OLLI Study Groups - Fall 2018
November 5, 2018–January 18, 2019

Study groups will not meet November 19–23 and December 24–January 4.

Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 17, 2018!

(November 5, 12, 26; December 3, 10, 17; January 7, 14)


Art of the Heist: Part 2
Suzanne Meier
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

The group will watch one episode per week of “Art of the Heist: Inside the Art World’s Biggest Thefts.” The episodes combine fine art, mystery plus real life art thefts, some of which are still unsolved. No reading is required.  This group is suitable for both returning and new participants.

Reading Materials: None.

Facilitator: Suzanne Meier has an extensive background in the history of architecture and art. She has given lectures in the past for various groups and was a frequent guest lecturer at the Theosophical Society of Baltimore. Suzanne first became interested in art theft after reading Peter Watson’s “The Caravaggio Conspiracy” back in 1985. She is also very interested in culture, popular art movements and how they affect and shape the built environment. She has facilitated two other OLLI study groups.


Tips on Enjoying Fall Tree Leaf Color in the Champaign-Urbana Area… (or Getting to Know the Fall Color [Timing and Quality] of Individual Trees)
Gary Stensland
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
4 weeks – (November 5, 12, 26 & December 3)

As a retirement hobby Gary Stensland has intensively followed the timing and quality of fall tree leaf color in the Urbana area, taking digital photographs biweekly of the same individual trees since 2006, accumulating over 100,000 images.           Examples from this database will be used to demonstrate the surprising diversity and beauty of fall tree color in the Urbana area. The goal for the study group is that the participants will go forward with a greater awareness and interest in fall color and when on a walk in the fall they will be looking up at the tree canopy.

Each session will include photos of local tree color from the previous week and suggestions on where to find good leaf color during the upcoming week. Maples, ginkgoes, and green ash trees will get the most attention but more than 15 other tree species will also be discussed. About 100 individual ginkgo trees are being followed by Gary. Photos by Gary will show that the date of the peak color for these ginkgoes varies by more than 15 days in a fall season, and that an early and a late ginkgo tree for one fall season will be early and late each fall season.

The emerald ash borer (EAB) effects on ash trees in the Urbana area and nationwide will be discussed.

Weather and climate effects on fall color will be discussed. If a given green ash tree has great fall color one year, will it have great color every year? The effect of weather variables on the quality of tree fall color photographs will be discussed. Computer models suggest that a warming climate will delay peak fall leaf color. This result will be discussed.

Examples of fall color in the Northeast and in Colorado will be discussed and compared to fall color in the Urbana area.

A similar study group was offered in the fall of 2017.

Reading materials: Each week a few tree books will be shown and discussed.

Facilitator: Gary Stensland has a PhD in Atmospheric Science from Penn State and worked 29 years at the Illinois State Water Survey in the Atmospheric Science Division until his retirement in 2004. His whole career has involved research on air pollution issues, with a focus on acid rain related topics.       One retirement hobby has been to photographically follow fall foliage, timing and intensity, for some 300 individual trees in Urbana/Champaign. Ginkgoes, maples, and green ash have been emphasized but many other species have been followed. His digital photo database since 2005 includes more than 100,000 photos taken in the Urbana area.


The Oedipus Plays
Richard Meier
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

The first Athenians who saw Sophocles’ Oedipus the King already knew the whole story; yet ever since then, this play has been regarded as a model of dramatic surprise and intensity. Near the end of his life, Sophocles wrote Oedipus at Colonus, in which the former King reckons with his past and meets a mysterious end. We will read these plays while also watching a BBC production with Michael Pennington, Claire Bloom, and John Gielgud. We will spend five session on Oedipus the King and three on Oedipus at Colonus (subject to change). In a later group, we can go on to the equally famous play Antigone, about Oedipus’ daughter.

Reading materials: The Three Theban Plays. Translated by Robert Fagles. Penguin Classics. (430 pages; ISBN 9780140444254)

Facilitator: Richard Meier has degrees in philosophy and history. He has facilitated study groups on Homer, Virgil and Cicero.


Films from Iran
Marganit Weinberger-Rotman
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Iran has an extensive and impressive film industry. Celebrated filmmakers like Abbas Kiarostami, Asghar Farhadi, Muhsen Makhmalbaf (and his daughter Samira), Majid Majidi, Jafar Panahi and Tahmine Milani are (or should be) household names. Several Iranian films have garnered international awards in recent years, but most are not widely distributed in the West.

