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Course Descriptions - Spring 2018

Course Descriptions - Spring 2018

Course descriptions are presented in alphabetical order by Course Leader (CL) last name.

Course Day and Time:  To find out when a course is being given, click on Course Schedule here or at the end of any course description.

Course codes also contain the day, period and course length information:

  • 1Tue, 2Wed, 3Thu designate the day the course is given (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday);
  • In the middle field, 1, 2 or 3 stand for the period in which the course is given on that day;
  • In the rightmost field, 10 and 5 stand for the course length in weeks; 5a or 5b means that the 5-week course is given in the first or second half of the semester, respectively;
Printable file of the Course Schedule and Course Descriptions

In the course-list table below, click on the CL name to go to the course description. For a printable file of this list, click here.

For a printable file of all the course descriptions, click here (28 pages).

Course Code
Course Leader
Course Title
3Thu-1C-10 Suzanne Art
 Nevertheless, She Persisted: Remarkable Women in Western Art
1Tue-2D-10 Bob Berlin
 Saving our Grandchildren’s World: Alternatives to Fossil Fuels
(not being given this semester)
1Tue-1C-10 Donald Bermont
 Being Human: A Multi-Disciplinary Examination of an Imperfect Species
1Tue-1B-5a Fara Faramarzpour  Five Episodes in the History of Science
3Thu-3A-10 Art Finstein  Why Sing Plays?
(not being given this semester)
3Thu-3C-5b Gillian Geffin  Genetics: From a Monk’s Musings to Mutations in Modern Medicine
3Thu-2C-10 Sandy Grasfield  Mysteries in Massachusetts
3Thu-1F-10 Joel Kamer  Fun with Numbers
3Thu-2B-5b Arnold Kerzner  What is Love: A Biological, Psychological, Poetic and Philosophical Review
1Tue-3B-10 Carole Levy  Selected Works of Literature that have Influenced Social Change
2Wed-1B-10 Mark McNamee  It’s Your Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience
3Thu-3B-10 Mary Mansfield & Phyllis Cohen  Justice: What's the Right Thing to do?
3Thu-3D-10 Richard Mansfield & Joe Bongiardina  Policy and Politics: Contemporary Issues
3Thu-1D-5a Richard & Mary Mansfield  How to Develop and Teach a Lifelong Learning Course  (Free course)
2Wed-1A-5b Lois Novotny  Opera Buffa - Comedy Tonight 
 (2-period class: 9:45 - 1:00)
1Tue-3A-10 Robert Orkand
 Religion in American Life, Part 2
1Tue-3C-5b Richard Pearson  Religion and the First Amendment
3Thu-2E-5a Phil Radoff  A Guided Tour of Two Verdi Masterpieces: Rigoletto and La Traviata
2Wed-1D-10 Myrna Rybczyk  Writing a Memoir: One Story at a Time
(not being given this semester)
1Tue-1A-10 Peter & Naomi Schmidt
 The Golden Years of Foreign Film: The '50’s and '60’s 
 (2-period class: 9:45 - 1:00)
2Wed-2C-7b Judith Scott  Movements in Modern Art (7-week course starts March 21)
1Tue-2B-10 Sandy Sherizen
 Manipulation
3Thu-1A-5b Irwin Silver  The Films of Clint Eastwood: Actor, Director or Both 
 (2-period class: 9:45 - 1:00)
1Tue-2C-10 Marvin Snider
 Truman
2Wed-2B-10 Harriet Janel-Starrett  The USA in the 20th and 21st Centuries
3Thu-1E-5b Dorie Weintraub
 From Bulfinch to the 21st Century – (Some of) My Favorite Buildings
2Wed-1C-10 Maryann Wyner  Somerset Maugham: Selected Short Stories
2Wed-2D-5b Maryann Wyner & Judie Strauss  LILAC Players  (Free course)
3Thu-2D-5b Lois Ziegelman
 Great American Plays of the 20th Century
 (changed from 10-week to 5-week course)


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3Thu-1C-10:  Nevertheless, She Persisted: Remarkable Women in Western Art

Course Leader:  Suzanne Art

Course Length/Start: 
10 weeks starting on March 1

Course Description:

Women have been creating works of art since earliest times – weaving, embroidering, illustrating manuscripts, even composing melodies. During the Renaissance, certain women gained access in artists’ studios (usually through family connections) to try their hands at painting in oils. Although they occupied an inferior status to their male counterparts, they proudly signed their paintings. This was the beginning of a quiet revolution: Despite the difficulties they encountered in training, travelling and selling their work, to say nothing of the discrimination imposed by the male-dominated art academies, many women gained recognition in their own times. Sadly, they were usually forgotten after they died. Few people wanted to acquire their paintings, unless, as often happened, they were attributed to male contemporaries! Happily, in recent years, curators and art historians, and feminists in general, have promoted the role of women in the arts. Nowadays, galleries and exhibits devoted to the likes of Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun attract huge crowds. A recently discovered small painting by Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi sold for $2 million; a floral painting by Georgia O’Keefe went in 2014 for $45 million. Times are clearly changing for the ladies! This course will examine the lives and experiences of women artists from the Renaissance to the early 20th century – focusing on the familiar as well as the not so familiar. There will be a combination of presentation and discussion.  

The artists we will study did not paint for any particular segment of society but rather for everyone interested in art. Likewise, this course is open to students of both genders. Gentlemen are most welcome!

Participants must be able to use the computer to find, read and view on-line assignments: brief biographies and articles as well as videos of art historians and curators discussing special paintings. Weekly preparation should take about 1 ½ hours.

Books and Other Resources: 

On-line articles and videos will be assigned.

Biography:

I have always loved art and history. My favorite pastime is “experiencing” the paintings in art museums. I have a BA in History, an MA and ABD (all but dissertation) in the French Language and Literature, and an MA in Teaching. I taught history for 16 years at a private school. During that time, I also wrote a series of twelve history books, a major feature of which is the study of art in a given culture. I have taught five courses at LLAIC: Painters of the Italian Renaissance, Three Giants of the Northern Renaissance, Let’s Go for Baroque, From Frou-frou to Heroic - Painting in 18th and early 19th Century France, and Remarkable Women in Western Art.


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1Tue-2D-10:  Saving Our Grandchildren’s World: Alternatives to the Use of Fossil Fuels

Course Leader:  Bob Berlin

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on Feb. 27

Course Description:

There is overwhelming evidence that the burning of fossil fuels is the primary cause of the buildup of green house gases, which is resulting in worldwide disruption of normal climate patterns.  However, recent U.S. government actions have promoted the use of fossil fuel and put roadblocks in the way of our switch to alternative energy sources.

But it’s not all bad news.  In this course, we will discuss the promising developments in alternative energy, including renewables (solar, wind, tidal, and wave action) and other clean energy sources (hydroelectric and nuclear), as well as the worldwide conversion of vehicles to hybrid and electric cars.  Our starting point will be a brief review of the evidence of worldwide climate variations, including historical patterns, and the relationship of these variations to human activity and natural causes.  We will also consider the consequences of fracking to extract natural gas.

