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Siegal Lifelong Learning

Off-Campus Studies

Off-Campus Studies

Off-Campus Studies is a program offered in collaboration with the Association for Continuing Education (ACE). It began in 1947 as Living Room Learning, developed by Grazella Shepherd at Cleveland College who encouraged the Women’s Association, predecessor of ACE, to help design and promote classes. Courses are eight weeks long and meet for 1.5 hours per class in locations throughout greater Cleveland. There are no written assignments or exams, but rather the classes provide an open environment for lively discussion based on meaningful examination of shared texts. Leader-Teachers facilitate the discussion and provide academic background and context. Off-Campus Studies is unique among continuing education programs because it is organized in collaboration with its participants. Designated Class Coordinators volunteer to serve as the liaison between the office and the study groups. The discussion groups select the courses with the help of the class coordinator and the office. Participation is open to everyone and groups welcome new members with enthusiasm. New groups are welcome. Please call 216.368.2090 to establish a study group in your neighborhood. Sessions require a minimum of 10 participants.

 

East Side Courses

Mondays, January 16–March 6 | 10:30 a.m.–noon

 

Joseph Jacoby, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

As Latinos impact our economy, change our culture and affect our political destiny, it is time for Americans to recognize the importance of Mexico to the United States. Mexican history is among the most colorful and dramatic of any world nation. We will read a clear, concise historical account of this fascinating country and then examine The Old Gringo, a subtle, moving novel of Carlos Fuentes, widely regarded as Mexico’s greatest writer. The Margaret Sayers Peden translation is a requirement. Books: L. Foster, A Brief History of Mexico, Fourth Edition; C. Fuentes trans. Margaret Sayers Peden, The Old Gringo

 

South Franklin Circle | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Mondays, January 16–March 6 | 1–2:30 p.m.

 

Jim Lane, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

“We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it,” claims lawyer and author Michelle Alexander. In this book discussion course, students examine the arguments and data Alexander presents to defend her thesis. She argues that our current criminal justice system is an oppressive reality that is played out in a mighty human drama with important consequences for African-Americans and for our entire society. Book: M. Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

 

Gates Mills Community Room | Members: $82 | Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Tuesdays, January 17–March 7 | 1:30–3 p.m.

Barbara Greenberg, Attorney and Magistrate

 

Using the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights as our text, each class focuses on these treasured words and the related landmark United States Supreme Court cases to illustrate how the decisions affect our daily lives. As our laws are fluid, current events and cases bring additional connection to these historic documents and their words. Material: United States Constitution, Bill of Rights

 

Judson Manor | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Thursdays, January 19–March 9 | 10:30 a.m.–noon

 

Stanford Sarlson, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

The building of the Panama Canal was one of the twentieth century's biggest engineering projects and great triumphs. A dream of centuries, the failed attempt rocked France to its very foundations, created a new country, The Republic of Panama, and put the United States on a role of global involvement. The story of its building is more dramatic and far-reaching than most people can imagine. David McCullough's book is more absorbing than a novel and tells the whole story brilliantly. Book: The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 by D. McCullough

 

Hamlet Village Clubhouse | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Thursdays, January 19–March 9 | 10:30 a.m.–noon

Jim Lane, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

Can there be laws governing warfare which limit the barbarity of actions during the times of armed conflict? Indeed there can be--and are--regulations which protect human dignity and lessen suffering, regulations which have been formally agreed to by most nations. This class is based upon an international curriculum developed by the Red Cross and is composed of discussions generated by readings and video sources. Topics to be covered include 1) humanitarian actions, 2) historical codes, 3) applications of the rules of war, 4) weaponry and targeting, 5) child soldiers and prisoners of war, 6) war crimes and the particular case of My Lai, 7) judicial and non-judicial actions dealing with violations, and 8) the needs arising from the destruction of war and the special case of refugees. Printed materials will be provided at cost for their reproduction and binding.

