Lyceum Course Catalog

Fall 2013


Affiliated with Binghamton University and national Elderhostel, this “institute for learning in retirement” has 600+ local members. They are men and women aged 50 and over who want to join a community of lifetime learners. Some daytime courses, which typically run four weeks, are designed primarily for listeners, while the majority allow for and encourage discussion and participation. Our course leaders are usually retired specialists, members who have pursued interests in some depth, or knowledgeable community members.

Lyceum sponsors day trips. In addition, theme or ethnic dinners provide opportunities to socialize and sample foods. We encourage members to help keep Lyceum a participatory organization by sharing in policy making, proposing courses, assisting, and making coffee for class meetings.

We hope you find our program intriguing and that we may welcome you to membership in Lyceum. Please refer to the registration form for membership fees.

Please note: Classes, unless otherwise specified, are held at St. Vincent de Paul/Blessed Sacrament Church, 465 Clubhouse Rd., Vestal, NY. Call the Lyceum office (777-2587) if you have any questions or need additional  information.  Or send e-mail to:
Codes: [$] = fee; [NC] = no charge;
= Lyceum member

In case of inclement weather, please call the Lyceum Office at 607-777-2587 after 8:00 a.m. to hear a message regarding cancellation of Lyceum classes.

To register for these courses please download and complete the registration form. All checks must be made out to Lyceum. You will also be able to view/download a complete listing of spring course offerings.

Codes:  [$] = fee; [NC] = no charge

Welcome to Our Fall Program

Sept., Oct., Nov. 2013

Fall Kick-Off [$5]
September 19, 2013
2:00 p.m.
St. Vincent de Paul/
Blessed Sacrament Church
Clubhouse Rd., Vestal NY

25th Anniversary Celebration
Join old friends and new as we begin our fall program and celebrate 25 Years of Lyceum with a dessert party and program featuring music and a look at Lyceum, past and present.

Reservations by September 6
Separate check

More Numbers: Imaginary, Complex, Transcendental [$10]
Mon., Sept. 23, 30; 10 a.m. - noon
Numbers as pairs of (other kinds of) numbers, real numbers and pairs of real numbers, the geometry of complex arithmetic, roots of complex numbers, numbers algebraic and transcendental.
Leader: Bruce Lercher☺, professor emeritus, math, BU

The Symphony [$15]
Mon., Sept., 23, 30; Oct. 7; 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
The symphony: origins, components, pioneers and champions from the classic, romantic and modern eras.
Leader: Alice Mitchell, Bartle professor emerita, music, BU

Chickamauga/Chattanooga: The First Nail in the Heart of the Confederacy [$20]
Tues., Sept. 24; Oct. 1, 8, 15; 10 a.m. – noon
The consequence of this campaign was to drive the first major nail into the heart of the confederacy. It opened the door towards Atlanta and brought two generals to prominence in the Union order of battle.
Leader: Michael Bogdasarian, MD


Feminism, Gender and Nation [$20]
Tues., Sept. 24; Oct. 1, 8, 15; 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
This course will introduce participants to a range of feminist concepts that can be used to understand the interrelationship between nation and gender. There will be both an international and domestic focus that will analyze the ways in which gender and nation are defined by and against each other in so doing will examine the influences of such factors as colonialism, imperialism racism, class and religion in the ways in which the boundaries of both nation and gender are construed. Particular focus will be given to gender and the post-Arab Spring, gender formations in a pre-divided Korea, and the development of gendered rights in the United States.
Leaders: Dara Silberstein, exec. director, Women, Gender, Sexuality studies, BU; Moulay-Ali Bouanani, lecturer, Africana Studies, BU; Seokyung Han, Philosophy, Interpretation and Culture program, BU

Great Decisions [$20]
Wed., Sept. 25; Oct. 2, 9, 16; 10 a.m. – noon
This course covers new and timely topics. The U.S. Foreign Policy Association’s 2013 Great Decisions Manual - highly recommended, but optional - will be mailed in advance if ordered on the registration form.
Sept. 25 – Assessing Threats to the U.S.
How can the US address the challenge of a weak economy, homegrown terrorism and nuclear proliferation?
Leader: Chris Rounds☺, professor emeritus, Empire State College, SUNY
Oct. 2 – NATO: Crisis – What Crisis?
How has NATO’s agenda evolved since its inception during the cold war?
Leader: David Clark, chair, political science dept., BU
Oct. 9 – Iran and the U.S.: Three Decades of Futility
Suspicion and a troubled history have blighted US-Iranian relations for three decades. How can we move forward?
Leader: Zibandeh Fallahi, humanitarian
Oct. 16 – The Future of the Euro
How did the 2008 global recession contribute to the development of the euro crisis?
Leader: Barry E. Jones, assoc. professor, economics, BU

