Lifelong Learning Courses

Mayborn Museum

Lifelong Learning Courses

Spring 2023

Historical Roots of Current Contentions

Thursdays, 10:00 - 11:30 am- Feb 2. 9, 16, 23
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

A current world crisis, no matter how we may be surprised by it, does not simply appear out of nowhere. Each of them -- wherever they are and whatever countries are involved -- have roots that go deep into history. Understanding that history is crucial to understanding our contemporary world. Join Baylor history professor Dr. David Smith as he unfolds some of the dramatic world issues of today.

Dr. David A. Smith is a senior lecturer in American history at Baylor. His undergraduate degree is from what is now Texas State University in San Marcos, and his Ph.D. in modern American history from the University of Missouri in the year 2000. His writings on art, culture, and politics are featured in books and articles, as well as on television and radio programs across the country. He is an avid public speaker and an often-requested teacher at LLL.

The Great American Songbook

Tuesdays, 10:00 - 11:30 am - February 7, 14, 21, 28
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

Vocalist Ann Harder and pianist Lydia Bratcher bring their knowledge of The Great American Songbook to the stage! The songbook has been called the “loosely defined canon of significant early-20th century American jazz standards, popular songs, and show tunes.” They hope you will sing along as they look at some favorite melodies from past decades and hear about the amazing composers and lyricists who wrote them.

Ann Harder is a native Wacoan and proud graduate of Baylor University. Her radio and television broadcasting career spans nearly 50 years beginning in radio in the early 1970’s. Although retired after 25 years on the anchor desk at KXXV, she’s still reporting for the station twice monthly with “Traveling Texas With Ann Harder” and hosts “Central Texas Living the Podcast.” Through the years, Ann has presented several continuing education courses focusing on The Great American Songbook. She is married to Mike Harder and they have three grown sons, two daughters-in-law and three beautiful granddaughters.
Lydia McCall Bratcher, NCTM, has taught private piano and theory for over forty years in Waco. She majored in Piano Pedagogy at Baylor University. She enjoys teaching a full studio of students of all ages and stages. Lydia accompanied the Midway High School choirs for 18 years before retiring in 2018, but still returns annually to accompany students in the UIL Vocal Solo Contest. Lydia has also served on the staff of Seventh and James Baptist Church as Organist and Sanctuary Choir accompanist since 2004. Lydia volunteers with the Waco Symphony Council and Meals on Wheels. She enjoys reading, gardening, and cooking. She and her husband Kent, an attorney, have two grown children and Lucy, a rescue dog of varied ancestry.

Sacred Places: When Does Geography Become Sacred?

Tuesdays, 2:00 - 3:30 pm - Feb 7, 14, 21, 28
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

Religions all over the world have physical locations that are “sacred” to the faith’s adherents. What makes a physical location, like the rock Uluru in Australia or the Batu Caves in Malaysia, a place of spiritual power? This class will examine multiple sacred places, learning about the peoples who hold these places as spiritually significant. The course will also explore what makes a place sacred to each of us. In each class session, Dr. Rosalie Beck will examine 2-3 locations, such as the River Ganges, the Grand Canyon, and the Ka’aba.

Now retired, Rosalie Beck taught Church History and Bible at Bible at Baylor University for thirty-five years. Growing up in a Marine Corps family, she learned to love history and knew she wanted to help students learn how to think critically and thoughtfully about the past and about how the past informs their lives. As a retired person, she teachers, speaks and preaches whenever an opportunity presents itself.

National Parks: Plan Your Next Adventure

Wednesdays, 10:00 - 11:30 am - Feb 8, 15, 22, Mar 1
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

Explore many of our 400 national parks and monuments with retired National Park Ranger, Larry Smith. You will hear about the best parks for hiking, camping, hotels, fishing, petroglyphs, volcanoes and wildlife. You will learn about current park details and how to plan a trip, best time to visit, plus camping and lodging information. With what you learn, you will design a personal tour of our parks for your “bucket list.” Included will be a look at lesser known parks in addition to the more famous destinations. Park brochures will be provided to participants.

Larry Smith served as a Park Ranger at Yellowstone and the Badlands National Parks. He has extensive travel experience to over 70 parks and memorials. He also worked at several Texas State Parks while traveling and living by 5th wheel. Having given numerous tours, hikes, and camping programs among parks, he loves to share his knowledge about the Parks.

