Lifelong Learning

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Bryn Athyn’s Lifelong Learning courses offer students the chance to experience education at Bryn Athyn without the pressure of grades and tests. Offered in cooperation with the ANC Secondary Schools and the General Church Office of Education, our not-for-credit Lifelong Learning courses take place throughout the year. Courses vary each term, ranging in subject matter from oil painting to literature studies to philosophy.

To register, contact Scott Daum—Director of General Church Education—at 267-502-4950, or by email at [email protected].

Spring Courses 2013

Mondays, March 18, 25, April 1, 8, 15 | 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.Cost: $75 ($65 if registered by January 25; $85 after March 8)

Location: Bryn Athyn College, Doering Center, room 119

Published in 1969, but actually begun at least as early as 1921 (when he initiated the Tabernacle model project in the Bryn Athyn Church School), George de Charms’s “The Tabernacle of Israel” is a classic of New Church literature. Using it as a text, and looking more closely at the many referenced teachings, we will study the correspondences and symbolism of this nomadic temple of the Hebrews as its materials, architecture and use reflect our individual efforts to organize and construct a spiritual life of our own. “The human mind is an instrument Divinely created to become aware of God’s presence, to perceive His Divine qualities of love and wisdom… This is now the real tabernacle of God…”

Rev. Asplundh has served as a General Church pastor in Chicago and has taught religion courses at the Bryn Athyn College and Academy Secondary Schools for over ten years.

Tuesdays, March 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16 | 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Cost: $75 ($65 if registered by January 25; $85 after March 8)
Location: Bryn Athyn College, Doering Center, room 118

The course will focus on the unfolding of 18th cent. American religion with particular attention paid to the First and Second Great Awakenings. We will compare and contrast them. We will review the theological writings and sermons of the great evangelical leaders of this revolutionary period. The analytical backdrop for the course will be the simultaneous occurrences of The Last Judgement (1757) and the Founding of the New Church(1770). We will also discuss the activities of several early New Church men of the period.

Michael Hogan holds an MA degree from the Univ. of Pennsylvania and has taught part-time at BAC in the past.

Wednesdays, March 20, 27, April 3, 10 | 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Cost: $60 ($50 if registered by January 25; $70 after March 8)
Location: Bryn Athyn College, Doering Center, room 119This four session course is a series of revised presentations Donnette has given over the years. Each week will feature a short talk followed by discussion. These are the topics/title for each week:
1) The University of the Natural World. It’s the school we all attend, and we will take a look at the curriculum.
2) Grief. We will look at the pain and the uses of grief.
3) The Best age is the Age You Are. We will discuss the value of each age group, and as we compare them, we will explore the blessings of being the age you are now.
4) Leaving Memories. How much do you know about your grandparents? How much will your grandchildren know about you when you’re gone? How much does it matter?

Donnette Alfelt was an admired counselor and teacher at the Academy Secondary Schools for many years. She has led many discussion groups and has lectured and presented in a variety of venues.

Thursdays, March 21, 28, April 4, 11, 18 | 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $75 ($65 if registered by January 25; $85 after March 8)
Location: Bryn Athyn College, Doering Center, room 118Emma by Jane Austen was published almost 200 years ago. The author once wrote: “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.” Come see why millions have found a great deal to love and to laugh about in this gem of a work. Subtle, intelligent, satirical—Austen’s mind created characters who were at once vivid embodiments of their own time and place, as well as striking representatives of a timeless human family.

Janna King has an MA in Literature from Middlebury, and she loves to study literature with other adult minds. She brings a wide range of teaching experience with her into the Lifelong Learning classes, and draws on insights gained from pursuing her own writing and publication career.

Thursdays, March 21, 28, April 4, 11, 18
Beginning Level: 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Second Level: 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Cost: $75 ($65 if registered by January 25; $85 after March 8)
Location: ANC Secondary Schools, Fine Arts Building, GalleryOriginally developed in ancient China for self-defense, Tai Chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that is now used to promote personal energy. Tai Chi includes rhythmic patterns of movement that are coordinated with breathing to help build physical strength and balance and to reduce stress. Because Tai Chi is a low impact activity, adults are able to participate at a level suitable to their age and physical ability. Each class is limited to 12 people. We are offering a beginning level and a second level course on the same evenings.

A native of China, Weina Toscano has studied Tai Chi and Kung Fu since she was seven years old. She is a licensed instructor in both forms in Shanghai and has been teaching the many benefits of Tai Chi since coming to live in the United States.


