10:00 AM-11:00 AM Classes

  • American Issues

    Invited speakers provide historical background and depth to issues facing the US today and respond to questions and comments from the class. Filmed and aired on Wellesley cable television and on YouTube, this course is designed to stimulate a discussion that will extend beyond the classroom and contribute to a more informed community.

    • September 17: Janet Applefield, Holocaust survivor, “The Importance of Active Citizenship”
    • September 24: Erik Fleegler, M.D., Children’s Hospital, “Guns as a Health Issue”
    • October 1: Paul Willen, senior economist and policy adviser, research dept., Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, “The Impact of the Federal Reserve”
    • October 15: Amy Schram, Better Business Bureau, “Scams and How to Recognize Them”
    • October 22: Jamie Jurgensen, director, Wellesley Free Library, “The Evolving Role of the Town Library”
    • October 29: John Dirlam, historian, “A Presentation in Honor of the 100th Anniversary of the End of the First World War in November, 2018”
    • November 5: Steve Lowe, lecturer on U.S. Constitutional history, “The Supreme Court in 2018”
    • November 12: Tom Paine, author and historian, “Celebrating 234 Years of Boston/Chinese History”
    • November 19: James Eldridge, MA senator, “The Need for Prison Reform”
    • November 26: Alan Schechter, emeritus professor of political science, Wellesley College, “US Foreign Policy”

    Course Coordinators: Ann Dolbear, Marian Stevens & Jill Strang

    Videographer: Bill Stanwood.

  • Ballroom Basics

    Dancing is the perfect combination of physical activity, social interaction and mental stimulation. It’s a full body workout for the mind, body and spirit. Learn the basic step elements, posture, poise, lead/follow, technique, etc. Merengue, waltz, foxtrot, tango, swing, rumba, salsa/cha cha. No partner or prior experience necessary.

    Teacher: Paul Hughes is a certified member of the Dance Teachers Club of Boston, the American Society of Teachers of Dance and National Dance Council of America, and teaches ballroom dancing in the Cambridge Public Schools.

  • Bright Moments of Jazz and Rock

    Minimum enrollment 6

    This course celebrates the great bands and stars of pop, rock and jazz. We listen to recordings, watch videos and talk about a wide variety of musicians and bands. Social, historical and musical context will be provided. Examples of the artists included are Fats Domino, Bob Dylan, Beatles, Bonnie Raitt, Miles Davis, Elvis Presley, BB King, Charlie Parker, Carole King, Adele, Sting, Tower of Power and James Brown.

    Teacher Tom Doran is a bassist/vocalist who has been playing locally for 48 years. He loves to talk about and play music, so if you do too, please join!

  • Greater Boston Cultural Institutions

    Boston, a major cultural center, boasts a wealth of museums, libraries, gardens, historic destinations, art galleries, authors, etc.

    The following will visit WWLL this semester:

    • September 17: Aviation in Massachusetts, John Galluzzo, author
    • September 24: Reagle Music Theatre, Bob Eagle, founder
    • October 1: Telephone Museum, Vince Valentine, CEO
    • October 15: Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods, Jeffrey Cramer, curator of collections
    • October 22: McMullen Art Museum, Nancy Joyce, docent
    • October 29: WBUR, Amy Macdonald, director of community engagement
    • November 5: Revels, Paddy Swanson, artistic director
    • November 12: Boston Harbor Now, Alice Brown, director of water transportation
    • November 19: Massachusetts National Guard Museum and Archives, Leonid Kondratiuk, director, historical/militia affairs
    • November 26: GrubStreet writing center, Jeannie Blasberg, board member

    Course Organizers: Ross Atkin & Fran Weisse

  • Learning to Express Yourself in French

    Using a selection from literature to be distributed as a basis for conversation, we learn to narrate in French the action in those selections, and to describe the characters, the setting and the meaning. We will then apply our new knowledge to events in our personal lives. An intermediate level of French capability is required.

    Teacher: Norman Gaudet taught French at Newton North. A graduate of Boston College, he has an AMT from Harvard and did advanced studies in French at the Sorbonne.

  • Poetry For The People, Part XI: Poets Of The Western States

    Sessions 3 – 10, starts October 1

    The 11th Poetry for the People course will feature poets from the American West. Does geography inform the poetry of these men and women, some of whom are state poet laureates? Please join us in discussing the work of poets from states such as Alaska, Colorado, California, Montana and more. Everyone is strongly encouraged to share his or her insights into the works of these poets. Your views are a significant part of this class’s experience.

    Teacher: Chuck Kamar received his bachelor’s from Boston State and his master’s from Boston University. He taught for 34 years in the Newton Public Schools, the last 20 of which at Newton North. In 1998 he won the Paul E. Elicker Award for Excellence in Teaching.

  • Unknown But Not Forgotten: A Social History Of 19th Century America Through Women’s Lives

    Women represent 50 percent of the population, but rarely more than five percent of our historical narrative. We look at American History through the lens of six women who are not particularly well known, but whose lives reflected the texture of American society and the changing roles of women within it. Using diaries and secondary sources we will explore the context of the lives of women such as Martha Ballard of Augusta, Maine, a late 18th century herbalist and midwife; Sara Ripley, an early 19th century resident of Waltham, MA, and Harriet Ann Jacobs, of North Carolina, born into slavery in 1813.

    Teacher: David Moore taught in the history and social sciences department at Newton North. He received his master’s degree from Boston College. He received the Charles Dana Meserve outstanding teacher award in 1993. His particular history interests include classical Greece, American Studies and the Holocaust.

