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 or call 573-882-8189.

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

Thursday courses

Spring 2019 Semester

Changing the World One Starfish at a Time [8 Sessions]

9:00 – 10:30 a.m., Moss B 
Thursdays: March 14, 21; April 4, 11, 18, 25; May 2, 9

You (as Osher students) have diverse life experiences that you bring to the table. I challenge you in this course, “how will you make a difference in the world?” I recognize that difference-making occurs through ripples. Knowing this, how will you use your “positionality” to effect change in our community, country and world? We will use the Community Engagement Professional Competency Model and text by Dr. Lina Dostilio (University of Pittsburgh) to frame our role in the change-making process. The MU Family Impact Center model will be used as a case study to examine the application of the competency model to an applied setting. This course will be highly interactive, student-driven and research-based (with high attention paid to practical experiences that each student brings). You will leave the course with a “change the world” project in hand. Won’t you come with me on a journey to “Change the World, One Starfish at a Time?” 

Instructor: Jenny Flatt is director of the MU Family Impact Center, a campus-community “place based engagement center” and subsidiary of MU Extension and Engagement. Jenny has been with MU Extension and Engagement for 11 years. Jenny’s formal training derives from the University of Missouri in psychology, sociology, curriculum and instruction, and educational leadership. Jenny is a life-long learner and is more interested learning collaboratively around “big ideas” than obtaining titles and degrees. Having said that, Jenny completed an Ed.D. in educational leadership with MU in 2012.

Pathways to 2050 [8 Sessions]

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Moss A 
Thursdays: March 14, 21; April 4, 11, 18, 25; May 2, 9

Instructor Wayne Anderson will cover the following topics about future possibilities. 

  • March 14: Food of the future: restoring and recreating what we eat. Will we adjust to worms and bugs at meal time? 
  • March 21: Global warming: will we survive the consequences? 
  • April 4: Life in the bioengineered society of the future: will all our children be perfect? 
  • April 11: What’s new in medicine?: will IBM’s Watson replace M.D.s? 
  • April 18: Will we all become cyborgs?: what is happening with artificial body parts and computers being introduced into our bodies and brains? 
  • April 25: The end of college as we know it?: will we need a new degree every 15 years to keep up? 
  • May 2: The end of illness and illiteracy around the world: will the Gates and Winfrey fulfill their promises? 
  • May 9: The end of malls: can drones and robots really replace us? 

Instructor: Wayne Anderson is professor emeritus of psychology at MU; he retired in 1995. Wayne was a team member for the International Center for Psychosocial Trauma from 1995 to 2011, making 26 trips into trauma zones; from 1995 to 2012, he taught an MU honors class in human sexuality and taught a capstone course in criminal justice at Columbia College; since 1996 he’s written a weekly travel column for the Columbia Daily Tribune and has taught two courses per year for Osher since 2004. 

Existentialism and Choices for Life [8 Sessions]

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Moss B 
Thursdays: March 14, 21; April 4, 11, 18, 25; May 2, 9

The class will discuss decisions that all or most humans have to make in life and how the alternatives would affect them thereafter. Decisions include whether to believe in God and practice some religion; how to face death, that of others and their own; whether to be faithful or opposed to various individuals and groups; resort to violence or practice non-violence; do or ignore what conscience commands; and, in the end, deciding what is the meaning of life, if it has any. The instructor will encourage the members of the class to explore alternatives and reflect on what to believe. He will explain his own views and those of several authors that have been labeled “Existentialists,” especially Søren Kierkegaard and Jean-Paul Sartre, but including, as time will allow, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Albert Camus and Simone de Beauvoir. Each week he will provide (by e-mail) literature that addresses the topics of the ensuing session for those who wish to explore the issues further. 

Instructor: Jack Kultgen obtained a B.A. in Philosophy at University of Texas in 1946 and a Ph.D. in 1952 at the University of Chicago. He’s taught at Oregon State, Southern Methodist and, for 40 years, the University of Missouri, with courses in logic, philosophy of science, ethics and social issues – one was called Existentialism; another was cross-listed in Peace Studies. Jack has published five books and 50+ papers in journals. Jack retired in 2007 but still teaches and writes. 

Order in the Court! Presenting Eight Great Courtroom Dramas [8 Sessions]

1:00 – 4:00 p.m., Moss A 
Thursdays: March 21; April 4, 11, 18, 25; May 2, 9, 16
(Class starts on Thursday, March 21, and goes one week beyond the end of the semester.)

A good legal dispute is the stuff of which great dramas are made, with all their rebuttals, arguments and surprise witnesses. There’s something intrinsically cinematic about a courtroom after all: there’s tension, mystery, strong characters, powerful words and usually some dramatic final summations. I’ll be presenting eight excellent courtroom dramas of all time. Some of them can also be classified as legal thrillers. They are all highly rated by film critics and top-notch film websites. Six just happen to be on the list of the American Bar Association Journal. What better recommendation can there be than that? I rest my case! 

Instructor: John Blakemore spent 22 years in the advertising agency business in New York, St. Louis and Columbia. He started a second career at Stephens College, where he taught for 19 years. He was chair of the Mass Communication Department and was instrumental in creating the Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations major and Film major. He has served on numerous boards over the years and now serves on the Osher@Mizzou Advisory, Outreach and Development committees. 

Exploring the Invisible Bonds and Hidden Boundaries that Shape Our Paths [8 Sessions]

2:00 – 3:30 p.m., Moss B 
Thursdays: March 14, 21; April 4, 11, 18, 25; May 2, 9

Limit of 30 students.

This course will look at the ways in which our families, friends and culture shape and affect the choices we make in life. We will consider these issues through the lens of three memoirs: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, Heartland by Sarah Smarsh, and Becoming by Michelle Obama. Classes will use interactive and structured small group dialogues as we explore each book, and you will be able to reflect on your own life as well. 

Instructor: Sarah J. Read has more than 25 years of experience in resolving complex issues as an attorney, mediator, facilitator and consultant. Sarah is a frequent speaker and writer on issues related to civic engagement, and has led several dialogue-based courses at Osher. Ms. Read received her B.A. degree, cum laude, from Yale University and her Juris Doctorate degree with the Order of the Coif from the University of Wisconsin. 

Storied, RCV* (*Revised Condensed Version) [7 Sessions]

5:30 – 7:00 p.m., University of Missouri campus, Tate Hall, Room 215 
Thursdays: March 14, 21; April 4, 11, 25; May 2, 9 

(No class on April 18, or during Spring Break) 

This course will be a shorter “storytelling concert” version of the Tuesday morning course, “Storied,” featuring many of the same stories. Eight to ten stories will be presented in each session, with some time for explanations and discussion. 

Instructor: Larry Brown is a retired MU assistant professor of human geography, having earned a Ph.D. in policy studies, an M.A. in geography, a Masters of Divinity, and a B.A. in sociology. Larry is a professional storyteller and an ordained minister with standing in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He is a frequent presenter on topics of cultural and political geography, Missouri history, and religious studies.