The 13th Century and the Birth of Democracy, II [$10]
Wed., Sept. 25; Oct. 2; 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
From page on the court of France and companion to the child St. Louis, to Earl of Leicester and leading military strategist for England, to founder of England’s Parliament – we trace the life of this pivotal man in history.
Leader: Katherine Ashe, author

So You’re Going to Paris! [$10]
Thurs., Sept. 26; Oct. 3 ; 10 a.m. – noon
Come stroll through Paris, with an emphasis on selected places, persons and events. Then enjoy Paris restaurants and learn the French names of foods.
Leader: Richard Boswell☺, professor emeritus, French, BU

Good Guys or Bad Guys [$10]
Thurs., Sept. 26; Oct. 3; 2:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Exploring the complexity of characters in the movie Unforgiven determines which characters are ethical/unethical from a practical point of view.
Leader: Elliot Kamlett, lecturer, accounting, BU

George’s Books: The Line of Beauty [$20]
Fri., Sept. 27; Oct. 4, 11, 18; 10 a.m. – noon
With a hint of satire, a gay narrator skewers the sensibilities of the “well bred” in Margaret Thatcher’s London.
Text: Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty, ISBN 1582346106
Class limited to 25, separate check
Leader: John Pagura☺


Science Discussion [$10]
Fri., Sept. 27; Oct. 11; Nov. 1, 15; 2:00 -4:00 p.m.
This group welcomes old and new members. Join us for a lively discussion on a variety of scientific topics. Politics and religion will not be discussed.
Leader: Roger Gregor☺, electrical engineer

Current Events [$10]
Fri., Oct. 4, 18; Nov. 8, 22; 2:00 -4:00 p.m.
We discuss items in the news, local, state, national and international. Express your opinion and hear other points of view.
Leader: Gene Burns☺

Internet Fraud and Scams [NC]
Mon., Oct. 7; 10 a.m. – noon
Learn how scam artists use the computer to commit scams and frauds. We will explore ways that people can protect themselves and make it more difficult for scam artists to prey on them.
Leader: Michael Danaher, public integrity officer, Regional Office of NYS Attorney General

Music in Two Parts: Jazz and Big Band [$10]
Wed., Oct. 9, 16; 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Oct. 9; Jazz is America’s indigenous art form. The varying musical elements of each period in its development will be traced and demonstrated using a single tune. Area musicians will perform a variety of styles of jazz.
Leader: Albert Hamme, professor emeritus, music, BU
Oct. 16; Big Bands evolved from the 1920s through the 1940s. Emphasis will be place on the musical, technological and economic forces that influenced the rise and ultimate decline of the swing era.
Leader: Hank Slechta, musical director, Mason Warrington Orchestra

Photography: Technique and Art [$10]
Thurs., Oct. 10, 17; 10 a.m. – noon
Oct. 10 - The class will cover the basics of photography from shutter speed to ISO settings to aperture, and will discuss the importance of understanding these fundamentals – still relevant – in the digital world.
Leader: Jonathan Cohen, photographer, BU
Oct. 17 – Looking at Photography - This class will focus on great works in the history of photography and how novel techniques and approaches are used by photographers to different ends.
Leader: Diane Butler, director, BU Art Museum

Empowering a Village [$5]
Thurs., Oct. 10; 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Shakti Village Empowerment, Inc. was created to improve the health, education, housing and economic needs of a Sri Lankan village. Its micro-loan program aims to empower women to become successful, self-supporting entrepreneurs in a developing society facing familial poverty, discrimination, gender bias and corruption.
Leader: Adrian Dunwalk, founder, Shakti Village Empowerment


Alexander the Great [$5]
Thurs., Oct. 17; 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Why is Alexander, son of Philip of Macedon, known as Alexander the Great?  Discover the facts, myths and mysteries surrounding his life.  When he died at age 32, Alexander had conquered most of the known world of his day and had already become a legend.
Suggested text: Alexander the Great, Philip Freeman, ISBN 1416592808
Leader: Marvin Cohen, author

Frenchmen Abroad [$32]
Old Union Hall, Student Union
Binghamton University
Thursday, October 17
6:00 p.m.

