Class Schedule


The 2016 Fall Classes are listed below chronologically and include class descriptions as well as biographical information on each instructor.  Many classes are one day sessions but others continue on the same day of the week for two to four weeks.  

You can register online with your credit card by clicking on the appropriate  “Add to Cart” button (FRIENDS member or non-member) or you can call the LLI office at 941-637-3533.  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.

NOTE:  Additional classes will be added as details are confirmed.

Now make your choices and learn — just for the fun of it!  

Wednesday, October 19, 10:00 – 11:50 a.m. (ONE DAY ONLY) – Classroom D106

“It’s Not Your Grandmother’s Shawl” by Judee Fish

This class will include a demonstration of at least 12 different fashionable stoles/shawls, not typical of those used for “keeping warm by the fireside.” Following this “inspiration,” will be instruction and information that will enable participants to produce a garment of their choice. Participants will be given the option of meeting in a hands on workshop format to produce their own garments.

Judee Fish is a retired chemistry teacher who began knitting for relaxation. While her garments are not available for sale, she donates on a regular basis to silent auctions for charity including Fall Festival at the Visual Arts Center in Punta Gorda.

$10 Member                    

$15 Non Members        

Monday, Oct. 24, 10:00 – 11:50 a.m. (ONE DAY ONLY) – Classroom D106

“Journey to the Mayan Past” by Sharon Graham

The Mayan Civilization covered a period of time from 1000 BC – 900 AD in the Mesoamerican Highlands. Our closest neighbor Mexico gives us an excellent opportunity to visit beautiful pyramids, temples, and ancient cities. Find out how easy it is to explore and visit these amazing sites in the Yucatan. Discover for yourself the rich culture and ancient monuments of the incredible Mayan people. We will cover 15 sites, some history, and culture.

Sharon Graham visited the Yucatan in January 2016. She and her husband raised a family in South New Jersey and moved to Punta Gorda in 2003. Sharon is a retired Medical Lab Technologist and enjoys sharing her travels to some of the most amazing places.

$10 Member                    

$15 Non Members        

Tuesdays, October 25 and November 1, 10:00 – 11:50 a.m. (2 weeks) – Classroom D105

“Managing the Environment in Florida: Past, Present, and Future” by E. Allen Stewart

A brief history of American presence in Florida beginning with purchase from Spain in the early 1800s to the present day. The history of population expansion and environmental manipulation will be discussed from a scientific, political, and economic perspective. Included will be the role of agriculture, tourism, and construction, and the emergence of a movement for environmental protection beginning in the late fifties, early sixties. Finally, the class will be asked to provide input regarding the future of Florida’s environment, and how it might be better managed and restored, to ensure a sustainable, high quality future.

Allen Stewart III P.E. (FL23577), is trained in engineering (University of Central Florida ’76, previously Florida Technological University) and the biological sciences (University of Florida ’71), and has extensive experience in design and implementation of surface water and wastewater treatment facilities. He is a native Floridian. His 40-year career has been exclusively in Florida, having been involved in projects associated with restoration of Lake Apopka, Lake Okeechobee, the Indian River Lagoon, and the Everglades.

$20 Member                    

$30 Non Members        

Tuesdays, October 25 – November 15, 1:00 – 2:50 p.m. (4 weeks) – Classroom D107

“Writing Poetry” by Dorothy H. Brooks

In this course we will discuss 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 who have previously taken this class, or have other experience writing poetry, are most welcome to attend.

Dorothy H. 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.

$40 Member                    

$60 Non Members        

Wednesdays, October 26 – November 16, 1:00 – 2:50 p.m.

(4 weeks) – Classroom D104

“Documentaries on National Parks” – Discussion by Judee Fish

  • Wednesday, October 26, “Grand Canyon National Park”    The Grand Canyon itself, including its extensive system of tributary canyons, is valued for the combination of large size, depth, and the exposed rocks dating back to the Precambrian times. This is an explanation of how the Colorado River caused this phenomena.
  • Wednesday, November 2, “Yellowstone National Park”      As one of America’s most popular destinations, Yellowstone has attracted millions of visitors. Here you will see all of the sights, geysers, lakes, waterfalls, lightning storms, and hot springs including Old Faithful.
  • Wednesday, November 9, “Paradise Reef”      This film follows a visionary’s quest to secure BP disaster funds, rally community support, and deploy 18,000 tons of concrete to create 36 artificial reefs along Florida’s Paradise Coast.
  • Wednesday, November 16, “The Appalachian Trail”     For more than half of the US population, the Appalachian Trail is less than a day’s walk away. Yet despite its proximity to many major cities few truly know the splendor of this national treasure.

$40 Member                    

$60 Non Members        

Wednesdays, October 26 – November 9, 3:00 – 4:50 p.m. (3 weeks) – Classroom D107

“Avoiding Guardianship” by James W. Mallonee

You’ve read about guardianship and all the ugliness (Sarasota Herald) that went with it. Now you can learn more about guardianship and its issues and decide for yourself. You’ll be exposed to the procedural steps leading up to the adjudication of incapacity and what constitutional rights you can lose as a result of being adjudicated incapacitated. More importantly, you’ll learn how to avoid it and protect your independence.

