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LLARC Study Groups At a Glance
|Monday 9:15AM - 10:45AM||Tuesday 9:15AM - 10:45AM||Wednesday 9:15AM - 10:45AM||Thursday 9:15AM - 10:45AM|
Creative Writing Workshop-CLOSED
|Monday 11:00AM - 12:30PM||Tuesday 11:00AM - 12:45PM||Wednesday 11:00AM - 12:30PM||Thursday 11:00AM - 12:30PM|
Opera for Everyone!-CLOSED
|Monday 1:00PM - 2:30PM||Tuesday 1:00PM - 2:30PM||Wednesday 1:00PM - 2:30PM||Thursday 1:00PM - 2:30PM|
Just for Laughs Too!-CLOSED
Great Hollywood Directors-CLOSED
*Denotes a Mini Course - Please see course description for dates.
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.
- Who may join. LLARC welcomes mature men and women of all faiths and backgrounds.
- 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 here.
- Choose from two levels of participation. (1) Basic annual membership, including the Lunch, Listen and Learn program; or (2) Basic annual membership plus enrollment for the current semester in one or more seminars.
- 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, 2018 to August 31, 2019.
- 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.
- Registrations will be processed beginning on July 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 July 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.
- Confirmations will be mailed out weekly beginning July 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.
- 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
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 17–December 3; (no classes on October 8, Columbus Day); 9:15 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
In 1783 the continental Congress refused to fundamentally reform the Articles of Confederation. Just a short time later, that government collapsed and in 1787 the Constitutional Convention met. In that four-year period, the Confederation faced massive war debts with no power to compel payment. It experienced trade restrictions, opposition to territorial expansion, bitter sectional divisions, and debates over debt relief. The stories of John Adams, Patrick Henry, Daniel Shays, George Washington, and many others, illustrated the Confederation’s failures that created a political crisis. This loss of confidence in the Confederation led to a dramatically more flexible and powerful government.
No reports will be required, but active class participation will be encourage and expected. One to two hours of readings for each class. Text: We Have Not a Government by George W. Van Cleve ISBN-13#:9780226480503 and Miracle at Philadephia by Catherine Drinker Bowen
Leader: Bernie Shuster earned a BA in history and a LLD at Boston University Law School. He practiced law for several years as a partner in a Boston law firm. He then founded and served as COO of a financial services firm. He has led courses at LLARC since its inception and also at HILR sor many years.
Class Meetings: 10 Mondays; September 17–December 3; (no classes on October 8, Columbus Day); 9:15 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
This course will focus on “five Puccini women fall in love … seldom with happy endings”. The course will include Monon Lescaut with a tale of passion and betrayal; Mimi in La Boheme, a passionate, timeless and indelible story of love among young artists; Madama Butterfuly, a young Japanese geisha who clings to the belief in love; The Girl of the Golden West, the story of Minnie, a barmaid of the Polka Saloon in California and the man she loves; and Liu in Turandot, a fairy tale opera set in ancient China.
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 10th semester of teaching for LLARC.
Class Meetings: 5 Mondays; October 29–December 3; 11:00 p.m.–12:30 p.m.
Born fifty years shy of Jane Austen’s death, Edith Wharton has often been described as the American version of the British novelist. Yet, their personal stories could not vary more dramatically. Austen, the daughter of a cleric, never enjoyed great wealth and depended, throughout her life, on the largesse of family to live comfortably. Wharton, by contrast, was born to NYC aristocracy and privilege. She owned residences in Lenox, Massachusetts, Paris, and the South of France. When examined closely, the differences in their material and social lives prove vast. Nevertheless, they have both been depicted as “morally scrupulous” women. The complex question this course will examine is whether their novels vary as greatly as their biographies. Comparing Persuasion and House of Mirth, we will enjoy a close reading of each. As well, we shall view movie versions of each novel.
Leader: Diane Proctor has been offering courses at Regis for five years. She taught writing, history, and literature at Milton Academy, Hotchkiss School, and Middlesex School.
Class Meetings: 10 Mondays; September 17–December 3; (no classes on October 8, Columbus Day); 11:00 p.m.–12:30 p.m.
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 17–December 3; (no classes on October 8, Columbus Day); 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
This course is a follow-up to the ten-week Just for Laughs course, and the title says it all! Each week for five weeks we will view or listen to a new compilation of classic comedy routines, skits, and sketches from TV sitcoms, movies, variety and talk shows, as well as stand-up performances. The focus will be on the people and the shows that made us laugh during the 50s–80s.
