Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions - Fall 2020

All courses will be conducted with Zoom video-conferencing.

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 table, click here.

For a printable file of all the course descriptions, click here (27 pages).

Course Leader
Course Title
 Course Code
Rachel Alpert A Guided Tour Through James Joyce’s Ulysses – Part 1 (Part 2 in Spring 2021)
 2Wed-2C-10
Suzanne Art
More Art Luminaries: Five Superstars of the Art World
3Thu-1A-10
Jessica Bethoney
21 Lessons for the 21st Century
3Thu-1C-5a
Jessica Bethoney
Unpacking Pandemics: Past, Present and Future 1Tue-3A-5b
James Boyd
Tai Chi: History, Philosophy, Practice and Benefits
1Tue-3B-5b
Victor Carrabino
The Human Quest Through Philosophy and Art
1Tue-2A-10
William Cotter
Current Supreme Court Cases
1Tue-1C-5b
Arthur Finstein
Why Sing Plays? An Exploration of the Craft of Musical Theater
2Wed-1A-10
Alice Freedman
Selected Novellas:  The Short and Sweet or Not So Sweet!
1Tue-2B-6a
Gillian Geffin
Not Your Mother's Genes: Genetics from a 19th Century Monk to a 21st Century Pandemic
3Thu-3A-7b
Sandy Grasfield and Dana Kaplan
Robber Barons or Captains of Industry? Portraits from the Gilded Age
3Thu-2A-10
Joel Kamer
A Romp Through the History of Mathematics
1Tue-2C-10
Margalit Lai
To Believe or not to Believe - Faith vs. Logic
3Thu-3C-5a
Bonnie Lass
Contemporary Memoirs
3Thu-2B-8a
Carole Levy and Len Glassman Great Decisions 2020
3Thu-3B-8a
Sheldon Lowenthal
Waves of Technology and Human Outcomes
2Wed-2A-10
Carole and Mark McNamee
Unexpected Collusion: Modern Art and the Brain
1Tue-1D-5b
Mark McNamee
Spy vs. Spy
1Tue-3C-5b
William Miniscalco
Democracy:  How it Came to Be and What it May Become
3Thu-1B-10
Lois Novotny
Jane Austen Goes to the Movies
2Wed-2B-8a
Rabbi Bob Orkand
The Beginnings of Judaism Part 2
1Tue-3D-10
Phillip Radoff
A Guided Tour of Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte
1Tue-2D-5b
Myrna Rybczyk
Memoir Writing: One Story At A Time
2Wed-1B-10
Peter Schmidt
Olivier Messiaen: Music of Faith, Love and Birdsong
2Wed-1C-5b
Sandy Sherizen
Leading Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice
1Tue-1B-10
Marvin Snider
JFK - An Unfinished Life
3Thu-2C-10
Maryann Wyner
In Their Own Words - The Great Migration in the US from 1910-1970
1Tue-1A-10
Maryann Wyner
LILAC Players   (No course fee)
2Wed-3A-5b


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2Wed-2C-10: A Guided Tour Through James Joyce’s Ulysses – Part 1 (Part 2 in Spring 2021)

Course Leader: Rachel Alpert

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 16

Course Description:

James Joyce’s Ulysses is widely celebrated as one of the great masterpieces of Twentieth Century literature. Its indelible characters, epic themes, intimate realism, imaginative style, poetic prose, and unparalleled literary connections present a unique reading experience. The book, at 730 pages, is, however, a daunting read, unguided. Though the entire novel covers one day - June 16, 1904 - in the Dublin life of its three protagonists, we will take a leisurely 20 week guided tour in two semesters through the emotional, cultural, spiritual and psychological struggles of Leopold and Molly Bloom and Stephen Dedalus on the most “ordinariniest” of days. 

This course is Part 1 of a 20-week course.  The format is primarily a guided discussion of each chapter.   Part 2 will be offered in Spring 2021.  Students can anticipate approximately 2-3 hours of outside reading each week is.

Books and Other Resources:

The Hans Walter Gabler edition of Ulysses is recommended since it has line numbers for easy reference in class. In addition, the Course Leader will provide explanatory materials for advance reading for each class.

Biography:

I taught high school English and currently teach at Suffolk Law School. I have led lifelong learning courses on “Freedom of Speech,” “The Rise of Religion in the Supreme Court,” “Sex, Gender, Bathrooms and the Supreme Court”, “The Regulation of Food in the U.S” and on James Joyce’s Ulysses.  I am an avid fan of great literature, including Ulysses.

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

Course Leader: Suzanne Art

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 17

Course Description:

This course continues the approach of the Luminaries course taught last spring. We will study the lives and works of John Singer Sargent, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Andrew Wyeth, and David Hockney. Each of these artists is recognized as an undisputed master in the art of his or her times. Sargent was a virtuoso of the traditional approach to art in the Gilded Age in the United States (contemporaneous with the Belle Epoque in France and the Edwardian period in England).  Georgia O’Keeffe followed her own star and dabbled in abstract art way ahead of her time, benefitted from her contact with the “moderns” of Europe via the famous gallery of Alfred Stieglitz, and then forged a unique style combining realism with a touch of fantasy. Edward Hopper studied art with members of the Ashcan School in New York before moving on to depict his personal, rather introverted view of American life. Andrew Wyeth, son of acclaimed illustrator N.C. Wyeth, shunned what he considered the modern fads of the art world and focused on portraying the real world in almost minute detail. David Hockney participated in the Pop Movement of the 1960’s, then moved off in a multitude of new directions. Now 83, he continues to explore new vistas.

