The Marist Evening Series ended in early February after three nights of fascinating courses for adults taught by Marist School faculty and staff.
Favorite courses included the sold-out “Introduction to Art History” instructed by Dr. Michael Bieze and the popular course on “College Planning 101: Getting Equipped for the Journey” taught by Director of College Counseling Mr. Robert Von Hagen. Ms. Sarah Conn led an eagerly anticipated field trip through two famous Atlanta sites, Westview Cemetery and Oakland Cemetery, for her course, “Atlanta’s Weird History.”
“The History of the Holocaust” course was instructed by longtime Marist social studies teacher Mr. Brendan Murphy. The course met in Esmond Brady Memorial Chapel this year to accommodate an increase in attendees.
Mrs. Lexy Barton Mizell ’03 signed up for the Holocaust course since she did not have the opportunity to enroll in Mr. Murphy’s class on the same subject while a student at Marist. “The class was, at its core, a study of human morality,” reflected Mrs. Mizell. “We began with the history of antisemitism and progressed through the events of World War II. I’m happy to have had the experience of revisiting this history through the unique and moving lens Mr. Murphy provided.”
Mr. Murphy invited World War II veteran Hilbert Margol to speak during the final session of the series on February 6. Marist students from Mr. Murphy’s Holocaust course also were invited to attend this session to hear from Margol in his own words. These students will travel on the “Bearing Witness
” field trip with Mr. Murphy later this year.
“I created the Evening Series class on the Holocaust because there is no future without memory,” Mr. Murphy shared. “Hearing from Margol was a unique experience, especially for the students, many of whom will visit the Dachau Concentration Camp, the very camp he helped liberate in April 1945. As a witness to the Holocaust, the stories he shared are a vital resource to help us make sense of this history.”
Dr. Louisa Moffitt taught “The Middle East”, which included timely discussions on Islam, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, and other pertinent digressions and political implications on U. S. foreign policy.
Mr. Martin Torres, Marist technology specialist, instructed an introductory course on the “X-Plane 12 Flight Simulator.” X-Plane 12 flight simulator software is used in the real world to train student pilots obtaining their private pilot’s license in general aviation. “My participants showed an eagerness to learn as much as they could about flight simulation,” Mr. Torres said. “They definitely improved their skill levels with each session.”
A new course attendees enjoyed was “The American Experiment: The Long 1990s,” taught by Marist School MacGinnitie Award for Innovation recipients Dr. Nic Hoffmann ’03 and Mr. Mike Burns. When choosing a decade of focus for this year’s Evening Series courses, social studies teacher Dr. Hoffmann shared, “The long ’90s, as we have defined it, stretches from 1988 to 2001, ending with September 11. Within this time frame, we attempted to show the transition from news to entertainment, the video-gamification of war in the Persian Gulf, the creation of sensational courtroom coverage as we hit wave after wave of trials of the century, followed by an increase of violence and distrust in the government stretching from Ruby Ridge to Waco to Oklahoma City. Even our culture reflected these transitions, from independent film to R&B culture to “The X-Files.” The muscle-bound action movies of the ’80s, when America was out on top and unchallenged in the world, were replaced by introspection.” With so much ground to cover, Dr. Hoffmann and Mr. Burns relied on years of experience co-teaching in the classroom to ensure the experience was as fun as it was thorough.
Marist School is blessed to have opportunities to learn from our outstanding faculty and staff who share their God-given talents and passions with our community. Thank you to all who attended a Marist Evening Series course this year in support of these fantastic educators.