Class Listings

Fall 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.

Thursdays 10am-12 noon

Technology in the Classical World
  • September 11
    1. Technology in the Classical World
    2. The Substance of Technology-Materials
  • September 18
    1. From Quarry to Temple—Building in Stone
    2. Stone Masonry Perfected—The Greek Temple
    3. From Temple to Basilica—Timber Roof Systems
  • September 25
    1. Construction Revolution—Arches and Concrete
    2. Construction in Transition—The Coliseum
  • October 2
    1. The Genesis of a New Imperial Architecture
    2. The Most Celebrated Edifice—The Pantheon
    3. Cities by Design—The Rise of Urban Planning
  • October 9
    1. Connecting the Empire—Roads and Bridges
    2. From Source to City—Water Supply Systems
  • October 16
    1. Engineering a Roman Aqueduct
    2. Go with the Flow—Urban Water Distribution
  • October 23
    1. Paradigm and Paragon—Imperial Roman Baths
    2. Harnessing Animal Power—Land Transportation
    3. Leveraging Human Power—Construction Cranes
  • October 30
    1. Lifting Water with Human Power
    2. Milling Grain with Water Power
  • November 6
    1. Machines at War—Siege Towers and Rams
    2. Machines at War—Evolution of the Catapult
    3. Machines at Sea—Ancient Ships
  • November 13
    1. Reconstructing the Greek Trireme
    2. The Modern Legacy of Ancient Technology


Mondays, 10am to 12 noon

Poetry Reading Fun - September 8, 22, October 6, 20, November 3

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!

Philosophy Daoism - September 15

John Schilke - One of the three fascinating philosophies of China is Daoism (or Taoism), dating from the 6th century BCE. We will discuss the basic philosophy of the Dao, the founder Laozi, the scripture Dao De Jing, philosopher Zhuangzi, and the resulting Daoist religion. Oddly, this is applicable to our daily lives now.

Sellwood & Tillikum Crossing Bridges - September 29

Mike Pullen & Coral Agnew - Mike Pullen of Metro will discuss changes to the Sellwood Bridge, and Coral Agnew of Trimet will cover the new bike/public transit/pedestrian bridge, Tilikum Crossing.

Best Places - October 13

Bert Sperling - founder of the website Sperling's Best Places will talk about starting a website, going into business for yourself, what makes his website work, staying relevant and competitive on the Internet, demographics, and the future of the Internet.

Grand Piano Part II - October 27

Bob Hume & Andrei Kitaev - The first hour will feature the award winning documentary on the construction of a Steinway grand piano, "Note By Note." Jazz piano virtuoso, Andrei Kitaev, will then present his observations about grand pianos and will play standards and take requests from class members.

Where were you in 1971? - November 10

Naomi Dagen Bloom - We travel back half a century with a veteran of NOW and the Women's Political Caucus, to revisit the vibrant women's movement of the 1960's and '70's. Bring your memories, photos or objects that remind you of those heady days. We will start the show by watching "Makers: Women Who Make America," a PBS documentary from last year dealing with the period.

Mondays, 1 to 3pm

Current Events - see Continuous Classes


Tuesdays, 10am to 12 noon

Current Events - see Continuous Classes

Tuesdays, 1 to 3pm

Greek Theatre I - September 9

Peter Charlston - We will explore Iphigenia in Aulis, by Euripides, in this three session class. Iphigenia was the unlucky daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, sacrificed by her father to aid the Greek navy at the beginning of the Trojan War--or was she? For maximum enjoyment, please acquire the Philip Vellacott translation of this play prior to the first class. The group will also view the film Iphigenia (1977) by director Michael Cacoyonnis. The great Greek actress Irene Papas plays Clytemnestra.

Greek Theatre II - September 16

Continued - (see Part I description)

Greek Theatre III - September 23

Continued - (see Part I description)

Architectural Heritage - September 30

Fred Leeson, current board chair of the Architectural Heritage Center, will give us a history of the organization. He will explain why preservation of the city is important to all of us, and advise us of classes offered by the Center such as “Investigating the History of your Home."

Unknown but Indispensable: The Many Lives of Bayard Rustin - October 7

James Harrison - We have all heard of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the March on Washington and the anti-war and anti-nuclear protests of the 1960's, but we know very little of the storied lives of a key person who stood behind the curtains as the main events unfolded on the public stage. Bayard Rustin, with not much more than a high school education, walked firmly and proudly onto the world stage. Join James Harrison and learn about this remarkable man referred to as Brother Outsider.

Palestinian Perspective - October 14

Catherine Alder - In 1967, Israel defeated the neighboring Arab countries in a war that lasted only six days, capturing the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Golan Heights. Rev. Catherine Alder, pastor in the United Church of Christ, member of the UCC Palestine Israel Network, and frequent visitor to the Holy Land, will describe the plight of Palestinians living, almost 50 years later, under Israeli military occupation.

Oregon Rail Heritage Center Tour - October 21

Ed Immel - The Tour location is 2250 SE Water Avenue, near PCC CLIMB and OMSI. Parking is free by their building at the Heritage Cen-ter. We will view and learn about interesting rail memorabilia and machines including the Number 4449, the last survivor of the 50 "Daylight" locomotives.

The Story Behind Your Vote - October 28

Don Lief - When did voting, and majority rule, start? What restrictions on voting are there in America? Who is eligible to vote? How do parties, candidates and measures get a place on a ballot? Are all votes equal in importance? Are there differences in voting for federal and state offices? Who decides on poll hours and locations? Don Lief will take us through the history of voting and various ways that can limit or broaden voter choices.

