10:00 AM-11:00 AM Courses
Guest speakers provide historical background and depth to issues in the news. Readings will be provided, and participation from the class through comments and questions encouraged. Selected talks from earlier series are aired on local cable television and YouTube.
- March 9: Michael Capuano, member US House of Representatives for 7th Congressional District, 1999-2019, “National Politics and Government Today”
- March 16: Becca Rausch, MA state senator, “Successes and Challenges of the 191st General Court including Public Health, Sustainability and Government Transparency”
- March 23: Lorna Ruby, buyer, Wellesley Books, “Independent Bookstores in the Electronic Age”
- March 30: Pam Kubbins, fashion designer, owner Pam's Pashimas and Exotic Scarves, “Women in the World of International Business”
- April 6: Anne Ingard, physical therapist, and Leslie Barnett, wellness practitioner, “Improving Your Health and Enhancing Your Life at any Age”
- April 13: Drs. Michael Marciello and Timothy Gallagher, Maragal Medical, Leominster, MA, “Solutions for Joint Pain and Neuropathy”
- April 27: Mark Kaplan, Wellesley town moderator, “Local Government Models in New England”
- May 4: Alan Schechter, professor emeritus, Wellesley College, “First Thoughts on the 2020 Elections”
- May 11: Diana Chaplin, co-founder of Sustainable Weston Action Group, “Gas Leaks and the Need to Address Alternatives”
- May 18: Mitchell J. Sikora, Retired MA Superior Court Judge, Appellate Court, The Law and Operation of the American Electoral College: Practice and Proposed Reforms.
N.B. Owing to circumstances beyond our control, speakers and topics are subject to change at short notice.
Course Coordinators: Ann Dolbear, Marian Stevens and Jill Strang
Bright Moments Of Jazz And Rock
This course celebrates the great bands and stars of pop, rock and jazz. We will 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 who will be included are Aretha Franklin, Michael McDonald, Elvis, James Brown, Fats Domino, the Temptations, Stan Getz, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and B.B. King. We will listen, watch and discuss the greats. You will expand your jazz and rock music appreciation and have fun doing it. Come and share your bright moments.
Teacher: Tom Doran is a bassist/vocalist who plays Soul, Funk, Blues, Jazz and Rock. In retirement he loves to play music and make abstract art.
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 9: Trinity Church: Art and Architecture, Peter Smiledge, senior docent
- March 16: Trinity Church: Lafarge Murals and Stained Glass, Peter Smiledge, senior docent
- March 23: U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center, David A. Acerta, chief, public affairs
- March 30: Danforth Art Museum, Framingham, Jessica Roscio, assistant director and curator
- April 6: Library Land Project, Greg Peverill-Conti and Adam Zand, founders
- April 13: Russell's Garden Center, Wayland, Pam Bonaguide, assistant buyer
- April 27: Conservation Now: How to Rescue a Shipwrecked Mother and Child, Worcester Art Museum, Erin Corrales-Diaz, assistant curator of American Art
- May 4: Speak Easy Stage Company, Boston, Alex Lonati, community programs and events manager
- May 11: The People's House: How the White House Became a History Museum, Katherine Gilliland, docent manager, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
- May 18: Vokes Theatre, Wayland, John Barrett, president
Course organizers: Fran Weisse and Gloria Zalosh
Great Trials That Changed History—A Judge's Perspective
Sessions 1–6: Starts March 9.
Truth is an absolute. Truth-finding is difficult. Some trials do not end simply with their verdict. They have a power that echoes throughout history. They have shaped and transformed the social, political and legal landscape. These trials deserve the description “great” because they serve as enduring lessons for us all on such issues as social justice, race, abuse of power and injustice.
We will examine six of the greatest trials that have occurred across the globe in a search for truth. In doing so, we will show how our legal system has dramatically evolved.
- March 9: The Trial of Socrates (399 B.C.) Athens, Greece
- March 16: The Salem Witchcraft Trials (1692-1693), Salem, MA
- March 23: The Boston Massacre Trials (1770) (N.B. March 5, 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of this event.)
- March 30: The Disappearance of Dr. Parkman: Blood and Ivy at the Harvard Medical School (1850), Boston, MA
- April 6: The Trial of John Brown (1859), Charlestown, VA
- April 13: The Lincoln Assassination Conspirators' Trial (1865), Washington, D.C
Teacher: The Honorable Dennis J. Curran, former MA Superior Court Trial Justice (Ret.) has presided over 450 civil and criminal trials. He currently teaches at Brown and Tufts Universities and the Roger Williams School of Law. He is a fellow of the MA Historical Society and member of the Board of Advisors of The Lincoln Forum.
Poetry For The People, Part XIV: The Immigrant Experience
Sessions 4–10: Starts March 30.
The class will read poems for, by and about immigrants and the issues they face both in their native countries and in the adaption to life in the United States. Members of this class are encouraged to contribute to the discussions in sharing their perceptions and insights, which will add to our appreciation of these poems.