Leader: Tom Hall is a former English teacher, and middle school and high school principal. He is also the author of five published novels. When he is not writing or taking LLARC classes, he is playing senior softball. Tom has recently been selected to serve on LLARC’s curriculum committee.
Class Meetings: 5 Mondays; October 29–December 3; 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
We will read and discuss articles on a wide range of topics, from the Korean War to the advent of home freexers; from Thurgood Marshall to Senator Joseph McCarthy; from the hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll to Candid Camera; from the Gaza Strip to IBM’s development of the “electronic brain”.
Texts: All readings are in The 50s: The New Yorker published by Random House.
Leader: Marillyn Zacharis is a graduate of DePauw University and holds a master’s degree in English from Indiana University. She has taught high school and was manager of a choral organization for many years. Marillyn has led several courses in literature for LLARC.
Class Meetings: 6 Mondays; October 22–December 3; 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Chemistry seems to be involved in almost everything in our physical world. This course explains the chemistry and chemical principles involved in some of the common articles or materials we use in daily life. We’ll look at the chemistry of batteries, detergents, fuels, biology, medicine, environment, engines, climate change, high tech and plastics. Where mathematical expressions are important, they will be explained in broad outline without the exact math. The intention is not to cover as much as possible, but, rather, to ensure that everyone grasps the fundamental concepts presented; questions are encouraged and the answers are, hopefully, clarifying.
Text: The Extraordinary Chemistry of Ordinary Things 4th Edition. As this textbook is out of print, it is recommended you find used copies online through one of the following vendors: Amazon, Abe’s Books, B&N, or Alibris. If you are unable to find the 4th edition, please note that the 3rd and even the 1st editions may be substituted and the leader will provide the differences in text. 1– 1.5 hours should be allotted to prepare for each class.
Leader: Martin Idelson received his PhD in Chemistry in 1954. His three-year post doc was followed by 28 years at Polaroid where he was a leader in the company’s research in dye and photographic chemistry for application in instant films. He taught chemistry at several local universities for 15 years. Non-academic interests include literature and classical music.
Class Meetings: 10 Tuesdays, September 18–November 27; 9:15 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
The Labor Movement in the United States has witnessed innumerable strikes, some great, some small as well as some unique events—Mother Jones and the Children’s March, off to New York to see Theodore Roosevelt. Our study group will emphasize four strikes: the Woolworth Strike, the Bread and Roses Strike, the Southern Mill Workers Strike, and the Shirtwaist Strike, which preceded the Triangle Fire. Our emphasis will be on the lasting implications in labor law, safety law, and the careers of some very important people.
Text: This is a discussion class with no written assignments. Possible voluntary presentations will be done. There is no book assigned. Rather, handouts, internet research and films. Maximum cost of handouts: $10.
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 18-November 27; 9:15 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
There is no more fabulous, mysterious, and frustrating country to try to understand than India. Trust me, I’ve tried and been to that country 6 times since 1968. India is all of life in a grain of sand. But we can try. The 5 books selected give different impressions, have high esteem on the lists of “Indian fiction one should read,” and are entertaining to boot. Please read the first 13 chapters of Such a Long Journey for the first meeting.
Text: Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry; The Guide by R. K. Narayan; The Night Train at Deoli by Ruskin Bond; Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala; The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan.
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 Amazon.com.
Class Meetings: 10 Tuesdays; September 18–November 27th; 9:15 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
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, we have a 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; September 18–November 27; 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
This course will examine the timing and actions needed of selling one’s primary residence and delve into 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 second LLARC class.
Class Meetings: 5 Tuesdays; October 23–November 27; 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
This choral group includes all levels. Reading music is not necessary. Auditions only for soloists. Everyone is welcome. 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.
Leader: 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 last year 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: 6 Tuesdays; September 18–October 23; 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
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 College 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 18–November 27; 1:00 p.m.–2:45 p.m.
This stage of our lives is a territory rich with new horizons, opportunities and pleasure. This workshop is part of a national program based on the book, Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience and Spirit, by Rabbi Rachel Cowan and Dr. Linda Thal. In an inquisitive, comfortable and safe setting we will use text, shared stories, careful listening and meditation to explore such topics as the value of life review, relationship (with people and with our bodies) and honing the tools that can help us live with gratitude and equanimity.