11:30 AM-12:30 PM Classes

  • A History Of GOD

    Sessions 4 – 10, starts October 15

    Based on former nun Karen Armstrong’s book, this course traces the history of the idea of God in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. From classical philosophy to medieval mysticism, to the Reformation, the Enlightenment and the modern age of skepticism, this course distills the intellectual history of Monotheism. The goal of this course is to enable the student to develop and defend a concept of God, in a believing or skeptical stance. Class discussion will be encouraged.

    Teacher: Rabbi William E. Kaufman received his ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1964 in New York and his Ph.D. in philosophy from Boston University in 1971. He is the author of seven books. He is Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Beth El in Fall River, MA, and was adjunct professor at Rhode Island College

  • History Potpourri

    This course presents a variety of historical topics.

    • September 17: Bill Nowlin, author of 25+ baseball books, presents his latest book: Ted Williams, the First Latino in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
    • September 24: John Walsh describes 3-D printing (making solid 3-D objects from digital files), including its history and future. Walsh is user experience manager at the Dedham Public Library.
    • October 1: Jim Vrabel, historian and author of A People’s History of the New Boston, discusses some significant moments in Boston’s history and offers some thoughts on the “New Boston.”
    • October 15: Eric Dolin, nationally-known author, presents his newly-released book Black Flags, Blue Waters , about the “golden era” of American piracy (late 1600-early 1700s)—Blackbeard, Kidd, et al.
    • October 22: Rachel Slade, journalist, presents her first book, Into the Raging Sea, the story of the 2015 disappearance of (and search for) the American container ship El Faro with the loss of all 33 on board in a hurricane in the infamous Bermuda Triangle.
    • October 29: David Prerau, WWLL registrant, international authority and author on the subject, will discuss the history of Daylight Saving Time.
    • November 5: Curt Martin, retired Merrimac College professor, will present the story of Vitagraph, his grandfather’s 1897-1925 motion picture company for which he won an Oscar in 1948 as a film pioneer.
    • November 12: Rob Lewis, retired USN carrier pilot, will discuss the tide-turning battles of Saratoga in the US Revolutionary War.
    • November 19: Fr. Francis Parker, retired Boston College professor, will discuss his work as official biographer of Hon. John D. Voelker, Michigan Supreme Court Justice, conservationist, fisherman, and author of Anatomy of a Murder, made into a famous 1959 movie starring Jimmy Stewart.
    • November 26: Bruce Belason will present an array of interesting, unique and mostly unpublished photos, including four presidential inaugurations, taken by his father as official photographer for 40 years for the Boy Scouts of America.

    Course Organizers: Ross Atkin and Bruce Belason

  • Stories of Conflict as Seen through a Narrator’s Lens, Part IX

    We will discuss how narrators’ perspectives affect our appreciation of works including “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift, Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt and Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler.

    Teacher: Helen F. Smith has taught at the Winsor School, Newton North and in Armenia, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Georgia, Romania and Zambia. A Smith College graduate, she edits texts about writing and journalism.

  • Theatre: Ibsen & Shaw, Masters Of The Problem Play

    When one thinks of the sub-genre of realism referred to as the problem play, Ibsen and Shaw come to mind. Ibsen was the pioneer and Shaw his most devoted admirer. Both seriously challenged audiences to face important social issues with different approaches. Ibsen’s plays invariably ended in tragedy while Shaw, often referred to as “The Laughing Ibsen,” was a master of wit. Volunteers will be encouraged to perform various scenes from the plays. Plays to be read: Ibsen’s Ghosts, suggested translation, William Archer; Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, suggested translation, Michael Meyer; Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession and Arms and the Man. The Shaw plays are available in Plays by George Bernard Shaw, Signet Classic, 1960 edition (reprinted ca. 2004).

    Teacher Lois Ziegelman, Ph.D., Brandeis, is a professor emerita from Framingham State College, where she taught World Literature and Drama for 31 years. A recipient of five fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, she has studied, taught and performed works from Classical Antiquity through the 20th century.

  • Wait A Minute! The Science Of New England Weather

    Sessions 6 – 10, starts October 29

    From the Montreal Express to the Bermuda High, New England lies in a battleground of competing atmospheric conditions. Heat and humidity from the tropics meet bitter arctic cold directly above us. The result is our very interesting and unpredictable weather patterns. This program begins with a study of local conditions observed in our backyards, and moves to global conditions that influence our weather from far-off places. We complete the study with a closer look at the familiar regional quirks that influence us even further.

    Teacher: Frank Villa: As a commercial pilot and instrument flight instructor, Frank has experienced the many challenges of New England weather first-hand. He combines this background with his enthusiasm for lecturing on natural phenomena of all kinds to help explain the fascinating and unpredictable world of New England weather.

  • Weekly News Discussion Group

    A discussion group on the important news of the week, domestic and international. There are many significant events in the arts, business, science, technology, politics, medicine and sports, etc. A list of suggested topics will be offered for group selections at each class. Possible topics cover a new medical procedure, a developing sports dynasty, a hard fought political election, racial, religious and ethnic tensions, conservative and liberal social practices, challenges of aging. Come with your reactions to the news and ask questions or shed light on them. Two or three persons will moderate the small class of about 20 members, maximum.

    Moderators: George Martin, who has taught chemistry, Jay Kaplan, Jack Rubin and Joe Weisse.

  • Writing Your Story (Memoir, Not Autobiography)

    Maximum enrollment 20

    Our memories are an essential part of who we are. This class is a community for those with stories to tell and reasons to write them down—to recapture treasured moments, leave a record for family and understand the past. Writing is done at home, then read aloud in class; comments focus on helping the writer. For those who can stay, the class extends to 1 p.m.

    Teacher: Pat Herlinger, B.A., UC Berkeley. Elementary teaching certificate. Teaching experience at the elementary level (classroom, substitute, remedial).

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