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Release: Jan. 15, 2002

Photos (top to bottom): Donald A. Gurnett, professor of physics and astronomy; Pamela White Trimpe, curator of painting and sculpture at the UI Museum of Art; Richard C. Caplan, a professor emeritus of dermatology, and the Program in Biomedical Ethics and Medical Humanities; Tom Davis, retired music professor and Hawkeye Marching Band director. NEWS EDITORS: Higher-resolution images for these images are available here.

UI Senior College Program Offers Classes For Retirees

The University of Iowa is sponsoring a Senior College program this spring, a new venue for learning in retirement.

The program begins Friday, Jan. 25 and continues through May, featuring classes in astronomy, art, music and the world of Sherlock Holmes. Senior College is a joint project of the UI Alumni Association, the UI Emeritus Faculty Association, and the UI Retirees Association (the Grey Hawks).

Taught by both emeritus faculty and current UI faculty, Senior College offers short-term, low-cost classes for retirees an others in the area who want to enrich their knowledge in a wide range of subjects. The UI Alumni Association is coordinating registration for the classes, which are $30 each. The classes include:

-- "A Tour of the Solar System" with Donald A. Gurnett, professor of physics and astronomy, 2:30 p.m. Fridays starting Jan. 25 and continuing Feb. 1, 8 and 22 in Lecture Room 1, Van Allen Hall at the UI. Pre-registration deadline is Jan. 21. Gurnett will take participants on a tour of the solar system, through the eyes of spacecraft that have visited all of the planets except Pluto.

Prior to the space age, which began with the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957, very little was known about most of these objects, Gurnett says. Venus was thought to be very much like Earth, with a warm moist climate; and Mars was widely believed to have vegetation, and possibly even intelligent life.

"The space age produced a total revolution in our understanding of the solar system, and a much deeper appreciation of our unique environment here on Earth. Many of the discoveries are truly astounding and totally unexpected, such as the surface temperature of Venus, which is above the melting point of lead, and the atmosphere of Saturn's large moon Titan, which is precipitating hydrocarbons," he said.

-- "March Madness: Understanding Modern Art" taught by Pamela White Trimpe, curator of painting and sculpture at the UI Museum of Art. The class begins at 3 p.m. Friday, March 1 at the UI Museum of Art. Pre-registration deadline is Feb. 22. In this course, the class will consider and critically analyze art's relevancy to modern life.

Presentations and discussions will focus on the ethics involved in political and provocative displays; the intersection of law and art and its communal, national and international dimensions; and the basics of collecting art -- both for individuals and for institutions. The UI Museum of Art collection will be used for gallery tours to illustrate and further elaborate on the themes presented in the lectures. Highlights include a special session on the Jackson Pollock painting "Mural" and its history at the UI.

-- "Exploring the World of Sherlock Holmes" meets 10 a.m. Fridays: April 5, 12, 19, 26, at the Oakdale Campus Auditorium in Coralville. Pre-registration deadline is Friday, March 29. Teaching the course is local Holmes authority and writer Richard C. Caplan, a professor emeritus of dermatology, and the program in biomedical ethics and medical humanities. He is an authority on Sherlock Holmes, and recently published a book-length manuscript on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective.

This mini-course will employ a mixture of short lectures and group discussion to introduce the writings that constitute "the canon" that concerns the well-known detective. For each session the class will prepare by reading Holmes short stories. In addition to the stories, students will learn more about the life and writings of the detective's inventor, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Victorian-Edwardian world in which he lived and worked. The class will also examine applications of Sherlock's image and activities in the world of scholarship and commerce. Registrants will also be urged to attend the semi-annual meeting of the Iowa City Sherlock Holmes Society, known as "The Younger Stamfords," to take place in late April.

-- "Having Fun with Music Theory — 101" meets at 10 a.m. Fridays starting May 3 and continuing May 10, 17, and 24 at Parkview Church, 15 Foster Road in Iowa City. Pre-registration deadline is April 26. Retired music professor and Hawkeye Marching Band Director Tom Davis will help attendees to learn about what they are hearing when they listen to music. He will review the basics of music, such as key signatures, scale construction, intervals, scale degrees, chord constructions and functions, the circle of fourths and chord progressions. The class will also examine modes, melodic and harmonic construction and analyses, and even how to "juice-up" a standard chord progression.

To register or for more information, contact the UI Alumni Association at (319) 335-3245 or see the Senior College website at Registration is also available online at the Senior College site.