Lyceum Course Catalog

Spring 2013


Affiliated with Binghamton University and national Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel), this institute for learning in retirement has more than 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 current faculty, retired specialists, members who have pursued interests in some depth, or knowledgeable community members.

Lyceum also sponsors day trips and themed or ethnic dinners, which provide opportunities to socialize, visit interesting new places, and sample exotic cuisine. We encourage members to help keep Lyceum a participatory organization by sharing in policy making, proposing courses, and assisting in 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.

Classes, unless otherwise specified, are held at St. Vincent de Paul Blessed Sacrament Church, 465 Clubhouse Road, Vestal, NY 13850. Call the Lyceum office (777-2587) if you have any questions or need additional information. Or send an e-mail to:

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 fall course offerings.

Codes: [$] = fee; [NC] = no charge


Welcome to Our Spring Program

Feb., Mar., Apr., May 2013

Ulysses (Part I) (see also below for Part 2) [$20]
Mon., Feb. 25; Mar. 4, 11, 18; 10 a.m.-noon
A discussion of James Joyce's 1922 masterwork, Ulysses. Set on one Dublin day in 1904, Ulysses follows Stephen Dedalus (protagonist of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) and Leopold Bloom in a complex, sophisticated retelling of Homer's Odyssey. Text: James Joyce, Ulysses (Penguin, 2008) ISBN-0141182806
Leader: Mary Donnelly, assoc. professor, English, BCC

Psychology of Advertising [$10]
Mon., Feb. 25; Mar. 4; 1:00 -3:00 p.m.
The course explores perspectives, theories,and studies on the psychology of advertising. In addition, we'll be reviewing and analyzing some print advertisements, radio and television commercials, and videos about advertising, and discussing how advertisements are produced.
Leader: Steven J. Gilbert, professor emeritus, psychology, SUNY Oneonta

Issues in Bioethics [$20]
Tues., Feb. 26; Mar. 5, 12, 19; 10 a.m.-noon
Feb. 26 – Introduction: Discussion of ethical philosophy using examples from the field of bio-ethics.
Leader: Daniel Patrone, professor, philosophy, BCC
Mar. 5 - The Ethics of Health Care Economics: An exploration of the economics of health care followed by a discussion on the relations between ethical ideas and economic realities.
Leader: Oz Aydemir, asst. professor, history, philosophy, social science, BCC
Mar. 12, 19 -  End-of Life Decisions: A deliberative forum on end-of-life issues.
Leader:  Doug Garnar,  professor, history,philosophy, social science, BCC

Armchair Travel [$20]
Tue., Feb. 26; Mar. 5, 12, 19; 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Feb. 26 - Egypt: Sailing south along the Nile with stopovers in Cairo, Luxor, Lake Nasser to Abu Simbel, discovering the ancient culture and monuments.
Leader: Helene Combopiano
Mar. 5 - Russia, Ukraine, Estonia and Finland: In the summer of 2008, Karen and Bob Pompi had the opportunity to visit four countries. Russia was traversed via boat from Moscow to St. Petersburg.
Leaders: Karen and Bob Pompi
Mar. 12 - Cruising Down the River: On a small riverboat to explore the Amazon River basin in Peru's Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve.  See tropical birds and foliage, monkeys, iguanas etc. and visit local people along the riverbanks.
Leader: Gladys Walling
Mar. 19 - Southeast Asia:  During January, February and March of 2011, Karen and Bob Pompi explored Viet Nam, Thailand, Burma and Cambodia.
Leaders: Bob and Karen Pompi


Power and Programming of the Human Mind [$5]
Wed., Feb. 27; 10:00 a.m.-noon
This class will delve into the vulnerability of the human mind and what makes us who we are and what we become.
Leader: Gary Truce, professor, phys.ed.,BU

Music of the American Revolutionary War [$10]
Wed., Feb. 27; Mar. 6; 1:00-3:00 p.m.
This course explores our history through the songs and tunes which were sung and played at the time we became a nation.  Some themes are independence, protest, George Washington, King George and soldiers' accounts of the conflict.
Leaders: Charlene Thomson, teacher and musician; Martin Bidney, professor emeritus, English, BU and musician.

