Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions - Fall 2019

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 (and A, B, C, ... differentiates between courses in the same time period);
  • In the rightmost field, 10, 8, 7 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 (2 pages).  For a printable file of all the course descriptions, click here (30 pages).


Course Leader
Course Title
 Course Code
Suzanne Art
Luminaries: Five Superstars of the Art World
3Thu-1A-10
Donald Bermont
Brave New World—Unvisited: Exploring Exciting, Scientific and Technological Advances that May, or May Not, Change the Way We Live
2Wed-2C-5a
Victor Carrabino
Italy’s Dark Shadows: Fascism and Organized Crime
1Tue-3D-5b
Phyllis Pressman Cohen and Sue Goldberg
Laughter is Still the Best Medicine
3Thu-3A-10
Bill Cotter
High Impact Issues in the Supreme Court—2019 Cases
1Tue-1B-5b
Elizabeth David
Ageless Soul: A Lifelong Journey Toward Meaning and Joy
[Will not be given this semester]
1Tue-3C-5a
Sandy Grasfield and Dana Kaplan
Robber Barons or Captains of Industry? Portraits of Life in the Gilded Age
3Thu-2C-10
Joel Kamer
Fiction with a Math Chaser
2Wed-1D-10
Margret Krakauer
Beginning Drawing
3Thu-1B-10
Margret Krakauer
Beyond Beginning Drawing
3Thu-2B-10
Margalit Lai
Israel: A Small Country with Big Challenges
1Tue-2C-5b
Claire Levovsky
Literature and Film
[Will not be given this semester]
2Wed-1A-8a
Sheldon Lowenthal
Waves of Technology and Human Outcomes
1Tue-1C-8a
Richard Mansfield and Joe Bongiardina
Current Issues in Policy and Politics
1Tue-3B-10
Carole McNamee and Mark McNamee
Unexpected Collusion: Modern Art and the Brain
1Tue-1D-5b
Mark McNamee
It’s Your Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience
1Tue-2E-10
David Mirsky
My Five Psychiatric Obsessions 3Thu-3B-5b
Martin Moser
Taking Photos with an iPhone
1Tue-2B-5a
Lois Novotny
The Tchaikovsky Ballets: Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker
2Wed-1C-7a
Rabbi Robert Orkand
How Jesus Became God
1Tue-3A-10
Philip Radoff
A Guided Tour of Mozart’s Don Giovanni
3Thu-3C-5b
Gerald Rovner
Current Topics in Immigration Law: Clearing Up the Confusion
3Thu-3D-5a
Peter Schmidt
The Humanity of Heinrich Böll: Selected Short Stories
3Thu-1C-5a
Judith Scott
Meet Expressionism in Art
2Wed-2B-8a
Sandy Sherizen
Leading Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice
1Tue-2D-10
Marvin Snider
Lyndon Johnson: Master Politician
3Thu-2D-8a
Judie Strauss and Maryann Wyner
LILAC Players   [No course fee]
2Wed-2E-5b
Dorie Weintraub
How do Architects Come Up with Their Buildings, Anyway?
2Wed-2D-5b
Lane Williamson
Painting with Van Gogh and Gauguin
1Tue-1A-5a
Maryann Wyner
Good Reads/Tough Issues: YA (Young Adult) Literature
2Wed-1B-10
Lois Ziegelman
The Protest Play – from Aristophanes to Bertolt Brecht, Jean Anouilh and Arthur Miller
3Thu-2A-10


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3Thu-1A-10: Luminaries: Five Superstars of the Art World

Course Leader: Suzanne Art

Course Length/Start: 10 weeks starting on Sept. 12

Course Description:

Every significant art movement has its share of superstars. I have chosen five luminaries from the 16th and 17th centuries: Raphael, Albrecht Durer, Caravaggio, Diego Velázquez and Rembrandt. Each of these artists reflects the highest aspirations of a particular artistic movement: Raphael—the High Italian Renaissance; Durer—the Northern Renaissance; Caravaggio—the early Baroque; Velázquez—the Spanish Golden Age; and Rembrandt—the Dutch Golden Age. 

In this course, we will explore the life of each of these artists and the period in which he lived. We will examine his major works and discover how these reflect not only the contemporary artistic trends but also the social, economic, and political currents of the times. We will discuss the application of various types of artistic media, and we will note how one major artistic movement gradually evolves into another. We will also trace the influence of a given artist upon the works of those who came later. 

There will be a combination of presentation and class discussion. Weekly preparation should take about 1½ hours. Participants should be able to open emails and click on links to online articles and videos.

Books and Other Resources:

All assignments will be online. These will include brief biographical articles as well as videos on 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 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.

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2Wed-2C-5a: Brave New World—Unvisited: Exploring Exciting, Scientific and Technological Advances that May, or May Not, Change the Way We Live

Course Leader: Donald Bermont

Course Length/Start: 5 weeks starting on Sept. 11

Course Description:

Every day, through all kinds of media, we are flooded with fascinating innovations, new ideas, new discoveries, and new technological advances. Amazing progress is happening in the fields of medicine, technology and every other branch of science, including astronomy, biochemistry, genetics, physics and even paleontology.

Each week we will examine five to ten of these new developments that have emerged into the public consciousness within the previous month.  The class will discuss the possible benefits and dangers of each one. What will be enhanced?  What will be disrupted? What is the likelihood of this really happening?  Is this what we want?

We are living at a time of constant new developments and new improvements to last year’s innovations. At times in the class we will look back at things that were expected to change our lives from ten years ago, to see if they have had any impact.  We will try to anticipate what changes may occur over the next decade, with the understanding, as the great Yogi, and/or Niels Bohr, said: “ Predictions are hard, especially about the future.”

For me, the best part of this course is that I won’t know exactly what we will discuss until the week before, at which time I will send the class descriptions of five to ten very current innovations in science and technology. I may also include a list from five or ten years ago of what was predicted at that time to impact our lives. In each class we will discuss what all of this is doing to our health, society and our brains. In the last class we will attempt to describe how our lives, and those of our kids and children and grandchildren may be different by 2030.

The readings should take 1 to 2 hours per week. Participants should have sufficient computer skills to open emails and click on links to on-line articles.

Books and Other Resources:

The readings will be on-line articles.

Biography:

I have really enjoyed my teaching experience at LLIAC. I felt that the reaction to the Artificial Intelligence course was very positive and that people were very engaged. While developing that course I learned about so many exciting new developments in other branches of medicine, science and technology that I wanted to share with the class. That is what I hope to do in this class. 

Before going LLAIC I ran a psychological practice in Lowell, MA for over thirty years.  I saw many diverse people for psychotherapy, did diagnostic evaluations and consulted with many of the schools and agencies in the city and surrounding towns.  I have been completely retired from practice since 2016.

