Fall 2019

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 (print extras for friends!)
  3. Choose from two levels of participation:
    1. Basic annual membership, including the Lunch, Listen and Learn program
    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, 2019 to August 31, 2020.
  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 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.
  7. 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.
  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.

3001 Creative Writing Workshop-CLOSED

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. This is a light-hearted, supportive, welcoming group whose members enjoy writing for the fun of it.

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 16–December 9 (no classes on Rosh Hashanah, September 30; Columbus Day, October 14, or Veterans Day, November 11; there will be class on Monday, November 25); 9:15–10:45 a.m.


3002 Famous Court Trials Part II-CLOSED

Each week we will explore a famous court trial and the significance of the testimony, the participants, and the verdicts. Class discussion will try and determine the fairness of the indictments, the credibility of the principle testimony, and evaluate the verdict. Why were these trials “famous” and what impact did they have upon the country? We will study The Central Park Five, OJ Simpson, Lizzie Borden, and seven other cases.

No reports will be required, but active class participation will be encouraged and expected. One to two hours of readings for each class.

Text: No text assigned. Handouts and additional material will be provided online.

Leader: Bernie Shuster earned his BA at UMass Amherst with a major in history. He then received an LLD degree at Boston University School of Law. After practicing law in Boston for several years, he founded and served as CEO of a financial services company. Bernie has led several courses at LLARC and at HILR.

Class Meetings: 0 Mondays; September 16–December 9 (no classes on Rosh Hashanah, September 30; Columbus Day, October 14, or Veterans Day, November 11; there will be class on Monday, November 25); 9:15–10:45 a.m.


3003 Current Literature in 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. Film, while it may be influenced by written work, should always be considered an entirely unique piece of art for the purposes of critique and analysis. This course explores the complex interplay between film and literature. Selected novels are analyzed in relation to film versions of the same works in order to gain an understanding of the possibilities—and problems—involved in the transposition to film. (A Teacher’s Education)

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

Leader: Claire Levovsky taught at Fisher College from 1992–2015, at various campuses. She has many different courses, including literature, communication and is certified as a rehabilitation counselor and as a secondary school instructor.

Class Meetings: 8 Mondays; September 16–November 18 (no classes on Rosh Hashanah, September 30; Columbus Day October 14, or November 11 Veterans Day); 9:15–10:45 a.m.


3004 Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady-CLOSED

Anthony Lane wrote, in The New Yorker, “I know of no more enviable diary entry than the one made by Evelyn Waugh on Sunday, November 17, 1946: ‘Patrick left on Saturday afternoon. What an enormous, uncovenanted blessing to have kept Henry James for middle age and to turn, as the door shuts behind the departing guest, to a first reading of Portrait of a Lady.’” Whether you have read James’ premier novel before or wish to read it for the first time, please join me in a close, textual reading of this complex, even controversial 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: 0 Mondays; September 16–December 9 (no classes on Rosh Hashanah, September 30; Columbus Day, October 14, or Veterans Day, November 11; there will be class on Monday, November 25); 11:00am-12:30pm


3005 Massachusetts in the Civil War-CLOSED

No Civil War battles were fought within Massachusetts, but our state played an important part in the buildup to the war and during the fighting and was significantly changed afterwards. This discussion/study group will build on general knowledge by giving us an in-depth look at many pertinent topics, including but not limited to abolition, African-Americans’ roles, troop recruitment, particular brigades, political affairs, leading personalities, women’s roles, dissension, desertion, raising supplies, nursing, and memorializing the war. Two books provide the framework for our discussions, but we will consider other books, films, and websites. No written work; oral reports will be short and voluntary.

Text: Harriet Beecher Stowe Uncle Tom’s Cabin (in library) and Thomas O’Connor Civil War Boston (in library)

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: 0 Mondays; September 16–December 9 (no classes on Rosh Hashanah, September 30; Columbus Day, October 14, or Veterans Day, November 11; there will be class on Monday, November 25); 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


3006 Mysteries VIII

We will continue our exploration of the mystery genre with an emphasis on historical settings. At least one novel will be set in another country. There is a good amount of reading each week, so I urge people to read ahead of time and take notes over the summer and fall. (See the list of books.) They should be available through your library, online, and so on. Sessions consist of author background and lively discussion. I email discussion questions each week, so we have a jumping off point for our discussions. People who have never read in this genre are often pleasantly surprised!

