All LLARC Programs for the spring of 2021 will be held virtually.


Spring 2021

Most study groups meet for 10 weeks, although several mini courses meet for 5 weeks. Please note the specific meeting dates given for each course. All spring 2021 classes will be held virtually via Zoom. 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.)

Details

Classes fill up! Apply early for the best chance 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. 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.
  3. 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, 2020 to August 31, 2021.
  4. 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.
  5. Registration will be open on January 14. All applications submitted by January 19 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 19. On that date, if any study group is oversubscribed, enrollment will be by lottery. Anyone not enrolled will be placed on a waiting list.
  6. Confirmations will be mailed out weekly beginning the week of January 18. 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 email you and send you a supplemental confirmation. Study group leaders will communicate any preparation necessary for the first class meeting.
  7. 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.

3235 Creative Writing Workshop - CLOSED

10 weeks
Mondays, 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
February 22 through May 3 (no class on Patriots’ Day April 19)

Enrollment Note: This represents a continuation of the fall 2020 class, and as such, only 3 spots are open.

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.

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3236 History in Movies

10 weeks
Mondays, 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
February 22 through May 3 (no class on Patriots’ Day April 19)

Participants will view ten historical movies. Several of them are bunched together, and some would cost $3.99 to watch. The movies will be watched at home prior to the class meeting, which will allow for plenty of discussion each week. This has been so successful in Needham that we have just kept going and are now up to about 18 movies.

Movie List: A Soldier's Story, Birth of a Nation, Triumph of the Will, The Wannasse Conference, The Fighting Seabees, A Man for All Season, The Lion in Winter, Mary, Queen of Scots (1936 version), Mary, Queen of Scots (2018 version)

Leader: Ron Greenwald holds three graduate degrees in history and has taught history at three Greater Boston Colleges over 15 years. He teaches his courses in the Socratic method using only primary sources. He taught “American Imperialism: From Sea to Shining Sea” for LLARC during fall 2020 and "The Nun of Watton" during winter intersession 2021.

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3237 Mindfulness Meditation: Finding Peace During COVID-19 and Beyond

Five weeks
Mondays, 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
February 22 through March 22

Mindfulness meditation is a practice that calms the body while cultivating calm alertness. Participants learn to pay careful attention to their experiences in the present moment by focusing on the breath, as well as using other techniques. Mindfulness can be life transforming, as it nurtures peace, joy, and an open and compassionate heart. This class gives you the opportunity to practice for 5 weeks. It is an opportunity for beginners to "taste" meditation, as well as for those who already meditate and want to develop an ongoing practice. The only requirement is to come with an open mind and open heart.

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 has taught her two LLARC courses, Wise Aging and Mindfulness Meditation in the past.

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3238 A Study of the Booker Prize Novel: Possession, by AS Byatt

10 weeks
Mondays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
February 22 through May 3 (no class on Patriots’ Day April 19)

In a brilliant tour de force, A.S. Byatt has created a novel—Possession—that is at once an intellectual mystery and a romance. Set in both the 20th Century and Victorian England, the novel involves two modern scholars researching the unexplored and possibly significant relationship between two Victorian poets; of course, each is imaginary, but the ring of authenticity resounds. Replete with wit, original poetry, imagination, and philosophy, Byatt won The Booker Prize in 1990 for this work. An exploration of varied narrative voices, epistolary styles, historiographic metafiction, and academic debate, this work will provide rich, lively discussions. Participants will read around 50 pages a week (sometimes a bit more) during this 10-week course.

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.

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3239 Upstarts, Rogues and Visionaries: American Women in the Victorian Era - CLOSED

10 weeks
Mondays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
February 22 through May 3 (no class on Patriots’ Day April 19)

When you think of women in the Victorian Era, do you envision genteel beauties constrained by corset and culture? Maybe they were, but this is a period of great changes for some who broke free of those bonds and dared to live as they chose. Some were virtuous, some were infamous, many were scandalous. Some of these standouts participants will study are: Victoria Woodhull, Lizzie Borden, Carrie Nation, Mother Jones, Nelly Bly, Stagecoach Mary, and the Fox Sisters. They all made history!

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 three of her favorite subjects: women’s history, the roles of women on both sides of the Civil War, women and children in the Labor Movement, and the Japanese Internment by and within the U.S. during WWII.