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1Tue-3D-5b: Italy’s Dark Shadows: Fascism and Organized Crime

Course Leader: Victor Carrabino

Course Length/Start: 5 weeks starting on Oct. 29

Course Description:

To many people, Italy evokes pizza, lasagna, gondolas, mandolins, and opera. But it is also a country stained by fascism and plagued by organized crime. In the first part of this course we will examine the roots of fascism and how and why it lasted for over a quarter century. World War I took many Italian lives and left an impoverished Italian industry. These conditions lay the groundwork for a nefarious populism and the emergence of a someone to fulfill the role of Nietzsche’s Ubermensch—a Messiah who would preach a new religion, a political doctrine in which the State and the individual are one. The name of this populist was Benito Mussolini, Il Duce. Imbued with philosophical ideas from Hegel, Nietzsche, and even Machiavelli, Mussolini’s fascism was also supported by writers and intellectuals who shared his rejection of individualism and acceptance of collectivism.

Our study of fascism will include examination of essays by Giovanni Gentile, the “philosopher of fascism” and Benedetto Croce, who first insisted on the authority of the State and the necessity of force. We will see how Fascist authority was eventually weakened, with the help of the Mafia, when the Allies landed in Sicily.

The second part of the course will focus on Italian organized crime and its alleged ties with the government. We will start with the economic and political conditions that laid the foundations for four bloody organizations: Cosa Nostra, ’Ndrangheta, Camorra, and Sacra Corona Unita. We will consider  the extent to which these criminal organizations have infiltrated the Italian economy and government. We will close the course with a cursory analysis of Italian political parties and the increasing shift from a center-left political stand to racist, xenophobic and nationalist politics.

Plan on spending about 3 hours per week on the assigned readings. Participants should able to open emails and attachments.

Books and Other Resources:

The Day of the Owl, by Leonardo Sciascia. On-line essays will also be assigned.

Biography:

This course is an abridged version of a semester course on Italian culture and civilization that I have taught many times in Florence, Italy, New York University, Florida State University, and Wheaton College. I created the course for American students who studied in Florence when, for 20 years I was the Resident Director of the FSU Study Abroad Program. I have enjoyed teaching it every time with much appreciation by the students. I always thought it was important for students to be acquainted not only with the language but also with the culture and civilization of the country.

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3Thu-3A-10: Laughter is Still the Best Medicine

Course Leader: Phyllis Pressman Cohen and Sue Goldberg

Course Length/Start: 10 weeks starting on Sept. 12

Course Description:

We  all need humor in our lives.  The course will examine various categories of humor/comedy and discuss what makes each type funny and unique. We will analyze humor dealing with politics, senior citizens, lawyers, ethnicity, marriage/children (family), puns/word play, slapstick, cartoons, and much more. The class will view videos showing how these types of humor were used by some of our favorite comedians.

Each week, a class member will be asked to prepare a brief report on a type of humor or the background of a comedian. As a finale to every session, each member will also be asked to tell a joke, anecdote, or expound upon a personal experience which best characterizes the type of humor being studied. There will be no lectures; our purpose is to facilitate animated discussions of the weekly topics. Weekly preparation should take less than one hour.

(The course leaders would like to express their appreciation to Neil Bernstein and Bob Pill who developed the idea for this course and offered it at LLAIC in 2014.)

Books and Other Resources:

There are no required books. The Course Leaders will provide articles to be read.

Biography:

Phyllis Pressman Cohen. I am one of the founders of LLAIC and currently the President of the Board. For almost 35 years I have run my own promotional products business serving large corporations. Prior to that I was in sales for several medical supply companies. My education at Brandeis, followed by my studies in library science at Framingham State have given me an almost unquenchable thirst for knowledge. I have led several courses at LLAIC, including analysis of the short fiction of  the New Yorker and a course entitled “Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do.”

Susan J Goldberg. I retired as President of Northeast Training Group, Inc. I was a frequent speaker at conferences in the US and was quoted in publications such as Computerworld, Inside Technology Training, and Service News. I also authored a monthly column for Service News and lectured at Bentley University. Earlier in my career I was a teacher.

I have volunteered in Haifa Israel for the past 5 winters and am currently on boards of the American Technion Society, Touro Synagogue Foundation in Newport, Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Centre, and  Primary Source. I have volunteered at  Hospitality Homes, Little Brothers, and Friends of the Elderly.

We want to teach a course on humor because we like to laugh and hope you do too.


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1Tue-1B-5b: High Impact Issues in the Supreme Court—2019 Cases

Course Leader: Bill Cotter

Course Length/Start: 5 weeks starting on Oct. 29

Course Description:

President Trump has added two justices to the Court, and the confirmation process has become ever more political.  We will discuss the impact of those justices on the Court as well as the President’s legal disputes with the House of Representatives and other Court challenges to the Executive. We will then analyze eight leading cases decided in the spring of 2019.  These cases concern: the proposed citizenship question in the 2020 census; the separation of church and state; excessive fines by states; double jeopardy; racial gerrymandering; political gerrymandering; capital punishment; and immoral copyrights.

The class sessions will include some lecture but more discussion. Weekly preparation involves reading 10 to 15 pages of condensed, non-technical case summaries and should take about an hour.

Books and Other Resources:

The Course Leader will prepare and duplicate a document with 60 to 90 pages of case summaries. Participants will be asked to pay the copying charges for their copy.

Biography:

I graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School (many decades ago—and was President of the Harvard Democratic Club, but I especially welcome conservatives in my courses) and was President and Professor of constitutional law at Colby College, 1979-2000. I was then founding President of the Oak Foundation in Geneva Switzerland. Prior to Colby, I was president of the Africa-America Institute, Ford Foundation Representative for Colombia and Venezuela, a White House Fellow with President Johnson, an associate attorney on Wall Street, an assistant attorney general (“Crown Counsel”) in Nigeria, and a law clerk to a Federal District Judge.  I have taught adult education courses on the Supreme Court for a decade in Concord and in Florida.  

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1Tue-3C-5a: Ageless Soul: A Lifelong Journey Toward Meaning and Joy
[Will not be given this semester]

Course Leader: Elizabeth David

Course Length/Start: 5 weeks starting on Sept. 10

Course Description:

The title of this course is also the text we will use as a guide. The purpose of the course is to provide participants with a framework to reflect on key experiences and to do the internal work that maximizes our potential to experience aging as the fulfillment of life. We will have collaborative conversations based on the text and brief presentations by the course leader. Primarily, we will discuss the homework which will involve one to two hours of text reading and reflective exercises such as life review, personal philosophy, resilience, forgiveness and compassion. These assignments will culminate in the writing of a Legacy Letter.  

In addition to the text, handouts will be provided.  Participants should be able to communicate via email. Weekly preparation should take 1-2 hours, depending on participants’ desires to focus on homework.

Books and Other Resources:

Ageless Soul: The Lifelong Journey Toward Meaning and Joy, by Thomas Moore, St Martin’s Press, 1917.

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 incorporating expressive therapies in the training. I completed a two-year program at the non-denominational Spiritual Eldering Institute founded by Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi and have led numerous classes and workshops based on this topic over the years, and at LLAIC.

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3Thu-2C-10: Robber Barons or Captains of Industry? Portraits of Life in the Gilded Age

Course Leader: Sandy Grasfield and Dana Kaplan

Course Length/Start: 10 weeks starting on Sept. 12

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, socialites, suffragettes, and a few notable villains. We will explore the world of immigrants as well as the gilded world and conspicuous consumption of the super-rich.