In this course, we will analyze the major works of these artists and discover how they reflected and/or responded to the major art movements of their times. There will be a combination of presentation and class discussion.  Preparation time for students will be about an hour and a half.

Books and Other Resources:

All assignments will be online. These include short biographies and articles as well as 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 the art of a given culture. I have taught many art history courses at LLAIC.

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3Thu-1C-5a: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Course Leader: Jessica Bethoney

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on September 17

Course Description:

How do we live in an age when the old political and religious stories that shape our reality have collapsed? How do we deal with a future that portends ecological disaster, technological disruption, and brave-new-world biotechnology? These are the challenges that Yuval Harari, author of the global best seller, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, provocatively and insightfully grapples with in his latest book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.

During our five-week class we will explore some specific tensions that Harari poses (technological and political challenges, despair and hope, truth and post-truth, and resilience and meaning). We will discuss how humanity, and each of us personally, might confront these disconcerting and disorienting changes.

Weekly preparation should take about 2 hours.

Books and Other Resources:

21 Lessons for the 21st Century,  by Yuval Harari.  Penguin/Random House, 2018.

Biography:

I am a professor at Bunker Hill Community College, and have two masters’ degrees – one in intellectual history from Brandeis University and the other from Tufts University in counseling psychology. Though officially retired from my full-time position, I continue to teach culturally related honors seminars at Bunker Hill Community. I have also taught courses at lifelong learning programs at Brandeis and Regis. One of my prior courses focused on evolutionary anthropology using Yuval Harari’s book, Sapiens, as the text.

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1Tue-3A-5b: Unpacking Pandemics: Past, Present and Future

Course Leader: Jessica Bethoney

Course Length/Start: 5 weeks starting on October 27

Course Description:

How will the Covid-19 epidemic transform our lives and impact our future? How did different countries respond to the crisis and which responses were most effective? How does this pandemic compare with those of the past? What can we learn from our current experience to prevent future epidemics?

In this course, we will discuss the changes wrought by the pandemic to human life and the implications for the economy, medicine, the environment, government, and technology. We will also learn about surprising advances in medicine and public health that had their origin in past battles against pandemics and brainstorm about any silver linings that may emerge from our current dark cloud. 

This course will be a combination of lecture and discussion. Some supplementary reading may be assigned requiring about 1 hour per week.

Books and Other Resources:

None required

Biography:

I am a professor at Bunker Hill Community College, and have two masters degrees – one in intellectual history from Brandeis University and the other from Tufts University in counseling psychology.  Though officially retired from my full-time position, I continue to teach culturally related honors seminars at Bunker Hill Community.  I have also taught several courses at the lifelong learning programs at Brandeis and Regis Colleges, which focused on understanding human behavior in different sociological and cultural contexts. The current pandemic has impacted human interaction in unprecedented ways and in this course we will try to envision what the future may hold by extrapolating from our current experience and examining the past.

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1Tue-3B-5b: Tai Chi: History, Philosophy, Practice and Benefits

Course Leader: James Boyd

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on October 27

Course Description:

This class is presented as an introduction to the history, philosophy, practice, and benefits of Tai Chi (TaiJi). We will cover its earliest formulations as passed down from the classics of Chinese literature and history to the elusive master Zhang SanFeng of the Song dynasty.  In the early 19th century, the Chen family of HeNan province had refined the ancient martial art into a style of exercises for self-defense and kept it secret.  From these seeds, the secret art that was passed on to the Chinese people and the world become known as TaiJiQuan.  

Each class will introduce a series of Tai Chi exercises designed to open energy paths in the body and stimulate the flow of Qi.  These exercises will allow participants to experience some of the benefits of daily Tai Chi practice.

No preparation is required, but students may choose to practice some of the exercises at home.

Books and Other Resources:

None.

Biography:

I was the Dean of Faculty at Franklin Institute of Boston for 20 years.  In 1971 I began TaiJi and learned the main form. After practicing meditation and yoga, in 2002 I resumed my study of TaiJi with SiFu Chu JinSoon.  I have found that daily TaiJi/QiGong practice has produced profound physical and psychological effects, especially calm and strength for my body and mind and an overall feeling of wellness.

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1Tue-2A-10: The Human Quest Through Philosophy and Art

Course Leader: Victor Carrabino

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 15

Course Description: 

This course will serve as an introduction to the Western intellectual and artistic output from the Romantic era to Existentialism and possibly, if time allows, to the present. We leave the world of reason and we enter the world of emotions and individualism. We juxtapose the philosophical vision of Voltaire to that of Rousseau. We put aside the world of objectivity and we enter the world of subjectivity.  

As a result of the French Revolution, which fostered a political revolution, a new artistic and intellectual revolution takes place, which is manifested in a new desire for freedom and liberalism from the constraint of rules and regulations from the past.  The artist becomes then the rebel in his quixotic search for a new meaning to his own existence.  His quest becomes the archetypal quest of modern man who feels alienated from his universe. Man feels alone and cut off from any communication with the divine. God’s existence is questioned. This exegesis makes man realize that God has been decentralized.  On the other hand, as we will examine, the image of Christ as a suffering human being, gives meaning to man’s Sisyphean struggle on this earth. This new vision and spiritual preoccupation permeates all forms of human, intellectual, and artistic endeavors.

