11:30 AM-12:30 PM Classes

  • Celebrating Science In The 21St Century

    Sessions 6-10, starts October 30

    Science is an important tool of society. This course presents lectures on science­ related issues facing us in the modern world. We’ll tackle a different subject every week and discuss topics ranging from nuclear politics and energy to public health and genetics. Join us as we discuss the most up-to-date science in a clear, concise manner that is both thought­ provoking and fun.

    Teacher Frank Villa has a lifelong interest in the natural sciences. An award-winning lecturer, he finds great joy in explaining complex principles and processes. He is a former teacher of high school physics and earth science, a fully rated commercial pilot and flight instructor, and a small business owner specializing in the design and outfitting of science laboratories.

  • History Potpourri

    Sessions 1-5

    This course presents a variety of historical topics.

    • September 18 Bob Begin: Life and Times of John Paul Jones. Today Jones would be a perfect CEO of a large company. He wanted recognition, credit and fame, but his resources (i.e. ships and crews) were always inadequate. Yet he was the captain America’s fledgling navy needed to fight the British Royal Navy.
    • September 25 Bob Begin: Something Old & Something New: Barbary Coast Pirates of 1803 and Somali Pirates of Today. How to counter: Pay tribute or use naval force?
    • October 2 Chris Klein: The 34 Boston Harbor Islands. The history of these islands, many endowed with natural beauty, is fascinating. Chris Klein has written a book about them.
    • October 16 Joe Weisse: Henry Wilson, U.S. Vice President, 1873-5. Wilson lived his adult life in Natick, MA. He rose from a cobbler to become a senator, then VP in Grant’s second administration.
    • October 23 Tim O’Connor: U.S. Postal History as a Primary Source. Colonial letters from the presenter’s award ­winning collection provide insights into early American and world history. Ben Franklin, first Postmaster General, will be impersonated.

    Speakers: Bob Begin spent 35 years in management in the paper industry. Chris Klein is a regular contributor to History.com and author of three books. Joe Weisse was public information officer for the MA Commission for the Blind for 34 years. Tim O’Connor was a physician and chief of hematology/oncology at Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

    Course organizer Bruce Belason.

  • Makers Of The Modern Mind

    We use words and concepts like evolution, alienation, repression, nihilism and relativity. These and other similar concepts represent what has been called modernity or the modern mind. The thinkers who developed these modern ideas included Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche and Albert Einstein. In this course, we study the lives and ideas of these men. These thinkers also articulated critiques of religion. How does a modern religious believer respond to these critiques? Thus, in this course, the role of religion in the modern world is also evaluated.

    Teacher William E. Kaufman, Ph.D, is Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Beth El in Fall River, MA. He also served as adjunct professor of philosophy at Rhode Island College. He is the author of seven books and numerous articles.

  • Not Just Yoga: A Taste Of Indian Culture

    Sessions 6-10, starts October 30

    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; 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 USA for second-generation Indian Americans.

    Teacher: Maitreyee Chakraborty immigrated 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.

  • Sharing Your Values From Generation To Generation To Generation

    Sessions 1-3

    Most of us will be remembered for what we do in life and how our deeds reflect our priorities, our core values and what we love. The ancient practice of writing an ethical will is a way to distill what is most important to us in life, to pass on personal truths and to serve as our guideposts as we strive to act in harmony with our most deeply held beliefs. In this class, we identify our values, skills and wisdom that we want to pass on to our children and grandchildren, and create a document to accompany the other legacies we leave.

    Teacher: Merle “Glee” Snyder is an educator and administrator who has taught and served as school head in Providence, Atlanta, Cleveland and Danbury, CT. She has degrees from Brandeis, Rhode Island College and Hebrew College of Brookline. She also served for 15 years on the staff of Institutional Advancement at Brandeis.

  • Stories Of Conflict As Seen Through A Narrator’s Lens, Part VII

    We will discuss how narrators’ perspectives affect our appreciation of works including selections from Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters, “In A Grove” by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien and Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind 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 Human Predicament: The End Of An Era

    The first half of the 20th century marked the end of an era. Most of the traditional beliefs, not only about human nature but also about the nature of the world, had been undermined. All of the short novels we will read were spawned by this predicament, but each offers a different response.

    The importance of the topic should be self-evident, for as time has passed our world view has, if anything, become more and more exacerbated by a series of wars, ominous climate changes and drastic political upheavals. Books: Death in Venice, Thomas Mann; Demian, Hermann Hesse; Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka; The Stranger, Albert Camus.

    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 arts, business, science and technology, politics, medicine and sports among other fields. 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.

    Moderators: There will be a moderator and co-moderator for each class. They will be George Martins, who taught chemistry many years, and Jay Kaplan, Jack Rubin and Joe Weisse, all of whom have helped moderate current events discussion groups at WWLL in past years.

  • 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: Pat Herlinger, B.A., UC Berkeley. Elementary teaching certificate. Teaching experience at the elementary level (classroom, substitute, remedial).

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