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 (online or as pdfs) and recommended videos. Weekly preparation should take 1 to 1.5 hours.

Books and Other Resources:

Pdfs of book excerpts will be provided.

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-1D-10: Fiction with a Math Chaser

Course Leader: Joel Kamer

Course Length/Start: 10 weeks starting on Sept. 11

Course Description:

We will be reading three acclaimed novels by three very different but accomplished authors. One similarity between the novels is that each has a primary character who is talented mathematically. When the novels mention mathematical concepts in association with the aforementioned characters, the Course Leader is likely to go off on a tangent [editor’s note: the Course Leader surreptitiously injected this mathematical term here—see a mathematics dictionary for the definition] to describe the concept in layman’s terms.  The intent of the course is to discuss three intriguing books and have fun with the mathematics incorporated by the authors.

Class sessions will include a combination of presentation and discussion. Participants should plan to read 70 to 110 pages weekly. Participants should be able to open and read emails.

Books and Other Resources:

36 Arguments for the Existence of God:  A Work of Fiction, by Rebecca Goldstein, ISBN 978-0-307-45671-7, Vintage Contemporaries paperback, 2011.

The Housekeeper and the Professor, by Yoko Ogawa, translated by Stephen Snyder, ISBN 978-0-312-42780-1, Picador paperback, 2009.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, by Mark Haddon, ISBN 978-1-4000-3271-6, Vintage Contemporaries paperback, 2004

Biography:

I learned reading at an early age and then, after ‘riting, I learned ‘rithmetic. I found ‘rithmetic so enthralling that I went on to eventually receive a master’s degree in mathematics and another in actuarial science. I became a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and put some of this learning to use. In my spare time I tried to keep up my reading skills, in particular by reading fiction. Occasionally I’d come across fiction that indulged my love of mathematics, as in these three novels, and I look forward to sharing the experience with the class.

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3Thu-1B-10: Beginning Drawing

Course Leader: Margret Krakauer

Course Length/Start: 10 weeks starting on Sept. 12

Course Description:

In a world of technology and electronic media, visual art remains a unique and wonderful activity. If you’ve ever wondered if you can draw, or even if you have experimented with it over the years, Beginning Drawing might be the class for you.  Learning to draw, and really to work in any visual art, begins with learning to see in a new and more focused way. Using our eyes, and with the aid of simple tools, our hands can learn, through a series of exercises, to express what we see. For me, drawing is joyful, and I hope students find the journey to discover their own creativity as rewarding as I have. 

After many years of teaching art, I truly believe that everyone can learn to draw. It’s a little like learning to play the piano; you might not become a celebrated pianist, but you can learn to read music, understand rhythm and timing, understand the keyboard, and, with practice, play a pretty good version of a desired piece.  

For the most part, drawing materials are inexpensive, and students will work with a set of graded graphite pencils, erasers, and good quality paper. Each week, through a series of exercises and practice, we will explore the various principles of drawing. We will explore the techniques of drawing realistic objects, starting with getting the basic lines and shapes, and moving on to developing more complex drawings that reflect volume and mood.  

Learning to draw is not an academic class with a planned curriculum; each week builds on the level, abilities, and interests of the students.  During the 10 weeks, I hope that my students learn how to:  
  • observe the world around them in new ways and begin to learn how to translate that to an artistic endeavor.
  • use new techniques to creatively achieve the desired effect and mood.
  • start, work on, and then complete a drawing.
  • choose appropriate subjects to draw.
Weekly preparation should take less than two hours. No computer skills are needed.

Books and Other Resources:

There are no required readings.

Biography:

I have advanced degrees in Biology and Social Work but started painting almost 40 years ago when my children were quite young. Most of my study was with the late world-renowned Wayland artist George Dergalis. I have been teaching privately and through the Wayland Recreation Department for 30 years. For 15 years, I also taught drawing courses for children as well as a summer Arts Workshop with potter Phyllis Biegun, but I have concentrated on adults for the past several years. You can learn more about me at  http://margretkrakauer.com/   (note the unusual spelling of Margret).

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3Thu-2B-10: Beyond Beginning Drawing

Course Leader: Margret Krakauer

Course Length/Start: 10 weeks starting on Sept. 12

Course Description:

In a world of technology and electronic media, visual art remains a unique and stimulating activity. Whether you have experimented with drawing only briefly or over several years, Beyond Beginning Drawing might be the class for you.  Learning to draw, and really working in any visual art, begins with learning to see in new and more focused ways. Using our eyes, and with the aid of simple tools, our hands can learn, through a series of exercises, to express what we see.  For me, drawing is joyful, and I hope students find the journey to discover their own creativity as rewarding as I have. 

This class is open to students who have taken any Beginning Drawing course, and to anyone who has prior drawing experience and wants to continue. Students can work in graphite pencils, colored pencils, or pen and ink.  There is no homework in the traditional sense, but rather practice assignments. It’s a little like learning to play the piano; you might not become a celebrated pianist, but you can learn to read music, understand rhythm and timing, understand the keyboard, and, with practice, play a pretty good version of a desired piece.  

For the most part, graphite drawing materials are inexpensive, and students will continue to work with a set of graded graphite pencils, erasers, and good quality paper. Working in colored pencils builds on similar techniques already explored but purchasing the pencils and paper can be more expensive, since the medium requires the use of professional pencils and good quality paper. I will work with those of you who want to explore colored pencils to help you keep your cost as low as possible.

Because of the differences in students’ experiences, the class structure will be individualized, and everyone will have the opportunity to learn and be stimulated.  During the 10 weeks, I hope that my students:
  1. choose a medium and explore it during the 10 weeks.
  2. continue to learn to observe the world around them and examine how to translate what they see into unique artistic endeavors.
  3. learn how to choose appropriate subjects to draw.
  4. perfect the ability to complete a drawing.
  5. learn new techniques to creatively achieve the desired effect and mood.
Weekly preparation should take no more than two hours. No computer skills are needed.

Books and Other Resources:

There are no required books.

Biography:

I have advanced degrees in Biology and Social Work but started painting almost 40 years ago when my children were quite young. Most of my study was with the late world-renowned Wayland artist George Dergalis. I have been teaching privately and through the Wayland Recreation Department for 30 years. For 15 years, I also taught drawing courses for children as well as a summer Arts Workshop with potter Phyllis Biegun, but I have concentrated on adults in the past several years. You can learn more about me at  http://margretkrakauer.com/    (note the unusual spelling of Margret).

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1Tue-2C-5b: Israel: A Small Country with Big Challenges

Course Leader: Margalit Lai

Course Length/Start: 5 weeks starting on Oct. 29

Course Description:

Much of what Americans hear about Israel in the news is about conflict and violence. But there is much more to Israel than exploding buses and Jews and Palestinians killing each other. Let’s dive into what is going on in this small but complicated and diverse country. We will discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly. Our five sessions will focus on these topics:
  1. Israel as compared to the U. S. and to Massachusetts
  2. The patchwork of ethnic groups that make up Israeli society
  3. Israeli youth as compared to American youth
  4. What should a Jewish state look like?
  5. The eternal quest for peace
Lively discussion and debate will be encouraged. Weekly preparation should take no more than one hour. Participants should be able to open emails and access links to online material.

