Active Learning Opportunities


POLIS Spring 2013 Courses and/or Lecturers

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Sep 13
Watercolor Painting on Book Page
Friday, Sep 13 (one session) Fee:  $3
Poems have always made lovely framed pieces for the wall, and now we can do a watercolor painting right on a poem.  We will be doing a leaf and/or flower watercolor painting on a book page.  Our second option is a recipe page from a cookbook with a painting of a piece of pie or the fruit that went into the pie.  Because of required drying time to prepare the page, the instructor will prepare all book pages beforehand and have them ready for painting in class.  When we are done, you will have a painting that is ready to be framed and hung on your wall.  And since it’s Friday the 13th, we might even try a black cat painting on an Edgar Allan Poe poem.  Everything is provided, but feel free to bring your own paints and brushes if you wish.
Lecturer:  Linda Buechting, artist and author

Sep 18
Civil War In St. Louis And Lunch On The "The Hill"
Wednesday, Sep 18 (one day) Fee:  $40
On Wednesday, September 18, 2013 we will meet at Holy Cross Friary, 724 N. 20th St. for a continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m.  At 8:00 we will depart to the House of Cunetto restaurant on "The Hill". After lunch we will journey to the St. Louis History Museum where we will be joined by Barnes M. Bradshaw who will conduct a four hour guided tour of the Civil War sites in St. Louis.  This tour will focus on the events that took place in and around the city with site visits and stories about Nathaniel Lyon and the Camp Jackson massacre, the infamous Gratiot Street Prison, the Old Courthouse, the St. Louis arsenal and other sites associated with this troubled and turbulent time.  Mr. Bradshaw is thoroughly versed in the history of this place and time and has empathy and an enthusiasm that our group will find mesmerizing.  We will return to Quincy by 7:30 p.m.  Cost is $40 per person (includes tour fees).  Lunch is not included in the price.
This tour is sponsored by the Quincy University Retirees Association and will be led by Dr. Gary Carter, retired former Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Please register through POLIS.
Lecturer:  Dr. Gary Carter, Retired VP of Academic Affairs, Quincy University

Sep 20, 27
Congressman Extraordinaire – My Take on S. A. Douglas
Fridays, Sep 20, 27 (two sessions) Fee:  $6
Without a doubt Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois rates with that pantheon of extraordinary members of the House and Senate who changed and sometimes dominated the direction of American history.   Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun are often referred to as “the great triumvirate.”  Because of his tremendous influence, Douglas belongs on par with them.
Lecturer:  Dr. David Costigan, Emeritus Professor of History, Quincy University

Sep 24
Nursing in Quincy:  A Microcosm of Nursing History
Tuesday, Sep 24 (one session) Fee:  $6
“..the lack of scholarly interest in nurses may be partly related to the historic lack of interest in women.” (Grypma, 2005, P.172)
Nursing history tends to be buried in a tangle of competing traditions such as: 1) Role of gender, race, and class in society, 2) Rise of philanthropy and caring for the poor, 3) Medicine and healing the sick, 4) Hospitals as an entity. This presentation will cover the 19th and early 20th century and reflect on the healthcare institutions of the local community as they are influenced by the national trends. Topics will be taught within the framework of the social, economic, and political climate of the time.
Grypma, S. J. (2005). Critical issues in the use of biographic methods in nursing history. Nursing History Review, 13, 171-187.
Lecturer:  Arlis Dittmer, MA, MLS, Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing,

Oct 3
True Grit
Thursday, Oct 3 (one session) Fee:  $3
We discuss True Grit by Charles Portis.  This novel is the focus of the Quincy Public Library’s BIG READ program which kicks off September 12, 2013.  If the title sounds familiar, a movie starring John Wayne was based on this novel.  Copies of the novel will be distributed at the kickoff
Lecturer:  Dr. Mary Ann Klein, Emerita Professor of English, Quincy University

Oct 4
Faith and Reason:  The two Wings of the Human Soul
Friday, Oct 4 (one session) Fee:  $3
For millennia people have struggled to bring together, or keep apart, these two dimensions of the human experience.  Some, in the name of science, have argued that faith has no role in the life of the rational person.  Others have been suspicious of what is achievable by the human mind and have opted to rely on faith apart from reason.  The larger part of the Christian tradition has seen clear to bring the two together.  In 1998, Pope John Paul II wrote the encyclical Fides et Ratio in hopes of articulating the wisdom of a harmonious relationship between human reason and faith.  This course will set out to cover some of the highlights of this work and consider its importance for the 21st century.  We will also grapple with how faith and reason issues relate to the role of religion in politics, and how certain approaches might further interreligious dialogue, especially with Islam.
Lecturer:  Dr. Daniel Strudwick, Assistant Professor of Theology, Quincy University