Teacher: Chuck Kamar received his bachelor's from Boston State and his master's from Boston University. He taught English at all secondary grade levels and spent the last 20 years of his career at Newton North. In 1998, he won the Paul E. Elicker Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Turning Points In American History, Part II
What if the Compromise of 1877 had never happened? Would Reconstruction have continued rather than meeting an early demise? Would the history of race relations be different today? There are instances when an individual and/or a series of events prompt a significant change in the course of history. Elections, such as that of Rutherford B. Hayes in 1877, have altered the trajectory of our political and social history. We will examine this and eight other tipping points of America's story that have brought us to where we are today.
Teacher: David Moore taught in the history and social sciences department at Newton North. He received his master's 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.
Wollen Sie Deutsch Sprechen?
Basic knowledge of German necessary. The class will be an hour of conversation on topics of interest to the class members. Topics may include poetry, articles from Deutsche Welle, travel, holidays of various cultures and reading of selected items.
Teacher: Barbara Heller is a retired nurse who spent her career in the Boston area. She was born in Germany and has maintained her skills in the language.
11:30 AM-12:30 PM Courses
This course presents a variety of historical topics.
- March 9: The Beantown Girls, an historical novel based on true stories of the Red Cross Clubmobile Girls in the WWII European Theater of Operations, by Jane Healey, author
- March 16: Attempts to destroy the WWII Nazi Heavy Water (an A-Bomb ingredient) Plant in Norway, by Bob Lewis, retired USN pilot and amateur historian
- March 23: The Revolutionary War Debt and Hamilton's Repayment Plan, by George Hall, Brandeis professor of economics
- March 30: The True Story Behind Lincoln's Assassination: Myth vs. Reality, by retired MA Superior Court Judge Dennis J. Curran
- April 6: History of the Stillson Pipe Wrench, and Comments on Boston's Involvement in Plumbing Improvements in the 19th Century, by Michael Fitzgerald, articles editor, Boston Globe Magazine
- April 13: Ben Franklin, the Rabbi and Freemasons: How part of Franklin's life code became part of some Eastern European Jewish sects, by Dr. Michael Shire, a Hebrew College Dean
- April 27: The Apollo Heat Shield: Designed and Built in Lowell, MA, by retired aerospace engineer Bruce Belason who worked on the program
- May 4: American West Outlaw, Butch Cassidy, by Dan Silverman, retired high-tech engineer and Western historian
- May 11: Ill-Fated Frontier, the wild 1789 saga of NJ Revolutionary War veterans with 60 slaves attempting to establish a land grant in Spanish-owned W. Florida, by author and physician Stan Forman
- May 18: No class
Course organizer: Bruce Belason
Sacred Song: Poetry And Song Of/About Five World Religions
Maximum Enrollment: 20.
All world religions have used poetry and song as a way of worship and expression of beliefs. We will look at works from Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, from the Psalms of David to the lyrics of Leonard Cohen. Using a printed anthology (provided in the class at a cost of $15), there will be intros to each religion and suggested points for discussion, with the class being predominantly discussion.
Teacher: Carol Shedd has degrees in English Literature, Library Science, and Religion. For 12 years she was director of outreach at Harvard's Center for Middle Eastern Studies and has led courses at several lifetime learning programs.
Stories Of Conflict As Seen Through A Narrator's Lens, Part XII
We will discuss how narrators' perspectives affect our appreciation of works including selections from Hamlet and Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. Our emphasis will be on Shakespeare's Richard II.
Course organizer: 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. She is the executive director of the New England Scholastic Press Association.
The French Novel: The Anti-Hero
Stendahl's The Red and the Black, Balzac's Pere Goriot, Flaubert's Madame Bovary. Any translation is acceptable. From the beginning the leading character of the French novel generally conforms to the popular stereotypes: the handsome, valiant hero and the beautiful, virtuous heroine. The three writers featured in this course deliberately challenged these stereotypes, creating in turn: a hypocritical young opportunist, a doting senile father, and an unhappily married woman seeking romantic fulfillment. Welcome to the world of the anti-hero!
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.
U.S. Constitution: “E Pluribus Unum”
The Constitution created 233 years ago replaced the Articles of Confederation, a system that had served its purpose after a mere seven years. The untested Constitution presented the new states with an Owners' Manual for representative democracy that was to last another 73 years. But how long could this bold gamble be expected to endure? Would you have supported the plan in 1787? Did it need a Bill of Rights? Would you have wanted Massachusetts to ratify it? This 10-week interactive course invites students to engage in a series of creative exercises by completing a workbook aimed at examining the question: Does the Constitution work? We will see what the framers produced to “secure the blessings of liberty” and discuss to what extent they succeeded.
Teacher: Steve Lowe, a teacher and author, 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 many Lifetime Learning students in MetroWest.
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.
Leader: Sue Edgecomb, retired from teaching for 35 years in the Wellesley schools, has participated in Amherst Writers and Artists workshops for 12 years. She is currently writing a memoir and has been published in The Boston Globe Magazine.
Some courses meet fewer than 10 times. The fee is still $60. But, registrants in these courses may attend any other course that meets at the same time for the other weeks of the semester.