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Fall 2017 Course Schedule | Wednesday

 Click here to view a PDF version of the Fall 2017 Course Catalog. 

To view the course schedule, click on each day of the week.

Fall 2017 courses will begin the week of September 25 and run through the week of December 4, with a break the week of November 20. There will be no courses on Columbus Day, Monday, October 9. For the Fall 2017 schedule, click here.

If needed, make up classes will be held December 11-14.

Please be sure to click on the name of the course to read the description before signing up.





Time Class

Period 1
9:30 a.m. to 10:55 a.m.

Muscles and Movement
Location: Gosman Sports and Convocation Center
Leader TBA

Reel Literature 2: Elmore Leonard, The Dickens of Detroit            
David Moskowitz
* This course will run during Period 2 each week; on weeks 2,4,6,8 and 10 this course will run during Periods 1 and 2

Period 2
11:10 a.m. to 12:35 p.m.

Reel Literature 2: Elmore Leonard, The Dickens of Detroit
David Moskowitz
*This course will run during Period 2 each week; on weeks 2,4,6,8 and 10 this course will run during Periods 1 and 2

The Human Predicament: The End of An Era
Lois Ziegelman

The Birth of Modernism in Bohemian Paris
Nancy Alimansky

Current Events
Lois Sockol

12:35 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Lunch, Learning, and Social Life

Period 3
2:10 p.m. to 3:35 p.m.

Native American Literature: “The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.”
Laurel Brody & Quinn Rosefsky

Photography: Capturing and Creating Excellent Images
Arthur Sharenow

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Women's Movement
Natalie Taub
5 Week Course - September 27 - October 25

Crime and Punishment and Moral Turmoil in the 21st Century
Avi Bernstein
5 Week Course - November 1 - December 6

Are You Hip to the Jive? A 100-Year Musical History
John Clark
5 Week Course - September 27 - October 25

One Energy Future
Carl Lazarus
5 Week Course - November 1 - December 6

Gym1-10-Wed1   Muscles and Movement                                               

Leader –  TBA 

Wednesday – Course Period 1 – 9:45a.m.-10:30a.m. 

Location    Gosman Sports and Convocation Center

There will be a $30 charge ($3 per class) to BOLLI Members. 

Registration for Muscles & Movement runs from July 18 through August 4. Spaces in the fitness course will be assigned by lottery and do not impact your study group assignments. 

Description  Have fun and keep moving through a variety of exercises designed to increase muscle integrity, balance, and range of movement. This class will use free weights, physio balls, resistance bands and other equipment to target the upper and lower body muscles. Build endurance for daily living. Maintain core strength to prevent back pain.  Develop or maintain flexibility to prevent injury. This class is appropriate for participants seeking low and/or medium intensity exercise. Weights and equipment will be provided. Strong body, strong mind, enduring spirit!

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LIT7-10-Wed2  Reel Literature 2: Elmore Leonard, The Dickens of Detroit       

Leader  –  David Moskowitz

 Wednesday – Course Period 1&2 – 9:30 am to 12:35 pm *

* This course will run during Period 2 each week; on weeks 2,4,6,8 and 10 this course will run during Periods 1 and 2.

Description    Elmore Leonard, known for his spare, dialogue-driven prose, began writing Westerns before producing some of the classic crime novels of the twentieth century. His great character, Raylan Givens, made famous by the superb TV show Justified, exemplifies Leonard's use of the Western inside the body of crime fiction. In this course, we will study both genres, beginning with two Westerns, a novel and short story, followed by three crime novels. Leonard is eminently readable; his credo: "I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip and if it sounds like writing, I rewrite it." His works have produced 20+ films. If you are unfamiliar with Leonard's style - I have long been an admirer - think of him as Hemingway with a sense of humor, or as the successor to George Higgins's classic, The Friends of Eddie Coyle. The selections were based principally on the strength of the films. Members are expected to read each work in its entirety before that work is discussed in class. During odd numbered weeks, we'll discuss the book at length in a regular period; during even numbered weeks class will be conducted in a double period, beginning by watching the movie. The ensuing discussion will address, inter alia, how well the film captures Leonard's work, what succeeds and what does not, what was deleted and what was added, as well as, if time permits, concluding the previous week's discussion of the written work. Dynamic class discussions are my hallmark.

