All Courses

BREAKTHROUGH TO CREATIVITY

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Price: 225.00 USD
4 Weeks

06 - 07 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-06-07 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Experienced and novice writers alike know the wall—the myriad details of life, the fear of not having the precise words, and the fear that the precise words will alter one’s life in unexpected ways. Despite the blocks to creativity, many of us push on in search of ways to relay the unique meanings and experiences we have to convey. This course focuses on specific approaches to break through the wall and hone our creative abilities. Participants will read selected poems, stories, and essays and write both in class and out of class. The instructor will write comments on one piece of each participant’s writing every week. If available, please bring an example of your writing to the first session.

AUGUSTE RODIN AND MODERN SCULPTURE

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

09 - 05 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-09-05 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This year, 2017, marks the centennial of Auguste Rodin’s death. Acclaimed as the greatest sculptor since Michelangelo, Rodin renewed the ancient art of sculpture, boldly bringing it into the 20th century. In this course, students will engage in Rodin’s fascinating artistic career, initially full of rejections, controversies, and scandals—which he managed to transform into international successes. We will examine how Rodin interacted with his contemporaries, how he responded to the values and ideas of the culture of his time, and why the origins of modern sculpture are traced to him.

BEHIND THE HEADLINES: A Discussion of International Events

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Price: 300.00 USD
12 Weeks

09 - 05 - 2017, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2017-09-05 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

This course is a series of discussions on whatever events are timely and significant in the international arena. Topics will cover a broad spectrum, such as the international terrorist threat; the frictions between Russia and the West; the Arab-Israeli search for a solution to differences; the rise of China as a political, military, and economic rival; Europe’s struggle to realize its political, social, and economic goals; implications of the global economic situation for America; and finding an effective American foreign policy for dealing with these and other international issues in which the class may have an interest.

HOW TO MAKE ABSTRACT ART

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Price: 250.00 USD
4 Weeks

09 - 05 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 AM 2017-09-05 10:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Put your landscapes and still life painting aside for a short while and learn how to set up and paint abstract art with educator and abstract painter, Shiela Lipkin. The principles and ideas will be presented in the first class as well as how to set up your first abstract painting. In the remainder of the classes, new ideas for making the art will be presented as well as critiques and discussions of the paintings. All media welcome and only odorless mediums can be used with those who paint with oils. Please bring paints, palettes, and 12x12 or 11x14 canvases to start. (A limited enrollment class)

KEYS TO ENJOYING THE WRITER'S ART: Literary Romps & Productive Pauses

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Price: 325.00 USD
0 Weeks

09 - 05 - 2017, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2017-09-05 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

This class will meet the first Tuesday of the month, 6 sessions. September 5, 2017: Don’t be Afraid of Poetry—You'll learn the insiders secrets to unlocking meaning from a poem's short lines, unpredictable words, and fascinating images. What's more you may even realize you like poetry! October 3, 2017: How to Tell a Story—Unlock the crucial difference between telling a story orally vs. in writing, and pick up those important little tricks to engaging listeners and readers as you tell those stories that mean the most to you. November 7, 2017: Images in Writing—Why do some images stay in your mind for decades while others simply float away into nothingness? Enjoy this cross-cultural romp through writing that has created enduring images to fire imaginations. Enjoy sharing your own appreciation of various written images you’ve encountered throughout your life. February 6, 2018: Is it Humorous? Or Merely Funny?—Are you a raconteur or a rake? A silly-billy or a jokester? Do you deliver the punch line for a joke with aplomb or with an apology? Let’s look at the fiddle-faddle and hootchie-ma-coo of oral and written humor. March 6, 2018: Writing Your Memories: How to do it with Verve—We want to leave behind our hard-won wisdom and precious memories, don’t we? Learn the writer’s tricks that will elevate your ability to say what you want to say and focus on what’s important in your story. April 3, 2018: Circling Back to Poetry: How to Use Poetic Craft in Prose— We will look at inspiring examples of great prose written using poetry’s greatest “tricks” to create enduring stories, characters, and places. (A limited enrollment class)

MORE ROMANTIC COMEDIES

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Price: 250.00 USD
12 Weeks

09 - 05 - 2017, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2017-09-05 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

After an interlude of a year, we will return to my favorite film form: romantic comedies. This semester we will focus on movies made in the thirties and early forties, often in the slapstick tradition of Bringing Up Baby, a film we examined last year. The movies include "It Happened One Night", starring Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable, the first movie (and one of only three) to win all five of the major Academy Awards—best film, director, actor, actress, and film-script. The second movie is "His Girl Friday", one of my favorite romantic comedies because it combines a love story with a murder plot and an ending not unlike the one in "The Philadelphia Story" with stars Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. In "The Awful Truth", both Cary Grant and Irene Dunne spend much of their time trying to spoil the other’s plans for remarriage. If there is time, we will examine "Adam’s Rib", a great Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn comedy in which Tracy and Hepburn play a married couple opposing one another in a murder trial. To provide change-of-pace from these films, we will discuss more recent romantic comedies like "Sabrina" (the newer version), "Moonstruck" (for which both Cher and Olympia Dukakis won Academy Awards), and "One Fine Day", starring Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney.

