Want to know how to improve your bidding in the game of bridge? Play easy songs on the guitar? Take better photos with your digital camera?
These are among the practical courses offered during the winter-spring 2014 semester of the Oak Ridge Institute for Continued Learning, starting Feb. 3.
You can also take ORICL how-to courses on drawing, painting with watercolors, designing earrings, using the computer for genealogical research, retiring successfully, and speaking French, German or Spanish.
The early registration deadline is Jan. 8, 2014, for the winter-spring semester, which ends April 25. Members should register by this date to have the best chance of getting preferred classes and trips.
One course in February will include showings of satirical movies, taught by Phil Hamlin, a retired University of Tennessee philosophy professor. ORICL members are invited to see a short clip and receive an overview of the movies he plans to show. The overview will be held on Friday, Jan. 3, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the City Room (A-111) at the Oak Ridge campus of Roane State Community College.
Anyone interested in becoming a member of ORICL and receiving a catalog should call Laura Bowles, administrator, at (865) 481-8222. The cost for membership in ORICL for three semesters (fall, winter-spring, summer) is $100.
ORICL has more than 400 members who take courses in a classroom and auditorium at Roane State Community College’s Oak Ridge campus on Briarcliff Road. A few courses, such as medical lectures and art classes, are taught in other locations.
Members also may sign up for bus trips and take ORICL-sponsored tours of the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility in Oak Ridge and the University of Tennessee’s Culinary Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine, and Archaeological Research Laboratory.
The courses range from one to 12 sessions. Each session lasts 70 minutes.
If learning about other countries appeals to you, consider ORICL presentations on Mongolia and a cruise that enabled the speakers to experience Egypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, India, and Singapore.
If you like history, you can take courses on “Presidents from Washington to Lincoln,” the “History of Home,” and “Rice, Indigo and the Gullah-Geechee.”
In medicine and health, you can register for courses that will teach you what to eat to keep your heart and brain healthy and how the lymphatic system works to protect your body against disease.
Science and technology course topics range from the ancient earth and geochemistry to astronomy and cosmology.
Other courses concern professional futurists, current research at the National Transportation Research Center, and the possibility of closing the cultural divide between the arts and sciences through science-flavored poetry.
Courses on religion include “American Sectarian Religion,” “The Four Gospels in Christian Scripture,” “The Gospel according to Paul,” and “The Jewish Renaissance, 1881-1910.”
Classes of local interest concern the Oak Ridge Public Library, and poverty in Oak Ridge and Anderson County. Courses in philosophy include “Descartes and the American Pragmatists” and “Perspectives on Evil.”
At ORICL you can learn about composers Jean Sibelius and Franz Schubert and American authors Mark Twain and James Mercer Langston Hughes (poet laureate of the African-Americans).