Previous Terms

Fall Courses 2012

Mondays, October 15, 22, 29, November 5, 12 | 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Cost: $75 ($65 if registered by August 24; $85 after October 5)
Location: Academy Secondary Schools, Fine Arts Building, Mezzanine LevelLearn to paint stunning flowers in a still life setting. Watercolor techniques will be discussed. Paint real flowers in a relaxed atmosphere. Bring your own painting supplies. Suitable for all levels.

Caroline Kline is a freelance Graphic Designer and Illustrator. She has a BFA from the Tyler School of Art and has studied watercolor at The Maryland Institute College of Art, and the PA Academy of the Fine Arts. She enjoys painting in nature and filling sketchbooks wherever she goes.

Tuesdays, October 16, 23, 30, November 6, 13 | 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Cost: $75 ($65 if registered by August 24; $85 after October 5)
Location: Large classroom in the Asplundh Field House“Would you rub my back?” A plea heard in many homes around the world. Massage has been around forever and the body knows it. “My muscles will feel better if they are massaged!” If you would like to learn a few basics in how to respond to the plea, just sign up. The goal is to show you how to perform massage strokes on different areas of the body to soothe aching muscles and offer relief to these tense areas.

Chris Lermitte has been a professional massage therapist for 18 years. In this course he will demonstrate a basic massage so you can learn to do it yourself.

Tuesdays, October 16, 23, 30, November 6, 13 | 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Cost: $75 ($65 if registered by August 24; $85 after October 5)
Location: Bryn Athyn College, Doering Center, room 119The Austrian School approaches familiar economic subjects from a peculiar style of logical exposition rather than the more common 20th century technique of mathematical argumentation. In this course we will explore entrepreneurship and monopoly from this Austrian perspective. We will take a look at a few key figures who spearheaded the Industrial Age, discussing their economic significance. This course requires no prior knowledge of economics and absolutely no mathematical aptitude. For this course, please acquire a copy of Burton Folsom’s book The Myth of the Robber Barons from which I will assign some chapters. We will also read some articles which can be downloaded for free online.

A self-employed stock trader and economics enthusiast, Ethan King lives in Huntingdon Valley with his family. He holds a Finance MBA from Temple and a BA in History from Bryn Athyn College. He is currently researching the Austrian School of Economics and its complementary methodology to the New Church rational approach of discovering truth through logical argumentation from first principles.

Wednesdays, October 17, 24, 31, November 7, 14 | 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $75 ($65 if registered by August 24; $85 after October 5)
Location: Bryn Athyn College, Doering Center, room 120The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: hilarious, heart-rending and filled with moral dilemmas– this book is a must read for anyone with a good mind and a good heart. Like any great work, it helps us measure our own humanity. This course will discuss Twain’s remarkable life, and his influence on shaping the American consciousness. Come engage with his ever-challenging (and sometimes conflicting) attitudes.

Janna King has an MA in Literature from Middlebury, and she loves to study literature with other adult minds. She brings a wide range of teaching experience with her into the Lifelong Learning classes, and draws on insights gained from pursuing her own writing and publication career.

Relativity, quantum theory, and the conflict between them
Wednesdays, Oct 17, 24, 31 November 7, 14 | 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Cost: $75 ($65 if registered by August 24; $85 after October 5)
Location: Bryn Athyn College, Doering Center, room 119Relativity and quantum theory together describe the phenomena of physics with spectacular accuracy. In some ways they complement each other elegantly, but in other ways they defy all attempts to reconcile them with each other. Dewey will try to explain the basic concepts of relativity and quantum theory without requiring knowledge of advanced mathematics, and point out how they clash.

Dewey received his AA at Bryn Athyn College, his BS at Penn State, and his MA at Temple, where he was a PhD candidate working on quantum gravity. For the past 25 years he has been a member of the Medical Image Processing Group at the University of Pennsylvania. In his spare time he still dabbles in theoretical physics.

Thursdays, October 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15
Begining level: 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – or – Second level: 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Cost: $75 ($65 if registered by August 24; $85 after October 5)
Location: Fine Arts Building, the large gallery hallOriginally developed in ancient China for self-defense, Tai Chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that is now used to promote personal energy. Tai Chi includes rhythmic patterns of movement that are coordinated with breathing to help build physical strength and balance and to reduce stress. Because Tai Chi is a low impact activity, adults are able to participate at a level suitable to their age and physical ability. The class is limited to 12 people. Recommended for beginners and students who took the spring course.

A native of China, Weina Toscano has studied Tai Chi and Kung Fu since she was seven years old. She is a licensed instructor in both forms in Shanghai and has been teaching the many benefits of Tai Chi since coming to live in the United States.

* Each class is limited to 12 people. We are offering a beginning level and a second level course on the same evenings.