We’ll explore the complex political, economic, and personal realities of the conversion from fossil fuels to alternative energy sources.  What are states, major corporations, and other nations doing to accelerate this conversion?  What can you do?

Each class will begin with a look at critical stories from that week’s news.  The class format will combine presentations and the lively discussions that come from strong opinions about climate change.  Assignments will be about one hour of readings or YouTube videos per week.  Prior technical knowledge is not required.


Books and Other Resources: 

A packet will be provided by the CL

Biography:

I was originally trained as an engineer and was employed in developing advanced energy systems.  My work became environmentally oriented after I obtained a doctorate in public health.  I worked in the environmental and energy fields for more than 50 years, both in the private and government sectors, and taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  I am a licensed professional engineer, health physicist, and reactor operator.  I coauthored “Radioactive Waste Management” in 1988.


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1Tue-1C-10 Being Human: A Multi-Disciplinary Examination of an Imperfect Species

Course Leader:  Donald Bermont

Course Length/Start: 
10 weeks starting on Feb. 27

Course Description:

Recent advances in technology have exponentially increased our understanding of the physical (primarily genetic) and psychological determinants of human behavior. Many of the old models and theories have been shown to be inaccurate, and new insights are emerging, literally, every day.

We will examine some of these scientific advances, focusing on the fields of genetics, evolutionary and cognitive psychology, psychiatry, sociology, family dynamics and even politics.  Included in the conversation will be the underlying philosophical debate of “free will versus determinism.”

The course will present a broad overview of a very complex field of study. Each week will begin with an introductory lecture, followed by open class discussion. Class participants will receive relevant research articles as either links to articles in major periodicals and journals or as links to scientific web sites, in order to prepare for discussion.

Some of the key topics include:

Genes, what they are and how they work, including some surprises from the Human Genome Project
The evolution of human brains and consciousness
How and why people adjust in different ways to different conditions and relationships 
How community and culture shape behavior
The struggle between the individual, the community, the greater culture and the world
How humans are changing the world, and how that is changing us
What new skills will be necessary to survive and thrive in the new world that is constantly being created

Everyone will be expected to be able to receive and open articles by email, and to be able to visit websites that use some sophisticated graphics. Weekly preparation time will be 2 to 3 hours.

Books and Other Resources: 

These are not required but recommended for anyone who wants to follow some of the origins of my thinking:

Crews, Frederick, The Making of an Illusion, Henry Holt, 2017
Dennett, Daniel,  Consciousness Explained,  Little Brown, 1991; also Freedom Evolves , Viking, 2003
Gazzaniga, Michael,  Human, Harper Collins, 2008 
Harari, Yuval,  Sapiens, Harpers, 2015

Kahneman, Daniel, Thinking Fast and Slow, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011
Tegmark, Max, Our Mathematical Universe, Knoff, 2014

Biography:

I received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Temple University in 1974.  In the forty-five years that I have been in practice, from community clinics to a practice in Lowell, MA, I have realized that the majority of things I was taught in graduate school are out of date, and many were just wrong.

I became increasingly interested in cognitive psychology, genetics, and even studies from fields such as epidemiology, criminology and archeology.  I saw how complex and interactive all the aspects of our lives are, and how our behavior is determined by several major factors, the most powerful of which are our genetics, our families and our communities. 
I appreciate this opportunity to explore my ideas in this class.


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1Tue-1B-5a:  Five Episodes in the History of Science

Course Leader:  Fara Faramarzpour

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on Feb. 27 (first half)

Course Description:

We will consider five important periods in the history of science:
  1. Babylonian and Assyrian Astronomy (1100 BCE)
    • The creation stories: “Enuma Elish and the Biblical Genesis”.

  2. Greek Science (585 BCE-150 CE)
    • Pre-Socratics and the development of mathematics and observational astronomy. Exploration of the world of living things: Plato’s “The Timaeus” and Ptolemy’s Almagest

  3. Greek Thought, Islamic Culture (850-1256 CE)
    • The House of Wisdom in Baghdad: Translation of Greek texts into Arabic, and contributions in mathematics, astronomy and medicine (Avicenna- Cannon of Medicine-1025 CE)

  4. Latin Science (1100-1500 CE), and the beginning of university education.
    • Paradigm shift: Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo.

  5. Modern Science (1500 CE-now)
    • Gravity and light, modern astronomy, particle physics and the new creation story (Big Bang)
I will be using PowerPoint slides along with a class website. Participants need to be able to use the computer to open emails and access websites. Weekly preparation time will be about two hours.

Books and Other Resources: 

Files will be added to the class website.

Biography:

My academic background was in physics and astronomy. I offered a ten-week version of this course at BOLLI in 2008. I enjoy reading about the history of science and how different cultures added to our understanding of the physical world by using experiments and mathematics. I have taught several other courses at lifelong learning programs in the western suburbs of Boston.


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3Thu-3A-10:  Why Sing Plays?

Course Leader:  Art Finstein

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on March 1

Course Description:

We'll study 3 major American musicals from the last 50 years: My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof, and Into the Woods. Each piece takes a different approach to musicalizing its subject matter. But all 3 works make use of basic compositional principles established long ago in the world of opera and operetta.  We'll define these basic tenets of musical storytelling, and examine each show, focusing on the purposes, placement, structures and styles of songs, in an effort to discover how the creators' musical choices sharpen character and plot, and deepen the play's impact.  

The class will consist of presentations by the leader, group listening / viewing and discussion, and reading.  No reports will be expected and no specific musical or theatrical skills are required.   

Since I will communicate with students by email, and will recommend and sometimes supply materials found online, I'll expect students to have a basic grasp of using these tools, including email., simple Google searches, and Youtube.   

Books and Other Resources: 
  • Scripts / recordings of My Fair Lady and Shaw's Pygmalion are widely available in public libraries.  Any edition is acceptable. 
  • Fiddler... is similarly widely accessible, and available in paperback for very modest amounts through Amazon or other booksellers.
  • Into the Woods is published by the Theatre Communications Group and is available through the Minuteman Library system of Massachusetts (minlib.net) as well as on Amazon and other mass sellers, and I will very likely provide at least relevant excerpts from it via email attachments.  
  • Other resources will be suggested in class communications, but not required.
Biography:

Arthur Finstein holds BA and MFA degrees in Music from Brandeis.  He’s a retired Massachusetts Music Educator and has music-directed more than 190 productions in the greater Boston scholastic, community and professional theater circuits over 40+ years.  He has presented at statewide, regional and national conferences on Music and Theater Education, and continues to advocate for increased support for the creative arts, especially for Music and Musical Theater


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3Thu-3C-5b:  Genetics: From a Monk’s Musings to Mutations in Modern Medicine

Course Leader:  Gillian Geffin 

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on April 12 (second half)

Course Description:

This course will provide a basic understanding of genetics—what is DNA, what are genes, and what do they do? —and enable members to understand and form their own judgments about the wisdom of current and proposed applications of genetics. No prior knowledge is necessary. 