Starting with Romanticism, accompanied by visual images of art works, we will trace the various stages of man’s cultural heritage and will give a true meaning to the word “humanities”—as it pertains to the human quest. The course will close with a deeper understanding of man’s existence through a close analysis of existentialism, a philosophical movement often misunderstood and erroneously quoted. From the Nietzschean premise that “God is dead,” we will close with a better understanding and appreciation of a new spiritual vision of man.

Plan on 2 to 3 hours of weekly preparation time.

Books and Other Resources: 

The Course Leader will provide notes and other materials.

Biography:

I am Professor Emeritus of The Florida State University where I taught throughout my academic career.  I earned my PhD in French from the University of Massachusetts Five-College-PhD-Program in Amherst, MA.  While teaching French language and literature, I was also invited to teach Humanities courses. However, my complete dedication to the study of Humanities started when I was appointed Resident Director of the Florida State University Study Abroad Program in Florence, Italy, my native country. During twenty years of residency in Florence, my study of Humanities was nourished and strengthened by the  rich artistic surrounding that Florence offers. Besides teaching at my institution, in Florence, I also taught Humanities courses for Pepperdine University and New York University. My publications are indicative of my interest in finding the golden thread that runs through any artistic expression.          

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1Tue-1C-5b: High Impact Issues in the Supreme Court – 2020 Cases

Course Leader: Bill Cotter

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on October 27

Course Description:

We will discuss the current composition and history of the Court as well as the President’s legal disputes with the House of Representatives and other Court challenges to the Executive. In that review we will explore whether the Court is
still an independent body or if it has become just another political branch. We will also analyze several leading cases decided in 2020. These cases concern: the subpoenas of the President’s tax returns; LGBT discrimination; DACA;
insurance companies’ reimbursements and the birth control mandate under Obamacare; abortion; separation of Church and State; the Sixth Amendment requirement of a unanimous jury; Robocalls and the First Amendment; and “faithless electors” in Presidential elections. There are required readings, and vigorous and respectful discussion is encouraged. All the cases are new and prior participants are most welcome.

Each week, plan on reading about 10-15 pages of condensed judicial opinions.

Books and Other Resources:

Links to cases will be provided. 

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. This is my second LLAIC course.  

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2Wed-1A-10: Why Sing Plays? An Exploration into the Craft of Musical Theater

Course Leader: Arthur Finstein

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 16

Course Description:

Great musical theater can move you to your core! In this class, I want to share three major American musicals from the past 65 years: My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof, and Into the Woods. Each of these masterpieces musicalizes its subject matter differently. But all three pieces rely on bedrock compositional principles established long ago in the world of opera and operetta. I want us together to recognize these basic tenets of musical storytelling, and to examine each show by focusing on the purposes, placement, structures, and styles of its songs, in an effort to discover how the creators' musical choices sharpen character and plot, and deepen the play's impact. 

The class will consist of presentations by the leader, and group listening / viewing, discussion, and reading. There are no student reports and there are no prerequisites of specific musical or theatrical skills.   Reading will likely be less than 1 hour per week, and listening / viewing at home will be about the same. For those who choose to watch an entire show in one sitting, the viewing can obviously take more time (around 2-2.5 hours.)

Books and Other Resources:

Scripts / recordings of My Fair Lady and Shaw's Pygmalion are widely available in public libraries. Any edition is acceptable.
Fiddler is similarly widely accessible, and available in paperback for very modest amounts through Amazon or other booksellers.

Into the Woods is published by the Theatre Communications Group and is available through the Minuteman Library system of Massachusetts (minlib.net) as well as on Amazon and other mass sellers, and I will very likely provide at least relevant excerpts from it via email attachments.  

Other resources will be suggested in class communications, but not required. 

Biography:

I’ve loved, performed and studied musical theater for nearly my entire life. I have BA and MFA degrees in music from Brandeis, and spent 32 years as a Massachusetts music educator. I’ve music-directed more than 200 productions in the greater Boston scholastic, community and professional theater circuits over more than 45 years. I’ve been privileged to present at statewide, regional and national conferences on Music and Theater Education, and am a passionate advocate for increased support for the creative arts, especially for music and musical theater.

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1Tue-2B-6a: Selected Novellas:  The Short and Sweet or Not So Sweet!

Course Leader: Alice Freedman

Course Length/Start: 6 weeks starting on September 15

Course Description:

A world-class chess player, a person taking on another’s identity, a man who howls like a wolf, a person facing his demise, and a man who won’t stop at anything to get a new coat – these are the topics of our selected readings. The novella, usually about 150 pages long, is a form of fiction that is shorter than a novel and longer than a short story and has only one plot line.  We will read five novellas -- a mixture of classical and contemporary works.  By examining the themes, characters, plots, writing styles, tone, and language, we will gain greater understanding and appreciation of each author’s writing skill.  In addition, we will relate the ideas expressed in each novella to our individual lives and today’s societal challenges. 

The class formats will include a combination of presentation and discussion. Weekly preparation will take several hours, depending on reading speed.