Summer Courses 2012

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, June 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20 (with optional participation during performance weekend: June 21 – 24) | 7 pm to 9 pm
Cost: $150
Location: Mitchell Performing Arts CenterThis course will serve as an introduction to the theatrical production process through practical experience. Initial sessions will focus on analysis & pre-production preparation. Later sessions will coincide with T4Y Playmaker’s first summer production, The Secret Garden, and therefore provide firsthand insight and practical experience in all areas of the production. Participants will assist with lighting, costuming, props, scenery, sound, and much more. They will receive an overview of the casting and directing process and observe rehearsal in progress. Participants will have the opportunity to volunteer outside of sessions and assist during performances if they choose.

Heather, Jordan, and Kristin are all graduates of Shenandoah Conservatory, class of 2009. In 2010, they had a crazy idea to put on a show for children in only 7 days with no money. Since then, T4Y Playmakers has put on three children’s shows and is gearing up for another successful run at the Mitchell Performing Arts Center in the summer of 2012. T4Y stands for Theater for Youth. The acronym comes from the Theatre for Youth program of study offered at Shenandoah Conservatory. It focuses on the power of theater in the lives of young people. T4Y Playmakers embrace this area of theater and the uses it performs in instructing a younger generation in the value of living life with the whole mind, body, and spirit.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 10, 12, 17, 19 | 7:30 pm to 9 pm
Cost: $60 ($50 if registered by June 1; $70 after June 29)
Location: Bryn Athyn College, Doering Center, Room TBAConsidered one of the most influential books written in the 1900s, Lord of the Flies focuses on a group of very young British school boys, who have crash-landed on a deserted island during an evacuation effort at the start of World War III. The boys discover quickly that they will have to care for themselves until the adult world discovers them, so they set about to govern themselves. Deeply symbolic, the novel explores the heroic and destructive aspects of human nature.

Scott Daum taught English at the ANC Secondary Schools for twenty years before becoming the Principal of ANC Boys School. Besides his family, he loves nothing more than to discuss a good book.

Mondays and Wednesdays, July 9, 11, 16, 18 | 7:30 pm to 9 pm
Cost: $60 ($50 if registered by June 1; $70 after June 29)
Location: Academy Secondary Schools Campus, Third Floor of the Fine Arts BuildingDonna Bostock is a performing percussionist in multiple bands. She is a teacher at the Academy of the New Church and other institutions. While traveling to areas such as Cuba, Bolivia, Brazil and Spain she has been gathering a large range of cultural rhythmic material and is excited to share it with anyone who is interested. This is a “hands on” workshop format that will include playing with sticks, congas, snare drums, large bass drums, hand-bells, wooden boxes, and more. There will be something for everyone in this workshop. Beginners to advanced musicians, you will all walk away with something invaluable. Students who took the fall course are encouraged to sign up.

Mondays and Wednesdays, July 23, 25, 30, and August 1 | 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Cost: $60 ($50 if registered by June 1; $70 after June 29)
Location: Academy Secondary Schools, Asplundh Field House, Dance Studioand again on

Tuesdays and Thursdays, August 14, 16, 21, 23 | 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Cost $60 ($50 if registered by July 1; $70 after July 27)
Location: Academy Secondary Schools, Asplundh Field House, Dance Studio

Originally developed in ancient China for self-defense, Tai Chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that is now used to promote personal energy. Tai Chi includes rhythmic patterns of movement that are coordinated with breathing to help build physical strength and balance and to reduce stress. Because Tai Chi is a low impact activity, adults are able to participate at a level suitable to their age and physical ability. The class is limited to 12 people. Recommended for beginners and students who took the spring course.

A native of China, Weina Toscano has studied Tai Chi and Kung Fu since she was seven years old. She is a licensed instructor in both forms in Shanghai and has been teaching the many benefits of Tai Chi since coming to live in the United States.

Spring Courses 2012

Mondays, March 12, 19, 26, April 2, 9 | 7:30 pm to 9 pm
Cost: $75 ($65 if registered by January 20; $85 after March 2)
Location: Academy Secondary Schools, Fine Arts Building, Room TBDLearn to use watercolor techniques such as washes, brush strokes, and mixed colors to paint stunning flowers on paper. Paint from real flowers in a relaxed atmosphere. Bring your own painting supplies. This course is suitable for all levels of ability.

Caroline Kline is a freelance Graphic Designer and Illustrator. She has a BFA from the Tyler School of Art and has studied watercolor at The Maryland Institute College of Art and the PA Academy of the Fine Arts. She enjoys painting in nature and filling sketchbooks wherever she goes.

