West Chester 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.

Tuesday Classes

U.S. Grant from Ohio to the White House

He went from Georgetown, Ohio, to the battlefields of the Civil War to the Presidency. Grant, the man and the myth, will be covered. Speaker Caryl Miller will do a presentation on Julia Dent Grant during the third week.

Instructor: Deb Price has previously moderated classes for both ILR and U.C.’s OLLI program.

4 Tuesdays: March 31–April 21; 9:00–10:15am
Location: Voice of America Learning Center, Auditorium

Discovering Nature in Your Own Backyard

You don’t have to travel far to find inspiration and fulfillment in nature. From microscopic soil life to migrating monarch butterflies to incredible apex predators, you can find them all without ever having to leave your community. Learn how to discover and appreciate wondrous things you may have been overlooking, perhaps even in your own backyard. All new topics for this session.

Instructor: Shannon Pennington is a naturalist with the Warren County Park District and Mother Nature’s Classroom, LLC

4 Tuesdays: March 31–April 28; 10:45am–12:00pm
Location: Voice of America Learning Center, Auditorium

Tuesday Brown Bag Lecture Series 

Each week the Brown Bag Lecture series presents a speaker who will discuss a topic of interest and importance. Plan to bring your lunch and enjoy this ILR tradition.

March 31Happy Feet – When our feet hurt, it’s hard to put on a happy face. Explore how you can awaken, lengthen, restore, and strengthen your amazing body with restorative exercises. This session will include exercises for foot strength and mobility, along with information about healthy footwear. Pam Jacobson is a Restorative Exercise Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer who has a great passion for increasing health through natural, restorative movement.

April 7Bottom’s Up! – Learning some basic facts and techniques about the world’s most popular alcoholic beverage will greatly enhance your enjoyment of it and make you more confident at the store, a bar, or your next party. No snobbery here — just some good ol’ fashioned learning with Eric Dunaway, Certified Cicerone and all around beer geek.

April 14Do Trees Leave a Legacy?Steven Sullivan, Director, Miami’s Hefner Museum of Natural History, a place for people of all interests to connect to the nature in their neighborhood. Join us to learn about the legacy of our campus tree collection and our newly forming big-cat exhibit—soon to be one of the best in the nation.

April 21Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity CenterNancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center’s Coppel Speakers Bureau presents a rare opportunity for you to hear from a Holocaust survivor or child of survivors who will share a story of strength, courage, and determination while reflecting on the Holocaust, one of the darkest chapters in human history.

April 28Ageless Learners and Digital TechnologyMark Romito is a Director of External Affairs for AT&T Ohio. He will focus on telecommunications and technology topics that have an impact on seniors. Feel free to bring your computers, tablets, smartphones, and questions to class.

Coordinators: Sharon Chapman is a retired executive assistant. Frank Chapman is a retired building sales manager.

5 Tuesdays: March 31–April 28; 12:30–1:45pm
Location: Voice of America Learning Center, Auditorium

Cold Serial: The Jack the Strangler Murders

Investigate a series of recently uncovered murders that could lead to a serial killer. The venue is the Dayton/Cincinnati area. The time, 1900-1911. A woman escapes and a person of interest emerges.

Her testimony, along with newspapers, court records, and death certificates will be reviewed. Forensics and police practices of the time, yellow journalism (fake news), the handling of sexual assault, crime literature of the era, racism, and anti-Semitism will be examined. Evidence will be presented to you, the jurors, in the final class. You will be asked to grant justice to these girls and convict a suspect on multiple counts of murder/rape.

Instructor: Brian Forschner worked in the criminal justice system in corrections, was an associate professor at the University of Dayton Criminal Justice Program, and has published and conducted study abroad programs for criminal justice students and professionals.

5 Tuesdays: March 31–April 28; 2:15–3:30pm
Location: Voice of America Learning Center, Auditorium
Supply fee: $10 for class text and materials, payable with registration

French and European Mystery Novels in Translation

We have a group of outstanding presenters to lead this four-book discussion.

March 31Mark Plageman will discuss A Taste for Vengeance by Martin Walker.

April 7Carolyn Gard, who has directed academic technologies at Miami and three other universities, will present The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny.

April 14Dennis Sullivan, Professor Emeritus of Economics, will discuss Death and the Maiden by Frank Tallis.

April 21Tom Gard, Professor Emeritus, University of Georgia, will lead a discussion of A Dead Man of Trieste by Michael Pearce.

Students should read A Taste for Vengeance for the first class on March 31.

Class texts: As noted in above course description.

Coordinator: Mark Plageman, Professor Emeritus of French, has been teaching ILR courses for the past 13 years. His specialty is French and European mystery novels in translation.