Books and Other Resources:

There are no required books, but links will be provided to on-line articles.

Biography:

I was born in Israel to parents who fled Germany in the thirties. I came to the US when I was 35. I grew up while Israel was a socialist country and left shortly after it took a sharp right turn. I lived through important milestones of Israel’s short history—the Six-Day War, the peace treaty with Egypt and many of the armed conflicts that became part of our daily lives like mass shootings in the US nowadays. The Six-Day War was a watershed for Israel and for me personally. I spent it as a new graduate from nursing school providing care to soldiers in a military hospital 12 hours a day for 4 weeks. Needless to say, it was a traumatic experience that made it impossible for me to get swept away in the general euphoria and shaped my views on wars as a means for solving problems between countries. Since coming to the United States, I have been visiting Israel every 1-2 years and am in touch with family and friends as well as following the media.

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2Wed-1A-8a: Literature and Film
[Will not be given this semester]

Course Leader: Claire Levovsky

Course Length/Start: 8 weeks starting on Sep. 11
(2-period class: 9:45 - 1:00, on film showing days)

Course Description:

Stories are an essential part of every human culture; they help us to make meaning and to understand ourselves, each other, and our place in the world. The means by which these stories are told—whether they are written, spoken, or acted on stage or screen—influences the way we approach and interpret them. A film, while it may be influenced by written work, should always be considered an entirely unique piece of art for the purposes of critique and analysis. This course explores the complex interplay between film and literature. Selected novels are analyzed in relation to film versions of the same works in order to gain an understanding of the possibilities—and problems.

During this eight-week course, we will deal with the following books and films:

In this eight-week course we will follow single class periods for book discussions with double class periods for viewing and discussing films. Below is the plan for the eight sessions.
  1. The Wife by Meg Wolitzer (book); 9:45-11:15
  2. “The Wife” (film)  9:45-1:00 PM
  3. The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman (book) ;  9:45-11:15
  4. “The  Zookeeper’s Wife” (film)  9:45-1:00 PM
  5. Gone Girl by Jessica Chastain (book);  9:45-11:15
  6. “Gone Girl” (film)  9:45-1:00 PM
  7. A Walk to Remember, by Nicholas Sparks (book);  9:45-11:15
  8. “A Walk to Remember” (film)  9:45-1:00 PM
Class preparation involves reading the four books (about 4 hours every other week). No computer skills are needed.

Books and Other Resources:

The Wife, by Meg Wolitzer
The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story, by Diane Ackerman
Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
A Walk to Remember, by Nicholas Sparks

Biography:

I taught at Fisher College from 1992-2015, at the Taunton, New Bedford, and Brockton Hospital School of Nursing Campuses.  I have taught Expository Writing, Literature and the Critical Essay, Children’s Literature, Literature and Film, Ethics, The American Short Story, The American Novel, Introduction to Psychology, Business Communication, Public Speaking, and Themes in American Literature. 

My background includes studies in professional writing, rehabilitation counseling, and teaching, not only at the college level, but at the high school level as well. I am certified as a Rehabilitation Counselor and as a Secondary School Instructor. 

Besides my experience at Fisher, I spent several years as the Director of Disabled Student Services and as an English Instructor at the Cooperative Learning Center at UMass Dartmouth. As a Counselor for Project Aspire’s Disabled Clients, (a program also housed at UMass Dartmouth) I prepared individuals with disabilities for the job market, and afterward helped place them in jobs appropriate to their skills and needs.

In addition to my work experience, I have been active in professional and volunteer organizations: The Schwartz Center for Children: Board President and member; and the National Rehabilitation Counseling Association.

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1Tue-1C-8a: Waves of Technology and Human Outcomes

Course Leader: Sheldon Lowenthal

Course Length/Start: 8 weeks starting on Sept. 10

Course Description:

Technology continues to improve the lives of humans. See how technology has changed the lives of our ancestors, from low life expectancy and lives of drudgery to the highest life expectancy, with leisure taking most of our time. Topics will include advances in language and communication, agriculture, transportation, energy, medicine, and more. How did humans manage to go from hunting and gathering and feeding a very small population in good times, to feeding 7.5 billion people and their animals? Follow human wandering, dragging belongings, to the discovery of the wheel, seafaring, and mechanical machinery allowing for rapid movement. These topics will be discussed in a historical context through modern times.

The class will be a mix of lecture and considerable time for discussion. Discussion will be based on material presented and questions that I ask about the topics. No computer skills are needed, and no preparation time is required.

Books and Other Resources:

There are no required books, but the Course Leader will distribute a list of resources before the start of the course.

Biography:

I have degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT and RPI and have developed computer products until 2015. I have created and delivered classes to my managers to ensure high performance and to customers at trade shows. I have always enjoyed reading about technology and have personally experienced the waves of technology in my work life. I have previously offered this course at the Tufts Osher lifelong learning program.

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1Tue-3B-10: Current Issues in Policy and Politics

Course Leader: Richard Mansfield and Joe Bongiardina

Course Length/Start: 10 weeks starting on Sept. 10

Course Description:

For each session we will select an issue in foreign or domestic policy or in political strategy and assign several essays analyzing the issue from different points of view. We will select topics that are likely to arise in debates leading up to the 2020 election. Possible topics include: threats to democracy in the U.S. and the world, immigration policy, US military planning and strategy, health care policy, nationalism, explaining Trump’s appeal, and the strategies of leading presidential candidates. 

This course will enable you to become a knowledgeable conversationalist about policy and politics in the months leading up to the 2020 election. For each class we will assign three to five recent articles drawn from magazines such as Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic Monthly, Commentary, and The New Republic, as well as major newspapers such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.  In each class session, one of the facilitators will summarize an article’s key points, pose questions for class discussion, and repeat this process for the other articles.

We have previously offered a course at LLAIC with this format, but for this course we will select a new set of issues and articles. Weekly preparation will take up to two hours. Participants should be able to open and read email attachments in pdf format.

Books and Other Resources:

There are no required books, but the Course Leaders distribute articles in pdf format.

Biography:

Richard Mansfield: I have co-taught several LLAIC courses on contemporary issues and other LLAIC courses on topics in psychology, sociology and education. For 40 years I have been a consultant specializing in the assessment of organizations, leaders and job requirements. In my first professional career l taught human development, educational psychology and statistics at Temple University. 

Joe Bongiardina: I have long been interested in political science and affairs. My first career was in the US Army in the Adjutant General’s Corps; I then moved to Wang Laboratories in human resource management and organizational consulting.  After that, I worked for 13 years as an independent management and human resource development consultant. I developed HR systems, such as performance management and succession planning and was heavily engaged in improving organization effectiveness via management and executive development, quality improvement, job search and selection training for managers.

Both of us were among the founders of LLAIC.