Alternative Health: Mind and Body [$20]
Thurs., Feb. 28; Mar. 7, 14, 21; 10:00 a.m.,-noon
Four views of the elusive path to wellness.
Feb. 28 - Yoga: Healing Power and Peaceful Presence: A view of Yoga in a broader sense, beyond the physical (Asana) practice, and how it can be a deeply meaningful and enduring experience.
Leader: Elisa Camiscioli, yoga teacher, assoc. professor, history and women's studies, BU
Mar. 7 - Elements of Holistic Healing: A broad spectrum of healing avenues will be presented and demonstrated to explore self-wholeness and wellness.
Leader: Anna D'Andrea, wellness educator, director, Self-Discovery Wellness Arts Center, Montrose, PA
Mar. 14 – Mind/Body Medicine: Examination of changes in healing, focusing on spirituality and its
connection to healing mind and body.
Leader: Malgosia E. Krasuska, assoc. professor Decker School of Nursing, BU
Mar. 21 - Nutrition for a Healthy Body and Mind: Nutrition is the fuel that our cells use to function
well. Learn about proper nutrition for your physical and mental health.
Leader: Lina Begdache, adj. lecturer, Decker School of Nursing, BU


Natural History of Broome County [$10]
Thurs., Feb. 28; Mar. 7; 1:00-3:00 p.m.
A survey of the natural history of Broome County, including a description of a recently completed inventory of over 200 natural areas within the county.
Leader: Julian Shepherd, assoc. professor, biology, BU

George's Books: Canada [$20]
Fri., Mar. 1, 8, 15, 22; 10:00 a.m.-noon
We continue a Lyceum tradition conducted by George Hartman for many years. Canada is the story of a sixty-year-old teacher looking back to when he was fifteen, in Montana, and found he had to make a life for himself amidst adult chaos. This takes him into Canada and new challenges.
Class limited to 25, Separate check Canada, Richard Ford, ISBN 0061692048,
Leader: Anne Yablonski, Carolyn Boss

Current Events [$10]
Fri., Mar. 1, 15; Apr. 12, 26; 1:00-3:00 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

Krakow, Warsaw and the Holocaust [$15]
Wed., Mar. 6, 13, 20; 10:00 a.m.-noon
This course will explore the Holocaust as it impacted two Polish cities, namely, Krakow and Warsaw.  Phil has made frequent trips to these cities and will share his personal experiences in exploring those sites significant in the lives of Polish Jews before and during W.W. II. He will also highlight the changes these cities have experienced since the end of the war.  Class discussion
relating to both cities is heartily encouraged.
Leader: Phil Cali, history buff


Science Discussion [$10]
Fri., Mar. 8, 22; Apr. 19; May 3; 1:00-3:00 p.m.
This group welcomes old and new members.  Join us for a lively discussion on a variety of scientific topics. Neither politics nor religion will be discussed.
Leader:  Roger Gregor, electrical engineer

National Issues Forum: A Class Discussion [$15]
Mon., Mar. 11, 18; 1:00 – 3:30
Using a format of class participation and structured examination of all sides of an issue, we will first tackle the question of Social Security.  The second class is part of a national conversation by forums all over the country assessing the usefulness and the costs of higher education.
Class size limited to 20; separate check
Leader: Doug Garnar, professor, history, philosophy, social science, BCC

Federalist Papers [$10]
Wed., Mar. 13, 20; 1:00-3:00 p.m.
In September, 1787, the Federal Convention sent the proposed Constitution to the Continental Congress which then submitted it to the states for ratification. Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison wrote a total of 85 essays in defense and in explanation of the Constitution. These essays, now called the Federalist Papers, have been used over the years to demonstrate the thinking of our founding fathers.
Leader: Bill Denman, attorney

Birds for the Yard and Garden or...How to Garden for Birds [$5]
Thurs., Mar. 14; 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Birds brighten our landscape with sound, color, and fascinating lives. We will discuss backyard birds – some of which are present year around, while others join us seasonally. Important habitat and easy ways to "bird garden" to attract and keep birds in your yard will be a second focus.
Leader: Victor S. Lamoureux, asst. professor, biology, BCC

Ulysses (Part II) [$20]
Mon., Apr. 8, 15, 22, 29; 10:00 a.m.-noon
A discussion of James Joyce's 1922 masterwork, Ulysses. Set on one Dublin day in 1904, Ulysses follows Stephen Dedalus (protagonist of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) and Leopold Bloom in a complex, sophisticated retelling of Homer's Odyssey. Text: James Joyce, Ulysses (Penguin, 2008) ISBN-0141182806
Leader: Mary Donnelly, assoc. professor, English, BCC.

