781-736-2992 | Request Info

Fall 2019 Course Schedule | Thursday


Click here to view a PDF version of the Fall 2019 Course Catalog. 

Click here to view a sortable schedule of Fall 2019 courses. Sort by day, class period, duration (5 or 10 week), or category.

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

Fall 2019 courses begin the week of September 9 and run through the week of November 21, with a break the week of September 30. There will be no courses on October 9 or October 14. 5b courses will begin the week of October 21, except Monday 5b classes which will begin October 28 and end December 2 and Wednesday 5b courses which will begin October 30 and end December 4. For the Fall 2019 schedule, click here.

If needed, make up classes will be held December 2-5. 

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





Time Class

Period 1
9:30 am to 10:55 am

Russian Short Stories: Understanding the Russian Mind Through Literature
Marina Cunningham 

Four Portaits of Presidential Leadership
Fran Feldman

Photography: Aiming For Creativity
Arthur Sharenow

Crisis On Our Borders
Eleanor Jaffe
5 Week Course - Sept 12 - Oct 10 

Data, Data Everywhere: Is There a Drop of Meaning to Drink?
Jerry Baum 
5 Week Course - Oct 24 - Nov 21

Period 2
11:10 am to 12:35 pm

James Joyce’s Ulysses: A Guided Tour
Bruce Parks 

Writing With Others: A Memoir Writing Course
Marjorie Roemer

Thoroughly Thoreau: Henry David as Transcendentalist, Abolitionist, and Anti-War Activist
Sue Wurster

Aging with Resilience, Grace and Enthusiasm
Sandy Miller-Jacobs 
5 Week Course - Sept 12 - Oct 17

“So Much Winning”: The Issues Driving the 2020 Campaign
Emily Ostrower & Beth Mazer
5 Week Course – Oct 24 - Nov 21 

12:35 pm to 2:00 pm

Lunch, Learning, and Social Life

Period 3
2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

Exploring the Universe: A Look at 20th Century Physics and Cosmology
Gary Feldman

The Lion or the Fox: Literary Reflections on Leadership
Michael Kaufman

Current Events (Section Two)
Lois Sockol

Period 4 
3:50 pm to 5:15 pm

Youth, Aging, and Human Connection: Theory and Practice
Doug Bafford 


H&G12-5a-Thur1   Crisis On Our Borders

Leader – Eleanor Jaffe

Thursday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am 
5 Week Course – September 12 – October 10
*Note: This class will end a week early (October 10) and meet during the break on October 3.

Description   Immigration has become a highly politicized subject.  Currently, we Americans are confronting daily crisis reports about immigrants on our southern border with Mexico. Is the U.S. “full” and are we being “invaded” as President Trump declares? Do we have a national emergency? Or has it been contrived? Children have been separated from their parents, and thousands of children are alone, their parents desperate. Yet this policy continues....  Let us look at our history with Mexico and examine the patterns of migration that evolved since the war of 1848 when the U.S. annexed so much Mexican territory. We will also examine whether Mexicans are different from Central Americans and other asylum seekers. We will become familiar with U.S. immigration law, and try to understand who determines the laws. Who are the “players” today? Who speaks for you? What policies do you support?  Our national belief is that we are a nation of immigrants. Perhaps that belief belongs to the past. We will attempt to respond to these questions and determine our own answers.

Readings   We will use the New York Times as our major text.  The SGL will supplement with other journal articles as appropriate.

Preparation Time   A minimum of 1 hour

Biography   Eleanor Jaffe has been a BOLLI member for 11 years. Courses she has taught range from immigration to marriage to aging. Last year in a departure from these themes, she created “Resistance and Resilience in Politics and Life,” and co-lead a political interest group at BOLLI Make a Difference. She brings a range of professional experiences: as an English teacher, a school counselor, a social worker and therapist. The current political crises in the U.S. have spurred her to become an advocate for liberal principles. In retirement Eleanor and her husband Burt lived in Mexico for several months each year over a fifteen year period. This first-hand experience has informed her thinking.'