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3240 Reconstruction

10 weeks
Mondays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
February 22 through May 3 (no class on Patriots’ Day April 19)

After slavery ended, the former Confederates pressed down even harder to keep the lowest caste in place. African-Americans were mutilated, hung from trees, and burned alive. There was a lynching every three days in the first four decades of the 20th Century. The North was also complicit. The remnants of Reconstruction are still with us today, and this class will explore with a critical lens the positions of both the North and the South.

Required Reading: Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution by Eric Foner ISBN-13 978-0062354518

Leader: Bernie Shuster earned an undergraduate degree with a major in history. He then earned an LLD degree at Boston University School of Law. He was a partner at a Boston law firm for several years. Subsequently Bernie cofounded and served as legal counsel and COO of a financial services firm. Upon retirement he became a member of a Harvard University Extension Division for Learning in Retirement where he led many courses for over 15 years. Bernie has been a member since 2005 and he has led over 30 courses at LLARC.

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3241 Who Ya Gonna Call If You Have Consumer Issues

Five weeks
Mondays, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
February 22 through March 22

Have you ever had an issue with a business but didn't know where to go for help? Should you call the Attorney General's office, Consumer Protection, Better Business Bureau, or Consumer Assistance? Or maybe it is best to contact Call for Action or the I-Team. When might you need a lawyer? Should you agree to face-to-face mediation? This course will give you insight and resources to help solve your consumer problems. You will learn what each agency can do to help you and how to proceed, depending on the problem. There will facilitated discussions about topics such as scams, travel refunds, car repairs, and identity theft. We will also discuss the impact the pandemic has had on certain industries. Participants should be willing to share some of their experiences and brainstorm with other course members. This will be an interactive course with no reading assignments.

Leader: Ellen Sinett has BS degree from Boston University and an MA and EdM from Teachers College, Columbia University. She spent 6 years working as a junior high guidance counselor and then transferred into the software industry doing training, technical support, and technical writing for a variety of high tech companies. Since retirement she has been attending LLARC, and volunteers on the WBZ Call for Action Hotline and as a facilitator for the Office of Consumer Assistance MetroWest. She has considered herself a problem solver and enjoys helping others and sharing information.

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3242 A Suitable Boy

10 weeks
Tuesdays, 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
February 23 through April 27

Vikram Seth’s fantastic reading experience and kaleidoscopic novel of modern India is everything you would want in a page-turner. Participants shall have a grand time reading this delightful novel and picking up information about India along the way. Here is how the novel begins: “ ‘You will marry a boy I choose,’ said Mrs. Rupa Mehra firmly to her younger daughter.’ Need I say more?” Today you have the advantage of “The Crown in Brown” currently on Acorn. Four families intertwined, many destinies evolving, and India only 3 years old. Plenty of notes and explanatory pages. OK, I’m an Indiaphile, been there 6 times, 4 times with Jeanie Eaton’s most suitable boy. If you’re picking this course, start reading.

Leader: Brooks Goddard has been teaching since September 1963, at many levels in many places including many years at LLARC. Brooks had a 30+ year career at Wellesley High School where he retired as English Department Head. He has visited the home countries of the authors in this seminar. He lives in Needham where he reads, writes, gardens, and constantly cleans out his desk.

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3243 The Law of the Land

Five weeks
Tuesdays, 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
February 23 through March 23

The U. S. Constitution is the product of multiple eras, multiple levels, and various regions. This class invites participants to explore these aspects using portions of Akhil Reed Amar's The Law Of The Land. We will see how federal law, including court decisions, influences states and vice versa, as well as appreciate the tension between respecting regional autonomy and "promoting the general welfare." Assigned weekly readings are limited to 25 pages with pertinent discussion to follow.

Leader: Teacher and author Steve Lowe has devoted seven 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 the MetroWest.

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3244 Current Events - CLOSED

10 weeks
Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
February 23 through April 27

Are you a person who is interested in world events and enjoys having conversations to exchange ideas 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 facilitated discussions, participants express ideas about recent happenings, while listening and learning about the basis for sentiments. Class members are encouraged to give one short presentation about a topic of interest to them. Usually these talks take place at the start of class, while at the end of class the discussion focuses on recent events that occurred during the previous week, day, or even hour!

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 in the past has volunteered 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.

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3245 Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings

10 weeks
Tuesdays, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
February 23 through April 27

In this class, participants will read the whole Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Expect a good deal of reading each week, as this is a big undertaking! We'll talk about the book from literary, mythological, and poetic perspectives, and we will also compare the texts to the Peter Jackson films when appropriate.

