10:00 AM-11:00 AM Courses
Invited speakers provide historical background and depth to current issues. Readings will be provided, and participation from the class through comments and questions encouraged. To reach a wider audience, selected talks will be filmed and aired on local cable television and YouTube.
- March 4: Dan Kennedy, journalist, author and panelist on PBS-TV “Beat the Press,” will discuss his book, The Return of the Moguls: How Jeff Bezos and John Henry Are Remaking Newspapers for the Twenty-First Century.
- March 11: Adam Friedman, executive director, Voter Choice, will discuss “Ranked Choice Voting for Federal and State Offices Recently Enacted in Maine.”
- March 18: James Eldridge, MA senator, “The Need for Prison Reform”
- April 1: Kelley Cunningham, director, Suicide Prevention, MA Dept of Health, “From Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade to Onslaught of Teen Suicides”
- April 8: Janet Applefield, Holocaust survivor, “The Importance of Active Citizenship”
- April 22: TBA
- April 29: Fr. Francis Parker, S.J., retired Boston College professor, “Current Trends in Commercial and Residential Real Estate”
- May 6: Dr. Ken Batts, cognitive therapist, “Is Your Thinking Realistic About Work, Love, Loss, Friendship—How To Get Better Results”
- May 13: Alan Schechter, emeritus professor of political science, Wellesley College, “Trump and the New Congress”
- May 20: TBA
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 Videographer: Bill Stanwood.
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, Tower Of Power and James Brown.
Teacher: Tom Doran is a bassist/vocalist who has been playing locally for 48 years. In addition to playing, he loves to talk about and play music, so if you do too please join!
German Language And Culture
There will be German language practice against the backdrop of literary and cultural developments from Romanticism to the early 20th century. Most texts provided via email.
Teacher: Jay Rosellini is professor emeritus of German at Purdue University and professor emeritus of German and humanities at Suffolk University.
Greater Boston Cultural Institutions
Boston, a major cultural center, boasts a wealth of museums, gardens, historic sites, art galleries, authors, etc.
The following will visit WWLL this semester:
- March 4: North Bennett Street School, Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez, director emeritus
- March 11: History Camp/History List, Lee Wright, founder
- March 18: Boston Public Market, Carrie DeWitt, director of community engagement
- April 1: Boston Lyric Opera, Rebecca Kirk, manager of education programs, and Lacey Upton, director of community engagement
- April 8: Mass. Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Rob Halpin, director of public relations
- April 22: Boston By Foot, Aline Kaplan, docent
- April 29: National Archives at Boston, Joseph P. Keefe, archives specialist
- May 6: Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace: Preserving the Vision and Restoring the Legacy, Jeanine Knox, former director of external relations at the Emerald Green Necklace Conservancy
- May 13: Boston Preservation Alliance, Greg Galer, executive director
- May 20: Boston Symphony Orchestra, Leslie Wu Foley, interim director of education and community engagement
Course organizers: Ross Atkin and 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.
Poetry For The People XII: Poets Of The Greatest Generation
Sessions 4 – 10, starts April 1
These poets were born between 1910 and 1924, grew up in the Great Depression and fought in World War ll. The class will read and discuss their works and consider the influences that shaped their poems. Student participation is a valuable feature of the course; the shared views and responses to the poems provide an environment that enriches everyone. No voice should remain unheard!
Teacher: Charles Kamar has a bachelor’s from Boston State and a master’s from Boston University. He taught for 34 years in the Newton Public Schools, the last 20 at Newton North. In 1998 he won the Paul E. Elicker Award for Excellence in Teaching.
We The People: Democracy In The Age Of Trump
Donald Trump’s election, the success of the Brexit referendum and the rise of populist far right political governments in Hungary, Italy and Poland have all given rise to increased speculation about the viability of traditional democratic norms. Liberal faith in the “genius of the people” to make informed, well considered decisions has come under increasing scrutiny, prompting many commentators to wonder if a major inflection point has been reached in our political history. Together we will take a closer look at this evolving contemporary discussion as well as looking at history for insights as to what we can reasonably expect from our political institutions.
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.
11:30 AM-12:30 PM Courses
Anton Chekhov, Master Dramatist
Chekhov’s contribution to drama was to skillfully combine reality with theatricality, melodrama and farce to create the illusion of life itself. His disciples and admirers include Shaw, Pirandello, Lorca, Odets, Beckett, Williams and Miller. Chekhov’s depth of humanity, breadth of perception and craftsmanship surpass them all.
Readings: The Seagull, The Cherry Orchard, The Proposal, The Jubilee, and The Bear. Penguin Classics—Anton Chekhov—Plays.
Teacher: Lois Ziegelman, Ph.D., Brandeis, is professor emerita from Framingham State College, where she taught World Literature and Drama for 31 years.
Blues And Harmonica
Sessions 4 – 10, starts April 1
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, then this fun and entertaining class is for you. Each class will consist of a combination of blues history, artists, listening to pre-recorded samples of the famous blues masters, and simple blues harmonica ensemble group 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 collection to draw from.