Books and Other Resources:

The Overcoat, by Nicolai Gogol
The Tenth Man, by Graham Greene
Train Dreams, by Denis Johnson
The Death of Ivan Ilyich, by Leo Tolstoy
The Chess Story, by Stefan Zweig 

Biography:

I am a LLAIC board member and course leader. I have twice taught a course on the selected works of Ian McEwan.  After starting my career as a high school English teacher, I became a specialist in Organizational Development and Learning at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates.  I have a BA in English Literature from Boston University and an MA in Counseling Psychology from Boston College.  Discussing literature with other readers and finding its relevance to today’s world brings me much joy.

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3Thu-3A-7b: Not Your Mother’s Genes! Genetics from a 19th Century Monk to a 21st Century Pandemic

Course Leader: Gillian Geffin

Course Length/Start:  7 weeks starting on October 15

Course Description:

This course will provide a basic understanding of genetics—what is DNA, what are genes, and what do they do? No prior knowledge is necessary. We will start with Gregor Mendel’s pea-plant studies around 1860 and finish with the successes—and downsides—of exciting recent genetic treatments of illness and research into vaccines for COVID-19. Class participants will be able to understand and form their own judgments about the wisdom of current and proposed applications of genetics. Many questions will be addressed.

Mendel was a monk, but maybe no angel! His insights were brilliant, but were some of his numbers too good to be true? You have your mother’s eyes, your father’s hair, and your grandmother’s dimples: how did that happen? 

Three men won the Nobel Prize for discovering the chemistry of DNA, the material genes are made of. The research of one woman, who died before the Prize was awarded, contributed substantially to the discovery, as we will see. 

What are mutations? How can they cause human disease? What is their role in evolution? Should we fool with Mother Nature? We will discuss genetic engineering (GE), its uses, ethics and safety. What do you think about GE of foodstuffs, releasing genetically engineered mosquitoes into the environment, or GE in humans—potential medical applications and designer babies? What is CRISPR?

We will study the successes and drawbacks of recent genetic treatments for a number of inherited diseases and some cancers. Do these treatments cost too much? Will you decide on genotyping to explore your ancestry or find conditions you may be prone to? How is genetics used in the Covid-19 pandemic and a possible vaccine against the virus?

A lot of questions to study and try to answer!

Each class will include a PowerPoint presentation with opportunities for questions. In some classes videos will be shown.

Books and Other Resources:

A list of suggested readings of general interest relevant to genetics will be emailed to the class each week -- optional because understanding the next class will not depend on having done the readings. The optional readings will take one to one and a half hours per week.

Biography:

I am a physician with a medical and a science degree from the University of London. After an internship, I worked in teaching and research in a London medical school. My husband and I with our two toddlers crossed the pond for my husband to work for just one year in the USA—during which we had our third child. That was more than half a century ago and we are still here. 

When our youngest reached kindergarten, I returned to research at the MGH, teaching research fellows in our laboratory and medical students. I have led classes at LLAIC and BOLLI, where my husband and I twice taught a science and technology course—teaching is certainly the best way to learn. Genetics is advancing rapidly; I taught this course in 2018 and 2019 at LLAIC, and each year it needs updating, as it will be for this semester.

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3Thu-2A-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 17

Course Description: 

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.

One to one and a half hours of suggested readings and/or viewing of videos will be expected.

Books and Other Resources:

PDFs or Word documents of book excerpts will be provided, URLs for on-line readings and videos

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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1Tue-2C-10: A Romp Through the History of Math

Course Leader: Joel Kamer

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 15

Course Description:

Romp:  definition — to move in a brisk, easy and playful manner. This course will move in a brisk manner, as we have to cover 6,000 years in 10 weeks.  It will be easy as there are no exams, nor will there be any mathematical proofs.  Finally, we will adopt a playful attitude as we investigate what Plato had to do with the Platonic solids, why the product of two negative numbers is positive, what copulating rabbits have to do with mathematics, imaginary versus real numbers, when parallel lines meet, group theory without groupies, how can there be more than one infinity?, how a coffee cup is the same as a donut, and the most elegant equation in mathematics.  As a result of this romp through math, your grandchildren may forever be impressed, and really believe that you are 10,000 years old.  The only background you need is a slight recollection of your high school mathematics.  Come frolic with us.

A class will consist of lecture/explication by the CL with participation of the class members.  Preparation time for reading and problem solving will be 1 - 2 hours.


Books and Other Resources:

The Math Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained, DK Publishing, 2019, ISBN: 978-1465480248

Biography:

As a tyke I was taught reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic.  As you can see from the title of this course, I took a hankering to ‘rithmetic.  After matriculating for a few degrees in mathematics, I decided to earn a living and became a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries.  Retirement followed after a few decades practicing as an actuary, and now I’d like to share my enthusiasm for ‘rithmetic with others.

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3Thu-3C-5a: To Believe or not to Believe - Faith vs. Logic

Course Leader: Margalit Lai

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on September 17

Course Description:

Religion is a subject that raises very strong and passionate feelings both on the side of believers and non-believers. In this 5-week course we will try to delve into what makes people on both sides tick. What makes people believe in the unbelievable and lead a meaningful life with a sense of security that they are in good hands, while others lead a meaningful life with a sense of security believing they are on their own?  We will try to explore the history of religion, why there are so many religions, and why it works for some and not for others. We will read two books, one by Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, and the other, Faith Unraveled by Rachel Held Evans. These two books cover the perspectives of both believers and non-believers.  Dawkins' book will require reading about 70 pages a week and Evans' book (which is a small paperback with large print) will require about 43 pages a week. If you don't have time to read both, choose the one that most appeals to you. They are both available on Amazon. Believers and atheists are most welcome to the course for an open and respectful discussion of this important part of our lives.

