dominican logo top
You are here: Home / Academics / Osher Lifelong Learning Institute / Fall 2014 Course Offerings

Fall 2014 Course Offerings

Registration officially begins on August 15th for Premium Members and August 25th for Basic Members. To register, mail or email us your registration form, or call the office at (415) 458-3763. Please note that beginning in the Winter 2015 Session, members will be able to easily register online!

Click Here to download:



Fall 2014
September 15 – November 19, 2014



Judaism ChristianityThe Emergence of Judaism and Christianity in the Greco-Roman Period
Welcome to one of the wildest, earliest, most disrupted, disruptive and creative periods in Western history and religion.  The roots of Christianity are a rough and innovative graft on the mother religion of Judaism. This course will examine this dynamic period, which produced rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity.  We will explore the texts, the history, the arts and archeology, which set the stage for modern Christianity and Judaism.  
Henry Shreibman
, PhD, Rabbi, DD 

September 15 – November 3, 2014
10:50 a.m.  – 12:35 p.m. (eight classes)
Location: Guzman Lecture Hall, Dominican Campus 


Stage & ScreenAmerica on Stage and Screen:  The Fifties
The Fifties was the era of Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller on Broadway; of Oscars for Marty and Ben Hur; of My Fair Lady and Ed Sullivan and Lucy.  It was also the decade of Joe McCarthy, Ike, Martin Luther King, and Fidel Castro; of Alfred Kinsey and Elvis Presley; of Levittown, McDonald's, and migration to suburbia.  These lectures will consider the vast changes in American society during the 1950s, with close analysis of stage and screen narratives as a means to understand them.  Larry Eilenberg, PhD 

September 15 – November 3, 2014
1:40 – 3:25 p.m. (eight classes)
Location: Guzman Lecture Hall, Dominican Campus  



WWIThe Causes and Consequences of World War I: 1914 - 1918
Marking the centennial of one of the most devastating wars in human history, this series of lectures will examine the causes of the war; the results, many of which we live with today; America's perception of the War; how the country was ultimately drawn into the conflict in 1917; the impact of American participation, particularly the role of President Woodrow Wilson; and ultimately the mistaken and dangerous lessons that the U.S. drew from its involvement.  
Hank Fearnley, PhD 

September 16 – November 18, 2014
10:00 – 11:45 a.m. (eight classes) No classes on September 23 and September 30 (makeup classes to be held on November 11 and November 18)
Location: Congregation Kol Shofar215 Blackfield Dr. Tiburon



New Visions in Asia: Thailand, Vietnam and Korea
Asian countries today struggle with and profit by 21st C. forces of globalization and change. Communist Vietnam has become one of the region's fastest growing economies. Thailand, long time ally of the United States, traditionally a constitutional monarchy, is facing serious challenges to its form of government as its aging king, slips from power. Korea, technological powerhouse, wrestles with conservative/progressive tensions in a relatively new democracy. Everywhere, a youthful generation, actively engaging the latest technology, has to accommodate the traditions of the past. All countries are caught between the rising power of China, its neighbors and the western trading world. What a fascinating time for Asia!  Gloria Neumeier, MA  

September 16 – November 4, 2014
1:40 – 3:25 p.m. (eight classes)
Location: Guzman Lecture Hall, Dominican Campus



ConstitutionWe the People: What the U.S. Constitution Really Says
Studies tell us that 85% of Americans have not read the Constitution as adults. Learning what the Constitution actually says is the door-way to its meaning. This is not a class on Constitutional Law, but rather focuses on reading the document. We examine the forces that caused adoption of the Bill of Rights. We examine the personalities, the struggles, the politics and workings of the Convention and how it produced the oldest, continuously-operating governmental Constitution in the history of the world.  
William J. O'Connor, JD 

September 17 – November 5, 2014
10:15 – 12:00 p.m. (eight classes)
Location: Villa Marin100 Thorndale Drive San Rafael