Texts: The Merlot Murders by Ellen Crosby, A Memory of Muskets by Katherine Ernst, The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths, Bryant and May: Strange Tide by Christopher Fowler, Turning the Tide by Edith Maxwell, Monk’s Hood by Ellis Peters, A Small Death in the Great Glen by AD Scott, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie King, Death of a Rainmaker by Laurie Loewenstein.

Leader: Karen Mallozzi reads a wide variety of genres and enjoys sharing books with others. This is the 8th offering of mysteries and it has covered authors from the Golden Age of Mysteries to contemporary writers. This session will include settings in various times periods, some humor, and a couple of fairly new authors. Karen holds a BA from the University of RI in 1981 and a MA from Andover-Newton Theological School in 2010. She is the cochair of Natick Neighbors Compost and will be helping the Massachusetts Horticultural Society with their first ever online auction fund raiser this summer.

Class Meetings: 0 Mondays; September 16–December 9 (no classes on Rosh Hashanah, September 30; Columbus Day, October 14, or Veterans Day, November 11; there will be class on Monday, November 25); 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.


3007 ¡¡Hablemos Espanol!!

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: 0 Mondays; September 16–December 9 (no classes on Rosh Hashanah, September 30; Columbus Day, October 14, or Veterans Day, November 11; there will be class on Monday, November 25);1-2:30 p.m.


3008 Exploring Ploughshares

Since its founding 48 years ago, Ploughshares, now housed at Emerson College, has become one of the premiere literary journals. This course will read and consider through discussion both stories and poetry from a recent Ploughshares issue.

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. 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. Both leaders have led courses in literature for LLARC.

Class Meetings: 6 Mondays; September 16–November 11 (no classes on Rosh Hashanah, September 11 or Columbus Day, October 14); 1–2:30 p.m.


3009 The Brain-CLOSED

This course is based on the acclaimed PBS series—“The Brain—The Story of You.” Each week for six weeks we will watch an episode of the series highlighting a different aspect of the human brain, followed by a discussion of the video’s content. While we will explore some of the science behind how our brains function, the emphasis of the course will be on how our brains shape our humanity.

Leader: Tom Hall is a retired 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 currently serves on LLARC’s curriculum committee.

Class Meetings: 6 Mondays; September 16–November 11 (no classes on Rosh Hashanah, September 11 nor Columbus Day, October 14); 1–2:30 p.m.


3010 The Tchaikovsky Ballets—Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker

This three-week course will look at the three Tchaikovsky ballets—Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker—from overture to the concluding apotheosis. For each, we will also look at excerpts that highlight some of the different versions and interpretations. While most of our time will be spent in looking at DVDs of the ballets, there should be time for some discussion of the different versions. Each ballet will be presented in a double-period class. For each ballet, I will provide the libretto for both a contemporary version and for the original production. I will also provide links to articles and videos, some intended to be optional for further background.

Leader: Lois Novotny has completed all course work for a PhD in musicology before attending law school. While living in New York, she had seen the Royal, Bolshoi, and Kirov Ballets on tour, American Ballet Theater, and the New York City Ballet—including the ballets that you will be looking at. She has taught two classes on opera at LLARC.

Class Meetings: 3 Mondays, November 18–December 2; 1–4 p.m. Please note the dates and times.


3011 A Guided Tour through James Joyce’s Ulysses— Part I-CLOSED

Widely celebrated as a masterpiece of Twentieth Century literature for its indelible characters, epic themes, intimate realism, imaginative style, poetic prose, and unparalleled literary connections, James Joyce’s Ulysses’ 780 pages is a daunting read, unguided. Though the entire novel covers one day—June 16, 1904—in the Dublin life of its protagonists, we will take a leisurely 20 week guided tour over the fall 2019 and spring 2020 semesters, through the emotional, spiritual, and psychological struggles of Leopold and Molly Bloom and Stephen Dedalus on the most “ordinariniest” of days.

Text: James Joyce’s Ulysses. There are many excellent Ulysses Readers (secondary materials) which you are free to use but I will provide my explanatory synthesis of them for each chapter as part of the “guided tour.”

