OLLI Courses

The following terms are open for registration:

Fall Two - October 14 - November 25 

at our downtown campus, 835 Market Street, 6th Floor

Click the link above to go to the course catalog, read descriptions and register.

October Mini Courses - October 2 - 4

at our downtown campus, 835 Market Street, 6th Floor

Mini Courses are open to non-members

Fall One - August 12 - September 23

August 12 - September 23 at our downtown campus, 835 Market Street, 6th Floor

MINI COURSES

 Introducing OLLI IN DIALOGUE

 October 4, 1:30 PM

 OLLI IN DIALOGUE: San Francisco Opera: An Insider’s Perspective

 San Francisco Opera Dramaturg Emeritus Kip Cranna in dialogue with Professor Alexandra Amati

 

October 2, 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Free Speech for Some: How the Supreme Court is Changing the First Amendment

William Bennett Turner

 

October 2, 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Introduction to Social Media for Positive Community/Social Change

Paul Signorelli

 

October 3, 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM

San Francisco's Queer History: Chronicling the Century Before Stonewall

Jim Van Buskirk

 

October 3, 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM

The Economics of Social Justice

Tim Redmond

 

October 4, 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM

What is the Cinematic Experience?

Dominic Angerame

 

Fall One - August 12 - September 23

August 12 - September 23 at our downtown campus, 835 Market Street, 6th Floor

Note that some classes will extend into the following make-up week.

See below for course descriptions and details.

View Course Catalog

 

Monday

Writing Picture Books

with Elissa Haden Guest

  10:00 am-12:00 pm

Downtown

The day-to-day life of young children is chock-full of emotion. They can express fear, anger, sadness and joy on an hourly if not a minute-to-minute basis. In this workshop we’ll use engaging writing prompts to tap into the past and revisit our early childhood experiences. We’ll focus on topics that pique children’s interest and validate their feelings, such as family, friendship, separation and independence. Then we’ll write our own stories using the unique structure of a picture book. No previous writing experience needed.

This class is considered a "Specialty Class" with limited enrollment for a more participatory experience.

$145

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Elissa Haden Guest is the author of numerous children's books, including the award- winning Iris and Walter series and the upcoming Baby Builders, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata, Dial Books for Young Readers, 2020. She's passionate about the importance of books and their ability to enrich and illuminate children's lives. elissahadenguest.com

 

The Summer of Love: The Golden Age of San Francisco Rock

with Richie Unterberger

  12:30 pm-2:30 pm

Downtown

In the mid-to-late 1960s, the San Francisco Bay Area exploded with psychedelic rock that captured the imagination of the world. The roots and heyday of the San Francisco Sound will be explored in depth via both common and rare audio recordings by greats like Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and Santana. We'll also investigate how the Bay Area's unique counterculture, promoters such as Bill Graham, and venues like the Fillmore created a scene in which experimental and idiosyncratic rock music could flower.

$115

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Richie Unterberger is the author of a dozen rock history books, including volumes on the Beatles, the Who, the Velvet Underground, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Fleetwood Mac, and a two-part history of 1960s folk-rock, Turn! Turn! Turn!/Eight Miles High. He teaches rock history courses at the Fromm Institute; OLLI at Dominican University, Berkeley, and the University of Santa Clara; and the College of Marin.

 

Notable San Francisco Journeys

with Monika Trobits

  1:00 pm-3:30 pm

Offsite

Note: This class will meet 5 times for 2.5 hours

This course will consist of five new and eclectic urban journeys during which students will explore various San Francisco localities. Students will learn more about the city's development while viewing a variety of architectural styles, historic landmarks and monuments, film and literary sites, and public art here and there. Vintage photos and maps will round out the instructor's insightful and occasionally witty commentary.

$115

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Monika Trobits has been studying San Francisco/California history since the mid-1980s, evolving into a local historian, a long-time walking tour docent/guide (since 1989) and a published writer of non-fiction works about the city. Her second book, Bay Area Coffee: A Stimulating History, was published in mid-February 2019. Monika earned a B.A. in political science/history from SFSU.