Journey with us to a land down under. Off the coast of Australia, the Island of New Caledonia is a land of jungles, mountain tops, beaches and fabulous French food. We will dine on the cuisine brought by French colonists: Quiche, Baguettes, Mahi Mahi with mango sauce, Beef Bourguignon, Rice Pilaf, Roasted Vegetables and Chocolate Mousse.

After dinner, Ailsa Donnelly will tell illustrated tales of life as lived on a strange jungle island where croissants can be found on every remote corner of this botanist’s paradise.

Reservation deadline October 4, 2013
Separate check

L’Chaim! To Life! [$20]
Tues., Oct. 22, 29; Nov. 5, 12; 10 a.m. – 12:30
Phil’s second course relating to the Holocaust will focus on four contemporary documentaries that tell moving stories of Holocaust survivors and their lives in the years that followed WWII. Each story is unique and is a testament to the human spirit. The themes to be covered include: Reality and Forgiveness, Gratitude and Recognition, Love and Hope, and Revelation and Repentance. Each viewing will include an introduction to the film followed by group discussion. Note the extended course length.
Leader: Phil Cali☺, history buff

George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, NY
And The LeRoy House and Jell-O Gallery in LeRoy, NY [$92]

Thursday, October 24,
Board 7:00 am, Return 9:30 pm
Designed by J. Foster Warner and built around 1905, George Eastman House is a National Historic Landmark, a unique urban estate complete with a farm, formal gardens, greenhouses, stable, barns, pastures and a fifty-room mansion. The museum’s permanent collection comprises more than 400,000 photographs and negatives dating from the invention of photography to the present day. 

Bring something to eat, as we will then bus to LeRoy, New York, and enjoy a guided tour of both the LeRoy Home and the nearby Jell-O Gallery. Attractions include an exhibit about LeRoy’s Ingram University, (the first to grant women a four-year degree) and a tour of the Jell-O Gallery, the original home of the Jell-O package.

We will dine at the Big Tree Inn in Geneseo.

Members accepted first and guests after September 17th. No refunds after September 17th.
Separate check made out to Lyceum


The Care and Repair of Broken Hearts [$15]
Mon., Oct. 28; Nov. 4, 18; 10 a.m. – noon
Pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, valve repair and replacement, coronary (angiography, angioplasty, stents and bypass) repair of congenital defects, transplantation, partial and complete mechanical hearts: how these came to be and how they work.
Leader: Don Wager, professor emeritus, biology, BCC

Little-Known Presidents [$10]
Mon., Oct. 28; Nov. 4; 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
We all remember the names Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln but what about James K. Polk and Chester A. Arthur? Never heard of them? You’ll be surprised at the lives and achievements of these two one-term presidents.
Leader: Joanne Maniago, professor emerita, history, BCC

Great Modern Plays “Live” [$20]
Tues., Oct. 29; Nov. 5, 12, 19; 2:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Four landmarks in modern British drama: Wilde’s Importance of Being Ernest, Shaw’s Heartbreak House, Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, and Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead will be studied and their presentation will be examined.
Leader: Al Carpenter, professor emeritus, English, BU

The Titanic [$5]
Wed., Oct. 30; 10 a.m. –noon
We will discuss the design and building of this historic ship and the transatlantic steamships. Also, we will learn about some of the interesting passengers from first, second and third class and hear stories and decisions from that fateful night.
Leader: Bill Tomic, retired history teacher☺


Making Sense of Mexico [$20]
Wed., Oct. 30; Nov. 6, 13, 20; 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
We explore modern Mexico while acknowledging its roots in the pre-Columbian past. We will use interdisciplinary and comparative lenses to explain the evolution of Mexican society and will explore the challenges facing Mexico in the 21st century.
Leader: Chris Rounds, professor emeritus, Empire State College, SUNY