4 Tuesdays: March 31–April 21; 2:15–3:30pm
Location: Chesterwood Village, Ashley Place

Cinema Classics: Screwball Comedies

Join us this semester for some classic screwball comedies. Emerging in the 1930s, screwball comedies were a wild new strain of fast-talking farces involving battles of the sexes and a world forever on the brink of chaos. Screwball comedies were a breed of quick-talking romantic farces that fused silliness with sophistication in ways that still have the power to stupefy audiences. How can we keep up with dialogue that goes so fast?

March 31My Man Godfrey – During a scavenger hunt in the Depression, a rich heiress (Carole Lombard) finds a “lost man” (William Powell) who becomes her butler and changes their lives.

April 14Philadelphia Story – A Philadelphia socialite’s (Katharine Hepburn) plan to remarry goes awry when her ex-husband (Cary Grant) shows up. Also includes James Stewart and Ruth Hussey as newspaper reporters assigned to cover the high-society wedding.

April 21The Awful Truth – Ex-spouses Cary Grant and Irene Dunne attempt to sabotage each other’s attempts at romance.

April 28His Girl Friday – Unscrupulous newspaper editor (Cary Grant) tries to undermine his ex-wife and fellow reporter’s (Rosalind Russell) upcoming marriage while covering a murder trial in Chicago. Based upon the classic comedy “The Front Page.”

May 5Ball of Fire – A grammarian (Gary Cooper) and an eccentric group of scholars attempting to write an encyclopedia of modern English run afoul of a nightclub singer (Barbara Stanwyck) and her gangster boyfriend. Directed by Howard Hawks from a script by Billy Wilder.

Coordinator: Doug Iden is a big fan of movies and theatrical musicals with an extensive collection of films and original Broadway scores. Doug has taught classes on Broadway and film for several years.

5 Tuesdays: March 31–May 5; 6:30–9:30pm
Location: The Spicy Olive, 7671 Cox Ln.

NOTE: No class on April 7

Wednesday Classes

Economics, History, Presidential Power, and You: Course #3

The class continues the data-driven presentations with videos and discussion around economics, politics, and history. Controversial topics that impact you as consumers and voters will include current events in this heated 2020 election year.

Instructor: Paul Lohr is a retired business manager, consultant, teacher, and elected official. He served one four-year term on the Lakota School District Board of Education.

5 Wednesdays: April 1–April 29; 9:00–10:15am
Location: Voice of America Learning Center, Auditorium

What the World Needs Now is UNITY

The dictionary defines unity as the state of being united or joined as a whole. Were we, as a human race, meant to be joined as a whole? Is unity needed for survival? Societies tried bringing folks together through the establishment of institutions, but ironically, they have caused the most division. Let’s take a look at some major institutions such as religion, politics, economy, family, education, and ask the following questions: How do they cause separation?

Where, within each, are the similarities? How do you and I relate to them? Where do we go from here? Maybe what the world needs now is a spiritual awakening!

Class texts (optional): No books are needed; but if you would like to read beforehand, you might try one of these: Marianne Williamson, A Politics of Love: A Handbook for a New American Revolution; Randy Lynn, The Greatest Movement in American History: How We’re Going to Overcome Our Differences, Solve Our Biggest Problems, and Change the World; Brian D. McLaren, The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion is Seeking a Better Way to be Christian.

Instructor: Patricia Copeland is an experienced teacher in public and private schools.

5 Wednesdays: April 1–April 29; 9:00–10:15am
Location: Chesterwood Village, Art Studio

Appreciating Classical Music: A Joyous Approach

Many find classical music dull and boring. A non-technical approach to classical music suggests it can be joyous, powerful, inspirational, and humorous. It tells stories or represents things, from the ocean’s roar, to a thunderstorm, to nature’s beauty. We will discuss musical pieces which demonstrate these attributes as we listen. We start with short, exciting pieces before progressing to more complicated ones. There will be suggestions on listening to music—a key element in appreciation. One doesn’t have to like them all, but the goal is for each student to find one piece that inspires.

Instructor: Barbara Gibler is a retired college history instructor with extensive knowledge of symphony, opera, and concerto. She sang professionally with the Cincinnati May Festival and Kentucky Opera choruses.

5 Wednesdays: April 1–April 29; 10:45 am–12:00pm 
Location: Voice of America Learning Center, Auditorium  

A Better You

This “Better You” series covers material from identifying a mental health emergency, to gaining more energy, to learning how our body can heal naturally using brand new tissue. You may learn something new and something that can change your life!

April 1Envision Partners: QPR – Just as CPR trains to help save a life in a medical emergency, QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) is a clear, concise educational program developed to teach people how to recognize a mental health emergency, understand how to respond, and get persons at risk the help they need. Kristen Smith is a Prevention Coordinator for Envision Partnerships and Coordinator of the Butler County Suicide Prevention Coalition.