Back To Top


ART6-10-Thur1   Photography: Aiming For Creativity

Leader – Arthur Sharenow

Thursday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am 
10 Week Course – September 12 – November 21 
(No Class October 3)

Description   This course intends to go beyond the basics of composition and the mechanics of how to get the best results from your camera. Students taking this course should have some experience with photography and have a camera which allows them, rather than the camera, to make all settings needed to achieve the desired results. We will spend time on the basics, of course, but we will aim to capture and create images which are expressions of our own artistic outlook.  To this end, we will spend course time not only using Adobe Elements, but learning how to manipulate images through the use of layers. We will be taking photos at night as well as using HDR during the day to allow us to generate our own color schemes. In addition to regular classes, we will have two or three optional photo outings during the term.  Students will be asked to send in 3 or 4 photos every week for us to admire and discuss. Former students are very welcome with the caveat that the first few weeks will be material you have seen and heard before.

Readings   The only readings that matter are your camera manuals.  The classes will include a number of handouts which should be read.

Preparation Time   This will depend upon each student, who is asked to send 3 or 4 photos to me by email each week.  It will take as much or as little time as necessary to please the maker.

Biography   Arthur Sharenow graduated from Brandeis University (1955) and Harvard Law School (1958).  After practicing law briefly in Boston, he and his wife Judy owned and directed a children’s summer camp in New Hampshire for forty-four years.  He started taking pictures and working in a darkroom at age twelve. This was a teen-age hobby, but it lapsed when he went off to college, and he did not pursue photography seriously again until he retired. In the early years of retirement he competed successfully in photo contests and had several solo exhibits.  In recent years his joy has come from teaching.  This will be his 11th BOLLI photo course.

Back To Top


H&G11-10-Thur1   Four Portraits of Presidential Leadership

Leader – Fran Feldman 

Thursday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am 
10 Week Course – September 12 – November 21 
(No Class October 3)

Description   Doris Kearns Goodwin’s latest book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, sounds as if it were written for our current stormy and unsettling world. Though there are certainly lessons for today that we can glean from the pages, the book focuses on four transformative past presidents—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson. Using the book as our text, we will first study each man’s early formative years and the adverse situations that each faced—and dealt with—as they ascended the ladder to the presidency. Then we will examine how, using the skills they had developed over the years, they overcame the great challenges and crises of their presidencies. Some of the questions we will try to answer include the following: What were the leadership traits they all shared? What personal characteristics were essential to their success? How can we as ordinary citizens take advantage of similar traits in our own lives? Are leaders born or made? Please note that all classes will be discussion; there will be no lectures. The SGL strongly encourages active participation in class discussions and in the form of reports delivered to the class.

Readings   Doris Kearns Goodwin, Leadership in Turbulent Times

Preparation Time   About 2 hours

Biography   Fran Feldman majored in government at Smith College, received a Master of Arts in Teaching (in history) from Yale, and taught social studies in middle school. Later, in California, she embarked on a second career editing cooking, gardening, crafts, travel, and home improvement books for Sunset Books. After returning to the Boston area, she worked as an administrator and financial trainer in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard. Her passions include golf, traveling, and volunteer work. Previously at BOLLI she taught “The Remarkable Roosevelts,” “Allies and Adversaries,” “The Reluctant Ally,” and “A Life of Purpose in 20th-Century Russia.”

Back To Top


LIT11-10-Thur1   Russian Short Stories: Understanding the Russian Mind Through Literature

Leader – Marina Cunningham 

Thursday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am 
10 Week Course – September 12 – November 21 
(No Class October 3)

Description   Russia views its literature as central to understanding its culture and the Russian mind. It is a country where writers are venerated, read, memorized and quoted. Its body of literature encompasses some of the most important works of world literature and has inspired writers and philosophers around the world since the 19th century. Despite and perhaps because of Russia’s turbulent history and authoritarian rule, Russia’s writing is characterized by its reverence for ideas, self-examination, and social injustices. Russian literature was traditionally the only forum for individual self-expression in a country where lack of freedom was a constant reality. Each of the short stories in this course provides us with material to focus on this viewpoint and the time period it is set in. The stylistically and thematically diverse stories represent a variety of works written in Russian from the 19th to the 21st centuries. They include writers who wrote in Tsarist Russia, USSR, the current Russian Federation, as well as émigré writers who continued to write in Russian while living abroad. Some of the writers, like Chekhov, Solzhenitsyn, and Nabokov, will be recognized. Others, especially the émigré and current writers are less well known. The selection includes several women writers who are frequently omitted in Russian short story collections published in the United States. Each session will combine a lecture and provide topics for discussion.

Readings   Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buda. Edited by Robert Chandler. Penguin Classics, 2006, ISBN 0140448462 (paperback, about $16 new)
Additional stories and articles from online sources will be provided before the beginning of the course. 

