Monroe Classes

Due to COVID-19, these spring 2020 classes and events were canceled. Please review them as a sample of our curriculum, and check back with us this fall for our updated courses and events.

Monday Classes

Hands-on with Google Photos

See how effortlessly your lifetime of photos can be backed up, organized, easily accessed, and then shared using Google Photos from any authorized computing device connected to the internet. It’s fabulous, it’s free, and it’s fun.

Supplies: Students will need a Google/Gmail account and password and should bring a laptop, tablet, and/or smartphone to class for hands- on experience using Google Photos.

A digital copy of the class text: Mrs. Geek’s Guide to Google Photos: 2nd Edition, authored by Chris Guld of Geeksontour.com will be provided at the first session as well as instructions for students who prefer a print copy.

Instructor: Robin Seaver spent her career teaching basic computer skills from mainframe computers to today’s smartphones and tablets. 

5 Mondays: March 30–April 27, 9:00–10:15am

Location: Ohio Living Mount Pleasant, Chapel


Conrad Richter’s The Waters of Kronos

Imagine that you could go back in time to when you were a child, walk the streets of your hometown, and interact with your family and neighbors. In The Waters of Kronos, John Donner does just that. Let’s talk about Conrad Richter’s novel which won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1961. We will explore the multiple contexts relevant to a reading of the novel, including the rise of hydroelectric power in the United States and “drowned towns” as well as how Richter’s character John Donner bears many similarities with Richter.

Class text: Conrad Richter, The Waters of Kronos, ISBN: 10:027102240X, ISBN: 13:978-0271022406

Instructor: Marianne Cotugno, Associate Professor of English, has published articles on Conrad Richter.

5 Mondays: March 30–April 27, 10:45 am–12:00pm

Location: Ohio Living Mount Pleasant, Chapel


Stakeholder Involvement in Energy Development

Controlling energy costs, understanding technology, and accommodating infrastructure—energy consumers want to know how energy development projects will impact their homes and neighborhoods. Course participants are seen as important community stakeholders. They will explore how to engage with utilities, energy service providers, regulators, local governments, and community organizations to determine how energy development projects should provide consumer benefits as well as long-term quality of life development for their community.

Instructor: Dale Arnold is Director of Energy Services for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. He has over 25 years of experience managing education, community outreach, and technical assistance projects addressing energy generation, transmission, and distribution issues.

5 Mondays: March 30–April 27, 1:00–2:15pm

Location: Ohio Living Mount Pleasant, Chapel

Wednesday Classes

Strike Up the Band: Up Close with the Music Man

Members of The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band will present lectures/ demonstrations on jazz, music for the clarinet, the history of our band, and the development of brass bands and brass instruments.

April 1The Lyrical Clarinet and Conducting a Large BandDanny Maddox Nichols is the newly appointed Music Director of The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band.

April 8Appreciating Jazz Using the Saxophone and PianoChristopher Brandenburg is Director Emeritus of The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band.

April 15History of the Bugle and Brass InstrumentsJ. Earl Jones is Member Emeritus of The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band. He is a 40-year member of the May Festival Chorus.

April 22Armco Steel and the Southwestern Ohio BandsSam Ashworth, a 50-year member of The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band, was a U.S. Army Band program member in the 75th Army Band and a freelance graphic designer.

April 29A Brief History of Brasswinds Early to ModernDennis Clason is a trombonist and Professor Emeritus of Applied Statistics.

Coordinators: Danny Maddox Nichols is the newly appointed Music Director of The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band. Christopher Brandenburg is the Director Emeritus of The Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band.

5 Wednesdays: April 1–April 29, 2:15–3:15 pm

Location: Ohio Living Mount Pleasant, Chapel


Company’s Coming: Let’s Wow Them!

Join with the Mount Pleasant Foodies to learn how to impress your guests with tasty treats prepared from fresh, familiar ingredients. Menus are geared for four persons. Listed below is but a sampling of what to expect.

April 1 – Brunch: Stuffed French toast, sausage gravy

April 8 – Luncheon: Panini, quinoa salad, pesto

April 15 – Appetizers: Smoked salmon mousse, deviled eggs

April 22 – Dinner: Frenching a rack of lamb

April 29 – Desserts: Lemon curd with chantilly cream

Instructor: John Pierce is the Culinary Director at Ohio Living Mount Pleasant. He has worked at the Maisonette and as the Executive Chef at Miami University.

5 Wednesdays: April 1–29, 3:30–4:45pm

Location: Ohio Living Mount Pleasant, Activity Building

NOTE: Those registering for this course may not register for West Chester’s “Cooking Made Easy: Just Desserts” course.

