Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions - Fall 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, respectively);
  • In the middle field, 1, 2 or 3 stands for the period in which the course is given on that day;
  • In the rightmost field, 10, 8 7, 6 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 List and Course Descriptions

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

For a printable file of all the course descriptions, click here (21 pages).

Course Code
Course Leader
Course Title
3Thu-1C-10 Suzanne Art
Let’s Get Real! Realist Art of the 19th and early 20th Centuries
1Tue-2B-5b Donald Bermont
Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning: The Amazing, the Frightening, the Future
1Tue-2C-10 Laurel Ann Brody
Color Me White
1Tue-3D-5a Elizabeth David
Aging? Really? Me? Aging with Awareness: The Quest for Fulfillment
3Thu-1A-10 Alice Freedman
British Author for the 21st Century:  The Life and Works of Ian McEwan
3Thu-2B-10 Sandy Grasfield and Dana Kaplan
Robber Barons or Captains of Industry: Portraits from the Gilded Age
2Wed-1B-5b Karl Kelber
Energy: How Society’s Needs Are — and Should Be Met
1Tue-3B-10 Bonnie Lass
The 9+ Lives of Bob Dylan
2Wed-1A-5b Bert Levine
PACs, Power, and Politics: Campaign Money and Lobbying
2Wed-2C-10 Richard and Mary Mansfield
The Case for Optimism
1Tue-1C-10 Mark McNamee
It’s Your Brain:  An Introduction to Neuroscience
3Thu-2D-8a Martin Nichols
Great Decisions 2018
3Thu-2A-5b Lois Novotny
Shakespeare, Opera, and Ballet:  Transforming One Art Form into Another
1Tue-3A-10 Rabbi Robert Orkand
The Jewish Jesus
1Tue-1B-5b Richard Pearson A History of the U.S. Supreme Court
2Wed-1C-10 Myrna Rybczyk
Writing Your Memoir, One Story at a Time
2Wed-2B-6a Peter Schmidt
Our Mysterious Sub-Atomic World:  Quantum Mechanics Without a Wrench
1Tue-1D-10 Sandy Sherizen
Manipulation: Hidden Influences Affecting How We Choose Our Cereal, Politicians, Clothes, Spouses and Life Desires.
1Tue-1A-10 Irwin Silver
America Goes to War - A Film Course: WW II, Korean War and Cold War
1Tue-2D-10 Marvin Snider
Eleanor & Franklin, Co-Presidents
3Thu-3A-5b Judie Strauss and Maryann Wyner
LILAC Players  (Free course)
2Wed-2D-5b Joanne Tuck
Five Portraits of Outstanding Leadership
2Wed-2A-5a Dorie Weintraub
The “Moderns” in Architecture, Interior and Furniture Design (1925-1960)
1Tue-3C-7a Maryann Wyner
Will the Real Atticus Finch Please Stand Up?
3Thu-2C-10 Lois Ziegelman
Ibsen and Shaw: Masters of the Problem Play


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3Thu-1C-10: Let’s Get Real! Realist Art of the 19th and early 20th Centuries

Course Leader:  Suzanne Art

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 27

Course Description:

Just mention the art of the 19th and early 20th centuries and most people will think of the avant-garde: anything from impressionism to fauvism to cubism and beyond. And yet, it was the realist artists of that period whose names were best known to their contemporaries. While avant-garde art was, broadly speaking, still waiting to be discovered by the general public, realist paintings sold like hotcakes. 

Realist artists painted the world as they saw it. They were chroniclers of their times, who depicted the everyday lives of people of all levels of society during three overlapping historical periods: the Belle Époque in France, the Gilded Age/Progressive Era in the US, and the Victorian/Edwardian period in England. The French, Americans, and English had quite a lot in common in those days, roughly between 1865 and 1914. They were all dealing with the aftermath of significant warfare and the growth of industrialization. They witnessed a growing division between the social classes, which led inevitably to issues of social reform. But they also enjoyed the fruits of peace and prosperity, the lull before the coming storm of World War I.

In this course, we will study the lives and art of the realist painters of this fascinating period. We’ll begin with the painters of the Barbizon School, who fashioned a doctrine of realist art, and then focus upon such French artists as Julian Breton, Edouard Manet, and Gustave Caillebotte. We’ll then turn to such American artists as Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer, as well as expats like James Whistler and John Singer Sargent, who spent most of their time in England. And we’ll conclude with a look at the painters of the Ashcan School, who brought to life the struggles of the lower classes of New York City. 

There will be a combination of presentation and class discussion. Participants should be able to use the computer to open and download emails and access on-line material. Weekly preparation should take about 1 ½ hours.


Books and Other Resources: 

All assignments will be online. These include short biographical articles and videos focusing upon specific works of art.

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 five art history courses at LLAIC, including Let’s Go for Baroque, Paintings of the Italian Renaissance, and Remarkable Women in Western Art.

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1Tue-2B-5b: Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning: The Amazing, the Frightening, the Future

Course Leader:  Donald Bermont

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on October 30

Course Description:

Our lives—whether we realize it or not—have already been invaded in so many ways by artificial intelligence (AI) through  Algorithms, Protocols, Profiles, Computer-Assisted Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Self-driving cars, and The Internet of Things. These aspects of AI will certainly become more sophisticated and pervasive, and we will become more dependent upon them—whether we want to or not. All this new technology can help create an exciting, healthier, peaceful and more prosperous future. However, there are also great risks of misuse that are both unknown and frightening. 

