Course Offerings

FALL 2015 Course Offerings

Here's a list of the upcoming FALL courses. To see the complete course descriptions, scroll down below this list. You will also see the dates, times and places for each course. Once you receive your registration packet in the US Mail, you may register. If you wish to join and register, please contact us at 341-4896.

  • "Beginning/Continuing Yoga"
  • "American Gangsters"- Heidi Weber
  • "Hiking"- Marlena Lange
  • "Book Club"- Marlena Lange
  • "Immigrant Experience: History, Stories, Lower East Side"-Chris Godwin
  • "Advanced Bridge & Intermediate"- M. Sotelo, J. Kachele, M. Schuck- Jean Kachele
  • "Mah Jongg"- Florette Soroka, Pat Blau
  • "History of City of Middletown"- Peter Laskaris
  • "Aquacize"- Anne Condon
  • "Films For Everyone"- Nelson Page
  • "The Linguistic Turn"- Greg Gilman
  • "Layman's Guide to Anthropic Principle"- Bernie Ampel
  • "Visiting Museum Village"- Lori Sicardi
  • "Heroes & Villains, Cont'd"-Frank Kieck
  • "Bridge:Intermediate & Advanced"-Marion Sotelo, Jeanine Kachele, Martha Schuck
  • "Women During Civil War: Lady Spies & 2 First Ladies": Yvonne Bigney

FALL 2015 Course Offerings

Welcome to Encore’s FALL 2015 course offerings.  These learning opportunities are scheduled within the college’s academic calendar and are assigned to available areas after the credit classes have been scheduled.  SInce this schedule is completed at least two months before classes begin, neither Encore nor its instructors can make changes after that.  The only exception would be a college-wide postponement, cancellation, or rescheduling i.e. snow day. So choose your courses carefully.

Please remember to note for each course:

  • the number of sessions
  • the exact dates of those sessions
  • the location (building & room)

Because of content and/or classroom size, many courses have enrollment caps. Registrations are processed on a "First Come-First Served" basis. Here is our FALL 2015 Course Schedule.

Monday Classes FALL 2015

*** MAH JONGG: 6 sessions 1:00-3:30pm Monday, September 21, 28; October 5,19, 26; November 2

ROOM – Shepard Center Alumni Room

Learn to play that popular game, Mah Jongg, which you keep hearing about.  The American version will be our focus.  The class is for men and women who are beginners, but can also serve as a refresher course for those who have played before.  Participants will need to purchase their own Mah Jongg cards.  Instructor will order after 1st class.  Approximate cost $7.00.

Instructor:  Florette Soroka, Pat Blau

Florette has played Mah Jongg for over 35 years and has been teaching others to play for numerous years in Chester, at Middletown Mulberry House, Encore and at the Town of Wallkill Wildflower Community Center.



Tuesday Classes FALL 2015


***1915-2015 Chester’s Erie Station: 1 session 2:00pm-4:00pm, Tuesday, September 15   ROOM – Library 221

This course presents a brief history of the Erie RR, and RR stations in Chester, focusing specially on the Erie Stations at Chester. Why was it built?  Some stories from its heyday and decline are included.  Its restoration was brought about by a determined community and its current activities.

Instructor: Clifton Patrick

Clifton has been the Town of Chester Historian since April 2003.  He documents Chester’s historical assets and potential archaeological sites there. He also promotes Chester and its history through publications and public presentations.



***BEGINNING/CONTINUING YOGA: 4 sessions 2:00 – 3:30 pm  Tuesday, Sept 29, Oct 6, 13, 20

                                                            ROOM – TBA

Whether you are new to the practice of yoga or have had some experience with it, this class is appropriate for you.  If new to the practice, instruction will address the needs of a beginner.  If you have had some experience, you will be able to progress and deepen your practice. Students should wear loose fitting clothing and bring a yoga mat.

Instructor: Mary Berrigan

Mary is a 20 year practitioner and teacher of yoga. She has taught classes for Adult Ed programs. She is currently a substitute yoga teacher at Positive Fitness in Middletown, NY.


***HISTORY OF CITY OF MIDDLETOWN, NY 1 session 2:00 – 4:00 pm     Tuesday, October 13

Pete has been the Middletown City Historian for 30 years.  He is knowledgeable about the history of Middletown and that is what his presentation will encompass, as well as slides from the past.

The Middletown Historical Society is open every Wednesday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm with free admission.  Anyone wishing a tour of the facility is welcome to come during those hours.

