Osher Lifelong Learning InstituteOsher Lifelong Learning Institute



Upcoming Coachella Valley Courses


Classes in Rancho MirageCoachella Valley Classes

The Week's News in Review

An interactive discussion of events shaping the news each week, including analyses on similarities to past occurrences in the 20th Century during the same time period. Media sources include, print, TV, the Internet and social media. You discuss politics, the economy, sports, show business and topics pulled from the "headlines."

  • Instructor
    Dick Stein, B.S., majored in economics at the University of Maryland and went on to be a successful entrepreneur. He worked for the New York Times, is one of the founders of ESPN and has taught college-level history and economics in Los Angeles.
  • Date/Time
    Thurs. 9-11 a.m., Jan. 8-Feb. 12 (6 meetings)
  • Location
    Annenberg Center, RANCHO MIRAGE
  • Section
    143−CPS−S60

Earth Materials and Human Health

An interesting outline of the geological processes and earth activity, which all together have created unique resources for sustainable life and industrial progress. The main focus is the dispersal of earth materials/resources, their effects on human health and population, and how human activities contribute to natural disasters.

  • Instructor
    Larissa Dobrzhinetskaya, Ph.D. in geology and mineralogy from St. Petersburg University, Russia. She is a faculty member of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Dobrzhinetskaya is a recipient of long-term fellowships from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science and the Research Council of Norway. She is an elected Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America, Geological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Author of over 100 peer-reviewed papers, Editor of 2 books, her research interests include mineral resources , mineral synthesis in laboratory, role of minerals in understanding earth dynamics and their effect on environments, climate and human life.
  • Date/Time
    Thurs. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Jan. 8-Feb. 12 (6 meetings)
  • Location
    Annenberg Center, RANCHO MIRAGE
  • Section
    143−CPS−S61

History and Impact of Cartooning

Two centuries ago, the French painter, Honore Daumier produced serious art that ripened into political commentary and satire. Followed quickly by Punch Magazine drawings, the cartoon has become an important cultural expression, and had an important influence on American history. In the late 19th century, Thomas Nast helped oust Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall with his art for Harper's Weekly. Herblock's hard-hitting cartoons for the Washington Post contributed to the downfall of Richard Nixon. Bill Mauldin, a 22-year-old sergeant, won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for eloquent, up-front depictions of the American GI in World War II. Editorial cartoonists in the 20th century have become the key to political expression. In this class, their work will be shown and analyzed, along with other facets of cartooning that delve into all aspects of American culture. We will trace the advent of the comic strip from the Yellow Kid in 1895, to the unbelievable popularity of Peanuts by the late Charles Schulz. Animation, a cartoon off-shoot, developed into best-selling movies-a testimony to its impact on our society. In addition to exhibiting actual cartoons, there will be demonstrations of cartooning as an art form.

  • Instructor
    Murray Olderman, MSJ, has been a professional cartoonist since 1947, working primarily in sports and has conducted cartooning seminars as a visiting professor at the University of Oregon and lectured and made speaking and drawing appearances to several groups. He has continued to produce published cartoons and illustrations in magazines and newspapers. He is the author of Mingling with Lions, and has been a member of the National Cartoonist Society since 1952.
  • Date/Time
    Tues. 9-11 a.m., Jan. 13-Feb. 17 (6 meetings)
  • Location
    Annenberg Center, RANCHO MIRAGE
  • Section
    143−CPS−S62

Architectural and Decorative Styles:" Art Nouveau" from the1880's to 1920 Part 1

There were two distinctive, popular, modern-age design styles between the late 1880s and the middle of the 1940s. Each had ornate characteristics. Sometimes one style was mistaken for the other. However, essentially, they were vastly different. The first, "Art Nouveau," features lyrical, nostalgic, curvilinear, natural-organic themes. It was a personalized force against European manufactured goods, and promoted ways for creative artists and artisans to make useful handcrafted items for the marketplace that were beautiful in both design and function. Artists, illustrators, craftsmen and designers all took part in this movement. Among them were Lautrec, Mackintoch, Beardsley, Gaudi, Horta, Mucha, Guimard, Galle, Tiffany and Sullivan. The course will present slides of their works, as well as reasons for their success and importance.

