Courses, Clubs and Workshops

Here you will find information about our current and upcoming sessions, including how to register. 

students attend an OLLI course

Our ever-changing selection of lifelong learning opportunities includes subjects such as: The Kennedy Dynasty, Understanding the Balkans, Imperial China, and Swing and the Big Bands. OLLI discussion groups include everything from the new Global Affairs discussion group to the enduring The Economist discussion group and the Socratic Circus salon.

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Fall 2022 Course Descriptions

To view our online brochure, click here.

Mondays | Sept. 12 – Nov. 7 (8 weeks) | 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. | IN-PERSON: Guzman Lecture Hall | Not Recorded
No class Sept. 26

How do our emotions influence our behavior and life choices? How does our “hidden brain” make important decisions in our lives without our awareness? The book and NPR radio series “The Hidden Brain” by Shankar Vedantam draw intriguing arcs from social psychology to our embedded cultural norms. We’ll listen to podcasts, review research, and then enjoy interactive discussions. 

Mondays | Sept. 12 – Oct. 10 (4 weeks) | 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. | IN-PERSON: Guzman Lecture Hall | Not Recorded
No class Sept. 26

Few people realize that Zeppelins carried thousands of paying passengers millions of miles without a single fatality for more than 20 years. As a result, Zeppelins had the best safety record of any form of transportation until the Hindenburg crash in 1937. During the first thirty years of the 20th century France, England, Italy, Spain, Japan, the Soviet Union, and Argentina were just some of the many countries that built and flew airships. A survey of this fascinating but little-known period of aviation history will include remarkable photographs, first person accounts, and rare film clips. The course is based on research for Mr. Geoghegan’s latest non-fiction book, When Giants Ruled the Sky (The History Press, 2022), which was also the basis for the recent Smithsonian documentary, America’s Lost Airship.

Mondays | Oct. 17 – Nov. 7 (4 weeks) | 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. | IN-PERSON: Guzman Lecture Hall | Not Recorded

From jeeps that flew to tanks that shouldn’t; from a jet-powered train that shook itself apart to a wave-powered boat that took forever to reach its destination—an entertaining look at unusual inventions that failed in the marketplace despite their innovative nature. Intended to inform, amuse and delight, this historical survey will not only demonstrate how technology sometimes leads us astray but will have you shaking your head, wondering: “What in the world were they thinking?” Lavishly illustrated with photos and film clips.

Tuesdays | Sept. 13 – Nov. 1 (8 weeks) | 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | Zoom, Recorded*

Few things are more important to the existence of humanity than food and drink. Aside from making human life possible, food and drink have generated multiple waves of cultural and political activity throughout human history, some of it celebratory, some of it contentious, and all of it infinitely interesting. Drawing on examples from all around the world, past and present, this course will explore the many ways that food and drink have become intertwined with culture and politics. After taking this course, you’ll never look at what’s on your plate the same way again.

*Note: Recorded courses are available only to OLLI members enrolled in the specific course. Access to the recorded content will be available through the end of the Fall 2022 Session, November 30, 2022.

Tuesdays | Oct. 11 – Nov. 1 (4 weeks) | 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Zoom, Not Recorded

For a population of 256,318, we have 11 Cities, one County, 7 Fire Protection Districts, 10 Sanitary Districts, 13 Special Services Districts, 20 Joint Powers Authorities, 17 School Districts and more. There are at least 89 Government Agencies in Marin County. How can we navigate among them all and be effective? How do these government agencies function? Or don’t? What do they do? Who is in charge?

Tuesdays | Sept. 13 – Nov. 1 (8 weeks) | 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Zoom, Not Recorded

The Economist magazine provides unbiased reporting and thought-provoking articles on global political and economic developments. Each week we will review 6-9 articles from the current week’s issue. Class participants are expected to volunteer to lead a discussion on at least one article. Participants must subscribe or have access to current editions of The Economist (on-line or paper copies, also available at most libraries) and be familiar with Zoom. Information on subscriptions, student rates and special rates is available at 1-800-456-6086 or economistsubscriptions.com. *Note: A Zoom tutorial will be held for new participants on equipment and etiquette prior to the first group meeting.

