McCALL Continuing Education

Spring Term 2024
“In Memory of Dwight Stobbs”

Previews of all Courses

Thursday, April 11 at 2:00 p.m. l Assembly Room at Givens Highland Farms
Meet the Instructors and Select your Courses!

TUESDAY Courses: 16 April to 21 May

Mornings: 9:30 – 11:30

Writing the Self – Doug Sutton-Ramspeck

We all have life stories to tell. The question, though, is how to make them sing for readers. We will look at a number of pieces from the journal Brevity, then work together to figure out how to shape true stories in ways that demand the attention of readers, that entertain them and move them. We will talk about a variety of writing issues: how to arrive at strong topic ideas, how to shape our narratives, and how to convey emotional intensity.

Participants will be encouraged (but not required) to share and receive helpful feedback from the class.

Doug Sutton-Ramspeck is the author of twelve books: nine poetry collections, two collections of short stories, and a novella. A retired English professor from The Ohio State University, he taught creative writing, literature, and composition on the Lima campus for more than two decades.

Afternoons: 2:00 – 4:00

Current Events Plus – Diplomat Ken Scott Jr.

This course will delve into the impact of domestic politics on American foreign policy, and, conversely, the impact of developments overseas on domestic politics. The first hour of the two-hour class will highlight significant developments of the moment; the second hour will focus on particular domestic and foreign policy issues, generally one major topic each week.

Ken Scott is a retired Foreign Services Officer with 25 years’ experience in Africa, India, and Sri Lanka, as well

as in the U.S. State Department. After Davidson College, he earned a master’s from Pittsburgh University.

Facilitator: James Aydelotte

WEDNESDAY Courses: 17 April to 22 May

Mornings: 9:30 – 11:30

Our Sacred Journeys – Dr. Donald Scofield, Jr.

How do we tell our stories? How do we share with others the adventure of our lives in light of God’s Spirit. This course will engage you in an exploration of the “Sacred Journeys” of our lives. With an examination of relevant biblical passages, insights from counseling and psychology, passages from select authors, and the stories we all carry with us, we will share the sacred experiences that comprise our life journeys.

Don Scofield has degrees from William & Mary College and Princeton Seminary, with further graduate studies in psychology and counseling, as well as a doctorate from McCormick Seminary in Chicago.

Afternoons: 2:00 – 4:00

French for People Who Want to Have Fun – Dr. Ruth Hoffman

This may be the most entertaining language class you’ll ever take! The focus is on learning how to communicate in French on a very basic level, without worrying about grammar. No verb conjugations, or criticisms for mispronouncing. You won’t have to talk until you want to. In this class, you’ll hear new words over and over through games, table activities, out-of-your-chair activities for those who are comfortable with them. No need to take notes—you’ll receive a handout at the end of each class. No tests, and homework is optional. The class is designed for beginners. A questionnaire at the beginning will determine the things participants want to focus on.

Ruth Hoffman earned her BA from the State University of New York at Albany, and her AM and PhD degrees from the University of Chicago, specializing in French medieval literature and the French New Novel. She taught French at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN and at Indiana University at South Bend.

THURSDAY Courses: 18 April to 23 May

Mornings: 9:30 – 11:30

What to Know about Your Body – Gary R. Simonds, MD

Come learn more about yourself than you have ever known. Medical School professor Gary Simonds will take us through an exciting tour of the most fascinating place on earth—our own bodies. How do we become what we are? What are all those bits and pieces that we’re made up of? How do they work together? What causes things to go wrong? What do we do to fix things? What parts are replaceable?

Gary Simonds is a retired neurosurgeon but is still actively teaching at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and School of Neuroscience.

[Please note that this course meets on 18, 19, 25, 26 April and 2, 9 May—4 Thursdays and 2 Fridays.]

Facilitator: Robert Garrison

Afternoons: 2:00 – 4:00

Middlemarch – Dr. Beth Sutton Ramspeck

Middlemarch, by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) was published in 1871-72. It depicts life in a small fictional English town during 1829-32, and has been praised as the greatest novel ever written. It encompasses several marriages (not all successful), political campaigns, railways, religion, art, jealousies, engineering, and many other topics. This book, though long, is one to savor and enjoy.

Beth Sutton-Ramspeck earned a PhD and taught English at The Ohio State University’s Lima campus for over 20 years. She has published several books, especially on Victorian literature and the Harry Potter novels.

Facilitator: Susan Denne

All courses will meet once a week for six weeks, except for Dr. Simond’s course (see note above).

Most will meet in the McCALL Classroom (aka Cypress Room) on the 2nd floor of Prentice Lodge at Givens Highland Farms, where there is an elevator.


Register and pay for your courses ONLINE!

Registration is limited to 30 people per class on a first come/first served basis. If you have trouble with the online registration process, contact Tammy Phagan at 828-419-2221 or