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Course Descriptions - Fall 2017

Course Descriptions - Fall 2017

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 (27 pages):  click here

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

Course Code
Course Leader
Course Title
2Wed-1C-5a Martin Agulnek
Conversations and Issues from The New Yorker 
3Thu-3D-10 Barbara Apstein
James Joyce’s Ulysses
3Thu-1B-10 Suzanne Art
Nevertheless She Persisted: Remarkable Women in Western Art
1Tue-2B-5a Ruth Kramer Baden
A Hit Parade of Favorite Poems and Poets
3Thu-3C-10 Bob Berlin
Climate Change in Trump's America: Challenges and Opportunities
2Wed-1B-5a Liz Cabot
Four New England Poets: Landscapes and Inscapes 
1Tue-1B-5a Phyllis Cohen
The New Yorker Short Story Roundtable
3Thu-1C-10 Alice Freedman
Selected Works of Ian McEwan:  Insights Into A Brilliant Contemporary British Author
1Tue-1D-10 Joel Freedman
Basic Digital Photography
3Thu-2B-10 Dana Kaplan and Sandy Grasfield Sleuths for All Seasons:  A Global Survey
3Thu-2E-5b Arnold Kerzner
What is Love: A Biological, Psychological, Poetic and Philosophical Review
1Tue-2C-5b Bert Levine
PACs, Power, and Politics: Campaign Money and Lobbying
2Wed-2C-10 Michael Levy
The Korean War — Still With Us
3Thu-3B-10 Mary Mansfield
The Art of Story-Telling
1Tue-1E-10 Richard Mansfield and Joe Bongiardina
Policy and Politics: Contemporary Issues and Trends
1Tue-3B-10 Richard and Mary Mansfield
Beyond IQ and Talent: Emotional Intelligence and Grit
1Tue-2E-10 Anna Markus
A Grandparent's Guide to Issue-focused Children’s Literature
2Wed-1E-10 Carole McNamee and Myrna Rybczyk
Writing a Memoir: One Story at a Time
1Tue-3C-10 Barbara Neufeld
What’s All the Fuss About? Exploring Charters, Vouchers, and Other Models of School Choice in K-12 Schools.
2Wed-1A-5b Lois Novotny
Puccini’s Heroines (not all meet tragic ends) 
1Tue-3A-10 Rabbi Robert Orkand
Religion in American Life — A Short History, Part 1
1Tue-1A-10 Peter and Naomi Schmidt
The Golden Years of Foreign Film: The ‘50s and ‘60s
1Tue-2D-10 Sandy Sherizen
Manipulation: Hidden Influences Affecting How We Choose Our Cereal, Politicians, Clothes, Spouses and Life Desires
3Thu-1A-10 Irwin Silver
The Great Directors Series: Steven Spielberg
3Thu-2C-10 Marvin Snider
Hamilton
2Wed-2B-10 Harriet Janel-Starrett
The Hope for the United States of America
2Wed-2D-5b
Judie Strauss and Maryann Wyner
LILAC Players (no course fee)
2Wed-1D-5b Dorie Weintraub AIA
From Bulfinch to the 21st Century – (Some of) My Favorite Buildings
1Tue-1C-5b Burns Woodward
Manic Depressive Illness in the Lives and Works of Four Great Novelists
3Thu-2D-10 Lois Ziegelman
The Human Predicament: The End of an Era


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2Wed-1C-5a: Conversations and Issues from The New Yorker 

Course Leader:  Martin Agulnek

Course Length/Start:  5-week course starting first half on Wed., Sept. 13

Course Description:

The New Yorker magazine is known for the quality and depth of reporting on critical and timely issues. Thought-provoking articles are selected for the class to read in advance. We will focus on topics such as politics, law, technology, economics, health, etc.

After a brief introduction that addresses the author’s background and the timeliness of the article, the class members will provide a forum for lively discussion reflecting their own views and knowledge of the subject. To aid in our discussions, a list of topical questions related to the articles will be included each week and provided in advance. Access to the New Yorker historical archives will also be available. These articles from 1920 onwards will allow us to examine topics through a 2017 lens. I will include a week where the class focuses on a particular New Yorker issue and two articles (for instance, one on the 25th amendment and one on immigrant workers at a chicken packaging factory). I will also include a week where we look back, through the lens of time, at issues from the past.

Video and podcasts will also be used to enhance the class experience. Suggestions from class members are also welcome. Students should be able to download articles from a shared cloud server (DropBox). Fully detailed instructions are included each week for Mac and Windows machines. Articles are in pdf (or Word) format and can printed by class members. Assignments should take one to two hours a week.

Books and Other Resources: 

Articles will be supplied by class leader.

Biography:

Martin received a Doctor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Washington University (St Louis, Mo.). During that time, he was involved with early computing that became the pre-cursors to the technology we have today. Martin has worked for Sperry Gyroscope-Univac, Xerox, Texas Instruments, Polaroid and Thomson Reuters in various engineering and management capacities and has both witnessed and has been a contributor to the technological changes that has occurred during these past 50 years.

Martin is an avid reader of particular periodicals and taught a course on New Yorker articles previously at LLAIC.


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3Thu-3D-10: James Joyce’s Ulysses

Course Leader:  Barbara Apstein

Course Length/Start:  10-week course starting on Thurs., Sept. 7

Course Description:

Did you once try to read James Joyce’s Ulysses and give up in frustration? Although it is judged by many critics to be the greatest 20th century novel, Ulysses can be dauntingly difficult to understand. Joyce limits the role of the narrator who guides the reader, explaining the action and characters, in conventional novels. He explores his characters’ inner lives – their moods, intuitions, memories and the flow of images through their minds – directly, without a narrator’s intervention. The reader must adjust to this stream-of-consciousness technique (which was new when the novel was written) and accept the fact that there is much he or she will not understand, especially at the beginning.  

The action takes place on a single ordinary day, June 16, 1904, in the city of Dublin. We follow Stephen Dedalus, a young writer who has recently returned from Paris, and Leopold Bloom, a middle-aged advertising salesman who is Jewish, as they move around the city. In the final chapter, we plunge into the mind of Leopold’s wife Molly, whose uninhibited fantasies and recollections led to the book’s being banned for obscenity.

