We believe our church is a place where "we keep on learning together."
Life Long Learning programs Most programs will be scheduled for the second and/or fourth Wednesdays, 4:00—5:30 of each month. Content will be varied, including philosophy, history, spirituality, archaeology, and education. Most programs include time for audience questions and comments.
The LLL Committee is interested in receiving proposals or ideas for consideration
PROGRAMS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Programs sponsored by the Life Long Learning Committee are Free and open to the public:
Programs to look forward to are listed below:
Fall 2019 Programs
Drew Hilburn—" Standing Upon the Shoulders of Giants”—Wednesday, September 25th
In 1676, Isaac Newton attributed his advances in science to “standing on the shoulders of Giants.” In this program, William “Drew” Hilburn will discuss some of these scientific giants.
Drew Hilburn currently teaches physics at Mainland High School and has been teaching there for the last 13 years of his 24 years of experience in the classroom. He has taught physical science principles over a wide range of levels from 7th grade all the way through undergraduate college physics courses, working both in Florida and Washington State. He has also worked in a variety of leadership roles, including Branch Leader overseeing three of the nine academies at Mainland. Volusia County recognized Hilburn for his excellence in teaching science and as Mainland's Teacher of the Year.
Wednesday, October 9, 2019
May 8th Today’s Religious Issues - Jim Rothweiler
There are over 4,000 different religions practiced in the world today. This talk will explore the demographics, social, economic, and political power of the key groups affecting us daily. In addition to defining the current states of religious conflicts and alliances, we will explore actions that can be taken by us and the larger UU community to influence a better future.
Jim Rothweiler was reared a lapsed Catholic, studied Sociology and Business, became an empirical skeptic by decades of market research, has been part of the UU family since the early1980s, with excursions into Methodists teaching and Buddhism.
May 22th Human Factors Psychology: Making Designs Work for You – Shawn Doherty
Human Factors Psychology is a field that seeks to improve designs of the things humans use, through an understanding of people’s behavior. From everyday objects like doors and elevators to technological devices such as computers and cellphones, human factors psychology seeks to make the designs easier to use instead of forcing us to change our behavior to fit the design.
Dr. Shawn Doherty is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Factors at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. His Ph.D. is in applied experimental psychology from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. He teaches primarily human factors courses including classes on core human factors processes, research methods, automation, system safety, human-computer interaction, and entertainment systems. He is a founding member of the Game-Based Education and Advanced Research Simulation (GEARS) Lab at Embry-Riddle and his current research investigates aspects of technology use and video game play involving areas such as gamification, virtual reality, engagement, cheating and ethics, and attention allocation.
Spring, 2019 Special Programs
World Religions - Rev Kathy Tew Richey - Wednesdays, 2019, 4:00--5:30: Jan 16 & 30; Feb 6 & 20; March 6 & 20.
Pre-K Education & Economics - Tim Bartik - Saturday, Feb 23, 10:00—11:30
Plato’s (Socrates) Apology - Ted Mashburn - Saturday, March 23__10:00—11:30
PAST LLL PROGRAMS LISTED BELOW
April 24th Our Sky, Our Universe - Derek Demeter
From the first time humans gazed up toward a dark and starry night, the universe has inspired emotions of awe and wonder. Over the past several thousand years, our understanding of the universe may have changed, but our deep fascination with it has not. Join astronomer and planetarium director Derek Demeter for a talk that explores the history of our understanding, starting with our earliest ancestors and their ideas about the cosmos to the modern-day telescopes and spacecraft that have enhanced our knowledge in unbelievable ways.
Derek Demeter began working at the Emil Buehler Planetarium at Seminole State College of Florida in 2003, and assumed the position of Planetarium Director in 2007. Derek also served as the President of the Southeastern Planetarium Association from 2017-2018. Derek also enjoys promoting science beyond the planetarium with his work as an astrophotographer, and by giving talks to give the public a truly "out-of-this world" experience.
April 10th Panel Discussion: What Does Spirituality Mean to You?
The term spirituality can mean various things. For some it may mean belief in a divine power (e.g. God) and supernatural phenomena, usually associated with religion. Others find it in the existence and functioning of the cosmos (e.g. laws of nature). A current trend is for those leaving mainline churches to say that they do not believe in traditional religion, but that they are spiritual. When asked to explain this, answers are often vague and ambiguous. This program will explore concepts of spirituality, using a panel discussion and Q & A format. Moderator: Dan Kennedy
Panelists: Harriet Anderson, Julie Hilburn, Cliff Jackson, Jim Rothweiler
World Religions Class Rev. Kathy Tew Rickey, Taoism —Wednesday, April 3th
We will continue our study of Eastern religions by exploring Taoism. No pre-reading, no homework— just come and enjoy in words, pictures, and hear from some folks who are practitioners of this faith. We’ll have a break-out session to explore and process with each other the many remarkable aspects of this eastern religion.