An article in the May issue of The New Yorker asks, “How Frightened Should We Be of AI?” This course will help people become aware of the presence and influence of AI technology and hopefully help us choose how best to deal with its impact. We will explore AI in science and medicine, in money, sales and marketing, in manufacturing, in politics and warfare, and in communications. The course will feature a mixture of lecture and discussion. Each week I will send links to pertinent articles. Pre-class readings should take 1 to 3 hours per week. Participants should have enough computer skill to open emails and click on links to on-line material.

Books and Other Resources: 

There is no required text.

Biography:

I received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Temple University in 1974 and have practiced in the field for 45 years, at community clinics and in private practice. I have been very interested in Artificial Intelligence and all of the technology associated with it for years—since I got my first smart phone. I taught a course in the Spring 2018 semester on aspects of cognitive psychology and genetics, and really enjoyed my teaching experience at LLAIC. I hope to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for the topic again.

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1Tue-2C-10: Color Me White

Course Leader:  Laurel Ann Brody

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 25

Course Description:

If you were black and given the choice, would you opt to change your racial identity?  If you were not black, would you ever choose to be? 

Why change your racial identification?  What are the automatic privileges that being white might convey? This is the literature of “passing.”  Passing for white.  What have we done to cause such a dramatic move? We will read literature about passing as white and discuss the causes and effects, including the devastation of having to pass.  Where does blame and shame lie?

Participants should be able to open emails and attachments. Plan to read about 100 pages per week, in preparation for each class.

Books and Other Resources: 
  • The House Behind the Cedars, by Charles W. Chestnut
  • The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, by James Weldon Johnson
  • Passing, by Nella Larsen
  • Black No More, by William Schuyler
  • One Drop, by Bliss Broyard…do NOT buy. Course Leader will copy important sections.
  • Recommended outside reading but not required:
  • The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, by James Weldon Johnson.
Biography:

I have taught a string of literature courses at life-long learning institutes, all having social injustice as the theme.  This will be my sixth course.  Most of my career was spent teaching in the inner-city and being involved in social justice issues, even holding political positions in communities that I viewed as needing change.  In addition, I’ve been a director of teacher training and a vice-principal. I have lectured at Swarthmore College and was on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania.  I have a B.S. from Temple University and an M.S. and doctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania. 

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1Tue-3D-5a: Aging? Really? Me? Aging with Awareness: The Quest for Fulfillment

Course Leader:  Elizabeth David

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on September 25

Course Description:

There is beauty in the character creases of our faces and grace in the way we deal with our challenges. What have we learned through the years? How do we apply these learnings in ways that work for us and motivate us to give back to society or share them with family and friends? The purpose of this course is to provide participants with the framework to reflect on key experiences and to do the internal work that maximizes the potential to experience aging as the fulfillment of life. 

We will have collaborative conversations based on brief presentations by the course leader. Primarily we will discuss the homework exercises, which will explore participants’ life experiences such as personal philosophy, “life review and repair,” and planning an obituary/eulogy. Discussions including the topics of forgiveness and compassion will culminate with the writing of “legacy letters/ethical wills.” Handouts will be provided, but there is no assigned textbook. Participants should be able to communicate through email. Weekly preparation time should take 1-2 hours, depending on each participant’s inclination to focus on homework.

Participating in this course has the potential to bring deeper meaning to our lives in whatever settings we find ourselves. Societal attitudes have improved, but we still have a long way to go. We are the role models, wisdom keepers and teachers as we fulfill our own potential.

Books and Other Resources: 

There will be no textbook or handouts.

Biography:

I am a graduate of Lesley College Institute of the Arts with an MA in expressive therapies. I worked in a hospice setting as Bereavement Program Coordinator and, subsequently, as Volunteer Coordinator. In bereavement I followed families for a year after the death of the patient, led support groups, and trained volunteers. This course is based on a two-year, non-denominational program that I took from the Spiritual Eldering Institute founded by Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi. Over the years I have conducted numerous classes and workshops on this topic among others and have taught at LLAIC.

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3Thu-1A-10: A British Author for the 21st Century:  The Life and Works of Ian McEwan

Course Leader:  Alice Freedman

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 27

Course Description:

Ian McEwan is one of the greatest contemporary British authors.  An award-winning writer of novels, short stories, and screen plays, McEwan’s work focuses on intriguing characters who face complex and often bizarre challenges.  His style has evolved from the sinister and macabre, to the romantic, to the political -- all incorporating the brilliant use of language and keen insights into the mind of his characters.  McEwan’s most recent novel, Nutshell, re-tells Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” from the perspective of a developing embryo. Many of his novels have been made into movies featuring well-known stars such as Benedict Cumberbatch and Helen Mirren. In our class, we will identify and discuss the critical components of analyzing fiction and relate them to McEwan’s works. We will begin with several of his short stories and then continue with novels such as The Cement Garden, The Comfort of Strangers, The Children Act, On Chesil Beach, Atonement, and conclude with Nutshell. With the exception of Atonement, all selections are about 150 pages and can be read fairly quickly. We will watch the movie version of Atonement in class. Short 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 provide guidance that will help you to appreciate other authors. 

The readings will take several hours per week, depending on reading speed. Participants need to be able to open emails and download articles and assignments.