What's so funny? - November 4

Sandy Miller explores the use of graphics to express humor, from newspaper comic strips, old and new, to New Yorker and Far Side cartoons, among others.

Neighborhood House

Wednesdays, 10am to 12 Noon

Why Jane Austen? September 10

Bill Boyd - Two centuries after she lived and wrote, Jane Austen is all the rage, showing up in popular culture, not only in Great Britain and its former colonies but in many other countries as well. What accounts for this Austen-mania? Bill Boyd, currently writing his own Austen-themed book, will enlighten us.

Silicon Valley History - September 17

Mike Gray - The post-WWII emergence of the electronics industry in Silicon Valley was dramatic. Colorful players in the saga include William Shockley, co-inventor of the germanium transistor, Bob Noyce and the ‘Traitorous Eight’ who abandoned Shockley to found Fair-child Semiconductor and start silicon technology. Fairchild gave birth to a host of new companies which developed the integrated circuit & microprocessor that led to personal computer.

China in the 20th Century - September 24

Phil Silverman - During the 20th Century the Chinese people lived through a pe-riod of profound change: internal chaos, foreign invasion, civil war, a communist revolution, and all of it punctuated by grievous suffering. The question posed in this lecture is: How can a once powerful civilization, proud of its long history of accomplishments, find its way in a world dominated mostly by Western powers?

Myths & Facts Surrounding Malaysian Flight 70 - October 1

Fred Russell will lead a discussion about the tragic recent loss of Flight 370. He will help us decide what's possible & what's plausible. Fred, now retired, completed 22 years with United Air-lines and was a pilot for almost 50 years. He often flew SF to London over the polar route.

More Music Time-Machine - October 8

Join Robert Samuelson as he once more transports us back in time, by way of popular music of the mid-20th century. Come listen and remember the background music to some of the cherished moments in your life!

Climate Change - October 15

Duane Ray - We will look at how earth’s climate system operates and how various things can affect it. From observing trends, science can estimate the expected impact on climate and make predictions.

Redistricting & Gerrymandering in Iowa - October 22

Steve Conway, who worked at the Iowa state legislature for many years, will discuss the process of redistricting that occurs every ten years, and how it has fostered gerrymandering in various states. This will include a review of the unique Iowa process and an explanation of how legislatures use redistricting to enhance partisan political power.

Mind Dancin’ with Fred & Ginger - October 29

Roger Anunsen - Could watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance be good for your brain? Roger Anunsen returns to SSI for a “Mind Dancing” featuring the Hollywood ’s famous dancing duo to explain why “dancing in our minds” may become one of tomorrow’s rehabilitation tools.

Cuba - November 5

Kathleen Maunder - A talk on an independent visit to Cuba concentrating on Ha-vana. Cuba is a complex country trapped in a time warp. This independent visitor will tell us about a country economically poor but rich with culture and give us an overview of its history.

Kids & the Media: Effects on Children November 12

Jim Williams will highlight recent neuroscience research outcomes that point out both positive and negative findings about learning and skills building with the prevalent appearance of new digital media in schools and home. Joining him will be guest Laura Argilla, who is raising two young boys who live in this fast paced digital world, giving her insight into how it might affect the next generation. We look forward to an energetic discussion period.

Wednesdays, 12:30 to 3pm

Play Reading - see Continuous Classes

Thursdays, 10am to 12 noon

Current Events - see Continuous Classes

Thursdays, 1 to 3pm

Tiger Cruise Two - September 11

What is a Tiger when it's not a cat? Linda Taylor will tell us about her unique experience on a Tiger Cruise out of Pearl Harbor courtesy of the US Navy..

Banned Books - September 18

Sandy Foran - Celebrating the Freedom to Read: Banned Book Week. Do you read banned books? Learn about book censorship down through the ages. Which books top the list? Why? How does one go about attempting to ban a book? Who stands in the way of this happening? Why is children's literature, in particular, a target? Do you want someone to tell you what you can and cannot read? Celebrate Banned Book Week by reading a banned book.

It’s a Small World - September 25

Dolly Wyttenberg builds miniatures, gives classes and lectures, and is involved with the local miniature association. She will introduce us to this fascinating pastime, with samples of some of her creations and slides of others.

Lindberg Part I - October 2

Phyllis Lindsley & Aileen Clark - Come and hear about the fascinating life of Charles Lindbergh, from his early childhood on a farm in Minnesota to his amazing experiences as an aviator in the 1920's. You'll hear about his triumphs, his tragedies, his travels, his family, his unpopular "America First" beliefs before WWII, and his later years of environmental concerns. You won't want to miss this program!

Lindberg Part II - October 9

This is a continuation of Part I.

Island Nations - October 16

Heidi Brouhard, Marilyn Katz, Bob Clink and Kathy McCulloch - Wikipedia lists 51 Island Nations in the world. Some, like Japan and New Zealand, are well known. But there are others you've probably never heard of. Come hear us tell you about a few of these.

First Ladies - October 23

Lois Stroup - From 1900 forward our country went through great changes. We had cars and planes and wars. Some of our most influential First Ladies lived during those times.

Oregon Amusement Parks & Carousels - October 30

Darrell Jabin - Relive memories of the first Oregon Amusement Parks and learn more about the history and process of carousel creation.

Crows - Friends or Frustrations? - November 6

Carol Shiveley - Crows are very visible and often quite the noisemakers. Did you know their intelligence approaches that of some apes? That crows are among the world's most intelligent animals? That many find them mysterious? Carol Shiveley will tell us more about these incredible creatures!

Iceland: Sites & Northern Lights - November 13

John Schilke - Iceland is one strange land of geologic and other wonders: volcanos, 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.