Beloit Society for Learning Unlimited
The fall semester 2024 program is now complete
Registration opens August 15

Upcoming Courses

Band Concert and Fall Semester Registration

9/4, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Presenter:
Nick Dimassis, Beloit Public Library Director
Description:
In this kickoff program, the band "Nick and Friends" will delight us with pop, Americana and original tunes. Board Chairman Gary Cook will provide an introduction to the SLU program and this semester's classes. Downstairs, we can enjoy coffee, tea and cookies with an opportunity to register in person in case you did not pre-register by mail.
When:
Wednesday, Sep 4, 2024
1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Gary Cook
Fee:
$0.00

Recent Migration Patterns to the U.S. from Latin America

9/5, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Presenter:
Pablo Toral, Beloit College Dept. Chair of Political Science
Description:
Pablo Toral, Professor of Political Science and Environmental Studies at Beloit College, will discuss recent patterns of migration to the U.S. from Latin America, including which countries of origin have the largest amount of would-be emigrants and asylum seekers and what socio-economic, political, and other factors have led to these new patterns and levels of migration.
When:
Thursday, Sep 5, 2024
1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
John Rapp
Fee:
$7.00

Introduction to Ukulele with Johnny Wittnebel

9/9, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Presenter:
Johnny Wittnebel, Ukulele Teacher
Description:
Learn how to play the ukulele with this beginner friendly hands on class! Ukuleles will be provided but we encourage attendees to bring their own! Johnny is a renowned ukulele teacher from Beloit with students around the world including the Philippines.
When:
Monday, Sep 9, 2024
9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
John Rapp
Fee:
$7.00

The History of the Brodhead-Juda Area

9/10, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Presenter:
Mark Combs, Resident History Buff
Description:
Mark's ancestors were pioneers in southeast Green County. He will share information about several family members, including his great, great grandfather Reverand G. R. Patton who was a pastor of the Juda Baptist Church in the 1800's and his great, great cousin Wesley Patton who died at Cold Harbor during the Civil War. He will report on important people and events in Green County history, using informatioin gathered from relatives, friends and other long time residents.
When:
Tuesday, Sep 10, 2024
9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
John Wasserstrass
Fee:
$7.00

Business and the Liberal Arts

9/12, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Presenter:
Brian Morello, Beloit College Director of CELEB
Description:
Join us for an engaging lecture by Brian Morello, Beloit College's Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, known as CELEB. Morello will introduce the College's new School of Business, and its humanistic approach to business and careers. Learn how Beloit integrates business, economics, leadership, and entrepreneurship courses into a liberal arts education that attracts students and prepares them to navigate today's complex business landscapes and become compassionate, well-rounded business leaders.
When:
Thursday, Sep 12, 2024
9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Tom Holmes
Fee:
$7.00

Is Democracy Failing in America?

9/16, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Presenter:
Gene VanGalder, Teacher, Pastor, Traveler
Description:
There are so many signs that democracy in America is under stress. Congress seems incapable of responding to the needs of the people. Voter apathy and discontent is at an all time high. State legislators are passing acts that restrict voting. The list goes on. This class will examine what is happening to democracy in America.
When:
Monday, Sep 16, 2024
9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Shirley Swanson
Fee:
$7.00

The World Famous "Brother Joseph" with Rock County Connections

9/17, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Presenter:
Pete Skelly, Janesville and Civil War Historian
Description:
Brother Dutton was born Ira Dutton in 1843 in Vermont and moved to Janesville with his parents when he was four. He grew up in Janesville, finally leaving to enlist in the 13th Infantry during the Civil War. After the war he experienced personal issues until finding relief in religion. He converted to Catholicism, took the name Joseph, and went to the Hawaiian island of Molokai to aid Father Damien in the treatment of Hanson's disease (leprosy). He would spend the remaining 44 years of his life there, becoming world famous for his service.
When:
Tuesday, Sep 17, 2024
1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Dan Phillips
Fee:
$7.00

Hollywood and the Fourth Estate: "Call Northside 777"

9/18, 9:30 AM-12:00 PM
Presenter:
Barry Wood, retired newspaper reporter
Description:
The film is "Call Northside 777," released in 1948. The journalist is a Chicago newspaper reporter, played by James Stewart, who digs into a murder conviction which occured 11 years previously. The story is based on an actual case in 1932 in which a policeman was killed.
When:
Wednesday, Sep 18, 2024
9:30 AM-12:00 PM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Pat Raymer
Fee:
$7.00

