Carol and Joy
Carol Limbaga (left) of Android Basics,
Joy Skalbeck of Mini-Seminars
Photo by Roberta Gleeson

Friday Morning and Noon Seminars

These seminars take place on the CSUS campus on Friday mornings and lunchtimes throughout the semester. The first one is Sept. 4 and the last one is Dec. 4. There are no seminars on Nov. 27.

Some of these seminars are drop-ins with no registration; that means you just show up any week that the topic interests you. Beware: Some of these fill up, so get there early!

Other seminars (Great Books, Ballroom and Line Dancing, the morning Apple seminars) require registration for the semester. Read the information below carefully! There are two ways to register: You can call or email the leader right now or you can contact the leader at the Rendezvous on Aug. 28.

Each seminar has a Style immediately following its name, defined as follows:

Introduction To Renaissance: One-Time Seminar


Can We Talk? New Member Discussion Group (D)
11:45 to 12:45 p.m., Oct. 16, Mendocino 4008

Dolores Eitel

New Members are invited to join in a discussion sharing their personal experiences assimilating into the Renaissance Society. Share with others what classes, seminars, and other activities you are involved in. Bring your questions, suggestions, comments what's working for you and what's not. Bring your lunch and LET'S TALK! This is a one-time, drop-in meeting for New Members.

Morning Activities


American Supremacy (D)
10:00 to 11:45, Library 4021

Harry Cohen

In the immediate aftermath of the Cold War, few questioned the United States' reserves of power—economic, political, cultural, military:

  • Our status as sole superpower appeared unassailable.
  • Our dominance was unquestioned and unambiguous.
  • This was not hyper-nationalistic chest thumping; it was the conventional wisdom of both friend and foe.

We will study changes to American supremacy in light of the Cold War, Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, Great Society, Cuban Missile Crisis, Watergate, Soviet Union's Collapse, 9/11, International Terrorism, Great Recession, China's Rising, Climate and lastly, but prominently, Globalization. Two days before their 15-30 minute presentations, students should email classmates a brief outline of what will be presented and discussed. Registration is required.

Ivy Doris Ed

Associates Program: Training For Seminar Leaders (P)
11:30 to 12:45, Riverside 1012

Ivy Hendy, Doris Keller, Ed Sherman

This seminar will provide encouragement, teaching tools and skill enhancement for experienced, new, or potential seminar leaders. The seminar will focus on:

  1. How to select a topic and structure of a seminar;
  2. Various methods of seminar presentations;
  3. Technical training in the effective use of classroom electronics;
  4. How to make seminar leadership an enjoyable experience.

One-on-one mentor-leader relationships will be offered to all who successfully complete the seminar. If you are thinking of becoming a seminar leader, or feel the need to improve your skills, this is the seminar for you.


Bend, Breathe, And Balance (A)
10:00 to 10:45, Yosemite 183

Bobby Gladstein

Gentle stretches that let the muscles relax into the extension, balance exercises used by physical therapists, neurologists and the police, are what this class is all about. It offers a constantly changing combination of yoga, pilates and strength training. You will never be bored! If you've been meaning to get back to exercising, are a beginner, or just don't want to "pump and grind," this is for you! Bring a mat. Learn how to get up and down off the floor without hurting yourself. This is a drop-in class.


Cracker Barrel (D)
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Mendocino 3011

Susanne Coleman, Ed Sanborn

This is a discussion group on current events led by Susanne. Participants will choose topics to be discussed and Susanne or Ed will regulate speakers to insure everyone who wishes to speak will get their chance and to insure politeness. Everyone is welcome. This is a drop-in class.

Dealing With Anger: A Healthy Approach (D)
11 to 12:30, Mariposa 1002

Renee Zito

Unrecognized anger hurts us. Our goal is to stop the pain and destruction that anger brings. You will learn psychological interventions to help recognize and work out anger and learn how to convert it from a negative response to a creative and powerful source of energy that will improve your life. Members are expected to participate in class discussions. Class is limited to 20; registration is required.

Allan Wade

Documentaries (D)
9:30 to 11:45 a.m., Library 3021

Allan Keown, Wade Brynelson

Once again, many outstanding documentaries continue to be produced. We shall draw our selections primarily from the recent finalists for the Oscars and Sundance Film Festival. Please watch for the specific titles in the Renaissance Recorder newsletter as well as here. In addition, we shall have a complete or nearly complete list of all 13 films ready for distribution at Rendezvous. This is a drop-in seminar with no sign-up or presentation requirements.