Leader: Kreg Segall is Professor of English in the Department of Humanities at Regis College. He specializes in English medieval and Renaissance literature. He has previously taught courses on Shakespeare, Chaucer, and Homer for LLARC.

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3246 Evolution: The Idea and Its Evolution

10 weeks
Tuesdays, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
February 23 through April 27

This is a reprise of a course offered several years ago. Participants will trace the origin of the idea that species evolve with particular emphasis on Darwin and Darwinism. From Darwin's time to the present, the idea has, itself, evolved. We will focus on the nature of the evidence that evolution has, in fact, occurred and how ideas about the mechanism of evolution have been polished and amplified since Darwin.

Leader: Jim McLaren has taught four previous courses at LLARC. He is a retired high school science teacher and department chair. Most of his teaching has focused on biology, but he has had a life-long interest in amateur astronomy.

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3247 Funny Films?

10 weeks
Tuesdays, 12:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
February 23 through April 27

What makes something funny? The answer is very subjective. What one person finds funny another person might groan at. Nevertheless, comedy as a genre is worth looking at—especially in this time so fraught with difficulties of so many kinds. So in the spirit of hoping to relieve some of the tension we are experiencing and laugh together, this course will examine five types of comedy: spoofs, screwball comedy, British comedy, romantic comedy, and gender-bending comedy. We will view two films in each category. You may or may not find them funny—and that is something we can talk about! Each week before we view the film, participants will be emailed background information on the genre and a study guide on the film. We will then view the film together on Zoom during the first part of the class. (Some people choose to view the film independently and just join for discussion, which is fine.) After viewing, we will discuss the film through the lens of the questions listed on the study guide. Although I can’t promise you laughs, we can hope for invigorating discussions!

Readings/Films: Blazing Saddles, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Bringing Up Baby, The Lady Eve, The Ladykillers, Bedazzled, Roxanne, When Harry Met Sally, Victor/Victoria, and Some Like It Hot (These categories and titles are subject to change.)

Leader: Ronna Frick retired after teaching high school English for over forty years, the last nine also serving as English Department Head at Wellesley High School. Having taught LLARC courses on “Jane Austen”, “The Bible as Literature”, “Comedy and Tragedy”, “Hollywood Film Genres”, “Hollywood Film Directors”, “Great Film Actors and Actresses” and others, she looks forward to another meaningful and fun experience with other lifelong learners in this course, too.

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3248 Opera For Everyone: Five Great Opera Singers of the Past and Present

Five weeks
Wednesdays, 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
February 24 through March 24

In this five-week course, you will join Erika as she takes you on a journey to celebrate the lives of five eminent opera singers. You’ll start with the majestic American soprano Jessye Norman, whom we lost in September 2019. Then we’ll explore the art of the unequaled tenor Fritz Wunderlich and enjoy a salute to the mighty Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel. You’ll learn why Birgit Nilsson, the Swedish dramatic soprano, was considered in a league of her own. And finally, you’ll enjoy a tribute to the elegant voice of Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, whom the opera world lost prematurely in 2017.

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 12th semester of teaching for LLARC.

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3249 DNA, Sex, and Human Heredity (First of Two Classes) - CLOSED

Five weeks
Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
February 24 through March 24

DNA is the most amazing chemical ever discovered. It is essential to life and responsible for who we are as individuals and as a species. We pass our DNA to our children and can see ourselves reflected in them. Great strides have been made over the past decades towards understanding how DNA works and what possibilities it holds for the future. This is the first of two courses that will explore the science of DNA and its implications for society. Each class will stand on its own, but the first course will provide a foundation for understanding the broader implications covered by the second. Weeks 1 through 5 will cover the basic science of DNA, its language, how it works to preserve our health, build our bodies, and pass our own personal traits to future generations. We’ll explore the science of sex and discuss how DNA controls development from the time of conception to a fully functioning human.

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.

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3250 Love Your Body Tips: Creating Health in a COVID-19 Universe

Five weeks
Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
February 24 through March 24

In a COVID universe, learning how to optimize our health and healing might not be a luxury any longer. Clarifying our choices to age elegantly and feel confident and competent in our capacity to access the best within us has become more essential.

Join one of the leading experts in natural medicine as he reviews how herbal medicine, homeopathy, and nutrition can improve your health. He'll focus on ways to optimize your general energy, stabilize your blood sugar, and eat for a healthier immune system. You'll learn why the digestive process is as important as what you eat; about various ways to stimulate healing; and the difference between optimal health and symptomatic relief. He'll also discuss how stress affects physical symptoms and the simple actions you can take to minimize the effects of demands in your life.

