Note

Download a brochure and enrollment form (PDF)

All courses will meet at the Waters-Moss Memorial Wildlife Preservation Area, primarily in the Moss Building and occasionally in the Hillcrest Community Center unless otherwise indicated.

Contact Osher@Mizzou

Email Osher@Mizzou.edu or call 573-882-8189.

To register for classes, call 573-882-8189.

Thursday courses

Introduction to Civil Civic Discourse [3 sessions]

Time
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

Location
Moss A

Dates
June 15, 22, 29

Week 1
What Is Civil Civic Discourse and Why Does It Matter?
Remember the motto, "United we stand, divided we fall"? This session reviews communication patterns that help to move citizens through difficult issues contrasted with those that lead to increasing rancor and divisiveness. We will review sources and levels of conflict; the differences between dialogue, debate and deliberation; commonly employed "cognitive errors"; and techniques for opening up discussion. Want to help improve our political climate? Then this course is for you!

Week 2
Changing The Way We Speak: Experience It in Real Time!
After a brief review of different structures and purposes for dialogue, we will practice dialogue using the World Café approach and the Columbia Daily Tribune-sponsored "Are We An Us?" dialogue guide.

Week 3
I Really Disagree! How Do I Stay Civil?
Building on the first two sessions, this class will look at techniques for working through issues that are complex and emotionally fraught. Participants will review Dr. Robert J. Sternberg's taxonomy of hate, Gerald Nadler and William Chandon's data-to-wisdom continuum and other tools and techniques for navigating even seemingly irreconcilable differences. Finally, we will review actual examples of strong identity and value based conflicts where dialogue made a difference.

Instructors
Kristin Millikan is the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute director. Previously, she worked and volunteered in Chicago with organizations dedicated to social justice and the creation of an empowered, civically engaged, media literate democracy. For The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council, Millikan directed Café Society, facilitating discussion groups across the city in a variety of venue. These weekly discussions fostered debate, dialogue and exchange of ideas and experiences around local and global cultural, social and political events. They promoted participatory democracy through public conversations across class, race, ideology and background, facilitating meaningful discussions about the historical and philosophical issues underlying current topics in the media. Millikan trained more than 100 facilitators to lead discussions throughout Illinois. She also served on the advisory council of Project Nia, an organization using restorative and transformative justice practices to reduce youth incarceration. In that role, she trained with the Community Justice for Youth Institute to lead Peace Keeping Circles in community, school and juvenile justice settings.

Sarah J. Read has more than 25 years experience as an attorney, mediator, facilitator and consultant on conflict resolution processes. Read has worked with businesses, nonprofits, community groups, educational institutions and governmental organizations. She has helped to resolve business and community disputes and to design and facilitate dialogues on energy and other issues. A neutral with the American Arbitration Association, Read has served on the Missouri Supreme Court Commission on Alternative Dispute Resolution and received the President's Award from the Association of Missouri Mediators. She worked with the Kettering Foundation and Columbia Daily Tribune in developing the "Are We An Us?" community dialogue guide. She runs a blog and has published several e-books on dialogue and has taught public policy dispute resolution at the MU School of Law. Read received her Bachelor of Arts cum laude in 1978 from Yale University and her Juris Doctor degree with the Order of the Coif from the University of Wisconsin in 1981. She practiced for many years in Chicago with Sidley Austin LLP, and has been AV Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell® for more than 15 years. She is a member of the state bars of Missouri, Illinois and Wisconsin and of the American and Chicago Bar Associations.

Two Shakespearean Plays: Inside and Out [4 sessions]

Time
1–3 p.m.

Location
Moss B

Dates
June 8, 15, 22, 29

Description
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "The Tempest" reward careful reading and discussion as works of art without any further rationale (though Prospero does claim to "have bedimmed the noontide sun," so we could claim a link to The Year of the Eclipse). Both plays have been part of experiments outside of the classroom and theater in rehabilitative incarceration and creative aging programs. This class will read and discuss the plays as they appear on the page, inside the theater and in prison and retirement home venues.

Instructor
Judith Petterson Clark, professor emerita at Stephens College, taught literatures in English for 47 years and chaired the English/Creative Writing Department. She earned her BA at Lindenwood College for Women, her MA at Emporia State Teachers College, and her PhD at Miami of Ohio. Her additional training includes a year at Chichester, Sussex, Teachers College; a Rotary Fellowship at University College, Dublin; a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to study replicas of Shakespeare's indoor Blackfriars Theatre and outdoor Globe Theatre. She is recognized for teaching early English literatures, especially the novel, as well as Shakespeare, dramatic literatures, women writers and criticism and culture.

Political Topics of Interest [4 sessions]

Time
1:30–3 p.m.

Location
Moss A

Dates
June 8, 15, 22, 29

Description
The first session of this course on political topics of interest is on health care; the second on jobs (bring 'em back); the third is not yet invented; and the fourth will be open for the class with only minor leadership.

Instructor
Terry G Schlemeier spent 42 years as a lobbyist in Jefferson City for several companies, groups and the City of Columbia and has "…tales I can tell and some I cannot." Prior to that, he worked for the Missouri legislature.

Open Discussion [4 sessions]

Time
3-4 p.m.

Location
Moss A

Dates
June 8, 15, 22, 29

Description
The open discussion session is your chance to share ideas and to get to know classmates for an informal social hour. We meet so members can continue class discussions or swap stories over a cup of coffee. No need to enroll; you are welcome to stay after class or come and go as you are able. Take time to connect with your fellow Osher members. Come as learners; leave as friends!