Thursday Classes

Unlocking the Secrets of Origami

Modern origami is many things. It can be an engaging activity to delight children; it can be a leaf unfolding from a bud; it can be a useful medical device (think stents for heart patients); or it can be the folded wings of a communication satellite that unfurl in outer space. Lastly, and most importantly, it can offer cognitive stimulation for older adults. All cognitive resources are used while creating a work of origami, thus giving the brain a rest from debilitating and stressful thoughts. In addition, the act of following instructions stimulates audio and verbal memory.

Instructor: Christine McCullough has a consuming interest in all things origami which began in high school and has continued off and on for nearly 60 years. She has taught gifted children for fifteen plus years at Super Saturday and, recently, summer campers at Seven Hills School in Cincinnati.

5 Thursdays: April 2–30, 9:00–10:15am

Location: Ohio Living Mount Pleasant, Chapel

Supply fee: $10, payable at first class


Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks and UNESCO World Heritage

The United States contains 23 UNESCO World Heritage sites. Two are found in the Mississippi River valley to recognize ancient peoples’ earthwork constructions. Ohio “has the largest concentration of geometric and monumental earthworks in the world” (World Heritage Ohio, Guide to Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, www. ohiohistorystore.com, 2019). An effort is well under way to have a collection of eight ceremonial earthworks in Ohio added to the list, Fort Ancient being one. Join us for a fresh look at these sites, known collectively as the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks.

April 2Introduction to the First Ohioans & Cultural PeriodKathy Creighton, Butler County Historical Society.

April 9Hopewell Period & Ceremonial EarthworksJennifer Aultman, World Heritage Director, is an anthropologist with the Ohio History Connection.

April 16Sunwatch & Connections with Modern Native American Tribes – presenter TBD

April 23Modern Archaeological Tools: CERHAS, Geophysics, LiDAR, etc.John Hancock, part of the World Heritage List effort, is a U.C. Professor Emeritus of Architecture.

April 30UNESCO World HeritageJennifer Aultman, bio above.

Coordinator: Bill Hyatt is a retired math and computer science teacher for the Middletown/Monroe schools.

5 Thursdays: April 2–30, 10:45am–12:00pm

Location: Ohio Living Mount Pleasant, Chapel


Afternoon Lectures

New speakers; new perspectives. Join us for lectures and explore new ideas with interesting speakers.

April 2Doris Day: Her Life and Her SongsCarl Bishop is a chemist who spent 32 years working in the nuclear industry. He also taught for Miami University.

April 9A Day in the Life of the CoronerLisa Mannix is a board-certified neurologist and the current Butler County Coroner. She has worked extensively with poor and orphaned children in Mexico and India.

April 16Called to Ukraine: A Message through MusicRoger McMurrin has been the Director of Music in major Presbyterian churches in the U.S. He founded the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Kyiv, Ukraine. Diane McMurrin is a former teacher and children’s choir director. Diane accompanied her husband to Ukraine where she worked with widows for 25 years and wrote four books.

April 23Transportation: Explaining the Culture of KenyaTambura Omoiele has worked in the criminal justice system for many years and was instrumental in developing criminal justice courses at the U.S. International University in Nairobi, Kenya.

April 30A 2020 Update of Troubling Trends: A Justice Who Can’t Tell Time; The Continuing Saga of the Covington Catholic Boys; and Hands Off My Pronouns!Dennis Wittman is an attorney specializing in wills and trusts. He taught in the School of Business at Miami University for many years.

Coordinator: Lois Philips is a retired Miami University administrator.

5 Thursdays: April 2–30, 1:00–2:15pm

Location: Ohio Living Mount Pleasant, Chapel


Real Stories of the American Revolution

Have you ever wondered what the experiences were of the “forgotten heroes” fighting in the Revolutionary War? Students will learn the stories of individual contributors who do not typically get recognition in our history books. This course will be an integration of both military history and human interest.

Class texts (recommended, but not required): Richard A. Brayall, Washington’s Savior: General John Glover and the American Revolution, Heritage Books, ISBN: 978-0-7884-5406-6; Arthur S. Lefkowitz, George Washington’s Indispensable Men, Stackpole Books, ISBN: 978-0-8117-3791-3; Laura Auricchio, The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered, Vintage Books, ISBN: 978-0-3073-8745-5

Instructor: Mark Holland is a combat veteran of the Iraq War. He is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution as well as a living history reenactor.

5 Thursdays: April 2–30, 2:45–4:00pm

Location: Ohio Living Mount Pleasant, Chapel