Institute for Asia and Asian Diasporas Presents: The Performing Arts of Asia [$20]
Thurs., Oct. 31; Nov. 7, 14, 21; 10 a.m. – noon
Oct. 31 - Noh Theater of Japan – Noh is one of the world’s oldest forms of theater. It was developed together with Kyogen, comical pieces performed during interludes of the Noh performance. Explore their origins and place in the performing arts of Asia.
Leader: Roberta Strippoli, asst. professor, Asian Asian American Studies, BU
Nov. 7: Naad Brahma: Sound as Sacred Expression in South Asia – Indian classical music developed as a collaboration between Indian and Muslim cultures, which found shared experience through music. From noted performers such as Ravi Shankar, Indian music has spread throughout the world and influenced Western composers such as Philip Glass and George Harrison.
Leader: James Burns, asst. professor, music and Africana Studies, BU
Nov. 14: Chinese Ethnic Groups and Their Songs – A brief introduction to the music of several Chinese ethnic groups, illustrated by a performance of songs from these groups as well as some from Han repertory and from modern music. Each song will be  preceded by a brief introduction to its ethnic group, the song’s content and artistic style. 
Leader: Hong Zang, instructor, Asian and Asian American Studies, BU
Nov. 21: Legong and Baris Dance in Bali – Music, dance and drama are closely related in Bali, but dance is the preeminent art form of the Balinese culture. In legends, Legong is the heavenly dance of divine nymphs, essentially feminine, and Baris, a traditional war dance, glorifies the manhood of the triumphant Balinese warrior.
Leader: Don Boros, asst professor of theatre, BU

Armchair Travel [$20]
Thurs. Oct. 31; Nov. 7, 14, 21; 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Oct. 31 - Iceland and Greenland - During the summer of 2011, Karen and Bob Pompi had the opportunity to visit Iceland and Greenland. They will be sharing their photographs and travel experiences.
Leader: Bob and Karen Pompi☺
Nov. 7 - Malta, Sardinia and Corsica - Three Mediterranean islands with ruins older than the pyramids, medieval towns, mountains, fishing villages, Napoleon’s birthplace, beautiful coastlines and seaports.
Leader: Gladys Walling ☺
Nov. 14 - India – Land of Contrasts - A trip through the golden triangle of India (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur) with a glimpse of its wonders.
Leader: Helene Combopiano ☺
Nov. 21 - The Holy Land - A journey through Israel – the Holy Land for Christians, Jews and Muslims. We will see Jerusalem as it was centuries ago, walk the steps Jesus walked and see holy places of the Hebrew people, also the Dead Sea and Masada.
Leader: Glenda Rowse☺


George’s Books: Suite Francaise, [$20]
Fri., Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22; 10 a.m. – noon
The focus will be on Storm in June which tells of people caught up in the mass exodus from Paris in 1940 as France crumbled before the German onslaught. For background consult William L. Shirer’s The Collapse of the Third Republic.
Text: Irene Nemirovsky, Suite Francaise, ISBN 1400096275
Class limited to 25, separate check
Leader: Ken Hooper☺

Othello [$15]
Wed., Nov. 6, 13, 20; 10 a.m. – noon
A modern cultural approach, Venetian Christians vs Muslim Turks – Othello in the middle - interracial love and the tragedy of faith in many senses. Also, in performance, Othello and race in America: tragedy and triumph.
Text: Othello, the Norton Critical Edition,
ISBN 393976157, or any modern text with act, scenes and lines
Leader: Al Tricomi☺, distinguished teaching professor emeritus, English, BU

Tsunamis: Past, Present and Future [$5]
Mon., Nov. 18; 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Giant ocean waves, called tsunamis, have struck three times in the last decade with disastrous results. This presentation will discuss mechanisms that can cause tsunamis and will look at some famous past tsunamis, the three most recent events, and the potential for future events, including the threat of a mega tsunami on the east coast of North America.
Leader: H. Richard Naslund, professor, geology BU

Editor's Note: Entering the catalog data and graphics is the fun part. The hard work is done by the program committee in creating the courses and recruiting the leaders. Contact the chair Cheryl Richtor (607) 565-2529 if you would like to help.


Did you know?

You have free access to the materials at Binghamton University libraries. Just show your Lyceum card at the Main Desk to take out materials.

You also can access the online catalog for Binghamton University libraries at You can do your own library search at home by using your computer.

Lyceum earned overwhelmingly high marks in the survey undertaken by the Long Range Planning Committee. Some 195 members completed the survey, equating to a remarkable 48.5% of the membership (at that time).

The response to the final question, "Please rate your overall satisfaction with Lyceum," best summarizes the results. On a scale of 1 (very satisfied or very important) to 5 (very dissatisfied) Lyceum was rated (1) very satisfied by 65% and (2) satisfied by 30% of all respondents. Please contact Lyceum for additional information.











Last Updated: 8/13/14