Readings    All works were authored by Elmore Leonard. NB: The order listed is the order in which they will be covered in class.

  1. Hombre
  2. "Three-Ten to Yuma" (This short story will be distributed electronically by the SGL)
  3. Get Shorty
  4. Rum Punch (NB: The accompanying movie was renamed "Jackie Brown")
  5. Out of Sight

Preparation Time    The total reading is between 1200 -1250 pages. Leonard's prose reads quite fast even for moderately slow readers and the print per page is never dense. I would think on average it would take less than 3 hours per week = 6 hours per unit.
NB: Members who cannot readily attend a first period class are eligible to sign up provided they make their own arrangement to watch the film no more than 2 days before the film is watched in class.

Biography   David Moskowitz is a graduate of Penn's Wharton School and Harvard Law. His legal career was spent predominantly as a general counsel, including 11 years as Brandeis’s initial general counsel. This is his 8th BOLLI-led course (17th time leading), and fifth literature course. This course combines David's interests in both literature and film in a format that was successfully implemented with the novels of Graham Greene. Former class members suggested utilizing the format with Elmore Leonard, and as a Leonard devotee this idea resonated with him.

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LIT8-10-Wed2  The Human Predicament: The End of An Era        

Leader  –  Lois Ziegelman

Wednesday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm

Description    The beginning of the 20th century marked the end of an era. Traditional beliefs, not only about human nature, but also about the nature of the world, were in flux.  In this course we will read four short novels by Mann, Hesse, Kafka and Camus, each offering a different response to this predicament. This topic continues to be relevant as our world continues to be rocked by wars, cultural clashes and drastic political upheavals. Sessions will include a short lecture by the SGL followed by guided discussion.

Readings    Thomas Mann Death in Venice
Herman Hesse Demian
Franz Kafka Metamorphosis
Albert Camus The Stranger
Note: Any translation is acceptable

Preparation Time   2 ½ hours

Biography   Lois Ziegelman, Ph.D Brandeis, is a Professor Emerita from Framingham State College, where she taught World Literature and Drama for thirty-one years.  A recipient of five fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, she has studied, taught and performed works ranging from Classical Antiquity through the 20th Century.

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ART5-10-Wed2  The Birth of Modernism in Bohemian Paris 

Leader  –  Nancy Alimansky

Wednesday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm

Description     When Picasso first arrived in Paris in 1900 he found a group of progressive artists living and working in Montmartre. During the next ten years he met and befriended artists who would revolutionize twentieth-century art. This course will study the experimental work of Picasso, Matisse, Cezanne, Braque, Derain, Vlaminck and Modigliani. We will also consider the important contribution that Gertrude Stein and her family made during this movement. I am particularly interested in looking at how the various artists in this community influenced each other and also the various conflicts that arose among them. The class time will be divided between discussion and lecture. I will show images, some of which have been referenced in the text. Together we will analyze the content, composition, color, value and other design principles. By the end of the course I hope we can reach a better understanding of the modernist movement, insight into the lives of the various artists and an appreciation of the work.

Readings    In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and the Birth of Modernist Art, Sue Roe. Available in hardback or paperback. Readily available on Amazon.

Preparation Time    30 to 50 pages of reading/week. Study questions to answer. Various short videos to watch.

Biography    Nancy Alimansky has taught ten previous courses at BOLLI.  All her BOLLI courses have been very well received. Nancy has spent most of her professional life in the classroom.  For 26 years she was an Associate Professor at Lesley University and taught courses in management and technology as well as studio art.  For three years she was a docent at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College where she conducted tours for various exhibits.  Nancy has a B.A from Wellesley College where she majored in French, a M.A.T. from Harvard Graduate School of Education and an M.B.A. from Boston College.  She has been a professional artist for more than 27 years.

