Fall 2022

Study groups are typically "led" rather than "taught" - by volunteers or select Regis faculty. 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 group 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 and/or texts, which students should buy independently.

Fall study groups meet for either five or 10 weeks. Please note the specific meeting dates given for each study group. Most study groups will be held online via Zoom, and three are to be offered in-person on campus in accordance with Regis health and safety protocols, and will not be hybrid. Those who wish to participate in-person will need to be fully vaccinated with vaccination cards on file with Regis health services.

Details

Study groups fill up fast! Register as soon as you can after registration opens for the best chance of getting into the study groups you want.

  1. Who may join? LLARC welcomes mature adults with a desire for learning.
  2. Choose from two levels of participation:
    1. Basic annual membership which includes the Lunch, Listen and Learn program
    2. Basic annual membership plus enrollment for the current semester for one or more study groups
  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 to August 31.
  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. You may select up to four study groups. If a study group is filled, you will be placed on a waiting list.
  5. After registering, students will receive further instructions about the payment process.
  6. 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.

Register for LLARC Courses

Download the full study group catalog

#3201 Creative Writing

Study Group Leader: Virginia Slep

Session Length: 10 weeks

Course Format: Zoom

Day and Time: Monday, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Start Date: September 19 / End Date: December 5 (No class on September 26 and October 10)

Enrollment Note: This represents a continuation of the spring 2022 class.

Description: 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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#3266 Women Who Cared and Dared (1620-1890): The Roots of the Women’s Rights Movement

Study Group Leader: Mary Nowak

Session Length: 10 weeks

Course Format: Zoom

Day and Time: Monday, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Start Date: September 19 / End Date: December 5 (No class on September 26 and October 10)

Course Description: You probably know Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other Suffragists who worked passionately and tirelessly to secure rights we now take for granted…but their work was made possible by Colonial, Antebellum, and Early Victorian women’s efforts to transcend directed, expected and limited lives. In our study group we will illuminate the efforts of women making impacts to change their surroundings, and how these areas began to overlap causing increasingly larger progressive changes… ultimately giving the Suffragists a National stage upon which they would be heard.

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 women in the Suffrage Movement, the Labor Movement, the Progressive Movement, the American Civil War, and America’s Internment of Japanese-American citizens during WWII, as well as several variations of the same topics.

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#3267 Scientific Enigmas

Study Group Leader: Martin Idelson

Session Length: 10 weeks

Course Format: Zoom

Day and Time: Monday, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Start Date: September 19 / End Date: December 5 (No class on September 26 and October 10)

Course Description: Scientists can explain in detail why water freezes, melts and evaporates, how bacteria cause disease, how to make steel or an atomic bomb. Science has made huge advances from Galileo’s telescope, with which he was the first to see the moons of Jupiter, to space travel and the international space station. There are, however, many fundamental questions they are unable to answer. We will discuss some of these enigmas in a way that will challenge your imagination while learning about strange phenomena you may never have heard of and having fun at the same time: Where do cosmic rays come from and how are they produced? The Big Bang: When did it happen (if it did)? Why does the universe exist? When and how did life evolve? Why are natural amino acids left-handed and sugars right-handed? What are dark matter, anti-matter and dark energy? Are we alone? What is quantum entanglement? Space roar! What could that be?

We will discuss these questions, and in the process, you will be exposed to some mind-bending counter-intuitive concepts. During the class discussions ask many questions; some of them I will try to answer, others I will be unable to answer and still others no one is able answer.

While we will not be able to answer the fundamental questions, discussing them should be fun. Prior to each class session a PowerPoint file will be distributed to familiarize everyone with the upcoming discussions.

Leader: Martin Idelson finished a PhD in Chemistry in 1954. His career started with a post doc at Jimmy Fund for three years studying and publishing on the synthesis and properties of synthetic polypeptides and then at Polaroid Corp. for 28 years. At Polaroid he was awarded numerous US and foreign patents, published articles and gave lectures on instant photography and photographic chemistry. He specialized in dye chemistry and developed the image dyes for SX70 photographs. After retiring as Research Fellow and Director of Dye Chemistry in 1985 he studied music theory, astronomy and other courses at BU and independently studied genetics, biotechnology and cosmology. His teaching experience includes organic, general and polymer chemistry at Northeastern University, UMass Boston and Bentley College and more recently, courses at Brandeis BOLLI and at LLARC.

