Current Course Descriptions

Spring term 2015

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.


It's All greek to me
9 a.m. -10:30 a.m.
March 23- April 27   
Moderator: Bob Cecire, Professor, Bluffton University

Art appreciation
10:45 a.m. -12:15 p.m.
March 23- April 27
Moderators: Bev Fisher, Retired art professor 

Preserving Culture through Life History Narratives and Stories
1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
March 23-April 27 
Moderators: Dr. Christine Walton,   Manager of Book Reviews, Bluffton   

This class will explore how stories preserve cultural and family history through the study of the descriptive life history events of 22 professional storytellers from Greater Cincinnati through performance photos and their specific culture areas which was the basis of Walton’s ethnographic doctoral work and forthcoming book.

Class sessions will delve into the life history portrayed in 53 performances which revealed content themes of family life, mountain life, identity, survival, folk lore, day to day living, sacred beliefs, community and health practices.

Excerpts of the professional storytellers’ stories will be shared permitting participants to see how a story shared with an audience is elevated to performance and thus celebrated.

Participants may engage in self-reflection of life history moments from own life and progress to sharing a mini story within groups.               



Books in Review
9-10:30 a.m.
March 25- April 29                             
Moderator: Guest presenters 

Each week, Books in Review will feature a line-up of guest speakers who will lead us towards serendipity of insightful literature.  These presentations will be interesting and serve as “bait” for each student participant to be challenged to read the literature being discussed.  Class participation will be a welcomed to complement each presentation.

How They Do It:  Comparisons of Sexual Life Cycles among Animals
10:45 a.m. -12:15 p.m.                                            
March 25-April 29
Moderator: Fran Core, Retired science educator   

This course is the continuation of our fall class; this time studying reptiles and birds. Mating behaviors and parenting among bird species have long been known but how about snakes, alligators, turtles and crocodiles? We will again be viewing many of David Attenborugh’s (BBC) videos. 

How Does Your Garden Grow?                                                                                 1:30-3 p.m.
March 25-April 29
Moderator: Guest presenters 
Materials costs:  $15

The hint of spring is in the air and How Does your Garden Grow will be a venue of information, techniques and models of gardening. In six weeks students will have in-class learning, field trips and “hands on” participation in gardening techniques to take home.   



Musical to Remember 
 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
 March 26- April 30    
Moderators:  Pam Grear

The study of the American musical has been a wonderful medium for learning about different cultures and historical time periods: the American south during the Civil War, America after WWII, Hollywood, England and Thailand. The understanding of culture and history can be a very enjoyable surrounded by music and dancing. We get to understand the commonalities among people all over the world and in different time periods. After this class we might find ourselves breaking into song as we walk down the street! Come, laugh and discuss with us as we watch: Singing In the Rain, Showboat, White Christmas, The King and I, My Fair Lady and Funny Girl.  We will also have a class vote to replace a musical with West Side Story.  Just too musicals!   


Take your Pick Thursday afternoons:

Introduction to Watercolor Painting   
1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.
March 26-April 30
Moderator:  Judy Ruen, Artist 
Material Cost:  $15 
Student limit:  15

This course will explore the different watercolor techniques and work at incorporating them into paintings.  Watercolor paper, paints and brushes will be provided. 

Bread Baking
1:30p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
March 26- April 30
Moderator:  Master bread baker, John Rich
Location:  First Mennonite Church kitchen 

Learn how to make and bake a variety of bread from traditional white, whole wheat, herb breads, flat bread, artisan breads and more. Each person will take a loaf of bread home each session.  (Student limit of 8)

Biking the Trails                                                                                                                             
(Will meet first time at 1:30)            
March 26-April 30                                                                                                                    
Location:  First session   ILR classroom                                                          
Moderators: Avid bike riders, Paul and Mary Fleck

Come bike with us: This is an opportunity to get fresh air, get fit and have some fun.  We’ll help getting you riding for fun and fitness.  We’ll start riding around Bluffton to get our endurance up after a long winter.We’ll progress to rides of local interest like Hillside winery in Gilboa, Sycamore winery near Columbus Grove, and the Lima and North Baltimore bike trails. And if we get really good we might try the Miami valley or Cuyahoga valley bike trails.


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

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

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