Foodways: Exploring Food, Culture, and Memory

Mondays, 3:00 - 4:30 pm - Mar 13, 20, 27, Apr 3
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

Foodways is the multidisciplinary study of how cultural, economic, historical, geographical, social, and personal forces and experiences with food and food practices shape our lives. In this course, you will read, talk, and write about food, exploring how food -- something so ubiquitous, yet often ignored -- so dramatically impacts our lives. Participants will share food memories and traditions, as well as hear those of others. The class will also share food together, creating new food experiences. Dr. Sara M. Dye will lead this fun and meaningful time together around the table.

Sara M. Dye is a lecturer in Professional Writing and Rhetoric at Baylor University. In pedagogy, research, and everyday life she explores the relationships between rhetoric and writing, individual and collective political and religious beliefs, values, and identifies; and social policies, systems and injustices. She previously spent two years as a researcher at the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty. She loves cooking; eating; and thinking, writing and talking about the ways that food and food practices impact our senses of self, community, place, tradition, and exploration.

Land, Cattle, and Cotton: Historic Texas Ranches

Tuesdays, 10:00 - 11:30 am- Mar 14, 21, 28, Apr 4
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

Have you ever been curious about some of the historic Texas ranches? This opportunity to hear the inside stories will be led by Dr. Don Risinger with the focus of the sessions on four unique ranches, their owners, the ranch hands, and how these ranches came to be famous. J.P Davis, a local attorney and historian will speak on the XIT Ranch; Gerald Powell, a retired Baylor Law Professor, on the 6666 Ranch; Golda Lacey Brown, an owner, on the Kokernot 06 Ranch; and Doug Baldwin on the King Ranch.

Don Risinger was born and raised in Bandera, Texas, a descendant of the original Mormon colony of Texas and a graduate of Bandera High School. He attended the University of Texas, is a graduate of University of Texas Medical Branch, served 4 1/2 years in the U S Nav and is board certified in radiology. His grandfather notably sent six herds up the Chisholm trail.

Key Issues in the Middle East

Tuesdays, 4.00 - 5:30 pm- Mar 14, 21, 28, Apr 4
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

The Middle East is critical internationally, and specifically to the United States, for a wide range of factors: the struggle between authoritarianism and democracy, the role of religion and how it is exploited by the extremists, the region’s political economy, and the impact of oil production for the world. This course, taught by Joanne Held Cummings, will focus primarily on the Arab core (the Arabian Peninsula, the Levant, and Egypt), as well as North Africa, Turkey and Iran. In addition, attention will be given to what China and Russia seek in that region, creating a challenge to the United States and the European Union.

Joanne Held Cummings teaches on the Middle East, Islam, Political Geography, US Foreign Policy, and BIC programs at Baylor. As a U.S. diplomat, she served in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Jerusalem, Micronesia, and Afghanistan. A diplomat’s daughter she lived in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.

God, Gain, and Game: A Brief History of the Hunt in America

Wednesdays, 1:30 - 3:00 pm- Mar 15, 22, 29, Apr 5
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

Dr. Bracy Hill will explore the intersections of humans, their religions, their social constructs, and the environment of North America that has been increasingly affected by the expanding human population and patterns of consumption. The course will investigate these intersections through studies of four animals -- the bison, the squirrel, the Whitetail deer, and the Axis deer -- and their place in American history.

Bracy Hill is a Senior Lecturer in the History Department at Baylor. His studies have focused on hunting cultures in America and on marginalized religious groups in late medieval and early modern England. He was the primary author and editor of God, Nimrod, and the World: Exploring Christian Perspectives on Sport Hunting (Mercer University Press, Sports and Religion Series), a project he conceived and constructed out of his interests in the presence of hunters in past societies and concern for the conservation of both the natural environment and of hunting cultures for generations to come.

Graphic Novels are for Grown-ups!

Thursdays, 10:00 - 11:30 am - Mar 16, 23, 30, Apr 6
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

Graphic novels are not just expensive comic books. They are not always novels and not often graphic in the bad sense, either. They are an exciting new medium that offers readers diverse experiences and new knowledge, adults as well as kids. Dr. Gretchen Schwarz will explore graphic novels, their history and current status and uses, and see how they make meaning. The class will examine a variety of graphic novels and see why they have become so popular.