 

Tuesday

Milton's Paradise Lost

with Nicholas Jones

  10:00 am-12:00 pm

Downtown

This great poem tells the tragic story of the Fall of humankind as an epic drama about the grand figures of God, Satan, Raphael and Michael, but focuses on Adam and Eve as unexpectedly human heroes. We will cover the high points of this poem, giving attention to its unique and rich style, its context within the English Civil War, its startling modernity in the mid-17th century, and its remarkable insights into gender, power, freedom and responsibility for our time. No previous experience of early English poetry is needed.

**Note that this class will skip September 10th and be made up on September 24th.**

$115

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Nicholas Jones earned a PhD from Harvard and taught English literature at Oberlin College for forty years, specializing in Shakespeare, Milton, and the Romantic poets. Nick’s book on madrigal poetry is forthcoming from the University of Michigan Press. Nick is a singer, violinist, violist, gambist, and recorderist, and reviews music for San Francisco Classical Voice. He is a member of the board of Early Music America. www.NicholasRJones.com

 

CANCELED Music and Photography - An Intersection of Art Forms

with Jassen Todorov

  12:30 pm-3:00 pm

Downtown

8/3/19 - Unfortunately, this class has been canceled for low enrollment. We hope you will consider a different class during this upcoming session.

A survey of the music/photography elements and the practice of music/photography, including dynamics, moods, colors, patterns and texture.

The survey will include important composers/photographers, genres and compositional techniques, and an understanding of the cultural context in which music/photography arose. Along the way, we will listen to recordings and look at photographs, and will discuss our own interpretations. A special emphasis area will be Aerial Photography. We will have a discussion on the interplay of music, photography and piloting an aircraft, and the technical skills, challenges and similarities in all three areas.

At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to identify and describe the elements of music/photography, such as colors, moods, patterns and texture. In addition, students will have an opportunity to present their own photographs inspired by musical compositions/composers AND/OR play recordings of musical excerpts inspired by certain photographs.

$115

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Jassen Todorov has distinguished himself as one of the most prominent violinists of his generation. Dubbed “an outstanding violinist…a player to watch” by the British music journal The Strad, Mr. Todorov has given numerous performances throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. A top prize winner of several national and international competitions, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Harid Conservatory, Florida, and his master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Currently, Mr. Todorov is a Professor of Violin at San Francisco State University. He is also an accomplished photographer and the Grand Prize Winner of the 2018 National Geographic Photo Contest. His images have been published by numerous magazines and newspapers, and have been exhibited at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport, the Somerset House in London and the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. An active pilot, he holds a Commercial Pilot’s License and Flight Instructor Certificate. Visit Mr. Todorov on the web at www.jassentodorov.com.

 

Wednesday

Mozart: 4 Flavors of Opera

with Alexandra Amati

  10:00 am-12:00 pm

Downtown

This course first introduces the concept, tenets, traditions, and history of opera up to the classical period and then explores various works by Wolfgang Amadé Mozart, the last composer equally at home in both the symphonic and operatic realms, and the last to compose operas in all styles: comic, serious, and the new “in-between” versions of Italian opera, as well as German Singspiele. We will examine a representative masterwork from each tradition, including Idomeneo, The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro, and Don Giovanni, as well as excerpts from others. We will discuss a variety of issues both musical and social, as operas were and are a reflection of the society in and for which they are created, with more or less overt critique of contemporary problems and issues.

$115

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Alexandra Amati, originally from Italy, holds a BA/MA in Slavic Studies and Philology from the University of Pisa (Italy), and a Ph.D. in Musicology from Harvard. She is a Professor of Music at the University of San Francisco. Her research is on Italian Renaissance, Opera, Feminist criticism, and Piano music. She is a program annotator and lecturer for many organizations, including the SF Symphony, the SF Opera, the SF Bach Choir, and others.