As we read and discuss the novel together, I think we will come to appreciate Joyce’s intellectual brilliance, humor and humanity.
Our understanding of Ulysses will grow as we continue to examine the text week by week; thus it would be best to plan on attending all sessions. Preparation is at least 3 – 4  hours of reading per week. This is a complex book.

I plan to provide contextual materials by email about Joyce’s intellectual and religious background; Irish history, mythology and culture; and the city of Dublin, but most of the class will be devoted to discussion.

Books and Other Resources: 

James Joyce, Ulysses. Modern Library, 1992.  ISBN 0679600116
Harry Blamires, The New Bloomsday Book (any edition).

Biography:

Barbara Apstein received a doctorate in English from the City University of New York. At Bridgewater State College, where she was a Professor of English for 35 years, she taught a variety of courses, ranging from Chaucer to History of the English Language and Modern British Fiction. She has published articles on Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf, among other topics. She read Ulysses in college, and always planned to re-read it when she had time.


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

Course Leader:  Suzanne Art

Course Length/Start:  10-week course starting on Thurs., Sept. 7

Course Description:

Women have been creating works of art since earliest times – weaving, embroidering, illustrating manuscripts, even composing melodies. Those early artists bore a common name: anonymous. During the Renaissance, certain women gained access in artists’ studios 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, traveling 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 upon the familiar as well as the not so familiar. There will be a combination of presentation and discussion. All assignments are online and some facility with using computers will be required: brief biographies and articles as well as videos of art historians and curators discussing special paintings. Homework should take about 1-1/2 hours per week.

Books and Other Resources: 

I will be using online articles and videos.

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 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 four courses at LLAIC: Painters of the Italian Renaissance, Three Giants of the Northern Renaissance, Let’s Go for Baroque, and From Frou-frou to Heroic: Painting in 18th and early 19th Century France.


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1Tue-2B-5a : A Hit Parade of Favorite Poems and Poets

Course Leader:  Ruth Kramer Baden

Course Length/Start:  5-week course starting first half on Tues., Sept. 12

Course Description:

Certain poems and poets especially resonate with study groups. In this course, together we will read, study and discuss about twenty of such poems. They will range from the Old Testament to a song by Bob Dylan. Group members who have their own favorite poems may contribute them. The study group will be conducted so that you will be comfortable and challenged whether you haven't read a poem since elementary school or are an avid reader of poetry. This is primarily a discussion group with me serving as facilitator and guide. My goal is to impart my passion for poetry to the group members. Poetry is not a mystery. For those members who wish to voluntarily try their hands at writing their own poems I will give them the opportunity and guidance to do so. Each poem will be read aloud by individual volunteers or sometimes by several members. Each week I will give a brief lecture on different aspects of the poetic craft, e.g.: sounds, rhythm, words, imagery and the music of poetry.
Participants should be able to open and print emails and attachments. Plan to spend 1 to 2 hours in preparation for each session.

Books and Other Resources: 

I will prepare a “book” of the 20 poems we will be studying.

Biography:

I have been studying, writing and publishing poetry in many literary journals since high school and in my book, East of the Moon, (lbbestson Street Press.) I'm completing a manuscript for a second poetry book whose two subjects are women and ageing. I have been fortunate to be able to lead senior groups in the understanding and enjoyment of poetry for fourteen years.


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3Thu-3C-10 : Climate Change in Trump's America: Challenges and Opportunities

Course Leader:  Bob Berlin

Course Length/Start:  10-week course starting on Thurs., Sept. 7

Course Description:

Since his inauguration, President Trump has launched what seems like an all-out assault on the environment: appointing climate deniers to key cabinet positions, rescinding clean water protections, prolonging the life of coal-fired utility plants, approving the Keystone pipeline. Obama’s Clean Power Plan is in the crosshairs. 

But it’s not all bad news! In this class, we will discuss promising developments in renewable energy and new technologies addressing many aspects of climate change. We will begin by clarifying the difference between “climate” and “weather” and examining the evidence of worldwide climate variations from their historical patterns. We will discuss these variations, especially those that are attributable to human activity, with an emphasis on the production and burning of fossil fuels.
We’ll explore the complex politics and economics of the issue, from personal choices (What car should I buy?) to international agreements (i.e. The Paris Accords). What are the political and economic realities of reduced emissions, conversions to other energy sources (i.e., renewable, nuclear, hydroelectric, fracked gas)?

Each class will begin with a look at critical stories from that week’s news. The class format will combine presentations and the lively discussion that comes from strong opinions about climate change. Assignments will be about one hour. Students should have the ability to access websites for articles and videos.

Books and Other Resources: 

No texts will be used. I will work from a set of notes that will be provided to each class member. The copying cost will be approximately $15 per person.

Biography:

Bob Berlin trained originally as an engineer and was employed in developing advanced energy systems. His work became environmentally oriented after he obtained a doctorate in Public Health. He has worked in the environmental and energy fields for over 50 years, both in the private and government sectors. Bob has also taught environmental and engineering courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, to industrial and lay audiences. He is a licensed professional engineer, reactor operator, and health physicist and coauthored "Radioactive Waste Management" in 1988.


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2Wed-1B-5a: Four New England Poets: Landscapes and Inscapes 

Course Leader:  Liz Cabot

Course Length/Start:  5a-week course starting first half on Wed., Sept. 13

Course Description:

We all need some poetry in our days – as a counter-weight to the heaviness of contemporary life. Poems are not only a personal expression of the poet; they also touch on and give expression to our individual emotions.

We’ll look in depth at four regional poets who’ve written over the past 100+ years: Robert Frost, Robert Lowell, Maxine Kumin, and Mary Oliver. For three of them, nature in New England features prominently and highlights their own personal psyches. Lowell, on the other hand, meditates upon the continuity of history through his family and the Boston area. And Frost, Lowell and Kumin reach beyond the landscape they see daily to connect with public events and preoccupations.