April 8Sleep and Health: Optimizing Your Potential – Everyone wants better energy, clearer heads, and fewer physical ailments, yet we fail to see that we are the source of our own problems. Learn how you can intentionally and easily generate a great restorative night of rest. Dr. Gary Huber, Medical Director at Huber Personalized Medicine, spent 20 years as an Emergency Medicine physician before evolving his practice into integrative medicine.

April 15Regenerative Medicine—PRP and Stem Cell – Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem Cell offer a perfectly healthy process by allowing your body to heal naturally using brand new tissue. Dr. John DiPaola has researched for years trying to find the perfect complement to our philosophy on healthcare.

April 22Circuit for Life – Circuit training, a method of high intensity aerobic exercise training that can be applied to various movements and overall exercise plans, challenges the body’s cardiovascular, strength, agility, and stability capacities in a very short amount of time. Craig Cole, Chesterwood Village’s Wellness Director, became a certified personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine; he is also credentialed with ACSM’s Exercise is Medicine program.

April 29Ten Ways to Love Your Brain – Growing evidence indicates that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline by adopting key lifestyle habits. When possible, combine these habits to achieve maximum benefit for the brain and body. Jeff Dehner is a representative from the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati.

Coordinator: Jane Gegner has been a member of Miami’s ILR Curriculum Committee for many years. She is passionate about history and education.

5 Wednesdays: April 1–April 29; 10:45am–12:00pm
Location: Chesterwood Village Theater

Wednesday Brown Bag Lecture Series

Come, learn, and enjoy. Meet three local artists, discuss Ohio’s role in women’s suffrage, catch a fish, explore Kentucky’s worst disaster, and smell the roses. Feel free to bring a brown bag to this ILR tradition.

April 1Journey Your Way into ART – Learn about the different ways art can enhance your life: Art as Purpose, Marian Fisher; Art as Exploration, Cathy Fiorelli; Art as Healing, Priya Rama

April 8Ohio’s Role in Women’s SuffrageKatherine Durak is the originator of The Genius of Liberty, a podcast series created in partnership with Cincinnati’s Mercantile Library about Ohio and the fight for women’s suffrage. She serves as Ohio’s representative on the National Board for the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association.

April 15The Art and Technique of Fly FishingGreg Johnson retired from the Lakota Local School District after 30 years of teaching science. He has been a member of the Fly Fishing Club for 30 years.

April 22The Beverly Hills Supper Club: The Untold Story Behind Kentucky’s Worst TragedyRobert Webster is a northern Kentucky native and author of numerous articles on local and regional history. He has written five books, three of which received Kentucky History Awards for outstanding publication.

April 29The Language of FlowersRebecca Johnson is the Director of the Center for Public History and a professor at Northern Kentucky University. She has worked as a historian for the National Park Service Western Reserve Historical Society and, most recently, the Delhi Historical Society.

Coordinator: Marlene Esseck is a retired educator from the Lakota Local School District.

5 Wednesdays: April 1–April 29; 12:30–1:45pm
Location: Voice of America Learning Center, Auditorium

Pillars of Fitness for a Healthier You

The five pillars are strength, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, body composition, and balance. Discover how our muscles function for our activities of daily living. We will discuss some strength exercises that are pertinent to the mature adult. Some movements will be demonstrated during the sessions on strength, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility.

Instructor: Craig Cole is the Wellness Director for Chesterwood Village.

5 Wednesday: April 1–April 29; 2:15-3:30pm 
Location: Chesterwood Village, Advanced Therapy Center

Cooking Made Easy: Just Desserts!

Join Chef Eric Yung in creating beautiful and delicious desserts in an interactive and educational class. Chef Eric is a three-time winner of Dayton’s “Most Delightful Dessert” contest and will show you step by step how easy a great dessert can be to make. Learn French classics such as crème brule, truffles and ganache, and Italian classics such as ricotta tart and zabaglione.

April 1Crème brule and crème caramel – Learn the art of baked custards in both French and Spanish style.

April 8Crostata con ricotta (Italian ricotta and fruit tart) – Learn how a rustic Italian country tart can take an ordinary brunch to an extraordinary slice of the Tuscan countryside.

April 15Chocolate truffles and ganache – Learn the technique of a simple but elegant truffle mix and the endless possibilities that you have with this rich mixture.

April 22Zabaglione and Seared Fruit – Learn a traditional Italian zabaglione sauce, the sweet Italian cousin of hollandaise, and how it can transform grilled or fresh fruit into a decadent dessert.

April 29 Cookies to Share – Enjoy European delights shortbread and butter almond fingers. You may not want to share!

Instructor: Eric Yung has worked at Michelin-starred restaurants in Santa Fe, Maine, and New York City. He is the Corporate Director of Dining for all Hillandale Communities.

5 Wednesday: April 1–April 29; 2:15–3:30pm
Location: Chesterwood Village, Ashley Restaurant

NOTE: Those registering for this course may not register for Monroe’s “Company’s Coming: Let’s Wow Them!” cooking class.