The class will be in a discussion format, responding to questions initiated by the Course Leader.

Books and Other Resources:

Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
Rachel Held Evans, Faith Unraveled

Biography:

I grew up in Israel in an atheist family, but my only nephew became a born again Jew in his late twenties. He lives his life strictly by the book and we don’t agree on anything related to religion. Yet, we have close and good relations and love to debate issues related to religion. We both know deep down that we will not be able to change each other’s ingrained beliefs but that does not stop us from trying and having a good time doing so.

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3Thu-2B-8a: Contemporary Memoirs

Course Leader: Bonnie Lass

Course Length/Start:  8 weeks starting on September 17

Course Description:

Welcome to Contemporary Memoirs! Through guided discussions, we will explore four recently published memoirs by women. Discussions will include content summaries, author biographies and writing styles, published reviews and criticism and, most importantly, personal reactions.  Here are the books we’ll read, one every two weeks of this 8-week course. I’ve annotated the list to include the primary theme/topic of each memoir. 
  • Fierce Attachments, Vivian Gornick. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2005. Hailed by the New York Times as the best memoir in the last 30 years, Fierce Attachments shifts back and forth from Gornick’s girlhood to adulthood to tell about her fight for psychosocial independence from her remarkable mother.
  • Educated, Tara Westover.  Random House, 2018. Tara Westover was born to survivalist Mormons in the mountains of Idaho and had no formal education—that is, until her quest for knowledge led to self-education, then Harvard and Cambridge. In this #1 bestseller, we learn how she negotiates this transformation, while loosening yet maintaining her family ties.
  • Year of the Monkey, Patti Smith. Knopf, 2019. As Smith approaches her 70th birthday, a lifelong friend is dying. In grief, she takes to the road, traveling to revisit some of their haunts, stimulating dreams and memories that are revelatory and mystical, real and imagined.
  • Yellow House, Sarah Broom.  Grove Press, 2019. Winner of the National Book Award in 2019, The Yellow House is a memoir plus; not only does it tell the story of the author and her 11 siblings uprooted by Hurricane Katrina, but it provides a tragic yet inspiring portrait of black New Orleans.
Student preparation time will vary, since reading speeds vary. 

Books and Other Resources:

See course description.  Books should be available in the library or can be purchased.

Biography:

Professionally a teacher/educator/writer/editor for 47 years, I now celebrate the freedom to explore that retirement affords. I’ve been a member of LLAIC since Day One and have taught courses in Literary Memoir, The Blues, and Bob Dylan.  I enjoy travel, movies, art (both viewing and making), crosswords, and Mah Jongg, but reading is still my favorite sport. 


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3Thu-3B-8a: Great Decisions 2020

Course Leader: Carole Levy and Len Glassman

Course Length/Start:  8 weeks starting on September 17

Course Description:

The Great Decisions course, taught throughout the United States in various venues, is prepared by the Foreign Policy Association to include eight topics of current concern and interest to the conduct of US foreign policy. They prepare a reading booklet, which each course participant will purchase or download as an ebook, and a 26 minute video which is available for now on line and will either be shown in class time or viewed prior to class at home. The video presents interviews and explanations of the subject by foreign policy experts. Each class may involve a small amount of lecture followed by class discussion, augmenting the provided materials with relevant current events as they appear in our media and any personal knowledge of or experience with the topics is always welcome to bring to the discussion. The topics this year will include Climate Change and the Global Order, Red Sea Security, and Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking to name a few. (You can look at the Foreign Policy Association’s website to see all the topics to be read and discussed.) If you are an avid follower of international news and foreign policy this is a course you will greatly enjoy!

The format includes videos, lecture, and discussion.  About 1 hour per week of outside reading expected.

Books and Other Resources:

Foreign Policy Association publication: Great Decisions Topics 2020
Order online or contact sales at 1 (800) 477-5836 or sales@fpa.org

Biography:

Carole Levy: After a career as an educator teaching high school English and History, I now have the opportunity to expand my learning and share my interests by being active in lifelong learning. I have led several courses at LLAIC, some on literature, some on Israel where I lived from 1970 to 1983, and the Great Decisions course. I have a BA from Penn State University and an MBA in management of not-for-profit organizations from the Heller School at Brandeis University. I enjoy reading, tennis, biking, travel (back in the day!), yoga, and spending time with my six grandchildren.

Len Glassman: I am a native-born Bostonian and graduated with a BS from Northeastern University. As a fifty-year manufacturer and distributor of automobile and truck parts, I was president and co-owner of Hampton Sales Corporation.  My wife and I presently own and run Big Fish Products which sells our unique design tee shirts and baseball caps. We donate all proceeds to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s disease research. I am a lifelong history and political buff.

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2Wed-2A-10: Waves of Technology and Human Outcomes

Course Leader: Sheldon Lowenthal

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 16

Course Description:

Technology continues to improve the lives of humans. It 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, and medicine. We will explore how humans managed to go from hunting, gathering, and feeding a very small population in good times to feeding 7.5 billion people and their animals. We will follow human wandering and dragging belongings to the discovery of the wheel, seafaring, and mechanical machinery that allowed rapid movement.  

The class will be a mix of lecture and discussion, based on materials presented and questions. No preparation time is required.

Books and Other Resources:

None are required.