Leader: Sheila Wolfson is a retired nutritionist and health counselor. (BA in education from Queens College of CUNY and MEd in Nutrition and Health Counseling from Lesley University in Cambridge.) She is passionate about helping people help themselves. To that end she became a certified Mindfulness Meditation teacher as well as a facilitator in the national Wise Aging Program. She enjoys leading a weekly meditation group and facilitating Wise Aging. One of her three groups continues to this day.
Class Meetings: 5 Tuesdays; October 23–November 27; 1:00 p.m.–2:45 p.m.
Explore the very best tales from one of the most rewarding and complex books ever written: Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, written between 1388 and 1392. Meet a cross-section of medieval characters and hear the tales they tell. Included will be the Knight and his courtly romance, the Miller and his dirty jokes, the Wife of Bath and her impassioned defense of women’s speech, the Pardoner’s suspicious sermon and more… We will be using The Selected Canterbury Tales translated into modern English by Sheila Fisher.
Leader: Kreg Segall is Associate Professor of English in the Department of Humanities at Regis College, specializing in English medieval and Renaissance literature. He previously taught Shakespeare for LLARC in Spring 2018.
Class Meetings: 10 Tuesdays; September 18–November 27; 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
In this 10-week course we will be examining five great Hollywood directors (Hitchcock, Wilder, Huston, Altman, Kubrick) from both the Golden Age of Hollywood and the New Hollywood, and view two films from each. At the beginning of the course, I will email the class some background on the elements of directing, i.e.,that it is that a director actually does. Before each class I will email background on the characteristics of the director whose work we will be viewing 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 we will discuss what makes each director such a singular artist, in terms of style as well as any particular thematic preoccupations. After viewing the film, we will discuss how the director 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. The films we will discuss will be: Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train/Rear Window; Wilder’s Witness for the Prosecution/The Apartment; Huston’s Treasure of the Sierra Madre/The African Queen; Altman’s McCabe and Mrs. Miller/Nashville, and Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove/2001: A Space Odyssey. These titles and/or directors 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 and Tragedy, Novellas, Multi-Cultural short stories, and Hollywood Film Genres I and II as well as other topics, she looks forward to another meaningful and fun experience with other life long learners!
Class Meetings: 10 Tuesdays; September 18–November 27; 12:45 p.m.–3:45 p.m. Please note the time.
We are currently bombarded with questions about so many investigations, we can hardly remember which one we are discussing. So what is the historical and legal basis for all of this? ... and how is it likely to end! The SGL needs representatives from all sides. Strong opinions welcomed.
Text: Investigating the President, Kriner and Schickler, Princeton 2016.
Leader: John Duff , a graduate of Notre Dame, Harvard Law and BU Law, has led LLARC courses on history, politics and finance. His voter registration is “unenrolled.” His siblings are Democrats and Republicans; his friends…
Class Meetings: 10 Wednesdays, September 26–December 5; 9:15 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
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 explext: Participants should read beforehand A Modest Proores 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, October 31–December 5; 9:15 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
Macbeth is an intense look at how evil, fate, and free will combine to wreak havoc on a man, a marriage, and a kingdom. Join us to study the play and to attend an (optional) performance by the Actor’s Shakespeare Project.
Text: Macbeth by William Shakespeare (Folger Library edition is a good version).
Leader: Ann Berman is returning from a year studying Shakespeare in London. She is looking forward to sharing all she has learned.
Class Meetings: 5 Wednesdays, October 31–December 5; 9:15 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
From the Montreal Express to the Bermuda High, New England lies in a battleground of competing atmospheric conditions. Heat and humidity from the tropics meet bitter arctic cold directly above us. The result is interesting and unpredictable weather patterns. This 5 week program begins with a study of local conditions observed in our backyards, and moves to global conditions that influence our weather from far-off places. We will end with a closer look at the familiar regional quirks that influence us.
Leader: As a commercial pilot and instrument flight instructor, Frank Villa has experienced many of the challenges of New England weather first-hand. He combines this background with his enthusiasm for lecturing on natural phenomena of all kinds to help explain the fascinating and unpredictable world of New England weather.
Class Meetings: 5 Wednesdays, October 31–December 5; 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
If you hate to read, stop reading. If reading is your thing, then this course is for you! One of the most important philosophical movements of the 20th century was existentialist philosophy. Led by Jean-Paul Sartre, existentialists were concerned with themes like authenticity and freedom. However, being real and free to create your life as you see fit are daunting tasks. In the present course, we’ll explore existentialist themes through the novels of Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, and Fyodor Dostoevsky. But first, we will set the stage for our study by looking at some of themes found in the work of Soren Kierkegaard.
