Current Course Descriptions

Fall Term 2014

Each course costs $35; the cost to take three or more is $100. Registration and, if applicable, course fees are due at the time of registration. Most classes will meet in the ILR classroom, located in Shultz Hall of Riley Court on campus.

Check the ILR home page for cancellations due to weather.

Traveling the world
9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Sept. 22, 29; Oct. 6, 13
Moderator: Guest presenters (summary sheet will be given upon registration)
In these four weeks we will hear from  people who have spent time in a variety of countries  around the world and living on a houseboat you entire childhood.  We will learn about how they lived and the people they met. 

Digital cameras, iPads, iPhones, and computer questions
9 - 10:30 a.m. Oct. 22, 27; Nov. 3, 10
Moderators: Guest technical presenters
This course will cover tasks that seem daunting but with visual and verbal demonstration you will be able to understand and complete the task on your own.   How do I put the pictures from my camera on my computer?  Why can’t I get my iPad to….?   Did you know your iPhone can do this?  Come with your computer questions so they can be explained and shown on the screen for your understanding.  Don’t think just because you may not have one of these items that the course won’t be “fun.”  Just seeing how technology works is interesting and fun.    And you might be able to show your grandchild a new function!

Current Events
10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Sept. 22, 29; Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27; Nov. 3, 10
Moderators: Guest presenters
The ILR program is taking a break from Great Decisions but offering an excellent substitute of Current Events.  Each week a guest presenter will present a current event that is going on in our town, country or world.  A summary sheet of topics will follow registration.

Geology of Ohio and Beyond
1:30 - 3 p.m. Sept. 22, 29; Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27; Nov. 3, 10
Moderator: Joanne Antibus
This course will look at landforms making up Ohio today. The geology of Ohio will be discussed.... the processes that were active in the past to produce these landforms  as well as the geologic processes that are still or potentially may become active in this area. Geological formations from other areas of the world will also be addressed. 

Traveling the world through documentaries and foreign films

9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Sept. 24; Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; Nov. 5, 12                             
Moderator: Phyllis Bixler       
These films will invite us to experience life in a variety of times, places, cultures.  In some cases, short features showing how the films were made will make us more aware of film technique. 

  • Sept. 24: Wadjda (2012, 98 minutes). Saudi Arabia.  In a culture that restricts female mobility, a ten-year-old girl wants a bicycle. 
  • Oct. 1: The Pool  (2007, 98 minutes). India.  Two boys living on their own in a Goan city make friends with a wealthy family.
  • Oct. 8: Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors  (1964, 97 minutes).  Ukraine.  A tragic love story is set in a remote, pre-modern community in the Carpathian Mountains. October 15: Winged Migration  (2001, 89 minutes). France. A documentary.  Amazing cinematography traces the migrations of various species of birds.
  • Oct. 22: The Lives of Others  (2006, 138 minutes). Germany.  In 1984, a secret police agent is assigned to eavesdrop on a possibly disloyal playwright in East Germany.
  • Oct. 29: The Flat  (2011, 102 minutes). Israel.  A documentary.  When a grandmother dies at age 98, her family makes a shocking discovery when they clean out her Tel Aviv apartment.
  • Nov. 5: Still Walking  (2008, 114 minutes). Japan.  A family gathers on the fifteenth anniversary of the oldest son’s death. 
  • Nov. 12: Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles  (2005, 109 minutes). China.  In an effort to reconnect with his dying filmmaker son, a Japanese fisherman travels across China to film an historic folk opera.

1:30 - 3 p.m. Sept. 24; Oct. 1, 8, 15 (This is a four-week course.)
Moderator: Lois Wetherill
Location: Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center classroom   
Needlefelting is a needlework technique in which fibers are entwined without the need to sew. This four-week hands-on class will include examples of both two and three dimensional needlefelting.  Students will have the opportunity to complete several small projects and learn the basics needed to continue to create on their own after the class.
Basic tools and supplies are included in the $20 course fee. Class limit: 12 participants.

Reminiscence Roundtable
1:30 - 3 p.m. Sept. 24; Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; Nov. 5, 12. 
Moderator: LaRee Little
From out of the past come the thundering hoof beats of...REMINISCENCE ROUNDTABLE.  4-H clubs, country fair, penny loafers, duck-tail hair, class play practice, collecting stamps;  Who’d you ask to the Sadie Hawkins dance?; Fifty-four Chevy, white and blue, Sunday trips to the Toledo Zoo, Whizzer motor bikes and “I like Ike; A buck and a quarter or we might strike." This and so much more! Join us and share your recollections.                                  
Class limit: 15 participants                                                                     

The Monuments men and women: Their story
9 - 10:30 a.m. Sept. 25; Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Nov. 6, 13
Moderators:  H.W. Enderle and Bev Fisher
Come hear the previously little known story of Allied service men and women of World War II, who left their careers as museum curators, art restorers, and college/university professors to find, rescue, and restitute much of the art looted by the Nazi regime. We’ll consider some examples of the many thousands of works that were stolen, and then rescued; others of course are still lost, or were wantonly destroyed.

This remarkable work was done in North Africa, Italy and Western Europe where the Monuments men were often found with frontline combat units.  Not only did they save many thousands of paintings and sculptures, as well as revered manuscripts, tapestries and musical scores, but also tried to prevent the unwarranted destruction of sites of historical significance – monuments and churches.
For over fifty years this part of 20th century history, about which America can be justly proud, was not known or publicized.

How they do it: Patterns in sexual life cycles of lower animals
10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Sept. 25; Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Nov. 6, 13
Moderator: Fran Core                               
This course is not about sexual reproduction as we are familiar (mammals), but rather about the many and varied ways other animals succeed in producing the next generation in their life cycles.  Topics include:  parenting, if any; multi-stage life cycles; alternating generations; hermaphrodism; mating behaviors; life cycles; modifications for parasitism.   There will be short movies from David Attenborough’s collections.  Take the course if you want to stretch your mind about living organisms and how they reproduce.                                        

1:30-3:00 p.m. Sept. 25; Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; and Nov. 6, 13                                 
This fall we will have again a variety of interesting topics.  Jan Weibe will inform us about what is involved in grant writing and who writes grants?  What kinds of grants are available?    Lynn Miller will explain why he walked 144 mileson the Portuguese portion of the Camino de Santiago last May.   A journey he said that was not “fun” but well worth doing.  Bruce Hilty from Habitat for Humanity/Lima will be sharing about the local work of this wonderful organization.   Deb Garver, from Pandora cleans lost and forgotten gravestones and the discoveries of hidden stories.  Anne Stratton will be back for one week with her expertise on antiques and we will conclude with a fun session with some Trivia with Tim.

 Registration and course fees (if applicable) are due at time of registration. To register, contact Janet Schumacher, director of ILR at Bluffton University: 419-358-3346 or

Forum programs are held on Tuesday mornings from 11 a.m.-12 noon in Founders Hall. Members of the ILR program are invited to attend the series. There is no charge.

Lunches: You may purchase a lunch for $4.25 at the Marbeck Commons. Tell the clerk you are an ILR member.