We will start with the seminal studies of genetics performed in pea plants around 1860 by the Austrian monk, Mendel, and overlooked for 30 years.

You have your mother’s eyes, your father’s hair, and your grandmother’s smile. How did that happen? What are mutations and how can they cause human disease? We will consider inherited diseases such as Tay-Sachs, sickle-cell disease and some breast cancers. Should we allow a gene to be patented? We will touch on the genetic basis of evolution: should we give “equal time” to the theories of evolution and creationism in schools? 

We will explore how genetic engineering (GE) is accomplished in bacteria, plants and animals and discuss its uses, ethics and safety. Should we fool with Mother Nature?  Do you or should you avoid GE foodstuffs? What do you think about GE in human beings: its potential medical applications, designer babies? Zika, a virus carried by a particular type of mosquito, has wreaked a terrible toll on babies born to infected mothers, mostly in South America and the Caribbean. The mosquito is also found in high numbers in the southern USA. Would you release a GE-mosquito, developed to help control the spread of Zika, into the environment? 

What is Crispr? What are its potential benefits and causes for concern?

There will be PowerPoint presentations of the basic science and discussions of its applications.

Computer ability is required for email communication with the class and for internet use.  The Course Leader will provide internet links for readings and online resources.  Some reading may be sent as email attachments, sometimes requiring class members to open an attached file. Weekly preparation time will be 1 to 2 hours.

Books and Other Resources: 

No books are required.

Biography:

I have degrees in physiology and medicine from the University of London. I ran a research laboratory at the M.G.H., and taught research fellows and medical students. My teaching experience includes contributing to previous 5-week courses on science at LLAIC and elsewhere and, with my husband,  I have twice led a science and technology course at another lifelong learning place.


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3Thu-2C-10:  Mysteries in Massachusetts

Course Leader:  Sandy Grasfield

Course Length/Start:  10 week course starting on March 1

Course Description:

When you think of the State of Massachusetts, what comes to mind?  Beautiful shoreline with quaint, historic villages; rolling mountains covered with glorious autumnal foliage; stellar institutions of higher learning; innovative industries; peerless museums of art, and more.  You probably don’t think of mystery, murder and mayhem.  Although Massachusetts is small geographically, an astonishing number of authors have set their mystery novels here, from Boston to the Berkshires, the Cape and the Islands.  Each of the books we will read takes place in the Bay State.  We will examine, among other things, the impact of setting on a good story and look at the various techniques that our authors use to weave the details of place into plot and character.

While these novels may all be set in the Commonwealth, that is virtually all they have in common.  They range from the graphic to the cozy.  They are written by both women and men.  Some were written in earlier decades, and some are quite recent.  Some of us will be revisiting and others discovering excellent storytellers who may have been neglected in the bright light of recent rock star authors.

Classes will consist of a brief lecture presenting background materials, guided discussion of the novels and video excerpts where relevant. Basic computer skills are needed to receive regular communications from the Course Leader.

We will be reading a novel each week, and although I’ve tried to choose shorter ones, the hours needed to prepare will depend on individual reading speeds.

Books and Other Resources: 

The following required books are available through the Minuteman Library System, as well as on Amazon and other new and used online book sites.
  • Gone, Baby, Gone – Dennis Lehane
  • A Trouble of Fools – Linda Barnes
  • Looking for Rachel Wallace – Robert B. Parker
  • The Silent GirlTess Gerritsen
  • The Only Good Lawyer – Jeremiah Healy
  • The Body in the Belfry – Katherine Hall Page
  • Billingsgate Shoal – Rick Boyer
  • What You See – Hank Phillippi Ryan
  • Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home – Harry Kemelman
  • Vineyard Deceit – Philip Craig
These books are available through the Minuteman Library System, as well as on Amazon and other new and used online book sites.

Biography:

I have been a voracious reader all my life and was a Comparative Literature major in college. During years of lifelong learning and teaching, I have led courses in a variety of subjects, among them:  The History and Politics of Food, The Plays and Memoirs of Lillian Hellman, and Great Photographs and Photographers of the Depression Era.  Most recently, I have co-taught with Dana Kaplan two semesters each of two mystery novel courses:  Sisters in Crime and Sleuths for All Seasons: a Global Survey.


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3Thu-1F-10:  Fun with Numbers

Course Leader:  Joel Kamer

Course Length/Start:  10 week course starting on March 1

Course Description:

Numbers are scary to some of us because they are the cornerstone of mathematics.  This course, however, does not require any background or talent in mathematics.  Rather, it is designed as a gentle introduction to the world of numbers.  It will show that numbers can be fascinating and fun when approached in the proper manner.  We know politicians can be narcissistic, but do you know about narcissistic numbers?  Can you make magic squares without being a mathematician?  (Ben Franklin did.)  What are prime numbers, perfect numbers, and Fibonacci numbers?  Learn about the golden ratio, mathematical “black holes,” and infinities (there’s more than one infinity).  When our class is done, you may be no better at balancing your checkbook, but you will have had lots of fun with numbers.

Computer use is not necessary for the course work, but students are likely to use the computer to obtain information for the voluntary assignments (short biographies of famous mathematicians). Weekly preparation time will be 1-2 hours.
Books and Other Resources

Books and Other Resources: 

The Penguin Dictionary of Curious and Interesting Numbers (rev. ed,), by David Wells. Penguin Press Science, 1998.
Wonders of Numbers:  Adventures in Math, Mind and Meaning, by Clifford Pickover.

Biography:

After obtaining master’s degrees in mathematics and actuarial science I decided to earn a living. I became a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and ultimately retired as a Senior VP from John Hancock Financial Services.  My working career was spent with the serious side of mathematics and numbers, but I look forward to sharing the fascinating fun side of math and numbers with the class. 


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3Thu-2B-5b:   What is Love: A Biological, Psychological, Poetic and Philosophical Review

Course Leader:  Arnold Kerzner

Course Length/Start:  5 week course starting on April 12 (second half)

Course Description:

On the one hand, everyone "knows" what love is. On the other hand, it is such an exquisite state of being that is very hard to explain and understand. Yet, it is one of the most essential features required to perpetuate the human race. 
This course will examine the mystical and magical features of love from a multi-disciplinary perspective. We will review studies from Shakespeare, Freud, Erich Fromm (The Art of Love), Neuroscientists, Anthropologists and Biologists, and even from the song "If I Loved You" from Carousel. 

This review of love will not focus specifically on the heterosexual relationship but is meant to include every form of love as a quality in numerous states of "being in love,” or "feeling love of self and others."

Readings will be assigned from numerous articles, but the main approach will be from a collaborative communication style between this presenter and each of you.  Personal vignettes will be encouraged because each person's feelings of love will be unique as well as universal.

Participants should have sufficient computer skills to receive emails. Weekly preparation time will be about one hour.

Books and Other Resources: 

The Female Brain, Louanne Brizendene.
The Male Brain, Louanne Brizendene.