Books and Other Resources: 

We will read three short stories:
  • “Dead as they Come”
  • “Last Day of Summer”
  • “Conversation with a Cupboard Man”
The following novels are planned:
  • The Cement Garden
  • The Comfort of Strangers
  • On Chesil Beach
  • The Children Act
  • Atonement
  • Nutshell
The class will be notified in advance, so that there will be plenty of time to order books.

Biography:

I taught this course last fall and was thrilled with the response of participants and the rich discussions we had.  It will be a pleasure to facilitate the class this coming fall!

In 2016, I retired from Atrius Health/Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates where, as a member of the Organizational Development and Learning Department, I coached supervisors, and created and facilitated workshops on a variety of topics to provide staff and physicians with tools to enhance their success.  Prior to employment at HVMA, I spent 19 years at Ceridian Corporation and Work/Family Directions where I managed the Seminar Department, developed over 100 seminar topics, and led thousands of workshops on work/life issues to employees of major companies.  After graduating from Boston University with a B.A. in English, I taught English at Malden High School.  I received an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Boston College and am certified in Emotional Intelligence, Myers-Briggs Type Inventory, Coaching, and Stress Management.

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3Thu-2B-10: Robber Barons or Captains of Industry: Portraits from the Gilded Age

Course Leader:  Sandy Grasfield and Dana Kaplan

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 27

Course Description:

How much can change in 35 years? If you look at the US from 1865-1900, the period known as the Gilded Age, almost everything. America transformed from a war-ravaged federation of states into the most powerful country in the world. The world we live in now—for better or worse—was shaped during this period of astonishing growth and productivity. How did this happen? More importantly, who were the “movers and shakers?” What did we gain and what did we lose?

While the course will look at economics, politics, and technology, we will bring the focus down to a more human scale, by looking at some of the key individuals who created the history. In a series of “portraits,” we will profile some of the famous “robber barons,” like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller and J. P. Morgan, who drove the industrial expansion and left their mark on America’s cities and towns, most particularly New York.

But we will also discuss artists and writers (John Singer Sargent, Mark Twain, Horatio Alger), a few notable villains and meet a surprising and controversial suffragette—Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for the presidency in 1872. We will explore the world of immigrants, the “suffering masses,” as well as the gilded world and conspicuous consumption of the super-rich (Mrs. Astor and her “400”).

The course will feature a combination of lectures, biographical sketches, and group discussion, with audio-visual support, including slides and YouTube videos. Each week participants will receive suggested readings, either online or as pdfs. We may also assign sections of a general text to be determined.

To get the most out of the course, participants should be able to open pdfs sent via email and to view YouTube videos. Plan on spending one to two hours of preparation weekly, for suggested readings and/or viewing of YouTube videos.

Books and Other Resources: 

Excerpts from selected books will be used. There is no mandatory text.

Biography:

Sandy Grasfield: I was a middle school librarian and media specialist for thirty years. I have taught several courses at LLAIC and elsewhere, including The History and Politics of Food, The Plays and Memoirs of Lillian Hellman, and Great Photographs and Photographers of the Depression Era. 

Dana and I have presented two successful courses focused on mystery novels. We also ran a monthly summer book group, “Food and Memories,” focused on culinary memoirs.

Dana Kaplan: I had a varied career as a marketing and sales promotional writer and manager of creative teams. My focus was business-to-business. Among the companies I worked for were Honeywell, Digital Equipment Corporation, Duke Energy and PricewaterhouseCoopers. My greatest regret is not studying a history curriculum at university, and I have been making it up for it since then.

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2Wed-1B-5b: Energy: How Society’s Needs Are — and Should Be Met

Course Leader:  Karl Kelber

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on October 31

Course Description:

Where does our energy come from today, and what are the basic technologies of how we use it? Given climate change and the continuing strain on current energy sources, is it time to reconsider nuclear power? How do electric cars compare to those with conventional internal combustion engines, and what can we expect in the near future? 

The goals of this course are to present a basic understanding for the non-specialist and to provide a forum for discussing a variety of topics, including energy policies at local and federal levels. We will compare and contrast energy sources (coal, natural gas vs. oil, fracking, solar, etc.), their infrastructure, costs, efficiency and safety, and environmental degradation impacts.  

The course will be primarily lecture with a supporting PowerPoint presentation. No text is assigned, but some interesting data sources will be presented at the first meeting for those who wish to dig deeper. Participants will be encouraged, but not required to share materials from their own reading, including on-line articles and news stories.

Participants should be able to open emails and print out attachments. It will be up to the participants to determine how much preparation to do for each class, but no more than two hours per class is anticipated.

Books and Other Resources: 

No text is assigned, but suggested readings will be provided at the start of the course.

Biography:

I am a retired Electrical Engineer. Most of my career was with Raytheon, and I was part of the team that was designing and deploying state-of-the-art radar systems. Later in my career I was more involved with deployment and such issues as input power, site preparations, environmental costs, testing, and logistics. Thus, I became interested in the subjects of this course. I presented sections of my content at Framingham State University as part of a natural resources course for roughly ten years.


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1Tue-3B-10: The 9+ Lives of Bob Dylan

Course Leader:  Bonnie Lass

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 25

Course Description:

Bob Dylan has been influential in popular music and culture for more than five decades and is an artist in several media.  He’s sold over 100 million records (including 38 studio albums, many more live albums, bootlegs, and compilations), published seven books of drawings and paintings and a best-selling and well-received memoir, directed and acted in movies, and continues to tour in as many as 100 shows a year.  