Leader: Rachel Alpert has taught high school English and currently teaches at Suffolk Law School. She previously led LLARC study groups on freedom of speech, the rise of religion in the supreme court, sex, gender, bathrooms, and the supreme court, and the regulation of food in the U.S. She is an avid fan of great literature, including James Joyce’s Ulysses.

Class Meetings: 0 Mondays; September 16–December 9 (no classes on Rosh Hashanah, September 30; Columbus Day, October 14, or Veterans Day, November 11; there will be class on Monday, November 25); 1–2:30 p.m.


3012 All Things Africa-CLOSED

Ex Africa aliquid novi. You want to know about various things African,, and in this class, you will find out. Simple: everybody brings questions, puzzles, and open minds. The emphasis will be on current conditions and the participants will help decide the direction of classes. The SGL will guide research and discussion, and we shall all have WiFi access to information and video; bringing technology is encouraged. We shall begin by dividing the continent into regions as follows: West Africa (such as Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal), East Africa (such as Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia), North Africa (such as Egypt, Morocco, Algeria), Southern Africa (such as Republic of South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe), Central Africa (Congo, Cameroun, Angola). We shall begin with a little continental geography and focus on West Africa—please read So Long a Letter for the first session; East Africa for session 2; North Africa for session 3; Southern Africa for session 4—read Born a Crime; Central Africa for session 5; review and African Politics, A Very Short Introduction for session 6. We might study such topics as the role of religion and the Muslim-Christian divide; governance and current events; tourism options; culture and art; relevant history—nationalism and independence; social structure; democracy, and patronage politics.

Texts: So Long a Letter by Mariama Ba; Born a Crime by Trevor Noah; and African Politics, A Very Short Introduction/OUP by Ian Taylor

Leader: Brooks Goddard is a veteran LLARC presenter with a fondness for and knowledge of Africa. He is a former English department head at Wellesley High School and has taught courses at North Hill, Needham Community Education, and Temple Israel.

Class Meetings: 6 Tuesdays: September 17–October 22; 9:15–10:45 a.m.


3013 Race Relations in the United States: A View from the Supreme Court-CLOSED

This course will explore in depth five cases, Somerset v. Stewart (1772), the infamous Dred Scott case (1857), Plessey v. Ferguson (1896), Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and Shelby County v. Holder (2013), that directly addressed the institution of slavery and legal relations between black and white Americans before and after slavery was abolished in the U.S. It will also explore how other non-white peoples fared in the American judicial system in three other Supreme Court cases: Chinese immigrants in the Chinese Exclusion Cases (1889), Native Americans in Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock (1903), and Japanese Americans in Korematsu v. United States (1944). Finally, the course will examine Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978), in which a white applicant to medical school claimed that the school’s affirmative action admission policies discriminated against him based on race. The purpose of the course is to provide participants insights into the role the courts play in our constitutional democracy, a better understanding of what is the “Common Law” (judge made law) as well as to explore to substantive issues of how race relations have been addressed in court cases in our country.

Text: Prepared materials will be approximately $40.00

Leader: Saul Schapiro graduated from City College of New York and Harvard Law School. He practiced law in the Boston area as a partner of his own firm for more than 40 years as a litigator and transactional lawyer. He has briefed and argued cases at every level of the Massachusetts State court system, including arguing numerous cases at the Supreme Judicial Court, and appeared at the trial and appellate level of the Federal courts in Massachusetts. His trial experience includes civil and criminal cases. Among his clients was the Boston Redevelopment Authority that he represented in major civil litigation matters for over 25 years, as well as other governmental and non-governmental entities. He also was the supervising attorney for the Harvard Voluntary Defender program for eight years.

Class Meetings: 10 Tuesdays: September 17–November 19 (no classes on or November 26); 9:15–10:45 a.m.


3014 Reading the Quran; Understanding Islam through its Scripture-CLOSED

The Quran is the scripture of Islam, the recital via the Prophet Muhammed of the very words of God, given in Arabic. Using Readings in the Quran, a lucid, modern, English translation, we will gain an understanding of the basic themes of the Quran, and through our discussions, discover how they are interpreted today by Muslims in different parts of the world.

Text: Readings in the Quran by Kenneth Cragg

Leader: Carol Shedd has led many study groups at Regis, Brandeis, and Harvard lifelong learning institutes. Her interests are religions, the Middle East, and women’s travel literature.

Class Meetings: 10 Tuesdays: September 17–November 19 (no classes on or November 26);; 9:15–10:45 a.m.