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CE1-10-Wed2  Current Events  

Leader  –  Lois Sockol

Wednesday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm

Description    We live in a complex time when what happens in one part of our world affects us all, which requires us to stay informed as the world rapidly changes. This course is designed to inform, to discuss current news stories, and provide thoughtful analysis. In most sessions, our attention will be divided between world events and national news. Class members are encouraged to present reports, lead a class discussion on a current topic, and take part in group discussions. Interest and keeping up to date with the news are the only prerequisites.

Readings   Access to newspapers, news magazines, and web sources will be required.

Preparation Time   1 to 2 hours

Biography    Lois Sockol taught children and adults for 25 years. Her undergraduate degree is from Boston University with a masters from Lesley College. The bulk of Lois’ professional years were spent in the Newton Public Schools where she taught children and was a consultant to teachers. She was an educational consultant to schools throughout New England. After retirement, Lois again became a student, and a writer of short stories. Four of her short stories have been published: one in a literary journal, and three online. Retirement allows Lois to feed her Current Events habit. BOLLI affords the opportunity to share with others who habitually follow the news.

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LIT9-10-Wed3  Native American Literature: “The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.”    

Leader  –  Laurel Brody & Quinn Rosefsky

Wednesday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

Description   Native American literature consists of many genres, including poetry, short stories and novels. In each of these we hear the voices of the indigenous people who tell us the story of their changing world brought about by the arrival of Europeans. We will “hear” and listen to the Native response; it is heartfelt and often harrowing and yet, at times, hopeful. Their insight is remarkable. While learning of the injustices dealt to Native Americans in historical context, we begin to hear themes in their literature. What are they? Come and discover them, as they tell the story of our indigenous population. Quinn Rosefsky has knowledge of Native American history and culture. Laurel Brody has a passion for voices of social injustice in literature. Both co-instructors have significant direct experience with Native American culture.

Readings Great Short Stories edited by Bob Blaisdell: (ISBN-13: 978-0-486-49095-3)
Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko: (ISBN 978-0-14-310491-9)
History PDFs sent via email prior to each class
Packet of Myths & Poetry Provided by SGL

Preparation Time   10-15 pages of history notes and 20-25 pages of short stories and or poetry per week for first seven weeks.  A 243 page novel, Ceremony, will be read over the last three weeks.

Biography   Laurel Brody is passionate about literature and the power it has to expose injustices and support calls for change. She lived in Arizona for thirty years where she learned from her Native students and their community. The majority of her career has been in the public sector as an English and journalism teacher, reading specialist, literacy coach and director of in-service training in inner city schools. Private sector roles included teaching on both the graduate and undergraduate levels. This is her fifth course at BOLLI as an SGL.

Quinn Rosefsky spent the final six years of his professional career as a psychiatrist working on a Native American reservation. There, Quinn developed a strong awareness of the multiple problems they faced:  cultural collapse, prejudice, unemployment, poverty, family violence, crime, drug and alcohol abuse, and dysfunctional relationships with government agencies. Quinn also became aware of multiple cultural strengths as sources of pride, identity, and achievement. This is the sixth time he will serve as an SGL at BOLLI.

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ART6-10-Wed3  Photography: Capturing and Creating Excellent Images

Leader  –  Arthur Sharenow

Wednesday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

Description     This course goes beyond the basics of composition and the mechanics of how your camera works. Students taking this course should have some experience with photography and have a camera which can be set for several different modes, including manual. We will spend considerable time on the difference between an OK image and a really superior one. We will discuss how to create images under various light conditions, from optimal to the most challenging, including low light and outdoor night photography. In the process we will demonstrate and work on HDR (high dynamic range) and Active D lighting.  In class, we will demonstrate ways to further enhance your final product through the use of computer software (Adobe Elements for example), which frequently enables you to turn a good photograph into an excellent one.  In addition to regular classes we will have two or more optional photo outings, one of which will be at night. Students will be asked to send in three or four photos every week for us to admire, discuss and see if there are ways to enhance even the most wonderful images.

