Class Listings

Spring 2014 Class Schedule

Click on a class name to get the class description. See our list of ongoing classes here: Continuous Classes.

Terwilliger Plaza DVD Series

For the DVD Series valet service is available. The bus stop is in front of the terrace entrance on 6th. Buzz at the door and say that you are with the SSI/PCC program to enter. Take elevator to third floor, turn left. There is a coffee shop on the same floor.

Tuesdays 10am-12 noon

DVD Session: Theory of Evolution: A History of Controversy

April 1

  • 1) Before Darwin
  • 2) Evolution in the Air

April 8

  • 3) Darwin’s Inspiration
  • 4) An Intellectual Revolution
  • 5) Debates over Mechanism

April 15

  • 6) Missing Links
  • 7) Genetics Enters the Picture

April 22

  • 8) Social Darwinism and Eugenics
  • 9) America’s Anti-evolution Crusade
  • 10) The Neo-Darwinian Synthesis

April 29

  • 11) Scientific Creationism
  • 12) Selfish Genes and Intelligent Design
Doctors: The History of Scientific Medicine Revealed Through Biography

May 6

  • 1) Hippocrates and the Origins Of Western Medicine
  • 2) The Paradox of Galen

May 13

  • 3) Vesalius & Renaissance of Medicine
  • 4) Harvey, Discoverer of the Circulation
  • 5) Morgagni and the Anatomy Of Disease

May 20

  • 6) Hunter, the Surgeon as Scientist
  • 7) Laennec Invents the Stethoscope

May 27

  • 8) Morton & Origins of Anesthesia
  • 9) Virchow: Cellular Origins of Disease
  • 10) Lister and Germ Theory

June 3

  • 11) Halsted: American Medical Education
  • 12) Taussig And Development Of Cardiac Surgery


Mondays, 10am to 12 noon

Poetry Fun - March 31, April 14, 28, May 12, 26

Know a lot about poetry? Know nothing about poetry? Somewhere in between? There’s a place for you in the very popular class organized by Norm Grant but led by SSI members. Really FUN!

The Grand Piano - April 7

Bob Hume will present interesting facts about pianos and the class will follow the creation of a Steinway Concert Grand from the tree to the concert hall. The second hour will feature jazz piano artist Andrei Kitaev playing tunes from the Great American Songbook - think Gershwin, Porter, Van Heusen.

Community Newspapers - April 21

Eric Norberg, editor of the Sellwood Bee, will give a history of this local newspaper and discuss the demographics of his readership. He will also talk about the differences in online and print clientele.

HEART - May 5

Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers (HEART) provides direct services to educators and students to impact the way helping people think about their responsibility to one another, animals, and the natural world. Dani Dennenberg of HEART’s Portland office will share success stories about the group’s work locally as well as nationwide chapters in Chicago, New York city and Indianapolis.

Love Songs for Valentine’s Day! - May 19

The inimitable Kay Robbins was all set to get us in the mood for love - but the snow fell. However, there’s no one season for love so she will entertain us with romantic selections from classical composers including Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin and Brahms and ending in a tribute to Gershwin's love songs.

Hawaii’s Humpback Whales - June 2

These amazing sea creatures are known for their fascinating behaviors. Geraldine Williams will show a short video that demonstrates spy-hopping, singing and breeching by this unique species. She will also tell us about the Pacific Whale Foundation and give us a number of fun facts about Humpbacks.

Mondays, 1 to 3pm

Current Events

Current Events is a signature program for Senior Studies Institute. Bring in an article about something from the local paper, from a national publication, from something you heard on television. The class members will discuss it with no conditions except respect and civility. This class can get exciting and it’s always spirited!


Tuesdays, 10am to 12 noon

Current Events

Current Events is a signature program for Senior Studies Institute. Bring in an article about something from the local paper, from a national publication, from something you heard on television. The class members will discuss it with no conditions except respect and civility. This class can get exciting and it’s always spirited!

Tuesdays, 1 to 3pm

The Fool - April 1

April 1st is a funny tradition. Why? Just what is a Fool? What does he do with us and for us? Is that important? John Schilke helps us find out!