James W. Mallonee is a licensed and practicing attorney in the State of Florida, who received his Juris Doctorate from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, Sacramento, CA; Master’s of Science from Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida; and Bachelor’s degree from University of South Florida. He is a prior director of Lifelong Learning Institute and currently a committee member of the Charlotte County Community Association and Board of Directors for the Military Heritage Museum, Punta Gorda, Florida.

$30 Member                    

$45 Non Members        

Thursday, Oct. 27, 10:00 a.m.  OR   Friday, Nov. 4, 10:00 a.m.

“A Gardener’s Walk around the FSW Campus” by Jamie Reynolds

Jamie Reynolds will lead a leisurely walk around the beautiful FSW campus and will stop along the way to talk about the habitat and landscaping. She will discuss the examples of landscape designs and plants that you may find helpful in your yard. Dress appropriately for a 2 hour walk and bring drinking water. A hat and sunglasses, as well as a notepad, are also recommended.  This class will meet in the auditorium lobby.

Jamie Reynolds is a Florida Master Gardener and an instructor in the Florida Master Naturalist program. She was part of the employee team that helped plan the FSW Charlotte Campus (then Edison Community College) and worked there until her retirement.

$10 Member Oct 27                   

$15 Non Members Oct 27       

$10 Member  Nov 4                  

$15 Non Members Nov 4       

Thursday, Oct. 27, 1:00 — 2:50 p.m. (ONE DAY ONLY) — Classroom D107

“The Strength and Role of the Black Female in Southern Literature” by Tammie Diehl

Lecture presentation:  In literature, black women often were strong role models and backbones of the family, both their own and the white families they helped raise.  Even today, strong black women continue to be the strength of their families and communities.  No reading or previous knowledge is needed for this lecture presentation.

Tammie Diehl has a Master’s degree in literature.  She created the curriculum for Southern Literature and taught it, American, and British Literature and Writing in Georgia before moving to Florida where she teaches various related courses for LLI.  She teaches creative writing at Writers’ Workshop sponsored by Charlotte County Libraries and Arts.  In addition she is Vice President of the Suncoast Writers Guild and the author of several literary articles.  She is working on her third fictional novel in the humorous, family valued, setting of the modern day South.

$10 Member                    

$15 Non Members        


Monday, October 31, 10:00 – 11:50 a.m. (ONE DAY ONLY) – Classroom D109

“Lost and Found in Mexico” by Sharon Graham

Film and discussion: Thousands of Americans have made the choice to relocate to the town of San Miguel de Allende. Why do they stay? Sharon Graham will introduce the film and lead discussion afterward.

$10 Member                    

$15 Non Members        

Monday, October 31, 1:00 – 2:50 p.m. (ONE DAY ONLY) – Classroom D104

“The Seminole Wars” by Judith Berger

They were the longest, most expensive, deadliest US war against Native Americans, and at the same time, a military and moral embarrassment. Disclaimer: the instructor’s sympathies lie with the Seminoles.

Judith Berger has been involved in education for more than 50 years. She is the Curriculum Coordinator for LLI and has been sharing her passion for learning.

$10 Member                    

$15 Non Members        

Thursdays, November 3 and 10, 10:00 – 11:50 a.m. (2 weeks) – Classroom D104

“Charlotte County’s Cabinet of Curiosities” by Scot Shively

Cabinets of curiosities are described as encyclopedic collections of objects whose categorical boundaries were yet to be defined. The first recognized collections began in 16th century Europe. This cabinet of curiosities course will highlight some lesser known peculiarities of Charlotte County’s people, places and things. So yield to your natural curiosity, polish your magnifying glass, and roll up your sleeves as we delve into the curious, and sometimes shocking facts, fiction, folklore and legends of the place where we chose to visit or live. Highlights include: murders, pirates, treasure, dangers, legends, explorers, ghosts, unidentified sightings, entrepreneurs, scoundrels, tragedies, and much more.

Scot Shively received a BS and MS in management and is a retired US Air Force officer who retired to Charlotte County in 2006. He is the historian at the Blanchard House Museum of African American Culture and History of Charlotte County, a genealogist, and cemetery researcher. He is also a co-author of the Images of America, Punta Gorda book.

$20 Member                    

$30 Non Members        

Monday, Nov. 7, 10:00 – 11:50 a.m. (ONE DAY ONLY) – Classroom D105

“Fossils of Florida and How They Got Here” by Bob Fuqua

This class starts with an explanation of how the Florida landmass evolved to include the terrestrial and marine animals that lived here during that timeframe. Building on this background, the class describes the fossilization process with emphasis on how it happened in Florida. This is followed by a fun discussion of what kinds of fossils are found in Florida, how to look for them, and how to identify your finds. A wide variety of fossils and fossil books will be available for students to examine.

