Fall Session 2021 Courses

September 14 - November 4


​Vengeance at Meeting Street 

Tom Brawner, retired lawyer and true crime buff, gives us a peek into another real crime, this one in SC. Edgefield County was the site of a series of eight murders in the early 1940's sparked by a family feud, vengeance, and pure meanness. Once it was all sorted out, South Carolina sent the first and only woman in its history to the electric chair. This course will explore these murders and the associated cast of characters, including the late Sen. Strom Thurmond. This course is part of our partnership with the Shepherd's Center of Greensboro, NC.

How Frankenstein Became the Perfect Vehicle for All Our Fears

Since its appearance in 1818, Mary Shelley's novel about a creature brought to life by a scientist has taken on a life of its own--appearing in movies, comics, scientific journals, popular ads, and on our front porches every Halloween. The iconic image of a lurching, green-faced creature is instantly recognizable around the world. But the original story is a far cry from this image. What is Shelley's novel really like? How did the story become so popular and so different in each generation? Let Dr. Carol McGinnis Kay, Professor of English Emerita, USC, take you on a tantalizing journey through the creature's many appearances and the various ways in which society's fears have been reflected.

How Does Your Garden Grow? (4 weeks)

Three Master Gardeners from Columbia will share tips and hints about fall gardening. Barbara Whittaker will tell us all about the care and feeding of our fig trees. Richenda Batson will show us how to get the most out of raised bed gardens and, on another day, guide us on a virtual tour of English gardens. Finally, Cher Hollar will help us dress up our Carolina yards.  You don’t have to have a green thumb to join us! (Starts Oct. 12)

The Extraordinary Nation of China
An in-depth tour around China from an experienced visitor’s perspective. The course will cover history, food, people, business, culture, and art garnered from personal experience. UK transplant Edwina Winter has worked and travelled in China for most of twelve years. She will share tips on how navigate getting in and out of an elevator Chinese style and how to keep smiling when served tomatoes with custard for dessert!

Two Little-Known Figures Who Shaped Early American History
Dr. Peter Bergstrom, former history professor at several universities and former Research Associate, Colonial Williamsburg, will explore two fascinating stories from our nation's early development. First, we meet Hannah Bennet Turner Tompkins Arnold, who lived in the Chesapeake area. Her story offers a rich look at history and genealogy before the Census was established in 1790. Second, we meet Sherman Booth, newspaper editor in Wisconsin, whose assistance to a runaway slave led the Supreme Court to clarify the sovereignty of federal law over state law. Neither was a major public figure, but both influenced the political world we have inherited. This course is part of our partnership with the Shepherd's Center of Greensboro, NC.

TED Talks (4 weeks)
Anne Cox, well-known educator, life coach, interfaith leader, and community dialogue leader, returns to introduce us to powerful new ideas about society and our place in it. We’ll watch and discuss a different “Talk” each week, becoming part of the broad international audience riveted by the expert speakers. Expect to recharge your thinking about such subjects as human nature, healthy living, famous leaders, and the natural world.
(Starts Oct. 14)

Edgar Allan Poe in South Carolina 
Pat McNeely, Professor Emerita of Journalism, USC, takes us to the time that Poe was stationed at Fort Moultrie. His experience there had a significant impact on the wide range of literature he produced during his short, tragic life. Considered the most influential author after Shakespeare, Poe created the first American detective stories as well as terror, horror, and science fiction in his poems and short stories.

Continuing Spanish
Dr. David P. Hill, Professor of Spanish Emeritus, USC, guides us in conversation practice, cultural readings, and grammar review. Some prior study of Spanish is expected.
Class is limited to 12 devices.

Creative Writing Group
In a welcoming online environment, class members share their prose and verse, memoirs and fiction. Join the group to indulge your creativity, engage in a journey of self-discovery, or just enjoy listening as others share their efforts. The group leader, Dr. Miriam Johnson, Professor Emerita, College of Social Work, USC, provides writing prompts and optional homework assignments. Shepherd's Center members who wish to be included but are unable to join online may participate in the group through exchanges of documents and other offline contacts.
Zoom participants limited to 15.    

