Lifelong learning remains alive and strong in the Southern Tier, despite COVID. Those already associated with Lyceum clearly know this, but they invite you to join them and see for yourself – via Zoom, of course.
The Lyceum Program Committee met in July to develop long-range goals. By then it was clear Lyceum would be providing classes via Zoom and the behind the scenes work to make that happen had already begun.
The committee was determined to turn necessity into an advantage, being no longer limited to engaging local instructors only. Hence, hold your seat, the instructor for “Tuscan Epicure Cooking,” Maddine Insalaco, will beam her expertise from far-off Italy.
Presenting “From Georgia with Peace: Jimmy Carter and the Camp David Peace Accords,” Joshua Montanari, employed by the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, will offer his class from Atlanta, Ga.
Jesse Lewis will deliver “Crisis Management in the Time of COVID” from DC, “Post-retirement Journey from Corp to Self-Employed” will broadcast from NYC, “Grant Woods” from the Rockwell Museum in Corning, and “Honoring Experience: The Nonfiction Art of Showing” from Cortland.
The Program Committee also developed a database aimed at providing more diversity, both with topics related to a broader range of ethnic groups and sexual orientations and with the instructors.
Hailing from India, Dipti Bramhandkar offers her play, “Island of Contentment,” while Brenda Brown of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority-Apalachin Alumnae Chapter is offering “Social and Emotional Diversity Gone Wrong”. “Unjust Laws: Abolition in Central NY” by Dr. Phyllis Amenda, “Human Sexual Identity” by Dr. Kelly Clark of BU’s Q Center, “Roman Middle East” by Dr. Nathan Andrade, “Autonomous Intelligent Robots” by Drs. Shiqi Zhang and Kaiyan Yu, and “Employee Well-Being through Generative Growth” by Ana Barrio Lopez also help achieve this goal.
Another long-range goal is providing more evening and weekend classes for those still working. There are 23 evening sessions and one weekend event scheduled during the winter and spring sessions. Between winter and spring, 69 courses will be offered, totaling 121 individual sessions.
A new concept to their programming was introduced, titled “Notable Nonfiction,” a discussion-oriented class that features a note-worthy work of nonfiction led by a facilitator. Offered the third Monday afternoon of each four-week session, the expectation is that participants will read the book beforehand.
Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is the winter session offering, and The Ghost Map and Surrender, White People will be offered during the two spring sessions.
Any disappointment felt by not offering face-to-face classes will be truly tempered by their gratifying success employing that platform during the fall sessions and by the exciting upcoming classes being offered.
Winter / spring membership is only $30. Each class costs $5 for each two-hour session, so a class spanning the maximum four sessions would cost $20.
Lohmann is chair of the Lyceum Program Committee and a resident of Berkshire.