BEHIND THE HEADLINES: A Discussion of International Events

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Price: 300.00 USD
12 Weeks

09 - 06 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-09-06 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This course is a series of discussions on whatever events are timely and significant in the international arena. Topics will cover a broad spectrum, such as the international terrorist threat; the frictions between Russia and the West; the Arab-Israeli search for a solution to differences; the rise of China as a political, military, and economic rival; Europe’s struggle to realize its political, social, and economic goals; implications of the global economic situation for America; and finding an effective American foreign policy for dealing with these and other international issues in which the class may have an interest.

BEHIND THE HEADLINES: A Discussion of International Events

▲ REGISTER
Price: 300.00 USD
12 Weeks

09 - 06 - 2017, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2017-09-06 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

This course is a series of discussions on whatever events are timely and significant in the international arena. Topics will cover a broad spectrum, such as the international terrorist threat; the frictions between Russia and the West; the Arab-Israeli search for a solution to differences; the rise of China as a political, military, and economic rival; Europe’s struggle to realize its political, social, and economic goals; implications of the global economic situation for America; and finding an effective American foreign policy for dealing with these and other international issues in which the class may have an interest.

BREATHROUGH TO CREATIVITY

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Price: 425.00 USD
10 Weeks

09 - 06 - 2017, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2017-09-06 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

Experienced and novice writers alike know the wall—the myriad details of life, the fear of not having the precise words, and the fear that the precise words will alter one’s life in unexpected ways. Despite the blocks to creativity, many of us push on in search of ways to relay the unique meanings and experiences we have to convey. This course focuses on specific approaches to break through the wall and hone our creative abilities. Participants will read selected poems, stories, and essays and write both in class and out of class. The instructor will write comments on one piece of each participant’s writing every week. If available, please bring an example of your writing to the first session. (A limited enrollment class)

CONTEMPORARY WOMEN'S FICTION

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

09 - 06 - 2017, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2017-09-06 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

Women have been writing up a storm in the twenty-first century, sharing ideas, sufferings, and joys with their increasingly diverse audiences. Contemporary Women’s Fiction explores some of these current literary trends in women’s writing, seeking to identify shared threads of experience, style, and thematic approach in a diverse and interesting set of texts from the twenty-first century. What are some of the common stakes and interests in contemporary women’s authorship? How do differences in nationality, race, and religion shape women’s experiences? In this course, we will read novels (including one memoir) by American, Canadian, British, Nigerian, and Iranian female authors, plotting a map of women’s contemporary expression. Course texts, in order: • Ann Patchett, "Bel Canto" (2001) Extra Credit: United States vs. Hearst (trial transcript) • Zadie Smith, "White Teeth" (2000) • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, "Half of a Yellow Sun" (2006) Extra Credit: Adichie’s TED Talk, “We Should All Be Feminists” • Azar Nafisi, "Reading Lolita in Tehran" (2013) • Margaret Atwood, "Hag-Seed" (2016) Extra Credit: Shakespeare, "The Tempest" • Louise Erdrich, "LaRose" (2016)

LIVING THE STORIED LIFE: How Life's Narratives Influence Our Identity

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Price: 500.00 USD
12 Weeks

09 - 06 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-09-06 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

How is it that we become who we are? We are partially the culmination of our parents’ and grandparents’ stories, the stories perpetuated by our cultural heritage, and we are also constructed out of the stories told about us even before we were born. This seminar will examine the influence of the stories of our lives, those we have heard and those we tell. We will discuss the universal stories that unite us all as human beings and the very personal, individual stories that make us each unique. Students will be expected to engage actively in the sharing of their own life narratives and in discussion of the over-arching themes that bring us all together in a shared humanity. (A limited enrollment class)

DEPICTIONS OF THE NATURAL WORLD IN MUSIC

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

09 - 07 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-09-07 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

From torrential downpours to quiet walks in the garden, generations of composers have been inspired by Mother Nature in all her forms. Oboes become ducks, flutes become birds, the timpani rolls thunder, cymbals crash with lightening, and the plucking of stings becomes the patter of rain all in service of composers trying to capture a snapshot of nature to bring into the concert hall. This class will examine a wide range of masterpieces created in honor or fear of the natural world, including Beethoven’s iconic Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral,” Mendelssohn’s tone poem "The Hebrides", Britten’s "Sea Interludes", Grofe’s "Grand Canyon Suite", Strauss Jr. "Thunder and Lightning Polka", and more. Don't forget your galoshes!

EGYPT'S GREATEST PHARAOHS

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

09 - 07 - 2017, 01:30 PM - 03:30 PM 2017-09-07 01:30 PM - 03:30 PM

Egypt was antiquity's antiquity. Put another way, we are closer in time to Cleopatra VII, the last of the pharaohs, than she was to the building of the Great Pyramid. Against the backdrop of this vast time scale, we will examine the stories of eight of Egypt's greatest rulers—including two extraordinary ancient women—beginning with the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt in the Early Dynastic Period and ending with the irresistible ambitions of Cambyses II of Persia, Alexander the Great, and Caesar Augustus, each of whom added Egypt to his world empire. Along this 3,000-year journey we will learn about art and architecture, mythology and religion, decisive battles, palace intrigues, burial practices, literary masterpieces, the science of modern Egyptology, and the decipherment of the Rosetta Stone. We will consider the impact and meaning of Egyptian civilization to later observers, from the Hebrew Bible and Plato to Shakespeare and Freud.

