10:00 AM-11:00 AM Classes

  • American Issues

    Invited speakers will give background and depth to current issues. Readings will be provided. Participation from the class through comments and questions is encouraged. The goal is to stimulate discussion and contribute to a more informed community. Selected talks will be recorded and aired on Wellesley cable television and on YouTube. A schedule of speakers will be handed out at the first class.

    Partial list of speakers:

    • Debi Benoit, principal, Benoit, Mizner and Simon, “The National Real Estate Market”
    • F. Trenery Dolbear, Jr., professor emeritus of economics, Brandeis International Business School, “Features of the 2017 Tax Law”
    • Tom Paine, author of the forthcoming book, America’s DNA, discusses his illustrious family who “shaped and defended our liberties from the Mayflower Compact to the American Revolution and the Civil War”
    • Alice Peisch, state representative, “Massachusetts Infrastructure Priorities “
    • John Rosenthal, director and founder, Stop Handgun Violence, “Guns and Society”
    • Alan Schechter, professor emeritus, Wellesley College, “The Opioid Epidemic”

    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 Marley, Bob Dylan, Beatles, Miles Davis, Elvis Presley, BB King, Charlie Parker, Carole King, Adele, Tower Of Power and James Brown. Come and share bright moments.

    Teacher Tom Doran is a bassist/vocalist who has played locally for 45 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:

    • March 5: New Art Center, Newton, Dan Elias, executive director
    • March 12: Boston African American Historic Site, Stan Quigley, National Park Service
    • March 26: Lovin’ Spoonfuls, Ashley Stanley, founder and executive director
    • April 2: New England Museum Association, Dan Yaeger, executive director
    • April 9: Walnut Hill School, Natick, Antonio Viva, head of school
    • April 23: Quabbin Reservoir Visitor Center, Justin Gonsor, program coordinator
    • April 30: Fort Devens Museum, Andrew Tabak, board of directors
    • May 7: New England Historic Genealogical Society, Tom Dreyer, genealogist
    • May 14: Pao Arts Center, Chinatown, Cynthia Woo, director Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
    • May 21: Huntington Theatre Company

    Course Organizers: Ross Atkin & Fran Weisse

  • Learning to Express Yourself in French

    Using selections 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.

  • The Butterfly Effect Part II: How Random Events Affect History

    History from the perspective of “now” often assumes the mantle of inevitability. It appears logical and linear. Standard texts march from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance to the Age of Reason. But what if we replayed the tape of history? Would we have the same result? To what extent is history the result of a series of unpredictable contingent events that cascade into a particular outcome? What if Hindenburg had not offered the chancellorship to Adolph Hitler in January, 1933? We will take a look at this event and a series of others that have altered the course of history from the Versailles Treaty in 1919 to the USS Maddox and the Gulf of Tonkin crises.

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

  • The Catcher in the Rye: Design, Coincidence or Unconscious Effort?

    Sessions 4-10, starts April 2

    For decades, J.D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, has captivated, puzzled and entertained readers. We will read and discuss the book as a byproduct of the central character Holden Caulfield’s drive to fulfill his role as The Catcher. This uncontrollable drive compels him to act and react under the influence of a unique psychological need, and it makes sense of his unusual and seemingly random responses to people and events.

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

  • Wollen Sie Deutsch Sprechen?

    An hour of conversation for students of German and for German speakers. Basic knowledge of the German language is necessary. We read stories, plays, newspaper articles and poems. Participants write short essays, which we correct in class and use as bases to review or teach grammar points. Talents represented in the group make for a lively class.

    Teacher: Renate Olsen has a bachelor’s and a master’s from New York State University at Albany. She has taught English and German in high school. She had a Fulbright scholarship in Germany and is a retired serials librarian at Regis College.

11:30 AM-12:30 PM Classes

  • Blues and Harmonica

    Sessions 4-9, starts April 2

    Do you have a love of the blues or an interest in learning about this truly American music? Would you like to try learning a little beginners’ blues harmonica? If so, this fun and entertaining class is for you. Each class will consist of a combination of blues history, artists, listening to prerecorded samples of the famous blues masters, and simple blues harmonica ensemble instruction. Harmonicas will be available for $5. Musical ability is not required, just a desire to learn about the blues and have fun.

    Teacher Kent Kissinger has taught this course to rave reviews for 20 years in many New England venues. He is an accomplished blues musician who plays drums, guitar, trumpet and harmonica. He has a life-long passion for the blues and a huge blues music collection to draw from.