Instructor: Peter Laskaris

Member of the Middletown Historical Society as well as on the Board of Trustees for the Historical Society.

*** THE LINGUISTIC TURN: 1 session 2:30pm-4:30pm Tuesday, October 20

                                                  ROOM – Harriman Hall 214

Science v. Philosophy: Let’s examine how, at the beginning of the 20th century, philosophy seemed to be static while science was moving ahead at an astonishing rate.  What do to?  Philosophers tried to make language as rigorous and precise as mathematics.  This was called “The Linguistic Turn.”  Despite the fact that the project failed in terms of its original goal, it can be seen as a rare case where philosophy did lead to a decisive, new and useful conclusion.  It gives us much to examine and consider.

Instructor: Greg Gilman

Greg was the proprietor of Weber’s Store in Middletown for 35 years .He has been a board member of First Federal Savings in Middletown.

Wednesday Classes FALL 2015


***HEROES AND VILLAINS CONTINUED: 4 sessions 2:15-4:30 pm,                                                                       

                                        Wednesday, September 2, 9, 16, 30     ROOM – Library 221

Instructor Frank Kieck continues our history of the Hudson Valley by studying another set of rogues and saints that set foot in our beloved Hudson River Valley.  This time around, we have the wickedest man in the world and the 1st White House sex scandal by a diva from Dutchess County.

Instructor: Frank Kieck

One of Encore’s most popular instructors, Frank is an avid old time radio and mystery fan who collects old radio shows and mysteries as a hobby.

***”THE IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE THROUGH HISTORY, STORIES & NYC’S LOWER EAST SIDE"                                                      1 session 2:00 – 4:00pm Wednesday September 9                        ROOM: Gilman Center (Library)

In this one-session course, learn about the experiences of the waves of immigrants (our own ancestors among them) to the United States from so many countries. Look again at the broad historical picture; listen to powerful stories told by and about individual immigrants; “see” the carefully restored NYC’s Lower East Side Tenement Museum and California’s Angel Island, samples of the immigrant’s first stops in the US.  Leave with the desire to learn more, read more, appreciate more.

Instructor: Chris Godwin

Professor Emeritus of English, SUNY Orange

NOTE: Encore is offering a separate Travel-Learn trip to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum on Thursday, 9/10/15.  This trip is open to all Encore members on a first-come-first-served basis. Space is limited so register asap.  Use separate flyer sent via USPS to members fo registration. For more details, see TRAVEL-LEARN section, this web site.

***HIKING: 2 sessions 2:00-4:00 pm Wednesday, September 30, October 7

Basha Kill Wildlife Preserve, September 30

For the first adventure, Marlena says, participants will meet at Haven Road Parking lot.  This walk is also an easy walk in the beautiful marsh run by the DEC, part in Sullivan County, and part in Orange County.  The property allows for fishing, boating, bird watching and later in the year hunting on the northern side of the marsh. We will be on the southern side in no-hunting season.    For directions go to will also be included with course confirmation.

Appalachian Trail Mt. Peter, October 7

If you want to car pool, participants will meet in the back parking lot at SUNY Orange next to the Encore office at 1:10 pm.  We will drive to 17A going west from Warwick.  Near the top of the mountain (Mt. Peter) and right before the turn for the ski area, we will park – there’s a paved area on the right.  The trail head is a few yards south of that parking area. We’ll walk an hour and then turn around and walk back. It is moderate to strenuous if you are not accustomed to hiking on trails with rocks. There are a few lookouts along the trail. Wear sturdy hiking books and, if you want, a hiking pole.

Rain date: 10/28 (please call Marlena if you plan to attend) cell #845-665-9200

Instructor and Guide:  Marlena Lange

***BOOK CLUB: 2 sessions 2:00-4:00 pm, Wednesday, October 14, 21        ROOM – Library Gilman Center

We will discuss Plainsong, by Kent Heruf for the October 14th class.  For the October 21nd class, we will discuss A Fire Shut Up In My Bones, written by Charles Blow.  Students will be required to read each book prior to class.

Instructor: Marlena Lange

A long time Encore instructor, Marlena has also been a teacher of English at Chester High School, SUNY Orange, Harriman College and Mercy College.  She has worked in many local prisons and is an active member of Friends of Thrall Library.