Readings  The most important reading is your camera manual.  There will be handouts given during the course.

Preparation Time   Sufficient time to photograph and send in three or four photos which please the maker.  Photos are sent to me by email. This can be as short as an hour or as long as a day or even more… depending on the student’s satisfaction with his or her photos.

Biography     Arthur Sharenow graduated from Brandeis University and Harvard Law School. After practicing law briefly in Boston, Arthur and his wife, Judy, owned and directed a children’s summer camp in New Hampshire for forty-four years. Arthur started taking pictures and using a darkroom when he was twelve years old, but started taking photography seriously after retiring.  He has participated in a good many photo contests, and has had exclusive exhibits. Currently his greatest joy in photography comes from teaching at BOLLI.  This will be Arthur’s 9th BOLLI photography course.

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H&G8-5a-Wed3  Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Women's Movement    

Leader  –  Natalie Taub

Wednesday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

         5 Week Course - September 27 - October 25

Description   Ruth Bader Ginsburg chose to become a lawyer before a whisper of the Women's Movement was heard on the scene. When she emerged from her private world of practice and teaching law in the early '70s, the Women's Movement was just starting to stir and was poised to become the next major social movement in the United States. In this course, we will focus on her long-term strategy of building a framework of cases to educate the Justices of the Supreme Court on women's issues and to build an indispensable foundation for rulings that would advance women's equality. Justice Ginsburg had been a litigator for the ACLU and then director of the Women's Rights Project when, in 1980, President Carter appointed her to the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. In 1993,  President Clinton nominated her to serve on the Supreme Court. She was quickly confirmed and continues to sit on the Court today. We will learn about Justice Ginsburg's life, her interests, and her amazing ability to be in the right place at the right time to contribute to the Women's Movement as it developed.

Readings   FREE TO BE Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Story of Women and Law by Teri Kanefield; ISBN: 978-0692723210

Preparation Time   2-3 hours per week, about 45 readable pages

Biography    Natalie Taub has a BS in civil engineering from MIT and an MS in environmental engineering from Northeastern University. She has given several courses at BOLLI and at the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement (HILR). Among them are courses on Justices Louis Brandeis and Oliver Wendell Holmes.

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MUS1-5a-Wed3  Are You Hip to the Jive? A 100-Year Musical History    

Leader  –  John Clark

Wednesday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

         5 Week Course - September 27 - October 25

Description   This class will explore the long and storied musical history of JIVE, ranging freely  across decades and genres to highlight the practitioners of this wild and infectious music (and the crazy clothes and loony lingo that came with it). We’ll begin in the rip-roaring 1920s with seminal jivesters  Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller and  Cab Calloway. Next comes the Golden Era of Jive, featuring the beboppers, like Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, band leader Louis Jordan, scat man Leo Watson and the irrepressible Slim Gaillard. Another week surveys the Caucasian contingent (from Louis Prima to Mose Allison to Dan Hicks) and the female jivettes like Ella Fitzgerald and the Andrews Sisters. We’ll close out the proceedings with the N’awlins bunch (Professor Longhair up through Kermit Ruffins) and the more recent retro/revivalists like the Squirrel Nut Zippers and the Brian Setzer Orchestra.  Format is lecture and discussion.

Readings    Swing It!: An Annotated History of Jive by Bill Milkowski.  In addition there will be PDF reading assignments emailed well in advance of the class session.

Preparation Time    One to two hours of reading (about 25 pages each week) and listening using YouTube audios or free streaming music services.