WORLD RELIGIONS CLASSES— led by Rev. Kathy Tew Rickey1 st and 3rd Wednesdays 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. in Room 1 — January 16 & 30, February 6 & 20, and March 6 & 20. In six 1½ hour sessions, we will study the basic tenets of religions of the East: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, Shinto, Confucianism. No pre-reading, no homework – just come and enjoy in words, pictures, and hear from some folks who are practitioners of these faiths. There will also be break-out sessions for class participants to explore and process with each other the many remarkable aspects of eastern religions. Rev. Kathy is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister with a Master of Divinity degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School, Chicago, Illinois. She has been serving UU congregations since 2011 and has lived in Ormond Beach since being called to UUCOB in 2016. She shares her home in Ormond Beach with her little dog, Daisy. Rev. Kathy also serves as cochair of the F.A.I.T.H. organization. In addition, she is active in Toastmasters and enjoys gardening, kayaking, golfing, travel, and dining with friends
Reading Nietzsche in Our Turbulent Times
Dr. Kyra Von Brokoph, Ph. D.
Wednesday, March 27, 2019, 4:00—5:30
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), a great thinker of the 19th century, has been called an existentialist, a nihilist, and is known as a critic of religion, morality, contemporary culture, and is remembered for the concept of the Obermensch (Superman). With his proclamation that God is dead, he announced the end of metaphysics and is thus regarded as the father of modern philosophy. Like all great thinkers he must be studied in the context of his time, place, social, political, and philosophical currents that influenced him and helped shape his controversial and contradictory views. The program will examine if some of his ideas have relevance today.
Professor Kyra von Brokoph is retired from a career that focused on German literature and culture and Philosophy at St. Lawrence University. She has published in these areas extensively and lectured at academic conferences and universities worldwide.
TED MASHBURN, D.PHIL
SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2019, 10:00—11:30
Dr. Ted Mashburn, Professor and Department Chair of Humanities at the University of Mobile, will discuss “Plato’s Apology” which relates to the death sentence of Socrates by the court of Athens and the defense of Socrates before the court. Professor Mashburn’s academic and professional background includes combining religion/spirituality (e.g. Baptist pastor positions) with philosophy/theology (e.g. Master of Theology degree, University of Edinburgh and Doctorate of Philosophy in philosophy and theology, Oxford University. This promises to be a thought provoking program using a lecture-discussion format,
Andalucía ~ Jewel of Islamic Spain
Dr. Martha Sanders Brandt
Wednesday, March 13, 2018, 4:00—5:30
Dr. Brandt has been engaged in a serious study of Islamic art which she likes to share with others
This program will provide a journey of the heart from a serene mosque into a beautiful fortress and on to an elegant palace.
Dr. Brandt, a retired college professor of French, comes from a life filled with art, music, literature, spiritual quest, and worldwide travel. Her experiences with these fascinating sites in Spain have been among the highlights
February 27th Panel Discussion on Masculinity Crisis – Joan Thate
Masculinity Crisis” — Panelists: Dan Kennedy, Jim Rothweiler, and Tom Hilburn, Wednesday, February 27th from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.
Joan Thate will moderate our discussion of the controversy among sociologists, psychologists, and just ordinary people — that men in our country are in a state of crisis. In this session, a panel will look at the data and discuss some of the many questions that have arisen surrounding that claim: e.g. Does such a crisis exist? What are the contributing factors? Is the changing view of masculinity a good thing? How have the first and second waves of feminism affected our cultural view of masculinity? The last half hour of the presentation will be open for audience participation in the discussion.
Joan Thate, a retired veteran of more than 45 years in public secondary education teaching. Dan Kennedy is retired from a career that combined psychology and education, spent mainly in university settings; Jim Rothweiler spent 35 years in the telecom industry conducting research to identify and analyze market needs for new services; and Tom Hilburn is a retired mathematics and computing professor from Embry-riddle Aeronautical University.