INTERMEDIATE SPANISH

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Price: 350.00 USD
7 Weeks

09 - 07 - 2017, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2017-09-07 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

This class is a continuation of the beginning level Spanish classes. Professor Victoria Arbizu-Sabater´s teaching method will be very similar to that of Level I. The language materials used are part of a new series authored by Dr. Urrutibéheity titled "El Español Actual" (Today´s Spanish). Intensive speaking practice continues to be the main feature of each class. Participants are encouraged to express themselves in the foreign language and progress at their own pace. The grammatical structure of spoken Spanish is given more emphasis than in the preceding level. Special pronunciation and grammatical contrasts will be discussed. Participants will be given CDs with the contents of each lesson. They will be expected to do written exercises to reinforce the learning of new vocabulary and structures. (A limited enrollment class)

SHAKESPEARE: From Page to Stage

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

09 - 07 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-09-07 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This class will draw heavily from Kate’s collection of video tapes, especially those made by the BBC in the 1980’s called "Playing Shakespeare". Hosted by John Barton, these tapes are a series of master classes showing John working with great actors on how to bring the Shakespeare texts to life. The actors include Patrick Stewart, David Suchet (of Poirot fame), Peggy Ashcroft, Ian McKellen, and other great 20th century British actors. Films of Shakespearean plays will illuminate the vocal and acting techniques illustrated in the master classes: Olivier’s "Henry V", "Richard III", "Othello", "King Lear" and "Merchant of Venice"; Branagh’s "Henry V", "Much Ado About Nothing", "Hamlet", and "Love’s Labour’s Lost"; McKellen’s "Richard III", Derek Jacobi’s "Richard II" all will be seen as examples of the art of Shakespearean acting. Students are encouraged to buy a copy of John Barton’s "Playing Shakespeare", the book which accompanies the video tapes.

THE HEALING POWER OF THE MIND: An Energy Revolution

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Price: 300.00 USD
8 Weeks

09 - 07 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-09-07 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Energy—it seems we never have enough of it. Without it, we can find ourselves depressed, weakened, and vulnerable to illness. However, new scientific findings have confirmed that many ancient (and once secret) healing systems from the East have been able to increase energy, improve health, slow/reverse aging, and even produce miracles like spontaneous cancer remissions. From the proven efficacy of acupuncture, acupressure, tai chi, qi gong, yoga, Reiki, therapeutic/healing touch, and more, we are learning that there are underlying, though invisible, energy systems in each of us that affect us, and which can be harnessed for better health and energy. To explore these energy systems, we will look at the tenets of Chinese Medicine and the Meridian system, a structure of hidden energy channels mapped by the Taoists more than 5,000 years ago, and still followed by acupuncture and acupressure specialists today. This powerful and confounding healing system (e.g. why a needle at the top of the foot fixes chronic migraines) has recently been correlated scientifically to connections between underlying fascial tissue. We will also learn about the similar Chakra system, mapped and described thousands of years ago within the Hindu tradition, which operates to this day as a key component in the physical and spiritual discipline of different types of yoga. We will examine where modern medicine, ancient Eastern medical principles, and the discoveries of Quantum Physics have begun to intersect with spirituality and the somatic sciences, leading to more effective holistic treatment. By exploring time-honored principles and learning actual practices, we will work with our own personal energy fields to directly experience the results that take place when we take charge of our energy and our health.

THE NOVEL MOVES TO MODERNITY

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Price: 250.00 USD
12 Weeks

09 - 07 - 2017, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2017-09-07 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

George Eliot’s "Middlemarch", Tolstoy’s "Anna Karenina", and Henry James’s "The Portrait of a Lady" all have historically appropriate heroines but very different narrative styles. Eliot often seems to write from a pulpit, issuing judgments commensurate with our sense of Victorian morality. Tolstoy’s alternation of relatively short chapters and his belief that our behavior is more physiological than international gives his narrative the difficult feeling that cause and effect are sometimes hardly related, which makes morality problematic. James is as impersonal as a nineteenth-century narrator can be. His characters sometimes seem opaque within their own consciousness and we are left on our own to make any final judgments. James’s ending is quite open; Eliot’s is firmly closed; and Tolstoy’s are both. And this tells the story of the nineteenth century novel’s turn to modernism. All three novels come in Penguin editions. We will start with Eliot.

BEGINNING SPANISH II

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Price: 350.00 USD
7 Weeks

09 - 08 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-09-08 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This class is a continuation of Beginning Spanish I. The emphasis of this class is not on how much is “covered,” but on the internalization of that introduced in class, keeping in mind the fact that learning a second language in a non-immersion environment is a gradual process. The progress of the class will not be determined by the instructor but by the progress of the group. Students will be provided with CDs for each of the lessons introduced in class that correspond to the textbook lessons in "El Español Actual" (2016 edition), authored by Dr. Hector Urrutibéheity, and which can be purchased at Copy.com at 1201 Westheimer. (A limited enrollment class)

WOMEN IN THE AMERICAN WEST

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

09 - 08 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-09-08 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

When we think of the American West, we tend to envision tough, independent, standoffish men, such as sheriffs and outlaws, cowboys and ranchers, roaming across wild desert and mountain landscapes on horseback. Where do women reside in our collective imagination of such a West? Usually, they are being rescued by these men or are assigned the task of taming these frontier landscapes from within the built space of the home. In this class, we will be examining the hardships, hopes, and homes of the “American West” through the eyes, voices, and memories of women. To this end, we will study one film and various modes of life writing—memoirs, biographical fiction, and poetry—for how they create and complicate our ideas of the nineteenth-century and present-day West. We will find that rather than being confined and restricted in agency and mobility, women in the West have always been a formidable force for personal and social change. Texts include Helena Maria "Viramontes’s Under the Feet of Jesus" (1995), Sandra Day O’Connor’s "Lazy B" (2002), Leslie Marmon Silko’s "The Turquoise Ledge" (2010), Liz Stephens’s "The Days Are Gods" (2013), and "The Homesman" (2014), a film starring Hilary Swank and directed by Tommy Lee Jones.