 

Cleveland Skating Club | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Fridays, January 20–March 17 | 10:30 a.m.-noon

No class February 10


Joel Keller, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


This presentation begins with the reading of a poem on the subject of music written by John Dryden entitled, "A Song for St. Cecilia's Day (1687)." Music of the Baroque Era by Clive Unger-Hamilton and other reference books will act as the base for class discussions. In addition to weekly consideration of the music of this era, the classes will follow a timeline that includes history, art, architecture and literature. More than 30 Baroque musical instruments will be introduced and compared to their modern counterparts with video performances of each. The life stories of some 42 composers will be reviewed and their music played. Book: Discover Music of the Baroque Era, Clive Unger-Hamilton

 
St. Paul's Episcopal Church | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $87 | REGISTER >

 

Fridays, January 20–March 17 | 10–11:30 a.m.


Terry Meehan, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

A trio of major American detective novels were made into classic 1940's films by three of our greatest filmmakers. One week will be a lively discussion of the literary value of the book, the next will be a screening of the film, followed by a study of how the filmmaker transforms the book’s ideas and characters into cinema. Techniques will be discussed on how to better appreciate the films we love and the works they are based upon. Clips from “making of” documentaries will also be shown, featuring directors, stars and film experts.
Books and films: D. Hammett, The Maltese Falcon, film directed by J. Huston (1941); V. Caspary, Laura, film directed by Otto Preminger (1944); R. Chandler, The Big Sleep, film directed by Howard Hawks (1946).

 

Judson Park | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

 

Sundays, March 19-May 7 | 5-6:30 p.m.

 

Nancy Fleming, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

The Harlem Renaissance was a period between 1917 and 1933 when Harlem became a center for black literature, music and art. Writers addressed diverse issues such as the importance of a black intelligentsia, radicalism, identity, interactions between blacks and whites, biracialism and whether to embrace folk tradition. These issues will be explored in the selected readings. Book: The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader, David Levering Lewis, Editor, Penguin Books

 

Private Residence, 13803 Cormere Ave., Cleveland | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Mondays, March 20-May 8 | 10:30 a.m.-noon

 

Joe KonenLeader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

This book offers us a vehicle for a nuanced understanding of Islam. Carla Power, a Western reporter who grew up in several predominantly Muslim countries, writes of her dialogues with prominent India-born and now London-based Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi. The dialogue enlightens us on a nonviolent understanding of Islam. The sheik shows us how he distinguishes between culture and politics on the one hand and religion and spirituality on the other. Book: Carla Power (2015), If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran

 

South Franklin Circle | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

 

 

Mondays, March 20-May 8 | 10–11:30 a.m.

 

Jim Van Horn, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

This book discussion course will examine 1421: The Year the Chinese Discovered America. On March 8, 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever sailed from its base in China. The ships were under the command of Emperor Zhu Di's loyal eunuch admirals and their mission was "to proceed all the way to the end of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas." Their journey would last more than two years and circle the globe. 
Book: G. Menzies, 1421: The Year the Chinese Discovered America

 

Church of the Redeemer | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Mondays, March 20–May 15 | 1-2:30 p.m
No class April 10

 

Barbara Greenberg, Attorney and Magistrate

 

In Our Defense by Caroline Kennedy and Ellen Alderman is a primer about the Bill of Rights. Each chapter focuses on one of the first ten amendments of the United States Constitution, using an actual case to study the issues surrounding that amendment. Each week, students will review one chapter, one amendment and one case, discussing the laws that have developed from those facts. The class will use each case as the springboard for a discussion about how and why laws change, current laws focusing on that amendment and how constitutional amendments and the cases that follow those protected rights affect our daily lives.  Book: In Our Defense, Caroline Kennedy and Ellen Alderman 

 

Gates Mills Community House | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Tuesdays, March 21–May 9 | 1:30-3 p.m.