3016 German to Go - Beginner to Intermediate Levels

Challenge your brain! Learn German or refresh what you think you forgot. Using modern, mono-lingual conversational and interactive methods, we will present everyday topics with practical vocabulary, dialogues, hands-on activities, and skits. Children stories and folk songs will be introduced and varied with basic grammar instruction. YouTube and other electronic instructional aids will be incorporated to expand and enrich our classroom environment. To practice new skills, expect some homework tailored to the needs of individual study group members as a natural extension of our class activities.

Leader: Karin Flynn is a retired teacher with a BA in drama from Tufts University and an MA in English from Framingham State who has studied multiple languages (German, Russian, Latin, English, French, Spanish) but is master of only two (her native German and English). From 1968–2003 Karin taught English and German at the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School where, in 1968, she started the German American Partnership Program (GAPP), a homestay exchange which in the course of its existence has connected hundreds of Lincoln-Sudbury students with German families and friends.

Class Meetings: 10 Tuesdays: September 17–November 19 (no classes on or November 26); 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


3015 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, 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. 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 17–November 19 (no classes on November 26); 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.


3017 LLARC Glee Club Sings Broadway

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 master’s degree in education from Boston University and has a long career in accompanying many shows and singers.

Class Meetings: Class Meetings: 5 Tuesdays, September 17–October 22; 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


3018 Understanding the Iliad-CLOSED

The Iliad has been enjoyed and studied for 3,000 years—and no wonder: it’s spectacular! Come explore a poem filled with battle, honor, glory, deeply emotional moments, and a lot of weeping. Meet some of the most well-known heroes and heroines in Greek mythology as they have their greatest adventure ever—learn about the trickery of Odysseus, the uncertainty of Helen, the pure brute strength of Aias the Greater, the honor of Hector, the sorrows of Hecuba, and of course, the wrath of Achilles. In this class we will use the Robert Fagles translation.

Leader: Kreg Segall is a professor of English in the Department of Humanities at Regis College, specializing in English medieval and Renaissance literature. He previously taught Shakespeare, the Canterbury Tales, and The Odyssey for LLARC.

Class Meetings: 10 Tuesdays: September 17–November 19 (no classes on November 26); 1–2:30 p.m.


3019 Mindfulness Meditation-CLOSED

Meditation is an ancient technique/practice for relieving stress and cultivating positive qualities that nurture peacefulness, wellness, and the ability to live our lives fully. Mindfulness meditation develops, in us, the ability to look deeply at ourselves, to be with what is, and to respond to life’s circumstances with openness and equanimity. In this course we will learn and we will practice together. All levels of experience are welcome.

Leader: Sheila Wolfson is a retired nutritionist and holistic health counselor. She has been a meditator since 1972. She was trained as a mindfulness meditation teacher and Wise Aging facilitator at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Sheila has been leading meditation groups for many years in various settings. She taught her first LLARC course, Wise Aging, this past spring.

Class Meetings: 5 Tuesdays: October 29–December 3 (no classes on November 26); 1–2:30 p.m.


3020 Great American Film Actresses-CLOSED

In this 10-week course we will be examining five great American film actresses (Katharine Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Audrey Hepburn, Meryl Streep, and Viola Davis) and view two films that illustrate the breadth of their acting range. Before the course begins, I will send out some material on the nature of good acting and before each meeting I will email the class some background on each of the actresses as well as a list of guide questions to the individual films. We will then view the film together during the first part of the class. After viewing we will discuss what makes each actress such a singular artist. The films we will discuss will be: Adam’s Rib/Lion in Winter; Casablanca/Notorious; Wait Until Dark/Two for the Road; Sophie’s Choice/Kramer vs. Kramer; Doubt/The Help. These titles and/or actresses 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, Hollywood film genres I and II, great Hollywood directors, great actors, as well as other topics, she looks forward to another meaningful and fun experience with other lifelong learners!

Class Meetings: 10 Tuesdays: September 24–December 10 (no classes on Rosh Hashanah, October 1 or November 26); 12:45–3:45 p.m. Please note the time and dates


3021 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 five week course explores these questions, examining three diverse works of literature, beginning with Catch 22 by Joseph Heller and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain followed by a number of short essays and a short story. 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 pre-read Catch 22 and Huckleberry Finn.

