CALL Programs Fall/Winter 2013/2014
Previously “Conversations About the Autumn of Life”, this group will continue to explore recent ideas of interest to its participants through internet clips, books, film, speakers and discussion. Each member is encouraged to take a turn starting one of the conversations by bringing forward ideas from a work of fiction or non-fiction, from media or from personal experience.
Philosophy of Everyday Life
Believe it or not, we can encounter philosophical issues when thinking about mundane issues like pot-luck suppers and ungrateful grandchildren. We will see how this happens, considering how varying values and assumptions can point to philosophical questions. On this basis, we will see how philosophical reflection can enrich daily life, taking off from examples provided by participants or drawn from novels in the ‘Isabel Dalhousie’ series (Alexander McCall Smith).
Six (Other) Philosophical Ideas
We explore key ideas from the history of western philosophy, through reading and discussion. Our focus will be on Socrates (ignorance); Plato (justice); Aristotle (cause); Descartes (certainty); Hume (the self); and Kant (time). As background, participants may use T. Govier Socrates’ Children (Broadview Press 1997, provided at a discount) and original materials available on the internet.
Great Directors: Canadians, Part One
The group will view and critique five films by a selection of Canadian directors with a view to increasing their understanding and appreciation of the collaborative art of film making. To this end, members will share their responses and insights into various aspects of the films, such as screenplay, direction, action, setting, performances, cinematography, themes and symbols, editing, and sound. Specific films will be announced to members at a later date.
Reading the New Films
After viewing the film on their own time and dollar, the group will meet and spend an hour analyzing how the film’s myriad components–plots conventions and inflections,
dialogues, characterization, sets, composition of frame and scene, editing, music, lighting, camera elements–in a word, the whole shebang, work to establish the film’s meaning. While any opinion will be welcome, opinions based on “evidence” from the film (as sampled above) are preferred. That way the group will work toward a sense of how the parts of a film interact, and of the film’s uniqueness and effect.
Continuing the tradition established in Aboriginal Education: Historical Contexts and Contemporary Challenges, this group will discuss issues affecting Aboriginal peoples in Canada, such as treaties, the challenges of living in “two worlds,” the role of storytellers, and other topics as determined by the interests of the group. Activities will include watching films and going on field trips as appropriate. Facilitator Barbara Barnes is an Aboriginal woman who recently obtained her Ph.D. specializing in Aboriginal identity. She has also worked with emotionally troubled youth for 35 years.
Canada and World War 2
This interest group looks at 20th century world-wide conflict that involved Canada. Subsequent to previous successful sessions examining Canada’s Role in World War 1 and then the War’s Aftermath, we’ll continue with the emphasis on Canada and World War 2. Using the Peer Learning Model, participants choose topics of interest to investigate and present from the range of military, social, economic, political, domestic, or personal ramifications.
Aging Gracefully in Place: International Approaches to Seniors Having It All While Staying in Their Homes
Research and discuss various U.S. and Canadian models which facilitate seniors staying in their homes while enjoying shared services and other benefits. The group will look at examples such as Boston’s Beacon Hill Village and the U.S. “Naturally Occurring Retirement Villages”, alongside some Canadian approaches and policies. Discussion will also focus on how these examples can be applied in Calgary.
Calgary Characters – Exploring the 1950s & 60s
Special focus on exploring the life and times of people in Calgary and region during the 1950s and 60s. Who were our Calgary Characters and how were they involved in endeavours such as business, music, schools and sports?
Chatting at God’s Hotel
Following the thesis of God’s Hotel written by Victoria Sweet, we will look at four aspects of our institutional culture and their changes on our watch. In a manner similar to those at Laguna Honda Hospital, we have lived through a transition from ideologies of commitment, to those of bureaucracy; in health, education, our food supply and the care of children. Over seven weeks of discussion we will explore and attempt to understand the transformation of values and the consequences our culture that impact these four dimension of our public living.
Housing for Seniors: Exploring Alternatives
Participants will explore various options for seniors to “age in place” and live independently in a supportive, cooperative environment. We will research and discuss models existing locally, across Canada and North America, and beyond.
CALL Programs Spring/Summer 2013
Opera Appreciation: Live at the Met
Attend Met Operas in HD at the Westhills Cineplex Theatre, 165 Stewart Green SW, with a discussion session immediately following each opera at a nearby coffee shop. This is an opportunity to get together with other CALL members to enjoy live Metropolitan Opera productions and share information and reactions afterwards through informal discussion.
Writing Philisophocal Dialogues
Experience the charm of dialogue while developing your ability to understand perplexing issues from several perspectives. Participants will work together to explore topics and write a philosophical dialogue. Our study of several classical and modern works will provide opportunities to discuss matters of character, setting, fairness, and balance. You can choose to develop your dialogue on your own or with a colleague.
Bird Identification and Nature Appreciation
Right now, many feathered beauties are flying our way from their faraway wintering grounds. The spring season will present many great opportunities to increase your knowledge of these fascinating and valuable creatures. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert, this interest group will enable you to readily learn to identify the newly arriving migrant birds, and allow you to become familiar with the valuable bird habitats near you.
Great Directors: Top Five Films of All Time – Part Two
The group will view and critique five of the first ten films in the list of TOP 50 GREATEST FILMS OF ALL TIME, as deemed by the critics who took part in the British Film Institute’s most recent poll available at www.www.bfi.org.uk and posted in the September issue of SIGHT & SOUND, with a view to increasing their understanding and appreciation of the directors’ artistry. The films that the group will view are: TOKYO STORY(Yasujiro Ozo, 1953); MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA (Dzigu Vertov, 1939); THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC (Carl Dreyer, 1927); L’ATLANTE (Jean Vigo, 1934), and BREATHLESS (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960.)
A Taste of the Camino
What is the Camino? Camino simply means “way” in Spanish. This Camino is the a series of pilgrim routes stretching across Europe, which all end at the same point at Santiago de Compostela in northeastern Spain, where the bones of St. James are said to rest. Pilgrims have walked these roads for more than a 1000 years, and now more and more people have rediscovered it. People walk for different reasons, religious, spiritual, for exercise, and companionship. If you are interested in learning about this fascinating journey come join us for this four week session it will serve as an introduction to the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
An Introduction to Orienteering & Beyond the Basics of Orienteering
Orienteering involves navigating your way through varied terrain using a map and compass. It is a sport for all ages and physical abilities. You can enjoy the great outdoors and get off the beaten path in a safe and fun way.
Living Your Best Healthy Lifestyle
This interest group will explore ideas on how to live our best possible lifestyle to promote optimum health. This is a great opportunity to explore current health research, socialize and learn from each other.
Some of the possible topics may include:
o How to boost one’s immune system
o Laughter Yoga
o Herbal remedies
o Exercises for all ages and condition
Art Gallery Tours
Made in Calgary: The 1960s and
Fred Herzog: Street Photography, at the Glenbow Museum.
Aboriginal Education: Historical Contexts and Contemporary Challenges
This group will begin with discussions about Aboriginal education, with the hope that it can lead to further discussions on the concept of identity and on identity and problems among youth. Aboriginal education had rocky beginnings with the residential school experiences, which have had both positive and negative impacts on present-day Aboriginal people. Despite the difficulties, Aboriginal people see the needs of their young and are striving to make education successful. The hope of the elders in the 1800s was to have young Aboriginal children educated. Today, more students are achieving university degrees, including M.A.s and Ph.D.s. The hopes and dreams of the elders from past generations are thus being fulfilled. Our discussions and films will center on past, present and future education efforts.
Cooking with CALL
Enjoy a fun cooking and eating experience in a group setting, and learn how to prepare five different dishes. Jon Fisher of the Willow Park Golf and Country Club welcomes CALL members to learn from his Food and Beverage team managed by Monty and Herb, and to have an entertaining and unforgettable evening with food and wine.
The fee for the cooking class, food and wine is $35 a person, a fabulous bargain, and it is to be paid at the start of the evening.
CALL Programs–Fall/Winter 2012 (through March 2013)
How can we create a more equitable distribution of wealth?
Two books, The Soul of Money by Lynn Twist and The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, have powerful ideas with the potential to transform our personal lives and society by changing the way we think about money. Twist makes the universal symbol of materialism transparent, eliminating its capacity to intimidate or diminish us and showing how it can be a vehicle to fulfill our highest ideals. Wilkinson and Pickett provide compelling evidence that greater equality makes societies stronger. Let’s discuss these books (which should be read before the first session) and how we might implement their ideas on both the personal and social level. Both books are available through the Calgary Public Library. Facilitated by Jackie Flanagan.
Healthy and Liveable Cities
What makes a city healthy and liveable? Is it the economy, culture, civic engagement, local politics, walkability, parks and recreation, good schools, interesting mix of people? Does size matter — is there an optimum size for a healthy and liveable city? What cities would you nominate for great liveability? Does Calgary qualify? This discussion group will encourage participation from its members. Facilitated by Bob Stamp, a retired University of Calgary professor. He is the author of “Suburban Modern: Calgary’s Postwar Dreams”, an examination of Calgary’s development in the 1945-1970 years. Most of all, he is a lover of cities.
The Canadian Parliamentary System Gets No Respect
Canada’s parliamentary system is flexible, intelligent and complex; but, unfairly, it is judged by many solely by the antics of MPs during Question Period. Even a cursory look at how the system functions will demonstrate why it has the potential to deliver strong accountability but also why citizens should not hit the snooze button between elections. Possible topics include the historical and contemporary, as well as comparing Canada with other parliamentary democracies like Britain and Australia.
CALL Programs–Spring 2012 (through June 2012)
Issues in Adult Education–The Radical Humanities Program:
This discussion series will enable you to learn more about a program that reaches out to adult learners living on the margins of society and offers transformative insights not only to them, but also to those who deliver it. In 1995, in response to his research into the alienating effects of poverty across America, journalist and social critic Earl Shorris launched the Clemente humanities program directed toward the poor and disenfranchised in New York City. Behind this initiative was the idea that studying the humanities empowers learners by giving them the knowledge and tools they need to better understand the inter-related economic, political, social, and cultural forces that have shaped their circumstances, and thus to become increasingly engaged citizens and proactive agents in their own lives. The facilitators have been involved in Calgary’s own Radical Humanities program as working committee members and researchers focused on the transformative potential of the humanities not only to change individual lives, but also to change institutions of higher education.
Acrylic Landscape Painting for Beginner to Intermediate: Express your creative side by learning the skills and techniques needed for acrylic painting, and experience the joy of painting with peers while you produce your own masterpiece.
Attending Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Rehearsals: Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the CPO, hear the interaction between the orchestra and the conductor, and experience glorious live music.
Bird and Nature Walks 3: Continue to learn to identify birds and observe other flora and fauna. All sessions will take place outdoors. Visits will be to different natural areas each week within Calgary.
Introduction to Orienteering: Orienteering involves navigating one’s way through varied terrain with only the aid of a map and compass. Participants navigate a series of checkpoints marked on a detailed map. The goal is to find each checkpoint or “control” as quickly as you can. Anyone can compete regardless of age or fitness.
Readers Theatre: Readers theatre is a stylized art form that combines many features of traditional theatre with those of interpretive reading. Performers sit at music stands with their scripts and read from them. No memorization is required. In readers theatre, movement and character interaction are suggested rather than played out. Readers theatre scripts do not have to be a traditional play and can be made up of many types of literature, assembled and grouped around a theme.
CALL Programs–Winter 2012 (through March 2012)
Peer Group Learning
Conversation about the Autumn of Life: Many current authors of fiction and non-fiction (e.g., Joan Didion, Julian Barnes, Mary Catherine Bateson, Jane Rule) address aging or reflect on life in their work. Members of this peer learning group will choose a book and take a turn starting a conversation from their personal perspective and/or from the perspective of the author they are reading.
Calgary House Stories–Stories about Century Homes and Their Occupants: Come share the story of your home or one with which you are familiar. Discover how the City of Calgary was influenced by the residential architecture and the people who lived there circa 1912.
Characters and Causes in Early Calgary: What and who made Calgary tick in the early 1900s? Explore the challenges of living in this city of galloping growth, with concerns and passions that were heartbreaking, inspiring and heartwarming.
The Rivers of the Bow Valley–Past, Present and Future: Rivers both ancient and modern have played an important role in creating the geography of Calgary and proving the basis for a modern metropolis.
The Silk Road of Central Asia: From about 2,000 to 500 years ago, the silk trade expanded greatly to China from the Mediterranean Sea through the oasis towns of Central Asia. Contact between people increased, as well as the movement of trade goods, artistic styles, and technological and religious ideas. This peer learning group will emphasize aspects of great historical change.
Alberta Buzz: An ongoing forum addressing issues of current interest to Canadians, Albertans and Calgarians presented by Mount Royal University in partnership with CALL.
Emergent Writers’ Sunday Salon: This series introduces CALL members and the public to the work of emergent local writers in different genres–Short Story, Travel Writing, the Novel and Creative Nonfiction. (An emergent writer is defined as one who has published a maximum of two books.) Part of the rationale is that because emergent writers tend to publish with smaller presses, their works are often not widely distributed or publicized. Two authors at each session do a short reading from his/her work; then the facilitator leads a discussion among the writers and the participants.
My Favourite Films–Series 1 and 2: The facilitator presents a 2- to 3-hour illustrated lecture on some of his favourite films, classics of various sorts.
Treks and Travels: A monthly evening of discovery and discussion in an informal and intimate setting! CALL members are an adventurous group and have covered the globe in active and interesting pursuits. Each month we will have an interactive presentation from a different CALL member.
Geology of the Alberta Oil Sands for Beginners: In a combination of lectures, viewing of core samples, and discussion, learn the geological history and formation of the oil sands from professional oil patch geologists.
The Nation Discussion Group: U.S. and International Current Events: Readers of The Nation will discuss articles and topics of choice from recent issues of this weekly progressive American print magazine published in New York since 1865.
The California Report–An On-line Discussion Series: A virtual discussion group via an e-mail report on the weird and wonderful world of California–the latest in eco trends, tech news from Silicon Valley, political correctness, public-sector bankruptcy, dysfunctional politics, etc., all through the eyes of two Calgarians who regularly spend their winters in Santa Cruz, California.
Going to the Theatre: In this discussion series, we will attend four plays in Calgary. Participants will book tickets and see plays on their own. Our discussion group will meet shortly after the end of each run.
Attending Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Rehearsals: Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the CPO, hear the interaction between the orchestra and the conductor, and experience glorious live music.
Bird and Nature Walks 2: Winter is the best time to begin to learn to identify birds because they are easier to see with the leaves off the trees, there are fewer species and they often occur in large flocks. Also, given the opportunity, we will observe other flora and fauna. All sessions will take place outdoors. Visits will be to different natural areas each week within Calgary.
Village Life in the South of France: Discover the highlights of village life in the South of France and find out about the many attractions in this area.
The Sunday Winter Walking Group: Explore Calgary on foot! Calgary has a plethora of urban pathways and historical walks suitable for winter that take you on walking adventures in the heart of the city.
An Introduction to Snowshoeing: An introduction to this healthy and popular outdoor activity. This program will include an indoor 1.5- to 2-hour information session and 2 outdoor excursions with snowshoes.
CALL Programs–Fall 2011
Peer Group Learning
Calgary 1912: The group will look at many aspects of Calgary in 1912, at the height of its first big boom, when the city expanded tenfold in size in just ten years, from roughly 4,000 to over 40,000 people.
Are We Losing Our Democracy? The general focus of discussion is envisioned as an examination of contemporary threats to democratic institutions in Canada and the United States.
Alberta Buzz Speaker Series: In cooperation with Mount Royal University, this series addresses issues of current interest to Canadians, Albertans, and Calgarians.
World in Flux: Human and Economic Development Around the World: Lecture series that examines key problems and approaches to development issues, locally and globally, held in cooperation with Calgary Public Library.
Assessing Works of Controversial Non-Fiction: The books under discussion this session are Andrew Nikiforuk’s Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent (2008) and Ezra Levant’s Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada’s Oil Sands (2010). The objective is to establish a context and a strategy for assessing works of controversial non-fiction generally, using these two books as timely, local examples of the genre.
Film Series 1–Contemporary Films Showing in Calgary: After viewing the film on their own time and dollar, the group will meet and spend an hour analyzing how the film’s myriad components – plot conventions and inflections, dialogues, characterizations, sets, composition of frame and scene, editing, music, lighting, camera elements – in a word, the whole shebang, work to establish the film’s meaning.
Film Series 2–Films From Denmark: The group will look at the best of Danish filmmaking over the past two decades.
Travel and Learn–All about Italy: This series of three evenings will explore Italian travel, culture and history, looking at three distinctive regions of Italy, beginning with Tuscany.
The Sunday Urban Walking Group: Using the source book Calgary’s Best Hikes and Walks, by Lori Beattie, and the urban knowledge in the group, participants will select appropriate walks of interest to explore the cultural history and geography of the urban areas that we walk in.
Art Gallery Tour: Four CALL members who have been associated with Calgary’s art scene offer a unique approach to art gallery tours.