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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