Greenpeace - April 8

This independent global organization acts to change attitude and behavior, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Brian Manning and Kim Marks will describe the ongoing struggle and what it takes to achieve their goals and keep their ship Rainbow Warrior fighting for a green and peaceful future.

SSI Playreaders Showcase!! - April 15

This ever-popular-going-to-the-Great-white-Way someday group of SSI members will perform a selection of their favorite short plays. Come be entertained, amused and delighted!!

Health Care for all Oregon - April 22

Come watch a DVD and hear a speaker on the topic of universal health care for all Oregonians by learning how Canada started and achieved this goal.

The Dark Art of Film Noir - April 29, May 6

It’s all here: dark or fatalistic interpretations of reality; seamy criminal, and cynical characters; stark and stylized camera work in an urban setting. Join Robby Robertson for a walk on the dark side with a look back at this classic movie genre.

Once Upon a Time in Lair Hill - May 13

Arnie Panitch and Ken Kane will present a narrated slide talk about the Italian and Jewish immigration to Portland in the 1900’s and their experiences in this south Portland neighborhood over time.

QEII Part 3 - May 20

Christina Hansen is our guide as we conclude our look at the era of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II by viewing the last two DVD’s in the series. The period in question will start in 1990 and end in the new millennium.

More MEOWS!!! - May 27

Building on the principles of San Francisco’s Exploratorium, where she studied at the Teacher Institute (motto: “Hands-on, Minds-on” ), Sandy Miller will share several short science demonstrations that teach important principles and use common household materials. Good for kids from 9 to 90!

'The Nature of Time - June 3

Does time really exist? Is it linear or cyclical? How have humans measured time throughout the ages and what are the implications of how we choose to measure it? How has the measurement of time or ideas about time affected events in history? Join Sean Munger for another intriguing presentation, approaching the subject of time from an historical, scientific and philosophical perspective.

Neighborhood House

Wednesdays, 10am to 12 Noon

Modern Scientific View of Our World - April 2

Duane Ray will summarize the way science views our world today using tools from the leading edge of every technology to probe our surroundings. These devices uncover details that are the key to a deeper understanding of it all. From the smallest elementary particles to the molecules of our bodies to the solar system and the universe beyond we now comprehend our world more completely than was ever possible to imagine 100 years ago. Come along for an amazing ride.!

Inside State Capitol Buildings - April 9

Which capitol was its state’s tallest building? Where did a political murder take place? Where are paintings by leading American artists? Which resembles a Native American Kiva? Within many of our state capitols are impressive art and architectural elegance as well as unique histories. Don Lief takes us on a tour of some outstanding examples.

Rommel: Military Leader - April 16

John Oreskovich is writing a book on this German military leader and he will enlighten us on the details of the life of the “Desert Fox” and world famous soldier. We will also learn about Rommel’s military life between WWI and WWII. (This class was rescheduled from Winter term.)

Oregon’s Interurban Railways - April 23

At the turn of the 19th century Oregon led the nation in the development of interurban electric railways. It began in 1893 with a 14-mile route along the east bank of the Willamette from Portland to Oregon city. Richard Thompson describes the frenzy of building and the golden age of interurbans when big electric railway companies built long distance lines.

Managing your Medicines - April 30

Phillip J. Levine, Ph.D, will help us better recognize uses, risks and common problems when using prescription, OTCs and herbal drugs. How do drugs get into and out of the body? What are side effects? What can you learn from the label? Come with questions for the knowledgeable answer. Basically, you’ve got to be smarter than the drugs you use!

Rich and Poor - May 7

Michael Heyn’s memoir, In Search of Decency, The Unexpected Power of the Rich and Poor, describes his work across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle east and the USD in support of the struggle for equal opportunity and justice. Learn about the potential power of rich and poor to join together in an unexpected partnership for the common good that renews our values and changes how we treat each other and govern ourselves.

Examining our Sick Economy - May 14

Enjoy a visual, animated 30 minute Econ 101 review with Jim Williams. Then meet a Wall Street “Quant”, one of those brainiacs that developed the trading program that keeps the stock market so unstable and hear his observations and confessions. Finally we will meet some of the One Percents and you won’t believe how complex the super rich really are.