Oct 8
The JFK Assassination:  50 Years Later
Tuesday, Oct 8 (one session) Fee:  $3
On Friday, November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.  The event shocked the nation and fifty years later the assassination is still seared in the nation’s conscience.
Ever since that fateful day, what exactly happened in Dallas has been a subject of fierce controversy.  Did a lone gunman shoot Kennedy or was there a conspiracy?
This talk will provide an overview of November 22, 1963 and then examine the debate over who killed John F. Kennedy.
Lecturer:  Dr. Justin P. Coffey, Associate Professor of History, QU

Oct 15, 22
Eastern Turkey, Land of Angry Ghosts
Tuesdays, Oct 15, 22 (two sessions) Fee:  $6
Hotle, who has traveled extensively in Eastern Turkey, will explore the region's fascinating but troubled historical associations with the Kurds, the Armenians, the Pontic Greeks and the Turks
Lecturer:  Dr. Patrick Hotle, Professor of History CSC, Travel Study Director, and the John A. Sperry,  Jr. Endowed Chair of Humanities

Oct 25
Piedmont Blues Guitar
Friday, Oct 25 (one session) Fee:  $3
A performance/ survey of a distinct genre of early blues guitar including its origins, variations and artists, as well as its musical progeny.
Lecturer:  Jonathan Barnard, Adams County State’s Attorney

Oct 29, 31
Investing, Investments, and Investment Planning - Part 2
Tue Oct 29, Thu 31, (two sessions) Fee:  $6
This is a 2-day follow up course that presents specific details of the first course. The course reviews the basic content of the first course; exposes investment hazards to avoid; analyzes flaws in most pre-retirement and post-retirement plans; gives recommendations of a one-time investment strategy, including investment vehicles and specific investments; and works through, step by step, a specific retirement plan.  Time is allowed during both days for questions.
Lecturer:  Burnard McHone, attended DePaul University, Roosevelt University, and University of Illinois. Degree in business institutions and a CPA. Retired  as president of Illini Corp and Illini Bank, Springfield.

Nov 1
Making Tianjing Style Crepe - - Chinese Street Foods
Friday, Nov 1 (one session) Fee:  $3
Street food is ready-to-eat food or drink sold in a street or other public place, such as a market or fair. Different places have different street foods. This presentation introduces three or four common street foods in China. Demonstration of making Tianjing style crepe will be shown step-by-step.
Lecturer:  Dr. Ping Ye, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, QU

Nov 5
Grandparents and Teen Grandchildren:  Understanding, Communication, and Survival
Tuesday, Nov 5 (one session) Fee:  $3
Bridge the Generation Gap a bit by learning where teens are today regarding socialization, social media, peer groups, fashion, education, behavior, and role models.  Even more important, the class will focus on listening to and speaking with teens in positive ways.
Lecturer:  Ray Heilmann, Director of Off-Campus Studies and Student Teaching, QU

Nov 8
Quincy’s Human Rights Commission
Friday, Nov 8 (one session) Fee:  $3
The City of Quincy established a Human Rights Commission in response to concerns about racism in our community. This course will explore the commission's history and recent activities, as well as inviting discussion of hopes and fears around inequities that still exist.
Lecturer:  Liza Hayashi, Jurist Doctor

Nov 12
Human Evolution
Tuesday, Nov 12 (one session) Fee:  $3
A transition began in some ape-like primates between five and eight million years ago. Radical cooling and drying of the climate five million years ago accelerated that transition which involved a number of changes including bipedal walking, changes in anatomy and food use, tool use, and larger brains leading to a single species, Homo sapiens. Modern humans are the most dominant living force on the earth today. This presentation is a story about this transition based on what we have learned and inferences based on what we know.
Lecturer:  Dr. Alfred F. Pogge, Emeritus Professor of Biological Sciences, QU

Nov 15
Historical Quincy Church:  Unitarian Church
Friday, Nov 15 (one session) Fee:  $3
This course will explore the history of Quincy’s Unitarian Church, established in 1839.  The current location of the church is the fourth in its history.  The church, located at 1479 Hampshire, was built in 1913.  The course will be held at the church itself.
Lecturer:  Dr./Rev. Rob Manning, Professor of Philosophy, QU