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 and LLAIC lifelong learning programs.

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

Course Leader: Carole and Mark McNamee

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on October 27

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 5-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 realistic 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 through lectures, demonstrations, and discussion 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 and no outside reading is required.   

Books and Other Resources:

No book required, but the Kandel book is recommended.
Kandel E. R. Reductionism in Art and Brain Science: Bridging the Two Cultures, Columbia University Press, New York, 2016.

Biography:

Carole McNamee:  I am a practicing artist with a focus on mixed-media abstract art and book arts. Having a Ph.D. in both Computer Science and Marriage and Family Therapy, 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 PhD 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.  We will be teaching this course for the second time this fall.

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1Tue-3C-5b: Spy vs. Spy

Course Leader: Mark McNamee

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on October 27

Course Description:

British author John LeCarré is an award-winning master of the cold war spy novel. He served in the British Intelligence Service (MI6) in the early 1960s where he wrote several of his early novels prior to devoting his full attention to writing.  Many of his books have been made into major Hollywood movies with all-star casts. In this 5-week course, we will read and discuss two of his most compelling novels (The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) and view and contrast the film adaptations with the books.  In addition, we will examine his 50-year career as a writer and see several of his interviews in which he discusses the movie versions of his novels, including a classic TV interview with Merv Griffin. I hope that you will be inspired to read all 25 of his novels (including his 2019 novel Agent Running in the Field, which brings Brexit and Trumpism onto the scene) and assess the ways in which he has adapted his work to the post-cold war era.

The two films will be shown in weeks 2 and 4 and they run for approximately 2 hours each. Class time will be extended by 30 minutes on these days. The other three sessions will be a mix of lecture and class discussions.

Books and Other Resources:

LeCarré, John. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.  1964.  Coward-McCann. New York.
LeCarré, John. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. 1974. A. A. Knopf. New York.
The books are available in the Minuteman library system or can be purchased on Amazon. The DVDs will be shown in class, but they are also available by streaming, purchase, or at the library.

Biography:

I am a retired neuroscientist/university professor and administrator with a lifelong interest in literature.  The novels of John LeCarré have always held great appeal to me and I have enjoyed seeing so many of his books adapted to movies and television.  My previous teaching at LLAIC has focused on neuroscience and this course is my first venture into leading a discussion-focused course featuring my extra-academic interests.

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3Thu-1B-10: Democracy:  How it Came to Be and What it May Become

Course Leader: Bill Miniscalco

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 17

Course Description:

After decades of increasing acceptance around the world, democracy has recently come under increasing political attack due to an upsurge in populism accompanied by a drift towards authoritarian governments. Is this the result of unavoidable external circumstances such as large-scale immigration and economic forces, or are people concluding that their democratic governments are not providing solutions to their essential problems? Is democracy a durable institution or just a hothouse flower that can thrive only under special circumstances?

This course will go beyond commonly held views of democracy to examine what caused it to appear, what it requires to be successful, and whether it can survive. The goal is to provide participants the insights to recognize the root causes driving current events. While the course addresses democracy generally, the focus will be on the US.

The modern Western ideal of liberal democracy is an amalgam of the concepts of egalitarianism and individual liberties (liberalism) combined with the rule of law. We will examine the independent origins of these concepts, how they came to be combined, the tensions between them, and how they are now becoming unraveled. We will see how liberal democracy is intimately intertwined with capitalism, and the dangers and opportunities this presents. The questions of minimal citizen qualifications, flaws in the current system, and who actually is in control of the US government will also be addressed. Finally, we will examine the challenges facing current democracies, including actual or perceived unfairness leading to a loss of faith in institutions that in turn results in populism, illiberalism, and authoritarianism. We conclude by considering the prospects for the future of democracies around the world. 

The course will consist of lectures, slides, videos, and class discussion. 

This course was originally offered in Spring 2020 in a shorter form and has been expanded to include more videos and discussion time. Plan on one to two hours of preparation per week.

Books and Other Resources:

There is no single book covering this subject and relevant articles will be emailed prior to each session.

Biography:

I have a PhD in physics and spent about 20 years doing basic research followed by another 20 years in the development of new technologies for optical communications networks. But I have always had a strong interest in literature, history, psychology, economics, and philosophy, which are now my primary occupations. With my wife I enjoy travel, particularly to places of historical, cultural, and natural interest. Without my wife I enjoy motorcycles (past) and sports cars (present).

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2Wed-2B-8a: Jane Austen Goes to the Movies

Course Leader: Lois Novotny

Course Length/Start:  8 weeks starting on September 16

Course Description:

Jane Austen’s novels have proved irresistible to film makers. This course will look at four of her novels—Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Persuasion in both the original novel and film versions to see how, and what, changed in the transition from book to screen.  Because the course will be offered online, each person will need to see the movie on their own. There are several versions of each but the following are the ones to be looked at for class discussion:  Sense and Sensibility, the version starring Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant, 1995 (available on Amazon Prime and Showtime); Pride and Prejudice, the version starring Keira Knightly and Matthew MacFadyn, 2005 (available on Starz); Emma, the version staring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam, 1996 (available on HBO); and Persuasion, starring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds, 1999. While only Persuasion is not available for free with a subscription to one of the premium services, all can be rented through Amazon Prime and Microsoft, for viewing on a computer, for $3.99. The availability on the subscription services is as of Spring 2020, and could change by fall but the rentals should all be available.