Wednesdays | Sept. 14 – Oct. 12 (4 weeks) | 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. | IN-PERSON: Guzman Lecture Hall | Not Recorded
No class Oct. 5

Combining a wealth of film and audio clips with expert commentary, this course will focus on Hendrix, from his roots in blues and soul through his transformation into rock’s most creative guitarist with his underrated first-class compositions and engaging vocals. 

Wednesdays | Oct. 19 – Nov. 9 (4 weeks) | 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. | IN-PERSON: Guzman Lecture Hall | Not Recorded

Combining a wealth of film and audio clips with expert commentary, this course will focus on Joplin, who underwent her own metamorphosis from scuffling folk-blues beatnik to electrifying singer, forever changing the image of rock’n’roll front women.

Wednesdays | Sept. 14 – Nov. 9 (8 weeks) | 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | Zoom, Recorded* 
No class Oct. 5

The Zentangle method is an easy, relaxing and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It increases focus, creativity, and provides artistic satisfaction while creating a sense of well being. It is a form of one pointed awareness drawing meditation. The Zentangle philosophy is that anything can be done one line at a time. That is why Zentangle can be done by anyone. In this class you will learn how to draw Zentangle patterns, color and shading techniques and methods for self soothing in these unpredictable times. Join our international community of Zentangle students and learn from each other while creating.

In this class you will need to have the following materials:

  • Micron Pn Pen (black)
  • Prisma Color Pencils 48 set
  • Tangled Yogi Genesis paper tiles or use bristol or smooth card stock paper 
  • Graphite pencil
  • White gel pen (Signo unibal pen)

Purchase Materials With Ease

Zentangle Examples

*Note: Recorded courses are available only to OLLI members enrolled in the specific course. Access to the recorded content will be available through the end of the Fall 2022 Session, November 30, 2022.

Wednesdays | Oct. 12 – Nov. 16 (6 weeks) | 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Zoom, Not Recorded

Dancer, choreographer, director, Bob Fosse (think “jazz hands!”), said that most songs fall into two categories: “I Am” songs and “I Want” songs. Usually sung early in the show, “I Am” songs help establish a character's personality, role in the plot, and/or motivations. They can be more effective and efficient – and certainly much more fun! – than using dialogue. “I Want” songs engage the audience with the main character’s hopes, dreams, goals, or desires, which often propels him/her through the rest of the show. Join James Sokol for a journey with audio & video performance clips of these compelling and propelling songs. From soaring ballads to charming ditties, songs will come from the “Golden Age” to recent shows. Come for the songs; stay for the fun!

Wednesdays | Sept. 21 – Nov. 16 (8 weeks) | 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Zoom, Not Recorded
No class Oct. 5

A study group for people with an interest in interaction, strategies, and issues of countries around the world. We’ll create our own “think tank” and develop a deeper understanding of global problems and world issues. Participants will pick and lead discussions on topics of interest to the group (e.g., Are interests of China & Russia converging? What does the fourth Industrial Revolution mean for workers?) Classes will respectfully tolerate a wide range of opinions.

*Note: A Zoom tutorial will be held for new participants on equipment and etiquette prior to the first group meeting.

Wednesdays | Sept. 14 – Oct. 12 (4 weeks) | 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. | Zoom, Recorded*
No class Oct. 5

At the turn of the 20th century, changes in philosophy, science, sentiment, and social life propelled artists to search for new ways of expression. Dozens of “isms” appeared; some lasted, and others faded as quickly as they had arrived. But many definitive masters took the stage, and in this four-week session, we’ll look at four of them: Édouard Manet, Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, and René Magritte. Learn about their lives, the sources of their art, and their processes while looking closely at a group of their works. All of them left a lasting mark on Western art, which we can trace even to artists working today.

*Note: Recorded courses are available only to OLLI members enrolled in the specific course. Access to the recorded content will be available through the end of the Fall 2022 Session, November 30, 2022.

Thursdays | Sept. 15 – Oct. 6 (4 weeks) | 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | Zoom, Not Recorded
Putin, his conspirators, his sycophants, and generals have directed the Russian armed forces to invade Ukraine. Have they committed war crimes of aggression and crimes against humanity? Are they responsible for atrocities? Can they be held accountable by legal proceedings? Oak Dowling looks at war crimes and trials, starting with Nuremberg after World War II, then Vietnam and My Lai, and finally at Ukraine in 2022, uncovering the charges and the facts.