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: Class Meetings: 5 Wednesdays: October 30–December 4 (No classes on November 27); 9:15–10:45 a.m.


3022 Romantic Era in Classical Music

The Romantic Era in Classical Music that began about 1815 was part of a larger movement in art and poetry toward new forms of expression. Beethoven’s later compositions and the works of Franz Schubert, Frederic Chopin, Robert Schumann, and others created in the 1820s to 1840s provided instrumental music in new forms, often shorter in length and slower in tempo. It emphasized melody and beautiful music that was easily understood. We shall listen to many excerpts from these pieces.

The Romantic Era occurred early in the Industrial Revolution as a growing middle class in Europe combined with the continued development and manufacture of pianos. Composers and performers relied less on the support of the aristocracy and more on public performances and the publication of sheet music. We will discuss the political, social and economic factors that influenced the music and public access to it.

About one hour of reading each week assigned and distributed by e-mail prior to each class, including online sources of music related to the classes.

Leader: Glenn Strehle has taught several LLARC courses on economic and investment issues. He is the retired Treasurer Emeritus of MIT. A former student of piano, baritone horn and marching band and frequent attendee at Boston based concerts.

Class Meetings: 5 Wednesdays; September 18–October 23 (No classes on Yom Kippur, October 9); 9:15–10:45 a.m.


3023 More Extraordinary Chemistry

Chemistry seems to be involved in almost everything in our physical world. In this course, we will continue to discuss and explain the chemistry and chemical principles involved in some of the common articles or materials we use in daily life. First, we will open with basic principles of chemistry for the benefit of those who have not taken the earlier course (and as a reminder for those who have). Then we’ll look at the chemistry of nuclear reactions (nuclear reactors, a-bomb, medicine), poisons, cosmetics, medicines, high tech and plastics, pollution, vitamins, carbohydrates, and fats. Where mathematical expressions are important, they will be explained in broad outline without the exact math. While nuclear reactions are not ordinary articles of commerce they are included because they are of vital importance in modern society. 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, by Carl H, Snyder. Although out of print for some time Amazon has many copies available for from approximately $3.50–$10.

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 Wednesdays: September 18–December 4 (No classes on Yom Kippur, October 9 or November 27); 9:15–10:45 a.m.


3031 The Story Behind the Mexican War

The Mexican War provided Americans with the ability to use the phrase “from sea to shining sea” but at what cost? While we won’t be studying the battles of the war we will be delving into Mexican History. What was this country to the south and why is it so different from the U.S. What role did Polk play in the war? How does a country that had just received its Independence from Spain a mere 25 years earlier react when their neighbors to the North begin an invasion of their territory? Utilizing a DVD and PowerPoint programs these questions and more will be answered as we work our way through the history of the War. Access to a computer to receive emails and view YouTube videos will be necessary for successful completion of the course.

Text: A Glorious Defeat: Mexico and Its War with the United States by Timothy J, Henderson, 2007, Hill and Wang

Leader: Mary Egan is an experienced study group leader who has offered previous courses dealing with the First Ladies from Martha Washington through Bess Truman. A retired principal with 34 years of experience on the elementary and secondary level she has nurtured a lifelong interest in history and enjoys cultivating and sharing her knowledge. Her search for knowledge led her to the Mexican War and she is eager to share what she has learned.

Class Meetings: 10 Wednesdays: September 18–December 4 (No classes on Yom Kippur, October 9 or November 27); 9:15–10:45 a.m.


3024 Faith, Science, God, and Nature-CLOSED

A five-week discussion seminar on the relationship between science and faith. We will discuss questions about how science can relate to the spiritual world and the deeper insights faith can offer about the sacred depths of nature. Each session will be based on an essay written by a prominent scientist on a modern scientific discovery and be followed by class discussion of its implications for a deeper understanding of creation that involves faith and spirituality. Our discussions of science will be up-to-date and rigorous, and our faith discussions will be inclusive and open to students of all faith backgrounds.

Leader: Frank Villa has a lifelong interest in the natural sciences. An award winning lecturer, 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. His most recent course was Origins: The Scientific History of the Universe for the Non-Scientist. In addition to his degrees in the sciences, Frank achieved a master’s degree in religion and theology from Andover Newton Theological School in 2004. Frank led the Science and Religion Program at the Boston Theological Institute for many years and conducts programs in science and religion for faith communities. Frank is a former teacher of high school physics and earth science, a fully rated commercial pilot and flight instructor, and is a small business owner whose company specializes in the design and outfitting of science laboratories.

