Course Descriptions


Courses Monday through Thursday will be held in the Activity Center, Hopi Room, 1495 E. Rancho Vistoso Blvd.

1.This course is now closed... we are not accepting any more registrations as of 4/5/19. Before Independence:  Colonial Life in America to 1770
Jim Williams  9:00 - 11:00   4 weeks   Please Note: The dates for this course have been changed due to room availability: Oct. 28 - Nov. 18.

Americans established Great Britain's 13 colonies between 1607 and 1710. By 1770 colonists had developed a society distinct from Great Britain and began to contemplate independence. How did the geographic regions of British North America each develop differently by 1770? How did religion and the Enlightenment shape American attitudes? What difficulties did colonists face in everyday life? How did the French and Indian War lead to tensions between the colonies and Great Britain? This course will examine these issues and more. Lectures and discussion will be used to examine topics.

Jim Williams has been teaching ILR courses since 2007. He taught American history at the secondary level for 35 years.

2. Blackouts on the Electric Power System   Dean Chapman    9:00-11:00     3 weeks   Nov 25-Dec 9 Please note change of dates.

There have been several major power blackouts in North America in the past 50 years, most notably in the densely populated Northeast. Some covered wide areas affecting multiple States and Provinces. Others were limited to major cities such as New York or San Diego. Why did these major outages occur and what can be done to prevent them in the future? This course will discuss the composition and the operation of the electric grid in North America. Then, based on that knowledge, we will analyze these blackouts to determine what went wrong and what has been done to attempt to prevent future occurrences. This material will be presented in layman's terms with no prior knowledge of electrical principles required.

Dean Chapman holds a Master's Degree In Electrical Engineering and has over 40 years of experience in creating, maintaining and managing the computer systems used to monitor and control the power system.

3. Closer to Truth: Consciousness, Cosmos, God  Gene Bammel 5 weeks    11:30-1:30  Please Note: Change in course meeting dates due to room availability.

Oct 14-Nov 18, No class on Oct. 21.


This course will use material from Robert Lawrence Kuhn's long-running series on PBS, “Closer to Truth.” It will highlight the conclusions of Kuhn's interviews with Cosmologists, Philosophers, and Brain Scientists.

Gene Bammel has been a long time presenter of ILR classes.

4. Music to Stir Your Emotions   Jim Ford    4 weeks 2:00-4:00   Please note change of dates: Nov 25 - Dec 16

This course will consist of short selections of classical music that stirs the emotions or creates a mood. There will be a brief discussion after each selection.

 Jim Ford has been a music lover for 75+ years and was formerly a trumpet player and band member. His sizable collection of recordings enables him to put together comprehensive music programs for the benefit and enjoyment of class participants. Jim is a frequent contributor to the ILR and has presented many music programs for our enjoyment.

5. Extinction!           Marion Cimmino
4 weeks    2:00-4:00           Oct 7-28

Extinction. What does it mean? Why does the word conjure up dire events and consequences? In this program extinction will be examined scientifically, along with its causes and importance. The program will look at the emergence and loss of species throughout the history of the Earth through geological, biological, and ecological science without political or religious furor to better  understand the process of change and perhaps our role in the process.

Marion Cimmino is a frequent contributor to the ILR and has presented several courses in the      past.