Text: 9780192804280, Existentialism: A Very Short Introduction by Thomas Flynn (Oxford); 9780805209990, The Trial by Kafka (Random House); 9780679734529, Notes from Underground by Dostoevsky (Random House) and 9780679720218, The Plague by Albert Camus (Random House)
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 second LLARC class.
Class Meetings: 10 Wednesdays, September 26–December 5; 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Experience an overview of the sport incorporting the sport of harness racing as well as the thoroughbred world. We will examine the breeding aspect of the game, to the purchase of the animal, to the training of the hourse, racing the horse, the anatomy of the race itself, the relevance of the jockey, trainer, and even the owner. how important is wagering as it relates to the sport. Without betting, does the sport exist? A field trip to Plainridge Race Course to see the stable area and watch a few races is planned. The course will also focus on buying a horse. It is a tough business. Buyer Beware!! However, it is so much fun and so damn exciiting!
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 the Fessenden School. Jeff has owned race horses for 50 years and managed prize fighters for 15 years.
Class Meetings: 5 Wednesdays, October 31–December 5; 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m..
#2822 Autumn In Darkness: Film Noir As A Reflection of the Dark Side of American Culture Post WWII-CLOSED
Film Noir was a phrase first used by French film critics of American film starting in the early 1940s and carrying through the 1960s. It reveals a world of darkness, ambiguity, and moral corruption. This course will focus on the fear, mistrust, bleakness, loss of innocence, despair and paranoia that are readily evident in post WWII noir film, reflecting the “chilly” Cold War period when the threat of nuclear annihilation was ever-present. The criminal, violent, misogynistic, hard-boiled, or greedy perspectives of antiheroes in film noir were a metaphoric symptom of society’s evils, with a strong undercurrent of moral conflict, purposelessness and sense of injustice. We will examine whether these attitudes still exist. While there will be no required text, there will be a plethora of printed and visual material distributed to class members (via email) on a weekly basis. All class members must have internet access and be able to open YouTube videos, PDF’s and Word documents. The tentative film schedule includes: Laura, Brute Force, Double Indemnity, Strangers on a Train, The Asphalt Jungle, Body and Soul, The Sweet Smell of Success, Night and The City, The Third Man, Force of Evil…all to be shown in class. The Naked City, The Killers, Pickup on South Street to be streamed via YouTube. CAUTION: All films contain violence.
Leader: Bob Palter’s academic career at MIT, HBS, and UMass Boston as well as his 17 years of teaching activities at LLARC, BOLLI and HILR has convinced him that film has played a major role in reflecting 20th century world history and American culture.
Class Meetings: 10 Wednesdays, September 26–December 5; 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Please note the time.
The course will explore how five of Shakespeare’s works have been transformed into other art forms for the theater and consider the changes made in turning them into operas and ballets. Each week will focus on a single work, watching segments of performances of the operas and ballets on DVDs. We’ll look at Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, (Balanchine’s choreography), Verdi’s Otello, Macbeth, and Falstaff, and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet (MacMillan’s choreography). No prior knowledge of music, opera, or ballet required. Summaries of the plays, operas, and ballets will be provided, and shouldn’t take more than half an hour to read each week
Leader: Lois Novotny completed all course work for a PhD in musicology before attending law school. She has attended performances in Boston and New York, and has seen opera in many European cities, including at La Scala, La Fenice, and the Maryiinsky and Bolshoi theaters.
Class Meetings: Wednesdays, October 31–December 5; 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
This final grouping of First Ladies will deal with women and their husbands who are more familiar to us. Taking us to the mid twentieth century, we will find that the office of First Lady is an accepted institution which earns its own East Wing and standing in the minds of the America people. The everpresent media has added audio and then video to the mix. America’s First Family is rapidly becoming a member of all Americans families. We will track the women’s lives and the history of their husband’s presidencies through two world wars, a police action, the dawning of the cold war and the new prominence of America as a world power.
Text: While it is not important that we all read the same book, it is important that participants 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 Amazon.com. 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 offered previous courses dealing with the First Ladies from Martha Washington through Ida McKinley as well as the Mexican American War. A retired principal 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 Thursdays; September 20–November 29; 9:00 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
The developing countries are generally experiencing more rapid growth than the developed countries. They have a less developed industrial base and lower GNP per capita. These include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (the BRICS) and some 150 other developing countries. These countries often have some form of capital markets, defined as emerging markets, for those who want to invest in its companies. We will provide an overview of the developing countries and emerging markets. We will take a more detailed look at the largest countries and discuss their political and economic situation. Finally, we will look at how the securities markets value companies in these countries. About one hour of reading each week assigned and distributed by e-mail prior to each class.