Beijing Opera: Performing Skills [$10]
Mon., Apr. 8, 15; 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Prof. Linghui Tu will lecture and demonstrate the four main skills of Beijing Opera: singing, speech, dance-acting, and combat, outlining the training process in order to perform these skills effortlessly in keeping with the spirit of the art form.
Leader: Linghui Tu, visiting professor, theater, BU


Science, Science, Science and Technology [$10]
Tues., Apr. 9, 16; 10:00 a.m.-noon.
Apr. 9; Energy Storage and the Electric Century: Oil was the dominant energy storage source during the last century, but in the 21st century electricity will be the dominant form of energy. Materials for advanced batteries and public acceptance are key issues limiting more rapid electrification.
Leader: Stan Whittingham, distinguished professor, chemistry, BU
Apr. 16; Microfabrication: Microfabrication can be simply defined as creating something on the micrometer scale. This discussion will present an overview of microfabrication, with a brief history and a discussion of the tools and techniques that make microfabrication a reality.
Leader: Shawn Wagoner, director, nanofabricaton lab, BU

The Anthropology of Garbage [$5]
Tues., Apr. 9; 1:00-3:00 p.m.
A look at waste throughout history and cultures to find out why it matters to anthropologists. Waste is about more than sanitation. It reveals the past, shapes the present, and helps us imagine our future.
Leader: Josh Reno, professor, anthropology, BU

Greek Vases [$10]
Wed., Apr. 10, 17; 10:00 a.m.-noon
Most ancient Greek painting survives only on discarded or buried pottery from the first millennium BCE, allowing us to infer the life and mind of the early Greeks. Learn how to "read the vases" and discover the delightful humor and beauty of this art form.
Leader: Diane Lercher, artist


Great Decisions [$15]
Wed., Apr. 10, 17, 24; 1:00-3:00 p.m.
This course covers new and timely topics. The Great Decisions Manual – recommended, but optional – will be mailed in advance if ordered on the registration form.
Apr. 10 – Myanmar and Southeast Asia - A discussion focused on ethnic tensions in this troubled nation and in Southeast Asia.
Leader: Chris Rounds, professor emeritus, Empire State College
Apr. 17 – China in Africa - a discussion of China's evolving role in African development.
Leader: Seifudein Adem, assoc. professor, political science, BU
Apr. 24 – Egypt - the challenges of post-Mubarak Egypt for the US and its allies .
Leader: Ramzi Badran, post doctoral fellow Institute of Global Cultural Studies, BU

The Crimean War [$20]
Thurs., Apr. 11, 18, 25; May 2; 10:00 a.m.-noon
This mid 19th century war is remembered mostly for Florence Nightingale and the Light Brigade's mad charge, but it was the savage clash of four great empires that killed a million and heralded Middle East conflicts that continue today.
Leader: Ken B. Hooper

Caring for your Art Collection [$5]
Thurs., Apr. 11; 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Class will be held at Art Museum, BU Why are my old photographs losing their color?
Can I put the oil portrait of my grandmother in direct sunlight? These questions and more will
be addressed in a class using objects from the permanent collection of the Binghamton University Art Museum.
Class limited 20, Separate check
Leader: Diane Butler, director, BU Art Museum

George's Books: Swami and Friends, The Bachelor of Arts, The Dark Room, The English Teacher [$20]
Fri., Apr, 12, 19, 26; May 3; 10:00 a.m.-noon
"Without him I would never have known what it is like to be Indian", wrote Graham Greene. With humor and compassion, R. K. Narayan wrote of India under British rule. Please read The Dark Room for the first and second meetings and The English Teacher for the last two. Text: Swami and Friends, The Bachelor of Arts, The Dark Room, The English Teacher, R. K. Narayan, ISBN 1-85715-293-x
Class limited to 25, Separate check
Leaders: Rosemarie Snyder, Janet Chandler


Paradise Lost [$15]
Tues., Apr. 16, 23, 30; 1:00-3:00 p.m.
John Milton set himself an ambitious task: he directs his reader to think of Homer and Virgil and promises to outdo them, and every other poet as well, as he tells the story of the origin of evil. For centuries critics have wrestled with Milton's complex exploration of the human race's ambivalent fascination with sin. We will try a modest exploration of our own.
Leader: Frank Newman, professor emeritus, English BU


Cruising the Mediterranean, Dinner
Wednesday, April 24, 6 p.m.
Old Union Hall
Binghamton University
A Musical Odyssey

Join us as we cruise around the Mediterranean and dine on a variety of regional dishes: red   lentil soup, Greek salad, moussaka, chicken kabob, imam bayaldi, pilaf with currants and pine nuts, and baklava.