The format of the course will be a single period to discuss the book, followed the next week by a single period to discuss the movie, which everyone must view on their own.  Preparation time will depend on how long it takes to read—or review—the book of the week.  The movies are generally under two hours.

Books and Other Resources:

Any edition of the four novels, and the versions of the movies that will be discussed.

Biography:

Although so far I have taught music-related courses at LLAIC, my background is in the general humanities—my undergraduate degree was in English Literature. I have long been a fan of Jane Austen, both the books and film versions, and look forward to exploring how the movies adapted—and perhaps changed—the novels.

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1Tue-3D-10: The Beginnings of Judaism—Part 2

Course Leader: Rabbi Bob Orkand

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 15

Course Description:

This course will explore how the Jewish faith struggled to continually redefine itself during the first thousand years after the completion of the last books of the Hebrew Bible, tenaciously clinging to existence through circumstances that might well have torn it asunder.

The crucial millennium on which this class focuses witnessed twice the destruction of the Jewish people's most sacred place: the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. It was first destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E., and, after having been rebuilt 70 years later, was razed once again by the Romans in 70 C.E., after the Jews waged a fierce uprising against Roman rule in the province of Judea. A major portion of the course is devoted to the period between these two landmark events that altered Jewish history forever.

Indeed, in the wake of the second destruction, Judaism's earthly religious and political center was literally removed. What came next was not an end, but a beginning. Synagogues replaced the Temple. Prayer came into being as an alternative to sacrificial worship. And Rabbinic Judaism in time became the dominant model of the faith. But as Professor Gafni emphasizes, the evolution of a reshaped Judaism took place amid constant tension created by two competing forces.

Note:  This is the second part of this course which began in the Spring of 2020.  Since each unit stands alone, participation in part one is not necessary to enroll in part two.

The format of this class is lecture, with ample time for questions and discussion. No student preparation is needed.

Books and Other Resources:

None required.

Biography:

I served as a pulpit rabbi for more than 40 years.  Since retiring in 2013 I have taught numerous adult learning classes at LLAIC and other area institutions.

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1Tue-2D-5b: A Tour of Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte

Course Leader: Phil Radoff

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on October 27

Course Description:

The course on Così Fan Tutte will examine in depth the third and last of the great operatic collaborations between Mozart and his most accomplished librettist, Lorenzo Da Ponte. The opera will be presented through several videos to enable students to see how different producers treated the same material. The course is intended to be of value to students unfamiliar with the opera, as well as to afford a greater appreciation of the opera to students already familiar with it.   Students with no familiarity with opera may find the course a bit challenging, but should not find it overly taxing if they attend the classes and do the assignments—i.e., prepare for each class by watching or listening at home to the sections of the opera assigned for that class and by reading at home the corresponding portions of the libretto and other assigned material.  The material will build from week to week, and students should make every effort to attend all of the sessions. There will be detailed weekly emails with attachments of certain background material.

Since this is primarily a lecture-presentation course, there will be only a limited opportunity for discussion  Students should allow about1 1/2 hours per week for preparation.

Books and Other Resources:

Students should have access to a complete version (audio or video) of the opera and the libretto in English and Italian.  These are available for purchase from the usual online book sellers and copies are also available through the Minuteman library system.  Perhaps most importantly, a free version of the libretto and videos of the opera with English subtitles are available online.

Biography:

I have a PhD in physics and worked as a physicist before switching to law. As a lawyer I worked in private practice, with the U.S. Government, and as inside corporate counsel before retiring in 2004 as group vice president and general counsel with Raytheon. My wife, Norma, and I live in Wayland. I have been a LLAIC member since its inception. I have no formal musical training, but have had a lifelong interest in opera and have led several opera courses and given lunchtime talks at LLAIC and elsewhere. I recently published a collection of short stories, and a one-act play, Locked In, which was presented by the LILAC players last year.

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2Wed-1B-10: Memoir Writing:  One Story At A Time

Course Leader: Myrna Rybczyk

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 16

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. We all have stories to tell, but the hardest part seems to be getting started and in-class writing activities are helpful for that purpose. Using the concept of a “theme circle,” we will be crafting the stories of your life writing in a short form. Writing from life can bring both 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.
In each class, stories will be read and open to comment if the writer wishes. There will be a ten-minute write at the beginning of each session.  Approximately 2 hours per week will probably be needed for writing.


Books and Other Resources:

William Ainsser, 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 with a major in Music Therapy. I have worked as a Visiting Therapist for four and one half years at The McLean Hospital. During part 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 and then 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.


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2Wed-1C-5b: Olivier Messiaen:  Music of Faith, Love, and Birdsong

Course Leader: Peter Schmidt

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on October 28

Course Description:

Olivier Messiaen was a prominent 20th-century French composer of many timeless masterpieces. He developed his own musical language rather than following the trends of the time. At an early age he was chosen to be the organist for a Paris cathedral, and over time became the greatest composer of organ music since Bach. Fascinated by birdsong, he took up ornithology, notated the songs of birds all over the world, and incorporated them into his compositions. Most of all, he was a deeply believing Catholic and reflected that faith in most of his music and accompanying texts.

We’ll explore some of his best-known works such as The Quartet for the End of Time, Vingt Régards sur l’Enfant Jésus, and Turangalîla-Symphonie, among others. Along the way, we’ll ask questions like:  Can music written for a specific faith translate to a wider-ranging spirituality?  Does musical structure affect the emotional impact of a musical work?  The level of the course will be aimed at the concertgoer rather than musician or musicologist.