Class Meetings: 5 Wednesdays: October 30–December 4 (No classes on November 27); 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.


3025 Shakespeare’s King Lear

In King Lear, Shakespeare presents a powerful leader who loses his grasp on his power, his family and his sanity. As a raging storm parallels the emotional and the intellectual storms ravaging Lear, Shakespeare, at the height of his powers, produces a moving reflection on aging, power, family, and vision. Come explore Lear’s kingdom through reading aloud, careful analysis of the text, and examples of how the page moves to the stage.

There will be an optional outing to see the Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s production of the play.

Leader: Ann Berman, a retired teacher, continues her exploration of Shakespeare’s work after a year studying and play-going in London.

Class Meetings: 5 Wednesdays; September 25–October 30. (No classes on Yom Kippur, October 9); 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.


3026 It’s Good to Be King: The Twisted Humor of Melvin Kaminsky (aka Mel Brooks)-CLOSED

Melvin Kaminsky (Mel Brooks) was born to be the center of attention. The youngest son of a Brooklyn Jewish family thrown into poverty by the death of his father when he was 4 years old. Brooks grew up learning the ropes of entertainment in the Catskills after serving in the army during WWII. He later emerged as a skilled comedy writer by muscling his way into television in the late 1940s. Brooks became involved with some of Broadway’s most noted musical and comedy “revues” in the 1950s and 1960s, created a cult classic comedy series, “Get Smart” with Buck Henry, created “The 2000 Year Old Man” with Carl Reiner that sold millions of comedy albums. His films, which he wrote, directed, and sometimes starred in have become certified classics to generations of fans. In this course we will examine the roots of Brooks’ need to entertain and how and why he developed his unique blend of slapstick, satire, intellectual and just plain raunchy comedy. In addition, we will examine the proposition advanced by some of the “classic comedians,” of decades past e.g. Brooks, Seinfeld among others that “political correctness” has killed comedy.

A textbook will be assigned, and all class members must have computer and internet facility and skills that will allow them to receive the additional reading material and play the YouTube clips that will be sent out between classes. Class preparation will approximate 3 hours. Caution: Some will be offended by Brooks’ comedy. Some of his work is generally not considered “politically correct.”

Tentative Film Schedule: The Twelve Chairs, The Producers (1969 version), Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, History of The World Part 1, High Anxiety, Space Balls, Silent Movie, Robin Hood (Men in Tights), Dracula (Dead and Loving It), “The 2000 Year Old Man,” “Make a Noise” … all subject to change.

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. His prior classroom research has been included in the Regis College Archives.

Class Meetings: 10 Wednesdays: September 18–December 4 (No classes on Yom Kippur, October 9 or November 27); 1–4 p.m.


3027 The Invisible Forms of Manipulation-CLOSED

We are all being manipulated daily, much of which is invisible and unrecognized. Elements of manipulation are essential factors in our important decisions. Yet, it is often difficult to know that we are being manipulated, by whom, how and even if it is good for us. This course will explore the notion that manipulation is so important that we need to understand it in order to make essential personal and societal decision. We will explore a number of forms of manipulation and how they influence our choices. Among the forms to be examined will be psychological, physical, interpersonal, economic, ideological and technological. We will cover fascinating examples such as placebo elevator bottoms, consumer advertising, manipulative personalities, magic tricks, con artists, Disney World lines, lying and neurological cognitive biases. Topics will also include how politicians create their brand, how the media select what they will cover, negotiating strategies and self-manipulation. Personal examples will be solicited from class members. Discussion and interaction are important aspects of this course. Those who wish can present a 10-minute report on a topic of interest after discussion with course leader.

Readings: I will prepare a packet of weekly course readings composed of articles from the mass media, academic journals and policy papers. This will be distributed at the first class and reproduction costs will be collected.

Leader: Trained as a sociologist, Sandy Sherizan then went bad and became a criminologist and then really bad by becoming a computer security and privacy professional. He has taught at various universities, led seminars, been interviewed by various media and given speeches on a variety of topics internationally. As an ex-president, he is active at Congregation Beth El in Sudbury. Flunking retirement, he had volunteered to teach ESL to adult immigrants and continues to serve on a patient research ethics and safety board (IRB) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He loves teaching subjects which are important, but which are often relatively unknown and/or misunderstood.

