LLARC Study Groups At a Glance - Spring 2018

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

Creative Writing Workshop

The Great Depression-CLOSED

Late Shakespeare


The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution


The First Ladies Stage Two: Mary Lincoln to Ida McKinley



Three American Plays

Federal Cases

Just for Laughs




Transitioning from the Colonial Articles of Confederation to the U.S. Constitution

The Role of Nutrition in Our Lives

From Fences to Freedom; Multimedia Narrative of Japanese Internment-CLOSED

Five Episodes in the History of Science


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

Science for the Rest of Us-CLOSED

Current Literature on Film

Sense and Sensibility-CLOSED

Current Events-CLOSED

Mysteries VI-CLOSED



The Great Steven Spielberg and His Films-CLOSED

Opera for Everyone-CLOSED


Lunch Listen and Learn Lecture Series

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

Hablemos Espanol

Parenting; A Cross Cultural Perspective


Everything You Wanted to Know About Aging

My Life My Stories

Hollywood Genre Films II (12:45-3:45pm)-CLOSED




OffBeat Boston: Stories from the Hub-CLOSED

The Great Steven Spielberg and His Films-CLOSED



Evolution: Darwin Then and Now-CLOSED

The 100 Greatest Art Photographs of the 20th Century-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 January 8. 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 January 8. 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 January 15. 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

Spring 2018

#2701 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; February 26–May 7; no classes on April 16 (Patriots Day); 9:15–10:45am


#2702 The Great Depression-CLOSED

The Great Depression: what was so great about it? The 1930s were a defining time in American history. The very existence of the American form of capitalism and democratic government were in peril. The country leapt from Hoover’s unwillingness/inability to address structural problems to FDR’s restoration of hope beginning with his inaugural address, his first fireside chat, and the electric “First Hundred Days”. No reports will be required, but active class participation will be encouraged and expected. One to two hours of readings for each class.

Text: The Great Depression by Robert S. McElvaine

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.

Class Meetings: 10 Mondays; February 26–May 7; no classes on April 16 (Patriots Day); 9:15–10:45am


#2720 Late Shakespeare

Critics sometimes call the plays that Shakespeare wrote towards the end of his life the “romances.” Sometimes they are called “the tragicomedies,” “the last plays,” or the “late plays.” In this class, we will study these five plays and think about how—and whether—these plays cohere as a genre. We will read Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest, and The Two Noble Kinsmen and consider the issues of magic, transformation, forgiveness, aging, and divinity that fill these final plays.

Text: The Norton Shakespeare, 3rd edition, edited by Stephen Greenblatt, or the Riverside Shakespeare, 2nd edition are both fine versions of Shakespeare to use for this course. Note that the Norton Shakespeare also publishes a volume called The Norton Shakespeare: Romances and Poems—this text is smaller, lighter, and cheaper than buying the hardcover complete Norton Shakespeare.

Leader: Kreg Segall, has been teaching at Regis College for 11 years, specializing in medieval and Renaissance literature. Most recently he has published a series of articles on Edmund Spenser’s short poetry, and two computer games set in the world of Shakespeare’s comedies and P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster tales.

Class Meetings: 10 Mondays; February 26–May 7; no classes on April 16 (Patriots Day); 9:15–10:45am


#2718 Science for the Rest of Us-CLOSED

Why does a curveball curve? If we know why a baseball curves, we can understand why an airplane flies and how hurricanes form in the Atlantic. In this series of ten lectures we will explore common events we experience in everyday life and expand on them to understand how these simple experiences provide understanding of more complex principles at the heart of science. From grandfather clocks to spaceflight, from table salt to nuclear power, from the workings of a digital camera to the mysteries of the rainbow, we will explain a different familiar topic every week and discover how it leads to a deeper understanding of many important scientific concepts.Join us as we discuss the most up-to-date science in a clear, concise manner that will be both thought-provoking and fun.

