Class Listings

Winter 2015 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 at Terwilliger Plaza, if you don't find a spot in the parking lot in front of the main building, free valet service is available. The bus stop is in front of the street level entrance on SW 6th Avenue. To enter, buzz at the door and say that you are with the SSI/PCC program. Proceed to room P 3. There is a coffee shop on the second floor of the main building.

Thursdays 10am-12 noon

Technology in the Classical World
  • January 8
    1. Meeting the Challenge of Great Literature
    2. Defoe - Moll Flanders
  • January 15
    1. Sterne - Tristram Shandy
    2. Twain - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • January 22
    1. Laclos - Les Liaisons Dangereuses
    2. Laclos - Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Part 2
  • January 29
    1. Balzac - Pere Goriot
    2. Balzac - Pere Goriot, Part 2
  • February 5
    1. Bronte - Wuthering Heights
    2. Bronte - Wuthering Heights, Part 2
  • February 12
    1. Melville - Moby Dick
    2. Melville - Moby Dick, Part 2
  • February 19
    1. Dickens - Bleak House
    2. Dickens - Bleak House, Part 2
  • February 26
    1. Flaubert - Madame Bovary
    2. Flaubert - Madame Bovary, Part 2
  • March 5
    1. Tolstoy - War and Peace
    2. Tolstoy - War and Peace, Part 2
  • March 12
    1. Dostoevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
    2. Dostoevsky - The Brothers Karamazov, Part 2

Special Note: Terwilliger Plaza Piano Recital

Monday, March 2, - 1 to 3 p.m. - Auditorium C on the third floor
Pianist and music educator, our own Kay Robbins, will perform a variety of classical works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, and MacDowell, along with popular selections by Gershwin and others. She will provide informative commentary for each piece to deepen our enjoyment and understanding. This performance is for both SSI and Terwilliger Plaza members.


Mondays, 10am to 12 noon

Poetry Reading Fun - January 5, 19 & February 2, 16 & March 2

Know a lot about poetry? Know nothing about poetry? Somewhere in between? There’s a place for you in the very popular class started by Norm Grant and now led by Jan Vaillancourt. We read from a variety of published works. Really FUN!

Book Potpourri - January 12

Sandy Foran - Sandy Foran from Annie Bloom's Books joins this popular group discussing books of every genre. You tell us about books you've liked or find out what others have read. Sandy will give us the real lowdown on reviews and upcoming offerings. This interactive class is always informative even if you only come to listen!

Bosso Nova - a Fusion of Samba & Jazz - January 26

Bob Hume & Andrei Kitaev - The first hour Bob Hume will explore the origins of this wonderful and sensual Brazilian music. We will see some clips from the film "Black Orpheus" The second hour will feature Andrei Kitaev on piano. Standard becomes a Bossa Nova.

Story of the Blues, Part I, Overview - February 9

Robby Robertson - Explore the Blues, beginning with the influence of Blues antecedents upon the major categories of popular music forms. Time will be spent on the realities and misunderstandings sur- rounding early Blues artists and style.

Story of the Blues, Part II, The Beginnings and Migration - February 23

Robby Robertson - The class continues with an examination of the three geographical locations of Blues development and the resulting differences in style; the Delta, Texas and the Piedmont. We will also see how Blues music became part of The Great Migration north to Chicago, California and New York.

Story of the Blues, Part III, The 1960’s Revival - March 9

Robby Robertson - Learn how an unexpected chain of events led to the elevation of Blues music and Blues artists to international recognition with resulting artistic, commercial and in some cases long overdue financial success.

Mondays, 1 to 3pm

Current Events - see Continuous Classes


Tuesdays, 10am to 12 noon

Current Events - see Continuous Classes

Tuesdays, 1 to 3pm

Managing Your Meds - January 6

Phil Levine - Phil Levine, an emeritus professor of pharmacy, will discuss the use, legality, safety and purity of medicines, including herbals. His topics will include changes in drug laws; side-effects, duplications and interactions; labeling issues; and individual variations in susceptibility to different drugs.

Portland’s Little Known History of Flight - January 13

Dan Evans - The title says it all. Many pictures and a great deal of information about first flights, including those in Portland at the Rose City Golf Course, before it became a golf course.

TBD - January 20

( YOU could be here! )

What You Don’t Know for Estate Planning - January 27

Gene Christian - An authority on estate planning will conduct a workshop on the important documents needed for your estate planning process. He will discuss each document and provide a Resource Guide and other tools for SSI members. Gene works with many non profits in Oregon and is currently an advisor to the PCC Foundation. You will be surprised at some of the documents you might have overlooked.

Travels in Africa - February 3

Robin Nash - Robin Nash, along with several other adventurous women from Portland, traveled to South Africa recently. Robin will discuss and show videos of their visit to five game preserves, their helicopter tour over Victoria Falls, dipping their toes into the Indian Ocean, and lots more!

Introduction to Opera - February 10

A. Hamilton - Ever wondered about how all of the myriad elements of opera come together to create a cohesive whole? Join Portland Opera's Alexis Hamilton, in an informative, light-hearted take on the wonderful world of opera. Explore the history, conventions and building blocks of this vibrant art form.

Island Nations - February 17

Heidi Brouhard, Linda McCall, Don Leif & Bob Clink - Journey to four Island Nations little known and sometimes remote. No tickets required!!

Citizens United: Are Corporations Really People Too? - February 24

Stephanie Nute - A history of how corporations came to be viewed by the US Supreme Court as "people" under the US Constitution, entitled to certain rights enjoyed by natural persons. Will include a discussion of current decisions, highlighting recent the "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission" case which held that corporations had a right to exercise free speech relative to elections.