Biography:

I am a physician, board certified in pediatrics and psychiatry-neurology, and have practiced family and community psychiatry for 45 years.  During my career, I have been founder of The Boston Institute for the Development of Infants and Parents, the clinical director of The Human Relations Center of Wellesley, the psychiatrist at The Perkins School for the Blind, and am currently the psychiatric consultant to the Lighthouse School.  I have enjoyed presenting medical topics to learning in retirement groups.


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1Tue-3B-10:  Selected Works of Literature that have Influenced Social Change

Course Leader:  Carole Levy

Course Length/Start:  10 week course starting on Feb. 27

Course Description:

We will read five selections of literature (one non-fiction), all of which have had a profound influence on social change in the United States. The books cover the period from the early 20th century to the present. There are a great many topics and books I could have chosen but in this course, but we will limit our discussion to the topics of: government regulation for health and safety, Black history and the fight for equality in America, the sexual revolution, feminism, the lives of immigrants and climate change. We will augment the discussion with video suitable to the topic and historical events. This is a course for readers and those interested in social change and politics.

The class format will be mostly large group discussion. It will be helpful for participants to be able to use the computer to open emails and attachments. Weekly preparation time will be 3 to 4 hours, depending on reading speed.

Books and Other Resources: 
  • The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, 1911
  • The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin, 1963.
  • Beloved, by Toni Morrison, 1987 or Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison, 1952
  • Portnoy’s Complaint, by Philip Roth, 1969
  • The Women’s Room, Marilyn French, 1977
  • The Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson, 1962
Biography:

After working more than 25 years as a high school teacher of English and raising three daughters with my husband in Lexington, I now have the opportunity to expand my learning and share my interests by being active in lifelong learning. I enjoy the study of history and literature and have led several courses on Israel where I lived from 1970 to 1983. Previous courses I have led at LLAIC and other programs include a history of US health care policy, Israeli history, the literature of Philip Roth, and contemporary Israeli authors. I have a B.A. from Penn State University and an MBA in management of not-for-profit organizations from the Heller School at Brandeis University. I enjoy reading and travel and being active playing tennis, biking, x-country skiing and yoga, and spending time with my six grandchildren. 


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2Wed-1B-10:  It’s Your Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience

Course Leader:  Mark McNamee

Course Length/Start:  10 week course starting on Feb. 28

Course Description:

The brain is the most complex organ in humans and is the subject of intense research involving many scientific disciplines ranging from molecular biology to philosophy. Diseases of the brain take a devastating toll on individuals and society, and cures for major brain diseases remain elusive.

This course will begin with an introduction to brain organization and the structure and function of neurons, the basic building blocks of the brain. Examples of normal brain activity (including learning and memory, vision, behavior, and movement control) and altered brain function (including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimers’s disease, depression, stroke, and schizophrenia) will be explored with a focus on mechanisms, new technologies, and current research. There will be a guest lecture by Dr. Tracy Pearse, a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, whose research is focused on Alzheimer’s disease. The topics for the ten sessions include:
  1. Introduction; Overview of topics; brief history of neuroscience
  2. The Neuron:  The basic element of brain function – what neurons are and how they work. Case study: Multiple sclerosis
  3. Organization of the brain – From cells to gross anatomy.  Case study: Stroke
  4. The visual and auditory system. Case study: Hearing loss
  5. Control of muscle movement.  Case studies: Amylotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Parkinson’s Disease
  6. The Limbic System: Emotion, memory, behavior, executive function. Case studies: Depression, bipolar illness
  7. Mechanism of learning and memory: Neurons at work. Case study: Amnesia 
  8. Aging and the human brain. Case study: Alzheimer’s disease
  9. Guest lecture:  Dr. Tracy Pearse, Harvard Medical School. New advances in Alzheimer’s research
  10. Summary.  Recommendations for further study. 
The course will be designed so that non-scientists will be able to gain an understanding of how the brain works. For scientists and those interested in probing deeper into specific topics, a range of reference options will be provided. Format will include lectures with some power point, short videos, demonstrations, and case studies.

It will be helpful for participants to be able to open emails and download attachments. Weekly preparation time will take 1 to 2 hours.

Books and Other Resources: 

There is no required text, but the Course Leader will prepare and distribute copies of some readings.

Biography:

Mark McNamee retired in 2015 after 40 years as a professor of biochemistry and university administrator at UC Davis (1975-2001) and Virginia Tech (2001-2015). His research focused on the structure and function of the acetylcholine receptor, a key protein involved in brain and muscle function. He received degrees in chemistry from MIT (B.S) and Stanford (Ph.D.) and did postdoctoral work in neuroscience at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He received a Jacob Javits Neuroscience Research Award from the NIH for his research. 


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3Thu-3B-10:  Justice: What's the Right Thing to do?

Course Leader:  Mary Mansfield & Phyllis Cohen

Course Length/Start:  10 week course starting on March 1

Course Description:

The current political environment is constantly providing us with ethical and moral dilemmas to consider. In this course, we will approach these issues, and no doubt many others, from philosophical and moral viewpoints.  We will do this by viewing videos from master lecturer/teacher Michael Sandel of Harvard University. These films will cover issues such as immigration, abortion, the place of religion in politics, same-sex marriage, price gouging and more, while considering the maximum welfare of all, respecting freedom and promoting civic virtue. The videos will be supplemented by chapters from Sandel’s book, Justice, What's the Right Thing to Do. Finally, we will use the videos, the readings and our own moral compasses in a guided conversation that should prompt lively discussion.

The videos will be watched in class. Reading time will be from 1-2 hours weekly from the book and occasionally from other sources which will be provided to you via email. This is very definitely an opportunity for us to study as a group and hopefully to leave this course wiser and with more well-defined views on the issues.

Computer ability is required, to receive emails and to access the internet and YouTube videos. Weekly preparation should take 1-2 hours.

Books and Other Resources: 

Justice, What’s the Right Thing to Do? Michael Sandel. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. First paperback edition, 2010.

Biography:

Phyllis: I co-led study groups at BOLLI for 8 years, led a literary group at the Weston Public Library for one year,and co-led a course at LLAIC. My professional life was (and is) spent running my own small business selling promotional and marketing items, writing newsletters for small businesses and freelance writing. I am a graduate of Brandeis University, and attended Framingham State College for a Master’s Degree in Library Science.

Mary: I am a life-long educator, and have worked as a teacher, reading specialist, teacher trainer in inner city schools, career counselor, and college admissions director. As an independent educational consultant, I worked with parents and young people to help them select and apply to schools, colleges and alternative educational programs. I have taught several courses at LLAIC, and have extensive experience as a presenter, trainer, and workshop developer. 