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#3268 Western Gunslingers: The Truth Behind the Westerns

Study Group Leader: Daniel Seligman

Session Length: 10 weeks

Course Format: Zoom

Day and Time: Monday, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Start Date: September 19 / End Date: December 5 (No class on September 26 and October 10)

Course Description: The course consists of ten PowerPoint seminars on the life and times of gunslingers who lived in the American West in the late 19th century. The intent is to present the unvarnished truth as far as it can be ascertained from historical records. Each seminar addresses a western figure in the following order: Wild Bill Hickok, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Buffalo Bill Cody, Annie Oakley, Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Belle Starr, Black Bart, Butch Cassidy.

Leader: Daniel Seligman is a retired engineer with a lifelong interest in the American West. He has published a number of articles on western history.

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#3269 Girls 2 Women

Study Group Leader: Brooks Goddard

Session Length: Five weeks

Course Format: Zoom

Day and Time: Tuesday, 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Start Date: September 20 / End Date: October 18

Course Description: Girls 2 Women will explore the circumstances of two girls in different cultures and what they chose to do to escape those circumstances. We’ll review similarities and differences in a seminar format which encourages participation.

Required Reading: Please read the first 30 chapters in The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare by the time of session one. We shall then read Educated by Tara Westover.

Leader: Brooks Goddard is an experienced Study Group Leader; he started teaching in 1963 and has taught three generations of the same family. He also teaches at North Hill and Wellesley-Weston Lifetime Learning. He is a veteran traveler with a special fondness for African countries and, in season a constant gardener.

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#3237 Current Events

Study Group Leader: Muriel Stern Riseman

Session Length: 10 weeks

Course Format: Zoom

Day and Time: Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Start Date: September 20 / End Date: November 22

Course Description: Are you a person who is interested in world events and likes to have a conversation and exchange ideas about them? If you want to have a place to share your opinions and thoughts about topics in the news, LLARC has a course for you. It’s Current Events! Through a facilitated discussion, classmates express their ideas about recent happenings, while we listen, learn, and understand the basis for others’ opinions. The class discussion is facilitated with guidelines, to enable people to feel comfortable participating. Robust exchanges can happen within this framework. Class members are encouraged to give one short presentation during the semester, about a topic of interest to him/her. Usually, the talks are at the beginning of the class, while at the end of each class, we discuss recent events that have 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 young people and adults. She continued this interest after retirement by leading community support groups. However, she is also a major “news junkie” and likes to absorb as much information as she can about what is happening in the world, share her perceptions, and hear/understand other points of view. For the past six years she has had the wonderful opportunity to promote conversations in LLARC Current Events study groups.

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#3282 The French Revolution and Napoleon

Study Group Leader: William Koehler

Session Length: 10 weeks

Course Format: Zoom

Day and Time: Tuesday, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Start Date: September 20 / End Date: November 22

Course Description: Certain historical periods are so meaningful to future generations that historians shape the entire profession around them. The fall of Rome (generally placed around 476 CE), which ushered in the Middle/Dark Ages, and the French Revolution of 1789, which marks the transition to the “modern” world, are perhaps the two most important in Western history. The French Revolution unleashed radical transformations of the globe’s political, cultural, economic, and social conditions. Through mini-lectures, discussions, activities, and readings, we will seek to develop a deeper understanding the dramatic events from 1789 to 1815, from the storming of the Bastille (the commemorated beginning of the French Revolution) through Napoleon’s final defeat at Waterloo. We will also examine the Revolution’s causes, its philosophical underpinnings, and the powerful changes engendered in its wake. We will read both current and contemporary accounts of the Revolution and Napoleonic Wars; all readings will be provided to the students.

Leader: William Koehler, Dean of the Sloane School of Business and Communication at Regis College, holds a PhD in Modern European History from Brandeis University and has taught in higher education for over three decades.