DrawingBeginning and Intermediate Drawing
This class is designed to introduce the basic principles of beginning drawing to participants who are new to art classes as well as those who are more advanced.  The time will be divided between the study of composition, the development in the skilled use of a medium and the ability to reproduce visual imagery.  The materials will be pencil and ink. 
Edythe Bresnahan, MA 

September 17 – November 5, 2014
10:50 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. (eight classes)
Location: San Marcos 2, Dominican Campus
Maximum of 20 participants           

PresidentThey Also Ran:  The Impact on History of Defeated Candidates for President
This course will provide a view of American history through the eyes of defeated candidates for President of the United States.   Burr, Clay, Webster, Douglas, Bryan, Hughes, Cox, Davis, Smith, Landon, Willkie, Dewey, Stevenson, Goldwater, Humphrey and all of the others who also ran will be presented with a view to define their impact on history.  
John F. Rothmann, MA  

September 17 – November 19, 2014
1:30 – 3:15 p.m. (eight classes) No classes on September 24 and October 1 (makeup classes will be held on November 12 and November 19)
Location: Congregation Kol Shofar215 Blackfield Dr. Tiburon


Art & ArchitectureAegean and Mediterranean Odyssey Through Art and Architecture
Join Kerrin Meis on a virtual cruise studying the architecture, sculpture and mosaics of the Mediterranean and Aegean with stops in North Africa and the Levant. We will visit Sicily, Minoan Crete, Mycenae, Athens, Mystras, Thessaloniki, Petra and Jerash and Madaba in Jordan, coastal sites in Israel, Baalbek, Lebanon and other fascinating destinations. One focus is on the stylistic development of Greek sculpture from the Archaic to the Classical. Another focus is on the mosaics in Tunisia, Jordan and Gazientep, Turkey. Kerrin MeisMA  

September 18 – November 13, 2014
10:15 – 12:00 p.m. (eight classes) No class on October 23 (makeup class will be held on November 13)
Location: Angelico Concert Hall, Dominican Campus

PlaysMining the Masters: Pulitzer Prize-winning Plays
In this course we’ll enter the unique worlds created in the Pulitzer prize-winning plays: Doubt, John Patrick Shanley; How I Learned to Drive, Paula Vogel; Talley’s Folly, Lanford Wilson; and Top Dog/Underdog, Suzan-Lori Parks. (Students receive a plot summary for each play.) We'll investigate how these master playwrights bring their evocative voices and visions to the stage. Film clips of plays and playwrights will provide insight on a play’s journey from first inspiration to production. Nina Solomita, MFA 

September 18 – October 9, 2014
1:40 – 3:25 p.m. (four classes)
Location: Guzman Lecture Hall, Dominican Campus 

Feminine MystiqueThe Feminine Mystique of Ancient Greece  
 In 1963, Betty Friedan published her society-changing book, The Feminine Mystique, in which she discussed “the problem that has no name” - how traditional attitudes were keeping women virtual prisoners, unable to fulfill themselves.  This course is a foundational prequel, setting forth how ambiguous opinions about women were also problematical to the ancient Greeks. A look at characters such as Pandora, Demeter, Antigone and Medea will bring to light both ancient and modern mindsets.  Joan Sutton, MA 

October 16 – November 6, 2014
1:40 – 3:25 p.m. (four classes)
Location: Guzman Lecture Hall, Dominican Campus 


International LawThe Politics of International Law: Hopes and Fears
A lively analysis and discussion of the framework and structure of the international legal system will be covered in this course.   Important and timely issues will be discussed including human rights, the environment, armed conflict, law of the sea, air and space law, crime, treaties and international dispute resolution.  Participants will learn the fundamental concepts of international law in these areas and the effectiveness (or not) of international organizations.  Eric J. Sinrod, JD 

September 19 – November 14, 2014
10:50 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. (eight classes) No class on October 10 (makeup class will be held on November 14)
Location: Guzman Lecture Hall, Dominican Campus

Please note that there has been a change in instructor and content for the following course:


