Course Descriptions

Spring 2023

  • Tuesday and Wednesday sessions will be held at the Weber Retreat and Conference Center, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, MI.
  • Thursday sessions will be held at PlaneWave Instruments Campus, 1375 N. Main St, Adrian, MI.
  • There is a $35 registration fee for taking 1 or more classes.
  • All Classes are 90 minutes long.
  • The deadline for registration forms to be received is Monday, March 27

African Civilizations

Tuesday mornings at 9:00 a.m., April 4, 11, 18, 25

Instructor: Dr. Michael McGrath

  • Week One: Intro and Background to African Civilizations
  • Week Two: Specifics for civilizations in Mediterranean Africa and Egypt and Cush, Meroe & Axum
  • Week Three: Civilizations in Rainforest West Africa and the Sahel corridor between the Sahara & forests
  • Week Four: Bushmen, Pygmies, grassland steppe areas of East Africa and southern Africa

About the Instructor

Michael McGrath, recently retired Adrian College professor, earned his PhD from Princeton University. He is well known to LLL students and always presents entertaining and educational classes. Michael has a wide range of experiences including military service and teaching many aspects of history.

Myths and Insights about Human Behavior

Tuesday mornings at 11:00 a.m., April 4, 11, 18, 25

Instructor: Dr. Gordon Hammerle

Do we use just 10% of our brains? Are some people left-brained and some right-brained? Do ads use subliminal messages to influence us? Do men like sex more than women? Do people get crankier and unhappier as they get older? Does hypnosis bring back forgotten memories? Do lie detectors work? Do opposites attract? Are some people born gay? Can you raise kids the same way and they will still have different personalities? Are men and women more different than alike?Can men get addicted to pornography?We will explore the data on these and other questions. We will work to separate fact from fiction, while realizing the jury is out on some topics.

About the Instructor

Gordon Hammerle is a professor emeritus at Adrian College. He taught full-time from 1976-2012 and continues to teach part-time. He earned his B.S. from Denison University and his PhD from Indiana University.


Tuesday afternoons at 1:00 p.m., April 4, 11, 18, 25

Instructor: Charmaine Stangl

The great poet, Mary Oliver, said, “poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.” If this seems true to you, maybe you’ve been in this class before! If it intrigues you, even a little, join us in discovering how true it is. And if you’ve found poetry confusing or difficult in the past, have no fear. In this class we learn from each other.

About the Instructor

Charmaine Stangl is a retired English teacher and life-long lover of poetry. She has taught in two high schools, a community college, two universities, and Lenawee Lifelong Learning.

Supreme Court Decisions

Wednesday mornings at 9:00 a.m., April 5, 12,19, 26

Instructor: Dr. Robert Gordon

  • Week One: Review of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, most important Amendment other than the Bill of Rights.The 14th Amendment guarantees all persons due process of law.
  • Week Two: Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard. This case addresses affirmative action in higher education admissions criteria. This case may not be decided until June 2023. If so, this session will consider the facts and the judicial rulings by the lower courts.
  • Week Three: Moore v. Harper as well as Caster v. Merrill. These cases address congressional district gerrymandering in North Carolina and Alabama. These may not be decided until June 2023. If so the session will consider the facts and judicial rulings by the lower courts.
  • Week Four: 303 Creative v. Elemis. This case addresses a Colorado law that requires a website designer to do wedding ceremony business with non-heterosexual couples, claiming violation of First Amendment rights. This case may not be decided until June 2023. If so, the session will consider the facts and judicial rulings by the lower courts.

About the Instructor

Bob Gordon was born and raised in Holland, Michigan. A 1963 graduate of Hope College, he earned his Master’s and PhD from Western Michigan University, teaching in Western’s history department from 1967-1976. From 1977-2013, Bob held numerous positions at Siena Heights, including director of advertising, dean of the college and provost, dean of the graduate college and library director. A self-taught photographer, he has had 30 plus exhibitions across the United States and published six books on photography. He has taught Lenawee Lifelong Learning classes for over a decade.


Wednesday mornings at 11:00 a.m., April 5, 12, 19, 26

April 5: Why We Garden

Gardening is a personal project. Come and share your successes and dreams and leave ready to shape your garden.

About the Instructor

Julie Conley has extensive experience in nature and gardening. She has worked at Hidden Lake Gardens and ProMedica’s gardens and greenhouse.Julie is the owner of Restorative Gardens in Tecumseh, MI.

April 12: Planting Herbs & Mints

This session will focus on planting your own spice garden. You will be provided with all the materials for you to plant and take home a plant of your choice.

About the Instructors

Amy Gilhouse is the Manager of ProMedica Farms and Veggie Mobile. Nathan Letson is the ProMedica Education Specialist and will assist in the presentation.

April 19: The Tree that Changed the World

Joe Walker will present the long history of the rubber production. He will tell how rubber is collected and processed; the geopolitical history of rubber and its uses; how persons such as Charles Goodyear, Harvey Firestone, and Henry Ford were involved in rubber history.

About the Instructor

Joe Walker, the owner of Elastomer Technologies, an international company producing rubber products, has been in the rubber industry for over 45 years. He has a chemistry degree and holds 23 patents in rubber chemistry.

April 26: Michigan’s Native Pollinators

This session will talk about the 450 species of native bees and 180 species of native butterflies and moths and explain why we depend on these pollinators for all of us to live.

About the Instructor

Lee Walsh is a Master Gardener and has a special interest in native plants. Lee is passionate about teaching people to garden with biodiversity in mind.