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#3270 Oscar Losers

Study Group Leader: Ronna Frick

Session Length: 10 weeks

Course Format: Zoom

Day and Time: Tuesday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Start Date: September 20 / End Date: November 22

Course Description: In this course we will examine ten Academy Award best picture nominees that lost out on the Oscar and after viewing each film, discuss its strengths, weaknesses, and whether it “should” have won. We will look at historical trends to get at least a rough sense of what was valued in movies for each year of the films we examine and what may have been influencing the Academy, as well as do a more in-depth analysis of the film through two lenses: aesthetic (what makes this film artful? ) and cultural (in what ways is the film an expression of the social, moral, and political values and assumptions of the America of its time?). Through these lenses, we will attempt to answer the question—should these movies have been Oscar winners after all? And, at the least, we will watch some great films!

Films: The movies we will view with the years they were nominated are: Citizen Kane (’42), High Noon (’53), The Last Picture Show (’72), Taxi Driver (’77), Witness (’86), Field of Dreams (’90), Shawshank Redemption (’95), Saving Private Ryan (’99), Lost in Translation (’04) and BlacKkKlansman (’19). (Films are subject to change.)

Leader: Ronna Frick retired after teaching high school English for over 40 years, as well as serving nine years as department chair at Wellesley High School. Having taught many courses at LLARC in literature and in film including among others Hollywood Film Genres, The Movies Take on the Issues, and Diverse Directors, she looks forward to another meaningful and fun experience with other lifelong learners in this course, too.

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#3281 Making of the Modern Middle East States and their Postal Stamps

Study Group Leader: Jacob Miller

Session Length: Five weeks

Course Format: Zoom

Day and Time: Wednesday, 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Start Date: September 21 / End Date: October 26 (No class on October 5)

Course Description: We will explore the creation of the current middle eastern states after World War I by the British and the French while looking at these states’ postage stamps from the 1880’s until post WWII. Our concentration will be the interactions of the Ottomans, Arab tribes with the British and French and how decisions made at the Versailles Peace Conference still affect our contemporary world political situation. This study group will be primarily a Middle East history class using postage stamps to illustrate the regions’ relics from antiquities and artifacts; rulers, dictators; political leaders; and some cultural figures.

Leader: Jack Miller is a retired Engineer with teaching experience in Engineering, Mathematics, Business, and LLARC history classes. Jack’s lifelong interest on the Middle East focuses this class on the creation of the Middle Eastern states by the British and French after WWI and these countries’ postage stamps.

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#3271 Poetry as Sedition

Study Group Leader: Pam Kyrka

Session Length: Five weeks

Course Format: Zoom

Day and Time: Wednesday, 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Start Date: September 21 / End Date: October 26 (No class on October 5)

Course Description: Some people may think of poetry as a gentle, soothing read, a way to infuse some quiet beauty into their lives. And, indeed, some poems may do just that. But not all do! We will read poems that may be seditious in what they say, but also have a context the reader did not expect in the poem. After all, “Roses may be red, and violets may be blue, but the poems we’ll read, should say much more to you!”

Required Reading: Prior to the first class, please obtain a copy of Poems – Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman.

Leader: Pam Kyrka is a retired English teacher who also writes children’s literature, including picture books and one middle grade and one young adult novel. She is presently working on her third novel. Having taught poetry for years, she recognizes the power it holds and the thoughts it provokes. She has also taught a short story course at LLARC for several years.

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#3272 The Science of Music

Study Group Leader: Frank Villa

Session Length: Five weeks

Course Format: Zoom

Day and Time: Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Start Date: September 21 / End Date: October 26 (No class October 5)

Description: The discovery of a scientific relationship between mathematics and musical harmony was the first human experience that the mysticism of art had a logical explanation. We’ll explore this discovery and how it led to modern science. In more modern times, from Bach to the Beach Boys, the western musical scale, based on physics and mathematics, evolved to generate the wide range of musical composition we know today. We’ll discuss the physical reasons why tones sound good together, how modern instruments create their unique sounds, and why the acoustical properties of our own Boston Symphony Hall makes it one of a small handful of top musical venues in the world.