100 YEARS OF TEXAS ART

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Price: 225.00 USD
6 Weeks

09 - 11 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-09-11 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

"Though newcomers from New York and California like to think they've brought cosmopolitanism to Texas, the evidence continues to mount that our state was a full participant in the twentieth century.” – Texas Monthly, 2014 What is Texas art? In recent years, Texas has gained recognition for its extraordinarily rich artistic and cultural environment. From the earliest days of settlement, artistic activity has been pivotal to Texas cultural life. Increasingly, a vast range of art centers, major museums, local arts organizations, and community centers recognize the invaluable artistic contributions made within the state. Museum catalogs, academic scholarship, and media attention continue to raise the profile of Texas art. In this course, we will explore the development of visual arts in Texas. We will conduct an examination of art movements, artists, and major works, exhibiting a broad range of artistic techniques from its earliest incarnations through the mid-twentieth century. Throughout the course, Early Texas Art and Texas Modernism will be discussed in the context of other local regional art movements, both in the United States and internationally. The course will be broken into three classroom seminars covering Texas Impressionism, Lone Star Regionalism, Modernism, and Contemporary, which will be followed by two field visits to prominent collections of Texas art in both private and public collections in the Houston area. (Limited to 25 students)

BEGINNING SPANISH I

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Price: 350.00 USD
7 Weeks

09 - 11 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-09-11 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This class is intended for students who have had little or no previous Spanish. The emphasis of this class is not on how much is “covered,” but on the internalization of that introduced in class, keeping in mind the fact that learning a second language in a non-immersion environment is a gradual process. The progress of the class will not be determined by the instructor but by the progress of the group. Students will be provided with CDs for each of the lessons introduced in class that correspond to the textbook lessons in "El Español Actual" (2016 edition), authored by Dr. Hector Urrutibéheity. This textbook can be purchased at Copy.com at 1201 Westheimer. (A limited enrollment class)

iWORKSHOP FOR YOUR iPHONES, iPADS, AND APPS

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Price: 275.00 USD
6 Weeks

09 - 11 - 2017, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2017-09-11 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

This class starts with the basics and covers everything from how to navigate and work with settings, organize our screen, locate hidden features, and use the camera. New iPhones are coming out, and the operating system (iOS) has updated, bringing many new features that even seasoned users need to know about. We will go over the latest changes and the glitches we may encounter using certain features or upgrading. We will also learn the essential apps to unleash the power of our devices, and make our lives easier. What are the best practices and settings we should know about? How can we make our devices so that they best serve our customized needs? This class covers all of that and more. Participants in this class are encouraged to bring their devices to class where we will have hands-on sessions exploring the latest and greatest tips, tricks, and apps for our mobile devices. Questions and answers are part of this workshop. (A limited enrollment class)

LEGENDARY DIRECTORS AND FILM AS THEIR ART

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

09 - 11 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-09-11 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

In this two-part course, we will examine six legendary directors and their most iconic films, seeking to understand the films as the product of each of their singular artistic visions. Fall’s session will include films by Francois Truffaut, Steven Spielberg, and Stanley Kubrick. Spring's session will include the films of Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, and Martin Scorsese. Throughout the course, students will learn basic film theory and see how understanding directors of films as analogous to the authors of literature came to be the dominant paradigm in film analysis. In analyzing the work of major movie directors, we will define individual director’s directorial style and cinematic themes as well as determine what makes an influential director. We will consider these directors’ legacies and influence on the film industry. Students will leave the course with an understanding of how directors combine all elements of movie making (screenplay writing, cinematography, editing, sound, and managing actors’/actresses’ performances) to convey their own artistic ideas.

POLITICS, RELIGION, & ETHNICITY: EL GRECO, VELAZQUEZ, GOYA, & PICAS

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

09 - 11 - 2017, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2017-09-11 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

The lives of these four great artists span five centuries of Spanish history, a history fraught with the intense conflicts and passions aroused by the intermingling forces of religion, ethnicity, and politics. These artists are extraordinary not only because of the aesthetic quality of their work, but also because each elevates his artistry: first, by criticizing the very framework of power, ethnicity and religion that sustains him and second, by articulating in his art an elevated ethical stance from where the criticism has been issued. With the exception of Picasso, we shall see how these criticisms appear, understandably, under a variety of artful disguises making them difficult to detect to most of their contemporaries, which become readily apparent in hindsight. Finally, we shall see how in spite of these similarities, these four artists give us strikingly different portrayals of our humanity—of what kind of beings we are and rather similar portrayals of what kind of beings we should aspire to be.