The films in this study group are not overtly political (filmmakers who openly criticize the regime are either silenced or exiled). They focus on social issues, domestic conflicts, economic hardships, agrarian communities, government corruption, the treatment of the disabled, expatriates, and, above all, the oppression of women by the Ayatollahs’ fundamentalist interpretation of religion.

The movies under consideration are: Ten, The Salesman, The Past, The Color of Paradise, The Song of the Sparrows, Fireworks Wednesday, Two Women, Superstar, Tehran Taboo, Man of Integrity, and Persepolis. The choice and order of the films will depend on availability.

Reading materials: None.

Facilitator: Marganit Weinberger-Rotman worked for Israeli Television for many years and attends the International Jerusalem Film Festival every year. She has facilitated six OLLI study groups involving Israeli cinema, French comedies and German films.

(November 6, 13, 27; December 4, 11, 18; January 8, 15)


Readings in Science and Nature
Claudia Reich and Dirk Mol
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Every year a panel of experts selects the best science and nature writing for the general public, that incorporate the latest in science news. These are then published under the title The Best Science and Nature Writing. The 2018 issue is edited by Sam Kean, a New York Times bestselling author of four award-winning books, including Caesar's Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us and The Violinist's Thumb: and Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code. This year’s collection includes essays by Elizabeth Kolbert, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Ed Yong and President Barack Obama, among others.

This study group will focus on selections from this volume. Each session we will read and discuss two of the pieces. Participants need to buy or borrow a copy of the volume in order to make the most of their participation.

Reading materials: The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2018. Edited by Sam Kean. Mariner Books. (368 pages; ISBN 9781328987808)

Facilitators: Claudia holds a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. At UIUC, she has been a Postdoctoral Fellow in Biochemistry, and Research Assistant Professor and Senior Scientist in Microbiology and the Institute for Genomic Research. Her research has centered on molecular biology and genomics of microorganisms. At OLLI she has facilitated several study groups and taught courses on Microbiology and Molecular Biology topics.

Dirk has been a mental health professional for over 20 years, following a career as an Episcopal priest. In both capacities he has engaged in teaching and small group facilitation. He has a lifelong interest in the natural world, especially the human brain, and what science can teach us about it. He has facilitated two OLLI study groups focusing on psychology and culture.


Craft in America
Kathy Robinson
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

This is a follow-up to a previous semester’s popular offering. We will watch up to eight additional episodes of the PBS series that focuses on the work of professional craft folk in the United States doing world-class ceramics, fiber art, glass work, woodwork, and more. One or two sessions may feature in-depth portraits of individual artists from sources outside the PBS series. In addition, participants will be invited to present and discuss their own collections or creations before and after some meetings.  The group is suitable for both returning and new participants.

Source: For a preview, visit the website http://www.craftinamerica.org/. Click on “episodes” to select one to view.

Reading Materials: None.

Facilitator: Kathy Robinson is a self-described amateur “maker” who admires the passion and artistry of premier artists and craft workers the world over. Like-minded OLLI fellow students will surely enjoy seeing examples of premier work being done and explained by the artists.


Poetry Reading
Bill Breeding, Linda Coleman, Kendall Rafter, Claudia Reich, Joy Thornton-Walter, Helen Thursh and Jean Weigel
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Poetry is a dish best enjoyed among friends. Poems evoke feelings, meanings and experiences that are personal in nature; what moves you may not move me, what intrigues me may not intrigue you. And when we share our different responses to poems, we all gain a deeper understanding.
Every week we will read and discuss poems, from the classics to the modern. Selections will be chosen by consensus and we will draw on available free resources such as The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org) and other Internet sites. We envision this Study Group as a communal endeavor, and we will share the responsibilities of proposing poems to read and facilitating discussions of them.

Reading Materials: Selections will be chosen by consensus and we will draw on available free resources such as The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org) and other Internet sites.

Facilitators: The naming of facilitators only reflects the necessity of providing channels of communication, but we stress the notion that participation will require active engagement from everyone in the group.


Voyager: Season 3 of the Outlander Series
Joyce Francisco, Cindy Mann, and Don Francisco
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

In the 1980s Diana Gabaldon, a scientific researcher living in Arizona, decided to write a fictional book about Scotland in the 1740s. The result was Outlander, published in 1990. It was the first volume of what has become, so far, an 8-book series (more on the way). The books contain an element of time travel, but are mostly history, romance, and adventure. They became a huge hit, but fans had to wait until 2015 to see them come to the screen.

