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.

  • History Potpourri

    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).

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