2015 Fall Class Schedule



The LLI Curriculum Committee has finalized an exciting and “something-for-everyone” Fall 2015 Class Schedule (described below) that begins on October 27.  The Fall Coffee & Registration is scheduled for October 14, 2015, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. in the FSW campus auditorium lobby.

All classes have been assigned classrooms in the “E” building on the Charlotte Campus of Florida SouthWestern State College located on 26,300 Airport Road in Punta Gorda.  That building is close to parking lot #3 and there are ample handicapped spaces.

You can register online with your credit card from this page or you can print the registration form and mail it with your check.  Refunds must be requested either by email or in writing through the U.S. mail and will be granted only prior to the first class session.  Please click here for printable class description and schedule.

Now — review the selections and make your choices! 

Holiday Origins: Who Hallowed the Holidays?

Sharon Whitehill, PhD

Tuesdays, Oct. 27 – Nov. 17, 1:00 – 2:50 p.m. (4 weeks) – Classroom E119

$40 Members                  

$60 Non-Member           

Make your holidays richer this year by exploring with us the pagan sources and modern forces that shape our most cherished religious and secular celebrations. Why do we celebrate as we do? Where and when did we start? What lies behind the rituals most of us take for granted? Are there any uniquely American holidays? And finally, what does each holiday mean to you and your family? Together we’ll look at historic and prehistoric “holy day” origins, discuss past and current practices, and share personal thoughts, memories, and experiences.

Dr. Whitehill has a PhD in English literature and taught at the university level in Michigan for 32 years and has continued to be actively involved in educating adults in literature, film, mythology, and spiritual consciousness.

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Writing Poetry II

Dorothy H. Brooks

Tuesdays, Oct. 27 – Nov. 17, 3:00 – 4:50 p.m. (4 weeks) – Classroom E119

$40 Members           

$60 Non Members   

This class will address elements of craft, such as imagery, metaphor, endings, etc., using as examples poems from contemporary poets. Students will have an opportunity to compose a poem, as well as a chance to bring in a poem for critiquing if they wish. Students may attend who have previously attended LLI’s class Writing Poetry I, or with permission of the instructor (who can be contacted at dhbrooks430@gmail.com).

Ms. Brooks writes poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in numerous literary magazines. She has a Master’s degree in education from Tulane University and has taught fiction in the continuing education program of Kennesaw State University in Atlanta. Her full length book of poetry, A Fine Dusting of Brightness, was published in 2013 by Aldrich Press.

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Florida Cow Hunters: True Stories of the Legendary Pioneer “Cow Hunters” Whose Lives Carved Florida History

Nancy Dale, PhD

Tuesday, Nov. 3, 10:00 – 11:50 a.m. (ONE DAY ONLY) – Classroom E119

$10 Members                

$15 Non Members        

Two hundred years ago pioneer “cow hunters” in search of a better place to grow their families and raise cattle forged their way into the heart of wild Florida. Traveling in covered wagons, they carved rutted trails through scrub, trudged through swamps and black clouds of mosquitoes, surviving on wit and fortitude to drive down stakes in the unforgiving land. Their true stories are the legends of Florida history and a way of life that will never return.

Nancy Dale, PhD, is an author of five books on the true stories of Florida’s pioneer “cow hunters.” She is a nationally published freelance writer, research analyst, newspaper correspondent, and teaches Communications at South Florida State College. Dr. Dale’s career began as a television news reporter/weather broadcaster/producer/writer, and talent for radio and television stations from San Francisco to Miami. She worked at KRON-TV, NBC (San Francisco); WTVJ-TV, CBS (Miami); WAGA-TV, CBS and WQXI-TV (Atlanta) and was News Director of KALG Radio, Metro-Media (Alamogordo, New Mexico). Dr. Dale hosted a “live” call-in radio show on KSAN, San Francisco with guests on various topics.

(Please note: Copies of Dr. Dale’s books will be available for purchase, $20 for softbound and $29.95 for hardbound.)