Leader: Frank Villa has a lifelong interest in the natural sciences. He is a natural teacher who finds great joy in explaining complex principles and processes and bringing the latest quests and discoveries of science to a general audience. He has developed curricula and taught courses in many settings on topics as diverse as the formation of the universe, alternative energy sources and human genetics.

Class Meetings: 10 Mondays; February 26–May 7; no classes on April 16 (Patriots Day); 11:00 am – 12:30 pm*


#2705 Current LIterature on Film

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. Books will include The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Atonement by Ian McEwan and My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. 

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; April 2–May 7; 11:00 – 12:30 pm*


#2706 Sense and Sensibility-CLOSED

Jane Austen began the writing of Sense and Sensibility in 1795, but it was only published after its third editing in 1810. While it was her first work to be published, it does not read as “juvenile.” It maturely satirizes, or one might argue exposes, sacred and “benevolizing institutions of order” such as property, marriage, and family, as she asks her readers to honor and simultaneously question the assumptions that accompany established mores—perhaps the very values we embrace today. Originally entitled, Elinor and Marianne, the reader finds oneself on a riotous adventure, as he/she encounters heroines and villains aplenty. This course will include a close reading of the text and a lively viewing of Ang Lee’s movie. 

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: : 6 Mondays; February 26–April 2; 11:00 am – 12:30 pm


#2709 Parenting: A Cross-Cultural Perspective

Why do Americans have so many competing parenting styles while other cultures often have a framework that they share? Why do Americans focus on their children’s needs while other cultures focus on teaching children to conform to the needs of the group? The way in which people raise children is a reflection of the underlying values of their culture. Together we will look at different cultural paradigms to understand what shapes the differences in this family dynamic. We will compare our culture with those of other countries, giving special attention to France and China, the former a fairly close relative while the latter possessing a very different set of underlying cultural assumptions.

Texts: Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman and The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan 

Leader: Jessica Bethony’s greatest area of interest for many years has been achieving an understanding of both our own culture and that of others. She has taught cross-cultural courses at Bunker Hill Community College for many years and has also done workshops in parenting in America for Chinese language schools, various local libraries and for refugee communities in Lowell, MA. She has two master’s degrees: one from Brandeis in Intellectual History and the other in cross-cultural counseling from Tufts.

Class Meetings: 6 Mondays; March 26–May 7; no classes on April 16 (Patriots Day); 1:00–2:30pm*


#2707 ¡¡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: 6 Mondays; March 26–May 7; no classes on April 16 (Patriots Day); 1:00–2:30pm*


#2708 The First Ladies Stage Two: Mary Lincoln to Ida McKinley

he First Ladies covered in Stage 2 had the advantage of reflecting on one hundred years of American History. Some of these wives were hostesses and mothers, some became political partners and three survived the assassinations of their husbands. As the age of mass communication began to flower in the United States their position, popularity and influence grew. Join us as we investigate their lives and research the political happenings during their time in history. 

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: 10 Tuesdays; February 27–May 1; 9:15–10:45am


#2710 The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution

Let’s start with a post-Revolution description from a famous founder of the Republic:“What do we mean by the Revolution? The War? That was no part of the Revolution; it was only an effect and consequence of it. The Revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected, from 1760 to 

1775, in the course of fifteen years before a drop of blood was shed at Lexington. The records of the thirteen legislatures, the pamphlets, newspapers in all the colonies, ought to be consulted during that period to ascertain the steps by which the public opinion was enlightened and informed concerning the authority of Parliament over the colonies.” —John Adams to Jefferson, 1815.  Our story is how the media of the day gave voice to the political and intellectual underpinnings of the American Revolution. This is seminar discussion course and participation by all class members is necessary. No reports or presentations required. Two hours weekly reading.

Text: Ideological Origins of the American Revolution by Bernard Bailyn (50th Anniversary Edition)

Leader: Tony Pazzanita is a retired officer of the Travelers Companies. He attended Duquesne University and is a graduate of Westminister College (PA). He has led more than 40 study group courses at HILR, including those on the ratification of the Constitution, the making of the Constitution, and Reconstruction.

