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4 UNI - Universal interest classes
detail, ceiling of Sistine Chapel
appreciating art
ecological disasters never seen to occur at just the right moment
David needs to go on a diet don't you think?
Bilingualism: Two languages in one head.  A fact that often surprises people who have never learned a second language is that most
people who are now living on earth are bilingual. While it is true that multiple languages are often learned young, a second or third
language (L) can be learned at any age. This class will focus on psyscholinguistic aspects bilingualism, tackling questions such as
how one L is activated the other(s) suppressed, can bilinguals ever be “perfect” in both of their Ls. It will also look at the actual lives of
of bilingual people to determine what are the real advantages and disadvantages of this perfectly normal state of being.

Coin hoards. In times of violence and public disorder, people in ancient times tended to bury their valuables, fully intending to recover
them in more peaceful times. But sometimes they were killed or driven away before that could happen and their stash was discovered
only centuries later. This class will examine the thousands of coin hoards that have been recovered in Europe over the past century. It
will focus on the techniques used by amateurs and professionals to located the hoards, the historical significance of these finds, the
scientific techniques used to separate, clean, and identify the coins, as well as the national laws that influence whether the hoards end
up in museums or in private collections.

Genealogical research methods. Genealogy is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. People who study
family history do so for both general reasons (curiosity, a desire to know themselves better) and specific reasons (e.g., solve a
medical mystery, trace property ownership, and authenticate an identity). Whatever the motives, accuracy in telling the eventual story is
essential. This class will summarize investigative best practices and provide insight into how to evaluate various forms of evidence
including historical records, oral traditions and genetic analysis. It will also offer practical instruction on how to construct charts and
write readable narratives.

Happiness Defined. In 2008, Denmark ranked as the happiest nation on the planet, according to the World Map of Happiness and the
World Values Survey but came in at No. 2 (behind Iceland) on the World Database of Happiness. Is it true that women are usually
happier than mean, and that older people are generally happier than younger people? This class will examine how happiness is
measured, and what those measurements mean for everyday life, and the use of the experience sampling methodology. It will also
survey what philosophers and poets over the ages have had to say on the topic and what they have identified as ways to augment
happiness.

The Knights Templar. This historical class will examine the monastic Order of the Temple, founded in Jerusalem in 1119 to provide
military protections to pilgrims travelling to and from the Holy Lands. It will consider the beliefs that led over 20,000 men to die while
attempting to protect sites deemed sacred to Christianity. It will examine the Order’s vows, rules, organization and military training, as
well as the countless structures they Order constructed in Europe and the Middle East. Finally, it will examine what became of the
fabulous wealth accumulated by the Order in pursuing its mission when its leaders were arrested, tortured, and executed and the
Order disbanded by the Pope.

The Neolithic Revolution. Roughly 12,000 years ago, human cultures changed radically, shifting from a predominantly nomadic
lifestyle based on hunting and gathering to one based on settlement, agriculture and herding. An increasingly wide variety of plants
and animals were recruited to the service of man, promoting (trade, non-portable art, complex which then gave rise to complex social
organization, cities, writing systems, and so on. This class will examine the climactic conditions that sparked the agricultural revolution
and chart its development in several contexts (the Fertile Crescent, Melanesia, sub-Saharan Africa), with special emphasis on the
domestication of plants and animals.

Obesity: Myths, facts, assumptions. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions nearly everywhere in the world, including Europe, but
is most serious in the U.S., where it causes ca. 300,000 deaths annually and augments medical expenditures by $147 B. This class
will examine widely-held, but sometimes false, beliefs about the cause of obessity, review public policy implications, and present
clinical recommendations.
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Copyright © 2012-2013
James Emil Flege
Art Theft: How to steal from the Louvre. Art theft isn’t the hijinks of Thomas Crown and Ocean's Eleven – it’s a big business that is
both under studied and poorly understood even by police and government officials. Tens of thousands of art thefts are reported each
year and far more go unreported. After drugs and illegal arms, art crime is the highest grossing criminal trade worldwide. Earning flow
to organized crime and may even fund terrorism (e.g. Mohammed Atta’s intention to finance the 9/11 attacks by selling looted Afghani
antiquities). Here you’ll learn what is being done to block further thefts and to recover treasures stolen in the past.
Instructor: Art historian Noah Charney, founder of ARCA (the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art)
Ideas for other classes in this category? Please write to:
teach@travlearning.net
Art Fakes and Forgeries examines the ways in which forgers have, for centuries, managed to trick the experts
and how some were caught through shrewd detective work, science, or dumb luck. We'll consider (among
aothers)  the Roman copyists who produced famous "Greek" sculptures, Michelangelo's creation of an
ancient “Roman" statue, the 19th century linguist who re-discovered an ancient language using plates
produced in a Rumanian nail factory, Peter Paul Biro’s high-tech insertion of famous artists’ fingerprints, the
Dutchman who needed to prove that the "Vermeer" he sold to the Nazis was a forgery in order to avoid being
hung, and the mass production of fakes in modern Chinese factories. The skills deployed by real art
detectives may be of practical use to anyone with an interest in purchasing art.
Instructor: Art historian Noah Charney, founder of ARCA (the Association for Research into Crimes Against
Art)

The art of eloquence. This class provides an introduction to rhetoric in ancient Rome. At the time of Cicero,
eloquence was one of the three prerequisites to obtaining political power in Rome (the others being personal
connections and wealth). Class participants will read a short treatise on the key art of rhetoric written by
Cicero, analyze several of his key speeches as well as those of several famous orators (JFK, MLK, Obama)
and watch videos of their actual oratorical performances. Each member will be offered to the opportunity to
give a public presentation at one of the evening session with the coaching of fellow class members.
The classes in this category introduce themes of universal
interest that are likely to appeal to most well-educated and
curious adults interested in a European learning vacation. Check
back later for the complete list of offerings as well as details
about the classes themselves and the professors who will teach
them.

TLN universal interest classes | adult learning vacations in Europe

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