10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Courses

  • Bright Moments Of Jazz And Rock

    This course celebrates the great bands and stars of pop, rock and jazz. We will 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 who will be included are Aretha Franklin, Michael McDonald, Elvis, James Brown, Fats Domino, the Temptations, Stan Getz, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, and B.B. King. We will listen, watch, and discuss the greats. You will expand your jazz and rock music appreciation and have fun doing it. Come and share your bright moments!

    Teacher: Tom Doran is a bassist/vocalist who plays Soul, Funk, Blues, Jazz and Rock. In retirement he loves to play and make abstract art. He loves to talk about music so if you do too please join!

  • Great Trials That Changed History—A Judge's Perspective, Part II

    (Sessions 1-5) Starts March 15. Truth is an absolute. Truth-finding is difficult. Some trials do not end simply with their verdict. They have a power that echoes throughout history. They have shaped and transformed the social, political and legal landscape. These trials deserve the description “great” because they serve as enduring lessons for us all on such issues as social justice, race, abuse of power and injustice. We will examine five of the greatest trials that have occurred across the globe in a search for truth. In doing so, we will show how our legal system has dramatically evolved.

    • March 15: Sacco and Vanzetti Murder Trial Dedham, Massachusetts. 1921-1927. Arguably the most famous trial in the 20th century, this murder trial propelled two Italian immigrant anarchists into the international media spotlight.
    • March 22: The Trial of Leopold and Loeb. Chicago, Illinois. 1924. This murder trial shocked the nation and is best remembered for the 12 hour-long summation by famed defense attorney Clarence Darrow to save his clients from the gallows.
    • March 29: The Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. Nuremberg, Germany. 1945-1949 Prominent Nazi leaders were prosecuted in military tribunals, marking a turning point between classical and contemporary international law.
    • April 5: The Mississippi Burning Trial. Meridian, Mississippi. 1967-2005. Three civil rights workers were shot in the dark of night on a lonely road in Mississippi. A conspiracy of silence enveloped the murderers and multiple trials consumed 38 years of America's history.
    • April 12: The O.J. Simpson Trial Los Angeles, California. 1994. Nearly 150 million people watched the stunning verdict as O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. The nearly-year-long trial gripped the nation, but the case still casts a long shadow.

    Teacher: The Honorable Dennis J. Curran, former MA Superior Court Trial Justice (Ret.) has presided over 450 civil and criminal trials. He currently teaches at Brown and Tufts Universities and the Roger Williams School of Law. He is a fellow of the MA Historical Society and member of the Board of Advisors of The Lincoln Forum.

  • Poetry For The People Part XV, Indigenous Poetry: As They See It

    “Indigenous Poetry: As They See It” will present views, perceptions and issues of 20 Indigenous men and women living in North America. There's a lot to discuss here, so please be ready to offer your own impressions of these poems and to engage others who present their impressions. Class discussion drives this course.

    Teacher: Chuck Kamar received his bachelor's from Boston State and his master's from Boston University. He taught for 34 years in the Newton Public Schools, the last 20 of which at Newton North High School. In 1998 he won the Paul E. Elicker Award for Excellence in Teaching.

  • Wollen Sie Deutsch Sprechen

    Maximum Enrollment: 10 Basic knowledge of German is necessary. The class will be an hour of conversation on topics of interest to the class members. Topics may include articles from Deutsche Welle, travel, holidays of various cultures and reading of selected items including continued use of the book of short stories, Lies dies Buch, by Hauke Huckstadt.

    Teacher: Barbara Heller is a retired nurse who spent her career in the Boston area. She was born in Germany and has maintained her skills in the language.

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Courses

  • Creating Our New Normal

    Newcomers are welcome to join this continuation of our class on “Resilience, Continuity and Change” as we explore what it means to adapt to the “new normal” in our personal lives and the world around us. We begin with the premise that resilience is a form of creative thinking and that acknowledging the importance of pathos, gratitude and curiosity in our lives helps further our progress towards personal wholeness and authenticity. Class topics will include Acceptance and Forgiveness, The Cancel Culture, Who Is That Stranger in the Mirror? The Virtues of Bah, Humbug! and Why Do We Push Up Daisies, Not Weeds?

    Teacher: Lynn Dennis, LICSW retired from her psychotherapy practice in 2019. Her sub-specialty was adults recovering from trauma. She has experience in leading discussions and teaching workshops, and has two master's degrees.

  • Did They Get It Right? British History Through A Cinematic Lens

    Beginning with Henry II and Becket we'll take a look at some memorable portrayals of great moments and personages in British History. Our list will include Man for All Seasons, Elizabeth, the Golden Age, Cromwell, and The Wind that Shakes the Barley among others. Links to non-fee versions of the films will be provided as well as links to the more well established commercial streaming services. Join us for some wonderful cinema followed by open ended stimulating discussion.

    Teacher: David Moore taught in the history and social sciences department at Newton North High School. He received his master's degree 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.

  • Stories Of Conflict As Seen Through A Narrator's Lens, Part XIII

    We will discuss how narrators' perspectives affect our appreciation of works including selected sonnets by Shakespeare and “The Unknown Citizen” by W.H. Auden. Our emphasis will be on The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje and 1984 by George Orwell.

    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. She is the executive director of the New England Scholastic Press Association.

  • The Law Of The Land

    Sessions 1-5: Starts March 15. The U. S Constitution is the product of multiple eras, multiple levels and various regions. This five-week class invites participants to explore these aspects using portions of Akhil Reed Amar's book, The Law of the Land. We will see how federal law, including court decisions, influence states and vice versa, as well as appreciate the tension between respecting regional autonomy and "promoting the general welfare." Assigned weekly readings are limited to 25 pages, followed by pertinent discussion. Required reading: The Law of the Land, Akhil Reed Amar, available in hardcover only, at $30.

    Teacher: Teacher and author Steve Lowe has devoted seven years of his retirement to studying the U.S. Constitution. Since 2014 he has been enriched by sharing what he's learned with over 500 Lifetime Learning students in MetroWest.

  • 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 pm.

    Leader: Sue Edgecomb, retired from teaching for 35 years in the Wellesley schools, has participated in Amherst Writers and Artists workshops for 12 years. She is currently writing a memoir and has been published in The Boston Globe Magazine.