LLARC Study Groups At a Glance - Fall 2017

9:15AM - 10:45AM
9:15AM - 10:45AM
9:15AM - 10:45AM
9:15AM - 10:45AM

Creative Writing Workshop

Famous American Court Trials-CLOSED

Woke Literature

Japanese Internment-CLOSED

Mother Nature and Climate Change*-CLOSED

Consequences of WWII Indepence Movements

Changing Real Estate Needs*

Ten Corporations and Institutions in Greater Boston-CLOSED

Putinism: Russia and its Future with the West*-CLOSED

Ladies (Sometimes) on the Road

Critical Thinking

Food: How We Regulate It for Safety, Health and Nutrition

11:00AM - 12:30PM
11:00AM - 12:45PM
11:00AM - 12:30PM
11:00AM - 12:30PM

Opera for Everyone!*-CLOSED

Current Literature on Film*-CLOSED

Pride and Prejudice

Lunch Listen and Learn Lecture Series

Lunch Listen and Learn Schedule

Movements in Modern Art-CLOSED

The Poetry Mystique

Current Events

Glee Club

Reading Nature and the Weather-CLOSED

1:00PM - 2:30PM
1:00PM - 2:30PM
1:00PM - 2:30PM
1:00PM - 2:30PM

Stories and Poetry about Gardens and Gardening

¡¡Hab­lemos Español!!*

Unseen, Unshown, Unknown: History's Great Female Artists CLOSED

First Ladies Part I-CLOSED

Play Reading*

My Life, My Stories

Hollywood Genre Films (1:00-4:00)-CLOSED

Clint Eastwood, The Director (1:00-4:00)-CLOSED

Evolution of the Athlete*

Everything you Wanted to Know about Aging

Adventure Travel*

Unseen,Unshown, Unknown: History's Great Female Artists-CLOSED

*Denotes a Mini Course - Please see course description for dates.

General Information

Most study groups meet for 10 weeks, mini courses meet for 5 or 6 weeks. Please note the specific meeting dates given for each course. Locations of classes will be announced shortly before classes begin. Study groups are typically "led" rather than "taught"— all by volunteers. Most use a seminar format, emphasizing discussion, usually with preparatory reading. There are variables, however, such as the amount and nature of weekly preparation, the opportunity or expectation for class members to give presentations, and the extent to which material is presented by the leader. Please read descriptions carefully for these details. Also note costs for materials provided (other than texts, which students should buy independently.)


Classes fill up! Apply early for best chances of getting into the study groups you want. Enrollments continue thereafter on a first-come, first-served basis.

  1. Who may join. LLARC welcomes mature men and women of all faiths and backgrounds.
  2. Register by mail using the enrollment form in this brochure, or go to our Web site for a printable enrollment form (print extras for friends!) See
  3. Choose from two levels of participation. (1) Basic annual membership, including the Lunch, Listen & Learn program; or (2) Basic annual membership plus enrollment for the current semester in one or more seminars.
  4. You must be a member to enroll in courses and enjoy other benefits of membership. The membership fee is annual and is valid from September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2017.
  5. The flat tuition rate covers all your study groups for the semester. Space is limited in all classes, however, so enrollment is not guaranteed. (Also, a study group may be cancelled if enrollment is insufficient.) We strongly encourage you to make alternate selections in case your top choices are filled. Don’t forget to indicate the total number of study groups in which you wish to be enrolled.
  6. Registrations will be processed beginning on July 5. All applications submitted by that date will be regarded equally for purposes of assigning places in each study group. Applications may be submitted early (and this is encouraged) but they will not be acted upon before July 5. On that date, if any study group is oversubscribed, enrollment will be by lottery. Anyone not enrolled will be placed on a waiting list.
  7. Confirmations will be mailed out weekly beginning July 12. We will confirm you initially for up to two study groups, if space is available. If we are then able to enroll you in an additional selection, we will telephone you and send you a supplemental confirmation. Study group leaders will communicate any preparation necessary for the first class meeting.
  8. Additional costs. you are responsible for the cost of books and other materials. Typically, you are expected to obtain books on your own and to buy other materials from the leader in class.

LLARC Study Group Course Descriptions

Fall 2017

#2601 Creative Writing Workshop

In this writing group, the creative talents of the participants will be encouraged by their peers. Members are invited to write in any genre:memoir, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, essay, humor or play. Handouts will be provided to stimulate writing. Participants are given time to share their writings with classmates if they choose. Sometimes in talking about someone else’s writing, we are able to clarify our own thoughts and abilities; and this group is wonderfully encouraging, supportive and safe.