Memoir Writing: Celebrating the Wisdom of Your Life
This workshop gives you a sacred creative place to write just for yourself and express your life experience, fantasies, visions, desires and dreams. You will be given new techniques to develop your creativity in a safe, supportive environment – and express yourself with power and beauty.  As you write about the colorful, beautiful, challenging, and transformational experiences of your life, you create a fascinating book and learn a lot about yourself in the process. All writers are welcome, regardless of experience.
Diane Frank, MA

September 19 – October 24, 2014
10:50 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. (six classes)
Location: Angelico 116, Dominican Campus
Maximum of 20 participants


Astronomy2Black Holes, Curved Spacetime and the Shape of the Universe
Modern astronomy is filled with exotic concepts straight out of science fiction; black holes, gravitational lenses, and an expanding, accelerating universe.  These come from General Relativity, Einstein’s theory of gravity as the curvature of space and time.  In this course we'll learn how space and time are unified into a single dynamic four-dimensional spacetime, how to think in four dimensions, and how curving spacetime leads to gravity, black holes and the shape of the universe. 
Steve Bryson, PhD

September 19 – November 14, 2014
1:40 – 3:25 p.m. (eight classes) No class on October 10 (makeup class will be held on November 14)
Location: Guzman Lecture Hall, Dominican Campus


Nationalist ChinaNationalist China (1927 – 1949): The Dream That Became a Nightmare
This course surveys the history of Nationalist China (1927-1949), as a means of helping students understand the complex interplay between human will and the forces of historical change. Attention focuses on key historical personalities such as Chiang Kai-Shek, (his wife) Soong Mei-ling, (his sister-in-law) Soong Ching-ling, Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, as each tried to navigate perilous times – when the great dream of national reconstruction became a horrific nightmare for Chinese society.  Douglas Lee, PhD 

September 19 – October 24, 2014
1:30 – 3:15 p.m. (six classes)
Location: The Dance Palace, 503 B St. Pt Reyes Station


Theater ClubTheater Appreciation Club
This club will meet four times during the fall session.  Its purpose is to give members the opportunity to sample the excellent and varied community theater that exists in the North Bay.  Class meetings will be used to discuss playwrights and upcoming performances. Registrants for the course must purchase all theater tickets.
Moderator: Sandy Levitan, MA

Mondays, September 15, September 29, October 13, October 27, 2014
3:45 – 5:15p.m. (4 classes)
Location:  Science 227, Dominican Campus
Maximum of 20 participants 

Fiction Book ClubAmerican Fiction Book Club
In the fall session the club will focus on four writers who live or lived primarily in California and whose works were shaped to a significant extent by California history and culture.  Discussion will focus on plot, character, setting and style in addition to each novel’s relation to California history.
Moderator: Paul Prusiner, MD

September 22, October 6, October 20, November 3, 2014
3:45 – 5:15 p.m. (4 classes)
Location:  Science 227, Dominican Campus
Maximum of 20 participants 

         BOOK LIST:

         September 22: John Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath
         October 6: Wallace Stegner, Crossing to Safety
         October 20: William Saroyan, The Human Comedy
         November 3: Joan Didion, Run River


Historical Biography Club The Historical Biography Club
If you love reading about fascinating, provocative, and often enigmatic lives of great historical personalities, then you simply must come join the Historical Biography club!  The theme in the fall session is “Women of Distinction” with one book every two weeks, for a total of four books.   
Moderator: Douglas Lee, PhD

Wednesdays, September 17, October 1, October 15, October 29, 2014
3:45 – 5:15 p.m. (4 classes)
Location: Osher Marin JCCSan Pedro Rd. San Rafael
Maximum of 20 participants

          BOOK LIST

          September 17: Raymond Massie, Catherine the Great
          October 1: Joseph P. Lash, Eleanor, The Years Alone
          October 15: Sonia Sotomayor, My Beloved World
          October 29: Jonathan Allen & Amie Parnes, HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton

Travel ClubTravel Club
Come get great ideas on where and how to travel internationally. The purpose of this informal group is for seasoned travelers to share their knowledge and experience with the beginning traveler. No experience is required to join and all experience is welcome. The moderators will from time-to-time select specific destinations or topics for discussion. Whenever possible, these will be announced in advance.
Co-Moderators: Winnie Coleman, CTC and Duncan McSwain

Thursdays, September 18, October 2, October 16, October 30, 2014
3:45 - 5:15 p.m. (4 classes)
Guzman 306, Dominican Campus
Maximum 20 participants


           September 18: How to go on Safari in Africa
           October 2: Secrets of Asian Travel


    Poetry ClubPoetry Club
    If writing poetry is an old love or a newly acquired one, let's meet at the Poetry Club. Read your own poems; listen to others read their poetry. Our goal is to provide honest feedback in a highly supportive and constructive environment. We'll share the inner experience of writing poetry as a vehicle for creativity and self-expression as well as the craft itself.  Outside resources, such as publications, websites and workshops will be shared and discussed.  Come to the Poet's Corner.
    Moderator: Margo Ginsburg

    Thursdays, September 25, October 9, October 23, November 6, 2014
    3:45 – 5:15 p.m. (four classes)
    Location: Guzman 306, Dominican Campus
    Maximum 20 participants

    Guitar ClubGuitar Club: Hummin’ and Strummin’     
    How would you like to create new neural pathways in your brain, develop small motor skills and reduce stress by learning to play the guitar?  We will cover the basic chords and strums on the guitar to enable you to play most songs. All who have wanted to learn guitar but were reluctant to try until now are invited.  Borrow or rent a guitar, bring your fingers and a positive attitude, and leave your singing inhibitions at home. 
    Moderator: JoAnn Levin

    Fridays, September 19 – November 7, 2014
    2:45 – 4:45 p.m. (eight classes) (The first half hour of the club will be devoted to members who have never played guitar)
    Location: Angelico 111, Dominican Campus
    Maximum 20 participants 


    Dominican OLLI Fall Lecture Series:
    Health: The Inside Story

    Dominican’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute has made a commitment to provide stimulating lectures on a wide variety of topics throughout the academic year. Although the following lectures are free to OLLI members ($10 for non-members), we request that you register for them individually on the form provided in this brochure. To register please call the OLLI office at 415-458-3763. 

    All lectures are held in the Creekside Room on the Dominican Campus from 12:05 – 1:20 p.m. on Tuesday afternoons.


    Issues at the End-of-Life: Quality of Life, Caregiving, Our Wishes
    September 23, 2014

    This discussion aims to broach the topic of end-of-life care, what does quality of life mean at the end-of-life and what is the role of the caregiver in end-of-life care? Making our own wishes known regarding our end-of-life care can greatly affect the happiness, well-being, and finances of those nearest to us.
    Ingrid Sheets, EdD,
    Adjunct Associate Professor in Nursing, School of Health and Natural Science, Dominican University of CA

    The Great "Heart-Healthy" Debate
    October 7, 2014
    Feeling confused by changing or conflicting messages about what foods keep your heart healthy?  This lecture will look at the latest theories and fads, who is behind them, and the heart healthy foods that have stood the test of time.
    Lynne Marie LoPresto, MS, RD, Public Health Nutritionist and Assistant Professor - Term, School of Health and Natural Science, Dominican University of CA

    Medication Errors in America
    October 21, 2014
    Medication errors occur despite technology.  Learn how to approach medications to prevent personal mistakes and improve knowledge. Medicine relies a great deal on mental mnemonics to memorize complex material to promote safety and reduce errors!
    Luanne Linnard-Palmer, PhD, Professor of Nursing, Dominican University of California  

    The Good Vibration
    November 4, 2014
    This lecture will review exciting new approaches that apply electricity to heal injuries and treat cancer.   Simple precautionary advice will be offered about how to live well in our increasingly electrified world.
    Devra Lee Davis, PhD, MPH, Founder and President of Environmental Health Trust

    Common Sites & Pages


    Faculty & Staff