Wrongful Convictions: Community Problem - March 3

Stephen Wax, Director of Oregon Innocence Project - The Project exists to investigate claims of wrongful conviction and show how society is doubly harmed when the wrong person is convicted of a crime.

Human Evolution Part I (of 5) - March 10

Gerald Holt - Hominids from ‘Lucy’ through Homo erectus, H. sapiens neanderthalensis, to H. sapiens (US!). A family tree or a bush? Who were the first humans?

Neighborhood House

Wednesdays, 10am to 12 Noon

Iceland - January 7

John Schilke - Iceland is one strange land of geologic and other wonders: volcanoes, hot springs, hardy and vigorous people, old poetic sagas, and , of course, the aurora borealis. Come and be enlightened about this ancient culture and about plutonic and heavenly marvels.

China in the 20th Century - January 14

Phil Silverman - Much has been made about the rise of China as the defining characteristic of the 21st Century. The second lecture in this series on China will focus on the remarkable growth of the Chinese economy in the past 25 years. Other topics include the maintenance of authoritarian political rule, the growth of the military, the cultural explosion in art, literature, and the film industry, and the continuing conflict with its minority populations.

Antibiotics in Food - January 21

Rachel Fischer - Guest Dr. Rachel Fischer describes the growing issues regarding the large amounts of antibiotics used to raise beef, swine and poultry in the United States. How does this practice affect the individuals who consume these products? What is the connection to increasing antibiotic resistance?"

SMART Program - January 28

Michelle Gilmore - SMART, Oregon's home grown program has been helping kindergarten through third grade students with reading for over 20 years. This year it won the prestigious Library of Congress Award for American literacy programs. Learn how SMART got started, and how it works with the aid of thousands of volunteers.

Environmental Action - February 4

Lenny Dee & Rick Brown - The actions we take on the climate crisis will dictate the quality of our lives together and those of generations to come. Lenny Dee and Rick Brown of 350 Oregon will explore this science and how we can become individuals who see the value of common endeavors on behalf of climate change.

History of Hollywood - February 11

Mike Gray - We go back to the 1870s with Leland Stanford’s bet about galloping horses. Edison created a monopoly to control the new industry, but the movie creators defied Edison, fled to the West and, settling in Hollywood, launched an entertainment empire, which changed the world.

The New Face of Coal, Oil & Gas in U.S. - February 18

Duane Ray - Mountain top removal and fracking for oil and gas are the new norms to extract fossil fuels. Transporting them through the Columbia River Gorge has an impact on communities and makes it local. This talk will give an overview.

Inequality for All - February 25

George Davidson - Is the top 1% of the U.S. population using their enormous financial muscle to tilt the playing field to their advantage? Watch this acclaimed documentary featuring former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and you decide.

Current International Events - March 4

Dr. Peter Bechtold - Popular guest speaker Peter Bechtold will present two consecutive classes on late-breaking international news topics. With the Middle East in flames, the Obama White House in restructure mode, and many international hot spots, he will draw on his wealth of knowledge to choose subjects which are sure to interest and inform his SSI audience.

Current International Events - March 11

Dr. Peter Bechtold - This will be a continuation of the above talk with updates depending on current events.

Wednesdays, 12:30 to 3pm

Play Reading - see Continuous Classes

Thursdays, 10am to 12 noon

Current Events - see Continuous Classes

Thursdays, 1 to 3pm

Acupuncture - January 8

Dr. Andy Swanson - Dr. Andy Swanson, N.D., who gave us a great talk on nutrition last year, returns wearing his hat of licensed acupuncturist, to explain and demonstrate this ancient form of healing. Come with your questions about acupuncture and complementary naturopathic medical techniques.

Project in Tanzania - January 15

Caye Poe & John Francis - In Tanzania today a group of Masai women have a sewing business that gives them a welcome wage for the first time, and whose profits go to an adjoining orphanage. It was upgraded into a viable concern by SSI members Caye Poe and John Francis earlier this year.

Travel Tales - January 22

Mimi & Bob Sorkin - Bob Sorkin, a photographer, and his wife Mimi, have traveled the world extensively. Bob will be showing movies that he made of slides when touring China and Russia. All movies will be open to questions and discussion.

Catholicism - January 29

Barbara Collier - Sister Barbara, a nun of the Sisters of the Holy Names (of Marylhurst and St. Mary's Academy fame) will describe Roman Catholicism today. She will comment about recent events in the Church and about Pope Francis I. This is one discussion you'll not want to miss!

Philosophy - February 5

John Schilke - The philosophy series continues with a review of the person and thought of the much reviled 19th century, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. There will be some surprises, since he is being reconsidered nowadays. Come, learn, and participate!

TBD - February 12


The Great Migration Part I - February 19

Fred Taylor - Following the effects of the War Between the States and the gradual acceptance of the Emancipation Proclamation, white people—the land owners living in the south—and black people still serving them came to a crossroads. Fred Taylor explains that this differing of lifestyles created a situation which the black people could no longer tolerate. He will talk about how some of these issues affected our country, our culture, as well as some members of Fred's family.

The Great Migration Part II - February 26

Fred Taylor - This session is a continuation of ‘The Great Migration,’ Part I.

Women’s History - March 5

Marilyn Katz - In honor of Women's History month, we hear from four outstanding SSI women: Dawn Carol, Sue Cowan, Carol Markewitz, and Jan Vaillancourt. Each will introduce us to another remarkable female who helped shape the history of our country and the world.

Modern Comic Strips - March 12

Sandy Miller - Join Sandy Miller to consider comic strips introduced to the American public since 1950. What makes them funny, for their time? Which ones resonate with you?