Preparation Time   Stories range from 8-30 pages. Additional readings will be provided for some classes.

Biography   Marina Cunningham was born in Shanghai.  She holds a BA in Spanish language and literature from University of Illinois and a PhD in Slavic languages and literature from Northwestern University. She taught Russian literature and language at Northwestern, William Paterson and Montclair State universities. For 20 years, before retiring, she was the chief international officer at Montclair State. She was the recipient of numerous international fellowships, awards, and grants, frequently presented at conferences on international education, and led faculty study groups to Russia, Ecuador, and China.

Back To Top

SCI1-5b-Thur1   Data, Data Everywhere: Is There a Drop of Meaning to Drink?

Leader – Jerry Baum

Thursday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am 
5 Week Course – October 24 – November 21 

Description   Data tell stories. This course aims to make you a more critical reader of those stories, to better understand their limitations and biases, and to distinguish fiction from non-fiction. The goal is to help you become a more-informed consumer of the data that bombard us in our daily lives. We will follow data through its gestation, from conception through presentation to the world. The course will begin by asking the not-so-embarrassing question: Where do data come from?  Then, we will cover how to describe a collection of data: first, what single number (such as the average, median, etc.) best represents the data and, second, how to characterize the variability of a set of data.  Finally, we will examine how tables, graphs, and pictorial representations are used to compare data and to illustrate trends. Learning will take place through readings, SGL presentations, classroom discussions, examples from current events, and, perhaps most important, creating and sharing an individual data story.  At the beginning of the course, you will choose a data quantity to track daily or near-daily (many suggestions will be offered).  Then, you will apply each week’s lessons to your data, and, during the last class, tell your data story in a short presentation. This course is intended for non-technical students who are willing to engage with numbers.  Emphasis will be on the meaning of the data, not their calculation.  Calculations can be done using a calculator, calculator app, spreadsheet software, or an online calculator (websites will be provided). 

Readings   How to Lie with Statistics, by Darrell Huff. ©1954. 
In addition, some online light readings and, possibly, videos will be recommended.

Preparation Time   1 hour –reading in book (each chapter is only about 10 pages), looking for data examples to bring to class, applying the week’s class lesson to your individual data story

Biography   Jerry Baum is a science communicator, who can speak "science" to both technical and non-technical audiences. Those audiences have included high school students, research colleagues at conferences, and museum visitors. Jerry has BS and MS degrees in physics, with an undergraduate minor in education.  He taught high school for ten years, where he emphasized lecture-demonstrations and hands-on laboratory experiences.   Jerry spent twenty-seven years on the research staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. While there, he volunteered on two collaborations with the Museum of Science.  For both, he played a key role ‘translating’ between the Lincoln engineers and the Museum staff members.

Back To Top

SOC1-5a-Thur2   Aging with Resilience, Grace and Enthusiasm

Leader – Sandy Miller-Jacobs

Thursday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm
5 Week Course – September 12 – October 17 
(No Class October 3)

Description   What are the issues we face as we transition from the world of work and stress into the world of free time and choices, from adulthood to advanced age? Our class discussions will help us explore our changing status in the world as we approach what, in our youth, was referred to as the “Golden Years.” How do we move through our elder years - our next chapters - with enthusiasm, grace, and cheerfulness, especially as life throws us unexpected curves? We will examine the life stages described by sociologists and psychologists and explore a variety of dimensions associated with the aging process and ageism. Our readings will draw upon the expertise of a wide range of writers such as Gail Sheehy, Erik Erikson, Daniel Pink, and Marie Kondo.  Together they will provide new light on our journeys through our own next chapters, helping us to re-craft outdated views of the “elderly” as we discuss ways to maintain our youthful inner selves.

Readings    All required readings will be posted on the class website as well as a supplementary bibliography of relevant books.

Preparation Time   Readings will take about one to two hours per week. It will be clear which readings are supplemental and which are necessary for participating in class discussions.

Biography   Sandy Miller-Jacobs joined BOLLI in Fall 2014, enjoying classes in literature, photography, art, and memoir writing. She was a professor of special education at Fitchburg State University.  Following an early retirement, she worked 14 years in Jewish schools through the Bureau of Jewish Education and Hebrew College to initiate and expand programs for students with special needs. Sandy has offered three BOLLI classes (Disabilities as Portrayed in Fiction, Less is More, and Aging with Resilience, Grace and Cheerfulness). Enthusiasm for the aging class resulted in the creation of the new SIG: Aging with Resilience and Enthusiasm.