In the fall of 2016, we watched Season 1, based on the novel Outlander, and in the fall of 2017 we watched Season 2, based on the novel Dragonfly in Amber. This time, we will watch the third season of the TV series produced by STARZ based on the third volume of the book series (Voyager). Please be aware that there is some adult content (language, violence, and nudity), but that is not the main focus. The group will view two approximately 1-hour episodes (12 total) of the STARZ production most weeks (two weeks may be only one episode) and one 78-minute episode and discuss what we've seen, including the historical context. As time permits, we will watch bonus features about the making of the series and the facilitators will provide additional material.

Viewing of Seasons 1 and 2 is not required, but is helpful to understanding the context of Season 3. The local public libraries have DVD sets available for loan and rental. The facilitators will present a brief summary of the first two seasons at the beginning of the first session.

Reading materials: Not required.
Gabaldon, Diana. 1992. Outlander. Dell. (850 pages; ISBN 9780440212560)
Gabaldon, Diana. 1993. Dragonfly in Amber. Dell. (976 pages; ISBN 9780440215622)
Gabaldon, Diana. 1994. Voyager. Dell. (1104 pages; ISBN 9780440217565)
Book summaries and related materials: Gabaldon, Diana. 2015. The Outlandish Companion Volume 1. Random House Publishing Group. (608 pages; ISBN 9781101887271)

Facilitators: The facilitators have read and loved the Outlander book series by Diana Gabaldon. They were very happy when STARZ created this production. Cindy loves to do historical research and will provide additional understanding of the context of the story.


The Heroines of the Books of Esther and Ruth
Norman Klein
3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
4 weeks (November 6, 13, 27 & December 4)

We will read and discuss the Books of Esther and Ruth. The book of Ruth follows the life of a Moabite woman who migrates to Israel to support her mother in law and marries Boaz. They are ancestors of King David. The Book of Esther narrates how a Jewish woman marries the King of Persia and saves her fellow Jews from the anti-Semite Haman, the King's chief advisor.

Reading materials: Any Bible in English translation.

Facilitator: Norman Klein is retired as the emeritus rabbi at Sinai Temple in Champaign after serving as the interim rabbi at temples in Canada and Florida. Before becoming Rabbi Emeritus at Sinai Temple, Champaign, IL, he served as rabbi from 1995 to 2013. Rabbi Klein has studied and discussed the books every year as they are read on the Jewish holidays of Shavuot (Ruth) and Purim (Esther).

(November 7, 14, 28; December 5, 12, 19; January 9, 16)


The Last Days of Socrates
Bob Strauss
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Socrates (469-399 BCE) changed the course and direction of philosophical investigation from a focus on nature (science) to a pursuit of the perfection of the soul. A simple indicator of the importance of Socrates to Western Philosophy is the fact that most philosophers and historians refer to all of the Greek philosophers who came before him as the pre-Socratics!

We will read 3-4 of Plato’s dialogues in which he presents his teacher, Socrates, during the time immediately prior to his trial through the days leading up to his execution. Those dialogues are “The Euthyphro,” on the meaning of piety; “The Apology,” where Socrates is charged with not believing in the gods recognized by the state and for corrupting the youth of Athens; “The Crito,” where a friend counsels Socrates to escape prison and go into exile, and “The Phaedo” where Socrates is visited in prison by two of his students and he argues for the immortality of the soul.

We also will talk briefly about the source of what we know about Socrates and where Socrates ends and Plato begins. No previous background in philosophy is required for this study course.

Reading materials: The Last Days of Socrates by Plato. There are numerous editions of the book. Any is satisfactory as long as it contains the four dialogues listed above.

Facilitator: Prior to his career in Human Resources management, Bob Strauss completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in philosophy. His areas of study included the history of philosophy.


The New Yorker
Kathleen Holden and Marilyn Resch
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

The New Yorker provides a unique mix of articles and reviews on current topics, literature, and the arts. This study group is designed for readers of The New Yorker who want to get together to discuss current articles from the magazine. Members will be encouraged to choose and lead the discussion of one or more articles during this session. Participants are required to have some reliable means of obtaining the articles to be discussed.

Reading materials: The New Yorker magazine.