Leader: Glenn Strehle has taught several LLARC courses on economic and investment issues and is a retired Treasurer Emeritus of MIT.
Class Meetings: 5 Thursdays; September 20–October 17; 9:15 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
The 1920s were a time of economic progress for most Americans. However, the crash of ’29 was compounded by the underlying economic weaknesses of the preceding decade. We will discuss how the crash triggered the European crisis, and how such connections shaped our lives, societies, and political systems.
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 provides insight into how the 1920s affected the futures of America and Europe, and especially our own.
Class Meetings: 5 Wednesdays, October 24–November 29; 9:15 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
The 1st Amendment’s proscription, “Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech” is a fundamental of U.S. political system. But what constitutes “speech?” Is it really “free?” And should there be “no law” limiting speech? In our times of the internet, social media, “fake news,” and the decline of journalism, is “freedom of speech” a feature or a bug? Each week, the class will interactively discuss a facet of “freedom of speech,” including subversive speech, political marches, obscenity, hate speech, politics and money, compelled speech, commercial speech, and campus speech. The readings will be articles, media, and excerpts from Supreme Court cases, all available on the internet.
Leader: Rachel Alpert teaches at Suffolk Law School. She has 36 years’ experience as a lawyer. She previously led LLARC study groups on “The Rise of Religion in the Supreme Court,” “Sex, Gender, Bathrooms and the Supreme Court” and “The Regulation of Food in the U.S.”
Class Meetings: 10 Thursdays; September 20–November 29; 9:15 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
This mini-course will introduce or reintroduce us to some of the best known writers of the genre. Reading ahead and taking notes is always encouraged and the novels should be available in your library network, online bookstore, or as an e-reader option. We will discuss what defines the genre of science fiction as well as its past and future. Settings are usually the future, out in space, or in a different dimension and refer to technology or science whether possible yet or not. Fantasy, on the other hand, leaves any pretense of scientific principles aside.
Reading List: Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein (make sure you check the author); Fragile Things, Nail Gaiman (short stories—we will read a couple of them); Hammer of God, Arthur C. Clarke; The Lathe of Heaven, Ursula Le Guin; Children of Men, Margaret Atwood.
Leader: Karen Mallozzi reads a wide variety of genres and enjoys sharing these books with others. She has facilitated six sessions of mysteries, one session on Ray Bradbury, one session on nonfiction weather event books, and one on various short stories. Karen holds a BA from the University of Rhode Island in 1981 and a MA from Andover-Newton Theological School in 2010,recently relocated to the grounds of Yale University. She records books in the public domain for the Librivox website as well as works part-time.
Class Meetings: 5 Thursdays; October 25–November 29; 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
All world religions have used poetry and song as a way of worship and as an expression of their beliefs. This course will look at works from Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, also lesser known and native religions. We will read selected excerpts from the literature of the past 3000 years; from the Psalms of David to Dante’s Inferno, from Negro spirituals to the lyrics of Leonard Cohen. Poetry and song tell the history of a peoples’ faith, of the god/s in whom they believe, and what is required of them. Brief introductions to the world’s religions by the SGL as well perhaps, as videos and audio recordings, and discussion of these poems and their relationship with religious beliefs, will help further an understanding of this literature. The SGL will be the facilitator, but the class will be predominantly discussion.
Text: Readings will be supplied in a packet costing about $15.
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 HILR, BOLLI and Regis on world religions and the Bible. 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 20–November 29; 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Beginning with the first shot fired on Lexington Green, the “face” of America has changed continually to this day. All the while, artists have created a portrait of the nation’s people, landscape, architecture and issues. They have painted a picture of growth, beauty and opportunity seized—but also of conflict, poverty, and intolerance. In this course, you will experience the American story the way artists most often see it: not as a series of events, but as a people and a place. Join us as we discuss what makes great American art meaningful, poignant and appealing—and how it tells our own story.
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 700 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 20–November 29; 1:00 p.m.–2:45 p.m.
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Participation in LLARC
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• $100 per year
Enroll in one or more Study Groups in addition to enjoying all of the basic benefits of membership
• $200 semester tuition
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annual membership fee)