Mondays, March 12, 19, 26, April 2, 9 | 7:30 pm to 9 pm
Cost: $75 ($65 if registered by January 20; $85 after March 2)
Location: TBDWe will explore the most fundamental patterns of musical pitch and harmony, using vocal exercises, diagrams, and simple keyboard work in class. We will observe the ways in which the diatonic scale (the one you find on the piano) works together with triad chords to create the “common practice” harmony familiar to us in classical and popular music. To sharpen perception of pitch intervals, key sense, and harmonic overtones, we will sing modal scales and shifting vowel tones.

Linda Simonetti Odhner studied piano for nine years with Cathy Odhner and fell in love with Bach’s music, which she plays with more enjoyment than skill. Bach taught her lots of things about harmony.

Tuesdays, March 13, 20, 27, April 3 | 7:30 pm to 9 pm
Cost: $60 ($50 if registered by January 20; $70 after March 2)
Location: Bryn Athyn College, Doering Center, Room TBAPublished in 1962 and filled with Biblical allusions, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is set in an Oregon psychiatric hospital. The story focuses on the conflict between the rebellious Randle Patrick McMurphy, who fakes insanity to serve out a prison sentence in a more comfortable environment, and head nurse Mildred Ratched, who rules the hospital ward with an iron fist. The battle between these two strong-willed individuals begins as soon as the two meet and escalates quickly with profound consequences. Nothing less than salvation is at stake!

Scott Daum taught English at the ANC Secondary Schools for twenty years before becoming the Principal of ANC Boys School. Besides his family, he loves nothing more than to discuss a good book.

Wednesdays, March 14, 21, 28, April 4, 11 | 7 pm to 8:30 pm
Cost: $75 ($65 if registered by January 20; $85 after March 2)
Location: Bryn Athyn College, Doering Center, Room TBDIn some ways, Bronte’s life was more dramatic than her fiction, and that’s saying a lot. We’ll take a look at how the life experiences of the Bronte children, including Charlotte, Emily, and Anne (all novelists) are reflected in Jane Eyre. I’ll be drawing on Elizabeth Gaskell’s biography of Charlotte. Gaskell herself knew Charlotte Bronte, and in recent years has become increasingly well known as her own novels are made into films.

Janna King has an MA in Literature from Middlebury, and she to study literature with other adult minds. She brings a wide range of teaching experience with her into the Lifelong Learning classes, and draws on insights gained from pursuing her own writing and publication career.

Tuesdays, March 13, 20, 27, April 3, 10 | 7:30 pm to 9 pm
Cost: $75 ($65 if registered by January 20; $85 after March 2)
Location: Bryn Athyn College, Doering Center, Room TBDThe Austrian School of Economics, a particular branch focused more on logic than on math and models, offers a unique approach to explaining markets and the human interactions that are ‘the economy.’ We will discuss the basic structure of the financial markets, what is really happening in the American economy today, and tools for anticipating future market conditions. We will do some reading, some lectures and lots of discussion. The leading Austrian School website is fostering a global sea-change in economic thought with powerful online strategies. For the final class I will share my vision of how the General Church and its various educational endeavors might benefit by emulating aspects of mises.org. This course requires no prior knowledge of economics and absolutely no mathematical aptitude. When you leave this course, your mind will be exploding with new financial insights and economic understanding.

A self-employed stock trader and economics enthusiast, Ethan King lives in Huntingdon Valley with his family. He holds an MBA from Temple and a BA in History from Bryn Athyn College. He contends that Austrian Economics has a complementary methodology to the New Church rational approach to discovering truth.

Thursdays, March 15, 22, 29, April 5, 12 | 7 pm to 8:30 pm
Cost: $75 ($65 if registered by January 20; $85 after March 2)
Location: Bryn Athyn College, Doering Center, Room TBAThe initials IRA stand for instruction, reflection, and application. These three IRA’s carry with them a guarantee that will pay eternal dividends. Come see how the parables in the Bible can wonderfully enrich your life.

Rev. McCurdy has nearly 50 years of pastoral experience. He has taught in the Bryn Athyn Church School, the ANC Secondary Schools, and Bryn Athyn College.

Thursdays, March 15, 22, 29, April 5, 12 | 7:30 pm to 9 pm
Cost: $75 ($65 if registered by January 20; $85 after March 2)
Location: Fine Arts Building, Room TBDOriginally developed in ancient China for self-defense, Tai Chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that is now used to promote personal energy. Tai Chi includes rhythmic patterns of movement that are coordinated with breathing to help build physical strength and balance and to reduce stress. Because Tai Chi is a low impact activity, adults are able to participate at a level suitable to their age and physical ability. The class is limited to 12 people.

A native of China, Weina Toscano has studied Tai Chi and Kung Fu since she was seven years old. She is a licensed instructor in both forms in Shanghai and has been teaching the many benefits of Tai Chi since coming to live in the United States.