We’ll explore Dylan’s life; listen to, analyze, and sing his songs; watch interviews; and read and react to his writings, including excerpts from his memoir and his acceptance speech for the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.  We’ll discuss why Dylan matters to you, me, contemporary music history, classicists, and the literati.

As homework, I will assign brief readings, some from the optional book list and others from journalistic sources.  I will send these to students, along with the URLs for required YouTube videos, via email. Computer ability is critical to the course, since weekly assignments rely on YouTube videos and downloadable texts.  Weekly preparation time will be 30 to 90 minutes.


Books and Other Resources: 
  • Another Side of Bob Dylan by Victor and Jacob Maymudes.  New York:  St. Martin’s Press, 2014.
  • Chronicles, Volume One by Bob Dylan.  New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.
  • Dylan:  The Biography by Dennis McDougal.  New York:  Wiley, 2014.
  • Song and Dance Man: The Art of Bob Dylan, 3rd edition by Michael Gray  New York: Continuum, 2002.
  • Why Bob Dylan Matters by Richard F. Thomas, New York:  HarperCollins, 2017.
(None of these books is required.)

Biography:

I have been a Course Leader at LLAIC since its first term, teaching “Contemporary Literary Memoir,” “The Blues: Origins and Influences,” “The New Yorker Fiction Roundtable,” and “Bobby Zimmerman: Nobel Laureate.” I’ve also served on the Curriculum Committee and then the LLAIC Board, where I steered the LUNCH@LLAIC speaker series for 2017-2018.   

In my professional career, I was an elementary school teacher, a reading specialist, a teacher educator, and a writer/editor of educational materials.  I have one picture book to my name, “Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?” and spend time trying to write another one.  Other interests include reading, antiquing, traveling, crosswords, collaging, movies, and hangin’ with my buds . . .

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2Wed-1A-5b: PACs, Power, and Politics: Campaign Money and Lobbying

Course Leader:  Bert Levine

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on October 31

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. Participants will need to be able to open emails and download attachments. Weekly preparation time will be 1 to 2 hours to read articles that will be supplied.


Books and Other Resources: 

Levine, Bert. The Art of Lobbying: Building Trust and Selling Policy.

Biography:

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

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2Wed-2C-10: The Case for Optimism

Course Leader:  Richard and Mary Mansfield

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 26

Course Description:

Are you pessimistic about where our country and the world are headed? About the future effectiveness of our government and our economic system? Perhaps you have spent too much time following the news. Steven Pinker’s new book, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress, may be the antidote that you need. Pinker builds a strong, data-based case that in diverse areas  -- life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness – the world has been getting better for the last 400 years, and that this progress is due to three developments that blossomed 400 years ago, during the Enlightenment: reason, science, and humanism.  

During the first six weeks of this course we will read about two thirds of this book and critically analyze Pinker’s case for optimism. This part of the course will culminate in a class debate about Pinker’s case and about his position that reason, faith, and secular humanism provide the best hope for the future.

In the second part of the course we will consider what benefits optimism, confidence, and a positive attitude may provide, psychologically. For this part of the course we will read, analyze and discuss Martin Seligman’s book, Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment. This readable book has many self-assessment exercises that will enable you to examine Seligman’s principles of positive psychology in terms of your own life and experiences.

This course will use a variety of instructional formats: short presentations, large and small group discussions, observation and discussion of video clips, and an in-class debate. Participants should be able to open emails and attachments. Weekly preparation, about 50-70 pages of reading, should take about two hours.

Books and Other Resources: 
  • Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. Viking, 2018
  • Martin E. P. Seligman, Authentic Happiness: Using Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment. Atria Paperback, 2013
Biography:

Richard: After teaching courses on policy and politics for the past three semesters, I was concerned about the generally pessimistic view that the readings and discussions were producing and was delighted to discover Steven Pinker’s optimistic book. As a consultant in leadership and organizational behavior, I was also influenced by research demonstrating the importance of self-confidence and a can-do attitude in many leadership jobs. In my first career as a university professor I specialized in developmental psychology. I have also taught a course on creativity.

Mary: In my most recent career, as an educational consultant, I helped students, mostly at the high school level, discover their strengths and find colleges and other educational institutions enabling people to build on their strengths. I have also worked as a college admissions director and as a consultant to teachers. I have developed and taught a course on the horse in literature, history and art, and I have co-developed and co-taught a course on moral judgment. Richard and I have co-taught courses titled “Issues in American Education,” “American Dream in Crisis,” and “Beyond IQ and Talent.”

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1Tue-1C-10: It’s Your Brain:  An Introduction to Neuroscience

Course Leader:  Mark McNamee

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 25

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, Alzheimer’s Disease, depression, stroke, and schizophrenia) will be explored with a focus on mechanisms, new technologies, and current research.

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 PowerPoint, short videos, demonstrations, and case studies.  A visit by Dr. Tracy Young Pearse, a Harvard Medical School faculty member will feature the latest research on Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Participants need to be able to open emails and download attachments. Plan on about one hour of preparation time weekly, to read news articles about current topics in neuroscience.