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Critical Thinking: Developing Your Spiritual Self through the Process of Critical Thinking

Germain D. Ludwig, EdD

Tuesdays, Nov. 10 & 17, 10:00 – 11:50 a.m. (2 weeks)- Classroom E119

$20 Members                  

$30 Non Members         

The topic of critical thinking as a process of examining assumptions has been addressed in several books, primarily those written by Stephen D. Brookfield. However, the topic of critical thinking has not been addressed from the aspect of how the process impacts the development of our spiritual self. This course will look at the process of critical thinking as the process of examining our assumptions and determining the need to enhance those assumptions. It will also examine how the process of critical self-reflection involves the examination and development of our spiritual self.

Germain Ludwig retired from Palm Beach Atlantic University as a Professor in Organizational Leadership and is currently an Adjunct Professor at Niagara University. In addition to his academic experience, he has over 25 years’ experience in the human resource development and management functions of several major business organizations. His doctorate is in transformative learning from Columbia University.

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Estate Planning Issues for Second Marriages

Jeffrey R. Kuhns & Phyllis A. Walker

Wednesday, Nov. 4, 3:00 – 4:50 p.m. (ONE DAY ONLY) – Classroom E121

$10 Members                      

$15 Non Members              

This class will cover issues that Florida couples who are in or contemplating a second marriage should consider when developing an estate plan: the impact of pre- and post-marital agreements, inheritance rights in the Florida estate, multi-state asset considerations, the application of living trusts and utilization of a surviving spouse, “QTIP” trust, tax planning and efficiency, disinheriting heirs, and minimizing probate.

Attorney Jeffrey R. Kuhns concentrates his practice in the areas of tax and business law, wills, trusts and estate planning, and probate and trust administration. Jeff is a member of the Florida Bar, the Charlotte County Bar Association and is certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a County Court Mediator. He also enjoys teaching paralegal studies at Florida SouthWestern State College as an adjunct professor.

Attorney Phyllis A. Walker has over 20 years’ experience in marital and family law with extensive litigation experience. Her practice now also includes probate and trust administration. She is a member of the Florida Bar, the Charlotte County Bar Association, and is certified with the Florida Supreme Court as a family law mediator and circuit civil law mediator. Phyllis currently serves as member and Secretary of the Board of Directors for LLI.

Both attorneys are with the McCrory Law Firm in Punta Gorda.

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The Science of Shipwrecks: Not All That Glitters is Gold

Melissa Timo

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 10:00 – 11:50 a.m. (ONE DAY ONLY) – Classroom E119

$10 Members                 

$15 Non Members         

Florida’s waters are rich with submerged cultural resources. But what are they and how do scientists learn about their hidden stories? Learn about the shipwrecks that underwater archaeologists have identified in Florida’s waters and how you can visit them. Hear the captivating tales of a few local wrecks. From 16th century Spanish colonial fleets to rumrunners, come and learn about some of Florida’s most fascinating history.

Melissa Timo, MA, RPA is the Outreach Coordinator for the Southwest Region of the Florida Public Archaeology Network at Florida Atlantic University. She has participated in excavations and artifact analysis across the eastern US over the last 14 years. Her specialties within archaeology are historical archaeology, African American archaeology, and cemetery studies.

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Consumer Protection: Become a More Protected Consumer

David Morris

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 1:00 – 2:50 p.m. (ONE DAY ONLY) – Classroom E121

$10 Members                    

$15 Non Members           

From identity theft and consumer fraud to deceptive business practices and the latest scams, actual reader-submitted issues and problems are used to explore how all consumers can be better informed and protected. A comprehensive list of tips and valuable resources will be distributed.

David Morris is in his ninth year writing an advocacy and education column each Friday in the Charlotte Sun, Englewood Sun, and North Port Sun and has collected some $150,000 for Southwest Florida area readers. David holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles and was formerly a member of the California Bar. He is also a volunteer child advocate and Guardian ad Litem in Florida’s 20th Judicial Circuit.