Mr. Fuqua found his first fossil shark teeth in western Kansas when he was a small boy, cementing a lifelong interest in fossils. After earning a degree in mechanical engineering from Kansas State University, he had a 30 plus year career in intelligence. Throughout his career he continued to hunt and study fossils every chance he had. Upon retiring and moving to Florida, fossils now get all the attention and study they deserve. He routinely provides lectures on fossils to many organizations and has written a book on fossil shark teeth.

$10 Member                    

$15 Non Members        


Tuesday, Nov. 8, 10:00 – 11:50 a.m. (ONE DAY ONLY) – Classroom D105

“The Florida Crackers” by Michael Tucker

When the US pioneers started to settle Florida prior to the Civil War, they found a strange breed of cattle living in the wild. These cattle had to be hunted out of the brush and then herded to shipment points. Men needed good horses, dogs, and long whips to do this kind of work. The whips made a loud crack which was enough to startle the animal and get it moving. This was hard, dangerous work, but many families were able to survive because of the Crackers.

Michael Tucker is a fourth generation native Floridian. He was inspired to write a novel, The Crackers: The Legend of Jessie B. Tucker, which is loosely based on the life of his own great grandfather. He grew up at a time when everyone he knew was a “Cracker.”

$10 Member                    

$15 Non Members        

Monday, Nov. 14, 10:00 – 11:50 a.m. (ONE DAY ONLY) – Classroom D105

“Carl Sandburg: Champion of the Little Guy” by Judith Berger

Carl Sandburg was a key literary figure in the 20th century and is well known for his poetry and his six volume biography of Abraham Lincoln. But he was also an early advocate for the working man and a leader in the fight for labor rights. Learn more about this two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and a great humanitarian.

Judith Berger has been involved in education for more than 50 years. She is the Curriculum Coordinator for LLI.

$10 Member                    

$15 Non Members        

Monday, November 14, 1:00 – 2:50 p.m. (ONE DAY ONLY) – Classroom D106

“American History and Civics Literacy” by Randolph Russell

The lack of knowledge of basic American history and civics is profound and widespread across all age groups and all academic levels. But I have made it possible for anyone to quickly get up to speed, and will explain why it is essential for effective government and also an enriching experience. After sharing several fascinating stories from our past, I will close with a rendition of “America the Beautiful” on the saxophone.

Randolph G. Russell is the author of American History in No Time, a quick and easy way for anyone to learn the basics – in just one sitting. The book has been used at a number of colleges and universities, but is easy for anyone to understand. Mr. Russell is also an accomplished musician who has performed in Europe and the US. In business he held a number of financial management positions with companies in Florida and Georgia. He holds degrees from the University of Miami and the University of Florida.

$10 Member                    

$15 Non Members        


Monday, November 14, 3:00 – 4:50 p.m. (ONE DAY ONLY) – Classroom D105

“Guy LaBree: Barefoot Artist of the Florida Seminoles” by Carol Mahler

A 3rd generation Floridian, Guy LaBree (1941-2015) attended school and established lifelong friendships with some of the first Seminoles to enroll in Dania Elementary School after World War II. Years later, one Seminole friend encouraged LaBree to paint the Seminoles for the younger generation to learn the stories from the elders, so he painted from the Seminole point of view. LaBree’s artistic talent & his dedication to authenticity have won him exhibitions in art & historical museums plus many awards, including the Florida Folk Heritage Award in 2014. Two of LaBree’s images represent the Seminole Tribe of Florida in the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, but most of his work (1,000+ canvases) is in private collections. This class will explore the legends, history and culture of the Seminoles as portrayed in the art of Guy LaBree.

Carol Mahler serves as the coordinator for the DeSoto Co. Historical Society’s Research Library & Museum; she also researches, writes and edits the Society’s publications. Her own books include How Do I Follow? (poetry, 2012); Guy LaBree: Barefoot Artist of the Florida Seminoles (non-fiction, 2010); Adventures in the Charlotte Harbor Watershed (children’s book, 2008). In addition, she works as a humanities scholar and professional storyteller.

$10 Member                    

$15 Non Members        

Tuesday, Nov. 15, 10:00 – 11:50 a.m. (ONE DAY ONLY) – Classroom D105

“Too Much Success: Preserving Native Florida” by Dr. Nancy Dale

The natural beauty is threatened today by creeping urbanization due to county tax bases deriving more income from construction than an agricultural/livestock based economy, the foundation of Florida’s cultural/economic heritage. The population explosion in sunny Florida is infringing on the preservation of native wildlife and species. But who is the invasive species? Solutions will focus on “preservation in action” and choices individuals can initiate to preserve native Florida.

Dr. Dale is a native Miamian and resides in Sebring, FL.  She is the author of several books about the American Cowboy, and “Where the Swallowtail Kite Soars: the Legacy of Glades County, FL”, and “The Vanishing Wilderness.”

$10 Member                    

$15 Non Members