Nov 21, 22
History is for Squares!
Thursday, Nov 21, Friday 22, (two session) Fee:  $6
This survey course in Jewish history is based on a format taught by a colleague of mine.  Jewish history can be viewed as the four sides of a square:  the biblical period, the pre- and post-Temple period, the rabbinic / medieval period, and the modern period.  We'll look at the defining events and towering figures which have set the course of Jewish history.  If you've never heard of Maimonides or the Balfour Declaration, here's your chance to find out.  No textbooks; handouts provided.
Lecturer:  Rabbi Michael Datz, Temple B'rith Sholom, Springfield, IL

Nov 26
Edward Coles:  An Early Illinois Hero
Tuesday, Nov 26, (one session) Fee:  $3
Edward Coles (1786-1868), the second governor of Illinois, played a crucial role in the struggle during the first years of Illinois statehood to keep Illinois a free state.  His struggle against the forces of slavery began when he led his own slaves from Virginia, where he was a plantation owner, to Illinois, on the way to which he set them free.  After battling and defeating the slaveholding class in Illinois, who wanted to write slavery into the state constitution, he continued to fight anti-black prejudice and to contribute to the formation of the national vision of free labor that the Republican party embraced as it sought first to contain and finally to uproot slavery.  This two-hour class will focus on the life and accomplishment of this early Illinois hero.
Lecturer:  Dr. Joe Messina, Emeritus Professor of English, QU

A program that makes learning a lifetime experience
POLISThe Pursuit of Learning in Society (POLIS) organization, sponsored by Quincy University, allows active adults over 55 years of age to continue a lifetime of learning while relaxing in a comfortable academic setting with those your own age. Members are introduced to new subjects and ideas without the strain of outside study, paper writing, or test taking.

Members explore new topics and help design new courses while engaging in stimulating lectures and conversations with knowledgeable experts. Courses are designed to open your mind and stimulate thinking about variety of subjects; from Mathematics to Genetics, chose from a dozen or more courses that are attended by retirees and taught by university professors, field experts, religious leaders, and researchers.

You can register by mail or register in person on Registration Day, Wednesday, September 3, from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the POLIS office in room 122-D located at the North Campus. Volunteers will be on hand to help members register or answer any questions. No appointment is necessary. Just show up.

The costs for classes and membership in POLIS is minimal. Membership for one semester is $15. Each session of a class costs only $4. You can attend one class or all of them,. Anyone who is of the right age can even come and audit one class for no charge

Contact info:
Quincy University North Campus, Room 122-D
Phone: (217) 228-5594
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Board President: Dr. Mary Ann Klein
Quincy University POLIS Director: Dr. Mary Ann Klein, Room 122-D
217-228-5432 ext. 3193

To provide, at a modest cost, learning experiences for retired and semi-retired persons, regardless of previous educational background.

POLIS is a membership organization sponsored by Quincy University. It provides an opportunity for persons over 55 to continue a lifetime of learning in a relaxed atmosphere, without the strain of having to do outside study, write papers or take tests. Members plan, organize, and shape the curriculum, which includes Quincy University faculty and guest lecturers, discussion groups, seminars, and workshops.

Click here for the latest issue of the Polis Patter

POLIS offers courses for the Fall Semester and Spring Semester concurrent with Quincy University degree courses. Most classes are held at Quincy University's North Campus (North 18th Street and Seminary Road) from 2:00 to 4:00 PM with alternate locations and times for field classes.

  • 9/9 – Great Recession of 2008
  • 9/10 & 9/12 – Measure for Measure
  • 9/11 – Dr. Michael Swango, Serial Killer
  • 9/16 – The True John Wood
  • 9/18, 9/25, 10/2, & 10/9 – Chapel’s Stained Glass Windows
  • 9/19 & 9/26 – Women in United States Wars
  • 9/23 – Bus Tour Holocaust Museum in STL
  • 9/24 – Generation Gaps
  • 10/1 – The Political Animal
  • 10/3 – Ten Things Art Can Do For You
  • 10/16 & 10/23 – WWI: A War in Two Parts
  • 10/17 – Wildlife of the Tri-State Region
  • 10/27 – Climate Change: New or Old
  • 10/24 – Chemical Demonstrations
  • 10/30 – St. Francis Church
  • 11/4 & 11/7 - Development Distance Education
  • 11/5 & 11/12 - Understanding Terrorism
  • 11/11 – Homer’s Iliad: Then and Now
  • 11/13 & 11/14 - Treatment of Victims
  • 11/19 – Of Sewing Machines & Umbrellas
  • 11/20 & 12/2 – Short Fiction
  • 11/21 – Basics of the U.S. Constitution

Free parking is provided at the North Campus.

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