10:00 AM-11:00 AM Courses

  • American Issues

    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.

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