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3Thu-3D-10:  Policy and Politics: Contemporary Issues 

Course Leader:  Richard Mansfield & Joe Bongiardina

Course Length/Start:  10 week course starting on March 1

Course Description:

Would you like to understand and be able to talk knowledgeably about the key domestic and foreign policy issues facing the United States? Would you like to understand the dynamics reshaping each of our political parties? This course will focus on the best thinking about current issues and what to do about them. Among the issues we will address are: how to strengthen the U.S. economy and address growing inequality; U.S. foreign policy in general and specifically towards North Korea, Iran and China; rising populism in the U.S. and the world, European unity or fragmentation, and the future of the U.S. Democratic and Republican parties. Each class session will focus on one issue, and we will discuss several serious articles representing different viewpoints. We will select recent articles from Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, the New York Review of Books, Commentary, and similar publications. One week before each class the Course Leaders will distribute the articles and some of the questions to be addressed in class discussion. At the start of a class session one of the Course Leaders will briefly summarize key points from one of the articles and then pose questions for discussion. This process will be repeated for the other assigned articles. 

Many of the topics and articles for this course will be ones used when this course was offered in the Fall of 2017, but some new topics and articles will be introduced.

Participants need to be able to use the computer to open emails and download and print attachments. Weekly preparation should take about 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Books and Other Resources: 

Articles primarily from the past 6 to 12 months will be selected from publications such as Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, New York Review of Books, and National Review and distributed to the class as email attachments in pdf or Word format.

Biography:

Richard Mansfield and Joe Bongiardina have a shared interest in the political and policy issues facing the U.S. and the world. They have taught this course together once before, in the fall of 2017.

Richard has co-led courses on contemporary issues twice before, and he has also taught or co-taught courses on American educational policy, creativity, the social consequences of rising inequality, and emotional intelligence and grit. He spent the first 10 years of his career teaching educational psychology and human development at Temple University and then became a consultant specializing job analysis, leadership, and organizational behavior. 

Joe has co-taught this course once before, and he has long been interested in political science and issues.  His first career was in the US Army in the Adjutant General’s Corps; then moved on to Wang Laboratories in human resource management and organizational consulting and finally retired after 13 years as an independent consultant in Management and Human Resource Development. He developed human resource and management systems and was heavily engaged in training and development, including teaching leadership development, quality improvement, job search and selection training for managers.


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3Thu-1D-5a:  How to Develop and Teach a Lifelong Learning Course  (Free course)

Course Leader:
 
Richard & Mary Mansfield

Course Length/Start:  5 week course starting on March 1 (first half)

Course Description:

This is a free course for potential Course Leaders and for experienced Course Leaders who are interested in developing their knowledge and skill about teaching at lifelong learning programs like LLAIC. The following topics will be addressed, but the time allotted for each topic will depend on the needs and interests of the participants.
  1. How to select a topic for the course
  2. How to find materials for course content: books, stories, articles, videos
  3. Deciding on the main teaching formats you will use
  4. Planning topics for each of the 5 or 10 class sessions
  5. Preparing a course proposal, including how to write an effective course description
  6. Writing a welcome letter to the class
  7. Special activities for the initial class session
  8. How to communicate by email with the class
  9. What makes for an effective class session
  10. Developing a lesson plan for a class session
  11. Planning and developing presentations, including use of PowerPoint
  12. Delivering presentations
  13. Planning and facilitating large group and small group class discussions
  14. Classroom management
At each session several of these topics will be addressed. Class sessions will typically include a brief presentation, much discussion. Some opportunities for skill practice will be provided, both in class and as follow-up or preparation for the next class.   

Participants should be able to use the computer to open emails and attachments, create word processing documents, and use the internet to search for information. Weekly preparation time will be about 1 hour.

Books and Other Resources: 

There are no required books, but the Course Leaders may distribute documents as handouts or email attachments.

Biography:

Richard and Mary have developed and co-taught taught courses both individually and together, at LLAIC – most recently one they are co-teaching that is titled “Beyond IQ and Talent: Emotional IQ and Grit.” They both serve on LLAIC’s Curriculum Committee, and Mary is its chair. 


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2Wed-1A-5b:  Opera Buffa — Comedy tonight!   (2-period class: 9:45 - 1:00)

Course Leader:
 
Lois Novotny

Course Length/Start:  5 week course starting on April 18 (second half, week 7)

Course Description:

Operas are often about heroic and tragic subjects, with many principal characters not surviving until the end of the opera, but comic operas—with no deaths to encumber the story! — have long been popular with audiences. This course will look at opera buffa, the Italian comic opera through mid-19th century, and see what composers did to make their operas funny. We will consider the elements that contribute to comedy, including plots, character types, singer types, and musical devices. Then we’ll see how the devices are applied in five of the most famous comic operas of the period:  Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia and L’Italiana in Algeri, and Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore and Don Pasquale.  
The staging can be an important factor in any opera, but perhaps especially in a comic one. After seeing most of one production, we will look at portions from other versions to see different approaches to the same subject.  While a large part of each class will be watching the performances on DVDs, there will be time for discussion.  No prior knowledge of opera or music required.

It will be helpful for participants to have basic computer skills in order to be able to receive and open emails. Not much is required beyond looking at the synopses and an occasional short reading.

Books and Other Resources: 

none

Biography:

After completing all course work for a Ph.D in musicology, it became apparent that the job market for college teaching (the only work for which the degree was relevant) had completely ceased to exist. Since learning something that had a job and salary attached to it seemed like a good idea, I went to law school.  I attend performances of concerts, opera, and ballet in Boston and New York (still have a Met subscription).  On travels to Europe, I am fortunate to have been able to see opera in Parma, Palermo, Naples, Rome, Venice, Milan, Prague, Budapest, Paris, and at many of the great opera houses, including La Scala, La Fenice, and the Maryiinsky and Bolshoi theaters.  I’ve had the pleasure of teaching Shakespeare, Opera, and Ballet:  Transforming One Art Form into Another and Puccini’s Heroines (not all meet tragic ends) at LLAIC.


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1Tue-3A-10:  Religion in American Life — A Short History, Part 2

Course Leader:  Robert Orkand

Course Length/Start:  10 week course starting on Feb. 27

Course Description:

It is almost impossible to understand the history of the United States without understanding the role that religion has played throughout its history.  And, it is impossible to understand the unique nature of American life without understanding how religion influences politics and culture.  That is especially true today.

That this happened in a society lacking any official national religion after American independence in 1776 is one of the remarkable aspects of American history.  This course will explore religion’s astonishing interaction with America’s peoples, society, politics, and life from the Civil War to the present day.  And, this course will tell the story of the men and women who have shaped the religious experience of the millions of people who call themselves Americans.

Among the topics to be discussed are the role religion played in the Civil War and how American religion responded to that catastrophic war; immigration and diversity; social gospels; revivalism and the evangelical consciousness; issues of war and peace; the rise of the information society; and looking to the future.

This class is a continuation of the Fall semester, though participants are encouraged to register without having taken that class.  My teaching style is lecture, while allowing for questions and discussion.

The ability to download and print materials using the computer will be helpful. Very little time outside of class will be required.

Books and Other Resources: 

A bibliography will be sent to students.

Biography:

Rabbi Robert Orkand retired from the pulpit rabbinate in 2013.  Prior to that he served congregations in Florida, Illinois, and Connecticut. He has taught adult learning courses at LLAIC, Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley and Temple Beth Shalom in Needham.