50 Years of Ursula K. Le Guin’s The "Dispossessed"

9/19, 12:00 PM-2:00 PM
Presenter:
Tamara Ketabgian, Beloit College Dept. Chair of English
Description:
This talk marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Ursula K. Le Guin’s award winning novel "The Dispossessed". Professor Ketabgian and her students will discuss both Le Guin’s connection to Beloit and her legendary fictional world building. "The Dispossessed" speaks to our current cultural moment as a portrait of two worlds driven by ideological differences and working toward talking with each other again. It invites us to ask big questions such as: what is freedom, and how can we imagine more just and equitable worlds? How can people work together to create meaningful community?
When:
Thursday, Sep 19, 2024
12:00 PM-2:00 PM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
John Rapp
Fee:
$7.00

How the States Got Their Shapes (2 sessions: 23 & 30 September)

9/23, 9/30, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Presenter:
Brad Keyes CHSP
Description:
Have you ever wondered how some states got their shapes? This two-session course will explore the many reasons why our states are shaped as they are. The first session will cover the eastern states and their struggles to resolve borders. The second session will cover the Northwest Territory, which comprises the current states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. It will also cover Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, and California. The Spring semester will include two sessions to cover the remaining states.
When:
Monday, Sep 23, 2024Monday, Sep 30, 2024
9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Shirley Swanson
Fee:
$14.00

Is the Two-State Solution Dead? Options in the Aftermath of the Gaza Conflict.

9/24, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Presenter:
Beth Dougherty, Beloit College Professor of International Relations
Description:
Nearly 80 years after the partition of Mandatory Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state, and thirty years after the Oslo Accords, the promised two-state solution has not materialized. What obstacles prevent the emergence of an independent Palestinian state? Are other options, such as a "one state solution," viable?
When:
Tuesday, Sep 24, 2024
9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
John Rapp
Fee:
$7.00

Why to Elect Your Hospice Benefits

9/24, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Presenter:
Traci Earhart, Outreach Coordinator for Beloit Regional Hospice
Description:
Explore the invaluable benefits of hospice services, emphasizing pain and symptom management. We’ll delve into the interdisciplinary approach involving nurses, social workers, spiritual caregivers, aides, and grief support, highlighting their collaborative efforts to enhance the quality of life for patients and their families. Get ready to gain a comprehensive understanding of how hospice care fosters dignity, compassion, and holistic support during challenging times.
When:
Tuesday, Sep 24, 2024
1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
John Wasserstrass
Fee:
$7.00

What Happens to Your Recycling and Garbage

9/26, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Presenter:
Tim Dragery, Beloit DPW Supervisor
Description:
Tim will talk about where the trash and recycling goes after the resident takes their cart out to the curb or brings it to our drop off. He will talk about the amount of trash and recycling we collect. What is trash and what items are recyclable? What can each one of us do to improve our recycling?
When:
Thursday, Sep 26, 2024
9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Where:
Beloit Public Library 605 Eclipse Blvd
Facilitator:
John Rapp
Fee:
$0.00

Changing and Challenging Times for Higher Education Today

10/1, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Presenter:
Eric Boynton, Beloit College President
Description:
A number of factors, from a decline in college-age population to skepticism about the value of college or concerns about affordability, have mobilized some in higher education to rethink traditional educational models. Hear from an innovator and change expert with more than two decades in higher education about how Beloit College is meeting the current challenges, adapting to the times, and partnering with the City of Beloit and the region to fulfill its educational mission.
When:
Tuesday, Oct 1, 2024
1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Tom Holmes
Fee:
$7.00

An Overview of the Geology of Wisconsin

10/2, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Presenter:
Sue Swanson, Wisconsin State Geologist
Description:
Wisconsin’s geological history includes volcanoes, oceans, and glaciers. In this slide-illustrated presentation, Sue Swanson will explore Wisconsin’s geologic past, from billions of years ago to the Ice Age and beyond. Dr. Swanson will also explain Wisconsin’s modern landscapes and highlight the current work of scientists at the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey.
When:
Wednesday, Oct 2, 2024
1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Larry White
Fee:
$7.00

Highlights of the 2024 Beloit International Film Festival (4 sessions: 4,11,18,25 October)

10/4, 10/11, 10/18, 10/25, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Presenter:
Greg Gerard, Executive Director of BIFF
Description:
If you missed the films at the 2024 festival, this is your chance to catch up. $7 for each session that you attend.
When:
Friday, Oct 4, 2024Friday, Oct 11, 2024Friday, Oct 18, 2024Friday, Oct 25, 2024
9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
L. Mareth & S.Porter
Fee:
$28.00