Leader: Virginia Slep holds a BA and an MA in English, and taught high school English for 35 years before her retirement. She has been teaching this writing class at LLARC since 2008. She writes a regular column for the North Reading Transcript. Virginia has a PhD in Clinical Hypnosis, and has a private practice in Wayland.

Class Meetings: 10 Mondays; September 18 – December 4; no classes on October 9 (Columbus Day); 9:15 – 10:45 am


#2602 Famous American Court Trials-CLOSED

By a careful study of the background stories related to the alleged offenses, contemporary news articles, supportive media, and informative writings, we will revisit some of the most famous American court trials. The supportive materials as well as the trial participants’ testimony will cast a bright light upon the times these legal contests happened. We will look back at not only milestones in American legal history, but at our own past, our own political beliefs, our own culture. Hopefully class members will actively participate as judge, jury, and opposing council in discussion of each case. Class preparation will be one to two hours. The class format will be discussion-based enhanced by PowerPoint presentations and relevant media. No reports will be required. Assigned readings should be broad enough for the class members to form an informed opinion on the result of each trial. One to two hours of readings for each class.

Text: The course will not require purchase of a text. All readings will be supplied digitally or by handouts.

Leader: Bernie Shuster earned a BA in history and a LLD at Boston University School of Law. He practiced law for several years as a partner in a Boston firm and then founded and served as COO of a financial services firm. He has led several courses at LLARC and HILR.

Class Meetings: 10 Mondays; September 18 – December 4; no classes on October 9 (Columbus Day); 9:15 – 10:45 am


#2603 Woke Literature

Being “woke” in current lingo means being aware, knowing what is going on in the community relating to racism and social injustice. Recent American literature has been very perceptive on the issue of race; we shall explore The Known World/2006 by Edward Jones, The Underground Railroad/2016 by Colson Whitehead, and Homegoing/2016 by Yaa Gyasi so that we can all be more woke than we are now. Please read chapters 1 – 4 of The Known World by the first meeting. Reading will average 100 pages per week; short presentations by all will be part of the course.

Leader: Brooks Goddard, has led many discussions on a variety of topics at LLARC. He has had a 50-year career teaching all kinds of folks both woke and not yet woke. He recently edited a book of teaching memories called We Were Walimu Once and Young, available on

Class Meetings: 10 Mondays; September 18 – December 4; no classes on October 9 (Columbus Day); 9:15 – 10:45 am


#2604 Opera for Everyone!-CLOSED

This course will focus on five operas or themes of opera; the life of composer, Giuseppe Verdi, a titan of 19th century Italian opera, illustrated with musical and visual biographical excerpts. Verdi’s greatest tragedy, Otello, a miraculous union of music and Shakespeare’s drama, a masterpiece as philosophically profound as it is theatrically thrilling. Verdi’s Falstaff, based on The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV. At the age of 80, he surprised the world with this delightful comedy, the composer’s last opera. Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca as pre-HD transmission preparation for the January 27, 2018 performance. This opera is the pinnacle of the verismo style: love scenes, torture, attempted rape, and a suicide finale. The course will conclude with Opera is Cool: Scandinavian Opera Houses and Great Nordic Opera Singers.

Leader: Erika Reitshamer born and educated in Germany, is a life-long opera lover and engaging teacher whose knowledge and love of opera will inspire all. Her open style and sense of humor are irresistible. This is her 7th semester teaching for LLARC.

Class Meetings: 5 Mondays, October 30 – December 4; 11:00 am – 12:30 pm*


#2605 Current LIterature on Film-CLOSED

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. This course will explore 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 — involved in the transposition to film. We will watch selected excerpts from the films in the course. Readings may include: Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly; The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman; The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes; The Circle by Dave Eggers; The Shack by William Paul Young; A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks; and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

Leader: Claire Levovsky taught Literature courses, Introduction to Psychology, Business Communication, and Public Speaking, at Fisher College from 1992 – 2015. She is certified as a Rehabilitation Counselor and a Secondary School Instructor. In addition to her work experience, Claire has been active in professional and volunteer organizations including The Schwartz Center for Children: Board President and member, and the National Rehabilitation Counseling Association.

