Santa Clara University

Osher Lifelong Learning

Winter 2007


  • California: History & Culture
  • Archeology in the Santa Clara Valley
  • The Armchair Traveler: A Taste of France
  • Music & Visual Art: Parallels & Intersections
  • Astronomy: History of Observations from Stonegenge to Galileo
  • Politics in the Middle East (NO MORE SEATS AVAILABLE)


  • Mindfulness Meditation
  • Dreamworks Series
  • Love & Loss in Contemporary Short Fiction
  • Reflections on Evil in a Created World
  • Malawi: Stories from the Other Side of the Earth
  • Gods, Witches, Heroes and Queens: An Insider's Look at the English Opera Didoand Aeneasby Henry Purcell


California: History & Culture--taught by Bob Senkewicz
 Invented as a magical island in the sixteenth century Spanish novel "California" has exercised an imaginative influence on the world for more than four hundred years. From the days of Spanish conquest, through the frenzy of the gold rush, the fantasies of Hollywood, and the tragedies of the Dust Bowl, to the innovative Silicon Valley, California has always been a place where people have projected their hopes, anxieties, and dreams of the future.

Archeology in the Santa Clara Valley--taught by Linda Hylkema
Students in this course will be engaged in post-excavation classification and analysis. The course begins with an introduction to the lab and its resources and will include a walking tour of the campus, its archeological sites and a historical overview. Lab resources and procedures will be introduced. Actual artifacts will be sorted and studied, employing classification, dating, labeling, and cataloging techniques.

Music & Visual Art: Parallels and Intersections--taught by Cynthia Mei
This course focuses on the similarities, influences, and cross sections that exist between music and visual art. This course will cover areas such as Schoenberg and Kandinsky to John Cage and multi-media performance art. The class will cover the evolution of aural and visual relationships with critical views on interdisciplinary art in light of social climates, from political to technological.

Astronomy: History of Observations-From Stonehenge to Galileo--taught
This course will include discussions of Stonehenge and other ancient observatories ability to predict and eclipse. We shall review the contributions made by the Babylonians, Egyptians, and Greeks to the origins of our calendar and their influence of astrology. We shall follow the evolution of scientific philosophy, from geometry of the Greek to Newton's law of gravity, and the invention of instruments from the Arabic Astrolabe to Galileo's Telescope.

Politics in the Middle East--taught Farid Senzai
This course provides an in-depth analysis of politics, economy, religion and culture of the modern Middle East. It reviews the recent historical development of the region by challenging the popular conception of the region as presented to a vast majority of us by the international media. In order to do this, regions must not be studied as separate states and their interstate relations, but as a whole that is fragmented and fractured due to historical reasons. We will shift back and forth between the two conceptual divisions and will look for patterns of similarity and difference while analyzing the region.



Mindfulness Meditation--taught by Shauna Shapiro
This workshop is an intensive introduction to mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness originated as a Buddhist practice, however it is offered as a universal approach to coping with stress, which transcends culture and religion. This workshop will include a brief theoretical overview of mindfulness and highlight research demonstrating its potential efficacy across a wide range of clinical populations. The focus, however, will be on facilitating an experiential understanding of mindfulness practices and exercises. The intention of this course is to introduce the basic model of mindfulness, and to explore ways of applying it in one's daily life to bring greater joy, health and balance.

Dreamwork Series--taught by Jeremy Taylor
Do not be discouraged if you missed the classes last quarter, you can join the group at any time. How do dreams help us see into the mirror clearly and accept who we are? From that acceptance can come creative ways to be our true selves in the world. In this series of workshops, we will explore the ways we can help ourselves and each other by paying close attention to even the most mundane dreams. Every dream comes to tell us something new and each dream aids our health and wholeness.

Love & Loss in Contemporary American Short Fiction--taught Marilyn Edelstein
In this course, we will read and discuss a select group of powerful short-stories by contemporary American writers, focusing on the ways in which they explore the themes of love, loss, and relationships between them. We will read Raymond Carver's "A Small, Good Thing," Bharati Mukherjee's "The Management of Grief," Cynthia Ozick's "The Shawl."

Reflections on Evil in a Created World--Father James Felt
"Why did God create a world with so much evil in it?" Fr. James Felt, S.J., just retired after teaching philosophy at SCU for forty-one years, will propose a novel way of discussing this question from a purely philosophical (not theological) point of view. It will deal with possibility and actuality, with what can be, what is, and (presumably) with what would be. The key ideas are developed in his short essay published in Faith and Philosophy, a copy of which will be made available to those who wish for it.

Malawi: Stories from the Other Side of the Earth--taught by Ed Schaefer
Malawi is a small country in southeastern Africa. In this short course, we will describe the lives of Malawians. In particular, we will discuss how their culture affects poverty, AIDS, the extended family system, religion, education, politics, corruption, history, and society.


God's, Witches, Heroes, and Queens: An Insider's Look at the English Opera Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell--taught by Nancy Wait Kromm
An exploration of the creativity within the melodious music of Henry Purcell's timeless masterpiece. Meet singers from the cast who will discuss their roles and challenges in singing this glorious baroque music, and interpreting characters from a story that is thousands of years old. Students will hear insights from the directors on the creative process in bringing the simple but tragic love story to life in our sophisticated and fast-paced 21st century world.

Behind the Scenes: "Arthur Miller and A View from the Bridge"
Meet with Barbara Fraser, SCU Associate Professor of Theater, on Saturday for behind the scenes look at Arthur Miller and his play, A View from the Bridge. A View from the Bridge, written by Arthur Miller and directed by Fred Tollini--Set in 1950's Brooklyn, longshoreman Eddie Carbone treasures his Italian-American community, his family, and most importantly his niece Catherine. When his wife's cousins Marco and Rodolpho are smuggled in from Sicily to work illegally, he offers them shelter in his home. But as Catherine develops a romantic interest in Rodolpho, Eddie finds himself consumed with jealousy. In his obsession to be rid of Rodolpho, Eddie reports the men to immigration authorities--but cannot control the tragic consequences that follow.

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