Class Meetings: 6 Tuesdays, February 27–April 3; 9:15–10:45am*


#2711 Current Events-CLOSED

Are you a person who is interested in world events and likes to have a conversation about them? Do you want to have a place to share your opinions and thoughts about topics in the news? If so, this is the class for you! Through a facilitated discussion, classmates will express their ideas about recent happenings, while we listen, learn and understand the basis for their sentiments. Class members will be encouraged to present one topic of interest for discussion during the semester. If time permits, at the end of each class we will talk about recent items that have occurred in the news during the previous week. 

Leader: Muriel Stern Riseman is a retired high school counselor, who, while working, particularly enjoyed facilitating discussions between youth and adults. She has continued this interest by leading community support groups and currently volunteers as a mediator for a consumer assistance office. She identifies as a “news junkie” and likes to absorb as much information as she can about what is happening in the world and share her perceptions and listen to other points of view.

Class Meetings: 10 Tuesdays; February 27–May 1; 11:00am–12:30pm


#2712 Mysteries VI-CLOSED

In this sixth session of the mystery genre we will encounter new writers, international settings, and a favorite detective kept alive. Reading ahead and taking notes is encouraged as we read a novel a week. Once you are signed up you will receive a book list to get started. Books are available in your local library on the shelf or through interlibrary loan as well as online, etc... 

Reading list: Murder as a Fine Art, David Morrell; The Red Scream, Mary Willis Walker; Not a Creature Was Stirring, Jane Haddam; Once a Crooked Man, David McCallum; City of Veils, Zoe Ferraris; Bruno: Chief of Police, Martin Walker; Girl Waits with Gun, Amy Stewart; Zig Zag Girl, Elly Griffiths; The Monogram Murders, Sophie Hannah; Cocaine Blues, Kerry Greenwood

Leader: Karen Mallozzi reads a wide variety of genres and enjoys sharing these books with others. She earned a BA from the University of RI in 1981 and a MA in religious studies in 2010 from Andover-Newton Theological School. Karen is also preparing to participate in reading works in the public domain for the website Librivox.

Class Meetings: 10 Tuesdays; February 27–May 1; 11:00am–12:30pm


#2713 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 eight.

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; February 27–May 1; 1:00–2:45pm


#2714 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 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, a 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 Tuesdays, March 13–May 1; 1:00–2:30pm*


#2715 Hollywood Genre Films II: Classic and Modern-CLOSED

In this 10 week course we will be examining five Hollywood film genres (the dance musical, courtroom dramas, screwball comedies, conspiracy films, and political comedy-drama) by first viewing a “classic” of the form and then a more modern version. Before each class I will email background on the archetypal  haracteristics of the genre 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 and other cinematic aspects of the film (i.e. how the director makes meaning through directorial choices,) as well as examining the socio-cultural issues embedded in the works, contrasting the two time periods in which the films were created. The films we will discuss will be: Top Hat /Saturday Night Fever; Twelve Angry Men/The Verdict; It Happened One Night/Some Like It Hot; The Manchurian Candidate (’62)/ The Parallax View; and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington/Wag the Dog. 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; February 27–May 1; 12:45–3:45pm—please note the time.

#2716 Three American Plays

These three plays feature some version of the American Dream, namely, the parental hard work and sacrifices will be redeemed by the advantages afforded to their children. Why does this reasonable sounding dream so often veer toward disaster? How does one family produce a Whitey and a Billy Bulger? We will employ  the authors’ insights, modern family theory and the outcomes of our own family aspirations, in addressing these questions.

Texts: Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, T. Williams Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Robert Anderson’s I Never Sang for My Father. 

Leader: Nicholas Avery has a BA from Columbia University and a MD from Boston University. He taught psychiatry and family theory at Harvard Medical School. He has also taught plays and Jane Austen at HILR. This is his first course at LLARC.