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1Tue-3C-5b:  The Religion Clause of the First Amendment

Course Leader:  Richard Pearson

Course Length/Start:  5 week course starting on April 10 (second half)

Course Description:

The US was founded on the basis of separation of church and state, yet thorny issues related to freedom of religion continue to arise in many aspects of life. The religion clause in the 1st Amendment reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” This course will explore how the courts, primarily the Supreme Court, have interpreted the two parts: the establishment clause and the prohibition of free exercise. 

We will begin with the background to the Bill of Rights and a discussion of what the Free Exercise Clause actually protects. You will learn about the “Wall of Separation” metaphor and how the Establishment Clause affects religion and public schools. We will study various case law and precedents impacting the exercise of religion in classrooms, public places and in public affairs. As you will see, the meaning of the religion clauses, as is true of much of the Constitution, is still, even after these many years, the subject of current debate in the courts, including the Supreme Court.

The format will primarily be lectures, but I anticipate many comments and questions, and expect there will be lively discussion. No computer ability is required. No weekly preparation is required.

Books and Other Resources: 

None

Biography:

Richard holds the following degrees: BBA from the University of Michigan, an LLB from Boston University and an LLM from Yale.  He served in the US Army from 1950 to 1952.  He practiced law in Concord, New Hampshire for six years, and taught at Boston University School of Law for 16 years and at the University of Florida School of Law for 20 years.  Richard has also served as a visiting professor at several other law schools.  He has taught adult education classes related to the law in New London and Hanover, New Hampshire.


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3Thu-2E-5a:  A Guided Tour of two Verdi Masterpieces: Rigoletto and La Traviata

Course Leader:  Phil Radoff

Course Length/Start:  5 week course starting on March 1 (first half)

Course Description:

Rigoletto and La Traviata are two “middle period” Verdi operas and are among the most popular of his works.  Both are based on contemporary French plays.  The course will present both operas substantially in their entirety, primarily through the use of video recordings, with commentary by the instructor.  Weekly emails will provide a guide to each week’s selections and pose questions for the student to consider while watching or listening to the selections. The class format will be primarily lecture-demonstration, but with some time for some questions at the beginning and end of each session.

Participants need to be able to use the computer to open emails with assignments and thought questions. Weekly preparation should take no more than two hours.

Books and Other Resources: 

Students should have access to any audio or video version of each opera and a copy of each libretto in translation.  All items are available for purchase through the usual on-line booksellers (e.g., Amazon, Barnes & Noble).  Copies are also available through the Minuteman library system.  Excerpts are also available on YouTube, and I will provide links in weekly email messages to students.

Biography:

I have no professional qualifications, but I have had a lifelong interest in opera and have given numerous courses like this one at two adult learning institutions. Additionally, I have given short opera summaries (typically an hour in length) at various venues in advance of performances of those operas at movie theaters in high definition. I also sing in a community chorus.


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2Wed-1D-10:  Writing a Memoir: One Story at a Time

Course Leader:  Myrna Rybczyk

Course Length/Start:  10 week course starting on Feb. 28

Course Description:

This course offers both a continuation of the memoir course from the previous semester and an opportunity for newcomers to join and begin writing from their own personal histories.

Only you can tell your unique story. Whether for children, grandchildren, family, friends, or a wider audience our stories can amuse, bemuse, and offer “aha moments” with a richness that only you as the experiencer can provide.  

This class will introduce the memoir as a literary genre and quickly proceed to writing exercises in and out of class to facilitate the development of your own memoir. Class participants will be expected to complete, as homework, brief writing exercises on assigned topics. Additionally, there will be “timed writing” exercises in class. We will discuss the writings in small groups of two or three, or as the entire class.

Bring an openness to exploring and sharing your life experiences and an enthusiasm for sharing those of others.

Basic computer skills would be useful but are not required. Weekly preparation time for reading and writing will be about 1 to 2 hours per week.

Books and Other Resources: 

Zinsser, William. (2004).  Writing About Your Life: A Journey into the Past. Marlowe & Company. New York.
Biography

Biography:

Myrna Rybczyk graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music Degree, majoring in music therapy. She was a visiting therapist at McLean Hospital for five years and Assistant Director of Orchard Home for adolescent girls, a branch of the Home for Little Wanderers. She taught at Monadnock Regional High School, NH, and was head of music therapy at Medfield State Hospital. After leaving MSH to raise her children, she began and continues teaching piano and guitar in her home. In the early 1980s she founded the Millis Inter-Regional Peace Action Group, working with the MA Nuclear Weapons Freeze Movement. Since 2000, she has been Director of Music at the Church of Christ UCC in her hometown of Millis, MA.  Myrna has participated in several LLAIC courses and is currently facilitating a memoir writing group in her local church community.


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1Tue-1A-10:  The Golden Years of Foreign Film: The ‘50s and ‘60s  (2-period class: 9:45 - 1:00)

Course Leader:
 
Peter & Naomi Schmidt

Course Length/Start:  10 week course starting on Feb. 27

Course Description:

The years spanning 1950 to 1969 introduced the American movie-going public to the novelty of great foreign films, providing a contrast and alternative to the standard Hollywood fare.  We invite you to join us in viewing and discussing a selection of ten such films, some serious and others more light-hearted.  Our expectation is that each will be not only enjoyable, but also thought-provoking.  In each of ten class sessions (each a double period) we will view a film together and follow with discussion, the subjects ranging from artistry and technique to symbolism and meaning.  The films that we have chosen are from a variety of countries and in a number of languages: Rashomon, La Strada, The Seventh Seal, Hiroshima Mon Amour, I’m All Right Jack, Black Orpheus, Jules et Jim, Repulsion, Blow-Up, and Z.

Participants need to be able to able to open emails and attachments. Preparation time will be about one hour per week.

Books and Other Resources: 

There are no required books.

Biography:

Peter Schmidt’s professional careers were in physics and machine vision engineering. After retirement, he joined BOLLI in 2006 and, over the last ten years, has given a number of courses at lifelong learning organizations in a variety of subjects, some science-related (e.g., Five Physicists Who Changed the World View; Quantum Mechanics without a Wrench), and others not (e.g., Three Masterpieces: From Drama to Film and Opera; The Humanity of Heinrich Böll: Selected Short Stories).

Originally trained as a physicist, Naomi Schmidt taught Computer Science at Brandeis in the 1970’s and 1980’s and then worked for 16 years at both Brandeis and MIT in the field of Academic Computing.  She has been a BOLLI member since 2003 and has been a Study Group Leader for “Invitation to the Dance” and “Science Fiction,” as well as co-leading “Who’s Afraid of 20th Century Music?” with Peter Schmidt and “The New York Experience,” “Utopianism, “The 1920s,” and “The 1960s” with Tamara Chernow. 