TAMBURLAINE'S LEGACY: The Ottoman Empire & Europe

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Price: 225.00 USD
10 Weeks

09 - 11 - 2017, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2017-09-11 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

“Now shalt thou feel the force of Turkish arms Which lately made all Europe quake for fear.” So spoke the Emperor Bajazeth in Christopher Marlowe’s Elizabethan poem, "Tamburlaine" (1587), an observation accepted by most Europeans. The Ottoman Army was the largest in Europe, its Navy ruled the shipping lanes of the Eastern Mediterranean, and its capital Istanbul was five times the size of Paris. At its height the Empire extended from the Middle East and North Africa to Greece, the Balkans, and Central Europe to the very gates of Vienna. In the words of a 17th century historian, the Ottomans accept “no other limits than the uttermost bounds of the earth,” and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V ranked the Ottoman Turks as a far greater threat to Christianity than Martin Luther. If the Ottomans and its emperors were dangerous threats, they were equally the object of admiration and fantasy, and Europeans found themselves eager to establish trading and diplomatic relations with them. Travelers and merchants were inevitably drawn toward Ottoman lands by their fascination with the Orient and the lure of profits: new goods such as pottery, carpets, silks, fashion, and art as well as new words such as candy, sugar, turquoise, tulips, and Shakespeare’s Othello. This course will examine the Ottoman Empire and its influence from its origin in the 13th century through its destruction on the battlefields of the First World War, an event that gave birth to much of the unstable Middle East

THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY IN ITS FIRST YEAR

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Price: 250.00 USD
10 Weeks

09 - 13 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-09-13 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

On November 8, 2016 Donald Trump scored one of the greatest political upsets in American electoral history. As we approach the anniversary of that victory, it is a good time to take stock of how our oldest elected president is faring. Has he begun draining the Washington swamp? Has he changed the direction of public policy, secured his judicial appointments, regained his political footing after a very rocky start, managed the nation's challenges abroad, and has he dealt with the unexpected crises that plague every White House? We'll endeavor to answer these and other questions about the 45th president of the United States as he approaches the end of his first year in office. His tenure has certainly been entertaining, but we should be getting a good idea of how his effort to transform the American political system is likely to work or fail.

SHATTERING THE GLASS CEILING FOR OPTIMAL HEALTH & WELL-BEING

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Price: 35.00 USD
0 Weeks

09 - 17 - 2017, 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM 2017-09-17 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM

As we age, we can easily imagine a better quality of life but we can also feel as if we are bumping up against something that makes it harder than ever to get there. In the past thirty years, there has been a dramatic spike in lifestyle-related diseases that are alarming in scope and staggering in cost. Many people, even some scientists and health researchers, remain deeply skeptical that we’ll find a solution to the problems of chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, some cancers, and cognitive decline. This is because they have been looking in the wrong places, and may not appreciate that historically, science often leads to unexpected breakthroughs that can radically change everything. People talk about how they are stuck with slow metabolism, bad genes, and that it is too late to change for the better. However, in many ways, our future health and well-being probably depends much more on what we do in the next year than in the past. For example, current research shows anyone (regardless of weight and age) can significantly accelerate fat and glucose metabolism with low effort. Even the activity of key genes for healthy aging can be switched on after living a sedentary life. What if we could work together to find and deliver real-world solutions, which would improve our quality of life and help those we love? Our research team at the new center at the University of Houston is more optimistic than ever solutions are close at hand. Learn about the latest research and breakthrough discoveries and what they can mean for your health. Learn some important ways you can participate in the pioneering changes in Houston and beyond, so that together we can shatter the presumptive barriers preventing us from achieving better health.

A BOOK GROUP: Reading Critically Acclaimed Literary Works

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Price: 350.00 USD
0 Weeks

09 - 26 - 2017, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2017-09-26 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

This class will meet once a month to discuss eight literary works. We will meet the fourth Tuesday of each month, from September to May, excluding December. The selections have been made from novels, collections of short stories, and memoirs that have received critical acclaim from peers, reviewers, and the reading public. Led by author and writing instructor Nancy Geyer, the course will differ from a lecture format in that class members will be encouraged to participate in the discussion of the monthly book assignment. It is patterned on the classic formula of book clubs that became popular in the early 20th century and continue to the present day. Emphasis will be placed on characterization, plot, structure, dialogue, style, and atmosphere. The book selections and dates follow: (A limited enrollment class) • September 26 "A Gentleman in Moscow" - Amor Towles • October 24 "News of the World" - Paulette Jiles • November 28 "The Underground Railroad" - Colson Whitehead • December No Meeting • January 23 "The House of the Spirits" – Isabelle Allende • February 27 "Nutshell" – Ian McEwan • March 27 "The Old Man and the Sea" and "A Moveable Feast" Earnest Hemigway • April 24 "My Mother’s Keeper: A Daughter’s Memoir of Growing Up in the Shadow of Schizophrenia" – Tara Elgin Holley with Joe Holley • May 22 "The Day the World Came to Town" – Jim Defede

WRITING YOUR LIFE AND TIMES

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Price: 425.00 USD
10 Weeks

10 - 03 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-10-03 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

You may gravitate toward autobiography, memoir, essay or journaling. You may span decades of family lore or focus on your own life and the people who influenced you or the experiences that gave you skills and wisdom. Your purpose may be to reveal challenges you’ve faced, share knowledge and values, or make people laugh. This class provides resources to strengthen your story and encouragement to develop your own storytelling “voice.” Reading recommendations are offered, along with tactics for cultivating memory, working around barriers, and managing the process. Feedback comes from class discussion and in writing via e-mail from the instructor.