 

"The Subject is Me": Reading Personal Essays

with Audrey Ferber

  10:00 am-12:00 pm

Downtown

When Michel de Montaigne declared “the subject is me” in the 1500’s, he heralded a new form of writing, an essay that was introspective, revelatory, intimate and often witty. This form prizes candor over air-tight reasoning, personal style over research and often speak directly to the  heart. In this class, we will read and discuss early and modern personal essays, examine their structure and the fictive techniques used to bring them alive. We will study how essayists use the form to “essayer,” to try, to figure out their feelings on the page, and how essays reflect the social questions of their times.

$115

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Audrey Ferber’s essays, stories and book reviews have appeared in the New York Times, LILITH Magazine, Persimmon Tree, the Cimarron Review, the San Francisco Chronicle, Fiction International and elsewhere. Audrey teaches in the older adults department at City College and at the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto. 

 

Innovation and Transition: The History of Architecture

with Karen McSorley

  2:30 pm-4:30 pm

Downtown

The study of Architecture is the study of global history. From the moment humans built anything to live in, the History of Architecture began. Structures and dwellings are among the chief artifacts that any civil society leaves behind. They reveal an innate human instinct to shape civilization by means of culture, geography, art and science. In short, Architecture is part of the human identity.

In this course, we will discuss important transitions and innovations in Architecture propelled by changes in geopolitics, religion, economic trade and advanced technology. Our investigation will span from Ancient Egypt (“big lumpy things”) to the Present (“modern day marvels”). Our framework is based upon the non-linear progression of Architecture practices from matter to spirit.

To better understand the cultural context of these architectural endeavors, we will take an analytical approach to the practice of seeing. We will apply Hegel’s Dialectic Method (thesis/antithesis/synthesis) to ultimately answer the question, “How to take the lessons of history and form something entirely new?” And ultimately, we will arrive at Architecture’s unique longevity beyond the physical world.

This course includes classroom lectures, visual slide projections, assigned readings, and active class discussions. Additionally, students are given the opportunities: (1) to participate in “bonus excursions” outside the classroom and (2) to present a 2-4 minute final presentation on a course-related topic in front of the class.

$115

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Karen McSorley holds advanced degrees in both Art History and Econometrics from Northwestern University and Yale University. Additionally, she is an 11-year veteran of SFMOMA’s museum guide program and has developed and delivered over 100 tailored tours to a wide array of audiences across the Bay Area.

Thursday

Space Psychology - Keeping Sane in Insane Places

with Nick Kanas

  10:00 am-12:00 pm

Downtown

On December 11, 2017, President Trump signed a directive to NASA to send Americans to the Moon, Mars, and beyond, and several businesses are making plans to launch paying tourists into Earth orbit using their own space vehicles.  But how well will ordinary citizens deal with the psychological ramification of these new private space ventures?  In addition, the extreme distances, increased autonomy, and communication delays that will characterize manned missions beyond the Earth’s neighborhood will introduce astronauts to additional psychosocial stressors that have never before been experienced. 

$115

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Professor Nick Kanas. M.D. is Professor Emeritus (Psychiatry), at University of California, San Francisco. Kanas has studied many of these issues as a NASA-funded principal investigator.  In this course, he will review what we know from his research and the research of other investigators concerning psychological, interpersonal, and psychiatric issues in space.  He will then extrapolate this knowledge to manned missions to Mars and beyond. Students are encouraged to supplement the lectures with the readings mentioned below.

Supplemental Reading: Humans in Space—The Psychological Hurdles (Nick Kanas, Springer, 2015, 149 pages).  Available from Springer Publications or Amazon.

Optional Reading for Science Fiction fans: The New Martians (Nick Kanas, Springer, 2014, 123 pages).  Read  this short science fiction novel as well as the scientific appendix, which discusses psychological issues referred to in the novel.  Available from Springer Publications or Amazon.

 

Life in the Computer Age: The Good, the Bad the Inevitable

with Paul Clermont

  12:30 pm-2:30 pm

Downtown

In this course we will review the impact of the computer age on people’s daily lives, particularly those of most of the students (and the teacher) who were born about the same time as the electronic computer. We will review highlights of how the computer age evolved and what factors made it possible, and discuss what we like and our perceived downsides.

We will review and discuss current issues:

·The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) from laboratories and how it dramatically enhances the power of computers.