In addition to several poems each from these poets, we’ll examine the variety of forms and poetic conventions they use. Class will be discussion with some background, as needed, from the instructor.  Class preparation should be approximately one to two hours per week from readings provided by the Course Leader.

Books and Other Resources: 

Readings provided by the Course Leader.
 
Biography:

I’ve studied poetry through BA, MEd, and PhD degree programs. I’ve taught poetry of many periods in courses at UMass Boston, Merrimack College, Boston University, and Newton Community Education. I also write poems and attend a monthly Poetry Workshop in Newburyport MA.


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1Tue-1B-5a: The New Yorker Short Story Roundtable

Course Leader:  Phyllis Cohen

Course Length/Start:  5-week course starting first half on Sept. 12

Course Description:

Like the storied Algonquin Round Table of almost 100 years ago, we will meet weekly to discuss the best short fiction of the day. Our source will be The New Yorker Magazine, but no subscription will be needed, we will use only those stories which are available on-line either currently or from their archives.  Members of the Roundtable who are interested, will be encouraged to lead the class on various weeks, thus testing out and honing their Class Leader skills. This is a participation class, not a lecture, and the course leader hopes that each week you will come armed with your best ideas about the characters, language, plot, setting, theme and so on. Computer ability will be required to download and print stories. Preparation should take two to three hours.
 
Books and Other Resources: 

The New Yorker (sent by email)

Biography:

I have led a New Yorker Fiction Discussion Group at another program for 6 years and also at the Weston Public Library and, with a co-leader, for one semester 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 for a Master’s Degree in Library Science.
 

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3Thu-1C-10 : Selected Works of Ian McEwan:  Insights Into A Brilliant Contemporary British Author

Course Leader:  Alice Freedman

Course Length/Start:  10-week course starting on Thurs., Sept. 7

Course Description:

The London Times named McEwan one of the fifty greatest English authors since 1945.  An award-winning writer of numerous novels, short stories, screen plays, and oratorios, McEwan has been given the moniker, “Ian Macabre,” for his dark fiction in which the characters typically face bizarre challenges.  His style has evolved from the macabre, to the realistic, to the political -- all incorporating the brilliant use of language and insight into the mind of his characters

In this course, we will identify the critical components of analyzing fiction and relate them to several of McEwan’s works.  We will begin with several of his short stories, continue with novels -- The Cement Garden, The Comfort of Strangers, The Children Act, On Chesil Beach -- and conclude with Atonement.    

Videos will provide insight into McEwan’s personality and perspectives.  Our literary exploration can provide a richer discernment and appreciation of this author’s writing and that of future novels by other authors.

Students will be expected to download articles and assignments. Assignments may take several hours per week, depending on one’s reading pace.

Books and Other Resources: 

The Cement Garden
The Comfort of Strangers
The Children Act
On Chesil Beach

Atonement


Biography:

Alice Freedman retired from Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates where she was a member of the Organizational Development and Learning Department.  Previously, Alice spent nineteen years at Ceridian Corporation and Work/Family Directions where she managed the Seminar Department, developed over one hundred seminar topics, and led thousands of workshops on work/life issues to employees of major companies.  She received a B.A. in English from Boston University and taught English at Malden High School.  She later received an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Boston College and is now certified in Emotional Intelligence, Myers-Briggs Type Inventory, Coaching, and Stress Management.


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1Tue-1D-10: Basic Digital Photography

Course Leader:  Joel Freedman

Course Length/Start:  10-week course starting on Tues., Sept. 12

Course Description:

The goal of the course, aimed at both beginners and photographers with some experience, is for you to look forward to “taking pictures: both as a challenge and a joy. The hope is that you will complete the course with confidence in your ability to capture images that you feel proud of — and know how to take better photographs from both a compositional perspective and a technical one.

We will begin the course with a discussion of the properties of light, composition, an overview of how the camera creates an image, and with an explanation of how the various settings on your camera affect the composition and the image. All of this will be tied together to help you take the best picture possible with your camera for all different kinds of subjects.

There will be presentations on landscape, nature and architectural photography. The class will consist of discussion, AV use, reports, and partial lecture. As an important part of the learning process, each week, members will be asked to take photographs of specific subjects, such as architecture, wildlife, landscapes and people, and send in several of their photos via email for class review and comment.

You should have a digital camera that enables you to control aperture and shutter speed. Cell phone cameras are not acceptable for this course. Depending on weather and class size, we will go into Boston and possibly one other location for a class photography session. You will also be emailed various papers to help you understand the material presented in class. A computer is needed to download the photos from the camera and email to the instructor.  Depending on the level of knowledge of the class members, the computer may be used for some basic enhancements.

Books and Other Resources: 

Arizona Highways Photography Guide: How & Where to Make Great Pictures (Arizona Highways: Travel Arizona Collection, March 7, 2008) by Arizona Highways’ Editors and Contributors

Biography:

I have been involved in photography for almost 50 years, starting out in scientific photography.  My photographic activities over the past 15 years have been during travel in Europe, followed by landscape and nature photography during guided photography tours in our national parks in the West and Alaska. I belong to a camera club and compete in the monthly photography competitions. I also exhibit my works in local libraries. I have taught photography courses at the Brandeis OLLI as well as at LLAIC.


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3Thu-2B-10 : Sleuths for All Seasons:  A Global Survey

Course Leader:  Dana Kaplan and Sandy Grasfield

Course Length/Start:  10-week course starting on Thurs., Sept. 7

Course Description:

From Sherlock Holmes to Harry Bosch, we will investigate the best and brightest among the men and women who follow the clues to reveal the guilty. The heart of the course will be the contemporary police procedural, currently the most popular sub-genre of mystery/crime fiction in books, movies and TV.

We will compare and contrast top police procedurals in five countries:  the US, the UK, Sweden, Ireland and Italy.  How do these very different cultures influence the art of detection?  Does the nature of the crime, or the character of the detective, differ depending on the country?  Do societies get the police they want – or deserve? We’ll consider the books for their literary merit as well as their ability to keep us guessing.