Back To Top

H&G13-10-Thur2   Thoroughly Thoreau: Henry David as Transcendentalist, Abolitionist, and Anti-War Activist

Leader – Sue Wurster 

Thursday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm  
10 Week Course – September 12 – November 21 
(No Class October 3)

Description   Our homegrown, local hero Henry David Thoreau (whose name was actually David Henry) was, for quite some time, dismissed as an “odd stick” or “gifted weirdo,” and yet, his ideas have endured for well over 150 years.  Most of us are familiar with Thoreau as a naturalist and even transcendentalist, but for many, his abolitionist and anti-war activism is less well known.  We’ll look at that aspect of his nature as we look at a deeply divided U.S. caught up in “Manifest Destiny,” westward expansion, slavery, and an under-recognized war with Mexico.  Weekly outside reading and viewing material will be provided on the course’s website, which will serve to provide historical context and provoke conversation for each meeting as we read Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s compelling play, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail—out loud together in class.  (It’s just that kind of play.)  This was previously given as a 5-week course.

Readings   Reading/viewing assignments posted on course website
The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail – Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee (Available from Amazon)

Preparation Time   Perhaps thirty minutes outside reading/viewing per week.

Biography   With BS/MA degrees in theatre and communications from Ohio University, Sue taught drama, speech, theatre, and humanities in NYC and Concord independent schools, overseeing literary journals, newspapers, and yearbooks and coaching speech/debate teams at each.  She received fellowships from Northwestern’s School of Speech, NYC’s New Actors’ Workshop, Bank Street College, and Columbia University. Sue served as national chair of the American Alliance for Theatre in Education’s high school division, director of the New York State Forensics League, and co-founding chair of the Massachusetts Middle School Speech League.  (She is often referred to as “Wurster, the Wily Word Woman.”)

Back To Top

LIT12-10-Thur2   James Joyce’s Ulysses: A Guided Tour

Leader – Bruce Parks 

Thursday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm  
10 Week Course – September 12 – November 21 
(No Class October 3)

Description   Considered to be one of the great works of literature and the first modern novel, James Joyce’s Ulysses is well known although few have read it. Joyce pioneered and perfected so many new and innovative literary styles that the novel could stand as a textbook in its own right. Yet the story is a simple story of the spiritual search of a son and a father. Using Homer’s Odyssey as a template, Joyce created a mysterious text which once unraveled, reveals itself to be a very touching and funny book. One always finds new and deeper meanings with each reading. The class will be a combination of lecture, discussion and in-classroom listening to a recorded reading of the novel.  No prior knowledge of Joyce or Ulysses is required. Those who already know the book are invited as well.

Readings   Ulysses by James Joyce, Modern Library Edition, ISBN 0-679-60011-6

Preparation Time   Average of 50 pages per week.

Biography   Bruce Parks received a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a BA in English from the City College of the City University of New York (CCNY). At CCNY Bruce studied with Anthony Burgess, taking classes with him in writing, Joyce and Shakespeare. Burgess taught Ulysses by reading the novel out loud to the class, explaining the text as he went along.  Bruce’s plan for this course is in part to replicate this experience. Bruce enjoyed a successful career in engineering, and now spends his time reading and writing, as well as taking classes at BOLLI.

Back To Top

WRI2-10-Thur2   Writing With Others: A Memoir Writing Course

Leader – Marjorie Roemer 

Thursday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm  
10 Week Course – September 12 – November 21 
(No Class October 3)

Description   My continuing passion is to part a curtain, that invisible shadow that falls between people, the veil of indifference to each other’s presence, each other’s wonder, each other’s human plight.                                                                          Eudora Welty
This will be the sixteenth iteration of this course on memoir writing!   The design of the course is simple.  We all commit to writing each week and to bringing about 500 words to share at each meeting.  Each class offers a prompt, which can be used, ignored, or reshaped.  The prompts are only suggestions, sometimes a new way to shape the materials you are working with.  They try to focus us on the concrete, the dramatized, the immediate.  Most of this semester’s prompts will come from Pat Schneider’s book Writing Alone and With Others.  Our work together is to encourage and to support the efforts of each member of the group.  To that end, our response to writing is always based on listening generously, trying to understand what is being said, or what is almost said in the writing.  Because our work rests on coherence and trust, regular attendance is necessary.  You don’t have to be a skilled writer to participate.  You just have to be willing to explore and to be supportive of others’ explorations.  Participants’ comments about the course always praise the power of the group, the value of hearing one another’s work, and the warm responses offered by the class members.