Class Meetings: 5 Mondays; September 18 – October 23; no class on October 9 (Columbus Day); 11:00 – 12:30 pm*


#2606 Pride and Prejudice

When publishers first read the manuscript of Pride and Prejudice, then entitled First Impressions, they rejected it. It was presented without Jane Austen’s name, but as a novel written “by a Lady.” In fact, Sense and Sensibility preceded its publication — a novel that enjoyed considerable popularity. Thus, Pride and Prejudice’s title page read: “by the author of Sense and Sensibility.” Nonetheless, Austen’s most beloved novel (P&P) is full of rich moral discourse, remarkable wit, and a lively set of observations about Austen’s contemporary society. Please join us in a study of this work. We will enjoy the BBC’s clever rendering of the novel as we read.

Leader: Diane Proctor has been a writer and a teacher of both literature and writing throughout her professional life. She has taught at Milton Academy, the Hotchkiss School, and the Middlesex School. Critiquing essays, writing college recommendations, and summarizing interviews during the admissions process are a few of the ways in which she has honed her craft. Her intellectual focus and success have rested on her writing.

Class Meetings: 10 Mondays; September 18 – December 4; no classes on October 9 (Columbus Day); 11:00 am – 12:30 pm


#2607 Short Stories and Poetry about Gardens and Gardeners

We will read and discuss selections from The Garden of Reading: Contemporary Short Fiction about Gardens and Gardeners, ed. Michael Slung and The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden by Stanley Kunitz. Both books are available at Barnes & Noble or Amazon. Participants will be assigned one story each week. We have found it is helpful to read the story at least twice.

Leader: Joan Parrish is an experienced group leader with a master’s degree in adult education from Boston University and a master’s in theology from Episcopal Divinity School. She has taught courses for adults and children in a variety of settings, including short story courses for LLARC. Marillyn Zacharis is a graduate of DePauw University and holds an MA from Indiana University in English. She is an experienced teacher and education adviser. Marillyn managed the Masterworks Chorale for many years, and has been a life-long gardener.

Class Meetings: 6 Mondays, September 18 – October 30, no classes on October 9 (Columbus Day); 1 – 2:30 pm*


#2608 ¡¡Hablemos Español!!*

Spanish is fast becoming a second language in the U.S. This small, informal class is designed to enhance speaking skills and improve grammar. It will be conducted at an intermediate rather than beginner level. We also read literature, preferably short stories, and discuss their contents. Therefore it will be necessary to buy some books. In addition, a Spanish-English dictionary will be very helpful.

Leader: Aida Dudelson was born and grew up in Montevideo, Uruguay. She received a BA in liberal arts at the University of Montevideo. Shortly after moving to the United States with her family, she worked in the foreign department of a Boston bank. She then volunteered at New England Medical Center, translating for Spanish-speaking patients. She has taught at Wellesley High School as a short- and long-term substitute and has tutored privately for the past 26 years.

Class Meetings: 10 Mondays; September 18 – December 4; no classes on October 9 (Columbus Day); 1:00 – 2:30 pm


#2609 Unseen, Unshown, Unknown: History's Great Female Artists-CLOSED

The 1970 edition of the classic college text, Janson’s History of Art, included more than 1,000 images of great art. None were of artworks created by women. Soon enough, the women’s movement would both uncover the accomplishments of history’s great female artists and inspire countless women to not only become artists, but become great artists. In our course, you’ll hear their stories and, best of all, see and discuss their art. From Artemesia Gentileschi to Mary Cassatt to Judy Chicago to Shirin Neshat, you’ll meet women who have broken ground, created beauty, and ruffled feathers for over 500 years. Prepare to be surprised, uplifted, and wowed. We’ll talk, discover, and be surprised together. No art knowledge necessary.

Leader: Steve Kendall is the retired president of an advertising and public relations agency; the mentor of women and teens who are starting businesses; a trainer of art museum tour guides; and the leader of more than 400 tours at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum and the Danforth Museum. His tours are inquiry-based, eliciting the responses of visitors as they view art in more depth than ever before. This is his fourth LLARC course.