Class Meetings: 10 Wednesdays, February 28–May 2; 9:15–10:45am


#2717 Federal Cases

The US Constitution’s Article III describes a powerful judicial system. This class will focus on ways the Supreme Court selects and considers cases large and small. Students will enhance their knowledge and appreciation of how the Supreme Court operates as they decide which cases to examine based on the appeal process, Articles and Amendments cited, dissents and decision impacts. Activities include discussion, regular knowledge assessments and judicial role-playing. A syllabus and a copy of the Constitution will be provided. We will read printed and internetaccessed information about each organization prior to each class. About two hours of reading per week should be sufficient to prepare for each class.

Leader: High school teacher Steve Lowe devoted four years of retirement to studying the U.S. Constitution. Since 2014 he has been enriched by sharing what he’s learned with lifelong learning students in MetroWest. Author of three published books, his favorite 18th writer is James Madison. 

Class Meetings: 10 Wednesdays, February 28–May 2; 9:15–10:45am


#2728 Just for Laughs

The title says it all! Each week for ten weeks we will view or listen to selected classic comedy routines, skits, and sketches from TV sitcoms, movies, variety and talk shows, and stand-up performances. Just mentioning the names of some of the comedians we’ll be featuring should put a smile on your face—Carol Burnett, Tim Conway, Harvey Korman, Mel Brooks, Bob Newhart, Jonathan Winters, Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Johnny Carson, Jerry Seinfeld…and more.

Requirements: Bring your sense of humor.

Leader: Tom Hall is a former English teacher, middle school, and high school principal. He is also the author of five published novels. When he is not writing, taking LLARC classes, or volunteering at the Marlborough Boys and Girls Club, he is playing senior softball. (If there was video of his exploits on the field, he would have considered using it for this course.) Tom has recently been selected to serve on LLARC’s curriculum committee.

Class Meetings: 10 Wednesdays, February 28–May 2; 9:15–10:45am


#2719 Satire

What is satire? Is it a genre or an attitude? Does it have serious merit as literature, or is it just frivolous fun? This 5 week course explores these questions, examining 3 diverse works of literature, beginning with A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift and followed by Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. We will end with an in-class reading of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. You may begin thinking about delving into satire yourself. If so, through our study of the above works, we will also focus on the devices used to create the satiric tone of each. Satire can be blunt or subtle depending on the devices used and the topics being satirized. Come explore its uses and find out if the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. 

Text: Participants should read beforehand A Modest Proposal and Slaughterhouse Five and procure a copy of The Importance of Being Earnest for our in-class reading.

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, February 28–March 28; 11:00am–12:30pm*


#2721  The Great Steven Speilberg and his Movies-CLOSED

We see the actors up front, but who really shapes the film, gives it form, tone, feeling, interpretation, story and theme? The director, of course. This individual is responsible for every aspect of a movie, having the key role in choosing the cast member, production design, and the creative aspects. Many critics feel that the success of a film begins (and perhaps ends) with the director. Among the many revered and admired films  by American directors, perhaps the most memorable and beloved are the films of Steven Spielberg. We will watch and discuss some of his greatest and most memorable films including Jaws, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, Catch Me if You Can, Saving Private Ryan, and Bridge of Spies. His films are so varied in style and subject that they are enjoyable to watch again and again and should make for interesting discussion. In each class session, we will watch a film and use the remaining time for discussion. Participants will need to be able to open emails and use web links to find online video clips and articles. Class preparation will be approximately one hour per week. You will be supplied readings and discussion questions prior to the movie by email. The course will run for two consecutive time periods. Readings should take approximately an hour per week.

Leader: Irwin Silver received a BS degree from Northeastern University, where he later served as an adjunct professor. He spent 46 years in the investment industry with a national firm, retiring as a first vice president, investments. Irwin has devoted much time as a volunteer for charitable organizations and political  campaigns. In his younger years, he was an avid skier. He has taught many film courses at several lifelong learning programs.

Class Meetings: 6 Wednesdays, March 28–May 2; 11:00am–2:30pm*— please note the time.