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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#3273 Discovering the Cosmos, Discovering Ourselves: A Historical Approach to Science and the History of Western Thought

Study Group Leader: Frank Villa

Session Length: Five weeks

Course Format: Zoom

Day and Time: Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Start Date: November 2 / End Date: December 7 (No class November 23)

Description: From the watchtowers of ancient Babylon to the Hubble Space telescope; from Incan priests to Albert Einstein, new discoveries about the cosmos have changed the human experience. Our ancestors probed the mysteries of the universe to discover their place in it, to answer profound questions about origins and survival. Even modern scientists speak of “knowing the mind of God”. This course will trace the history of these discoveries as they unfolded and discuss how they affected the ways we think about religion, the search for knowledge, and the meaning of human existence.

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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#3274 Reading Toni Morrison’s Beloved

Study Group Leader: Dorothy Miller

Session Length: 10 weeks

Course Format: In-Person at Regis College, Fine Arts Center

Day and Time: Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Start Date: September 21 / End Date: December 7 (No class October 5 and November 23)

Course Description: During this course we will read, discuss and analyze Toni Morrison’s prize winning novel Beloved. We will begin by looking at some African tales and some slave narratives to broaden our understanding of what it felt like to be enslaved. Toni Morrison said this was the most difficult novel she has ever written and I have a video of her talking about that which I hope we can view together. Reading this novel is a moving and transformative experience, and I’m excited to share it with you.

Required Reading: Please obtain a copy of Beloved by Toni Morrison, Plume edition, 1988. Reading assignments will be sent out prior to the first class.

Leader: Dorothy Miller taught in the English Department at Boston College for forty years, teaching both writing and literature. She specializes in multicultural literature.

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#3275 Robert Moses – The Man and the Myth

Study Group Leader: Marcia Hall

Session Length: Five weeks

Course Format: In-Person at Regis College, Fine Arts Center

Day and Time: Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Start Date: September 21 / End Date: October 26 (No class October 5)

Course Description: Anyone who has lived in or traveled through New York City or Long Island has experienced the projects developed by Robert Moses. Although he was neither an engineer nor an architect, he was largely responsible for hundreds of miles of roadways , eleven bridges, hundreds of parks and playgrounds, two dams, as well as Lincoln Center, Shea Stadium, the U.N. headquarters, two World’s Fairs and the incomparable Jones Beach. Although never elected to any position, he wielded enough power so that no mayor, no governor, not even a President could dictate to him. While many historians have lauded his visionary accomplishments, others have asked at what cost. This course will examine both sides of this issue.

Leader: Since retiring from the Bedford public schools Marcia has spent much of her time volunteering in a local classroom and taking classes at LLARC. Although this is her first time as a Study Group Leader, she has assisted her husband Tom in the development and delivery of his numerous LLARC classes.

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#3276 When Opposites Attract

Study Group Leader: Steve Kendall

Session Length: 10 weeks

Course Format: In-Person at Regis College, Fine Arts Center

Day and Time: Wednesday, 1 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Start Date: September 21 / End Date: December 7 (No class October 5 and November 23)

Course Description: What does a Titian have in common with a Dali? A Vermeer with a Hopper? A realistic Nineteenth Century drawing with an abstract Twentieth Century sculpture? The photography of Mei Xu with the paintings of Helen Frankenthaler? In art, as in life, opposites can attract. In this course, you’ll learn about—and discuss—four “coupled” artworks each week. Plus, we’ll compare artworks from early and late in an artist’s career (what a difference!); how two artists focused on the same subject over and over, and how their approaches differed; and how a photographer turned Norman Rockwell’s iconic “Four Freedoms” series into a powerful statement for today.

Leader: Steve Kendall has taught art history-related courses for LLARC for the past 15 terms, and is a former recipient of the LLARC Bernie Shuster Award for teaching excellence. He has been a tour guide at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum for 11 years, and prior to retirement was the president of an advertising and public relations agency.