Biography    John Clark grew up in rural Ohio, attended college in Illinois, and grad school in Massachusetts in the seventies. During the eighties he worked in the music business in Nashville in various capacities. After moving to Atlanta in 1992, he was a middle school and high school teacher and taught adult education for more than twenty years at Emory University and Mercer University; then for three years in various programs in the Boston area. He has created and taught classes on Bob Dylan, music of the 50s and 60s, Jewish songwriters, Americana music and a series called “Lyrics as Literature.” He guest hosted on several Atlanta radio stations and boasts a combined record/CD collection of over 7,000 recordings.

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LIT10-5b-Wed3  Crime and Punishment and Moral Turmoil in the 21st Century        

Leader  –  Avi Bernstein

Wednesday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

         5 Week Course - November 1 - December 6

Description    Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky is remembered as a classic, forbiddingly dense but invitingly rich in characters and ideas. We will approach this text with a special interest in whether modernism can deliver on its own aspirations as a literary movement. In its time, this movement made a titillating promise. “I will help you understand and respond to the human predicament, if only you will read me carefully and with discernment,” the texts of Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Mann, Woolf, and Kafka seem to say! “If God, scripture, and religious community have let you down, become an object of indifference or even contempt for you, nevertheless my texts and the community of readers around them will be there for you.” In Crime and Punishment, the enigmatic protagonist, Raskolnikov, a character who insists he is a law to himself, stands in for the perverse directions our modern aspiration to autonomy can take. As a counterpoint to the protagonist’s perversity, the examining magistrate, Porfiry, puts into play a moral challenge – whether theological, jurisprudential, or ethical we will need to decide – that readers must contend with, both as connoisseurs of the text and in their lives beyond the classroom. Crime and Punishment will provide us with a sublime opportunity to weight the merits and demerits of modernism, and measure the quality of our own moral insight, because whether judged as a psychological tract, a character study, or a moral inquiry, it is so compellingly good.

Readings    Students must purchase this exact translation and edition of Crime and Punishment:
Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition), by Fyodor Dostoevsky translated by Oliver Ready (July 14, 2015) ISBN-10: 0143107631 or ISBN-13: 978-0143107637

Preparation Time    Members are asked to read the book prior to the start of class, if possible, and to reread sections of 50 to 75 pages in advance of the each session.  If members are reading the book for the first time concurrently with taking the class, reading will be approximately 150 pages per week.

Biography   Avi Bernstein is the director of BOLLI, and holds a doctorate in religious studies. Previous BOLLI courses have taken up the literary work of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann, Iris Murdoch, and Virginia Woolf.

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SCI4-5b-Wed3  Our Energy Future    

Leader  –  Carl Lazarus

Wednesday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

         5 Week Course - November 1 - December 6

(An identical course will also be offered on Tuesdays, period 2 – during the first 5 weeks) 

Description     Fossil fuels are responsible for the unparalleled improvement in the standard of living around the world since 1800.  In the last few decades China has been pulled out of poverty and India and other developing countries have made great progress.  Unfortunately, the world must kick its dependence on fossil fuels in order to avoid catastrophic climate change.  What are the prospects and problems of the various carbon-neutral energy sources?  Will we be able to have a world of abundance, or will it be one of scarcity?  This course will explore the concept of a “carbon budget” and how to use it wisely, and examine the known alternative energy sources: solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, biomass and geothermal.  We will look at the related issues of energy storage and a “smart” grid, both essential for using intermittent power sources such as wind and solar.  We’ll consider the advantages and disadvantages and the challenges, technical and economic.  Carbon capture and sequestration will also be examined, as a solution that has been proposed to permit continued use of fossil fuels without atmospheric release of CO2.  Classes will consist of a mixture of lecture and discussions.

Readings    Our Renewable Future by Richard Heinberg and David Fridley

There will also be some short online materials.

Preparation Time     About 40 pages per week from the text, plus occasional short online articles

Biography     Carl Lazarus studied chemistry at Yale and biochemistry at Brandeis, but subsequently studied computer science at MIT and made his career in information technology.  He wrote software and managed software development for the health care industry, and later managed various online services.  In retirement he has been reading avidly on climate issues and has recently been attending visiting scientist lectures at the MIT Energy Initiative.

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