A WORLD OF WINE

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Price: 250.00 USD
0 Weeks

10 - 08 - 2017, 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM 2017-10-08 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM

The world of wine has changed dramatically over the last 25 years. Today wonderful wines come from previously unknown sources. Competition and technology have led to unparalleled quality and superb values. Each class will begin with thirty minutes of background and continue with ninety minutes of tasting and discussion of eight to ten wines. Join us as we discover wine gems from around the world. In this series, we will focus on Old World wines, particularly those from France and Italy. As we explore wines from these areas, Mr. Keating will continue to demonstrate that quality and value are compatible. Class will meet October 8, October 15, October 29, and November 5 (A limited enrollment class)

FULL WORLD: Houston's Economic and Ecologic Future

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Price: 200.00 USD
8 Weeks

10 - 17 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-10-17 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The empty world is the past, a world that was relatively empty of human and human impacts. Today, we live in a world that is filling up with humans and overflowing with human impacts, but we are still mired in empty world thinking that dominates our economic, environmental, and social practices. However, change is upon us and in some areas that change is extremely fast, particularly relative to climate change and the oil and gas industry. Full World Houston is an exploration of where we are heading as a local and global community, from the perspective of economics, ecology, eco-play, eco-spirituality, and the implications that these changes will have on business, on city and regional form, and on each of us.

SACRED MUSIC: The Association of Music and Religion

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

10 - 18 - 2017, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2017-10-18 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

Sacred music, like all art, is a product of the culture that created it. The lyrics of religious music tell of the beliefs and history of the faith, but the music itself reveals much about the religion—a Mass by Palestrina reflects the glory and majesty of Renaissance Catholicism, and a Bach cantata expresses the bold confidence of early Protestantism. In this course, we will review the basic tenets of the world’s major religions and explore liturgical and devotional music, and classical art music inspired by these faiths. Classes include: • Co-evolution of religion and music • Special words – Hallelujah & Amen • Eastern Religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism • Judaism • Catholicism/Non-Catholic Christianity • Islam

A HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT: Text & Culture

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

10 - 19 - 2017, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2017-10-19 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

In this class, we will explore the texts of the New Testament from the perspective of modern academic scholarship, with an emphasis on their historical and social context. Doing so will require us to become familiar with both the rich diversity within Second Temple Judaism and the Hellenistic world of the Roman Empire. This six-week course will focus primarily on ancient Jewish understandings of the Messiah, the historical Jesus, the Gospel tradition, Paul the Apostle, and the formation of the New Testament canon. We will read the relevant ancient texts together in translation and explore themes of conflict and diversity within emerging Christianity as it developed from an apocalyptic Jewish sect to a separate religion composed of non-Jewish followers. Come explore these fascinating and foundational texts of earliest Christianity. While it is to be expected that everyone will enter with varying assumptions and expectations about the Bible in general, it should be noted that we will adopt a historical approach to the texts of the New Testament—examining them in their original historical, cultural, and social contexts. (Please note, that we will not be reading these texts from confessional or devotional points of view.)

FORCED EXILE IN MODERN HISTORY

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

10 - 19 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-10-19 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This course examines systems of forced exile in modern history, how they worked and why states devised them. Forcing someone to leave home for political reasons is an ancient practice. However, over the last several hundred years political authorities have become more effective than ever at exiling large numbers of people. We will focus on six cases in the last two hundred years: Britain, Tsarist Russia, France, the United States, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union. New ideologies such as nationalism, racism, and the idea of progress, together with new technologies such as photography, modern transportation, and race science, came to be powerful tools used by states for social control. Lectures will include eyewitness accounts, photography, art, and film produced by exiles and the people who forced them from their homes.

JAPAN: Asian Tradition and Unique Culture

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Price: 200.00 USD
8 Weeks

10 - 19 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-10-19 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Beginning in the late 19th and into the early 20th century, Japan took its place in international affairs in a remarkable way and very short time period. Unfortunately for the people of Japan, and for the countries bordering on the Pacific Ocean, this rapid expansion took a disastrous turn in the 1930’s, leading to war and destruction. This episode of history tends to dominate the vision that we in the West have of Japan since many of our fathers or grandfathers fought in WWII. But there is much more to be said about Japan and its art, culture, and historical significance in the wider world. During an eight-week series of lectures, we will explore these other dimensions, beginning in prehistory. Though the Japanese people adopted much of their early culture from the Far East Mainland, they adopted it to suit a different aesthetic. The transition from separate clans to imperial control dominated the first millennium. A thousand years ago, the royal court and attendant nobility formulated much of the tradition that carries through to the present. The adoption of Buddhism played a significant role in allowing the artistic tradition to flourish during this time period as well. Then, beginning at the end of the 12th century, the rule of military took tradition, art, and culture off into new directions. Only in the 19th century did the shoguns abandon their control, leading to a rapid modernization and embrace of new technologies, new forms of art, and international recognition. After WWII, Japan again performed an economic about-face, creating for itself a new position in world affairs. We will explore and discuss all of this with the goal of generating an appreciation for Japan’s art and culture and an understanding of its history.

BEHIND THE HEADLINES: A Discussion of International Events Shaping Our World

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Price: 200.00 USD
6 Weeks

10 - 20 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-10-20 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This 6-week course is a series of discussions on whatever events are timely and significant in the international arena. Topics will cover a broad spectrum, such as the international terrorist threat; the frictions between Russia and the West; the Arab-Israeli search for a solution to differences; the rise of China as a political, military, and economic rival; Europe’s struggle to realize its political, social, and economic goals; implications of the global economic situation for America; and finding an effective American foreign policy for dealing with these and other international issues in which the class may have an interest.