The Mind: From Socrates to Skinner and Beyond

Wednesday afternoons at 1:00 p.m., April 5, 12, 19, 26

Instructors: Dr. Mark Schersten & Dr. Hank Cetola

A philosopher and psychologist examine various aspects of consciousness and the human mind. Topics include the nature of consciousness and free will, the history of our understanding of the mind from the Greeks to today, perceptual illusions and the mind’s role in our perception of reality, and what psychological disorders and animal intelligence tell us about the human mind.

About the Instructors

Dr. Mark Schersten taught philosophy at Siena Heights University for 27 years before serving as academic dean for five years. He holds degrees in philosophy from Augustana College, Claremont Graduate School and Marquette University. Mark and his wife Becky enjoy backyard gardening and traveling.

Dr. Hank Cetola is a professor emeritus at Adrian College. He taught psychology for 35 years. Hank completed his B.A. and M.A. degrees at San Diego State University and his PhD. at Wayne State University.

In The News

Wednesday afternoons at 3:00 p.m., April 5, 12, 19, 26

April 5: Identity Theft

Maggie Seagraves, Premier Bank, will discuss the ongoing crisis of identity theft and ways to prevent it.

April 12: Shoplifting and Store Safety Concerns

Ben Negron, Meijer Manager, will discuss the ongoing effects of shoplifting and the security concerns for keeping customers and employees safe.

April 19: A Look at Human Trafficking by the Lenawee Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition

April 26: TBA

PlaneWave Instruments Campus

Thursday mornings, April 6 & 13

Discover the wonderful things happening on the PlaneWave Instruments Campus by learning about and touring the Adrian Center for the Arts, The Sam Beauford Woodworking Institute, River Raisin Ragtime Revue, and PlaneWave Instruments. Members will be expected to walk from building to building and be able to maneuver some steps.

Members will provide their own transportation to the PlaneWave Instruments Campus, which is located at 1375 N. Main St. in Adrian, MI.

Adrian Center for the Arts (ACA)

April 6, 9:00 a.m.

Instructor: Pi Benio

Adrian Center for the Arts is a flourishing network of artists, offering opportunities to children, students, adults and professional artists to pursue art, a place for self-expression and development of craft, through classes, workshops, and artist studio spaces. Pi Benio will lead members on a tour of the ACA and share insights about this amazing and celebrated operation.

The Sam Beauford Woodworking Institute

April 6, 11:00 a.m.

Instructor Luke Barnett

The Sam Beauford Woodworking Institute is a nonprofit organization which provides education through the artistry of woodworking. Founded in 2017 by Luke Barnett and Dena Koehn, the organization supports 3 types of people – students, hobbyists, and professionals. Coming from throughout Michigan and across the country, classes are taken for pure art, while others are designed to help students gain employment. Veterans are welcome to participate in weekly sessions or more focused instruction. Luke Barnett will present an overview of the Sam Beauford Woodworking Institute and provide a tour of the classroom.

PlaneWave Instruments

April 13, 9:00 a.m.

Instructor: Chris Miller

Founded in 2006, PlaneWave Instruments provides customers with telescopes following the most exacting standards and innovative design, whether for backyard sky viewing or exploring the heavens at the observatory level. Their products can be found at NASA, CalTech, Harvard University, and the Smithsonian. In 2018, they began the move to Adrian with being fully based here in 2020. Chris will lead the tour and provide the history of PlaneWave Instruments.

River Raisin Ragtime Review (R4)

April 13, 11:00 a.m.

Instructor: William Hayes

River Raisin Ragtime Revue, based in Tecumseh, is a professional theater orchestra dedicated to education and entertaining by the performance, preservation and restoration of America’s original musical style – ragtime. R4 takes the audience to the cultural and social conditions of turn-of-the-century America. Special emphasis is given to the contributions of African-American composers. R4 regularly performs at The Henry Ford Museum, the Detroit Institute of Art, Michigan Theater and Greenfield Village. In addition, R4 participates in school workshop programs and brings high caliber entertainment to hospitals and assisted-living communities. William Hayes will share the history of R4 and other insights about the group.

Previous Classes offered by Lenawee Lifelong Learning

Lore and Secrets of Chinese Writing Instructor: Dr. Michael C. McGrath

Six Great Ideas Instructor: Mark Schersten

Bill of Rights Instructor: Dr. Bob Gordon

The Short Story Instructor: Marilyn Kremer

The Tempest Instructor Dr. Robert Ploegstra

Poetry Instructor: Charmaine Stangl

Survey of Islamic Art & Architecture Instructor: Dr. Michael C. McGrath

Genealogy Instructors: Julie Olin and Bob Wessel

Fight or Flight: Response to a New World Instructor: Avani Pandya

Supreme Court Decisions Instructor: Dr. Robert Gordon

Arts and the Brain Instructors: Jann Battersby, Julianne Dolan, Pi Benio, Trudy McSorley

Spanish American War Instructor: Ray Lennard

Introduction to Meditation: Breathing, Posture, and Focus Instructor: Linda Polter

Hamlet Instructor: Dr. Robert Ploegstra

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam Compared Instructor: Dr. Michael McGrath

Here’s to Women Instructor: Marilyn Kremer

The History of Women in Science and Mathematics Instructor: Dr. Beth Lamprecht

The Crusades Instructor: Florian Burdick

The Reformation Instructor: Marilyn Kremer

How Advances in Science and Mathematics Moved Civilization Forward Instructor: Robert Xeras

Contemporary Islam Instructor Dr. Michael McGrathHistory of American Theater Instructor: Erik Gable

Shakespeare’s Macbeth Instructor Dr. Robert Ploegstra

Concerns in our Changing World

Local History Series

Mystery Trips