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2Wed-2C-7b:  Movements in Modern Art

Course Leader:  Judith Scott

Course Length/Start:  7 week course starting on March 21 (fourth week of courses)

Course Description:

Learn about the art that rocked the world.  This 7-week art history course will introduce you to several of the many movements in Modern Art, including Impressionism, Neo-Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Symbolism, and Fauvism.  Slide lectures, with extensive examples of the art, will be enhanced with class discussions.  Students will have an opportunity to share thoughts and personal reactions.  We will explore the works of artists associated with these Modern Art movements, including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Edvard Munch, Paul Gauguin, André Derain, Henri Matisse, and others.

Computer skills are not required. The course does not require homework.  Handouts providing highlights of the day’s lecture will be provided at each session.

Books and Other Resources: 

Brief lecture highlight handouts will be available each week.   Students will be asked to contribute a small sum to cover photocopying costs.

Biography:

Judith Scott has been a guide at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum for over 11 years and was a docent at Danforth Art Museum and School for 15 years.  She has conducted numerous tours at both museums and taught a significant portion of the Danforth New Docent class. She is a lifelong amateur painter and a retired senior manager in the computer industry.  She has taught two lifelong learning courses elsewhere.


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1Tue-2B-10:  Manipulation

Course Leader:  Sandy Sherizen

Course Length/Start:  10 week course starting on Feb. 27

Course Description:

We are all being manipulated daily, invisibly and unrecognized.  Elements of manipulation are essential factors in our important decisions.  Yet, it is often difficult to know what or who is influencing us, even if it is for the better.

This course will explore the notion that manipulation is so important that we need to understand it to make reasoned, essential personal and societal decisions. We will consider a range of manipulative techniques and how each influences our choices. Among areas to be examined are the following: psychological, physical, interpersonal, economic, ideological, and technological.

We will cover fascinating examples, such as placebo elevator bottoms, consumer advertising, manipulative personalities, magic tricks, con artists, Disney World lines, lying, and neurological cognitive biases. Topics will also include how politicians create their brand, how the media select what they will cover, negotiating strategies, and self-manipulation.  Personal examples will be solicited from class members. Discussion and interaction are important aspects of this course.  Those who wish can present a 10-minute report on a topic of interest after discussion with course leader.

I will be sending emails about our discussions and links to further course material.  If anyone cannot get computer access, they should contact me to see what alternatives are available. Weekly preparation time will be about 2 to 3 hours.

Books and Other Resources: 

I will prepare a packet of course readings composed of articles from the mass media, academic journals and policy papers. This will be distributed at the first class and reproduction costs will be collected.

Biography:

Trained as a sociologist, I then went bad and became a criminologist and then really bad by becoming a computer security and privacy professional.  I have taught at various universities, led seminars, been interviewed by various media and given speeches on a variety of topics.  As an ex-president, I am active at Congregation Beth El in Sudbury.  Flunking retirement, I volunteered to teach ESL to adult immigrants and continue to serve on a patient research ethics and safety board at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  I love teaching subjects which are important but are often relatively unknown and/or misunderstood. I have taught several courses at LLAIC.


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3Thu-1A-5b:  The Films of Clint Eastwood: Actor, Director or Both  (2-period class: 9:45 - 1:00)

Course Leader:
 
Irwin Silver

Course Length/Start:  5 week course starting on April 12 (second half)

Course Description:

Clint Eastwood has acted in and directed many great movies that have become film classics. He has had a spectacular career, and we will show and discuss some of his memorable films, including The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Where Eagles Dare, Unforgiven, Mystic River, and Million Dollar Baby. I plan to show a movie each week and hold a discussion of it afterwards. The course will start with films from his early career and move forward to more current ones.

Participants need to be able to use the computer to open emails and attachments and use the internet. Weekly preparation should take about one hour.

Books and Other Resources: 

I will provide reading assignments as email attachments and internet links.

Biography:

I spent 45 years in the investment industry and retired as a first vice president of a national Investment firm. I was an adjunct professor at Northeastern University as well. Because I love movies, I have been leading courses in film for about 5 years. I have been involved with LLAIC since its founding. In my younger years I was an avid skier.


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1Tue-2C-10:  Truman

Course Leader:  Marvin Snider

Course Length/Start:  10 week course starting on Feb. 27

Course Description:

Whether to drop the first atomic bomb in war was the decision that Harry Truman faced in August 1945 when he was rocketed into the presidency on April 12, 1945 after the sudden death of President Franklin Roosevelt. This was all-the-more challenging because Roosevelt essentially ignored Truman, so he knew nothing about the bomb's existence until he took office. Dropping the bomb was only the first of other controversial decisions he faced in his eight years in office. Other key decisions he made included integrating the armed forces, recognizing Israel, the Berlin airlift, establishing NATO, the Korean war, and firing MacArthur. We will explore how this man had the strength of character to make these controversial decisions. We will do this by considering the psychological and political conditions that existed at the time that led to his making each of these decisions. We will also consider how his family background, military and prior political experiences impacted the development of his character.

Members need to be able to use the computer to access the internet. Weekly preparation time should be 2 – 3 hours.

Books and Other Resources: 

Truman, by David McCullough, 1993

Biography:

Marvin Snider has a PhD in psychology and has practiced both as a clinician and an organizational consultant. He has led many courses at LLAIC and HILR including: International Hot Spots, Innovators of Political Thought, Cults, Elections, George Washington-The Indispensable Man, Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Teddy Roosevelt and Hamilton. These courses on founders are approached with emphasis on understanding the personality, the accomplishments, why they did what they did, and the impact it had on the country. 


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2Wed-2B-10:  The USA in the 20th and 21st Centuries

Course Leader:  Harriet Janel-Starrett

Course Length/Start:  10 week course starting on Feb. 28

Course Description:

This is a course in contemporary US history. We will begin with a snapshot of the USA at the end of the 19th century and move up to present day. By the end of the 19th century, the country had re-united and welcomed into its borders millions of immigrants. The United States went on to become a world power in the 20th century—an industrial colossus and a military giant.

How well could this nation handle its multiplying variety and growing dominance? Could it rule an industrial landscape—no longer a Jeffersonian agrarian paradise? Were its institutions capable of making one country out of many states and dealing with the economic and global turbulence that characterized massive technological change? This course will define the problems and create a "scorecard" on the achievements and failures of the USA....no longer separated from the world by its two ponds. Were we—and are we—up to the challenge?

The format will be primarily large group discussion. Students should be able to use the computer to open emails and attachments. Weekly preparation time will be about 1 ½ hours.


Books and Other Resources: 

The text for the course will be Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, available as a Harper Perennial Classics paperback. The course will move forward chronologically, from about 1900 to the present, covering one or two chapters each week from Zinn’s text.

Biography:

In her professional life, Harriet taught history as a teacher at Northeastern University. Next, she became a consultant in strategic planning and then a corporate officer of several large corporations.  She has taught a new course each semester for the past 3 ½ years at LLAIC. Her most recent courses include: The Hope for the U.S.A.; How to Develop a Vibrant/Productive Economy; The Evolution of the Modern Middle East


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3Thu-1E-5b:  From Bulfinch to the 21st Century – (Some of) My Favorite Buildings

Course Leader:  Dorie Weintraub

Course Length/Start:  5 week course starting on April 12 (second half)

Course Description:

Since Bulfinch, Architects have built distinctive buildings in and around Boston. Many are well known and loved.  But many are neither known nor loved! 