Leader: Dr. Barry Taylor is a trained Naturopathic Physician and healer who has practiced Naturopathic Medicine since 1978. He has taught in medical schools, colleges, hospitals, continuing education venues, spas, and many companies around the world. His conventional and alternative diagnostic and therapeutic skills have continually proven successful with many complicated conditions such as weight management, allergies, and compromised immune functioning, hormone imbalances, as well as digestive and musculoskeletal challenges. Dr. Taylor uses natural medicines like herbs, vitamins, and homeopathics that work to create harmony within the body and mind. He works holistically to integrate all aspects of a person’s life: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual and his vision of healing recognizes and respects the power of the human body to heal itself. Because of Dr. Taylor’s unique expertise, traditional doctors consult with him to learn holistic and natural approaches to pass on to their own patients. He is passionate about educating, guiding, and teaching his clients, how to make healthy, effective choices that keep them mentally and physically strong, and vital throughout their lives.

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3251 DNA, Society, and A Brave New World (Second of Two Classes)

Five weeks
Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
March 31 through April 28

DNA is the most amazing chemical ever discovered. It is essential to life and responsible for who we are as individuals and as a species. We pass our DNA to our children and can see ourselves reflected in them. Great strides have been made over the past decades towards understanding how DNA works and what possibilities it holds for the future. This is the second of two courses that will explore the science of DNA and its implications for society. Weeks 6-10 will explore the amazing strides that have been made over the past twenty years in understanding the complexities of DNA and how it affects our daily lives. New techniques like CRISPR for gene editing offer startling possibilities for curing diseases and even changing the future of our species. Discoveries within the genome have paved the way for tracing lineages and rethinking basic ideas of race and society. We’ll try to understand the ethical implications of this new knowledge and the profound possibilities for the future of humankind.

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.

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3252 Black Artists Interpret the Black Experience - CLOSED

Eight weeks
Wednesdays, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
February 24 through April 14

For more than a century, black artists have depicted the experiences of black Americans through great, but little known, art. This course will open your eyes to a world of color, provocation, fun, and inspiration. You'll see how black artists interpret joy, horror, vibrance, style, passion, pride, determination, sorrow, and rebellion. From slavery to the civil rights movement, from jazz to street life, a picture of black history will unfold through art. Each week, more than 25 artworks, including a portfolio of work from one outstanding artist, will be shown. We'll discuss some of the art together, and along the way you'll learn how to look at art in new ways.

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 13th term he has taught at LLARC.

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3253 The Short Story

Five weeks
Wednesdays, 1 p.m.
February 24 through March 24

What constitutes a short story, setting it apart from a novel? A novella? This five-week course will explore the short story, examining the elements that are akin to this genre as well as reading and discussing some excellent, thought-provoking modern fiction. We will read and discuss 2 stories during each class. Participants should purchase (it is in paperback) The Best American Short Stories 2020 edited by Curtis Sittenfeld. Short Stories can be challenging. Why, we might ask, did the author start where he/she did? And why end sometimes without the resolution for which we readers might wish? We will explore these questions, among others.

Enrollment Note: Prior to the first class, please have read the first two stories, "Godmother Tea" by Selena Anderson and "The Apartment" by T.C. Boyle.

Required Reading: The Best American Short Stories 2020 edited by Curtis Sittenfeld

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.

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3254 The History of Early Christianity

10 weeks
Thursdays, 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
February 25 through April 29

This course is the continuation of Rabbi Orkand’s study of how Jesus became the Christian God. In this course, participants will look at the beginnings of the Catholic church and end with the Reformation. The course will cover the first Christian institutions; Christianities in the early Church; persecution and saints; institutional and doctrinal developments, and popes and bishops in the early Middle Ages. The format will be weekly lectures with plenty of opportunity for questions and conversation. There will be no homework, though a list of suggested readings will be sent to participants. Note: To enroll in this class, it is not necessary to have taken prior classes offered by Rabbi Orkand.

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. He is particularly interested in understanding The Bible and in comparative religion.

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3255 Memoir of Place

Five weeks
Thursdays, 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
February 25 through March 25

Often where people grow up has an effect on sensibilities, attitudes, future relationships. Sometimes place is an Eden to be sought or hell to be escaped. We shall discuss 3 memoirs as if the place where the characters are shapes them at the time of the memoir. Does it sustain or harm? Is it a universe that you as reader envy or reject? Memoir allows for vicarious empathy and emotional immediacy. The class will be participant-discussion, seminar format.