  • Instructor
    Meryl Nesbitt, B.A. Art History graduate from the University of Pennsylvania is a retired Art Gallerist, Arts Management Consultant and Public Arts Administrator. She was an adjunct faculty member at numerous Universities and has been teaching at the UCR Extension Osher since 2006.
  • Date/Time
    Tues. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Jan. 13-Feb. 17 (6 meetings)
  • Location
    Annenberg Center, RANCHO MIRAGE
  • Section
    143−CPS−S63

Money Matters:Common Mistakes in Estate Planning - And How You Can Avoid/Fix Them

You've set a resolution to create your estate plan. So now what? How do you get started? If you set up your plan years ago, is it time for a check-up? Even with the best laid plans, something might come up that you didn't think about. An estate planning attorney will tell us about the most common mistakes people make in setting up or carrying out their estate plans and show us how we can avoid or fix them.

  • Instructor
  • Date/Time
    Wed. 3-5 p.m., Jan. 14 (1 meetings)
  • Location
    UCR Palm Desert, PALM DESERT
  • Section
    143−CPS−S80

The Road to the Oscars

This course uses the Academy Awards, past and present, as a catalyst to understand the elements that constitute filmmaking and the creative process. Through an exploration of the various categories, the class gains a comprehensive understanding of film and the creative process. Topics include: Best Picture, Best Actor/Actress, Best Director, Best Original and Best Adapted Script, The Irving Thalberg Award and more. Students also will fill out ballots prior to the Annual Academy Awards ceremony and then review the results in the following class.

  • Instructor
    Robert D. Kline, is a former member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science, and has been a film and television producer and studio head for more than 30 years.
  • Date/Time
    Wed. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Jan. 21-Feb. 25 (6 meetings)
  • Location
    Annenberg Center, RANCHO MIRAGE
  • Section
    143−CPS−S64

Money Matters: The "Shell Game"

Have you ever wondered how the super-rich get richer while they get all those tax breaks? The short answer is they have advisors who tell them what they can do. Did you know that some of those tactics may be available to you, too? In this session, you will look at tax returns, court cases, and estate plans of the rich and famous. Learn how "ordinary people" can take advantage of these perfectly legal (and very effective!) tactics.

  • Instructor
  • Date/Time
    Wed. 3-5 p.m., Jan. 21 (1 meetings)
  • Location
    UCR Palm Desert, PALM DESERT
  • Section
    143−CPS−S88

Contemporary Voices of Women Authors and Writers, Part II

Continuing the survey of Contemporary Voices of Women Authors and Writers, we will examine outstanding writing by Hispanic, Native American/Indian and African-American authors. Featured will be Sandra Cisneros, Mexican-American, whose "House on Mango Street" has received rave reviews for its insights and craftsmanship; Joy Harjo, whose recent memoir "Crazy Brave" has reinforced her role in what has been coined "The Native American Renaissance II." This, along with Leslie Marmon Silko's "Ceremony" will stimulate an understanding of the experience of Indian women in society today. The last author featured will be Nikki Giovanni, author and poet, Distinguished Professor of Literature at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, who has published thirty books of prose and poetry, and whose autobiography "Gemini" was a finalist for the National Book Award. The class is set up so that attendees can read these books before the classes to stimulate the kinds of discussion that were highlights in Part I of the series.