Readings   There will be a packet of materials.  Cost is under $10.

Preparation Time   We write 500 words.  The time can vary.

Biography   Marjorie Roemer holds a BA from Bennington College, an MA from New York University, and a PhD from Brandeis, all in English and American literature.  Her teaching career began in New York City in a public junior high school.  It has since taken her to Brookline High School, the University of California at Santa Barbara, the University of Cincinnati, and Rhode Island College.  She has worked as an English professor, Director of Writing Programs, and the Director of the Rhode Island Writing Project.

Back To Top

H&G14-5b-Thur2   “So Much Winning:” The Issues Driving the 2020 Campaign

Leaders – Emily Ostrower & Beth Mazer

Thursday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm 
5 Week Course – October 24 – November 21 

Description   The upcoming Presidential election may be among the most consequential in American history.  Some analysts believe nothing less is at stake than the survival of our liberal democracy.  The campaigns will be in full swing by the fall of 2019, and there will be issues galore commanding our attention. Taking our cue from major trending news stories, this course will explore one compelling issue each week.  Topics will be drawn from the candidates themselves as well as from the areas of politics, domestic policy, and foreign affairs.  We will engage in active discussion to probe each topic, using top-rated podcasts as well a few interesting articles written by leading experts. These will be drawn from a range of publications such as The New Yorker, Atlantic Magazine, Foreign Affairs, New York Review of Books, and newspapers such as The New York Times and Washington Post.  Key questions will be provided along with the articles and podcasts to organize and focus our discussion.  The SGLs will provide additional background information and serve as facilitators as each topic is explored. 

Readings   The SGLs will provide a course website which will contain links or PDFs for all the articles and podcasts to be discussed as well as discussion questions.

Preparation Time   2-3 hours each week of reading plus listening to an occasional podcast.

Biography   Emily Ostrower, who is retired from the Newton Public Schools as an elementary principal, has co-taught a number of BOLLI courses with Beth Mazer focusing on an in-depth analysis of contemporary issues.  She enjoys traveling around the world, loves history and the social sciences, and is an inveterate news and politics junkie.  This course will focus on what will undoubtedly be her preoccupation with the upcoming election.

Beth Mazer has been attending BOLLI for more than 10 years. In the past 4 years she has been co-teaching courses with Emily Ostrower.  Beth has a wide array of interests that span from catering to piloting airplanes. She has a deep interest in politics, history and science, but lately it’s the future of American democracy that is keeping her up at night.

Back To Top


CE2-10-Thur3   Current Events (Section Two)

Leader – Lois Sockol   

Thursday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm    
10 Week Course – September 12 – November 21 
(No Class October 3)

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   Approximately one hour per week

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.

Back To Top

LIT13-10-Thur3   The Lion or the Fox: Literary Reflections on Leadership

Leader – Michael Kaufman   

Thursday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm   
10 Week Course – September 12 – November 21 
(No Class October 3)

Description   In our rapidly changing, often precarious world we ought to have a clear understanding of what we expect of those who make the decisions that shape our lives. What are those complex qualities of character that set transformative leaders apart from mere functionaries? This course will rely on a variety of literary texts to illuminate some of the most crucial leadership skills, and to identify those attributes that confer the respect of command on those who happen to occupy positions of power. The selective cases will focus issues ranging from the responsible use of power, creative decision-making, communicating and motivating effectively, ethical behavior, negotiating political pressures, and fostering organizational change. The study group will be conducted as a structured discussion in the truest form of a seminar; what someone once called the “highest form of thinking aloud.” The best preparation is a careful reading of the text with an eye on translating historically distant and creatively fictive pieces into meaningful analogies about our world.

Readings   Antigone by Sophocles (play)
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson (story)
Major Barbara by George Bernard Shaw (play)
Billy Budd by Herman Melville (novella)
The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad (novella)
“Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell (story)
“A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell (story)
A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt (play)
Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht (play)
The readings are available online or in inexpensive used editions or in the library.

