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Spring 2015 First Year Seminar

FSEM 100-12 (CRN 6938) Search for Wisdom 

You don't tug on Superman's cape. You don't spit into the wind. (Jim Croce)

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing personal opinion. (Proverbs)

Never insult an alligator until after you have crossed the river. (Cordell Hull)

Ancient seekers of wisdom believed that there was meaning in human existence. If you found the rhythms of life, success followed. Other thinkers were less positive. No matter how hard you try, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes you get sucker-punched! As did the sages of old, students will enter the ageless quest for wisdom. We'll explore the traditions of the ancient Near East including that of the biblical texts. We'll look to wisdom traditions within world religions and consider contemporary expression of wisdom themes. The worldview of wisdom, as a social movement and as language and literature, will provide students a blueprint for developing their own guide for finding meaning in life. This course includes a weekly success lab.

Your Professor

Kandy Queen-Sutherland holds the Sam R Marks Chair of Religion. Her courses focus on the literature of the Bible, particularly Hebrew Scriptures and often grow out of the interplay of biblical texts and issues of social justice. Before coming to Stetson, she taught on a theological faculty in Switzerland. Her love of international travel continues at Stetson through the offering of travel courses to Greece and Turkey as well as the Middle East. She enjoys being the mother of a Stetson student, living on a dirt road, volunteering at the Neighborhood Center, and downtown DeLand on Friday evenings.

FSEM 100-13 (CRN 6959) Salsa: Multicultural Music of the Caribbean

Have you ever been to a Latino party? Have you ever listened to salsa? Have you ever danced salsa? What do you know about salsa? This course explores the origin and history of one of the most versatile and popular musical genres of the 20th and 21st centuries. Salsa has transcended the borders of the Caribbean and the entire American continent to European and Asian latitudes because of its complex and irresistible rhythms, its attractive melodies, and its sensual and romantic lyrics. What is the musical power of salsa? What is inside of this contagious rhythm that communes magically with the content of a text? How can performers improvise words and new phrases without departing from the main message? We will examine the different styles of salsa in its various forms and its vocabulary and slangs to identify musical momentums, as well as to recognize their rhythmic structures and sounds. Will you dare to play it, dance it, and sing it?

Your Professor

Jesus Alfonzo is associate professor of music in viola, chamber music and music history at Stetson University, where he also conducts the Viola Consort and leads the Viola Clinic. He is also a member of the Bach Festival Orchestra in Winter Park, Fla., and has been a member of the Rios Reyna String Quartet since 1987. He received a diploma and post-graduate diploma from Juilliard School of Music and master of music and doctorate in musical arts degrees from Michigan State University.

Alfonzo was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He is a founding member of the EL SISTEMA, The Venezuelan National System of Youth Orchestras, in which he had the opportunity to develop both his teaching and playing skills. In 1980 and 1981, he was principal violist of the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra. Later, he became principal violist of Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for 16 years. In his vast orchestral experience he has worked with distinguished conductors and soloists including Claudio Abbado, Gustavo Dudamel, Leonard Bernstein, Jose Antonio Abreu, Maxim Schostakovitch,Kristoff Penderecki, Zubin Mehta, Serge Baudo, Carlos Chavez, Jerzy Semkov, Eduardo Mata, Claudio Arrau, Joseph Silverstein, Mstislav Rostropovich, PinchasZukerman, Yo-Yo Ma, Monserrat Caballe, Jean PierreRampal, Yehudi Menuhin and Henry Szeryng. He has taught in Venezuela at the Conservatorio de Musica Simon Bolivar, the Institute of Musical Studies and the ColegioEmil Friedman.

Since 1998, he has given an annual series of viola and string pedagogy master classes at EL SISTEMA in almost every state of Venezuela. In 2008, he wrote the First Catalogue for Latin American Viola Music.