·The concentration of economic and information-based power in the hands of a few very large and profitable companies that have operated virtually free of public scrutiny and governmental oversight.

·Review the history of the computer age’s effect on jobs, i.e., which ones disappeared and what new ones emerged, using specific examples like consumer credit. Discuss what makes jobs vulnerable, particularly to AI and robots.

·Review and discuss the impact of the computer age on personal privacy.

·Discuss what computers of the future might do to us as well as for us, e.g., how worried should we be about the apocalyptic projections?

$115

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Paul Clermont’s entire working life has been IT-related—from building computer models to optimize operational processes to managing computer projects to consulting in IT strategy and management. His clients included insurance and manufacturing companies and the US government. In recent years he has taught courses in IT innovation and written extensively on the human side of technology and its management and limitations. He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

 

Tales of Historic San Francisco and San Franciscans

with Lee Bruno

  2:30 pm-4:30 pm

Downtown

This class will explore the rich stories of San Francisco’s past through a range of different sources, including historians and journalists who wrote about San Francisco’s movers, shakers and famous events. We’ll discuss some of the approaches writers used and investigate what’s truth and fiction to the best of our ability. This six week course will uncover the history of San Francisco’s transformation from a small trading post of 1,000 people before the Gold Rush to a booming city driven by the fortunes of Gold and Silver fortunes into the great earthquake and fire of 1906 and work through its rebirth with the Panama Pacific International Exposition of 1915..  We’ll read Jack London’s Colliers story about the great earthquake and fire of 1906 along with others and then transition to reformation of the Barbary Coast and Red Light district up through the years of Great Waterfront strike of 1934 and on up to the outbreak of WWII.

**Note that this class will skip September 19th and be made up on September 26th.**

$115

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Lee Bruno is an author, journalist and strategist. For more than 20 years, he has written for several different publications, including The Guardian (UK), Wired, MIT Technology Review, Red Herring magazine and The Economist. He is the author of two books: Panorama: Tales from San Francisco’s 1915 Pan-Pacific International Exposition and Misfits, Merchants and Mayhem: Tales from San Francisco’s Historic Waterfront, 1849-1934. www.leebrunosf.com

 

Friday

Write From The Heart! Write In Any Genre and Start Your Creative Journey!

with Barbara Rose Brooker

  1:00 pm-3:00 pm

Downtown

You have a lot to say! A story to tell, or stories, snippets, poems, or essays. You have a life full of experiences, incidents, thoughts, secrets, and you never found the time to write about them. You’re tired of the same old workshops and you just want to write but also you want to learn more about writing.  Or you started writing, but you don’t where to go with it. My course is designed to help the writer find his/her voice personal voice, and to guide the writer in any chosen genre to find his/her style and process. It is exciting. Join this journey. There are NO rules in creative writing. Only your personal VOICE, and authenticity and observations.

This course will also cover all craft elements: i.e.: how to write a scene, dialogue, develop a storyline, point of view, and other craft issues. Instructor will personally work with each writer’s voice, and creative journey.

It will be exciting! Bring paper, pen, or computer. Start your creative journey together.

This class is considered a "Specialty Class" with limited enrollment for a more participatory experience.

$145

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Barbara Rose Brooker MA/Creative Writing, is a San Francisco native author with a MA in creative writing. She has published poetry and fiction with Morrow, Crossing, Simon & Schuster, and other presses. Her latest novel LOVE, SOMETIMES is to be released in 2020 by Simon, Schuster. Currently she has an option for a TV series. Since 1992, she has taught writing workshops at SFSU Extension, at OLLI, UC Extension, City College, JCC, writing workshops at Book Passage/Corte Madera, and yearly, at the SF Writers Conference- A columnist, she has written for SF Independent, Marina Times, NobHill Gazette, and Boomer In The City, for the JWeekly. She often performs and speaks at the SF Commonwealth Club, on age and creativity, and is often on national TV. (See clips on www.barbararosebrooker.com)  Www.AgeMarch.org

She is at work on a book of poetry already contracted, and a book of short stories. She believes that anyone at any age can write and that writing documents life.