Facilitators: Kathleen Holden is a retired UIUC administrator. She has been a member of several interesting OLLI study groups, including the New Yorker.

Marilyn Resch is a retired attorney. Since joining OLLI in late 2013, she has participated in a number of study groups on a variety of topics. The New Yorker is one of her favorites.          


The Economist: Reading and discussing selected articles from this weekly magazine.
Jeff Gordon and Susan Feuille
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

The Economist is a global weekly magazine written for those who share an uncommon interest in being well and broadly informed. Each issue explores domestic and international issues, business, finance, current affairs, science, technology and the arts. The Economist, an English magazine, has been in publication since 1843. The reporting is currently from 196 countries, decidedly with an international flavor. The circulation includes 4.5 million print subscribers and 2.8 million digital readers making it the most widely read magazine covering politics, economics, culture and general news around the world.

Participants will discuss the selected articles, take turns commenting on the topics, and add insights and information from other resources, personal experience, and knowledge, e.g. travel in foreign country. We aim to have active participation and lively conversations about the world today.
Come join us in reading and discussing world events as seen more broadly than from any other periodical being published today.

Reading materials: The Economist magazine. Student subscription rate is available for short term or annually. An inquisitive interest in world affairs is encouraged. New print subscribers should expect 4-6 week delay in receiving the magazine. Digital access is available through the Champaign Public Library at no cost with a library card.

Facilitators: Jeff Gordon retired in 2014 after 23 years at the Building Research Council, where he participated in the research, educational, and public service missions relating to building science. A wide-ranging curiosity about the world led him to The Economist magazine. He has been an active participant in The Economist study group at OLLI for the past two years.

Susan Feuille retired from the College of LAS Administration in 2008, but still continues to do her etiquette consulting work occasionally. After enjoying The New Yorker study group for several years, Susan’s travels to the U.K. sparked her interest in The Economist and the OLLI study group.


Sex and the Constitution: a Discussion of Geoffrey Stone’s book
Trisha Crowley and Barbara Jones
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

The group will read and discuss Geoffrey Stone’s 2017 book, Sex and the Constitution: Sex, Religion, and Law from America’s Origins to the Twenty-First Century. This will be supplemented by occasional news articles and related materials, and by a Skype session with the author. Geoffrey Stone is the Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. (https://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/stone-g)

Reading materials: Substantial reading of 80 pages per week will be required each week for full participation and engagement and for the success of this group.
Stone, Geoffrey R. 2018. Sex and the Constitution: Sex, Religion, and Law from America’s Origins to the Twenty-First Century. Liveright. (704 pages; ISBN 9781631494284)

Facilitators: Trisha Crowley is a retired attorney who has had numerous occasions to research and study First Amendment issues as a local government attorney. She has participated in many study groups and is a great fan of the format.

Barbara Jones is a retired librarian whose professional focus was freedom of expression. She did the First Amendment work at the American Library Association for six years. She holds a Ph.D. in U.S. History with a focus on legal history. She, too, has enjoyed OLLI study groups.


These Are a Few of our Favorite Films
Frank Chadwick, Millie Davis, Roger Digges, Linda Miller, Kathy Robinson, Bill Slough, Tim Smith and Joy Thornton-Walter
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Eight facilitators will present eight films, one per week, covering a broad variety of genres and times, from the 1930s to the present. Each facilitator will present a film of their choice, giving a brief introduction, then the film itself, and then lead a discussion of the film with some possible additional background provided. The eight films will be:

Joy Thornton-Walter: Chinatown (1974)
Bill Slough: Some Like it Hot (1959)
Millie Davis: Hugo (2011)
Linda Miller: Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
Frank Chadwick: Cold Comfort Farm (1995)
Roger Digges: Arrival (2016)
Tim Smith: Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
Kathy Robinson: Dirty Dancing (1987)

Reading materials: None.

Facilitators: The facilitators have all taken the previous favorite films study group and have volunteered to show and discuss their favorite film. Some are veteran study group facilitators, some are new to the role, and all of them are interested in sharing ideas with the OLLI community in this team-led format.


A Discussion Group on David Szalay’s “All that Man Is”
Paula Watson
3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
This discussion group will be presented in two parts, but a single registration.  Participants are welcome to attend part A, part B, or both, based on their own interests.