  • Instructor
    Katya Williamson, M.F.A., has written books for the empowerment of women and led workshops, retreats, and classes over the past twenty years for women to find their voices in writing. Her last book, "Bringing the Soul Back Home: Writing in the New Consciousness," includes an anthology of twenty-five previously unpublished international women who excelled as writing students in her courses.
  • Date/Time
    Wed. 9-11 a.m., Jan. 21-Feb. 25 (6 meetings)
  • Location
    Annenberg Center, RANCHO MIRAGE
  • Section
    143−CPS−S65

Money Matters: "Taking Control of Your Retirement"

The last few years have left many of us unsure of how to plan for the future. The goal of this seminar is to help you feel more empowered to take the necessary steps for your retirement, whether you're already retired or are planning to retire. We'll look at different options for different circumstances and life stages. What are your goals, and what solutions might be appropriate for you? You'll also learn about the timing of Social Security benefits and how that can fit into your big picture.

  • Instructor
  • Date/Time
    Wed. 3-5 p.m., Jan. 28 (1 meetings)
  • Location
    UCR Palm Desert, PALM DESERT
  • Section
    143−CPS−S89

Windows on the World: A Pre-Oscar Academy Night

Hollywood comes to Riverside and Palm Desert in this annual event. Don't miss this special free Pre-Oscar Academy Awards lecture featuring distinguished faculty from UCR's Theater and Film Studies Department, UCR's MFA program and notable presenters from the Osher program.

  • Gain insights to the elements that constitute filmmaking and the creative process
  • Review the major Academy Award categories
  • Discuss the panel's picks to win awards and their picks of movies not nominated
  • Discuss and view selected films and clips

  • Instructor
  • Date/Time
    Tues. 6-7:30 p.m., Feb. 17 (1 meetings)
  • Location
    UCR Palm Desert, PALM DESERT
  • Section
    143−CPS−S92

The Folklore of the Mission San Juan Capistrano: Its Folktales, Legends, History and Art

San Juan Capistrano is a small town in Southern California that is rich in folklore, legend and local history, as well as home to the Mission San Juan Capistrano. This course will combine intriguing, humorous, sometimes shocking tales, with the serious academic subtext that some of the tales present. A brief introduction to the study of folklore and mythology is included. In addition, there will be a liberal sprinkling of rich local history including: the "Mexican Robin Hood" (Joaquin Murrieta), who hid out from the law for a time on Los Rios Street (100 ft. from the train station); the Barton Posse Massacre by the Juan Flores Gang; and the sacking of the Mission by the Argentinian pirate Hippolyte Bouchard, which gave rise to the legend of hastily buried Mission treasures that have never been found. The class is based on original field work and interviews with locals by the instructor/folklorist conducted in the 1970s, and includes original photographs, handouts, and selected readings from the book, Capistrano Nights. Optional field trip to Mission San Juan Capistrano to be discussed in class.

  • Instructor
    Richard Brock, M.A., J.D., Instructor and Lecturer, specializes in teaching law to paralegals, linking the principles of the law taught to the practice of law that paralegals are likely to experience. Mr. Brock is also active with the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, serving as a volunteer judge.
  • Date/Time
    Thurs. 9-11 a.m., Feb. 19-Mar. 26 (6 meetings)
  • Location
    Annenberg Center, RANCHO MIRAGE
  • Section
    143−CPS−S66

Justice in America: Courts, Trials, and Politics

This interactive course explores America's ideal of equal justice for all citizens, high and low, in light of our national history. We examine the historical concept of justice itself, as well as Western practices, from antiquity to our English historical traditions. Our own colonial ideas of justice are briefly reviewed, as is the work of our Founding Fathers at the Constitutional Convention, and the struggle over the Bill of Rights. We, then, trace American justice in action, highlighting famous and infamous American trials, and our changing attitudes and constitutional decisions regarding fair trials, the right to counsel, due process of law, and on-going social and political obstacles to both. Finally, we consider whether justice in America today is equal, just and available, and we debate the same.