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1Tue-1D-5b: Unexpected Collusion: Modern Art and the Brain

Course Leader: Carole McNamee and Mark McNamee

Course Length/Start: 5 weeks starting on Oct. 29

Course Description:

Modern art and brain science surprisingly use a common strategy—reductionism— to translate visual images into meaningful experiences. Reductionism is the process of breaking down complex phenomena into discrete elements, each of which can be analyzed and understood in detail, and then re-assembled into a meaningful whole.  

In this five-week course, an artist and a neuroscientist will each show how closely the elements of abstract modern art, featuring lines, shapes, color, texture, and movement map onto the process by which the brain breaks down all visual images (whether  “real” or “abstract”) into the same elements before reassembling them into a coherent perception. The brain also draws on memories and emotions when re-assembling each image, thus enabling each individual to have a unique reaction to real or abstract visual images.  

This course is inspired by Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel’s book Reductionism in Art and Brain Science. In addition to his research on learning and memory, Kandel is an avid art collector and a student of art history. He provides a vivid example of how closely the arts and the sciences can converge to bridge the two cultures. Topics to be covered include the history and emergence of modern abstract art, the reductionist elements exploited by artists, the neurobiology of visual processing,  the role of memory and emotions in enriching visual perceptions, and the next frontiers of brain science and the arts.  

This course does not presume any prior study of either brain science or abstract art. Participants will need to be able to open emails and download articles and assignments. Weekly preparation time should be about one hour. The class format will include a combination of lecture and discussion.

Books and Other Resources:

Reductionism in Art and Brain Science, by Eric Kandel (recommended but not required).

Biography:

Carole McNamee: I am a practicing artist with a focus on mixed-media abstract art and book arts. I have Ph.D.’s in both Computer Science and Marriage and Family Therapy, and I am a former university professor of computer science and a retired practitioner and research professor focused on the use of the expressive arts as a therapeutic modality. 

Mark McNamee:  I am Ph.D. neuroscientist and former university professor and administrator.  My research focuses on the role of nerve and muscle proteins involved in the transmission of nerve signals.

We have both taken and taught courses at LLAIC.  This new course is our first joint venture.

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1Tue-2E-10: It’s Your Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience

Course Leader: Mark McNamee

Course Length/Start: 10 weeks starting on Sept. 10

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 should plan to spend about one hour per week to view selected news articles about current topics in neuroscience. Participants should be able to use the computer to click on links to articles and videos.

Books and Other Resources:

There are no required books, but the one by Chalabi, Turner, and Delamont, below, is recommended.

Al-Chalabi, A., Turner, M.R., and Delamont, R.S. The Brain: A Beginner’s 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 that serves as a reference text by Course Leader).

Scientific American. Mysteries of the Mind. Vol. 26, No. 3, 2017. (excellent special edition with 16 articles about the brain and the mind, written for a lay audience).

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-3B-5b: My Five Psychiatric Obsessions

Course Leader: David Mirsky

Course Length/Start: 5 weeks starting on Oct. 31

Course Description:

This course will focus on five topics that have captivated my professional energy. The topics for the first three sessions are psychiatric diagnoses that continue to generate concern and controversy despite advances in their treatment.
  • Autism and its less serious relative, Asperger’s syndrome, may involve mild to serious problems in interpersonal functioning
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can afflict many bright and gifted people and limit their ability to contribute to their fullest potential. An ADHD diagnosis may rescue a child from stigmatizing, punitive responses but leave lifelong problems unaddressed.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been attracting media interest and more federal money because of long overdue attention to the psychological scars of veterans of recent wars, but scarring trauma is an element of daily life for countless others in domestic “battlefields,” generating major mental health problems.
The  topics for the last two sessions are social problems of interest to me and many other psychiatrists.
  • The closing of mental hospitals—many of which provided “asylum” and protection, with the rarely-materializing promise of community-based care, shifted the burden of mental health care from the state to insurance providers, while preventive services in schools and community agencies remained underfunded.
  • The perceived unpleasantness or undesirability of the “other” is a reminder of the “past” barbaric treatment of persecuted groups and of the mentally ill, who now comprise large segments of our prison population and the homeless.
Books and Other Resources:

Look me in the Eye, by John Robison. In addition, the Course Leader may provide copies of several articles.

Biography:

A product of the South Bronx (see Ogden Nash; “The Bronx; No Thonks”) and educated at Bard College and Western Reserve School of Medicine, I pursued (an aborted) residency in neurology in New York and then spent two years in  England, working for the National Health Service in two innovative psychiatric hospitals (Claybury and the Marlborough Day). (As a medical student, I spent two summers at Charenton Hospital, the Parisian equivalent of Bellevue, but with a long history of humane care for the “aliénés“, as patients were called, and the last refuge of the Marquis de Sade (see the Peter Weiss play Marat/Sade). I completed my adult and child psychiatry training in Boston and have spent the subsequent decades working in community mental health programs in Massachusetts and teaching in medical and nursing schools.  Mentors, colleagues and patients have illuminated my path, along with the insights of Sigmund Freud, Dante Alighieri, Marcel Proust, Michel de Montaigne and, most recently, Bill Griffith (“Zippy” in the Boston Globe) — “outsiders” all, and exemplars of the compassionate life.

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1Tue-2B-5a: Taking Photos with an iPhone

Course Leader: Martin Moser

Course Length/Start: 5 weeks starting on Sept. 10

Course Description:

As long as you have your iPhone, you can take a picture and see it immediately. Photos are instantly stored on your phone, where they can be organized by date, person, pet and place. The goal of this course is for each of the participants to develop the skills and confidence to take photographs with an iPhone.

First, we will review the photography features of the phone. Next, participants will learn how to evaluate a photo. We will cover composition, lighting, cropping, coloration, focusing, converting to black and white, portraiture and other topics.
Finally, participants will learn how to improve their photos using photo editing tools.

The course is participatory. Students will share their photographs in class. Plan to spend 2 to 3 hours per week in preparation: taking and editing photos and watching instructional videos on the web. Participants should be able to use YouTube to watch instructional videos on their computers.

Books and Other Resources:

No books are required, but participants will be expected to watch instructional videos on YouTube.

Biography:

I am a retired business professor from the University of Massachusetts and an amateur photographer. I only use my iPhone for my photography. My photographs have won several awards, including photo of the year at the Gateway Camera Club in Framingham. Some of my colleagues are offended that I do not use complex and expensive photography equipment. My response usually is, “Get with the program. It’s the 21st century.”

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2Wed-1C-7a: The Tchaikovsky Ballets: Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker

Course Leader:  Lois Novotny

Course Length/Start: 7 weeks starting on Sept. 11

Course Description:

The three Tchaikovsky ballets (Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker) are staples of the ballet repertory. This course will examine each one, from the overture to the concluding apotheosis. After a brief introduction to the development of ballet and the state of ballet in imperial Russia, we will turn to Tchaikovsky’s contribution.  Since dance notation has always been an inexact method of preserving steps, and the traditional way of passing along a ballet was by one generation of dancers teaching the next, there are often different versions of each. Later choreographers have also often put their distinctive interpretations on these works. Swan Lake, in particular, had many changes from its first (unsuccessful) production before it became the ballet standard that it is now. Besides seeing each complete ballet, we will look at excerpts that highlight some of the different versions and interpretations. While most of our time will be spent in looking at DVDs of the ballets, there should be time for some discussion of our thoughts about the different versions. Three weeks will be spent on Swan Lake and two weeks each on Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker

For each ballet, I will provide the libretto both for a contemporary version and for the original production. I will also provide links to articles and videos, some intended to be optional for further background.  No prior knowledge of ballet (or Tchaikovsky) needed.