A Discussion Group on David Szalay’s “All that Man Is” (Part A)
First 4 weeks

All that Man Is byDavid Szalay was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize in 2016. It is a consciously unconventional novel consisting of stories about nine men, each at a different stage of life-- from a student aged 17 to a 73- year-old retiree. Each protagonist is at a point of crisis. Also, each has travelled from his European home country to a different place on the continent. These characters are, for the most part, not particularly admirable and several have objectionable attitudes towards women. Though you may not like these guys, Szalay helps you understand and perhaps even sympathize with them as fellow voyagers on life’s journey from youth to extinction.

We will read and discuss two or three chapters per week (about 70-80 pages). The reviewer in the Sunday Times (UK) ended his evaluation by calling this book “a 100-megawatt novel: intelligent, intricate, so very well made, the form perfectly fitting the content. When I reached the end, I turned straight back to the start to begin again.”

Reading materials: Szalay, David. 2016. All that Man Is. Minneapolis: Greywolf Press. (369 pages; ISBN 9780224099776)

A Discussion Group on All that Man Is in America (Part B)
Second 4 weeks

This discussion group is meant to complement the one on David Szalay’s All that Man Is during the first part of the semester. To provide an American take on manhood, we will read and discuss selected, frequently anthologized, stories by U.S. writers including, for example, John Updike, John Cheever, Raymond Carver, and Joyce Carol Oates. The stories were chosen in part because they can be downloaded from the internet. As in the case of Szalay’s protagonists, the men in these stories, while not necessarily likable, are at an important point in their lives. We will explore their characters and what, if anything, they tell us about our society.

Reading materials: A list of stories will be provided via email to participants.

Facilitator: Paula Watson has led numerous OLLI short story discussion groups. She holds a Master’s degree in English literature.


Pre-Socratic Philosophy
Frank Hoss
3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

This group will read and discuss The Dream of Reason by Anthony Gottlieb.We will study the Milesian philosophers and seven other Pre-Socratics and finish up with the Sophists.
The Pre-Socratics were 6th and 5th century BCE Greek thinkers who introduced a new way of inquiring into the world and the place of human beings in it. They were recognized in antiquity as the first philosophers and scientists of the Western tradition.

Reading materials: Gottlieb, Anthony. 2016. The Dream of Reason: A History of Western Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance. W. W. Norton & Company. (512 pages; ISBN 9780393352986)

Facilitator: Frank Hoss has graduate degrees in Theology, Philosophy and Classical Languages. He has been an adjunct instructor in Philosophy and Religion at community colleges and has led several OLLI study groups on Philosophy.

(November 8, 15, 29; December 6, 13, 20; January 10, 17)


Best American Mystery Stories 1999
Bev Herzog and Ron Baker
10:00- 11:30 a.m.

This session we will be reading and discussing the twenty stories in The Best American Mystery Stories 1999 by Ed McBain, editor, and Otto Penzler, series editor. This edition includes nineteen stories by such well-known authors as John Updike, Lawrence Block, Jeffery Deaver, and Joyce Carol Oates (of course!) as well as two Edgar Award winners and several less-know authors. This volume encompasses the diversity of this genre, ranging from suspense to crime writing.

Group members will be expected read and be ready to discuss two to three stories each week. Group members will also be asked to volunteer to lead discussions of a story or two, including researching the authors of the stories and developing study questions. Many members follow the session with lunch together at a local restaurant, where they may continue to discuss the stories and develop friendships. Story leaders get to select the restaurant.

Reading materials: The Best American Mystery Stories 1999. Edited by Ed McBain and Otto Penzler. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (457 pages; ISBN 978-0395939161)

Facilitators: Bev Herzog is a retired geologist who has been an avid reader of mysteries since she was introduced to Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden as a child. She has participated in mystery short stories study groups since joining OLLI in 2010 and has co-facilitated this group thirteen times since 2011 to excellent reviews.

Ron Baker is a retired Federal Human Resources Manager and OLLI member since 2013. He almost exclusively reads mystery stories and has been in several OLLI mystery story study groups. He has co-facilitated this group eight previous times, seven with Bev.


Time Magazine
John Moore
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

The group selects three articles from Time Magazine each week to discuss, with a volunteer leader for each article. Time Magazine is the world’s leading newsmagazine, featuring national and international affairs; health, business, culture and entertainment.

Reading materials: All participants must have access to Time Magazine in print or digitally.

Facilitator: John Moore is an almost retired Allergist and Pediatrician. He is a long-time fan of Time and Newsweek.