***AMERICAN GANGSTERS: 3 sessions 1:00-3:00 pm, Wednesday,    October 28, November 4, 11

                                                  ROOM – Bio Tech 303

This seminar will explore the impact of lawlessness in American History. It will begin in the American West in the post-Civil War Era looking into the lives of men like Jesse James and the Dalton Gang, as they struggled to readjust to life without war and spiraled into bank robbing.  The course will continue into the early 20th Century and explore the rise of organized crime in the era of World War I and prohibition.  Men like Bugs Moran, Alfonse Capone and Bugsy Sigel transformed cities like New York, Chicago and Las Vegas. The course will explore the sociological, physiological and historical aspects of how these individuals transformed into these criminal lifestyles and their overall impact on American History.

Instructor: Heidi Weber

Heidi is an Assistant Professor in the SUNY Orange Global Studies Department.  She is also Honors Coordinator for the Center for Teaching and Learning at SUNY Orange.

***LAYMEN’S GUIDE TO ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE: 1 session 2:00-4:00pm   Wednesday, November 4

                                                                         ROOM – Harriman 214

Do human thought and consciousness play a part in the creation of the universe?

Instructor: Bernie Ampel

Bernie has lived in the Hudson Valley for over 40 years, has been a Psychotherapist in family and individual counseling for 30 years in private practice, and is interested in all things pertaining to the working of the mind.


Thursday Classes FALL 2015

***VISIT MUSEUM VILLAGE: 1 session 2:00 – 3:00 pm Thursday, September 17

                                                           ROOM - Shepard Center Alumni Room

There will be an introduction to the Village itself on September 17. Then on Friday, September 18 at 12 noon there will be a tour at the Village – free of charge. You must provide your own transportation. Wear comfortable shoes.

Directions:Take Route 17 East. Take exit 120 off Rt 17 and follow signs.

Address: 1010 State Route 17M Monroe, NY

Instructor: Lori Sicardi

Lori is the Program Director for Museum Village

***BRIDGE – INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED: 4 sessions 1:00 – 3:00 pm Thursday,                                    

October 1,8,15,22  ROOM – Shepard Center Alumni Room

Take a seat; continue last spring’s class with our knowledgeable faculty trio.  Learn more bridge conventions, play of the hand, defense and signals.  Only for experienced bridge players familiar with basic convention.     

Instructors: Marion Sotelo, Jeanine Kachele, Martha Schuck

All three instructors have been duplicate bridge players for many years.  Marion has attained the rank of Silver Life Master. All three love the game and want others to share their enthusiasm for the game.


                         3 sessions 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm,  Thursday, October 8, 15, 22

                                                              ROOM – Bio Tech 264

Come and meet some of the brave women who put their lives on the line for the Union and the Confederacy by secretly carrying information between the lines during the Civil War. The Civil War is the only time period in American History that this country has had two “First Ladies” at the same time. Come and meet these two ladies who met tragedy and triumph with courage and strength.

Instructor: Yvonne Bigney

Yvonne was a civil war re-enactor for 10 years participating in many reenactments including Museum Village, Walnut Mt, the 135th anniversary @ Gettysburg, etc.  She belonged to the 15th NY Volunteer Calvary and 124th NY Infantry-the “Orange Blossoms”. She has given talks at historical societies, libraries and schools.

Friday Classes FALL 2015


***AQUASIZE: 3 sessions, 3:00-4:00pm Thursday, September 4, 18, October 2

                                                                       ROOM – Physical Education Pool

Students will be introduced to basic aquasize movements and equipment. Showers & locker room are available; bring your own lock.  Report directly to pool for class dressed in bathing suit. Class will be one hour in the water.  It would be helpful if the participant’s doctor knew about this exercise. No street shoes on the pool deck!

Requirements: the ability to enter and exit the pool independently and the ability to move around the pool independently.

Instructor: Anne M. Condon

Anne has been a popular, certified and accomplished swimming instructor for many years.


***FILMS FOR EVERYONE: 6 sessions 2:00-5:00pm Friday October 2,9,16,23,30;November 6                                                                                                          ROOM – Harriman Hall 111                                    

Students will view 6 films which will be both entertaining and informative.  A brief history of each film will be presented before showings; discussions will follow the movie.  The following films will be shown:

  • 10/2  – “Jezebel”
  • 10/9  -  “Mr. Roberts”
  • 10/16 - “The Heiress”
  • 10/23 – “Some Like It Hot”
  • 10/30  - “Mildred Pierce”
  • 11/6   -  “Birdman”

          Program is subject to change.

Instructor: Nelson E. Page

Nelson has been affiliated with the motion picture exhibition for the past 30 years.  He enjoys sharing his expertise and knowledge with Encore.