We start with a whirlwind tour of influential early (pre-1980) writers of mystery/crime/detective fiction.  And we’ll take some diverting side trips to enjoy other sleuths (forensic specialists, private investigators and reluctant amateurs) practicing the detective trade, and their interactions, sometimes cooperative, sometimes not, with the investigating officers.

The course will feature background lectures, guided group discussion, and brief videos, including author interviews and movie clips.  For the first two classes, several short stories will be provided in pdf format by the Course Leaders.  For the last eight classes, there will be a mystery novel to read each week.

Books and Other Resources: 

All the books on our list are available through the various libraries in the Minuteman Library System, as well as for purchase, both new and used.  The short stories for weeks 1 and 2 will be provided by email in pdf format to the class members by the Course Leaders.

  •  Short stories by Doyle, Carr, R. MacDonald, Ed McBain and others
  •  In the Dark Places by Peter Robinson (Sleuth:  Alan Banks)
  •  Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon (Sleuth: Guido Brunetti)
  •  The Closers by Michael Connelly (Sleuth:  Harry Bosch)
  •  The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell (Sleuth: Kurt Wallender)
  •  The Trespasser by Tana French (Sleuths: Antoinette Conway and Steve Moran)
  •  Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley (Sleuth:  Easy Rawlins)
  •  The Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill (Sleuth:  Dr. Siri Paiboun)
  •  Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson (Sleuth:  Jackson Brodie)
Biography:

Sandy Grasfield, retired librarian and lifelong avid reader, has taught several courses at LLAIC and elsewhere.   She has been reading mysteries for years, at first surreptitiously, then openly after learning that John F. Kennedy and Winston Churchill were among those who reveled in mystery fiction.  Currently, she is thoroughly enjoying studying, researching and sharing what she’s learning about this varied genre.

Dana Kaplan has been an avid reader of mysteries, beginning (of course) with Nancy Drew. She reads many different types of crime fiction and resists the classification of fiction into dichotomies such as genre versus literary fiction. She has a particular interest in the interaction between mystery fiction and current life and between the portrayal of crime in books on the one hand and TV and film on the other. Her business career as a marketing team leader included creating and conducting many interactive staff training programs.


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

Course Leader:  Arnold Kerzner

Course Length/Start:  5-week course starting second half on Thurs., Nov. 2

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. Class members will need to be able to receive email, and be prepared to spend about an hour a week outside of class.

Books and Other Resources: 

New Psychology of Love by Robert J. Sternberg and Karin Weiss (Sternberg), editors, ISBN
978-0300136173, paperback, Yale University Press, 2008.

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-2C-5b: PACs, Power, and Politics: Campaign Money and Lobbying

Course Leader:  Bert Levine

Course Length/Start:  5-week course starting second half on Tues., Oct. 24

Course Description:

Few words in our political vocabulary conjure up more negative images than “lobbyists,” “special interest groups,” and “campaign contributions.” In fact, Jack Abramoff, a former “high-powered” lobbyist and now convicted felon, has alluded to contributions made by lobbyists for the special interests they represent as bribes. But, is he right? Are they really bribes? And, if so, who is to blame when and if these offerings actually purchase something of value? In PACs (Political Action Committees), Power, and Politics we will investigate Abramoff’s allegation: We will take a quick but informative look at special interest organizations: What are they? Whom do they represent? How do they function?

We will then turn our attention to the lobbyists that represent these groups: Who are these people and how do they go about their business? Are they as powerful as some make them out to be? Are they honorable people doing honest work, or are they shady characters doing the devil’s work?

Finally, we will get to campaign contributions: Are they really bribes? Do they buy as much as many journalists, some scholars, and countless “ordinary” citizens think that they do? The answers – if there are any – may surprise you.

The course will be a combination of lecture and discussion. Plan to spend one to two hours each week to read one or two articles which will be supplied.

Books and Other Resources: 

Articles supplied by course leader.

Biography:

Starting out as a legislative analyst for Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Bert has spent his entire career in politics. He worked as a Congressional Counsel on Capitol Hill (with the Health Subcommittee) and a lobbyist for Johnson & Johnson. Currently he is a political science professor at Rutgers University. He has also taught at Colgate University, Bucknell University, and the University of Pennsylvania. He teaches courses in American Institutions, Constitutional Law, The Congress, Interest Groups, etc. He has both a JD and a PhD and has authored two books on interest groups and lobbying and published several articles on these topics.


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2Wed-2C-10: The Korean War—Still With Us

Course Leader:  Michael Levy

Course Length/Start:  10-week course starting on Wed., Sept. 13

Course Description:

There is a chance that we could end up having a major conflict with North Korea.” Trump said “Absolutely.” How did we arrive at this state of affairs? Some have described the current situation as “A slow motion Cuban Missile Crisis.” How did the U.S. get here? When were the crucial decisions made? This class will explore the Korean War and its aftermath to the present day.
Using The Coldest Winter, David Halberstam’s last book, we will explore the geopolitical and historical origins and the consequences of the Korean War, as well as ways it influenced American foreign policy. While the war has been labeled “The Forgotten War,” it was the first so-called limited war and has influenced the conduct of all U.S. conflicts since then. Halberstam commands a panoramic and historical group of participants, ranging from Taft and Teddy Roosevelt through Chiang Kai-shek, Truman, MacArthur, Acheson, Joe McCarthy, Henry Luce and Eisenhower. He illustrates, tragically and clearly, the difference between the reality of war to the commanders and to the soldiers fighting at the front. The problems of political and military leadership that surfaced during the Korean War presage the arguments we hear today about Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran and, now again, North Korea. The class will utilize articles and readings from the internet to facilitate discussion in the course. Therefore basic computer facility will be expected.

Class preparation should take approximately one hour per week.

Books and Other Resources: 

The Coldest Winter, David Halberstam (Hyperion 2007 1st edition)  ISBN 978-1-4013-0052-4 .

Biography:

Shortly after graduation with a BS from the College of William & Mary in 1951, Michael enlisted in the Navy, and served for three and half years as an officer on a destroyer. During that time, he saw combat in the Korean War, earning two battle stars and circumnavigating the globe.