Class Meetings: 10 Mondays; September 18 – December 4; no classes on October 9 (Columbus Day); 1:00 – 2:45 pm


#2610 Japanese Internment in WWII America-CLOSED

Executive Order 9066 led to the evacuation and internment of 10 – 120 thousand Japanese aliens and Japanese-Americans. Most of us know about this, but don’t really know the whole story. Our study group will dig deep into the details, from the first offers to the ultimate closings of the camps and the apologies and reparations that followed later. We’ll study the camps’ locations and administrations, as well as the controversy surrounding the decisions creating and continuing the internment program. We’ll also look at daily life––disagreements amongst internees (particularly about the Prisoner Exchange Program) and more. Every possible aspect will be covered, including arguments defending the program. There is a $10 materials fee for handouts, which comprise most of the course reading. No written assignments; all presentations are voluntary. Our emphasis is discussion-based on research aided by handouts, internet sites, films, and books (including memoirs and dramatizations).

Leader: Mary Nowak has a BA and MA in American History from Boston University. She taught American History and U.S. and World Geography in Brookline. She has led several study groups for LLARC on two of her favorite subjects: women’s history and the Civil War.

Class Meetings: 10 Tuesdays, September 19 – November 28; 9:15 – 10:45 am


#2611 Mother Nature and Climate Change-CLOSED

Our planet is experiencing a major change in its climate. There are many factors that determine this change, but the main reason is due to the increase of CO 2 and other greenhouse gasses emitted by burning fossil fuels. In this short course, we will study how the components of the climate system (the atmosphere, the ocean, the ocean ice and the glaciers, and the biosphere) interact in determining the earth climate. We will use supporting data from sources such as NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), and other scientific organizations for the modeling of the future trends in temperature, the melting of the glaciers, and the change in the sea level.

Leader: Fara Faramarzpour taught a course about our planet and the development of human knowledge and civilization at LLARC last year. His academic background includes physics, astronomy, and earth science. He loves nature and reading about science and our cultural heritage.

Class Meetings: 5 Tuesdays, September 19 – October 17; 9:15 – 10:45 am*


#2612 Consequences of Post WWII Independence Movements

We will explore the Independence Movements after WW2 from the viewpoints of whether they met the peoples’ needs. Just like any changes, there were intended and unintended consequences. Some of the changes were revolutionary and some were evolutionary. Some were changes that went in cycles from democratic to autocratic to democratic and so on. Other movements resulted in unintended consequences of oppression and loss of human rights. Class discussions will include what these movements turned into, and what they could have evolved into, relative to meeting their people’s needs.

Leader: Jack Miller is a retired engineer with teaching experience in engineering, mathematics, business, and LLARC history classes. Jack’s lifelong interest in world history focuses this class on consequences of Post WW2 Independence Movements and whether they met the peoples’ needs.

Class Meetings: 5 Tuesdays; October 24 – November 28; 9:15 – 10:45 am*


#2628 My Life, My Stories

We humans have been telling stories about ourselves since our very early ancestors painted theirs on the walls and ceilings of caves, retelling the hunts of bison and other large animals. And although it’s a long distance from ochre dabbling to writing memoir, we’re still at it. We’ve never stopped explaining ourselves, our aspirations, our disappointments, whether in tribal tales, biblical allegories, fairy tales or classical mythology. So what are those stories we tell; what are they really about; how do they influence (or not) the way we’ve lived our lives? Not entirely different from writing creative memoir, however, this class’s emphasis will be on the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and the stories we tell others about ourselves. What are the theme-songs of our lives: what are their origins: do we live according to those self-beliefs, do they become self-fulfilling? The structure of the class will remain, as usual, writing at home, reading in class and group critiquing.

Class size limited to ten.

Leader: Mimi Aarens has been facilitating creative memoir workshops for more than ten years, with groups at Boston College and Tufts University and Regis Lifelong Learning Centers. In addition, she has facilitated workshops at senior and local adult education centers and the Rowe Conference Center in western Massachusetts. In addition to her writing classes, Mimi works in mosaic art.

Class Meetings: 10 Tuesdays; September 19 – November 28; 1:00 – 2:45 pm


#2613 The First Ladies Stage One; Martha Washington through Harriet Lane-CLOSED

These Pioneer First Ladies of the 18th and 19th century set the stage for all future First Ladies. In an era before mass communication they were able to influence the people of their times. 19 women served our first 15 presidents. Join us as we review the political history of the early years of the republic and take note of the active lives these ladies led. Their roles as political partners and hostesses aided the work of their husbands and left major impact on the people of their times.