The class format will be a combination of presentation, music videos and discussion. Preparation time can vary from only reading handout materials to viewing music videos as long as two hours

Books and Other Resources:

The course leader will distribute reading materials and internet links by email. There is no required course book, although The life of Messiaen by Christopher Dingle, Cambridge University Press (2007) is recommended

Biography:

I have led and co-led numerous courses in lifelong-learning organizations for over ten years in a variety of subjects, including music, science (e.g., Five Physicists who Changed the World View), and literature (e.g., Short Stories of Heinrich Böll).  Naomi Schmidt and I have co-led two sets of Foreign Films of the 50s and 60s.

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

Course Leader: Sandy Sherizen

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on Sept. 15

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, cyber crime and cyber security, and the uniqueness of white-collar crimes. 

The classes 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, followed by discussion and Q and A. Readings for the class will take several hours per week.

Books and Other Resources:

The course leader will provide links to relevant readings.

Biography:

Trained as a sociologist, I then went bad and became a criminologist and then really bad by becoming a computer security and privacy consultant and speaker.  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 taught ESL to adult immigrants as a volunteer. Currently I’m 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 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-2C-10: JFK - An Unfinished Life

Course Leader: Marvin Snider

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on September 17

Course Description:

We are all familiar with JFK, who was the 35th President from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963.  Kennedy served at the height of the Cold War that involved the Soviet Union and Cuba. His legacy is highlighted by issues and dilemmas, including Berlin, Southeast Asia, Civil Rights, the recession, nuclear proliferation, etc.

Although we know about his many achievements, we are less familiar with the obstacles he faced publicly and personally.  For example, living in the shadow of his older brother, JFK struggled to find a place for himself in his family and in the country until World War ll when he became a national hero. In this course we will consider the complexity of JFK’s early years and the mixture of adulation and resentment that tangled his relationships with his parents.  

While laboring to present an image of robust health, Kennedy was secretly and frequently hospitalized. On several occasions of dire illness, he was given last rites. In spite of his health, he transformed from an awkward speaker into a brilliant politician with irresistible charm. When he was a senator, he fiercely contested Nixon in the 1960 Presidential campaign. JFK was a flawed man in some respects; nevertheless, he was a driven person fueled by his aggressive and manipulative father and his own desire to overcome his physical limitations. 

Most of the class will be devoted to discussion of weekly readings, supplemental references, and course leader presentations.  There will be approximately 2-3 hours per week preparation.

Books and Other Resources:

An Unfinished Life by Robert Dallek

Biography:

I have a PhD in psychology and have practiced both as a clinician and an organizational consultant. At LLAIC and the Harvard Life Learning Program, I have led many courses, including International Hotspots, Innovators of Political Thought, Cults, and US Presidents (Truman, Johnson, Nixon, etc.). My focus has been on these leaders’ personalities, accomplishments, and impact on our country.

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1Tue-1A-10: In Their Own Words: The Great Migration in the U.S. 1910-1970

Course Leader: Maryann Wyner

Course Length/Start:  10 weeks starting on Sept. 15

Course Description:

Our history is defined in the movement of people, and through a reading of The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabella Wilkerson, we will explore the Great Migration of African-Americans to New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and its economic and social impact on the fabric of our country. A daughter of this experience, Wilkerson interviewed over 1200 people and the book
contains their collective stories through the lives of three who made that journey. Each week students will read a portion of the book and discuss the material in class. The study of this seminal event helps put the disparities of the social and economic livelihoods of African Americans into perspective. Students will have about 2 hours of homework each week.

Books and Other Resources:

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabella Wilkerson 

Biography:

I am a former high school English and History teacher, and I have a master’s degree in English. In my past academic life, I was 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. I enjoyed teaching and now, working with lifelong learning students, I have found a new home. Theater is still a part of my life as I direct the Lilac Players each semester.

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2Wed-3A-5b: LILAC Players  (No course fee) 

Course Leader: Maryann Wyner

Course Length/Start:  5 weeks starting on October 28

Course Description:

It’s time to put on your acting shoes and join us. The LILAC Players will meet during the last five weeks of classes with the goal of presenting our play(s) during the last week of classes. The selection of play(s) is yet to be decided.  We always have fun reading, rehearsing, and bonding. No experience is necessary. Please sign up early so that we can choose a play to meet the cast size. Because this will be done through Zoom, you should be able to use that platform and have a computer or tablet. Help is available if needed. Preparation will be 30-45 minutes per week.

Books and Other Resources:

None.

Biography:

I have been involved in theater since high school as an actor, stage manager, and properties manager. After one short time on stage as a corpse as a student at Clark University, I waited until my teaching days to get involved. I later received an MA in English from Simmons College. At Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall in Waltham, I served as the assistant director and occasional actor for over 30 high school performances. Following retirement, opportunities arose at Temple Shir Tikva where I performed in Fiddler on the Roof, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Raincoat, The Megillah According to Grease and Little Shop of Horrors.  As a teacher, acting was always part of my job, so getting involved in the LILAC Players for multiple semesters has allowed me to delve into something that has always made me smile.

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Updated July 6, 2020

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Peter Schmidt,
Jun 15, 2020, 12:06 PM
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Peter Schmidt,
Jun 15, 2020, 12:06 PM
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