Thursdays | Oct. 13 – Nov. 3 (4 weeks) | 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | Zoom, Recorded*

There are many different dimensions to equality in the United States. In particular, there is inequality of opportunity and inequality of outcomes. Not everybody has the same access to resources that are vital to success and not everybody makes the same use of the resources that are available to them. This course explores a variety of dimensions of inequality in the United States and provides evidence of inequality, a discussion of the trends and implications, and will explore different policy options available for addressing inequality. Each lecture will be taught by a subject matter expert, so each lecture is stand alone, but they combine to provide a good background on the economics of inequality.

*Note: Recorded courses are available only to OLLI members enrolled in the specific course. Access to the recorded content will be available through the end of the Fall 2022 Session, November 30, 2022.

Thursdays | Sept. 22 – Oct. 27 (6 weeks) | 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Zoom, Recorded*

“If Mozart was possible, then the word ‘impossible’ should be eliminated from our vocabulary.’”  So said the 20-century Austrian composer Ernst Toch. And he was right! As San Francisco Opera’s longtime Director of Musical Administration, recently named to the new post of Dramaturge for the company, I’d like to take you on a musical tour through the full spectrum of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s operatic genius. We’ll examine the early influences on this famous child prodigy, follow the course of his all-too-short career, and look in depth at his most famous works, including The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and The Magic Flute, as well as several of his lesser-known gems. No previous opera background required. Just watch, listen, and enjoy!

*Note: Recorded courses are available only to OLLI members enrolled in the specific course. Access to the recorded content will be available through the end of the Fall 2022 Session, November 30, 2022.

Thursdays | Sept. 15 – Nov. 3 (8 weeks) | 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Zoom, Not Recorded

The Socratic Circus is a salon where you will find intelligent and thoughtful discussion on myriad topics.  Each week the group selects challenging, and at times controversial, subjects to discuss. Our goal is not to change anyone’s mind, rather, we look at each issue from a big picture perspective and attempt to understand its essence, as well as engage in intellectually stimulating conversation. All points of view are respected. There are many topics from which to choose, including, but not limited to, Critical Race Theory, Cancel Culture, White (Male) Privilege, Property Rights vs Human Rights, and Progress vs Environmental Issues. Everyone gets to participate, so enroll and join us for the fastest and most entertaining two hours you will experience. Prerequisites: Must have opinions and be willing to share, listen, and maintain civility at all times. 

Fridays | Sept. 16 – Nov. 4 (8 weeks) | 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | Zoom, Not Recorded

A workshop focused on poetry based on art, photography, music and dance. In this poetry workshop, we will explore poems based on visual art, sculpture, photography, music and dance. Topics include: 15 ways to approach ekphrastic poetry, how to give your reader entrance to the art, writing poems inspired by music, writing poems inspired by dance and virtuoso editing techniques.

Fridays | Sept. 16 – Oct. 7 (4 weeks) | 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. | IN-PERSON | Not Recorded

This Art History course will have three components. The first session will characterize the three prime varieties of art, ranked according to the level of active participation elicited from the viewer. Through exhibiting selected artwork from the Renaissance to Abstract Expressionism, the next two sessions will trace the evolution over the centuries of how master artists have incorporated natural elements into their work. The final session will be concerned with describing and demonstrating visual practices that enhance aesthetic experience, whether in the gallery or in nature.

Fridays | Sept. 16 – Oct. 21 (6 weeks) | 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Zoom, Recorded*

Meet the exceptional women -- singers, instrumentalists and bandleaders -- who created the Classic Blues before 1920, shaped the birth of Jazz on record, and created the art of modern popular song. Recent research offers fresh perspectives on the so-called “all girl” orchestras of WWII. Despite male hostility, ridicule and sexual harassment, female musicians and all-female ensembles forged independent paths to artistic self-expression. Each class presents a dozen audiovisual clips, many unique to the course, presented with context and insight. Attendees are left with a menu of links, clips and audio streams for follow-up. 

*Note: Recorded courses are available only to OLLI members enrolled in the specific course. Access to the recorded content will be available through the end of the Fall 2022 Session, November 30, 2022.

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