Preparation Time   2 to 3 hours a week

Biography   Michael Kaufman has taught literature at universities and for professionals and business people in a humanistic development program which used literary texts to engage participants in discussions about their work. He has offered literary seminars to judges, doctors, clergy, lawyers as well as high-ranking government officials at the Federal Executive Institute in Virginia. He has offered a variety of seminars at BOLLI.

Back To Top


SCI4-10-Thur3   Exploring the Universe: A Look at 20th Century Physics and Cosmology

Leader – Gary Feldman     

Thursday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm  
10 Week Course – September 12 – November 21 
(No Class October 3)

Description   Starting in the early 20th century, we discovered that the most fundamental laws of nature were like nothing we had imagined before.  The special and general theories of relativity completely changed our notions of time and space.  Quantum mechanics shredded our notion that nature is deterministic and exposed behaviors that can only be described as magic.  Experiments on subatomic particles revealed a surprising simplicity mixed with a large dose of arbitrariness.  In concert with these developments, astrophysicists used these tools to achieve new insights into the history and composition of our vast physical universe.  And with these insights came new surprises, such as that 95% of the universe is composed of dark matter of unknown origin and a puzzling dark energy.  Or clues that our visible universe, which is unfathomably huge on a human scale, may be only a microscopically small part of the full universe.  We will explore all of these developments of the last 120 years in a non-mathematical manner and make no assumption of a prior knowledge of physics.   We expect that everyone will gain from this course, even if it is only to marvel about realities that are far from our everyday experience and intuition.    Please note that the first eight sessions will be on the inner workings of the universe: relativity, quantum mechanics, and the fundamental structure of matter.  Only the last two sessions will deal with the vast universe we live in, but understanding it requires a knowledge of all of the earlier material.

Readings   Class notes written by the SGL, which will be distributed prior to each session, and optional videos.  There will be one mandatory hour-long video prior to the fifth session.

Preparation Time   The class notes will average about 12 pages each, exclusive of a mathematical appendix for those who are interested in the mathematical framework.

Biography   Gary Feldman, a retired professor of physics at Harvard University, is still active in experimental research on elementary particles.  At Harvard, in addition to teaching upper-level undergraduate courses in electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, and elementary particles, for the past two decades he has offered a far-ranging General Education course for non-scientists on the subject of “Time.”

Back To Top

SOC5-10-Thur4   Youth, Aging, and Human Connection: Theory and Practice

Leader – Doug Bafford    

Thursday – Course Period 4 – 3:50 pm to 5:15 pm*   
10 Week Course – September 12 – November 21 
(No Class October 3)

*NOTE: This course will be held in the Skyline Residence Hall on campus weekly period 4 (3:50pm-5:15pm). Transportation between BOLLI and Skyline will be provided. Familiarity with online learning is desirable as portions of this course will be delivered online.

Description   This course provides an opportunity for BOLLI members and Brandeis undergraduates to learn about each other as individuals and as generational cohorts and to interact as peers engaged in mutual discovery.  As a primary component of the course, BOLLI members and undergraduates will interview one another and pursue small-group conversations.  We will also become acquainted with leading concepts in the sociology of youth and aging, including life course, age cohorts, historical time, and linked lives.  In interviewing and being interviewed by Brandeis undergraduates, we will uncover unexamined assumptions and challenge preconceived notions about youth, aging, and the human experience.  By combining this activity with historical and cross-cultural study of youth and aging, we will enrich our sense of our identity and become more attuned to the life possibilities and trajectories of younger people. Special attention will be given to race, class, and gender. The course makes use of the Sages & Seekers curriculum, a program previously run at BOLLI to great acclaim as an extracurricular activity. Occasional dinners will be arranged from 5:30pm-6:30pm in the Residence Hall. This class is being given in conjunction with the Brandeis Department of Anthropology and will be limited to 12 BOLLI members.

Readings   None to purchase (all chapters, articles, and films will be available on the course website)

Preparation Time   An average of 2-3 hours per week

Biography   Douglas Bafford is a current graduate student in the anthropology department at Brandeis University. For the past four years he has taught an introductory writing course for Brandeis’s Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program. His anthropological research involves considering the response of evangelical Christians around the globe—in South Africa and the American South—to contemporary social dilemmas of racism, economic inequality, and religious pluralism. He has also written about the experience of aging in an evangelical cultural context.

Back To Top

Learn More

View our events calendar for the latest list of upcoming learning opportunities.

Don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions.

You're invited to visit us and learn what BOLLI is all about.