Text: While it is not important that we all read the same book, it is important that a participant read information on each of the first ladies before class. There are ample sources in local libraries or on the internet that provide good information. The sites will be provided before the first class. One book that provides good information is America’s First Ladies: Power Players from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama by Rae Lindsay. This book is available at We will also be utilizing YouTube videos to provide additional information so access to a computer will be very helpful.

Leader: Mary Egan is an experienced study group leader who has developed courses dealing with the First Ladies from Martha Washington through Bess Truman and The Story Behind the Mexican War. An educator with 34 years experience on the elementary and secondary level, she has nurtured a lifelong interest in history and enjoys cultivating and sharing her knowledge of the First Ladies and their husbands.

Class Meetings: 8 Tuesdays. September 19 – November 28; 1:00 – 2:45 pm


#2614 Hollywood Genre Films: Classic and Modern-CLOSED

In this 10 week course we will be examining five Hollywood film genres that helped define the American film industry (the western, the gangster film, film noir, the musical, and romantic comedy) by first viewing a “classic” of the form and then a more modern version. Before each class, backgrounds on the archetypal characteristics of the genre will be emailed along with a list of guide questions about the individual film. We will then view the film together during the first part of the class. After viewing the film, we will discuss how the film uses visual storytelling to examine characters, themes, and motifs (i.e. how the director makes meaning through directorial choices,) and other cinematic aspects of the film as well as examining the sociocultural issues embedded in the works, contrasting the two time periods in which the films were created. The potential films we will discuss include: Shane/Unforgiven; The Public Enemy/Bonnie and Clyde; Double Indemnity/Chinatown; Singin’ in the Rain/LaLa Land; The Philadelphia Story/When Harry Met Sally. (These titles are subject to change.)

Leader: Ronna Frick retired after teaching high school English for forty years, the last nine also serving as the English Department Head at Wellesley High School. Having previously been a SGL for numerous LLARC courses including ones on Jane Austen, the Bible as Literature, Comedy & Tragedy, Novellas, MultiCultural Short Stories as well as other topics, she looks forward to another meaningful and fun experience with other lifelong learners!

Class Meetings: 10 Tuesdays, September 19 – December 4; 1:00 – 4:00 pm. The course will run from 1 pm to approximately 4 pm. Note that we will not meet the week of October 30 so the course will extend until the week of December 4.

#2615 Playreading

Enter the exciting world of Drama! We will explore/dissect some of the greatest plays ever written. Come feel the emotions of fear, anger, revenge, hope and love. This six week course will focus on three plays. The first two plays will be "Between Heaven and Hell" by Peter Kreeft and "Proof" by David Auburn.

Leader: John Archer is a trained singer, actor, musician and veteran of straight and musical theater productions for many different companies in New England. John runs a business in Beverly and is an active civic leader and philanthropist for several arts organizations. He has led play reading courses at North Shore community venues and study groups for LLARC since 2005.

Class Meetings: 6 Tuesdays; September 19 – October 24; 1–2:30 pm*


#2616 Changing Real Estate Needs

This course will examine the timing and actions needed of selling one’s primary residence and delve in to the alternatives available. We will look into benefits and negatives of condo living, 55 and up housing, Assisted Living, and continuous care retirement communities. The goal is to take the stress out of overwhelming life choices into a much more simplistic process.

Leader: Barbara Epstein has taught hundreds of adults the business of real estate. She has a BA from Boston University and been involved in real estate throughout her professional life. She most recently served as regional manager and Senior Vice President for Coldwell Banker Real Estate from 1991 – 2015. Barbara currently sits on the Board of Directors for Progams for People. This is her first LLARC class.

Class Meetings: 5 Wednesdays, September 20 – October 18; 9:15 – 10:45 am.*


#2617 Ten Corporations and Institutions in Greater Boston-CLOSED

General Electric’s decision to move its corporate headquarters to Boston made us aware of what is attractive to corporations and institutions about Boston. Located at a corner of the nation, it offers snowy winters, higher transportation costs and relatively unfavorable taxes. For those needing an environment where science, technology and innovation are important, Boston can be very attractive. A diverse educated workforce and access to leading educational, medical and cultural institutions are advantages to those either located here or seeking a stimulating environment for their employees. We will study ten large organizations located here, one each week, to understand what they do and how they benefit from being here. We will read printed and internet-accessed information about each organization prior to each class. About two hours of reading per week should be sufficient to prepare for each class.

Leader: Glenn Strehle has previously led or co-led four mini-courses and one Intersession course. He is retired as Treasurer Emeritus of MIT and continues to serve as an officer or on the boards and committees of public and charitable organizations.