After discharge from the service Michael spent more than forty years in a variety of senior management positions in engineering, finance, and manufacturing. Included was work designing guidance system components for the Apollo moon shots. Most recently he retired as chairman of ProfitLogic, a company he founded in 1984, which pioneered the application of sophisticated computer optimization analysis to the management of the inventory of large retail chain stores. The company was sold in 2006 to Oracle Corporation.

Michael has spent some years as an elected member of the Wayland School Committee, including stints as chairman. It was an occupation that taught him humility and the limitations of power. He has also taught courses at HILR and LLAIC and taken courses at LLAIC.


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3Thu-3B-10: The Art of Story-Telling

Course Leader:  Mary Mansfield

Course Length/Start:  10-week course starting on Thurs., Sept. 7

Course Description:

The oral tradition has been present in every culture since humans developed the ability to speak.  Most of us had stories told to us when we were children, and if we enjoyed those times, we engaged in story-telling with children in our own lives. 
For most of us, as we grew into adulthood, story-telling faded into our past, and became a pleasant memory, but whether we know it or not, we still have stories to tell, and often we want to tell them, although we don’t know quite how. But we all know a good story when we hear one.

In this course, we will explore the genre of story-telling to learn what makes a good story. We will do this by listening and watching master raconteurs weave their verbal magic, as well as by listening to speakers who are less effective, to identify what makes an effective story.  We will also look within ourselves to examine what fascinating tales might be lying beneath the surface hoping to see the light of day.  This will be a class filled with lively discussions, as we explore the ancient craft of the oral tradition from a 21st century point of view.

Class members will be encouraged to develop their own stories which they can tell and share, should they be so inclined.
Students will be expected to be able to open emails, download attachments, access internet links, and view YouTube clips provided by the Course Leader. Homework assignments should take approximately one hour per week.

Books and Other Resources: 

Long Story Short by Margot Leitman.

Biography:

I have had a life-long fascination with storytelling and would like to use this course to explore this ancient art. I previously developed and taught a course at LLAIC on horses. With my husband, Richard, I have developed and co-taught courses on issues in American education, the social consequences of growing inequality, and emotional intelligence and grit. In my career held a variety of jobs, all relating in some way to education; elementary school teacher, reading teacher, reading consultant, college admissions officer, and school placement consultant.


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1Tue-1E-10: Policy and Politics: Contemporary Issues and Trends

Course Leader:  Richard Mansfield and Joe Bongiardina

Course Length/Start:  10-week course starting on Tues., Sept. 12

Course Description:

What are the forces driving political, economic, and social change in the U.S. and the world today? What is happening to America’s political fabric? What do various policy experts think we should do? This course will focus on the best thinking about current issues and what to do about them. Among the issues, we will address are: U.S. foreign policy under Trump, how to galvanize the U.S. economy, 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, National Review, and similar publications. The primary format of this class will be facilitated discussion. Well before each class the Course Leaders will distribute some of the questions that they plan to pose.

The Course Leaders may summarize articles, but the class sessions will be mostly large-group discussions. Participants need to be able to open emails and download and print attachments in pdf format. Reading will require 1 to 1-½ hours per week.

Books and Other Resources: 

Assigned articles will be sent to participants in pdf format.

Biography:

Richard Mansfield and Joe Bongiardina have a shared interest in the political and policy issues facing the U.S. and the world.

Richard Mansfield: A year ago, he co-taught a course on contemporary issues, 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 in job analysis, leadership, and organizational behavior.

Joe Bongiardina: Joe has long been interested in political science and affairs.  His first career was in the US Army in the Adjutant General’s Corps; he 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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1Tue-3B-10: Beyond IQ and Talent: Emotional Intelligence and Grit

Course Leader: 
Richard and Mary Mansfield

Course Length/Start:  10-week course starting on Tues., Sept. 12

Course Description:

Why do many people excel in school and college and yet demonstrate only moderate effectiveness in their jobs and other life activities? Why do the people who rise to the top of organizations often have mediocre academic records? What skills enable individuals to be highly effective in their communities, volunteer organizations, and relationships with family and friends?

In this course, we plan to explore the "soft skills" for effectiveness, to understand why they are important, how they are demonstrated, how they can be developed, and what happens when they are missing. We will consider the implications of these skills in our everyday and interpersonal relationships, and will ask class participants to draw on their own life experiences where they have observed, and demonstrated the "soft skills" we are learning about.  We will read and discuss two books on this topic: Grit, by Angela Duckworth, and Social Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman. In addition, we will ask class members to look for these skills when they are speaking with friends, watching the news, or reading magazines, and newspapers. The course leaders will use a variety of teaching methods including short presentations, small and large group discussions, and short video clips.

Participants need to be able to open emails and to open and print pdf attachments. Assigned readings and other preparation will take about 2 hours per class session.


Books and Other Resources: 

Angela Duckworth. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. N.Y.: Scribner, 2016.
Daniel Goleman. Social Intelligence. N.Y.: Bantam Books, 2006.

Biography:

Richard and Mary are teaching this course for the second time. They have previously taught together courses on American education and the social consequences of increasing inequality in America.  As a consultant, Richard has specialized in the identification, assessment and development of workplace competencies, including ones related to grit and emotional intelligence. Mary, at one point in her career, worked as an individual career counselor, helping people to identify their competencies and present them to potential employers. Later, as an educational consultant, she helped teens and young adults to understand and present their competencies when applying to colleges.


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1Tue-2E-10: A Grandparent's Guide to Issue-focused Children’s Literature

Course Leader:  Anna Markus

Course Length/Start:  10-week course starting on Tues., Sept. 12

Course Description:

In recent years, children’s literature has been dealing more and more with difficult and previously taboo topics, such as aging and death, sex and sexuality, divorce, single-parent families, and ethnic differences. This course will enable us to think deeply and with an open mind about these subjects and consider what the rising generation of children, who will be our future leaders, are learning today.

Since literature has always been a useful and compelling way to help children and their caretakers deal with the most salient issues facing society, in this course we will focus on the new and controversial issues being raised in children’s and adolescent literature today. It will be interesting to explore what and how current children’s literature tells us about the preoccupations and challenges of our time. The books our grandchildren are reading today are very different from the ones we read in our youth!