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Circus Life: Behind the Scenes – A Year Traveling with the Circus

Barbara File Marangon

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 3:00 – 4:50 p.m. (ONE DAY ONLY) – Classroom E113

$10 Member                     

$15 Non Members         

Did you ever dream of joining the circus? The inside life of a former circus performer traveling across the US in 1978 with the adventures and hardships of living on a circus train and of working with exotic, dangerous animals will be discussed in this course.

Barbara File Marangon is a writer and teacher with a BA from SUNY Empire State College. She wrote the book Detour On An Elephant: A Year Dancing With The Greatest Show On Earth, about her experience as a dancer/elephant rider for Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus. Barbara is a resident of Port Charlotte and is currently writing her second memoir Chasing Castles: 19 Years Living and Teaching Ballet in Italy. (Please note: copies of Barbara’s book will be available to purchase for $15, which includes tax.)

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Healthy Aging: Strategies for Growing Old Healthfully

Robin Montesano

Thursdays, Oct. 29 – Nov. 12, 10:00 – 11:50 a.m. (3 weeks) – Classroom E120

$30 Member                    

$45 Non Members        


Healthy Aging means adding years and quality to your life as an older adult. This 3-part, comprehensive course will cover what aging processes a person may control. Topics include proper nutrient choices in foods and supplements, personal calculations of body mass index, calorie and nutrient need; regular physical activity for longevity, helping stress, cognition and depression; and how lifestyle choices and nutrient deficiencies affect the aging brain.

Robin Montesano holds a Master’s degree in human nutrition. She has attended workshops at the National Institutes of Health and has developed community programs on Wellness. She has also taught courses on Nutrition, Diseases, and Antioxidants at several colleges in Florida. She follows Hippocrates’ theory that “food can be medicine, and medicine is food,” and is currently working on her next book about the impacts of alcohol on nutrition.

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Novel Writing: That’s a Novel Idea

Tammie Diehl, EdD

Thursdays, Oct. 29 – Nov. 19, 1:00 – 2:50 p.m. (4 weeks) – Classroom E119

$40 Member                    

$60 Non Members        

This course will examine the evolution of the novel genre and the differences between novella, novel, and memoir. It will review the elements of fiction and how to improve skills in each. Punctuation and style issues, how to grab the reader, self-publication vs. agented manuscript options, how to find the right agent, and writing for specific audiences will be covered. There will be Q&A sessions, hands-on writing prompts, discussion of what is selling/what is happening in the print and e-book market, realistic expectations, and other helpful topics for the reader and writer.

Tammie Diehl has degrees from Auburn, Missouri, and the University of Georgia and has taught literature and writing at high school and college levels. She is a member of the National Association of Distinguished Professionals and Who’s Who among America’s Teachers, and has an Alabama Press Association Award. She loves working with LLI and writing. She is the author of three books. Please note: Copies of Tammie’s books, That One Kiss and Visions and Vows will be available for purchase, $8 each/$12 for both.

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Trail of Tears

Dr. Gail Davis

Fridays, Nov. 6 – 20, 1:00 – 2:50 p.m. (3 weeks) – Classroom E119

$30 Members                    

$45 Non Members          

The Indian Removal Act will be examined from a social-political perspective and include an in-depth look at the Native American culture, especially the Cherokee Nation. Journal entries from those who survived the trail and original piano music that Dr. Davis (who is a descendant of both the Cherokee and Blackfoot tribes) composed, will add an emotional level to her riveting and compelling storytelling style of teaching.

Dr. Gail Davis is a college professor, historian, musician, and professional story teller. She earned her doctorate from the University of Central Florida and has been teaching college for 30 years.

Please note: It is recommended students purchase accompanying CD on first day of class for $5 (payable to the instructor); content includes detailed readings, treaties, proclamations, speeches, and additional information on topics researched by the instructor.