Class Meetings: 10 Wednesdays: September 18–December 4 (No classes on Yom Kippur, October 9 or November 27); 1–2:30 p.m.


3028 Reconstruction and the Gilded Age

During Reconstruction, Northerners attempted to remake the United States in their own image. Reconstruction would produce a nation built around free labor with a homogeneous citizenry whose rights would be guaranteed by a newly empowered federal government. New technologies transformed the economy, as Americans significantly shifted into wage workers instead of independent producers. Capitalism produced the very rich and the very poor. The Gilded Age thrived where Reconstruction failed. It spawned racial, religious, and social conflicts, but a newly diverse nation emerged. We will explore the period from Reconstruction through the Golden Age and whether the Gilded Age’s real legacy lies buried beneath its capitalists of legend and its corrupt politicians.

Leader: Jack Miller is a retired Engineer with teaching experience in Engineering, Mathematics, Business, and LLARC history classes. Jack’s lifelong interest in American history focuses this class on the new empowered federal government, Southern resistance and unrestrained capitalism of the Gilded Age.

Class Meetings: 5 Wednesdays: October 30–December 4 (No classes on November 27); 1–2:30 p.m.


3029 The Real History of WWII-CLOSED

WWII was a titanic contest which the forces of good warred with those of evil. Instead of taking good and evil for granted, we look for the roots and ramifications of these forces, concisely exploring the ideological, nationalistic, and economic causes of war and probing the motivations of those involved. A terrific text will be used which covers these topics as well as providing a definitive overview of the war. We will assess subjects such as why Germany and Japan shoulda, coulda won the war and did Japan have an atomic bomb? We will explore spies, serious military blunders, deceptive procedures by the allies, and analyze certain characters.

Texts: The Real History of World War II by Alan Axelrod. The hardcover is available on Amazon or ABE Books for (used) under $10.

Leader: Bill Brady has a BS from Boston College, a MSPH from UMass, and a DDS from the University of Maryland. He has been a member of the BCILR and LLARC for 19 years. He is a history buff and has led several history courses at LLARC.

Class Meetings: 10 Thursdays; September 19–November 21 (No classes on November 28); 9:15–10:45 a.m.


3030 Genesis as Literature—Part Two-CLOSED

It is clear that the Book of Genesis contains much more than the simple Bible stories with which we were raised. Students will explore the sophisticated literary devices and techniques used by the author or authors. And, students will explore the theological issues discussed in Genesis. Finally, the question of authorship will be discussed: Is Genesis a haphazard compilation of disparate sources or was it created by a single author? Finally, the course will explore the many issues that emanate from a reading of this amazing biblical book. While this course is a continuation of the one offered in the winter of 2019, it is not necessary to have taken that class. No prior knowledge is required. All texts will be in English.

Leader: Rabbi Robert Orkand retired from the pulpit rabbinate in 2013. He served congregations in Florida, Illinois and, for 31 years prior to retirement, in Westport, CT. Since moving to Massachusetts, he has taught in various adult learning settings.

Class Meetings: 10 Thursdays; September 19–November 21 (No classes on November 28); 9:15–10:45 a.m.


3032 From Fish to Your Physiology-CLOSED

This course will focus on how understanding your evolutionary origins can shed light on how your body is constructed and how it functions in health and disease. Each week will focus on a particular organ system; its anatomy, and how it works (or doesn’t work) through the lens of vertebrate evolution.

Leader: Jim McLaren is now a retired high school science teacher and department head in Newton since 1967. He has taught three courses at LLARC and thoroughly enjoy sharing my curiosity and love of science with anyone willing to listen.

Class Meetings: 10 Thursdays; September 19–November 21 (No classes on November 28); 1–2:30 p.m.


3033 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.

Leader: Steve Kendall is the retired president of an advertising and public relations agency and the leader of more than 700 tours at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum and the Danforth Museum. He is a recipient of the LLARC Bernie Shuster Award for teaching excellence. This is the 11th term he has taught at LLARC.

Class Meetings:: 10 Thursdays; September 19–November 21 (No classes on November 28); 1–2:45 p.m.