Lecture Luncheon 2017 - 2018

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Price: 350.00 USD
0 Weeks

10 - 20 - 2017, 11:00 AM - 01:00 PM 2017-10-20 11:00 AM - 01:00 PM

CLINT VAN ZANDT - October 20, 2017 - The New Age of Terrorism What is the current threat posed by terrorists worldwide and might they strike again in America? Former FBI agent, profiler, and hostage negotiator, Clint Van Zandt, discusses the history of both international and domestic terrorism from a review of history and recent case studies and provides a look into the minds of notorious and international terrorists. CHUCK UNDERWOOD - November 17, 2017 - America's Generation's: A Celebration—From the Greatest Generation to the overlooked and under-appreciated Silent Generation, the world-changing Baby Boomers, mysterious and misunderstood Generation X and the joyous, technology-dominated Millennials, Chuck Underwood will take us on a provocative and spellbinding stroll through the generations and the five unique sets of core values, lifestyles and outlooks each give to our nation. Mr. Underwood is one of the founders of field of Generational Study. DENISE KIERNAN - January 19, 2018 - The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II New York Times best selling author, Denise Kiernan, takes us back in time and into a top-secret world where young women and men lived and worked surrounded by spies and secrecy, forbidden to speak of their work, even to each other, as the United States worked to face the challenges of World War II and the Manhatten Project raced to harness nuclear power. LOUIS MASUR - February 16, 2018 - Hamilton vs. Jefferson: The Rivalry that Shaped America—Hamilton's vision of America was of an economic powerhouse with an energetic government as its engine. Jefferson articulated a different vision from Hamilton’s, promoting an agrarian democracy built upon geographic expansion. Distinguished Professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers University and American Historian, Louis Masur, shares his vast knowledge of two of our founding fathers.

RUSSIAN BECOMES EXOTIC

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Price: 35.00 USD
0 Weeks

10 - 22 - 2017, 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM 2017-10-22 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM

Chaikovsky’s ballet, "The Sleeping Beauty", was a not so subtle tribute to the Russian court by comparing it to Louis XIV’s Versailles. Twenty years later, when Sergei Diaghilev brought Russian ballet to Paris, the productions that he intended as tributes to French ballet were overshadowed by the Parisians’ fascination with Russian exoticism, such as that found in "The Firebird".

INTRODUCTION TO THE ART OF SKETCHING

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Price: 275.00 USD
5 Weeks

10 - 23 - 2017, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2017-10-23 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

Most people are unaware that if they can thread a needle or catch a ball, they can also sketch. The trick is getting into the right side of the brain and this is all the magic that is needed to start sketching! In this applied art class, we will employ the use of exercises to get the right side of our brains working “right,” learn how to shade our drawings and how to represent proportions, (that is how large or small an object is in relation to others), and we will study one point perspective as well as how to set up a portrait. Confidence will be gained as we learn and practice these sketching skills one step at a time. Though designed for beginners, intermediate artists can also benefit from relearning basic drawing fundamentals. (First class required attendance. Course fee includes sketching materials. A limited enrollment class)

PAINTERS OF FASHION: Fashionable Painters

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Price: 175.00 USD
6 Weeks

10 - 23 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-10-23 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The interaction between artists—in particular painters—and fashion makers is a fascinating one. Starting with the reign of Marie Antoinette, arguably the most fashion obsessed queen to occupy the French throne, we will take a close look at how she and her favorite portraitist Elizabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun, set the fashion world on its head in the years just before the French Revolution. When Napoleon I swept into power, an entirely new style both in art and fashion was called for. No lesser an artist than the great Jacques-Louis David, author of the magnificent Coronation of Napoleon I, designed uniforms for the representatives of the newly created civil institutions of Napoleonic France. During the Romantic era, the English Pre-Raphaelite artists, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones and in turn William Morris, had a significant impact on the fashions of their day. However, when the beautiful Empress Eugenie succeeded Marie Antoinette on the French throne during the Second Empire, her two favorites—Charles Frederick Worth, the court couturier, and Franz X. Winterhalter, the renowned court painter—created a style in dress and portraiture that was embraced by the fashionable elite from Paris to St. Petersburg and from Boston to Madrid. Around 1900, Vienna was a fulcrum of artistic activity and its leading artist, Gustav Klimt, exercised enormous influence over not only painting, but the decorative arts and fashions as well. Many of society beauties he painted were also clients of Emilie Flöge, his long-time mistress, who ran Vienna’s most avant-garde fashion salon. His influence on her creations as well as the use of her creations in his paintings constitutes a fascinating symbiosis of painting and fashion. This interdependence of art and fashion can be traced well into the 20th century in the creations of Chanel, Dior, Balenciaga, Courèges and Oscar de la Renta, the subject of an upcoming exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

RELIGION & PROTEST: Case Studies in Faith & Socio-Political Activism

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Price: 225.00 USD
8 Weeks

10 - 23 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-10-23 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Faith-based values have formed the grounding for some of the most notable and momentous socio-political activist movements in the world. India, Africa, Europe, N. America—all these and more host extraordinary examples of individuals and groups who positioned their social justice activism within the rubric of religion and faith. In this course, we will examine several case studies of such activism, specifically those that put the faith dimension “front and center.” Case studies will include Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Dorothy Day, Malcolm X, as well as abolitionists, anti-poverty and anti-child labor activists. Our goal is to appreciate the role that religion plays in making the world a less hostile place to live.