  • Federal Cases

    The U.S. Constitution’s Article III describes a powerful federal judicial system. This class will focus on ways the Supreme Court selects and considers cases large and small. Students will enhance their knowledge and appreciation of how the Supreme Court operates as they decide which cases to examine based on the appeal process, Articles and Amendments cited, dissents and decision impacts. Activities include discussion, regular knowledge assessments and judicial role-playing. A syllabus and a copy of the Constitution will be provided.

    Speakers: Steve Lowe, a former Wayland High teacher, devoted four years of retirement to studying the U.S. Constitution. Since 2014 he has been enriched by sharing what he’s learned with Lifetime Learning students in MetroWest. Author of three books, his favorite 18th century writer is James Madison.

  • History Potpourri

    This course presents a variety of historical perspectives.

    • March 5 Bob Begin: Wooden Ships and Iron Men. The naval war of 1812, featuring the victorious record of the USS Constitution vs. England’s Royal Navy, the world’s most powerful.
    • March 12 Bill Nowlin, author of a new bio of an owner who arouses some controversy today: Tom Yawkey: Patriarch of Boston Red Sox. Mr. Nowlin is the author or editor of more than 25 Red Sox-related books. Nuff said!
    • March 26 Chris Klein: author of Strong Boy: John L. Sullivan, bare-knuckle boxer from Boston’s South End who during the Gilded Age became America’s first sports superstar, launching America’s modern sports obsession.
    • April 2 Curtis Martin: Whaling in 19th Century America: The economic importance of whaling; the products; the hunt, capture and processing of whales and the associated perils.
    • April 9 Curtis Martin: Life on a Whaling Ship: The dangerous work, atrocious food, often draconian discipline, intermittent boredom—often for virtual slave wages.
    • April 23 Curtis Martin: Scrimshaw: The Art of the Whaleman: A unique art form using the whale’s teeth and skeletal material to create practical and fanciful items.
    • April 30 Upton Bell, co-author of Present at the Creation, Bell’s experiences with NFL history as son of NFL commissioner Bert Bell, player personnel director for the Baltimore Colts Super Bowl teams of the late 1960s, and general manager of the Patriots in 1971-4, and 40+ years as a Boston-area talk show host.
    • May 7 Alison O’Leary: co-author of So Close to Home: True story of an American freighter torpedoed by a German sub in the Gulf of Mexico in 1942 and the effects on a young family on board. Also describes life on a German sub.
    • May 14 Henry Lukas, Director of Education, Spellman Stamp Museum: Learning Outside the Mailbox: History of stamps (since 1840) and the postal system. “You don’t need email to communicate!”
    • May 21 Bob Begin: Talk title TBD

    Speakers: Bob Begin and Curtis Martin are amateur historians. Bob was in paper industry management. Curtis is a retired professor of international relations at Merrimack College. Chris Klein has written three books and is a History Channel contributor. Alison O’Leary, a journalist, has co-authored three books.

    Course organizer Bruce Belason.

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

    We will discuss how narrators’ perspectives affect our appreciation of works including The Heart by Maylis de Kerangal, Country Girl by Edna O’Brien and Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari.

    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.

  • The Advent of the American Theatre

    Until 1915 American theatre could best be described as an oxymoron. Perhaps the only memorable performance took place on April 14, 1865 at Ford’s Theatre, and most people don’t recall the name of the play (Our American Cousin). Then in 1915 Eugene O’Neill arrived with a series of absorbing plays. Inspired by O’Neill’s success brilliant playwrights emerged, and American theatre attracted world recognition. Readings: Eugene O’Neill, Desire under the Elms; Arthur Miller, All My Sons; Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire; Susan Glaspell, Trifles, and Thornton Wilder, The Happy Journey from Trenton to Camden.

    Teacher: Lois Ziegelman, Ph.D., Brandeis, is 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.

  • Weekly News Discussion Group

    Maximum enrollment 20

    A discussion group on the important news of the week, domestic and international. There are many significant events in the world in the arts, business, science and technology, politics, medicine, sports, etc. A list of suggested topics will be offered for group selections at each class. Possible topics include new medical procedures; a developing sports dynasty; a hard fought political election; racial, religious and ethnic tensions; conservative and liberal social practices; challenges of aging. Join us with your knowledge, interest, views, questions and conversation.

    Teacher: There will be a moderator and co-moderator for each class. They will be George Martins, who taught chemistry many years, and Jack Rubin and Joe Weisse, who have both moderated current events groups at WWLL.

  • 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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