Easy Magic Tricks For Grandparents (L)
10:00 to 11:45, Library 128

Harry Mossman

Magic tricks are a great way for grandparents to

  1. entertain,
  2. show their grandchildren fun skills,
  3. teach life lessons,
  4. demonstrate science facts,
  5. convince the kids that grandma or grandpa is cool.

There are many easy tricks that require only everyday objects such as string, coins and paper. Since it is against the rules for magicians to simply divulge how tricks are done, I will teach people how to do them and we will spend time practicing. A typical class would include lecture-discussion of a basic skill such as "one ahead," watching one or more videos and practicing. We may have guest lectures by local professional magicians. Registration required: class is limited to 20.

Great Books Discussion Group (D)
10 to 11:30 a.m., Mendocino 4005

John Quattrin, Pam Flohr

Our reading selections will be taken from two Great Books anthologies, Short Story Omnibus and Politics, Leadership and Justice, as well as the novel, All The King's Men by Robert Penn Warren. We use the "shared inquiry" method of discussion originated by the Great Books founders. Our group usually meets two to three Friday mornings per month and the class is full. Waiting list available. Limited to 20.

iPhone Basics (L)
9:30 to 11, Sept. 4-Oct. 9 (six weeks)
Eureka 106 Note Corrected Dates and New Location!

Jennifer Kerr

Do you have an iPhone and want to learn how to use it? This six-week seminar will be taught by a team presenting a different topic each week, using hands-on demonstrations. Topics will include display and controls, gestures, making and receiving calls, Photos, Camera, iCloud, Notifications, Messaging, Calendar, Contacts, Voicemail, FaceTime and iTunes. No experience needed, but participants should have an Apple ID and password and have email set up on their iPhone. On Oct. 16, there will be a session for questions and review, particularly on iPhone/iPad differences. Registration required here.. Limited to 36.

iPad Basics (L)
9:30 to 11, Oct. 23-Dec. 4 (six weeks)
Eureka 106 Note Corrected Dates!

Carol Dabrowiak, Alex Ives

Learn how to take advantage of all the features on your iPad. This six-week seminar will teach you the basics: Settings, Control Center, Notifications, Contacts, Calendar, Safari, Notes, Maps, Photos and email. There will be time for hands-on practice and group discussion. This seminar is for beginners or anyone wanting to improve their iPad skills. Participants will need an Apple ID and password and have email set up on their device. On Oct. 16, there will be a session for questions and review, particularly on iPhone/iPad differences. Registration required here.. Limited to 36.


Knitting And Crochet Group (A)
10 to 11:30, Mendocino 1032 NOTE: Room Change!

Coby Bonner, Doris Keller

Grab your project, knitting, crochet or other needle craft, and come to the knitting group on Friday mornings. Bring your unfinished projects or new ones and join us. You can work on your own project, a charity item, or a blanket for the next grandchild. All levels of knitters are welcome. This is a drop-in seminar. Come to stitch and chat and join others who are willing to share their expertise.

Learning To Meditate Using The Buddha's Map (D)
9:30 to 11:30, Tahoe 1026

Doug Kraft

We'll explore the elegant, nuanced, and amazingly effective meditation taught by the Buddha in the earliest records of his talks. He rejected one-pointed concentration in favor of relaxation and sense of humor. He blended the cultivation of ease with cultivation of insight. The instructions adjust to take advantage of your unfolding experience. Beginning as well as experienced meditators are welcome. By joining you are committing to:

  • Coming each week
  • Meditating 30 minutes or more every day (or most days)
  • Reading a short section from Buddha's Map so we can have discussion rather than me lecture.

Registration is required. Limited to 15 participants.


Man's Greatest Engineering Achievements (D)
9:30 to 11:30, Library 3023

Richard Dabrowiak

From building colossal pyramids in ancient Egypt to erecting modern skyscrapers, man's noteworthy engineering marvels are documented through the ages. This video-based seminar will clarify how and why these incredible megastructures were built. Class discussions and supplemental information will reveal basic engineering principles used in the design and construction process, enabling seminar participants to better appreciate the challenges involved. Participation in discussions is encouraged. This is a drop-in seminar. See the schedule.