Weekly preparation should take about an hour. Participants should be able to open emails and pdf documents and to view YouTube videos.

Books and Other Resources:

There are no required books.

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). While living in New York, I had the pleasure of seeing the Royal, Bolshoi, and Kirov Ballets on tour, American Ballet Theater, and a large portion of the New York City Ballet repertory—including the ballets that we will be looking at. I have taught courses on opera at LLAIC and another lifelong learning program.

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1Tue-3A-10: How Jesus Became God

Course Leader: Rabbi Robert Orkand

Course Length/Start: 10 weeks starting on Sept.10

Course Description:

If Jesus of Nazareth had not been declared God, his followers would have remained a sect within Judaism, and the massive conversion of Gentiles, the Roman adoption of Christianity, and the subsequent unfolding of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Reformation, and modernity would never have taken place. For that reason, the question of how Jesus became God is one of the most significant historical questions of Western civilization.

This world-shaping occurrence, viewed historically, was monumentally unlikely. Within Judaism, there could be no question that Jesus was not the Messiah, who was envisioned as a powerful warrior-king. Jesus’s own followers, in fact, did not conceive of him as divine during his lifetime. His crucifixion, ignominious and degrading, ended his life in a way reserved for the lowliest criminals. How could something this unforeseeable, this improbable, have occurred at all—much less in a way that would shape Western history? What exactly happened, such that Jesus came to be considered God?

This course will look at the historical background of ancient understandings of the divine and what the historical Jesus said or indicated about himself. Finally, we will  study the circumstances surrounding Jesus’s death and burial, how early Christians came to believe he was raised from the dead, and how his disciples came to view him as a divine being.

Note that for those who took “The Jewish Jesus” class, this course can be seen as a continuation of that class.  However, this new course stands alone, and the earlier class is not a prerequisite for this one. 

The class format will be lecture, with opportunities for questions. No weekly preparation is required. Participants should be able to open emails and attachments.

Books and Other Resources:

There are no required books or readings, but the Course Leader may send optional materials. 

Biography:

I retired from the pulpit rabbinate in 2013 after a career spanning more than 40 years, the last 31 in Westport, CT. 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. I have taught religion courses at LLAIC since its inception.

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3Thu-3C-5b: A Guided Tour of Mozart’s Don Giovanni

Course Leader: Philip Radoff

Course Length/Start: 5 weeks starting on Oct. 31

Course Description:

The course is intended to provide a first acquaintance with one of the greatest operas ever composed to students unfamiliar with the opera, and also to afford a greater appreciation of the opera for students already familiar with it. Much of the class time will be spent watching and listening to DVDs of the opera, discussing the libretto, and developing an appreciation for Mozart’s genius in writing music that both enhances the libretto and illuminates the personalities and motivations of the characters. The opera is about three hours long, and the objective will be to watch and listen to all or nearly all of it over the five-week period. We will begin with an overview of the early sources of the Don Juan legend that Lorenzo Da Ponte drew upon in writing the libretto, the circumstances under which the opera was composed, and the changes that Mozart and Da Ponte made to the score and the libretto between its opening in Prague and its later performances in Vienna. We will also take note of the sometimes contradictory commentary on the opera by noted composers and music scholars over the years.
The format of the class sessions will be primarily lecture/presentation, with some opportunity for discussion. I will provide written questions before each class period to focus the students’ preparation and to provoke discussion. Weekly preparation should take no more than two hours, to read the libretto and listen to the relevant portion of the music. Participants should be able to open emails and follow links to YouTube videos.

Books and Other Resources:

Students should have access to a recording of the opera and a libretto, Italian and English. Any audio or video recording will do except the Peter Sellars version from the mid-eighties. A useful book that includes an accurate translation of the libretto is Ellen Bleiler’s “Don  Giovanni” (1964) in the Dover Opera Guide and Librettos Series. It may be out of print but second-hand copies are often available from on-line sources at modest cost. I have a few copies that I can provide at my cost. The Minuteman Library network has numerous versions of the recording and the libretto, and there was, at last check, a copy of the opera, with English titles, and of the libretto, available on YouTube.

Biography:

I have undergraduate and graduate degrees in physics but spent most of my professional  career as a lawyer, working successively in a large Washington law firm, in the Pentagon at a senior level, and in several large corporations, finishing my law career at Raytheon.  I sing in a community chorus, write short stories, participate in French and Italian language book clubs, and have had a lifelong interest in opera. I joined LLAIC shortly after it was organized, have been a Course Leader for a number of opera courses (most recently on three Verdi operas), and have given several lunchtime presentations.

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3Thu-3D-5a: Current Topics in Immigration Law: Clearing Up the Confusion

Course Leader: Gerald Rovner

Course Length/Start: 5 weeks starting on Sept. 12

Course Description:

Immigration is one of the hottest topics today and is sure to be a major issue in the 2020 Presidential election. Every day new or conflicting information appears to confuse the issues even further. 

We will briefly examine the historical background of immigration into the United States to include the roles of the several government departments involved. We will look at the processes and procedures involved in immigrant and non-immigrant visas so that we can consider the changes proposed by the Administration to move from a family-based to an employment-based system. Given events at the southern border, we will look at asylum. We will distinguish truth from fiction and dispel some prevalent myths. We will try to determine whether, on balance, immigrants are a benefit or burden. 

The class format will include some lecture but more discussion. Class participation is expected. Lack of participation may result in deportation. The Course Leader will send links to on-line readings and may also prepare packets of reading materials and expect participants to pay for copying costs. Participants should be able to use the internet to download assignments and follow links to on-line articles. Weekly preparation should take about one hour.

Books and Other Resources:

All assignments will be either on-line or in a packet of copied materials provided by the Course Leader, with participants expected to pay for copying costs.

Biography:

I practiced immigration law exclusively for over 40 years before retiring. I spent the majority of my career representing, guiding and advising a wide range of clients concerning immigrant and non-immigrant visas in business, student and family matters as well as citizenship and consular issues. I have held leadership roles in a number of national and state immigration organizations and have frequently lectured on immigration law, for national and local bar associations as well as local community groups. One of my proudest moments as an immigration attorney was when I delivered the keynote welcoming address to 302 new citizens at Faneuil Hall in 2017 at the invitation of the District Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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3Thu-1C-5a: The Humanity of Heinrich Böll: Selected Short Stories

Course Leader: Peter Schmidt

Course Length/Start: 5 weeks starting on Sept. 12

Course Description:

Heinrich Böll was a Nobel prize winner in literature, a reluctant soldier in WWII, a vital leader in restarting post-war German literature, and an activist for peace and human rights. Written in everyday language, his short stories build on and extend the genre and explore human themes as lived by ordinary people. In this 5-week course, we’ll read selected short stories and examine them together in class for their meaning, symbolism and structure, and for what they say to us today. They’ll deserve multiple readings and everyone’s participation in the discussions.