Books and Other Resources: 

No book is required, but the Chalabi book below is especially recommended.
  • Al-Chalabi, A., Turner, M.R. and Delamont, R. S.  The Brain – A Beginners Guide, London: Oneworld Publications, 2015.  (Inexpensive, very readable introduction to neuroscience especially for non-scientists.  (Highly recommended.)
  • Bear, M. F., Connors, B.W. and Paradiso, M.A.  Neuroscience – Exploring the Brain – Fourth Edition, Philadelphia: Walters Kluwer, 2016.  (Comprehensive college-level textbook serves as a reference text by Course Leader).
  • Scientific American.  Mysteries of the Mind.  Vol. 26, N0. 3, 2017.  (Excellent special edition with 16 articles about the brain and the mind written for a lay audience.)
  • The Great Courses Videos (Also recommended:www.thegreatcourses.com)
  • Norden, J.  Understanding the Brain, Chantilly: The Teaching Company, 2007. (High quality 36-part lecture series on the brain.)
Biography:

I am a retired professor of biochemistry and university administrator at UC Davis (1975-2001) and Virginia Tech (2001-2015).  My research focuses on the function of the acetylcholine receptor, a key protein involved in brain and muscle function.   I 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.  I received a Jacob Javits Neuroscience Research Award from the NIH for my research.  I taught this course at LLAIC in Spring 2018 and enjoyed the opportunity to share my passion for neuroscience with the participants.

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3Thu-2D-8a: Great Decisions 2018

Course Leader:  Martin Nichols

Course Length/Start:  8 weeks starting on September 27

Course Description:

Do you finish reading, listening to or watching the latest news wishing that you had a better understanding of the critical global issues facing our country?  If so, you are invited to participate in the Great Decisions 2018 discussion group.  This is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs and is sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association.  This will not be a lecture course.  Background material for each topic will be provided by essays in a briefing book to be read before class and by DVD presentations that we shall watch together at the beginning of each session.  Class members are expected to participate in lively discussions facilitated by the class leader. We will cover one topic per class session, and these are the eight issues that comprise the 2018 Great Decisions program:
  • China and America: the new geopolitical equation
  • Media and foreign policy
  • Turkey: a partner in crisis
  • U.S. global engagement and the military
  • South Africa’s fragile democracy
  • Global health: progress and challenges
Participants should have sufficient computer ability to purchase the briefing book online and to communicate by email. Weekly preparation should take 1 to 1-½ hours.

Books and Other Resources: 

Great Decisions 2018 Briefing Book, $30 plus postage, ordered by class members from
https://fpa.org/great_decisions/?act=gd_materials 

I will purchase the DVD and collect a proportionate share (approx. $4) from each class member.


Biography:

I did my undergraduate study at Yale and took my graduate dental degree at Harvard. I was an Army dentist for two years and then spent the rest of my working life in private practice in suburban Boston. I have been involved with lifetime learning programs for the past 22 years. I led the Great Decisions 2017 class last year, and this will be the fifth course that I have led at LLAIC.

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3Thu-2A-5b: Shakespeare, Opera, and Ballet:  Transforming One Art Form into Another

Course Leader:  Lois Novotny

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on November 1

Course Description:

Explore how five of Shakespeare’s works have been transformed into other art forms for the theater.  We’ll consider the changes made in creating operas and ballets based on some of his best-known plays. After an introduction, each week will focus on a single work, and a large part of each class will be watching segments of stellar performances of the operas and ballets on DVDs. We’ll be looking at Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, with Balanchine’s choreography, Verdi’s Otello, Macbeth, and Falstaff, and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, with MacMillan’s choreography. No prior knowledge of music, opera, or ballet is required. Summaries of the plays and of the operas and ballets will be provided.

Participants should be able to open emails and attachments and click on links to on-line material. Weekly preparation should take half an hour or less – to read summaries of plays, operas and ballets.


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’ve had the pleasure of seeing opera in Parma, Palermo, Naples, Rome, Venice, Milan, Prague, Budapest, Paris, St. Petersburg, and Moscow, and at many of the great opera houses, including La Scala, La Fenice, and the Maryiinsky and Bolshoi theaters. I have previously taught this and another opera course at LLAIC.

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1Tue-3A-10: The Jewish Jesus

Course Leader:  Rabbi Robert Orkand

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 25

Course Description:

For anyone interested in understanding the profound effect Jesus had on the world, it’s important to realize that his actions and teachings didn’t emerge from a vacuum. Rather, they were the product of a fascinating dialogue with—and reaction to—the traditions, cultures, and historical developments of ancient Jewish beliefs. In fact, early Judaism and Jesus are two subjects so inextricably linked that one cannot arrive at a true understanding of Jesus without understanding the time in which he lived and taught.  This course will explore the environment in which Jesus lived and how Judaism influenced him. The format of the class will be lecture with discussion. Participants will need to be able to open attachments to emails. No preparation time outside of class is required.

Note:  This course is designed to span two semesters, Fall  of 2018 and Spring of 2019.

Books and Other Resources: 

Email attachments.

Biography:

I retired from the pulpit rabbinate in 2013 after a career spanning more than 40 years, the last 31 in Westport, Connecticut. Prior to that I served congregations in Florida and Illinois. I have taught adult learning courses at LLAIC, Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, and Temple Beth Shalom in Needham.

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1Tue-1B-5b: A History of the U.S. Supreme Court

Course Leader:  Richard Pearson

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on October 30

Course Description:

At this critical time in the history of the Supreme Court, with so many potentially enormous decisions ahead, it is valuable to look back at its long history. This course will begin with a discussion of the choices and decisions the founders made and continue up to the era of the Rehnquist court. The basis for the course is a series of four 60-minute programs aired on public television. We will view the DVDs, then discuss them. No outside reading or preparation is required, nor is computer ability. 