American Artists of the 1930’s: Seeking to define Modern American Art during the turbulent times of The Great Depression
Sharon Williams
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

We will begin this Study Group with an exploration of Americans’ adoption of Art Deco, which began in France in 1925.

Once the Great Depression takes hold, we will follow the New Deal art programs, which the government put in place to assist artists who could find little work and few buyers for their art. We will consider the influence Mexican artists had on American art of the 30’s and on these government programs.

The “American Wave” widened during the time of the government programs as did the debate about “what is modern American art and how much influence should the avant-garde artists of Europe, particularly French, have on it.”? Thomas Hart Benton, against abstraction and the influence of these foreign artists, was one of the leading spokes-persons for painting the realistic, sometimes idealized “American Scene”. We will view a film about his art and life and also consider the work of other painters of this American Scene, sometimes referred to as “Regionalists”.

Indeed, not all would be painted in rosy hues. We will also view artists whose work reflected the politically troubled times--“the Social Realists”- and artists who employed Surrealism.

Finally, we will look at the fate of this mostly realistic art of the 30’s and set the stage for Abstract Expressionism, which will follow in the 40’s.

Reading materials: Each week Sharon will post on the OLLI website readings and paintings, which will be the basis of that week’s discussion. Additional paintings, videos, and films, with comments from art historians, will be used to add to the understanding of each week’s artists and topics.

Facilitator: Sharon Williams is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University and a State of Illinois licensed Interior Designer who was co-owner of a furniture and design business for over 35 years. She has an interest in art and art history and hopes to share her knowledge and learn from other OLLI members. She is serving on the Study Group Committee and has participated in numerous study groups and courses. This is the 14th Art History Study Group she has facilitated.

(November 9, 16, 30; December 7, 14, 21; January 11, 18)


Writing and Performing Poetry
John Palen
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

This is a poetry workshop culminating in a reading, with family, friends and other OLLI members invited to the final presentation. Participants will work from model poems to write short free-verse poems and read them aloud to the group. This is not primarily a critique group. Brief periods will be set aside for discussion of craft. There will opportunity for in-class writing. Participants will be encouraged to revise work at home and bring it to the workshop to share. An anthology of poems by participants will be put together and maintained in the OLLI library.

Reading Materials: None.

Facilitator: John Palen’s eighth collection of poetry, Distant Music, came out from Mayapple Press in October 2017. He has published poetry in literary magazines and anthologies since the last 1960s. He taught poetry writing to el-hi students in Michigan public schools through the state Writers in the Schools project. A retired journalist and journalism educator, he did undergraduate work at Washington University in St. Louis and earned master’s and doctoral degrees at Michigan State University.


Advanced Latin
Harold Diamond
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Advanced Latin is a continuation of the Advanced Latin Study Group that has been meeting through OLLI since 2013. Participants should have prerequisite skills in the Latin language, e.g. some familiarity with grammar and vocabulary. Our meetings are lively and include discussions of historical and etymological topics. We have completed Orberg's Lingua Latina Pars I and Ecce Romani II-B and III. We have recently read works of Caesar, Cicero, and Augustus, among others.

Reading materials: Gummere, John Flagg, and Annabel Horn. 1955. Using Latin: Book Two. Scott, Foresman, and Company. (448 pages; ASIN
It will be useful also to have a Latin grammar book and a Latin dictionary for this study group.

Facilitator: Harold Diamond studied Latin in high school, attended Kay Neal’s OLLI classes, and participates in the Advanced Latin Study Group. All members of the group share in determining the path we follow.


Writers’ Café
Frank Chadwick
1:30 – 4:00 p.m.

Each week we meet to exchange news about writing in the Champaign-Urbana area, share a craft tip or exercise, and then (the main activity) read passages we’ve written and have the group critique them and make suggestions for improvement. We write all genres and forms: children’s stories, young adult, science fiction, historical fiction, memoir, poetry, song, travel – you name it. All levels of experience welcome. We all start somewhere, and the best place is in the company of those who are working toward the same goals.

Reading Materials: None.

Facilitator: Frank Chadwick is a published historian and novelist and his Desert Shield Fact Book reached number one on the New York Times bestseller list. He has facilitated several OLLI study groups and taught three OLLI courses - Writing the Novel, The 1973 Arab-Israeli War, and World War II: A Look behind the Curtain.