I anticipate some lively discussions. Preparation for class should take one to two hours — unless you get hooked as I have and want to spend the rest of your life reading and learning about this genre of literature.

Books and Other Resources: 

Children’s picture books and/or a young adult novel will be assigned each week in addition to articles on the topic that will be distributed in class. You may be expected to frequent your local library in search of a current children’s book, so make friends with your local librarian!

Biography:

Anna Markus has spent her career balancing her love of literature with her love of psychology and investigating how the two interact. She has always been interested in progressive education, in reading and evaluating good literature, and in understanding the important issues in children’s literature. She has a BA in literature and psychology from Smith, and an MA and EdD from UMass. She is also a licensed therapist and the co-author of For Love of Reading. She has taught at Goddard College, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, and UMass Graduate School of Education.


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

Course Leader:  Carole McNamee and Myrna Rybczyk

Course Length/Start:  10-week course starting on Wed., Sept. 13

Course Description:

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.  Bring an openness to exploring your life experiences, a willingness to share your experiences with others, and an ability to witness the sharing of others. 

Preparation for class will require 1-2 hours per week, and having some comfort, with computers would be useful, but not required.

Books and Other Resources: 

None

Biography:

Carole McNamee has recently retired from two careers:  the first, a professor of computer science and the second, a marriage and family therapist with a specialization in the therapeutic use of the creative arts.  Carole has written extensively on the therapeutic uses of the expressive arts and has facilitated groups using creative expression at the Friends General Conference annual gathering, the Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology (FCRP) and the Washington FCRP annual meetings as well as Round Oaks Creative Center in Charlottesville, VA, and Warm Hearth Retirement Village in Blacksburg, VA as well as at LLAIC last spring.  Carole founded and directed the Willowbank Creative Center also in Blacksburg, VA. All of these activities have focused on personal experience as a touchstone for individual learning.

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 1980’s 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-3C-10: What’s All the Fuss About? Exploring Charters, Vouchers, and Other Models of School Choice in K-12 Schools.

Course Leader:  Barbara Neufeld

Course Length/Start:  10-week course starting Tues., Sept. 12

Course Description:

The appointment of Betsy DeVos, a staunch supporter of charter schools and vouchers, as the Secretary of Education led to cries of approval from some and cries of outrage from others. In this course, we will explore the multiple, complex issues associated with the growth of alternatives to traditional public schools by addressing questions such as:  What’s at stake with these changes to the familiar K-12 terrain? What are their successes and failures? Who benefits and who loses? How do federal and state education policies matter?

The course will begin with an historical overview of the challenges to public education that led to the call for charters and vouchers. Next, participants will focus on options that have developed over the last 30 years and what research has demonstrated about their value.  The choice options to be considered include a) free-standing and networked for-profit and not-for-profit charter schools, b) internet and/or home schooling, and c) voucher experiments in several locales that enable the use of public funds for private secular and religious schools.  The course will include attention to the educational choices available for children with special education needs, those who need to learn English, and those who remain substantially segregated in the nation’s schools as the choice options increase. The course will also include attention to non-charter choice options such as the cross-district METCO program in the Boston area and within-district public school choice options such as the one in New York City and those in MA.

The course leader will use teaching methods such as short lectures, video presentations, small- and whole-class discussions, and, possibly, individual class member presentations. Readings will focus on what is known about the design and impact of current choice options. Students should be able to be able to read email and download readings in Word and Adobe Acrobat (pdf files). Student preparation time will be approximately two hours per week.

Books and Other Resources: 

The book Charter Schools At The Crossroads: Predicaments, Paradoxes, Possibilities by Finn, E. F., Manno, B. V., and Wright, B. L., Harvard Education Press 2016, will be a core reading for the class. It will be supplemented by on-line articles and reports that focus on what is known about the design and impact of the range of current choice options.

Milton Friedman’s Unfinished Business, Eric A. Hanushek, Hoover Digest, Winter, 2007.
The Original Charter School Vision, By Richard D. Kahlenberg and Halley Potter, August 30, 2014, New York Times.

Biography:

Barbara Neufeld was President and founder of Education Matters® a non-profit education research and evaluation firm that from its inception in 1984 through its closing in 2014 focused primarily on issues associated with improving teaching, learning and leadership in urban school districts locally and across the U.S., including Boston, Hartford, CT, Jackson, MS, San Diego, CA, Corpus Christi, TX, Louisville, KY, and Minneapolis, MN.  In 2004 Barbara’s work expanded to include evaluations related to Jewish Day Schools in the Boston area and across the country. She taught elementary school in the South Bronx and in New Haven in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s and  was a Lecturer in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education from 1985-1997 teaching courses in (a) qualitative research methods and (b) the links between research, policy, and practice in urban public schools.


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2Wed-1A-5b: Puccini’s Heroines (not all meet tragic ends) 

Course Leader:  Lois Novotny

Course Length/Start:  5-week course in two consecutive class periods starting second half on Wed., Oct. 25

Course Description:

Puccini’s operas are a staple of the opera repertory, and all have as a central figure a heroine—a soprano who often, but not always, has a tragic death.  This course will look at five of his memorable leading ladies, from La Boheme, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, La Fanciulla del West, and Turandot, to see how he presents his leading ladies, and how his treatment changes over time.  After an introduction, each week will focus on a single work.  We will watch the complete opera (all with English subtitles) and supplement it with excerpts of other memorable performances.  We will also briefly consider how Puccini’s works were received at their premieres. No prior knowledge of music or opera required.

Synopses will be provided as links or pdf files, and there may be links to YouTube, so participants should be comfortable using the computer to access these items. Preparation should take about an hour maximum.

Books and Other Resources: 

Possibly one general book on Puccini’s operas. 

Biography:

Lois Novotny completed doctoral work for a Ph.D. in musicology before the realities of the academic marketplace led her to law school.  She has attended opera and ballet in her native New York for many years, returning there since her relocation to Boston to attend performances at the Met, as well as performances at many of the great opera houses of Europe, including La Scala, La Fenice, and the Maryiinsky and Bolshoi theaters.  She also taught a course on opera at LLAIC last semester. 