#2703 Opera for Everyone! CLOSED

This course will focus on five operas or themes of opera. The Magic Flute by Mozart: experience Ingmar Bergman’s classic Swedish-language film adaptation (with English subtitles) of this wonderfully whimsical fantasy  opera. Così fan tutte by Mozart: this beloved comedy about the sexes is subtitled “The School for Lovers”. You’ll get to know tender lovers, a crafty maidservant, deceptions and pranks, trials and confessions, and a wedding at the conclusion. Semiramide by Rossini: this is a masterpiece of Rossini’s dazzling vocal fireworks. Cendrillon by Massenet: a sumptuous take on the Cinderella story. Elisir d’amore (The Love Potion) by Donizetti: Gaetano Donizetti created one of his instantly appealing scores for this popular operatic comedy. 

Leader: Erika Reitshamer was born and educated in Germany and is a passionate and life-long fan of opera. She was active in the formation of Boston Lyric Opera more than 40 years ago and served as VP of the Boston Wagner Society for many years. This is her ninth semester of teaching for LLARC.

Class Meetings: 5 Wednesdays, April 4–May 2; 11:00–12:45*


#2722 OffBeat Boston; Stories from the Hub-CLOSED

A look at issues, events, places, and people in Boston-area history. The class includes a series of lively, interactive multimedia presentations on topics drawn from her eight books. From Colonial era fires to the infamous Cocoanut Grove nightclub inferno, from Boston’s drinking habits to its love/hate affair with Southie  mobsters, the class will reveal little-known facts and revel in local lore. Students will “visit” the Boston Harbor Islands in the 1860s, Boston taverns in the 1890s, and the Combat Zone in the 1970s. Students may even sample Boston’s “own” cocktail, the Ward 8. There are no required readings nor written assignments. Students will be asked to participate in Q & A following each lecture and share their own stories. One session will be devoted to techniques for writing or preserving your own stories or history. 

Leader: Stephanie Schorow is a long-time Boston area reporter, writer and editor and the author of eight books that explored Boston historical topics and issues. She currently teaches professional writing at Regis at the graduate level and has also taught undergraduate writing classes.

Class Meetings: 10 Wednesdays, February 28–May 2; 1:00–2:30pm


#2723 Transitioning from the Colonial Articles of Confederation to the U.S. Constitution

At the 1786 Annapolis Convention, delegates called for a Constitutional Convention in order to discuss possible improvements to the Articles of Confederation. However, the intention from the outset of many of its proponents was to create a new government rather than fix the existing one. The delegates agreed that the  convention should go beyond its mandate to merely amend the Articles of Confederation, and instead should produce a new constitution outright. One principle they agreed on was that the new government would have all the powers of the Confederation Congress, plus additional powers over the states. We will explore how their “originalists” intentions still affect our 21th century U.S. institutions. 

Leader: Jack Miller is a retired engineer with teaching experience in engineering, mathematics, business, and leading LLARC history study groups. Jack’s lifelong interest in our history focuses this class on how the decisions by representatives of the 1786 Constitutional Convention resulted in our U.S. constitution, and how they affect our current institutions.

Class Meetings: 5 Thursdays; April 5–May 2; 9:15–10:45am*


#2725  From Fences to Freedom; Mulimedia Narrative of Japanese Internment-CLOSED

This class is an extension/complement to the previous class on Japanese Internment in World War II. We are going to view a number of films which deal with major topics in the story: several camps in California, Arkansas, Colorado, the 442nd regiment, the court cases, the photography of internees, the art, and especially, through all of these and more, the remembrances of those imprisoned. We want to see how others took the facts and presented their interpretations of what went on. Our focus is on the pictorial presentation. Attendance in the previous class is not a requirement for this course. Access to a computer is necessary.