After dinner, set sail with Phil and Carol Cali on a melodic tour of noteworthy ports-of-call. What better way to top off the evening than with a little singing, a little dancing, and lots of fun!
                                                                Registration deadline: April 10
                                                                           Separate check

Life in the Middle East [$5]
Thurs., Apr. 18; 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Hina will share her experiences over two years of living and teaching in Kuwait and traveling to eight of its surrounding countries. From the perspective of a Muslim-Pakistani-American female, she hopes to shed light on aspects of culture and religion and to evaluate myths and stereotypes of the region and of Muslim women in particular.
Leader: Hina Ahmed, educator

The Fascinating Women of Genesis, Judges and Samuel [$15]
Mon., Apr. 22, 29; May 6; 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Who were the unnamed women of scripture? What is the real story of the reputed seductresses, and what can the status of women at any given time tell us about that society as a whole?
Leader: Rev. Pat Raube, Designated Pastor, Union Presbyterian Church

Possibility, Necessity and Counterfactuals [$15]
Tues.; Apr. 23, 30; May 7; 10 a.m.-noon
Examine the logical foundations of decision making and of weighing the possibilities lying before us. We will investigate the role that models especially mental play in generating truth claims about what the possibilities are, what must necessarily happen or what would happen if something were to occur.
Leader: Jerrold Aronson, prof. emeritus, philosophy, BU

Wildflowers of Broome County [$5]
Wed., Apr. 24; 10:00 a.m.-noon
Come and learn to identify wildflowers, from parking lot weeds to orchids. Spring is the best time to start, as the engaging ephemerals are emerging now.
Leader: Mary Ann Cuff, wildflower enthusiast


Bird Walks [$10]
Thurs., Apr. 25; and Tues., May 7; 9:00-11:30 a.m.
Class at the BU Nature Preserve
Spring migration will be in full swing. During these sessions, come and learn birds by sight and sound in the BU Preserve. Class limited to 15, footwear for damp terrain, Rain or Shine, Separate check
Leader: Victor Lamoureux, asst. professor, biology, BCC

Violence and the Self: Psychological Responses to Massacres in French History, 1572 – 1872 [$5]
Wed., May 1; 10:00 a.m.- noon
The relationship between personal suffering and collective trauma from the French Wars of Religion to the Paris Commune was the fruit of changing social structures, the rise of individualism and the development of new media, from wood-block printing to collodion photography.
Leader: Howard G. Brown, professor, history, BU

The History of the Barnes Museum [$5]
Thurs., May 2; 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Joanne Maniago will give an overview of the intricate and interesting history of the Barnes museum and of the  Barnes family. Of interest but not limited to those going on the trip.
Leader: Joanne Maniago, professor, emerita, history, BCC

Nature Walk  [$5]
Mon., May 6 or Thurs., May 9; 10:00 a.m.-noon
Class at the BU Nature Preserve
Early May is the peak time for spring bird migrations and for woodland flowers. It is also a good time for amphibians and reptiles. Footwear for damp terrain is essential. Rain or shine.
Class limited to 20, Separate check
Leader: Dylan Horvath, Nature Preserve steward, environmental studies, BU


Rodin Museum and the Barnes Foundation
Philadelphia, PA
Thursday, May 9, 2013

Board at 6:15 a.m. and return 10:00-10:30 p.m. Since 1929, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has
administered the Rodin Museum and its collection. Our visit will include a guided tour of the museum – the architecture and the formal French garden in which to experience the sculpture of Auguste Rodin.

Lunch will be on your own.

After our lunch break we will visit the Barnes Foundation, beginning with a special 30-minute introduction to the collection and Dr. Barnes's unique approach to displaying art. You can then enjoy time in the collection gallery with a complimentary audio guide. The Barnes Foundations
art collection includes works by European and American masters of impressionism, post impressionist, and early modern art, as well as African sculpture, Pennsylvania German decorative arts, Native American textiles, metalwork, and more.

Dinner is not included in this price. On the way home, we will stop at a rest area which has a food court, and there will be time for you to have something to eat.

To register, send a separate check to Lyceum.
Reservations will be taken in order of post-mark date.
Members accepted first and guests after March 15th
No refunds after April 5th

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