 

Standford Sarlson, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

The building of the Panama Canal was one of the twentieth century’s biggest engineering projects and great triumphs.  A dream of centuries, the failed attempt rocked France to its very foundations, created a new country, The Republic of Panama, and put the United States on a role of global involvement. The story of its building is more dramatic and far-reaching than most people can imagine. David McCullough's book is more absorbing than a novel and tells the whole story brilliantly.   Book:  The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914, D. McCullough

 

Judson Manor | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Wednesdays, March 22-May 10 | 10:30 a.m.-noon
 

Charlene MiletiLeader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

In the fifth century, Athens, Greece, was a burgeoning democracy, the first of its kind to exist in human history. Born in 494 BCE, Pericles of Athens would rise to become one of the city's most beloved leaders. While Pericles' astute grasp of military and political affairs would place him at the head of Athens' government, he is, nonetheless, more memorably remembered as the tutelary leader of the city. Contrasted with our modern democracies, Pericles' government functioned as the primary source for educating the citizenry in matters of civic and personal virtue. After his death, Athens would never again flourish as it did during Pericles' leadership. Book: Pericles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy, D. Kagan

 

Breckenridge Villange | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Thursdays, March 23-May 11 | 10:30 a.m.-noon

 

Ted Smith, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

Between mid-400 AD to mid-600 AD, Ireland practiced a unique type of Christianity. After the fall of Rome there was no central authority directing the practice of religion, no official date as to when Easter was to be observed each year, etc. The Irish embraced Christianity (without bloodshed) while still upholding their Druidic traditions. Irish men and women were both priests and bishops alike. Humanity was seen as fundamentally good, an integral part of God’s creation. All of this was contrary to the writings of Augustine of Hippo, that men were born into sin, adopted as the official positions of Christendom. The Synod of Whitby in 664 AD favored the disciple Peter as the rock of the church as opposed to the disciple John, remembered as “listening for the heartbeat of God”. What would Christianity be like today if the Synod had decided differently?  Book: Listening for the Heartbeat of God, A Celtic Spirituality, The Reverend Dr. J. Philip Newell 

 

Hamlet Village | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

 

Thursdays, March 23–May 11 | 10-11:30 a.m.

 

Jim Van Horn, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

In this book discussion course, students, will talk about how Bill Bryson re-visits a unique era in American history, the 20s, sandwiched in between World War I and the Depression. He writes about familiar personalities and events--Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, Al Capone, Herbert Hoover--and some not so well-known people and captures the magic of a special time.  Book: Bill Bryson, One Summer: America 1927

 

Landmark Centre | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Fridays, March 24-May 12 | 10:30 a.m.-noon


Pamela Belknap, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

As a young social worker, Frances Perkins witnessed the traumatic Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1911, which killed 146 workers. She immediately became an activist, as well as a lifelong advocate for critical reforms and programs. Learn how Labor Secretary Perkins teamed with FDR to create the New Deal legislation, which continues today. Books: The Woman Behind the New Deal – The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins – Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and the Minimum Wage, Kirstin Downey; The Roosevelt I Knew, Frances Perkins (Penguin Classics)

 

St. Paul's Episcopal Christ | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Fridays, March 24-May 12 | 10-11:30 a.m.
 

Charlene MiletiLeader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

In the fifth century, Athens, Greece, was a burgeoning democracy, the first of its kind to exist in human history. Born in 494 BCE, Pericles of Athens would rise to become one of the city's most beloved leaders. While Pericles' astute grasp of military and political affairs would place him at the head of Athens' government, he is, nonetheless, more memorably remembered as the tutelary leader of the city. Contrasted with our modern democracies, Pericles' government functioned as the primary source for educating the citizenry in matters of civic and personal virtue. After his death, Athens would never again flourish as it did during Pericles' leadership. Book: Pericles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy, D. Kagan

 

Judson Park | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Tuesdays, March 28–May 16 | 7:30–9 p.m.

 

Joe KonenLeader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

This book offers us a vehicle for a nuanced understanding of Islam. Carla Power, a Western reporter who grew up in several predominantly Muslim countries, writes of her dialogues with prominent India-born and now London-based Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi. The dialogue enlightens us on a nonviolent understanding of Islam. The sheik shows us how he distinguishes between culture and politics on the one hand and religion and spirituality on the other. Book: Carla Power (2015), If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran.


First Unitarian Church of Cleveland | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

 

West Side Courses

Mondays, January 16–March 6 | 10-11:30 a.m.