Class Meetings: 10 Wednesdays; September 20 – November 29; 9:15 – 10:45 am


#2632 Putinism: Russia and its Future with the West-CLOSED

What is Putinism? Many analysts have struggled for a clear definition. With Russia annexing Crimea and sponsoring a separatist war in Ukraine, along with intervention in Syria, the question takes on renewed importance. Are these actions by the Putin Government a reversion to Soviet-era policies, symbolized by a partial rehabilitation of Stalin? Vladimir Putin came to power as the heir apparent to Boris Yeltsin, and the West hoped he would continue Russia’s journey to normalcy and democracy. Early signs, however, were not encouraging: he took over independent television stations, curbed truculent business oligarchs, and turned the Duma (Parliament) into a compliant body that never defies his wishes. The resentment of Russia’s loss of superpower status coincides with his anti-Western attitude.

Readings: "Putinism: Russia and its Future with the West" by Walter Laqueur

Leader: Tony Pazzanita is a retired regional officer of the Travelers Insurance Company. He attended Duquesne University and is a graduate of Westminster College. He has led more than 40 study group courses at Harvard’s Learning in Retirement concentrating on studying the root cause of great events in history, politics, and government.

Class Meetings: 6 Wednesdays, September 20 – October 25; 9:15 – 10:45 am.*


#2618 Movements in Modern Art-CLOSED

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

Leader: Judith Scott has been a guide at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum for over 10 years and a docent at Danforth Art Museum and School for 15 years. She has conducted numerous tours at both museums and taught a significant portion of the Danforth New Docent class. She is a lifelong amateur painter and a retired senior manager in the computer industry. This is her second LLARC course.

Class Meetings: 7 Wednesdays; September 20 – November 1; 11:00 am – 12:30 pm*

#2619 The Poetry Mystique

This course will explore several questions that arise concerning poetry. These include but are not limited to: “Why does one poem speak to one’s soul while another leaves one cold?” “Why is one poem or poet considered part of the canon of literature while another poem or poet is not?” The instructor as well as participants will bring in poems to share and discuss each week. These need not be confined to poems we love, but ones that are perhaps confusing or ones that are disliked but are critically acclaimed. Participants are responsible for bringing enough copies for the entire class

Leader: Pam Kyrka is a recently retired high school English teacher with years of experience teaching literature and writing in Lexington, Natick, and Mendon-Upton. She also writes children’s literature, including picture books and both middle grade and young adult fiction.

Class Meetings: 5 Wednesdays, September 20 – October 18; 11:00 am – 12:30 pm*


#2630 Currrent Events

Open class discussion on anything considered “current”. All should bring something and reference it to discuss. Debate is encouraged but order must be kept. Class participants are encouraged to give a 10 – 15 minute presentation during 2nd hour on any subject.

Leader: The class will be facilitated and not formally led. Faciliatator will be announced via LLARC website.

Class Meetings: 10 Wednesdays, September 20 – November 29; 11:00am – 12:30 pm.


#2620 Everything You Wanted to Know about Aging but Were Afraid to Ask

Getting older requires the right attitude. How does age 65 differ from 85 and that from 105? This is an interactive course: we will all learn — you from me, me from you, and from each other. We will discuss individual changes — physical, mental, emotional, and psychological. We will talk about about transportation, housing, diet, exercise, social involvement, and more. There will be optional homework assignments, guest speakers, suggested readings, and lots of laughs. Come along and learn. Even things you were afraid to ask.

Leader: Myrna Ann Saltman UMass Amherst graduate, received the first Eldercare certificate from Lasell College. She has managed Senior Centers, been a Home Care Manager, is a dedicated exerciser, tap dancer, bridge player, sports fan, Burlington political contributor, and LLARC student.

Class Meetings: 8 Wednesdays, September 20 – November 8; 1:00 – 2:30 pm*


#2621 Clint Eastwood The Director: His Message and Vision of America-CLOSED

“Clint Eastwood’s career parallels a pressing desire in American society for a figure and story of purpose, meaning and redemption. Eastwood has filmed that story and has responded with a vision of individual action and initiative, personal responsibility and potential for renewal. Eastwood has taken film art to new horizons of meaning in a series of masterpieces that engage the ethical and moral consciousness of our times and has revolutionized the war film by filming the opposing sides of the same battle.” — Sam Girgus, Professor of English, Vanderbilt University In light of the above statements, this course will seek to determine if Eastwood is a capable director with a photogenic face, a modest acting talent, and a flair for marketing his image or is he a true cinematic auteur with a distinctive vision of America’s history, traditions, and values. Course preparation will take a minimum of 3 hours per week.