The Local Economic Case for Investing in Early Childhood Programs
Dr. Timothy J. Bartik
Saturday February 23, 2019, 10 am - 11:30 am
High-quality early childhood programs, such as preschool and child care, can have powerful short-run and long-run benefits for state and local economic development. If adequately funded and managed to ensure quality and broad access, these programs significantly increase the adult skills of the former child participants. About half of these former participants will stay in the local economy, and two-thirds in the state economy, which increases average local job skills. This improvement in local job skills will significantly boost growth in the number and quality of local jobs, which will broadly benefit local residents. Furthermore, providing more extensive high-quality child care also significantly increases the short-run and long-run earnings of parents, providing more immediate local economic benefits.
Dr. Bartik’s research focuses on state and local economic development and local labor markets. This includes research on how early childhood programs affect local economies. Bartik’s 1991 book, Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies? is widely cited as an important and influential review of the evidence on how local policies affect economic development. Dr. Bartik’s 2011 book, Investing in Kids, argued that early childhood programs can promote local economic development. According to Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman, “Tim Bartik has written a thoughtful book on the value of a local approach to financing and creating early interventions to foster child development.” Bartik’s 2014 book,From Preschool to Prosperity, provides a summary of research on economic benefits from early childhood programs. Dr. Bartik received his B.A. from Yale, and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to joining the Upjohn Institute in 1989, he was an assistant professor of economics at Vanderbilt University
Brain as a Believing Engine
Dr. Jack Bates
Wednesday, February 13, 2019, 4:00—5:30
Survey research over the last twenty-five years has demonstrated consistently that many adults, often independently of their educations, hold a variety of pseudoscientific, supernatural, and otherwise illogical, impossible, or outright disproven beliefs about the nature of reality. Among such widely held beliefs are that full moons cause violent behavior (up to 60% of Americans), that modern humans once coexisted with dinosaurs (up to 75%), and that psychic abilities such as telepathy and clairvoyance are established facts (up to 80%). One way to understand such high rates of credulity is from the perspective that the human brain is a composite of interdependent modules that have evolved not to acquire and apply accurate knowledge, but rather to construct beliefs that help individuals survive long enough to reproduce; moreover, such beliefs do not need to be truthful to be useful and adaptive. This talk will discuss the functions of several of these components and how those functions can contribute to construction and maintenance of false beliefs. A set of guidelines will be offered to conduct skeptical assessments of our own beliefs about the nature of reality.
John Bates obtained his Ph.D. in general psychology from the University of Massachusetts, and recently retired as full professor and associate provost at the University of Baltimore. For more than 30 years, he conducted research on the prevalence of and factors contributing to pseudoscientific and supernatural beliefs among large samples of American and Russian college students and has made presentations on these topics at meetings of various regional and national organizations, including Georgia Skeptics, the National Social Science Association, and the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology.
January 23, 2019, 4:00—5:30
Last May I read a curious article in the News Journal. "Man with no tail discovered in Ormond Beach". What in the world? I don't have a tail either! I had no idea that people have tails. I'm 67 years old and now I find out about this. Unbelievable! Actually, that is unbelievable, but it is exactly how I felt when I found out that I have Aphantasia. I am "mind's eye blind". My first thought was amazing. I'll share the history, testing, current research and personal experience of the condition. We will also explore related conditions like synesthesia and eidetic memory.
Cliff has lived in Ormond Beach since 1980. He has a bachelor’s degree in Organic Chemistry. He had a chemical manufacturing business in Holly Hill, started in 1980 and sold in 1996. He is married to Cathy and has two daughters, Lisa and Sandra in the Atlanta area. Lisa is taking care of their two grandchildren Aden and Annalise. He enjoys fishing, is active with UU and is a member of two Toastmasters clubs.
MICROPLASTICS AND MARINE DEBRIS
January 9, 2019, 4:00—5:30 During this program, listeners will learn about Microplastics; what they are, where they come from, how they are affecting our waterways, and what we can do to prevent them. They will also hear about the impacts of marine debris on the environment and marine mammals and learn how they contribute to the problem of microplastics. Following the discussion,Debbie will filter various water samples, to test for microplastics.
Debbie Wingfield is a Marine Science graduate from Coastal Carolina University. She is the Manager for the Volusia County Manatee Protection Program and Marine Mammal Stranding Team. Previously she has worked for Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge as an Animal Care Specialist and Marine Mammal Stranding Coordinator, before that, the Marine Science Center (Ponce Inlet, FL), as an Animal Care Technician for seabirds and raptors, and at Banfield Pet Hospital as a Veterinary Technician.
LLL Programs in the Summer are by special announcement.
Regular LLL programs resume in September
PAST LLL PROGRAMS