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 Thursdays; March 1–May 3; 9:15–10:45am


#2728 The Role of Nutrition in our Lives

Nutrition is the study of foods and health. This course will introducestudents to nutrition concepts such as how food nourishes the body and the role of nutrition in human health. An emphasis will be placed on the roles of key nutrients in the body including water, minerals, vitamins, fats, protein and carbohydrates. In addition, this course will examine the components of a nutritious diet, dietary recommendations intended to guide you, the relationship between nutrition and fitness, energy balance and body weight, diet and disease, food safety and food technology, social and economic factors that drive nutrition choices and the global nutrition environment. This course will delve into to the complexities of current topics and controversies in nutrition such as: Are carbohydrates bad for you? Do popular weight-loss diets work? Whose diet is best for optimal health; vegetarians or meat eaters? Are new food technologies safe?

Leader: Dr. Carrie Thomas is a registered dietitian (RD) with a broad background in nutrition science. She completed her doctoral work at the University of Connecticut and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Massachusetts Dietetic Association. She is the proud mom to 6 Australorp chickens, a Goldendoodle puppy, a 7-year old tiger cat, and a vivacious 3-year old.

Class Meetings: 5 Thursdays, April 5–May 3; 9:15–10:45am*


#2729  Five Episodes in the History of Science

The history of science and mathematics is a fascinating part of the intellectual development of man: Babylonian and Assyrian Astronomy (1100 BCE). The creation stories: “Enuma Elish and the Biblical Genesis”. Greek Science (585 BCE-150 CE): Pre-Socratics and the development of mathematics and observational astronomy. Exploration of the world of living things: Plato’s “The Timaeus” and Ptolemy’s Almagest. The Arabic science (850-1256 CE): The House of Wisdom in Baghdad, translation of Greek texts into Arabic, and contributions in mathematics, astronomy and medicine (Avicenna- Cannon of Medicine-1025CE). Latin Science (1100-1500CE): The beginning of the university education, paradigm shift: Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo. Modern Science (1500 CE-now): gravity and light, modern astronomy, particle physics and the new creation story (Big Bang).”

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 Thursdays; March 1–March 29; 9:15–10:45am*


#2726 Evolution; Darwin, Then and Now-CLOSED

Charles Darwin published Origin of Species in 1859. The idea of evolution by natural selection stands equal in impact to the scientific revolutions brought about by Copernicus and Einstein. This course will survey the mechanism of evolution and evidence of its validity. We will examine the impact of this idea on science and  society in the intervening 200+ years. We will also examine in some detail why this powerful idea continues to create more cultural turmoil than any other in science. 

Leader: Jim McLaren taught sciences (primarily biology) at Newton South High School for 38 years, the last 12 as department head. In the 80s and 90s he coauthored a nationally popular high school biology text for D.C. Heath.

Class Meetings: 10 Thursdays; March 1–May 3; 1:00–2:45pm


#2727 The 100 Greatest Art Photographs of the 20th Century-CLOSED

They move us: to smile, to gasp, to cry, to look—and look and look. Whether beautiful or poignant, the greatest art photographs grab us and won’t let go. Weston’s sublime pepper, Arbus’s marginalized people, Halsman’s innovative portraits, Mapplethorpe’s sensual flowers. In this course, you’ll see 100 of the century’s  greatest art photos—photos that hold their own with the greatest paintings and sculptures in history. In fact, we’ll compare some of these photos to great paintings and sculptures. You’ll be an integral part of the discussion; “What do YOU think?” will be our calling card. But above all else, this course will help you look at not only photography, but all art more critically and with more enjoyment.

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 fourthyear of teaching with LLARC.

Class Meetings: 10 Thursdays; March 1–May 3; 1:00–2:45pm



For More Information



Participation in LLARC


Enjoy all the Benefits of Membership
• $75 per year

Semester Enrollment

Enroll in one or more Study Groups in addition to enjoying all of the basic benefits of membership
• $175 semester tuition
  (in addition to the prerequisite
  annual membership fee)

Regis College Lifelong Learning: Programs
Programs, lifelong learning, study, schedule
Lifelong Learning program schedule