Barbara Parr, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

All three books are true tales of amazing courage in the face of daunting challenges. Each provides inspiration and a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by people in our own time. Books: Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi; A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story by Oais Akbar Omar; I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (with Christina Lamb)

 

Bay United Methodist Church | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

 

Mondays, January 16-March 6 | 1-2:30 p.m.

 

Tim Beatty, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

Sam Kean helps us to investigate the evolution of human genetics on the macro and micro scale. The book makes genetic and evolutionary science accessible and allow us to discuss implications for our society today. Books: The Violinist's Thumb And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code; Little Brown and Company

 

Rocky River Public Library | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

 

Thursdays, January 19–March 9 | 10–11:30 a.m.


Charlene Mileti, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


In a bravura performance, Andrew Graham-Dixon explores Caravaggio’s staggering artistic achievements, delving into the original Italian sources to create a masterful profile of the mercurial painter. Book: Caravaggio, A Life Sacred and Profane, Andrew Graham-Dixon


Middleberg Heights Church | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

 

Thursdays, January 19–March 9 | 10–11:30 a.m.

 

Joseph Jacoby, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

In this book discussion course, participants examine English novelists who are profoundly interested in issues of ethics and morality. Iris Murdoch’s classic work examines a group of well-intentioned, but muddled idealists in the Gloucestershire countryside. The past collides with the present in Julian Barnes’ novel about the tragic death of an intimate friend. Ian McEwan’s newly published novel explores the clash of religious and secular world views in the law courts of contemporary London. Books: I. Murdoch, The Bell; J. Barnes, The Sense of an Ending; I. McEwan, The Children Act

 

Westlake United Methodist Church | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

 

Mondays, March 20 - May 8 | 1 -2:30 p.m.


Enid Kirtz, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


A Bloomsbury take on Victorian England featuring the Queen and the attitudes toward education, church, army (Florence Nightingale) and General Gordon. These issues still resonate in society today. Participants will explore these serious topics with a humorous approach. Books: L. Strachey, Eminent Victorians and L. Strachey, Queen Victoria


Rocky River Public Library | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

 

Mondays, March 20–May 8 | 10–11:30 a.m.

 

Phyllis Asnien, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

This book discussion course explores the work of Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Tyler. Tyler's Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant is a funny, wise tale of a family who keeps trying to get it right. The author's 20th novel, A Spool of Blue Thread, is an example of her quirky, crackling wit.  Books: A. Tyler, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and A Spool of Blue Thread

 

Bay United Methodist Church | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Tuesdays, March 21-May 9 | 10–11:30 a.m.

 

Joseph Jacoby, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

In this book discussion course, participants examine English novelists who are profoundly interested in issues of ethics and morality. Iris Murdoch’s classic work examines a group of well-intentioned, but muddled idealists in the Gloucestershire countryside. The past collides with the present in Julian Barnes’ novel about the tragic death of an intimate friend. Ian McEwan’s newly published novel explores the clash of religious and secular world views in the law courts of contemporary London. Books: I. Murdoch, The Bell; J. Barnes, The Sense of an Ending; I. McEwan, The Children Act

 

Lakewood United Methodist Church | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

 

Thursdays, March 23-May 11 | 10-11:30 a.m.

 

Barbara Parr, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

John Steinbeck is a familiar name to all of us. His voice is that of the ordinary working class person facing both internal and external challenges in life. He takes on the human struggle in a timeless and universal language. His characters are richly developed and reach into our very souls. In The Grapes of Wrath and In Dubious Battle, Steinbeck addresses social and political issues of the Depression era. During this course, we will discuss the human, social and literary aspects of these works. His novels inspire and enrich readers of all generations.  Books: J. Steinbeck, In Dubious Battle and The Grapes of Wrath

 

Middleburg Heights Church| Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Thursdays, March 23–May 11 | 10–11:30 a.m.

 

Betty Zak, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

Nicholas and Alexandra have been called saints, innocent victims, harbingers of revolution among many other names. What really happened? Was it a love that extended beyond each other? Was it a love that ended an empire? Discover their passion, their strengths and their weaknesses in a new light. We begin with the traditional reading of Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra followed by summaries of newly Russian released documents involving Rasputin, Alix and Nicky and Alexandra's lady-in- waiting. We'll then extrapolate possibilities through our second book. Books: Robert Massie, Nicholas and Alexandra; Robert Alexander, The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar

 

Westlake United Methodist Church| Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

South Side Courses

Tuesdays, January 17–March 7 | 10–11:30 a.m.