Meditation (L)
9 to 11:30, Alpine 204

Gail Reed

Meditate: talk about what it is, what gets in the way, how to deal with that, then meditate again and welcome long-timers back to the class. Always welcome open class discussion and participation on the spiritual journey and what interests them. Welcome class presentations. Meditate again then class is over. I diagram and make lists (about 25 a semester) which I hand out (which triggers discussion and thought) and charge $4 per semester for printing. Registration is required. Limited to classroom size.

Mini-Seminars (L)
10 to 11:30 a.m., Library 1522

Joy Skalbeck, Jeanne Capanelli

Knowledgeable speakers, sometimes Renaissance members, sometimes not, present fascinating, diverse subjects each week. Some topics have proven so popular they also have been offered again for a Forum or Summer Seminar. We meet in the Library room to the right of the Media Center. Although these are single session, drop-in seminars, come early because attendance is limited by Fire Regulations. See the Schedule.

David David

Travel And Adventure (L)
10 to 11:30 a.m., Library 1533

Richard Peter, Tom Dole, Terry Moss

The sharing of travel experiences serves as an excellent aid in both the planning and execution of travel plans. Others' experiences, good and bad, can help take much of the mystery and hassle out of the travel adventures. In this seminar, members meet informally to share such experiences, listen to speakers on travel subjects and perhaps find a travel companion. This is a drop-in seminar but attendance is limited to the number of chairs allowed by fire regulation. Unfortunately larger video equipped classrooms are not available for our use. See the Schedule.

Lunchtime Activities

Carol Jane

Android Basics (D)
12 to 12:45 p.m., Douglass 111

Carol Limbaga, Jane Williams

Android drop-in support group. We are one-on-one, hands-on with YOUR cell phone. Discuss your BASIC usage: phone features, make and receive calls, contact info, delete, voice mail, settings, message/text, camera, etc. Your basic questions. An intermediate clinic is available as folks learn and advance.

Craig Bruce

Android: Intermediate Phone/Tablet Drop-In Seminar (L)
12 to 12:45 p.m., Douglass 110

Craig McCulloch, Bruce Moon

This is the intermediate level of Android phone and tablet support and drop in clinic. It supplements the Basic Android drop-in with instruction and assistance beyond basic phone operation on more advanced topics. Questions from students are encouraged. Topics will vary by class interest and may include: changing settings to meet user needs, installing and deleting applications (apps), adding and deleting contacts, sending text messages, web browsing, using camera and video, connecting to wifi, using Maps and GPS, and other applications.


Ballroom And Line Dancing (A)
12 to 12:45 p.m., Solano 1010

Richard Kowaleski

Ballroom dancing is hot, and so is line dancing! Richard teaches ballroom first, then line dancing the last three weeks. Register now by email only for either or both. Beginners learn the basics and experienced dancers go beyond, all in the same lesson. No partner required. Richard is an accomplished dance instructor and dance host who shows you easy-to-learn moves that look great on the dance floor. His unique teaching style and delightful sense of humor put you at ease so you can easily learn while also having fun. A noontime favorite for years. Check it out!

Mary Jennifer

iPad And iPhone Topics (P)
12 to 12:45 p.m., Mariposa 1000

Mary Euretig, Jennifer Kerr, Karen Martin

You can handle basic stuff on your iPad or iPhone, but want to know more. You're ready for our collaborative learning seminar. Participants (that means you!) suggest topics and make presentations, working in teams. Our presentations are by enthusiastic iPad and iPhone users, not technical experts! Presentations focus on insights that can be demonstrated in 30 minutes. You will get ideas and tips about apps, settings and tricks that soon will become part of your Apple life. Some iOS (iPad or iPhone) experience is helpful. This is a drop-in class, but registration is required here.

This seminar has been cancelled! Presenter's Clinic (L)
12:00 to 12:45, Douglass 106

Marian Kile

These 45-minute sessions can help all of us to become more effective presenters. Each week, we will cover a different aspect of preparing or delivering a presentation. Check the website, newsletter or email reminders for the weekly topics. Drop-in to any or all of the sessions and you are welcome to bring your lunch. No sign up or participation required.