Stay Healthy with Chair Exercises

10/8, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Presenter:
Tyler Esser, PT, DPT, Physical Therapist, Beloit Health System
Description:
As people age there are natural declines in strength, flexibility, activity and endurance; if coupled with a sedentary lifestyle this can predispose one to difficulties. These can be poor balance, decreased activity endurance, having a hard time standing from low surfaces. This presentation aims to educate on wellness with aging. There will be an active demonstration of chair exercises in line with the “Sit and Be Fit” movement. These exercises can be modified for all levels of fitness but will be focused on gentle body weight exercises one can do safely while sitting or standing next to a chair.
When:
Tuesday, Oct 8, 2024
9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Shirley Fischer
Fee:
$7.00

Domestic Violence 101

10/9, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Presenter:
Kelsey Hood-Christenson, MSW, Family Services, President & CEO
Description:
This talk will cover domestic violence 101: Terms, dynamics, impact to survivors, common safety planning techniques, special populations, and what services are available.
When:
Wednesday, Oct 9, 2024
1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Linda Hough
Fee:
$7.00

The Making of the Upcoming PBS Show about Beloit

10/10, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Presenter:
Kyra Lyons and Holly De Ruyter, History Producers PBS Wisconsin
Description:
Join PBS Wisconsin history producers Holly De Ruyter and Kyra Lyons as they delve into the journey behind Wisconsin Hometown Stories: Beloit, an hour-long documentary featuring Beloit’s history. From research to capturing moments in the field, they will guide you through every stage of production, offering insights into their process and storytelling craft.
When:
Thursday, Oct 10, 2024
1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Tom Holmes
Fee:
$7.00

Dementia Foundations and Accompanying Behavioral Health Symptoms

10/15, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Presenter:
Karen Tennyson MSW, LCSW, CDP, Dementia Care Specialist, Aging and Disability Resource Center of Rock County
Description:
This class discusses the basics of dementia and focuses on the five most commonly diagnosed types of dementia. We will explore how these diseases affect the brain and cause behavior health-related symptoms. We’ll also discuss steps you can take for better brain health. There will be time for discussion and questions so please feel free to bring your queries.
When:
Tuesday, Oct 15, 2024
9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Shirley Fischer
Fee:
$7.00

A Ukrainian Native Analyzes the Situation in his Homeland

10/17, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Presenter:
Yuri Rashkin, Rock County Supervisor
Description:
This presentation will share Yuri Rashkin's personal background. He will talk about Ukrainian history, its relationship with Russia, the current conflict, the issues facing Ukrainians today and what the future might hold for his homeland.
When:
Thursday, Oct 17, 2024
9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Ken Gold
Fee:
$7.00

Geronimo Hospitality: Redefining Real Estate, Hotels, and Restaurants for Tomorrow's Guests

10/22, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Presenter:
Rob Gerbitz, CEO and President of Hendricks Commercial Properties and Geronimo Hospitality Group
Description:
Recognized prominently throughout the Stateline Area for its nine restaurants, two hotels and The Beloit Club, Geronimo Hospitality has selectively become a presence in communities from Indianapolis to Santa Barbara, California. In this session, CEO Rob Gerbitz will unveil the transformative impact of prioritizing unique guest experiences, showcasing how this strategy not only reshapes industry norms but also drives Hendricks Group companies in an ever-changing market.
When:
Tuesday, Oct 22, 2024
1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Tom Holmes
Fee:
$7.00

The James Webb Space Telescope: Taking up Hubble's Mantle in Studying the Origins and Evolution of the Universe

10/24, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Presenter:
Britt Scharringhausen, Beloit College Chair of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy
Description:
The long-awaited James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), a workhorse astronomical instrument in orbit. Its original mission goals were to detect first-light objects (the oldest light-emitting galaxies in the Universe), to study the evolution of galaxies from that time to today, to study star formation, and to study the evolution of solar systems. Later, as more and more planets were discovered in other solar systems, the goal of investigating exoplanets was added to JWST’s remit, since it would not require any design changes to the telescope. We will compare and contrast JWST’s capabilities to those of HST, consider JWST observations that reproduce historical HST observations, and explore how JWST will pursue its mission objectives.
When:
Thursday, Oct 24, 2024
9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Tom Holmes
Fee:
$7.00

Hands-on Training for an Active Shooter Situation

10/28, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Presenter:
Sergeant Ryan Flanagan, Beloit Police Department
Description:
The Beloit Police Department's Sergeant Ryan Flanagan will hold a training class to help prepare us for an active shooter situation.
When:
Monday, Oct 28, 2024
1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Pat Raymer
Fee:
$7.00