Choices: Revisiting Lifestyle Needs vs Wants As We Age
Sessions 7 – 10, starts April 29
This mini course will focus on strategies, support and information helpful in making practical life-style decisions for the post-retirement years. The emphasis will be on making major decisions that are comfortable and doable.
- April 29: “To Keep or Not to Keep—Downsizing for the Collector” by Colleene Fesko, lecturer and appraiser of fine arts. Learn insights into the market for furniture and decorative arts. See images of art she has appraised on the PBS series “Antiques Roadshow”.
- May 6: “Navigating the Elder Care Maze: How to Understand the Options” by Joan Harris, LSW, MBA, CMC Aging Life Care professional. Assess what will be a good fit for your retirement needs and what resources are available. Case scenarios will be presented to help navigate expected and unexpected turns in this path.
- May 13: “Staging Using Your Own Things” by Betsy Millane, realtor, author and amateur photographer. She will share tips for de-cluttering and beautifying your home and possessions. The difference between “staging” and “decorating” will be discussed.
- May 20: “Age in Place” by Maureen Grannan, executive director of Newton at Home, and Brian Harvey, general contractor. Adaptations to the home and options for transportation will be discussed.
Course coordinators: Ann Dolbear, Barbara Mason and Susan Taylor
Constitutional Matters: The Roberts Court
“Congress wills, the Executive acts, the Judiciary rules.”
This course will deepen appreciation of the flexible document that after 231 years continues to serve our democracy. We will examine selected Roberts court decisions and their implications, dealing with affirmative action, voting rights, criminal justice and executive power. We will engage in focused discussions based on topics such as free speech, precedent and original intent, due process and separation of powers. Review of Supreme Court cases will require internet access.
Teacher Steve Lowe, a teacher and author, has devoted five 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.
Financial Planning And Investments In Retirement
Sessions 1 – 4
Financial planning is getting your financial act together. We focus on six main issues to understand and 20 questions to ask about your financial life. We start with what you own and owe, move to your lifestyle and budget, and see if you’re maximizing your human capital. Then we delve into the right investment strategies for you, insurance needs, a financial organizer file system and put it together with a plan that includes a 46-point checklist. It’s a money boot camp that will be fun.
Teacher: Dave Caruso is a registered investment adviser. He is chairman and managing partner of Coastal Capital Group in Danvers. A graduate of the UMASS Isenberg School of Mgt., he is a certified financial planner and co-author of two books. He has done TV for 30 years on Channels 2, 4, 5 and 7, CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg and New England Cable News. He is currently WBZ’s financial editor.
This course presents talks on a variety of historical topics.
- March 4: Joseph Warren, War, Espionage, and Intrigue on the Eve of the American Revolution, author and physician Dr. Sam Foreman describes the contributions of this unappreciated hero.
- March 11: Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World, Pulitzer Prize-winning Globe columnist author Eileen McNamara discusses the Special Olympics founder.
- March 18: Fridays With Bill (Belichick), author and Globe sports columnist John Powers describes the time of the week when Belichick is most apt to be pensive on football.
- April 1: When the Irish Invaded Canada, author Chris Klein describes the wild story of American Civil War vets trying to help Ireland’s independence cause.
- April 8: “Boston’s Forgotten History, 1630-1770,“ Rose Doherty, president emerita of Partnership of Historic Bostons, describes the important events of Boston’s pre-Revolutionary growth.
- April 22: “The Role of Tea in the American Colonies from 1763-1775,” assoc. prof. Abby Chandler of UMASS Lowell describes the importance of this “fascinating plant” in colonial history.
- April 29: The Game: Harvard, Yale, and America in 1968, author George Colt describes one of college football’s greatest games (Harvard “won”, 29-29), and the effects on the players in a watershed domestic year.
- May 6: Dirigible Dreams: The Age of the Airship, author Lt. Col. Michael Hiam discusses the place of the airship in aviation history.
- May 13: “Founding Fathers and Covert Operations,” Stephen Knott, prof. of national security affairs, U.S. Naval War College, Newport, RI and author of Secret and Sanctioned: Covert Operations and the American Presidency, describes the machinations of early presidents.
- May 20: Poison Squad, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Deborah Blum, director of Science Journalism at MIT, describes a chemist’s crusade for food safety at the turn of the 20th century.
Course organizers: Ross Atkin and Bruce Belason
Not Just Yoga: A Taste Of Indian Culture
Sessions 6-10, starts April 22
Many aspects of this fascinating culture will be explained and discussed. Topics will include cultural icons (Bollywood, bindis, yoga, henna tattoos, turbans, etc.); Hinduism and its traditions (a Hindu wedding, Durga Puja, Diwali, Holi, etc.,); garments, textiles and handlooms; and Indian classical and folk music with live singing performances. A focus will be Tagore’s music—composed by the Nobel Prize winning philosopher and poet, Rabindranath Tagore. There will also be discussion of the joys and quandaries of living in the USA for second generation Indian Americans.
Teacher: Maitreyee Chakraborty immigated to the USA from India at a young age. She obtained graduate degrees in English and music, taught, married, raised two sons and became a U.S. citizen. She frequently visits India. She is a professional singer of Tagore and has a CD: His Spirit Within. She is eager to explain Indian culture.
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.
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).