Among the topics we will cover are the new concept of justice that was developed and the relationship of the Court and the judiciary to the other two branches of justice. We will look at the “liberal” court era of Earl Warren and contrast that with the “conservative” era ushered in by William Rehnquist. The final class will provide an opportunity to dive deeper into areas of particular interest to the class.

No computer ability is needed.

Books and Other Resources: 
No weekly preparation is required.

Biography:

I received a BA from the University of Michigan, an LLB from Boston University, and an LLM from Yale. I served in the US Army from 1950 to 1952.  I 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. I have also served as a visiting professor at several other law schools and taught adult education classes related to the law in New London and Hanover, New Hampshire.

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2Wed-1C-10: Writing Your Memoir, One Story at a Time

Course Leader:  Myrna Rybczyk

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 26

Course Description:

Has a family member or friend ever said; "You should write these stories down. Your memories are so interesting and you ought to share them!" An autobiography is writing about your life; a memoir is writing from your life. Using a theme circle, we will be crafting the stories of your life, writing in a short form, one at a time. We all have stories to tell, but the hardest part seems to be getting started, and in-class writing activities are helpful in the beginning. Writing from life can bring tears of joy and sadness, puzzlement, resolve, and many other feelings as you touch upon significant memories. Writings are shared in a confidential, supportive atmosphere. We will focus on finding one's voice and will not be making grammatical or structural suggestions. We listen with acceptance, speak from experience and maintain confidentiality in a safe environment.

No computer ability is required. Weekly preparation should take 2 to 4 hours.


Books and Other Resources: 

Ainsser, William. Writing About Yourself.  Da Capo Press, 2004

Biography:

I have taught this class three times for LLAIC, Co-leading with Carole McNamee for two sessions. I also teach this class at Church of Christ UCC in Millis, where we are into our twentieth month. 

My background is in Music Therapy. I graduated from New England Conservatory of Music with a bachelor’s degree in Music and a Major in Music Therapy. I have worked as a Visiting Therapist for four and one half years at The McLean Hospital. For two and one half years of that time I was Assistant Director of Orchard Home for Girls, a branch of New England Home for Little Wanderers. I taught high school chorus and band at Monadnock Regional High School in Swanzey, New Hampshire. Following that I worked for four years at Medfield State Hospital (MA) as Head Music Therapist. 

Since 1970, I have taught piano, guitar and voice in my studio, Millis Music Studio, in my hometown and am Director of Music at Church of Christ Congregational UCC in Millis.

I was active in the Nuclear Weapons Freeze and am involved in a number of committees within the church.

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2Wed-2B-6a: Our Mysterious Sub-Atomic World:  Quantum Mechanics Without a Wrench

Course Leader:  Peter Schmidt

Course Length/Start:  6 weeks starting on September 26

Course Description:

Come take some quantum leaps.  Cuddle up with Schrödinger’s cat. Quell your doubts about the Uncertainty Principle. Find out whether God rolls dice. 

The development of quantum mechanics was one of the most significant scientific achievements of the 20th century, and also one of the greatest triumphs of the human mind. Not a one-man show like Relativity, the quantum mechanics cast of characters includes Niels Bohr, Albert Einstein, and an array of brilliant physicists recognized with Nobel Prizes. Their struggle toward the understanding of quantum phenomena, as well as its implications for causality and determinism, carries to the present day.

But these physicists also had their human side, with personal quirks and passions. The course book helps to bring them to life with vivid anecdotes and descriptions well beyond their ground-breaking work. 

To join this adventure you will need no more than curiosity and willingness to stretch your mind, rather than any previous knowledge. The 5-week course will cover mainly the advancement of quantum mechanics from the early roots to its consistent formulation in the 1930s, but we’ll also take a look at some of its further consequences and at some recent developments. Given the nature of the subject, there will be substantial presentation, but with time for discussion, and for pondering and questioning of the interpretations. Since each class will build on the learnings of the previous ones, it’s imperative not to miss any classes. 

Each week there will be a PowerPoint presentation based on the material for that week, with “Points to ponder” also made available ahead of time. The weekly materials and background information will all be described on a course website. Participants should be able to use the computer to open and download attachments and access on-line material. Weekly preparation should take about 2 hours.

Books and Other Resources: 

Kumar, Manjit. Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality. W. W. Norton & Company. Paperback first published 2011, 448 pages, blue cover.

Biography:

I have had an academic and research career in experimental high-energy physics, which included teaching at Brandeis, and a second one in the application of machine vision in private industry. Teaching in lifelong learning since 2006, and one of the founders of LLAIC,  I’ve led and co-led a number of courses there in diverse subjects, from scientific (“Five Physicists who Changed the World View”, “A Taste of Science and Technology”) to other (“Short Stories of Heinrich Böll”, “The Golden Age of Foreign Films”).

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

Course Leader:  Sandy Sherizen

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 25

Course Description:

We are all being manipulated daily, much of which is invisible and unrecognized. Elements of manipulation are essential factors in our important decisions. Yet, it is often difficult to know that we are being manipulated, by whom, how, and even if it is good for us.

This course will explore the notion that manipulation is so important that we need to understand it in order to make essential personal and societal decision. We will explore a number of forms of manipulation and how they influence our choices.
Among the forms to be examined are the following types:
  • Psychological
  • Physical
  • Interpersonal
  • Economic
  • Ideological
  • 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. It is desirable for participants to be able to open emails and attachments and access on-line materials, but the Course Leader may be able to make alternative arrangements for persons lacking computer ability. Weekly preparation time is 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 went 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.