Pamela Belknap, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

As a young social worker, Frances Perkins witnessed the traumatic Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1911, which killed 146 workers. She immediately became an activist, as well as a lifelong advocate for critical reforms and programs. Learn how Labor Secretary Perkins teamed with FDR to create the New Deal legislation, which continues today. Books: The Woman Behind the New Deal – The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins – Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and the Minimum Wage, Kirstin Downey; The Roosevelt I Knew, Frances Perkins (Penguin Classics)

 

Brecksville United Church of Christ | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

 

Tuesdays, January 18–March 8 | 10–11:30 a.m.


Pamela Belknap, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

Two new biographies present fresh, contemporary perspective on hero Winston Churchill and his wife, Clementine, who was indispensable to his life and important to Great Britain. Discuss their unique personalities, fascinating marriage, and critical contributions to their nation. Compare and contrast with the lives of the Roosevelts. Book: Boris Johnson, The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History; Sonia Purnell, Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill

 

Rosemont Country Club | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

 

Tuesdays, January 24–February 28 | 1–3 a.m.


Ted Smith, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

A unique historical perspective centering on a mineral, a rock, a spice. Prevalence today thanks to modern geology, salt was one of the world's most sought-after commodities. A substance so valuable, it served as currency, influenced trade routes and establishment of cities. Provoked and financed wars, secured empires, inspired revolutions. exploring how salt changed economies, science, politics, religions, and food. Book: Salt, a World History, Mark Kurlansky

 

Private Residence (6814 Rosemont Ave., Brecksville) | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

 

Tuesdays, March 21–May 9
10–11:30 a.m.


Barbara Parr, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

This book discussion course examines George Orwell's classic 1984, which is, perhaps, more relevant today than it was when published in 1948. Discussions focus on the literary merit of the novel as well as the cultural, philosophical, and political topics Orwell includes. The course also examines Animal Farm, a political allegory and brilliant satire. Books: G. Orwell, 1984 and Animal Farm

 

Brecksville United Church of Christ | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

 

Wednesdays, March 22-May10 | 10-11:30 a.m.

Jim Lane, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

Can there be laws governing warfare which limit the barbarity of actions during the times of armed conflict? Indeed there can be--and are--regulations which protect human dignity and lessen suffering, regulations which have been formally agreed to by most nations. This class is based upon an international curriculum developed by the Red Cross and is composed of discussions generated by readings and video sources. Topics to be covered include 1) humanitarian actions, 2) historical codes, 3) applications of the rules of war, 4) weaponry and targeting, 5) child soldiers and prisoners of war, 6) war crimes and the particular case of My Lai, 7) judicial and non-judicial actions dealing with violations, and 8) the needs arising from the destruction of war and the special case of refugees. Printed materials will be provided at cost for their reproduction and binding.

 

Rosemont Country Club | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Thursdays, March 23-May 11 | 1:30-3 p.m.

 

Jim Lane, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

Delve into the realms of science, mythology, spirituality, appearance, illusion and reality as they apply to our place in the natural world. The two novels we will read explore profound personal, societal, philosophical and religious questions.  Books: Siddhartha, Herman Hesse; Ishmael, Daniel Quinn

 

Laurel Lake Community Room | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Fridays, March 24-May 12 | 10–11:30 a.m.


Pamela Belknap, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

 

As a young social worker, Frances Perkins witnessed the traumatic Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1911, which killed 146 workers. She immediately became an activist, as well as a lifelong advocate for critical reforms and programs. Learn how Labor Secretary Perkins teamed with FDR to create the New Deal legislation, which continues today. Books: The Woman Behind the New Deal – The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins – Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and the Minimum Wage, Kirstin Downey; The Roosevelt I Knew, Frances Perkins (Penguin Classics)

 

St. Paul's Episcopal Church | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >