Sunday, February 21, 2016

Alumni College: Spring "Blue Book"

Even Alumni College has its own version of the Yale Blue Book for this spring's courses (Yale photos)

Most Yale alumni, of all classes, remember grabbing for the Yale "Blue Book," as soon as it was published and made available to undergraduates.  A favorite Yale ritual was to curl up, find space alone and explore the hundreds of courses Yale planned to offer during a school year.  Some students gathered for informal "Blue Book" parties.  Most made notes, dog-eared dozens of pages, and tried to do the near impossible:  pick the five, six, or seven courses from among about two-dozen favorites to launch the two weeks of "shopping period."

Alumni agree, too, that studying course descriptions of such course titles as the "English Literary Tradition," "Calculus of Several Variables," "Democracy and its Critics," or "Daily Themes" thrust students into the mood for starting a semester of classes after a break ended.

(Yale's light-blue course catalogue has been presented online for years now, but students have regularly requested printed hard copies to thumb through and make notes or just have as a keepsake.)

AYA and its Alumni College program have announced AYA's version of the Blue Book, this spring's courses that will be offered to alumni in this region and around the country.  It isn't as stock-piled as the familiar Blue Book, but the courses offered by Yale professors or Yale graduates replicate some of the most popular topics that are taught in New Haven today or at other institutions.

Courses offered within an hour's drive (or two) of Westchester are listed below. Most courses meet weekly during evenings for several weeks. (Registration and fees are required.)  Alumni are encouraged to explore (in the same way they plowed through a Blue Book!) and consider enrollment. If we can't return to Yale and if we certainly can't go back in time, then a pinch of Yale's academic heft comes to the New York region.

Click AYA-ALUMNI-COLLEGE to register.

An Introduction to the Psychology of C.G. Jung:  Kendrick Morris '77 MDiv '01 MST , an expert on Jung and highly regarded minister and psychologist in Connecticut, will present Jung's teachings on how to live effectively and happily in the second half of a life. Jung claimed older adults, with different perspectives and life demands, can find ways to have richer lives.  The course will be offered Mar. 8-Apr. 7, Tuesdays (7 pm) in Rye.

How to Read a Photograph:  In Princeton, Michael Jennings '76 MA, who teaches at Princeton, will present an introduction to the history of photography and help participants in his class interpret photographs and study some of the best known photographers, including Walker Evans and Garry Winogrand.  Topics will cover "reality effect" and emulsion-based vs. digital photography. The course is scheduled for Mar. 24-Apr. 28, Thursday evenings.

Cuba's Economic and Cultural Transformation:  In Philadelphia, Enrico Sacerio-Gari' '78 Ph.D. will teach an overview of Cuba's history and recent current events.  Topics will include the economic embargo, Obama's re-engagement, and case studies in economics and culture.  Sacerio-Gari' teaches Hispanic Studies at Bryn Mawr.  The course will be held Wednesday evenings, Mar.16-Apr. 20.

The Composer's Voice:  In Greenwich, Libby Van Cleve '92 DMA is director of the Yale Music School's Oral History of American Music.  This spring, her course will permit participants to listen to taped interviews of well-known composers, who explain important aspects of their works. The class will study the words and works of Duke Ellington, Aaron Copland, Charles Ives '98, and John Cage. Van Cleve, an accomplished oboist, will hold classes Mar. 23-Apr. 27, Wednesday evenings.

Fiction, the Monstrous, and the Limits of the Human:  In Manhattan, Gordon Turnbull '86 Ph.D., who at one time was the course director of the aforementioned "English Literary Tradition" course taught at Yale, will lead a seminar in literature studying such classics from the past 60 years as Lord of the Flies, The Day of the Triffids, Never Let Me Go, and The Left Hand of Darkness. The course, Part II from a fall course, will be offered Mar. 7-Apr. 11, Mondays.

What Is a Classic?  In Manhattan, Michael Holquist '68 Ph.D., a Yale professor emeritus in Comparative Literature, will teach a selection of familiar classics (The Iliad and Crime and Punishment, e.g.) and lead discussions of what makes a work of literature a "classic" and how should "classics" be defined today.  The course will be scheduled for Mondays, Mar. 7-Apr. 18.

Hearing Voices:  Modern Poets in Disguise:  In Manhattan, Paul Kane '90 Ph.D., a Vassar professor in English, will show how major poets, including T.S. Eliot, use voices other than their own to express themselves.  Class participants will read Eliot, Yeats, Frost and Pound and use a method of purposeful "slow reading."  The class will meet Mondays, Mar. 8-Apr. 18.

South Africa:  White Supremacy and the Roots of Apartheid:  In New Haven, Harvey Feinberg '60 will teach the development of apartheid in South Africa, when it was established in 1948, how it was extreme, how impactful it was on black life, and how it can be compared to periods in U.S. history.  Classes will be held Mar. 8-Apr. 12, Tuesdays. 

Opera in Cinema:  In New Haven, Judith Malafronte of the Yale School of Music will teach an introduction to opera, focusing on productions from the Metropolitan Opera Company (live transmissions) and the process of putting on an opera (libretto, dramaturgy, casting, language and rehearsal). Malafronte also taught an Alumni College on opera in Rye last year.  The course will meet Wednesdays Mar. 9-Apr. 27.

Drawing the Human Figure:  In New Haven, Lisa Helgrave '85 MFA will use live models and permit class participants to improve drawing skills and explore form, proportion, structure, volume and composition.  The course will meet Thursday afternoons Mar. 10-Apr. 21.

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