Please read Part One of Fuller’s book before the first class session.

Required Reading: (in order listed) Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller, A Childhood: The Biography of a Place by Harry Crews, Boyhood by J. M. Coetzee

Leader: Brooks Goddard has been teaching since September 1963, at many levels in many places including many years at LLARC. Brooks had a 30+ year career at Wellesley High School where he retired as English Department Head. He has visited the home countries of the authors in this seminar. He lives in Needham where he reads, writes, gardens, and constantly cleans out his desk.

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3256 Romantic Era in Classical Music

Five weeks
Thursdays, 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
February 25 through March 25

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. Participants can expect about one-half hour of reading each week to be assigned and distributed by e-mail prior to each class. You will also receive internet addresses of YouTube video recordings of about an hour of music to be played in class that can be watched on the internet prior to each class.

Leader: Glenn Strehle has taught two courses in music for LLARC including a five-session class of this same course in the fall of 2019 and a course on Early Modernism in Classical Music using Zoom in the fall of 2020. He also taught several LLARC courses on economics and investments in earlier years. Glenn was a piano student and a baritone horn player in a school band. He is now the retired Treasurer Emeritus of MIT and continues to serve on investment committees for public and non-profit organizations.

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3257 The President as Statesman: Woodrow Wilson and the Constitution

Five weeks
Thursdays, 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
April 1 through April 29

Participants will discuss Woodrow Wilson's views on "responsible government" in which a strong leader and principled party would integrate the separate executive and legislative powers. The class will examine how Wilson tried to deal with the constitutional separation of powers, first as a college professor and then as president of the U.S. Discussion will include how Wilson moderated his earlier viewpoints on Separation of Powers as a Statesman. This also raises important questions today about the nature of presidential leadership in our modern political system.

Leader: Jack Miller is a retired Engineer having taught Mathematics and LLARC history classes. Jack’s interest in American history focuses this class on Woodrow Wilson in both his role as statesman and integrating the Executive and Legislative branches of our government.

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3258 Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho - CLOSED

11 weeks
Thursdays, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
February 25 through May 6

2020 was a year of never-ending vortices The year began with the threat of a little-understood virus, a polar vortex in the spring, and the most disruptive election season we have lived through. The year ended with an even more virulent resurgence of a virus now known worldwide as COVID-19, and a post-election season that is testing all of us. Interwoven through it all has been what some call a “racial awakening” in the United States. The deaths of George Floyd and many other Black Americans ignited calls for not just dialogue but action. Although we may feel that there is little we can do to address many of the problems besieging the country today, we can begin by recognizing and affirming the racial issues plaguing American society. As a white woman, I invite you to join me in viewing and discussing Emmanuel Acho’s podcasts in this 11-week course. What do we need to make this meaningful? Participants who are open to examining White Privilege and how it affects Black Americans as well as other people of color of this country. In order to take part in the course, you will need access to a computer, a desire to confront and discuss an issue that may make you feel uncomfortable, and the ability to admit that we all play a role in finding a solution that will unify our country. The first class is required of all in order to remain enrolled in the course.

Required Reading: Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho, Flatiron Books, 2020 Hardcover ISBN 978-1-250-80046-6 Ebook ISBN 978-1-250-80048-0

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 of experience at 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.

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3259 A Semester of Mysteries

10 weeks
Thursdays, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
February 25 through April 29

Participants will read a variety of mysteries at the rate of one book per week. Discussion questions are emailed out ahead of time to help frame the discussions. The sessions are discussion-based and books may be from a local library, downloaded to a device, or purchased. Once you are confirmed for the course, you may request the reading list from the Study Group Leader or see below. Books are read in the order they appear on the list.

Required Reading: The Hound of the Baskervilles by A.C. Doyle, Fer de Lance by Rex Stout, Five Red Herrings by Dorothy Sayers, The Flower Master by Sujata Massey, The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda, Death in Focus by Anne Perry, The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett, Nemesis by Agatha Christie, Last Bus to Woodstock by Colin Dexter, Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

Leader: Karen Mallozzi has thoroughly enjoyed leading these mystery sessions along with other offerings, and for the first time this year, has transformed them to online classes due to the virus. She holds a BA from the University of RI and a MA from Andover-Newton Theological School. She is an avid reader, gardener, and is active in Natick committees.

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