  • Instructor
    Daniel Sklar, LL.B., Harvard Law School, Adjunct Instructor, Whittier Law School and Visiting Associate Professor of Law, University of Tennessee.
  • Date/Time
    Mon. 9-11 a.m., Feb. 23-Mar. 30 (6 meetings)
  • Location
    Annenberg Center, RANCHO MIRAGE
  • Section
    143−CPS−S67

Film, Food and Culture

On occasion, movies have focused on the role of food and culture in a variety of societies. In fact, several "food movies" released in 2014 were both critically acclaimed and attracted a wide receptive audience. This course will examine the interplay between these three topics by watching, and discussing, some of the more interesting and controversial "food movies" of recent years, both non-fiction and documentary.

  • Instructor
    Wayne S. Wooden is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Criminal Justice Program at Cal Poly, Pomona, where he was also honored as Professor of the Year. His research covers a wide variety of topics. He has published five critically-acclaimed books, and over a dozen peer-reviewed journal articles. His work has also been featured in The New York Times and Psychology Today.
  • Date/Time
    Mon. 11:15 a.m.-2:15 p.m., Feb. 23-Mar. 30 (6 meetings)
  • Location
    Annenberg Center, RANCHO MIRAGE
  • Section
    143−CPS−S68

The Story of Rock N' Roll - The Fifties

Back by popular demand with new recordings and artists, this interactive class tells you the story of Rock 'n' Roll Music and its development (1954-1959) using history, entertainment and nostalgia. With selected recordings and video clips, you will examine the hits, artists, and the many influences on the music.

  • Instructor
    William Maxwell, F.C.M.A., grew up in the era of rock `n roll and is an expert on history and trends in music.
  • Date/Time
    Tues. 9-11 a.m., Feb. 24-Mar. 31 (6 meetings)
  • Location
    Annenberg Center, RANCHO MIRAGE
  • Section
    143−CPS−S69

Architectural and Decorative Styles: Art Deco from 1920 to the mid 1940's Part 11

There were two distinctive, popular, modern-age design styles between the late 1880s and the middle of the 1940s. Each had ornate characteristics. Sometimes one style was mistaken for the other. However, essentially, they were vastly different. The second, "Art Deco," used geometric, hard-edge-techno elements that leaned toward linear modernity and away from the `swish' style that preceded it. WWI left Europe financially depleted and with a hunger for glamour, a swelling exuberance for the jazz age, and a gluttony of consumption. A sparse, angular look used black and white opulent styling, combined with sharper, simpler lines to reveal exotic undertones. Artists, illustrators, craftsmen, designers and architects include "The Bauhaus School", Poiret, Chanel, ERTE, Icart, Lalique, Ruhlman, Kauffer, and A.M. Cassendre. Discuss American Art Deco in architecture and Hollywood films using visual aids to show a variety of works and subjects.

  • Instructor
    Meryl Nesbitt, B.A. Art History graduate from the University of Pennsylvania is a retired Art Gallerist, Arts Management Consultant and Public Arts Administrator. She was an adjunct faculty member at numerous Universities and has been teaching at the UCR Extension Osher since 2006.
  • Date/Time
    Tues. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Feb. 24-Mar. 31 (6 meetings)
  • Location
    Annenberg Center, RANCHO MIRAGE
  • Section
    143−CPS−S70

The Week's News in Review

An interactive discussion of events shaping the news each week, including analyses on similarities to past occurrences in the 20th Century during the same time period. Media sources include, print, TV, the Internet and social media. You discuss politics, the economy, sports, show business and topics pulled from the "headlines."

  • Instructor
    Dick Stein, B.S., majored in economics at the University of Maryland and went on to be a successful entrepreneur. He worked for the New York Times, is one of the founders of ESPN and has taught college-level history and economics in Los Angeles.
  • Date/Time
    Thurs. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Feb. 26-Apr. 2 (6 meetings)
  • Location
    Annenberg Center, RANCHO MIRAGE
  • Section
    143−CPS−S71
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More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
UC Riverside Extension Center

1200 University Ave., Ste. 333
Riverside, CA 92507-4596

UCR Extension Center

Tel: Work(951) 827-7139 or Work(760) 834-0997
Fax: Fax(951) 827-3043
E-mail:

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