Brain Health: Your Brain on Chocolate - May 21

Roger Anunsen of MINDRAMP gives us another special presentation on Brain Health. Studies involving lifestyle approaches to brain wellness include the health benefits of chocolate. Roger will lead us in a demo of the signature TasteAerobics and sample some seriously delicious candies. Your brain and taste buds will thank you!

Understanding This Crazy Economy - May 28

In this session with Jim Williams we will examine the dilemmas found in a crazy economy (Globalization, Declining Middle Class, Tax Inequities, Unemployment, Weak Infrastructure, Training & Education, etc.).Together we will talk change and develop solutions and associated talking points to use in friendly exchanges with those who either agree or disagree. Economic politics are fun and complex but, as you will see, very dangerous.

Wednesdays, 12:30 to 3pm

Play Reading

On to Broadway - any day now! Fame and fortune may be calling! Your name in lights! With this group one never knows what’s next. Villains and heroes, builders and destroyers, lovers and …. Well, come check it out!

Thursdays, 10am to 12 noon

Current Events

Current Events is a signature program for Senior Studies Institute. Bring in an article about something from the local paper, from a national publication, from something you heard on television. The class members will discuss it with no conditions except respect and civility. This class can get exciting and it’s always spirited!

Thursdays, 1 to 3pm

The California Gold Rush - April 3

Chuck James will take us on a journey to show how the California Gold rush affected the immigration patterns, the evolution of mining technology from basic panning to dredging, the effects mining had on tribal populations and downstream towns and how the state’s Anti-Debris Act curtailed hydraulic mining.

Pearl Harbor Pearls - April 10

”Monty” Montague will describe his astounding experience in surviving the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and tell us about some of his other amazing naval adventures. Then Linda Taylor will tell us about her unique experience on a Tiger Cruise out of Pearl Harbor courtesy of the US Navy.

GMO Pros, Cons and Labeling - April 17

Are genetically engineered crops safe to eat? In a world facing crop disruption from climate change and a growing population, do the benefits of GMO outweigh the risks? Is the food industry’s resistance to labeling an effort to protect GMO technology or would labeling be a “logistical nightmare”? Roberta Palmer will help us sort this out.

Shakespeare - in 2 hours! - April 24

This April is the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare, the greatest figure in English drama and creator of our wildly magnificent language. Come let John Schilke tell you why this is all true and help him celebrate this writer’s importance to all of us!

Oregon Primate Center - May 1

Diana Gordon, MAT, of the Oregon National Primate Research Center, will describe a variety of studies that are currently underway at the Center, discuss the rules and regulations governing the use of animals in research and give us an overview of the animal care program at the Center.

Philosophy 101 - May 15

Everyone has heard of Aristotle. John Schilke invites you to explore the legacy of this ancient Greek thinker who has been so important to our western civilization. You just might find a nugget or two of wisdom!

Camp Westwind, Cascade Head, and the Salmon River - May 8

Anne Squier, a member of the Westwind Stewardship Group board, will explore with us 75 years of youth camp history and the 529 relatively wild acres protected forever on the Oregon coast. The area lies within the Cascade Head Scenic research area (federal) within a United Nation’s Biosphere Reserve, adjacent to Forest Service restoration efforts (remember Pixieland?) … and much more. Bring your Questions!

First Ladies Part 2 - May 22

First Lady is not an elective office. She is chosen by only one man, her husband, Yet, the whole country rushes to judge everything she does. Some first ladies enjoyed it and thrived. Others found it difficult and were glad when it was over. Lois Stroup will describe some of the women who reacted each way.

Train Travel - May 29

You don’t have to drive! Improved and more frequent service has opened recently along the Cascade corridor from Seattle to Eugene. Find out more about the ease and comfort of inter-city rail travel in the Northwest. And tell us about your train experiences!

Acupuncture - What’s the Point? - June 5

Andy Swanson, N.D., returns to SSI wearing his hat of licensed acupuncturist to explain and demonstrate this ancient form of healing . Come with your questions and learn more about this and other naturopathic medical techniques.