Optimizing the 5 M's for Healthy Living

10/29, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Presenter:
Sophie Kramer, M.D., FACP, UW Professor of Geriatics & Gerontology
Description:
A Geriatrician's Lens: Optimizing the Geriatric 5 M's for Healthy Aging: MIND, MOBILITY, MEDICATIONS, MULTI-COMPLEXITY and WHAT MATTERS MOST. A Geriatrician shares her advice on issues important for your health.
When:
Tuesday, Oct 29, 2024
1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Ken Gold
Fee:
$7.00

The Troubled History of Ireland and its Music

10/31, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Presenter:
John Wasserstrass, President of German Interest Group
Description:
Today we see Ireland as a beautiful and prosperous country filled with happy people and great music and dance. But that has not always been the case. There were invasions, wars, famine, religious conflicts and centuries of British suppression. The long struggle for freedom lasted into the 20th century, capped with "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland. We will cover this history in the first hour of the class and enjoy the many types of Irish music after the break.
When:
Thursday, Oct 31, 2024
9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Ken Gold
Fee:
$7.00

Tour the Beloit College Greenhouse (LIMIT OF 15)

11/6, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Presenter:
Deb Lynch, Keeper of the Greenhouse
Description:
Join Deb Lynch and her students for a tour of Beloit College's Greenhouse, which houses 35+ plant families and 70+ individual plants. We'll talk with students who help maintain the greenhouse space and plant collection for research and teaching purposes. Our conversations may touch upon the propagation, growth, and maintenance of plants. Deb has worked with the College's plant collection for more than 30 years.
When:
Wednesday, Nov 6, 2024
1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Where:
Beloit College Sanger Science Center Greenhouse
Facilitator:
Larry White
Fee:
$7.00

New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art

11/12, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Presenter:
Shirley Swanson
Description:
There are few cities in the world with as wide ranging and ambitious collections as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. In this session we will continue our virtual tour of the Museum. Each lecture in this series is independent, therefore prior attendance is not necessary.
When:
Tuesday, Nov 12, 2024
1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Shirley Swanson
Fee:
$7.00

The Two Psychologies and Their 19th Century European Origins

11/13, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Presenter:
Larry White, Beloit College, Professor Emeritus of Psychology
Description:
There are two clans or tribes within the profession of Psychology today—behavioral scientists and psychotherapists. The two groups often disagree about basic features of the human psyche, the validity of certain psychological tests, and the authenticity of certain psychological disorders. To understand these contemporary controversies, it's helpful to consider the historical origins of the two tribes. One group traces its roots to laboratories at German universities in the 19th century. The other group traces its roots to Parisian asylums and Viennese consulting rooms during the same time period. Professor White will tell us about these colorful histories.
When:
Wednesday, Nov 13, 2024
1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Gary Cook
Fee:
$7.00

You Can Start Gardening in the Middle of Winter

11/14, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Presenter:
Renee Lopez Mealey, Winnebago County Master Gardener, President of Roscoe Gardening Club
Description:
Winter Sowing is a technique of seed starting which creates an environment for seedlings to grow into healthy, sturdy plants. It is a fun activity for all ages and allows you to start gardening in the middle of winter.
When:
Thursday, Nov 14, 2024
1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Brenda McCoy
Fee:
$7.00

Poverty & Homelessness

11/15, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Presenter:
Robin Stuht, Homeless Liason, School District of Beloit
Description:
Robin will first do a poverty simulation called "Play Spent" that can be done on laptops and phones. She will then spend some time discussing some of the choices people have to make and what the reality of poverty looks like. A panel will then be introduced consisting of resource providers and people who have experienced these issues.
When:
Friday, Nov 15, 2024
9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
Pat Foster
Fee:
$7.00

Hiking in Southern Germany and Finding My Roots

11/19, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Presenter:
Barbara Elmhorst Bendlin, retired math teacher, organic gardner
Description:
Barbara Elmhorst Bendlin has hiked in southern Germany in September 2022 and 2023 where she witnessed the beauty and majesty of the Bavarian Alps and Berchtesgaden National Park. She has also connected with relatives in Hannover, being the first of her family to return to Germany since the family's emigration in 1881.
When:
Tuesday, Nov 19, 2024
9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Where:
First Congregational Church 801 Bushnell St., Beloit
Facilitator:
John Wasserstrass
Fee:
$7.00