns this spring with a full slate of courses designed to challenge, educate and enrich the lives of people 55 and older. Oak Hill and The Martha Berry Museum will host the program beginning Feb. 17. Classes will be held each Tuesday through April 14 with the exception of March 17 (spring break at Berry).

Registration for the program is $75 for three classes, $60 for two classes or $30 for a single course. Contact Patrice Shannon at 706-368-6775 or pclonts@berry.edu for more information or to register. Course offerings include:


This course will cover the fundamentals of camera operation, photographic film and digital imaging, lenses, depth of field, and exposure meters. Students also will receive helpful tips on photographing people, composition, using flash, available light photography and action photography.

Instructor: Alan Storey, a talented photographer and staff member at Berry College for more than 35 years. He currently serves as director of photographic services and community relations for the Office of Public Relations and Marketing.

FINE ART, TOLE: 9-11 a.m.

This class is for the serious painter. Subjects will include how to mix paint and how to fill a brush properly. Students will learn about brush strokes and how to put them together, making it possible to paint anything they desire.

Instructor: Elizabeth Sparks, a certified teacher of art for more than 25 years. Now retired, Elizabeth continues to teach in her in-home studio.

BOOK DISCUSSION – “MOBY DICK”: 11 a.m. to Noon

“Call me Ishmael.” With the first sentence of his flawed masterpiece Moby Dick (1851), Herman Melville introduced one of the most compelling voices in American literature. Although a critical and financial failure when first published, some now argue that “Moby Dick” is the finest novel written in English. This class will discuss how Melville set out to create and dramatize a democratic form of tragedy.

Instructor: Dr. Christopher Diller, associate professor of English, rhetoric and writing at Berry College.

FOUNDING FATHERS: 11 a.m. to Noon

Our journey this semester will involve chasing a dream as well as a reality. Participants will ponder questions about the Founding Fathers of our nation like: Were the thinkers and the doers as unusual as subsequent generations of people found them to be? Were they the heroes of the new nation? Or possibly, were they simply the right people at the right time? This class will discuss and analyze the political thought which spawned a revolution.

Instructor: Dr. N. Gordon Carper, Dana professor of history emeritus, Berry College.


This class will look at African-American history and culture through the lens of Gloria Naylor’s 1988 novel, “Mama Day.” Set in New York City and on Willow Springs, an island that belongs neither to Georgia nor South Carolina, “Mama Day” takes readers on a compelling journey through multiple generations of the Day family. Along the way, Naylor touches on key components of African-American history and culture including slavery and its oppression as well as the continual resistance of those who were enslaved, the strength of all-black communities, the rich folk traditions of rural black life, spirituality, inter-racial relationships, intra-racial prejudice, and gender issues.

Instructor: Dr. Christian G. Bucher, associate professor of English, rhetoric and writing at Berry College.

THAI CHI: 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Taijiquan is a meditative martial art that originated in the Taoist traditions of medieval China. The central aim of the art is to attain a state of internal balance and to bring one’s self into greater harmony. Taijiquan strengthens the muscles, improves circulation, and brings about an integration of body, breath and awareness.

Instructor: Dr. Jeffery Lidke, assistant professor of religion at Berry College.

In addition to these courses, Senior Scholars will feature two lunch-time discussions. These one-hour sessions will be held at noon Feb. 17 and March 10. Participants are encouraged to bring their own lunch; Oak Hill will provide drinks and chips. On Feb. 17, Barry Benton will discuss the topic of personality profiling. On March 10, Shannon Bond will focus on self-defense for seniors. These sessions are free of charge and will take place in the Garden Room of the Oak Hill Gift Shop.

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