Gretchen Schwarz is a retired professor from the Baylor Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She was also a teacher educator for nearly 20 years at Oklahoma State University and taught high school in New Mexico and Texas. Schwarz still teaches 7th graders for pre-confirmation at her church. Years ago, a high school student shared his enthusiasm for a graphic novel, and she became intrigued. Graphic novels was one of her research interests as a professor, and her interest continues. She enjoys sharing this new medium with other adults.

The Branch Davidians: 30 Years Later

Thursdays, 1:00 - 2:30 pm - Apr 6, 13, 20, 27
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

Thirty years ago, the “Waco Siege” occurred, rocking Central Texas and far beyond. This course, coordinated by Dr. Rosalie Beck, will review the history, religion, politics, and law surrounding this event in four sessions: (1) Dr. Bill Pitts will give the history of the Davidians and Branch Davidians through Vernon Howell; (2) Professor Bob Darden will speak on his research of David Koresh about the confrontation between the Koreshians and the government; (3) Dr. Ashley Cruseturner will discuss the results of the encounter of 1993 and the impact it had on politics and the law; and (4) Dr. Rosalie Beck will synthesize the issues that continue to swirl around the Elk debacle.

Now retired, Rosalie Beck taught Church History and Bible at Bible at Baylor University for thirty-five years. Growing up in a Marine Corps family, she learned to love history and knew she wanted to help students learn how to think critically and thoughtfully about the past and about how the past informs their lives. As a retired person, she teachers, speaks and preaches whenever an opportunity presents itself.

Robert Browning, Elizabeth Browning, and the Armstrong Browning Library

Thursdays, 3:30 - 5:00 pm - April 6, 13, 20, 27 (Enrollment limited to 16)
Location: Browning Library $20 per person

Explore the Armstrong Browning Library (ABL) on the Baylor campus, home of the world’s largest collection of material on Victorian poets Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. View the largest collection of secular stained glass in the world that surrounds this beautiful research center and museum. Interact with the Library’s rare books and manuscripts related to Robert and Elizabeth and learn interesting stories about their writing and lives with sessions led by the ABL’s librarians and scholars of 19th century literature. This course will be coordinated by Jennifer Borderud, has limited enrollment, and is a repeat of an earlier course.

Jennifer Borderud is Associate Librarian and Director of the Armstrong Browning Library. She has been an Access and Outreach Librarian and served as the Rare Books Catalog Library in the Central Libraries at Baylor. While writing her master’s thesis, Browning’s Companion Dear and True: The Letters of Robert and Sarianna Browning to Annie Egerton Smith, she held a graduate assistantship with former ABL director Mairi Rennie. Jennifer receive both her BA and her MA in English from Baylor University and her MS in Information Studies from the University of Texas.

Out of the Depths: The Psalms Speak for Us Today

Tuesdays, 10:00 - 11:30 am - April 11, 18, 25, May 2
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

Dr. W. H. Bellinger, Jr. brings the Psalms to life based on his many years of studying and writing on the book of Psalms. Author of Psalms: A Guide to Studying the Psalter and Psalms as a Grammar for Faith, the course will include a session introducing the book of Psalms and other sessions on Prayer in the Psalms, Praise in the Psalms, the Royal Psalms and the Wisdom Psalms.

W.H. Bellinger is a Professor Emeritus of Religion. He retired as Department Chair after being on the faculty for 37 years in Hebrew and Old Testament. Recent books include Psalms: A Guide to Studying the Psalter (2nd ed.); Psalms as a Grammar for Faith; and Psalms: New Cambridge Bible Commentary (with Walter Brueggemann).

The Vietnam War: The 10,000 Day War

Wednesdays, 4:00 - 5:30 pm - Apr 12, 19, 26, May 3
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

All 5 Branches of the U.S. military and over 2.5 million military men and women served during the Vietnam War, each of which have amazing stories and have different perspectives from their personal experiences. Hear about some of those who served with honor, and honor those who “gave their last full measure of devotion.” Join popular military historian and Baylor’s First Gent, Brad Livingstone, as he looks into the reasons for the war, the lives that were affected by the war and how the Vietnam War changed America and the world.

Brad Livingstone received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Oklahoma State while also playing basketball for the Cowboys. He has been an educator at Oaks Christian High School in southern California, served as Dean of Students, Principal and history teacher at Trinity Christian School in Fairfax, VA, and taught at Vanguard in Waco in the mid-1990s, returning in 2017 to continue teaching history with specialties in WWII and the Vietnam War.