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1Tue-1A-10: America Goes to War - A Film Course: WW II, Korean War and Cold War

Course Leader:  Irwin Silver

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 25

Course Description:

We will be viewing and discussing films describing events that occurred both during and after World War II, the Korean War and the Cold War. By watching these movies and discussing the events we will explore how the American society united against common enemies and subsequently perceived these experiences. Our examination will include noticing diverse war experiences through a variety of film genres, including drama, humor and realism. 

Some of the outstanding movies describing events during the war period, such as Patton, Caine Mutiny, The Great Escape, and 12 O’Clock High will be complemented with outstanding films about the post war era such as Dr. Strangelove, One, Two, Three, and Mash. Outstanding legendary actors, directors and music composers of Hollywood will be explored, all seeking to project their own visions onto the silver screen and thus to affect public perceptions and opinion. Three additional movies will supplement these seven.

In each session of this double-period class we will watch a film and then discuss it. Participants should be able to open emails and download attachments. Weekly preparation time will be about one hour. 

Books and Other Resources: 

No text book is required. For reference purposes only, an excellent source could be explored:
Hollywood Goes to War: How Politics, Profits and Propaganda Shaped World War II Movies, by Clayton R. Koppes and Gregory D. Black

Biography:

I am a graduate of Northeastern University with a B.S degree. After spending 46 years in the securities industry I retired in 2003 as a First Vice President - Investments from Prudential Securities. In addition to my career in the securities industry, I was an Adjunct Professor at Northeastern University in the 1980’s and 1990’s. I relaxed by skiing New England, the Rockies, and Europe. I have taught many film courses at LLAIC at other lifelong learning organizations.

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1Tue-2D-10: Eleanor & Franklin, Co-Presidents

Course Leader:  Marvin Snider

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 25

Course Description:

How to account for this unique marriage and political partnership? We will start with the circumstances that led to Eleanor and Franklin’s marriage, in spite of his mother’s objection. This spark of independence shown by FDR gave way to his becoming a bystander, doing little to intervene as Eleanor and Sara Roosevelt competed for his attention until Sara’s death in 1941. This set the pattern, as Eleanor continued to compete for FDR’s attention throughout his presidency. We will see how, after 13 years, this marriage turned into a business partnership in 1918, when Eleanor discovered that FDR was having an affair and Eleanor moved out of the marital bedroom. Eleanor’s willingness to divorce was not an option, as that would have opposed his mother and risked his inheritance.  We will explore how this partnership evolved after FDR was struck by polio in 1921. Eleanor became a great support and played a major role in his recovery. His illness led to her becoming his political consultant, and she became his eyes and ears for all that occurred outside the White House. This morphed into their unique political partnership. She focused on addressing social needs with which he generally agreed.  He had to temper her passion for them with political reality. They enjoyed working together on their mutual interest in developing these social programs during the Depression and then adapting them to fit during the war years.  His preoccupation with the war meant that once again Eleanor had to compete for his attention. We will also see how she was able to develop an identity and career in her own right, separate from her obligations to FDR.

This class’s formats will include a combination of lecture and discussion, and we will view appropriate videos at home. Participants should be able to use the computer for email and to click on links to on-line videos. Weekly preparation should take 2 to 3 hours.


Books and Other Resources: 

Goodwin, Doris Kearns, No Ordinary Time


Biography:

I have a PhD in psychology and have practiced both as a clinician and an organizational consultant. I have led many courses on diverse topics at the Harvard lifelong learning program.  At LLAIC I have taught courses on Truman, Hamilton, and Washington.  These courses on founders are approached with emphasis on understanding the leaders’ personality and accomplishments, why they did what they did, and the impact they had on this country.

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3Thu-3A-5b: LILAC Players   (Free course)

Course Leader:  Judie Strauss and Maryann Wyner

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on November 1

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 Judie Strauss at judieshel@verizon.net.


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 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 Wyner 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-2D-5b: Five Portraits of Outstanding Leadership

Course Leader:  Joanne Tuck

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on October 31

Course Description:

In Forged in Crisis, The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times, author Nancy Koehn tells the stories of five individuals driven by higher purpose, willing to make great personal sacrifices, carrying out their life’s work in times of great inner and outer turmoil.  Ernest Shackleton led his stranded men home to safety in England. Lincoln saw the country through the brutal Civil War and brought an end to slavery.  Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave, relentlessly campaigned for abolition. Dietrich Bonhoeffer stood up to the Nazis and defied Hitler nobly and courageously. Rachel Carson was challenged as a female biologist and wrote Silent Spring, the book that changed our thinking about the environment.

For each of these leaders we will consider several questions:
  • How did the context of the individual’s background contribute to the person’s striving and ambition?
  • What strategies did the person use in helping to achieve goals?
  • How did the individual deal with obstacles: difficult personalities, opposition, personal doubts or despair?
  • In what ways did the person display leadership for others to follow and inspire loyalty?
In addition to discussion, each class will include a film about one of the selected leaders. Participants should be able to exchange emails and open attachments. Weekly reading assignments will be about 100 pages and will take several hours, depending on each individual's reading speed.

Books and Other Resources: 

Koehn, Nancy.  Forged in Crisis, The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times. New York: Scribner, 2017.     