The Gospel of Mary (4 weeks)
Sixteen Gospels other than the 'Familiar Four' were circulated in early Christian communities. It was rumored that one was written by a woman! In 1896 an ancient copy was discovered. One scholar called The Gospel of Mary "the Christianity we haven't tried yet." Come see for yourself with retired Methodist minister Bob Borom.
(Starts Sept.14) 

Another Look at the Gospel of John (4 weeks)
Differences between the Gospel of John and the Synoptic accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke have long intrigued scholars and Christian laypeople. Was Jesus born human, Divine or both? Did he struggle before the cross as the Synoptics suggest or confidently embrace it as reported by John? Join Master of Divinity and retired addiction counselor, Larry Brown, as we explore these and other questions about the date, authorship, theology and Christology of the fourth Gospel.
(Starts Oct.12 in the same time slot as "The Gospel of Mary") 

Dr. David P. Hill, Professor of Spanish Emeritus, USC, expands his popular introduction to the customs, history, and cuisines of Spain and Portugal. James Michener wrote, “Just as this forbidding peninsula physically juts into the Atlantic and stands isolated, so philosophically the concept of Spain intrudes into the imagination, creating effects and raising questions unlike those evoked by other nations.” Think Granada, the Alhambra, the Moors, Franco, Fatima, Bizet, Port wine, Columbus, Real Madrid, paella, sherry, the “corrida de toros,” Cervantes, the Armada, Henry the Navigator, the “Camino de Santiago," and much more.

Trivial Pursuit
Enjoy an hour of fun and frolic while you and your team try to answer trivia questions from Bob Gants, retired Air Force, retired librarian, and great lover of puzzles and games. No one plays alone, and we will have lots of fun and laughter, and perhaps even learn some trivial information that was unfamiliar. No prizes, no finger pointing, no reason not to come and have a good time.



[NOTE: masks are requested for anyone not fully vaccinated.]

Art: Perfecting Your Skills in Watercolor
This workshop allows students to work on their own projects. They are encouraged to work in a series and keep a journal. Experienced artist Dee Hansen advises on techniques and materials.  Open to students of all levels from beginners to accomplished.
Class size limited to 11.

Bell Ensemble
Secular, classical, and sacred music will be performed at a level and speed determined by the players.  New players use marked music and experienced players use unmarked music. Taught by experienced music teacher Joan Marco.
Minimum class size 6; maximum 11.

Chair Yoga
Cindy Smith, certified Yogafit instructor, leads this gentle form of yoga practiced sitting or standing using a chair for support. She teaches basic movements for total body stretching along with an emphasis on balance and core strength.
Class size limited to 50.

Creative Quilting
Get out of the Pandemic slump and join our fun quilt class under the guidance of expert quilter, Judie Travis! The focus is making a Judy Neimeyer paper-pieced quilt called Desert Sky. Others are welcome to join the group and work on their own projects, at their own pace. Learn new skills, especially how to work with curves. Participants must bring their own sewing machines, fabrics, quilting/sewing tools, and pattern. Course is self-paced, and it is not a course for beginners.
Class size limited to 13.

Line Dancing
New and fun line dances are taught by Lynda Mixon and then practiced every week. Come for good exercise and good company.  Beginners are welcome!
Class size limited to 20.

CANCELLED-Newbie and Refresher Ukulele
Ukulele expert Deb McMurphy teaches those desiring to try ukulele for the first time and those who do not feel ready for the Strum-a-long and would like to continue at the beginner level.
Class size limited to 6.

Ukulele Strum-a-long
Deb McMurphy will teach ukulele intermediate students using “Daily Ukulele 365” and supplemental hand-outs.
Class size limited to 14.

Mah Jongg

Mah Jongg will return to the Shepherd's Center, on-site, for the Fall Session on Tuesdays at 10:00 am. Instructor Pam Morris welcomes new players to learn and experienced players to join the game



Watch for them to be announced in the Horn, our weekly newsletter. Contact Deb Gants, Chair of Adventures in Learning, if you would like to teach one. 


CREDITS: Courses planned by Adventures in Learning Committee,

chaired by Deb Gants.

​Brochure designed by Carol McGinnis Kay. Cover photograph by Steve Walker.

We continue to meet in a hybrid format for Fall Session. Most classes will be offered via Zoom; six activity courses will meet on Tuesdays at Ashland UMC. At the time we are going to press, masks for in-person participants will not be required for those fully vaccinated, but watch our website for up-to-date details. 

Getting Ready: Zoom is an online technology ideal for distance education. To get started, type the word Zoom into the web browser on your desktop or laptop computer.  At the Zoom website, sign up for the free basic service and download the app as directed. If you have problems, contact the office and someone will help you.

  • ​The session lasts eight weeks.
  • Courses will be online, except for six onsite activity courses on


  • Courses will be offered on T, W, and Th at 10:00 and 11:30.
  • Classes will start at the time indicated and will last one hour. Start gathering at 15 minutes before class for social time with friends.
  • Some courses will last four weeks as indicated in their descriptions. Others last eight weeks. Be sure to note these dates before you register.
  • ‘Pop-Up’ classes of one meeting may be offered and will be open to

     anyone who is registered.

  • You may choose as many courses as you wish to take.
  • You will be notified if your course is being recorded for viewing b members of the Center.


Click on image above for printable class schedule