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

Course Leader:  Rabbi Robert Orkand

Course Length/Start:  10-week course starting on Tues., Sept. 12

Course Description:

It is almost impossible to understand the history of the United States without understanding the role that religion played during the founding years of America. And, 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 European conquest and colonization to the present day. Also, this course will tell the story of the men and women who shaped the religious experience of the millions of people who call themselves Americans.

This class is intended to last for two semesters.  Among the topics to be discussed during the first semester will be:  The religion of Europe in the 18th Century; the founding of the “Protestant empire” in the new land; the “Great Awakening and revolution; the religious views of the American founders

My teaching style is lecture, while allowing for questions and discussion. Very little preparation time outside of class will be required. The ability to download and print materials using the computer will be helpful.

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-1A-10: The Golden Years of Foreign Film: The ‘50s and ‘60s

Course Leader:  Peter and Naomi Schmidt

Course Length/Start:  10-week course in two consecutive class periods starting on Tues., Sept. 12

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: Jules et Jim, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Repulsion, La Strada, The Seventh Seal, Rashomon, Black Orpheus, Z, I’m All Right Jack, and Blow-Up. The Course Leaders will be corresponding by email and sending attachments. Preparation time will be approximately one hour per week.

Books and Other Resources: 

Attachments sent by email.

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.  Since retirement, she has led or co-led courses on a variety of topics, including Ballet and Modern Dance, Science Fiction, 20th Century Music, Utopianism, and the decades of the 1920’s and 1960’s. 


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1Tue-2D-10: Manipulation: Hidden Influences Affecting How We Choose Our Cereal, Politicians, Clothes, Spouses and Life Desires

Course Leader:  Sandy Sherizen

Course Length/Start:  10-week course starting on Tues., Sept. 12

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 the Course Leader.  Course preparation will take about 2 to3 hours per week. Familiarity with the computer is preferred since the course leader will be sending emails about  discussions and links to further course material.  If anyone cannot access a computer, they should contact the Course Leader to explore alternatives.

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-10: The Great Directors Series: Steven Spielberg

Course Leader:  Irwin Silver

Course Length/Start:  10-week course in two consecutive class periods starting on Thurs., Sept. 7

Course Description:

We see the actors up front, but who really shapes the film, gives it form, tone, feeling, interpretation, story and theme? The director, of course. This individual is responsible for every aspect of a movie, having the key role in choosing the cast members, production design, and the creative aspects. Many critics feel that the success of a film begins (and perhaps ends) with the director. Among the many revered and admired films by American directors, perhaps the most memorable and beloved are the films of Stephen Spielberg. I have chosen to start this series of studying individual directors with this one. We will watch and discuss some of his greatest and most memorable films including Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Color Purple, Always, E.T., Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, Bridge of Spies and Munich. His films are so varied in style and subject that they are enjoyable to watch again and again and should make for interesting discussion.

In each class session, we will watch a film and use the remaining time for discussion. Participants will need to be able to open emails and click on web links to find on-line video clips and articles. Class preparation will take about one hour per week.

Books and Other Resources: 

None are required.

Biography:

Irwin Silver received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Northeastern University, where he later served as an Adjunct Professor. He spent 46 years in the investment industry with a national firm, retiring as a First Vice President - Investments. Irwin has devoted much time as a volunteer for charitable organizations and political campaigns. In his younger years, he was an avid skier. He has taught many film courses at several lifelong learning programs.


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3Thu-2C-10: Hamilton

Course Leader:  Marvin Snider

Course Length/Start:  10-week course starting on Thurs., Sept. 7

Course Description:

Hamilton had a multi-dimensional, dynamic personality: He was honest, charming, persuasive, vain, arrogant, uncompromising, and creative, with a talent for self-expression. His energy, passion, and creativity put him in a class with Benjamin Franklin and Teddy Roosevelt. What made it possible for Hamilton to have his amazing career? How did an orphan boy born in the Caribbean get educated in New York City and become an accomplished lawyer? Would the country have survived its infancy without Hamilton’s contribution as Treasury Secretary? His intellect, energy and intense personality had its negative side in conflicted relationships with Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and Burr. How did his conflict with Jefferson eventually set the foundation for what ultimately became the Republican and Democratic parties? Are you intrigued by why Hamilton would put at risk his reputation for exemplary moral character by succumbing to his lust for a married woman? It is also striking to see how the balance between Washington’s sound judgment and Hamilton’s impulsiveness contributed to what they accomplished together. We will speculate about the reasons for his behavior in the duel that ended his life. The course will include listening to the spectacular music of the inspired Broadway play, Hamilton. The predominant class format will be discussion. Participants will need basic computer skills to access the internet. The reading should take about 2 to 3 hours per week.

Books and Other Resources: 

Hamilton, by Ron Chernow, published by Penguin Press.

Biography:

Marvin Snider has a PhD in psychology and has practiced both as a clinician and an organizational consultant. He has led many courses on diverse topics at the Harvard lifelong learning program; these included courses on International Hot Spots; Innovators of Political Thought; Cults; Elections; George Washington - the Indispensable Man; Lincoln; Benjamin Franklin; and Teddy Roosevelt. These courses on founders are approached with emphasis on understanding their personalities, accomplishments, and motivations, and the impact their actions had on the country.


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2Wed-2B-10: The Hope for the United States of America

Course Leader:  Harriet Janel-Starrett

Course Length/Start:  10-week course starting on Wed., Sept. 13

Course Description:

The USA has faced many challenges as it has grown up from a series of small ocean-hugging settlements to being the leader of the free world. We have had to design a "new nation" and then re-design it.   This course will be a study in the development of the USA as a political and economic entity which rose to face a very difficult world.  This new entity inherited political and economic norms from the very world it had to deal with, but nonetheless founded a new way to establish its own institutions.   We will be looking intensively at the political and economic institutions that make the US .... us. We will look carefully at our adaptability, as well as our political, economic, and moral inheritance, and the amalgam it created. Emphasis will be on our historical, political (Constitution et al), and economic practices from land giveaways, to the New Deal, to the Great Society. How do we ensure that we continue as the vibrant, freedom-loving society we became?