In this course, we will look at several neighborhoods in and surrounding Boston and explore some exceptional buildings using slides, background lectures and group discussion. While looking at different architectural styles and many buildings, you may come to admire them or, at least, better understand them. Some of the architects are household names (HH Richardson, IM Pei) and others a mystery (Sert, Holl, Gehry). My hope is to introduce you to many architects, styles and periods of architecture through some of my favorites in and around Boston.

We will start with a quick history of the early settlers and move into a discussion of ‘America’s first Architect’, Charles Bulfinch, and his influence. We will also discuss the influence Harvard and MIT’s design schools have had on the Charles River landscape. Along the way, we will discuss some architectural principles and engineering advances that resulted in new periods of architecture. 

Among the neighborhoods we will explore are Beacon Hill, Back Bay and Copley Square, the Financial District, the Waterfront; and then we’ll focus on Cambridge. If time permits, we will explore some wonderful spaces outside Greater Boston. When appropriate, I’ll point out which buildings offer tours.

The class format will include presentation and discussion. No computer skills are needed, and the course  will require very little preparation time.

Books and Other Resources: 

None are required, but one that is recommended is: AIA Boston Architecture and Landmarks, by Stephen Ahlblad, published by SAAUS Publishing 2013, ISBN: 978-0-615-76696-6 (available on Amazon)
Other recommended books will be mentioned in class.

Biography:

Dorie Weintraub is a lifelong observer of the built environment and was introduced to Boston’s beautiful streets, the Charles River and varied neighborhoods as a college student having moved to the Boston area from Rochester, NY. Having begun her career designing software for IBM, Dorie went back to school in her 40’s to study Architecture. She has practiced Architecture in Greater Boston ever since.

Dorie studied Architecture at the Boston Architectural College in Back Bay. She worked at various Architectural firms including Dyer/Brown, ARC, DRA and Margulies Perruzzi Architects, before starting her own firm, Weintraub Designs in 2009. It is true that designing a building is not unlike designing software; similar principles apply.


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2Wed-1C-10:  Somerset Maugham: Selected Short Stories

Course Leader:  Maryann Wyner

Course Length/Start:  10 week course starting on Feb. 28

Course Description:

A doctor, secret British agent, writer, provocateur: Somerset Maugham’s life experiences, spanning two centuries, permeate his writings.  Is he only a man of his times? Can his writings speak to us in the 21st century?

Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) wrote an astonishing collection of more than 100 short stories. His settings ranged from British colonial outposts in Singapore to the grand estates of Edwardian England (think Downton Abbey). In straightforward prose, Maugham depicted the human condition with a combination of cynicism, irony and a dash of muted humor. 
During our study of this prolific and fascinating writer, we will look at selected short stories in historical and social context. Women’s issues, racism, anti-Semitism, the British class and colonial systems, the impact of World War I and World War II will all be a part of our discussion. We will view the movie versions of some of Maugham’s works and discuss how well they translated into film. The class will include discussion, group analysis, a little lecture and audio-visual pieces. Each week we will read and discuss one or more stories.

Participants should be able to use the computer to receive emails and open attachments. Weekly preparation time will be 1 -2  hours.

Books and Other Resources: 

65 Short Stories (Complete and Unabridged) by W. Somerset Maughan (available on Amazon as used hardback - (most under $15), and on Kindle for $3.50.

Biography:

I am a former high school English and History teacher and a lover of books. In my past academic life, I was also the assistant director of more than 30 plays at Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School in Waltham, MA and served in an administrative role as the 11th grade Dean. Today, I do a little bit of tutoring and a lot of Lifelong Learning! We will be studying Maugham and his writings together as I have come to the study of the man and his works just recently and look forward to the wisdom of the class in understanding this prolific and interesting writer. 


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2Wed-2D-5b:  LILAC PLayers  (Free course)

Course Leader:
 
Maryann Wyner & Judie Strauss

Course Length/Start:  5 week course starting on April 11 (second half)

Course Description:

LILAC Players will meet during the last five weeks of classes with the goal of presenting our play(s) during lunch on the last class day.  Members will use scripts, so no memorizing is involved. We will add props and costumes each week. The selection of play(s) is yet to be decided.  We always have fun reading, rehearsing, and bonding. 

Although this is listed as a course, there is no charge. For more information contact Maryann Wyner at mawyner@gmail.com

Participants need to be able to read and open emails. Weekly preparation should take about an hour.

Books and Other Resources: 

Scripts will be provided.

Biography:

Maryann has been involved in theater since high school as both an actor, stage manager and properties manager. After one short time on stage at Clark University as a corpse, she waited until her teaching days to get involved. After receiving a BA from Clark, she went on, while teaching, to get an MA in English at Simmons College. At Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall in Waltham, Maryann served as the assistant director and occasional actor for over 30 high school performances. After retiring from teaching, opportunities arose at Temple Shir Tikva where she performed in Fiddler on the Roof, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and the Megillah According to Grease. For several years Maryann worked at Dover-Sherborn Middle School as a library assistant, and has recently been subbing as well as doing some tutoring. As a teacher, acting was always part of the job, so getting involved in the LILAC Players allowed her to delve into something that has always made her smile.


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3Thu-2D-5b:  Five Great American Plays

Course Leader:  Lois Ziegelman

Course Length/Start:  5-week course starting on April 12

Course Description:

Up until the 20th century American theatre could best be defined as an oxymoron. Perhaps the only memorable moment took place in April 14, 1865 at Ford’s Theatre, and probably most people can’t even recall the name of the play (Our American Cousin). Then, in 1915 Eugene O’Neill arrived on the scene with a series over the years of intensely absorbing plays. Inspired by O’Neill’s success, a number of brilliant playwrights emerged, and American theatre, no longer an oxymoron, attained worldwide recognition.

The plays to be read are (will change because this is now a 5-week instead of 10-week course):
  • Eugene O’Neill –  Desire Under the Elms
  • Arthur Miller –  All My Sons
  • Tennessee Williams – A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Susan Glaspell – Trifles
  • Thornton Wilder – The Happy Journey from Trenton to Camden
In addition to lecture/discussion, an opportunity will be provided for a voluntary reading aloud of scenes by the “thespians” among us.

This course requires no computer skills. Weekly preparation time will be about two hours.

Books and Other Resources: 

Any editions will do, of the plays listed in the course description.

Biography:

Lois Ziegelman, Ph.D. Brandeis, is a Professor Emerita from Framingham State College, where she taught World Literature and drama for 31 years. A recipient of five fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, she has studied, taught and performed works ranging from Classical Antiquity through the 20th Century. Recently, she taught a course on Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina at LLAIC.


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Updated May 17, 2018

Ċ
Peter Schmidt,
Dec 13, 2017, 7:42 AM
Ċ
Peter Schmidt,
Mar 5, 2018, 4:28 AM
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