Lyceum Course Catalog

Winter Program


Affiliated with Binghamton University and national Elderhostel, this “institute for learning in retirement” has 500+ 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.

Classes, unless otherwise specified, are held at India Cultural Centre, 1595 NYS Rte 26 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 spring course offerings.

Codes:  [$] = fee; [NC] = no charge

Welcome to Our Winter Program

Jan., Feb., 2013

Kick-Off Luncheon [$15]
Thursday, Jan. 17; noon
Old Union Hall
Binghamton University Student Union

President Harvey Stenger will address the significant economic and social impact that Binghamton University has on the communities of the Southern Tier and the way that our
futures are intertwined.

Luncheon – Choice of
Chicken Madeira
Vegetarian Quiche

Registration Deadline: Jan. 2nd
Please register early since space is limited.

Large Scale Natural Gas Extraction [$10]
Tues., Jan. 22, 29; 10:00 a.m. – noon
Jan. 22 – Part 1, A Middle of the Road Perspective -A discussion of the pros and cons of this activity from a science-based perspective using an environmental geochemistry approach. Stake holder issues, including water quantity and quality concerns, as well as financial incentives and associated risks will be discussed.
Leader: Joseph Graney, assoc. professor, geology, BU

Jan. 29 – Part 2, Marcellus Gas Drilling- A presentation on the Marcellus Shale: the history, an explanation how gas is formed and extracted, the ways industry strives to protect the environment and problems they experience, and community reaction.
Leader: Chris W. Burger, resource management consultant


Occupying Washington: Veterans, the Great Depression, and the Dawning of the
New Deal Era [$5]
Tues., Jan. 22; 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
In 1932, over twenty thousand World War I veterans marched into Washington DC. Setting up camps around the city, the veterans had come to lobby Congress for early payment of their so-called Bonus. Learn how this saga influenced the politics of the New Deal era.
Leader: Stephen R. Ortiz, professor, history, BU

A Priest and a Rabbi Walk Into a Bar...Humor as a Vehicle for Faith [$15]
Wed., Jan. 23, 30: Feb. 6; 10:00 a.m. – noon
Class will be held at Temple Israel
4737 Deerfield Place, Vestal, NY
Rev. Mark Giroux and Rabbi Tziona Szajman have bonded over humorous stories about church and synagogue for years. In three sessions specifically for Lyceum, they will explore themes of humor and faith in Christianity and Judaism. Discussions will include humor in religious text, making fun of ourselves to keep us religiously honest, and humor to get us through
painful times.
Leaders: Rabbi Tziona Szajman, Temple Israel, Rev. Mark Giroux, St. Mark's Episcopal Church

Seventeenth Century Literature from Shakespeare to Swift [$20]
Wed., Jan 23, 30; Feb. 6, 13; 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
This course covers the entirety of the century from late-career Shakespeare through the end of the Renaissance and the Restoration era (the age of Dryden, Pope, Swift and Defoe.)  We will pay special attention to the significant political and social changes of the century and the effect those has on the literature and literary culture of the times.
Leader: Michael D. Sharp, lecturer, English, BU


Four (or five) Poets [$20]
Thurs., Jan. 24, 31; Feb. 7, 14; 10:00 a.m. – noon
We will read and discuss the poetry of W.B.Yeats: Irish Nobel Laureate; Robert Frost: romantic or "terrifying poet"; Edna St.Vincent Millay and Dorothy Parker: "new Women" of the 20's and Kay Ryan Pulitzer Prize winner, 2011.
Leader: Donald Blake, adj., asst. professor of English, BU

Contemporary Issues in Higher Education [$10]
Thurs., Jan. 24, 31; 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
This two class course will explore American higher education. How has technology affected learning? Why are so many students graduating unprepared for our current economy? Why do so many students have massive debt? How can we better prepare for this century?
Leader: Stephen Sutter, attorney, economist