RELIGION & PROTEST: Case Studies in Faith & Socio-Political Activism

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Price: 225.00 USD
8 Weeks

10 - 23 - 2017, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2017-10-23 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

Faith-based values have formed the grounding for some of the most notable and momentous socio-political activist movements in the world. India, Africa, Europe, N. America—all these and more host extraordinary examples of individuals and groups who positioned their social justice activism within the rubric of religion and faith. In this course, we will examine several case studies of such activism, specifically those that put the faith dimension “front and center.” Case studies will include Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Dorothy Day, Malcolm X, as well as abolitionists, anti-poverty and anti-child labor activists. Our goal is to appreciate the role that religion plays in making the world a less hostile place to live.

UNDERSTANDING FACEBOOK: Intro. to Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

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Price: 225.00 USD
4 Weeks

10 - 26 - 2017, 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM 2017-10-26 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

Your kids and grandkids are doing it. Your friends and clients are doing it. You may be doing it too, but you still have burning questions. How can you keep your settings in view of Facebook's constant changes? How can you insure your privacy and security yet still participate in social media? In this hands-on workshop, we will start from the basics to explore social media in depth. We will learn Facebook basics, best practices, and Facebook tips and tricks. We will explore the extremely popular Instagram program that so many are obsessed with, and which can really be fun for all of us. We will find out how to create beautiful Pinterest pages that creatively display our favorite interests. We will learn how to master Twitter and find out why everyone says "#hashtag" in conversations these days! We will cover all these social media sites and learn the ways that we can take full advantage of the interactive capabilities of the Internet, where communication with family or friends is just a mouse-click away. (A limited enrollment class)

THE SEPHARDIC (Spanish) JEWS: From Spain to the Ottoman Empire

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Price: 35.00 USD
0 Weeks

10 - 29 - 2017, 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM 2017-10-29 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM

The legendary settlement of the Jews in Spain after the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem in the year 70 C.E. is the point of departure for a socio-cultural account of their life in the Iberian Peninsula. Sephardic [Spanish] Jews under Islamic and Christian Spain emerge as an influential force in the economic, political, and intellectual life of the Peninsula. Following their Expulsion from Spain in 1492, most of the Sephardic Jews begin what they view as their own exile to the Ottoman Empire, where they remain for almost five centuries. Their profound identification with their Spanish origin and experiences shape their significant contributions to the new Ottoman environment. At the same time, their attachment to the Spanish language leads to the preservation of their linguistic heritage as a true “museum” of the language, known as Judeo-Spanish or Ladino, and it is still spoken today.

ADVANCED SPANISH CONVERSATION

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Price: 350.00 USD
7 Weeks

10 - 30 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-10-30 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This class is designed for students who have completed prior Spanish classes at The Women’s Institute or who possess, in their estimation, an advanced command of the language. News articles from all over the Hispanic world will be used as main conversation topics. Idiomatic expressions not commonly found in text books will be introduced gradually. In addition, some grammar points rarely found in text books will be discussed and practiced. Differences between varients of Spanish will be analyzed and special emphasis will be placed on the Spanish spoken in Mexico. Class participants will be expected to purchase a DVD of a well-known Spanish-language film designated by Dr. Urrutibéheity. Segments of the film will be discussed during several class periods. (A limited enrollment class)

REIMS, VILLE DU SACRE: Coronation City

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Price: 35.00 USD
0 Weeks

11 - 05 - 2017, 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM 2017-11-05 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM

For over a thousand years, French kings were crowned and anointed in Reims cathedral. In 816 Louis the Pious, Charlemagne’s son, chose the cathedral as a place of coronation in memory of the baptism in 498 A.D. of the Frankish king, Clovis, by the bishop of Reims. It took another couple of hundred years for the custom of coronations in Reims to be established. From 1027 on, all French kings were crowned at Reims, except for Louis VI and Henry IV. According to legend, at the baptism of Clovis a dove brought a glass vial containing holy oil from heaven, symbolizing the bond between royalty and the divine. The myth of the anointing of Clovis with oil sent from heaven established Reims as the place where the sacredness of monarchy was periodically renewed. This richly illustrated lecture will spotlight the cathedral, the archbishop’s palace, and the abbey church of Saint-Rémi, all on UNESCO’S World Heritage list. The lecture will also feature an extraordinary underground facet of the city’s heritage—former Gallo-Roman chalk quarries used by Champagne houses to store and mature the wine of kings.

A FINANCIAL PLANNING GUIDE: Significant Changes on the Horizon

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Price: 225.00 USD
5 Weeks

11 - 09 - 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2017-11-09 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

We could potentially have significant generational changes in estate, income, and investment taxes that could impact your financial planning strategies. A Board Certified Estate Planning Attorney will discuss the most recent proposals and changes in the estate tax laws and highlight any estate tax issues that need to be addressed before year-end. A tax CPA will review critical year-end tax strategies and summarize the impact of proposed or new tax legislation. We will also learn of the impact of estate and tax planning issues on your investment strategies, review strategies to protect your bond portfolio should interest rates continue to rise, and discuss how to combine various asset classes to generate income and growth and minimize volatility in your investment portfolios. The course provides you with a thorough financial planning checkup, including: • Review of trust, wills, probate, and gifting strategies • Assessment of how much risk is in your bond portfolio if interest rates continue to rise and what to do about it • Discussion of retirement withdrawal strategies to maximize your withdrawals without depleting your assets • Analysis of tax strategies to minimize taxes and review of proposed or new tax laws • Presentation of ways to structure investment portfolios for income and growth including ways to control volatility (A limited enrollment class)