Weekly preparation should take about two hours. Participants should be able to open emails and attachments.

Books and Other Resources:

The Course Leader will email participants copies of the stories.

Biography:

Coming to the U.S. as a young immigrant from Germany led me to careers in physics and machine vision engineering. My interest in modern German literature, and especially short stories, was enhanced by a number of courses taken at the Goethe Institute in Boston. 

Over the last thirteen years, I’ve given a number of courses at lifelong learning organizations in a variety of subjects, some scientific (e.g., Five Physicists who Changed the World View), and some not (e.g., Three Masterpieces: From Drama to Film and Opera).

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2Wed-2B-8a:  Meet Expressionism in Art

Course Leader: Judith Scott

Course Length/Start: 8 weeks starting on Sept. 11

Course Description:

Let me introduce you to Expressionism! This 8-week art history course tells the story of 8 artists struggling with the tumult of their times, their personal demons, and sometimes their tragedies. Their artworks are not well known in this country, and you may be surprised and delighted. This art movement originated in Germany in the beginning of the 20th century. Expressionist artists sought to express emotional experience rather than simply physical reality—they are not the Abstract Expressionists of mid-20th century New York.

Prepare to be moved by very personal works of Paula Modersohn-Becker. Learn about Oskar Kokoschka’s psychological portraits and ultimate turn toward anti-fascist artwork. Explore Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s use of human figures in urban settings to convey powerful forces beneath the veneer of Western civilization. Thrill to the emotional strength of Emil Nolde’s paintings and puzzle over the contradictions of his art and his political views. Enjoy the lyrical beauty of August Macke’s couples and figures strolling through exotically rendered ordinary settings. See how Franz Marc used colorful animal imagery to convey profound messages about the natural world and fate of mankind. Learn how Wassily Kandinsky evolved from early representational canvases to nonrepresentational expressions of universal human emotions. Analyze Paul Klee’s abstract language of pictorial symbols and his use of color to express musical sound.

Each class session will feature a slide lecture about an artist, along with plenty of time for discussion. Weekly preparation, reading online articles on background topics, should take less than one hour. Highlight handouts will be available for each class.  A $3.00 fee to cover copying costs is requested.

Books and Other Resources:

There are no required books. The Course Leader will ask participants to read online articles on background topics.

Biography:

I am currently a guide at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, where I have participated for 13 years. I was a docent at Danforth Art Museum and School for 15 years. I have conducted numerous tours at both museums and taught a significant portion of the Danforth New Docents class. I have done extensive research on art historical subjects for my guide/docent work and for the courses I teach. I conducted one previous course at LLIAC and three courses at Lifelong Learning at Regis College (LLARC). I am a lifelong amateur painter and a retired senior manager in the computer industry. 

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1Tue-2D-10: Leading Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice

Course Leader: Sandy Sherizen

Course Length/Start: 10 weeks starting on Sept. 10

Course Description:

Why is there so much crime? We will examine various important questions on what causes crime, who does it and why, how the criminal justice system functions, and crime control strategies. Our examination will include crimes against people and property, cybercrime and cyber security, and the uniqueness of white-collar crimes. 

The class sessions will be highly interactive.  Questions will be given to everyone prior to each class. The class leader will start with an overview of the major issues and then open up our discussion for your questions and comments. An exciting discussion is expected. 

Weekly preparation should take 1-2 hours. Participants should be able to open emails.

Books and Other Resources:

The Course Leader will prepare a reader containing an overview of each week’s topic, articles and questions. Participants will be asked to pay $20 to cover copying charges.

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 and given speeches in many domestic and international settings and was a frequent commentator about crime on major media sources. Flunking retirement, I used to volunteer to teach ESL to adult immigrants, am involved with immigrant rights, serve as a community member on a patient research ethics and safety board at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and am active in my synagogue. At several lifelong learning programs, I have taught courses on a variety of topics: Your Privacy is at Risk; The Sociology of “Deviant” Behaviors; the Inquisition and Marranos/Crypto Jews/Conversos; and The Invisible Forms of Manipulation.

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3Thu-2D-8a: Lyndon Johnson: Master Politician

Course Leader: Marvin Snider

Course Length/Start: 8 weeks starting on Sept. 12

Course Description:

Lyndon  Johnson (LBJ) contributed over 200 pieces of legislation during the presidency he inherited after president Kennedy was assassinated. He designed the "Great Society" legislation to expand civil rights, public broadcasting, Medicare, Medicaid, aid to education, the arts, urban and rural development, public services and his "War on Poverty, which helped millions of Americans rise above the poverty line. His Civil Rights bills banned racial discrimination in public facilities, interstate commerce, the workplace and housing; the Voting Rights Act prohibited certain requirements southern states used to disenfranchise African Americans. With the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the country's immigration system was reformed, encouraging greater emigration from regions other than Europe. We will see how it was possible for him to achieve this legislation that Kennedy would likely not have been able to achieve. His ability to do this stemmed from his long experience as Senate majority leader. He was the consummate  politician who knew how to wield power with both friend and foe, through the impact of his personality, which  evolved from a composite of his parents’ contrasting personalities. His mother modeled compassion and intellectual pursuit. His father provided the model of a hard driving, brusque politician. LBJ became known for his domineering personality and the "Johnson treatment"—his aggressive coercion of powerful politicians to advance legislation. We will also consider the circumstances and context that led to his undoing in managing the Vietnam war.

Books and Other Resources:

Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, by Doris Kearns Goodwin. The Course Leader will also provide supplementary materials.

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 LLAIC and other lifelong learning programs. My course topics have included International Hot Spots, Innovators of Political Thought, Cults, Elections, George Washington, Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Teddy Roosevelt & Hamilton. The courses on founders are approached with emphasis on understanding the person’s personality, accomplishments, why they did what they did and the impact it had on the country.

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

Course Leader: Judie Strauss and Maryann Wyner

Course Length/Start: 5 weeks starting on Oct. 30

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. Please sign up early so that we can choose a play to meet the cast size.

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:

A script for the selected play will be provided. Participants will be asked to pay a fee to cover copying charges.

Biography:

Judie Strauss. I am a former English and social studies teacher. I have a master’s in counseling and have worked in community outreach, elder services and as a special needs coordinator, placing students in jobs. I have always loved theater and have participated in a number of temple shows and served as a producer in others. As a member of BOLLI, I took part in play reading and performing. I started the Lilac Players four years ago, and this will be the eighth performance of this thespian group.

Maryann Wyner. I have been involved in theater since high school, as an actor, stage manager and properties manager. After one short time on stage at Clark University as a corpse, I waited until my teaching days to get involved. After receiving a BA from Clark, I went on, while teaching, to get an MA in English at Simmons College. At Chapel Hill—Chauncy Hall in Waltham, I 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 I  performed in Fiddler on the Roof, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and The Megillah According to Grease. For several years I worked at Dover-Sherborn Middle School as a library assistant and have recently been substitute teaching and tutoring. As a teacher, acting was always part of my job, so getting involved in the LILAC Players allowed me to delve into something that has always made me smile.