This is a discussion course with some lecturing. It should be very timely as President Trump seeks to redefine America’s role in the world. Participants need to be able to open emails and download and print attachments. Plan to spend about 1-½ hours in preparation for each session.

Books and Other Resources: 

To be determined. 

Biography:

The Course Leader has graduate degrees in economic history and business.  Prior to a business career she was a college (Northeastern), and high school teacher. Her business career began in international consulting with a major firm, working for businesses worldwide. The thrust of the work involved assisting businesses in deciding what products/markets to develop, and what their level of investment should be (strategic planning). Following international consulting, the Course Leader was a director/officer/manager in a number of large companies in the defense, telecommunications, finance, and hospitality industries. She has taught many courses for LLAIC and other lifelong learning programs, mainly in the areas of history and economics.


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2Wed-2D-5b : LILAC Players   (No course fee)

Course Leader:  Judie Strauss and Maryann Wyner

Course Length/Start:  5-week course starting second half on Wed., Oct. 25

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 Marynn Wyner at mawyner@gmail.com

Books and Other Resources: 

None.


Biography:

Judie Strauss has always had an interest in the theater from the time she was 12 and saw Annie Get Your Gun. She majored in education and taught middle school, after which she got a Masters in Counseling and worked in social services. When any opportunity arose, she appeared in temple and community plays: Music Man, Hello Dolly, and also Guys and Dolls at her temple, where she was the producer. In addition to participating in almost all the BOLLI plays, she directed both at a local senior center. She directed Autumn Nocturne, a play by Verne Vance, during a semester for LLAIC. She enjoys helping people become their characters and completely expressing themselves.

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 a 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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2Wed-1D-5b : From Bulfinch to the 21st Century – (Some of) My Favorite Buildings

Course Leader:  Dorie Weintraub  AIA

Course Length/Start:  5-week course starting second half on Wed., Oct. 25

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, Ghery). My hope is to introduce you to many architects, styles and periods of architecture through some of my favorites.

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. Very little prep time is expected, and computer use is not necessary.

Books and Other Resources: 

None required, but recommended –
Stephan Ahlblad, AIA Boston Architecture and Landmarks, published by SAAUS Publishing 2013, ISBN: 978-0-615-76696-6 (available on Amazon)
Others will be mentioned in classes.

Biography:

Dorie Weintraub is a life-long observer of the built environment who 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 since then.

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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1Tue-1C-5b: Manic Depressive Illness in the Lives and Works of Four Great Novelists

Course Leader:  Burns Woodward

Course Length/Start:  5-week course starting second half on Tues., Oct. 24

Course Description:

Do unstable moods promote creativity, or is there something about creative work that makes writers and artists more vulnerable to mental illness? And does psychiatric treatment dampen creativity? With questions like these in mind, we will look at the lives and work of four novelists who suffered from what we now call bipolar disorder — Herman Melville, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, and David Foster Wallace. After an introduction to modern concepts of mood disorders and what science has to say about creativity, we will explore how these authors’ innovative language and imagery may have been influenced by their unstable emotional lives, and how some of the great characters they created were manifestly mood-disordered.

Each class will begin with a brief presentation of biographical and medical information about one author. We will then discuss one aspect of mood and creativity in a sample of that author’s fiction. Melville embodied belligerent exuberance in Ahab’s manic pursuit of the white whale. Woolf grappled with the emerging self and the burden of mental illness. Hemingway lived and wrote a struggle between control and high stakes risk-taking. Wallace received modern pharmacological treatment, which had profound effects on his work and life.

By bringing together psychiatric science and literature, we will discover new meanings in some of the world’s greatest fiction, deepen our understanding of what it means to have bipolar disorder, and generate new ideas about how the mind/brain works.

Computer ability is needed only to receive via email, and readings should take approximately an hour per week. 

Books and Other Resources: 

We will read samples from Moby Dick, by Herman Melville; Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf; “Big Two-Hearted River” (complete short story), by Ernest Hemingway; and Infinite Jest, or another work of fiction by David Foster Wallace.

Biography:

My M.D. is from Yale, and I trained in psychiatry at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center. For forty-five years I have practiced psychiatry and taught medical students at Harvard and Boston University. I studied the craft of fiction writing at Grub Street in Boston and at Bread Loaf. Now semi-retired, I am exploring the intersections of neuroscience, mental illness, and literature.


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3Thu-2D-10: The Human Predicament: The End of an Era

Course Leader:  Lois Ziegelman

Course Length/Start:  10-week course starting Thurs., Sept. 7

Course Description:

The first half of the 20th century marked the end of an era. Most of the traditional beliefs, not only about human nature but also about the nature of the world, had been undermined. All of the short novels we will read were spawned by this predicament, but each offers a different response. The importance of this topic should be self-evident; for as time has passed, our world-view has, if anything, become more and more exacerbated by a series of wars, ominous climate change, and drastic political upheavals. The course will consist of both lecture and discussion. Preparation time will be about 1-1/2 hours per week. No computer ability is needed.

Books and Other Resources: 

Thomas Mann. Death in Venice, 1912, tr. H.T.Lowe-Porter
Herman Hesse. Demian, 1919, tr. Roloff & Lebeck.
Franz Kafka. Metamorphosis, 1915, tr. Edwin and Willa Muir
Albert Camus, The Stranger, 1942, tr. Stuart Gilbert.

Note: Since most of my texts are drawn from anthologies, my suggestion is that any translation is acceptable.

Biography:

Lois Ziegelman, Ph.D. Brandeis, is Professor Emerita from Framingham State College, where she taught drama and world literature for 31 years. A recipient of 5 fellowships from the National Foundation for the Humanities, she has studied, taught, and performed works from classical antiquity through the 20th century.


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Updated July 6, 2017

Ċ
Peter Schmidt,
Jun 16, 2017, 6:58 AM
Ċ
Peter Schmidt,
Jun 16, 2017, 7:02 AM
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