Biography:

For many years, I taught Facing History and Ourselves: Holocaust and Human Behavior and Social Movements at Wentworth Institute of Technology. I received degrees from B.U. in History and Social Education and studied the Holocaust and Civil Rights extensively at Facing History. I found my two teaching experiences of Reconstruction (1865-1877) Its Legacy in Our Time at LLAIC to be very rewarding, and I am happy to continue with what I hope will be another successful semester of learning and exploration of our past and its impact on the present.

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2Wed-2A-5a: The “Moderns” in Architecture, Interior and Furniture Design (1925-1960)

Course Leader:  Dorie Weintraub

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on September 26

Course Description:

The “Moderns,” not to be confused with today’s contemporary designers, have a special place in art history. The Modern Movement started in Europe as a reaction to the Beaux Arts and Neo Classicism periods, and remnants of the Moderns can be seen today. 

In this course we will look at several famous and less famous architects from Europe, South America and North America including: Gropius, Mies Van de Rohe, Alvar Alto, Rossi, Niemeyer, IM Pei, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Their impact is still apparent today, and we will look at their influence on contemporary architects like Gehry and Holl. We will also explore the furniture and interior design called the Mid-century Modern style. You can see examples in the DWR (Design Within Reach) catalog or its website—or maybe this is the furniture that you bought as newlyweds.

Week by week, we will explore the roots of Modernism and the various architects and designers who made the movement famous and lasting. No homework or preparation time is required, but I will be sending out links after each course for you to explore further on your own.

Books and Other Resources: 

There are no required books.

Biography:

I am a lifelong observer of the built environment. I was introduced to Boston’s beautiful streets, the Charles River and varied neighborhoods as a college student after moving here from Rochester, NY. Beginning my career designing software for IBM, I went back to school in my 40’s to study architecture at the Boston Architectural College in Back Bay. I’ve practiced in Greater Boston since, at various firms including Dyer/Brown, ARC, DRA and Margulies Perruzzi Architects before starting my 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-3C-7a: Will the Real Atticus Finch Please Stand Up?

Course Leader:  Maryann Wyner

Course Length/Start:  7 weeks starting on September 25

Course Description:

For many of us who read To Kill a Mockingbird as teens, Atticus Finch became an iconic hero, symbolizing the way we wanted all Americans to treat each other. Published in 1960, Lee’s story of life in a small southern town as seen through the eyes of 6-year-old Scout became a classic, and it continues to be required reading in schools. The publishing of a discovered manuscript by Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman, in 2015, created a range of reactions as it smashed our icon to bits. We will read and examine both novels, beginning with Watchman, and looking at the original (Watchman) story from which the author created Mockingbird. Though set during the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement (Watchman) and the Depression (Mockingbird). the books were written in the 1950's, and we shall look at how these works were influenced by the times in which Lee lived. Has Watchman altered the way we reading Mockingbird? Is one story more truthful than the other? How do we assess works from earlier eras? These are some of the questions that we will try to answer during our study.

The course will consist mainly of class discussion.  I will email suggested discussion questions in advance of each class.  In class, I will present relevant background material about Harper Lee, the region, the time period, and the public reactions to the books. Participants should be able to open and print out emails. Weekly preparation time will be about 2 hours.


Books and Other Resources: 

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Any unabridged version.
Lee, Harper, Go Set a Watchman: A Novel.
Assorted on-line articles


Biography:

I am a former high school English and History teacher and a lover of books and have a master’s degree in English. 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! At LLAIC, I taught a course on Somerset Maugham's short stories


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3Thu-2C-10: Ibsen and Shaw: Masters of the Problem Play

Course Leader:  Lois Ziegelman

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 27

Course Description:

When one thinks of the sub-genre of realism known as the problem play, Ibsen and Shaw immediately come to mind: Ibsen as the pioneer and Shaw as his most devoted admirer. Both challenged audiences to face important social issues, but each used a different approach. Ibsen’s plays invariably ended in tragedy, while Shaw, commonly referred to as “the laughing Ibsen,” was a master of wit.

In this course we will read and discuss four plays:  Ibsen’s Ghosts and Hedda Gabler; and Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession and Arms and the Man. The class formats will include lectures to introduce each playwright, review of the sequence of acts and scenes in each play, and extensive class discussion. In addition, since drama is written to be performed, members of the class will be encouraged to participate in reading aloud  scenes chosen from each play. Weekly preparation, reading a third to a half of a play per week, should take about two hours. No computer ability is needed.

Books and Other Resources: 

Henrik Ibsen, Ghosts. Suggested translation: William Archer.
Henrik Ibsen. Hedda Gabler. Suggested translation: Michael Meyer.
George Bernard Shaw. Mrs. Warren’s Profession
George Bernard Shaw. Arms and the Man

Biography:

After receiving three graduate degrees (M.A. , Comp. Lit. from Boston U.; M.A., English Lit. from Boston College; Ph.D. in English Lit. from Brandeis U.) I taught World Literature and Drama at Framingham State College for 31 years. I am now a Professor Emerita and the recipient of five fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities. I have studied, taught, and performed works ranging from classical antiquity through the 20th century and published articles in several scholarly journals. I have taught several courses at LLAIC, most recently including ones on American drama and Anna Karenina.

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Updated July 15, 2018

Ċ
Peter Schmidt,
Jul 15, 2018, 10:49 AM
Ċ
Peter Schmidt,
Jul 15, 2018, 10:49 AM
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