George's Books, The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov [$20]
Fri., Jan., 25; Feb. 1, 8, 15; 10:00 a.m. – noon
In this book the stories are in chronological order, with the latest and best at the end, so we will start our discussion with the last story and move backward in the book. Please read "Lance" and "The Vane Sisters" before the first meeting. Text: The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov, ISBN 0-679-72997 Class limited to 25, separate check
Leader: Sylvia Horowitz

Current Events [$10]
Fri., Jan. 25; Feb. 8; 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
We discuss items in the news, local, state and international. Express your opinion and hear other points of view.
Leader: Gene Burns

Get the Acting Bug [$15]
Mon., Jan. 28; Feb. 4, 11; 10:00 a.m. – noon
We will explore some of the basic dramatic techniques: relaxation, a physical approach to text and freeing it through the speaker's voice, using poetry, works of Shakespeare and other dramatic texts. It may improve your presentation skills!
Leader: Anne M. Brady, director, graduate studies, Theatre, BU

Practical Self-Defense [NC]
Mon., Jan. 28; 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Learn some commonsense ideas and actions to keep yourself safe at home and out and about. Basic physical self-defense skills will also be taught. Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes - not heels or open toes.
Leader: Madeline A. Bay, Lt. NYS University Police.

Science Discussion [$10]
Fri., Feb. 1, 15; 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. Politics and religion will not be discussed.
Leader: Roger Gregor, retired electrical engineer

Spring Concert Season [$5]
Mon., Feb. 4; 1:00 – 3:00  p.m.
Analysis using recordings and handouts of two major works: Shostakovich's Symphony #6 (Binghamton Philharmonic) and Verdi's opera Il Trovatore (Tri Cities Opera).
Leader: Harry Lincoln, distinguished service, professor emeritus, music, BU


The Knights Templar in History and Legend [$10]
Tues., Feb. 5, 12; 10:00 a.m. – noon
Since the time of the Crusades, these warrior-monks have been admired and reviled, adored and loathed. Founded to protect pilgrims, their fierce fighting skills struck fear in the hearts of their foes. Some authors have written that they are responsible for checking accounts, triskaidekaphobia and the Holy Grail!  The Templar's real history is shrouded in secrecy and darkness.  We will expose these Christian "shoalin" to the light of truth.
Leader: Brian Palmer, M Phil., church history

The History and Archaeology of the American Revolution in Upstate New York [$10]
Tues., Feb. 5, 12; 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
This course examines the historical and archaeological research related to the American Revolution in upstate New York, considering the unique nature of fighting and composition of combatants that altered the nature of community in the Mohawk Valley and Central New York.
Leader: Michael Jacobson, project director, Public Archeology Facility, BU

Printmakers and Their Methods [$5]
Thurs., Feb. 7; 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Class will be held at the BU Art Museum
This class will focus on several printing techniques – woodblock, engraving, etching and lithography – as they were used by masters of the media.  We will also tour the temporary exhibition of prints that blend traditional media by Uruguayan artist Rimer Cardillo.
Class is limited to 20, Separate check
Leader: Diane Butler, director, University Art Museum

The Life and Legacy of Max Reinhardt [$5]
Mon., Feb. 11; 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
This course will provide an overview of the impact on theater (and film) of Max Reinhardt, arguably the most internationally known theatrical director of the first half of the 20th century.
Leader: Suzanna Spiese, curator, Max Reinhardt Collection

The Persian Wars: Herodotus, continued [$5]
Wed., Feb. 13; 10:00 a.m. - noon
Persia was the greatest power the world had ever seen, 2,500 years ago. The tiny democracy of Greece was their only obstacle to gaining world domination.  Democracy hung in the balance.
Suggested text: Herodotus: the Histories ISBN 014-044638-9
Leader: Marvin A. Cohen, author

Symbolism in Choral Works of J. S. Bach [$5]
Thurs., Feb. 14; 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Examples of Bach's use of musical notation to display a vast dictionary of musical devices interpreting the biblical text he used in his music.
Leader: Fitzroy Stewart, director, Basically Bach Ensemble


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