Tentative film list: Play Misty For Me, Honky Tonk Man, Bird, Changeling, A Perfect World, Mystic River, Flags of Our Fathers, American Sniper, Letters From Iwo Jima

Readings: ”The Cinema of Clint Eastwood: Chronicles of America”, David Sterritt

Leader: Bob Palter’s academic career at MIT, HBS, and UMassBoston as well as his 16 years of teaching activities at LLARC, Bolli and HILR has convinced him that film in addition to being a source of entertainment is an effective means of communication and an art form that has influenced American culture and political discourse for many decades.

Class Meetings: 10 Wednesdays, September 20 – November 29, 1:00 – 4:00pm (three hour course)


#2622 The Evolution of the Athlete in our Four Major Sports

In this course we will compare and contrast the athletes in the four major sports (football, basketball, baseball, and hockey) as relates to their: size, speed, ability, mind-set and loyalty to their individual teams. How the sports have changed so dramatically over the last several years? We will look at the players who played in the fifties and sixties; could they play today? Why or why not?

Leader: Jeff Epstein graduated from Phillips Andover, McGill University and Columbia University Business School. He ran his family jewelry business for 35 years and taught American history for 18 years at another of his alma maters, the Fessenden School. Jeff has owned race horses for 50 years and managed prize fighters (including light heavyweight champion (Charles Williams) for 15 years. According to Jeff, his own life has been one “of pain and glory, but one hell of a 73-year ride.”

Class Meetings: 5 Wednesdays, September 20 – October 18; 1:00 – 2:30 pm*


#2631 Critical Thinking

We human beings are easily manipulated. However, there supposedly exists something called “common sense”, and every adult is expected to possess it. Common sense is supposed to protect us from manipulation. Nevertheless, adult human beings are manipulated on a daily basis. So what’s the problem? The problem is we’ve been sold a bill of goods, for there is no such thing as common sense. Our experiences are not the same—we’ve been raised in different cultural contexts. Thus, there is no one way of seeing the world. However, we are rational creatures, and all rational creatures can learn how to combat manipulation. Another name for this “manipulation combat” is critical thinking. More formally, critical thinking is disciplined thinking governed by clear intellectual standards. Through readings, videos, and discussion, we will equip ourselves with the tools to become good critical thinkers.

Leader: Dr. Bernard Jackson, Jr. is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the First-Year Experience at Regis College. He has degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Iowa. He has taught critical thinking for twenty years. This is his first LLARC class.

Class Meetings: 10 Thursdays; September 28 – December 7 (please note start date); 9:15 – 10:45 am


#2623 Ladies (Sometimes) on the Road

In this course, we will read about the intrepid women travelers of the last 200 or so years. Their adventures were often dangerous, sometimes romantic, occasionally political and always fascinating to read about. Short volunteer presentations are welcome, and, thanks to the internet, we will be able to meet some of these women on the screen. Readings for each session will be about 50 to 70 pages.

List of Readings: The Virago Book of Women Travelers; Any edition will do and there are many used copies on the web.

Leader: After 12 years as director of Outreach at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard, Carol Shedd has focused, in her retirement, on giving courses at LLIs on the Bible, religions and literary genres. She has a BA in English Literature from Hunter College, and Master degrees from Simmons School of Library Science and the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge.

Class Meetings: 10 Thursdays; September 28 – December 7 (please note start date); 9:15 – 10:45 am


#2624 Food: How the U.S. Protects its Nutrition, Safety and Value

Salt! Sugar! High Fructose Corn Syrup! Fat! Carbs! Caffeine! GMOs! Food additives! Antioxidants! Lysteria! Pink Slime! Dietary supplements! “All natural!” “Healthy!” “Organic!” “Made with whole grains!” Nutrition Facts! Nutrition claims! Health claims! FDA! USDA! Did you ever wonder how our food is regulated and why? What manufacturers can and cannot say about their products? How safe our food really is? This course will explore the basics of U.S. food protection – the how and why; its strength and weaknesses; the legal, nutritional and political foundations – through current events and interactive discussion. The readings will be articles and rulings linked on the internet.