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2Wed-2D-5b:  How do Architects Come Up with Their Buildings, Anyway?

Course Leader: Dorie Weintraub

Course Length/Start: 5 weeks starting on Oct. 30

Course Description:

Over the course of five weeks, we will look at different kinds of buildings and discuss how they differ and look unique. Or do they? What are THEY thinking you might ask? And ask we will! Looking at the specific needs of distinct building types, known as The Program, architects design buildings. We will look at skyscrapers and other commercial buildings, buildings for worship, civic and educational buildings, personal residences and even college dorms. How does the Program change the building? Most of the buildings we discuss are in the greater Boston area. We will also look at similar building types elsewhere and from previous centuries.
 
Each building under discussion is chosen because of its architectural significance or innovation.

Since the readings are optional, there is no required weekly preparation. Participants should be able to open emails and attachments.

Books and Other Resources:

A list of optional readings will be sent to participants before the start of the class.

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, upon moving to the Boston area from Rochester, New York. 

I began my career designing software for IBM and  went back to school, in my forties to study architecture. I have practiced Architecture in Greater Boston ever since. 

After studying architecture at the Boston Architectural College in Back Bay, I worked at various Architectural 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-1A-5a: Painting with Van Gogh and Gauguin

Course Leader: Lane Williamson

Course Length/Start: 5 weeks starting on Sept. 10

Course Description:

Note: This will be a double period course meeting from about 9:45 am to 1:00 pm at the Course Leader’s studio at 17 Oakridge Road, Sudbury.

As art aficionados we  sometimes “compare and contrast” artists who knew each other, competed, perhaps even spent time at adjoining easels. This course goes one step further: we will walk in the shoes—or slip on the smocks—of two artists.

Van Gogh & Gauguin were very different men: raised with contrasting narratives for and imperatives in their lives. Their beliefs about themselves, perspectives on the world around them, how they painted and what value they placed on their work significantly differed. For two months in the fall of 1888 the artists lived and worked side by side in Provence. How and why they even ended up in Arles together tells us much about them both.

This course will take place in my studio in Sudbury. At our first meeting we’ll talk about the artists, with particular attention to what we can know about how each thought about his work. We will focus on their thinking about subject matter, ideas about color, paint, light, working in the studio or “en plein air.” We’ll explore their ideas about religion, life, their own talent and their careers at that point in time.

At our first meeting’s end, each of us will choose to physically explore in more depth either Van Gogh and his world or that of Gauguin. For the remainder of the course we will be painting from the perspective of the artist we have chosen. We will be in the studio, en plein air as weather permits. We will have specific projects, and also pursue our own thoughts.

Books and Other Resources:

The Yellow House, by Martin Gayford. Little Brown Publishing, 2006
Art Supplies: three 12”x12” canvases; golden acrylic paints in primary and secondary colors and white—no black! Four artists brushes: bright short, #s 4, 6, 8, and 10.

Biography:

I am a painter. I have exhibited in the New England states for over three decades. My work is held in private and corporate collections. I have taught drawing and painting in school and privately for many years. I have taught at the secondary level and in three universities where I brought art and therapy together. I have used art for healing with at-risk adolescents as well as with victims of domestic violence and their children. My website is www.lanebwilliamson.com.

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2Wed-1B-10: Good Reads/Tough Issues: YA (Young Adult) Literature

Course Leader: Maryann Wyner

Course Length/Start: 10 weeks starting on Sept. 11

Course Description:

Many of us read The Catcher in the Rye and A Separate Peace during our teen years, and some of you may have read Twilight, Harry Potter, or The Hunger Games. Adults are loving these YA books. Living in the 21st century creates so many more anxieties in growing up, and as we work to understand the young people (perhaps grandchildren) around us, it is helpful to understand the social pressures that they face. Many issues aren’t new: making friends, developing independence, sexual identity, handling emotional and physical feelings, etc. However, by the 80’s and 90’s, YA books were discussing more risky topics: suicide, rape, drugs, parental death and murder. We know that reading novels helps us understand the possible choices and consequences we might face in our own life, and this is also true for adolescents.  

In this course we will read eight current YA novels and discuss the ways that teens respond to the conflicts they face.  Occasional articles will be provided to enrich our discussion. During the final class, we will watch a film of one of our books.
Weekly preparation should take about 2 hours. Participants should be able to open emails and attachments.

Books and Other Resources:

Out of Nowhere, by Maria Padian
Hush, by  Eishes Chayil (yes, it is spelled correctly)
Recovery Road, by Blake Nelson
Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green and David Levithan
The Hate You Give, by Angie Thomas (may have to buy it - very new)
Bumped, by Megan McCafferty
Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein
Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher

Almost all of these books are available through the library system, and several can be purchased very inexpensively online.

Biography:

I am a former high school English and history teacher and a lover of books. In my past academic life, I was also the assistant director of more than 30 plays at Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School in Waltham, MA and served in an administrative role as the 11th grade Dean. After retiring from teaching, I took a job as a library assistant at a middle school where I was expected to read on the job! I put together a lengthy annotated bibliography of “mature reads” and we will read books from that list. They are readily available in the library or as e-books.

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3Thu-2A-10: The Protest Play – from Aristophanes to Bertolt Brecht, Jean Anouilh and Arthur Miller

Course Leader: Lois Ziegelman

Course Length/Start: 10 weeks starting on Sept. 12

Course Description:

Originally, all plays were classified as either comedy or tragedy, as represented by the masks which constituted their visual images. As time went on, sub-genres such as satire, history plays and melodrama were introduced. Concurrently, anxieties about the human condition engendered what can be redefined as the protest play, an attack on the various abuses—political, religious, social—which have undermined a desire for community, consensus and freedom, which still remains unfulfilled. 

I have chosen four examples of the protest play dating from classical antiquity to recent times:
  • Aristophanes. Lysistrata, translated by Donald Sutherland
  • Bertolt Brecht. Mother Courage and Her Children, translated by Eric Bentley
  • Jean Anouilh. Antigone, translated by Lewis Galantiere
  • Arthur Miller. The Crucible
The class formats will include presentations about the  playwrights, the contexts that gave rise to their works and discussions about each play. The thespians among us will be encouraged to prepare and present crucial scenes. Weekly preparation should take about two hours. Participants should be able to open emails.

Books and Other Resources:

Aristophanes. Lysistrata, translated by Donald Sutherland
Bertolt Brecht. Mother Courage and Her Children, translated by Eric Bentley
Jean Anouilh. Antigone, translated by Lewis Galantiere
Arthur Miller. The Crucible

Biography:
 
I did my Ph.D. at Brandeis and am a Professor Emerita from Framingham State College, where I taught world literature and drama for 31 years. A 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. At LLAIC I have most recently taught courses on Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and on Chekhov’s plays.

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Updated July 28, 2019

Ċ
Peter Schmidt,
Jun 4, 2019, 6:02 AM
Ċ
Peter Schmidt,
Jun 4, 2019, 6:02 AM
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