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#3277 The Gilded Age

Study Group Leader: Bernie Shuster

Session Length: 10 weeks

Course Format: Zoom

Day and Time: Thursday, 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Start Date: September 22 / End Date: December 1 (No class November 24)

Course Description: From the end of the Civil War to the end of the 19th Century, America underwent a transformative journey from a rural self-employed people to an urbanized majority of wage earners. Society was obsessed by invention, industrialization, incorporation, immigration, and imperialism. Hardly any realm of life remained untouched: politics, education, family life, literature and the arts. Rapid advances in transportation, communication, and mechanization wrenched Americans from the moorings of familiar values. How the populace reacted to this cultural incorporation is the theme of this course. We will also visit the major politicians, “Robber Barons”’ and reformers of the era.

Required Reading: America in the Gilded Age by Sean Denis Cashman

Leader: Bernard Shuster earned a BA in History at UMASS Amherst and an LLD at Boston University School of Law. He practiced law for several years as a partner in a Boston Law firm. He the founded and served as COO at a financial services firm. Bernie has led over 50 courses at LLARC and HILR.

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#3278 A Guided Tour through James Joyce’s Ulysses – Part One

Study Group Leader: Rachel Alpert

Session Length: 10 weeks (Continues with the 10 week spring semester for a total of 20 weeks)

Course Format: Zoom

Day and Time: Thursday, 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Start Date: September 22 / End Date: December 1 (No class November 24)

Course Description: James Joyce’s Ulysses is widely celebrated as one of the great masterpieces of Twentieth Century literature. Its indelible characters, epic themes, intimate realism, imaginative style, poetic prose, and unparalleled literary connections present a unique reading experience. The book, at 730 pages, is, however, a daunting read, unguided. Though the entire novel covers one day - June 16, 1904, now celebrated world-wide as “Bloomsday” - in the Dublin life of its three protagonists, we will take a leisurely 20-week guided tour through the emotional, cultural, spiritual and psychological struggles of “Everyman” Leopold Bloom, “Gaia” Molly Bloom, and “James Joyce stand-in” Stephen Dedalus on the most “ordinariniest” of days.

Required Reading: Prior to the first class, please obtain a copy of Ulysses (The Gabler Edition) by James Joyce.

Leader: Rachel Alpert has taught high school English and currently teaches at Suffolk Law School. She has led lifelong learning courses on “Freedom of Speech,” “The Rise of Religion in the Supreme Court,” “Sex, Gender, Bathrooms and the Supreme Court,” “The Regulation of Food in the U.S” and on James Joyce’s Ulysses (twice). She is an avid fan of great literature, especially James Joyce’s Ulysses.

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#3279 Screenwriting for Beginners

Study Group Leader: Courtney Cole, PhD

Session Length: 10 weeks

Course Format: Zoom

Day and Time: Thursday, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Start Date: September 22 / End Date: December 1 (No class November 24)

Course Description: Have you ever had an idea for a movie? Want to learn how to write movies like a pro? In this course we’ll learn the basics of screenwriting, including pitching, plotting, and pacing the action. Each student will develop, pitch, and write the first act (about 30 pages) of a script, which will be workshopped through instructor and peer feedback to refine and revise participants’ ideas. Outside of class, students will complete short reading, viewing or writing assignments. Access to all course materials will be free with a Minuteman Library card and email account.

Leader: Courtney Cole is an Associate Professor of Communications at Regis College with a background in nonprofit and media communication. She has studied creative and screenwriting at Grub Street in Boston and Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver.

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#3280 War, Assassinations, and an Emerging World Power

Study Group Leader: Mary Egan

Session Length: 10 weeks

Course Format: Zoom

Day and Time: Thursday, 1 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Start Date: September 22 / End Date: December 1 (No class November 24)

Course Description: Join us as we review American history from the Civil War through the Gilded Age. We will highlight the First Ladies from Mary Todd Lincoln to Ida Saxton McKinley while reviewing the presidencies of their husbands. We will look at the history of the later half of the 19th century in America and the roles these women took during this important period. You will need to be comfortable with Zoom and using YouTube. Please spend some time before each class researching the individual first ladies online to gain some knowledge about each of them.

Leader: Mary Egan is an experienced Study Group Leader who has developed courses dealing with the First Ladies from Martha Washington through Barbara Bush, the Story Behind the Mexican War, and Difficult Conversations with a Black Man. An educator with 34 years of experience at the elementary and secondary levels, 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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