Leader: Rachel Alpert teaches Food Law at Suffolk Law School. She has 36 years’ experience as a lawyer, including as counsel for Welch Foods in Concord. She previously led a study group on “Sex, gender, bathrooms, and the Supreme Court” at LLARC.

Class Meetings: 10 Thursdays; September 28 – December 7 (please note start date); 9:15 – 10:45am

#2625 LLARC Glee Club Sings Broadway

This choral group includes all levels, everyone is welcome. Reading music is not necessary. Auditions only for soloists. The five sessions begin with vocalizing. We will then learn a repertoire taken from the stages of the Broadway theatre. According to an article titled “Group Singing, Well-being, and Health: A Systematic Mapping of Research Evidence,” published in the University of Melbourne Referenced E-Journal, October 2010, there are indications that singing can help to promote a sense of personal and social well-being, and that it may be effective in promoting physical health.

Leaders: The group is led by experienced musicians who are conservatory trained. The conductor is Barbara Brilliant, recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston College and 2014 recipient of the Peabody Award for her roles as creator and an executive producer of “Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy.” The accompanying pianist is Willa Trevens, who holds a masters degree in Education from Boston University and has a long career in accompanying many shows and singers.

Class Meetings: 5 Thursdays; September 14 – October 19 (please note start date); 11:00 am – 12:30 pm; no class on September 21*

#2626 Reading Nature and the Weather

Weather events and other aspects of nature don’t often figure in history books, but are quite fascinating in that they highlight our interaction with forces of nature. Each assigned reading will be discussed in two sessions. Books can be found in local library systems or online. It is recommended that you read ahead and take notes. Discussion questions/points are emailed before the group meets and will serve as a basis for discussion.

Reading list: The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin; The White Cascade: The Great Northern Railway Disaster & America’s Deadliest Avalanche by Gary Krist; The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan; The Man who Tried to Save the World: The Dangerous Life & Mysterious Disappearance of an American Hero by Scott Anderson.

Leader: Karen Mallozzi has enjoyed facilitating five semesters of Mystery novels, one Ray Bradbury semester, and one on Women writers. She holds a BA from the University of Rhode Island (1981) and a Masters in religious studies concentrating in religion and the arts from Andover-Newton Theological School (2012). She is an avid reader, gardener, and takes the occasional cooking class.

Class Meetings: 8 Thursdays; September 28 – November 16 (please note start date); 11:00 am – 12:30 pm.*

#2627 Take a Chance of Adventure Travel

In this audiovisual course, one documentary video will be shown each week. Also discussed will be a relevant topic regarding travel. A few of the topics we will cover: how to select a place to visit, how long to stay, how to select hotels, the value of Airbnb, how to pack, how to decide what sites to visit once you are where you want to go, how to select a diverse itinerary, where and what to buy as souvenirs, what to eat, what not to eat, how to interact and meet with the local people.

Leaders: Barbara John and Paul Sears are active members of the Newton, MA public access station: NewTV. When they travel, they take lots of pictures and video, and when they return home, they create a documentaries about the countries visited. They have done several presentations to groups of Lifelong Learners.

Class Meetings: 5 Thursdays; September 28 – October 26 (please note start date); 1:00 – 2:45pm


# 2629 Unseen, Unshown, Unknown: History's Great Female Artists-CLOSED

The 1970 edition of the classic college text, Janson’s History of Art, included more than 1,000 images of great art. None were of artworks created by women. Soon enough, the women’s movement would both uncover the accomplishments of history’s great female artists and inspire countless women to not only become artists, but become great artists. In our course, you’ll hear their stories and, best of all, see and discuss their art. From Artemesia Gentileschi to Mary Cassatt to Judy Chicago to Shirin Neshat, you’ll meet women who have broken ground, created beauty, and ruffled feathers for over 500 years. Prepare to be surprised, uplifted, and wowed. We’ll talk, discover, and be surprised together. No art knowledge necessary.

Leader: Steve Kendall is the retired president of an advertising and public relations agency; the mentor of women and teens who are starting businesses; a trainer of art museum tour guides; and the leader of more than 400 tours at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum and the Danforth Museum. His tours are inquiry-based, eliciting the responses of visitors as they view art in more depth than ever before. This is his fourth LLARC course.

Class Meetings: 10 Thursdays; September 28 – December 7 (please note start date); 1:00 – 2:45pm.


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