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Spring 2020 Course Schedule | Thursday

 

Click here to view a PDF version of the Spring 2020 Course Catalog. 

Click here to view a sortable schedule of Spring 2020 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.

Spring 2020 courses will begin the week of March 2 and run through the week of May 11, with a break the week of April 6. There will be no courses on Patriot's Day, Monday, April 20. 5b courses will begin the week of April 13 and end the week of May 11, except Monday 5b classes which will end on May 18. For the Spring 2020 schedule, click here

If needed, make up classes will be held May 18-21. 

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


Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Time Class

Period 1
9:30 am to 10:55 am

Fashion and Film in Early 20th-Century America
Lisa DeBenedictis
5 Week Course – March 5 – April 2

 

Water: Properties, Pollution, Pestilence
Georgia Weinstein
5 Week Course – April 16 – May 14


Harry Potter: Introduction and Literary Analysis
Dennis Greene

 

Sigmund Freud: First Psychoanalyst or Pseudo-Scientist?
Jennifer Eastman

 

Pox and Progressivism: Individual Rights and their Limits in Progressive Era America
Ali Kardatzke
5 Week Course – April 16 – May 14
 

Period 2
11:10 am to 12:35 pm

“You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!” Crafting Creative Nonfiction (Section 1)
Sue Wurster
5 Week Course – March 5 – April 2

 

“You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!” Crafting Creative Nonfiction (Section 2)
Sue Wurster
5 Week Course – April 16 – May 14


Four Rivalries in Art
Nancy Alimansky

 

History of American Judaism
Bar Guzi
Women with Unquiet Minds: Tales of Struggle and Survival
Sophie Freud

12:35 pm to 2:00 pm

Lunch, Learning, and Social Life

Period 3
2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

Critical Issues Facing America: Let’s Practice Civil Discourse to Help Solve Them
Jerry Wald
5 Week Course – March 5 – April 2

 

Our Mysterious Sub-Atomic World: Quantum Mechanics Without a Wrench
Peter Schmidt
6 Week Course – April 16 – May 21


CE2-10-Thur3
Current Events (Section Two)
Lois Sockol
The Founders of Modern Poetry
Jan Schreiber

 

ART6-5a-Thur1   Fashion and Film in Early 20th-Century America

Leader – Lisa DeBenedictis

Thursday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am

             5 Week Course – March 5 – April 2

Description   This course will explore the American fashion and film industries in the broader context of early 20th-century history and examine how the relationship between these industries evolved during this time period.  Drawing on historical examples, we will explore artistic and economic perspectives on the role and function of costume in film; the relationship between couture and costume; “Americanness” through fashion and film; and the expansion of the culture of consumption.  How did costume, designer, actor, and consumer interrelate in the history of American fashion and film?  How did this relationship progress as the fashion and film industries evolved in the United States?  What impact did historical events such as World War I and the Great Depression have on these industries, their connections with each other, and with viewers and consumers?  We will focus primarily on the early 20th century; however, we will draw examples, comparisons, and common threads from Hollywood’s Golden Age through today.  This course will be discussion-based, with readings and question prompts to help guide the conversation.

Readings   The SGL will provide readings and resources.

Preparation Time   Roughly 1 hour per week.

Biography   Lisa DeBenedictis is Program Director in the Office of Precollege Programs at the Rabb School at Brandeis University. She has a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Master’s degree in Education, both from Harvard University, and a Certificate in Fashion Design from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

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SCI6-5b-Thur1   Water: Properties, Pollution, Pestilence

Leader – Georgia Weinstein

Thursday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am

             5 Week Course – April 16 – May 14

Description   In the US water comes out of the tap and we drink it. As a general rule, we do not have to purify, boil or filter it. But what if it weren’t pure enough to drink safely? During our first class we will discuss the unique properties of water. At the other four classes we will discuss two books. The first, The Poisoned City, by Anna Clark, is about the recent history of lead pollution in Flint, Michigan. The second, The Ghost Map, by Steven Johnson, is about the outbreak of cholera in London in 1854 and the men who finally figured out the cause. It is in the genre of narrative nonfiction and is a captivating read. We will focus on the role of government in providing potable water and testing it to be sure our water is safe to drink. Also members will be encouraged to present short reports on related topics. Examples might be the current form of government in Flint and elections in Michigan, or the history of the miasma (polluted air) theory for contagious diseases.

Readings   The Poisoned City by Anna Clark and The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson. Books are available at local libraries.

Preparation Time   About 130 pages a week of reading.  The Poisoned City is 215 pages excluding notes.  The Ghost Map is 256 pages.  Class member reports on related topics are optional.

Biography   Georgia Weinstein is a graduate of Cornell University in chemistry and has a doctorate from MIT in bioinorganic chemistry. She taught organic chemistry, biochemistry and environmental chemistry at Boston University from 1972-2011. Since retiring, she has discovered that she still likes thinking about scientific topics and reading scientific journals and books.  

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LIT9-10-Thur1   Harry Potter: Introduction and Literary Analysis

Leader – Dennis Greene

Thursday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am

             10 Week Course – March 5 – May 14

                (No Class April 9)

Description   C.S. Lewis noted “no book is worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty.”  The seven-volume Harry Potter series, written by British author J.K. Rowling, was published from 1997 through 2007. Some say it played a role in encouraging millions of millennials to read. The story has generated sales of over a half-billion books and eight movies. In addition to its young adult fans, millions of mature readers learned to love these books as they shared them with their children and grandchildren, while others sampled The Sorcerer’s Stone to see what the fuss was all about and then continued the series for the pure joy of reading an imaginative tale, well told. Harry Potter certainly has been an overwhelming commercial success. But is Ms. Rowling’s creation worthy of being considered a legitimate work of literature?  We will read and discuss the first three Harry Potter novels and a sampling of critical literary reviews to help us decide if the Harry Potter series deserves to be admired as great literature or dismissed as infantile fare of no literary merit.  This course is intended both for “serious” readers who have little or no familiarity with the Harry Potter story, and also for those who have read the novels numerous times and would enjoy discussing them. As we follow Harry’s early years at Hogwarts, we will discuss narrative techniques, major themes and literary antecedents.  Come join the wizarding world.

Readings   Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 1997 (309 pages)  
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 1999 (341 pages)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 1999 (435 pages)
Occasional Class Hand-Outs of reviews and commentary.

Preparation Time   Approximately 125 pages of light reading per week.

Biography   Dennis Greene has been a member of BOLLI for four years. He spent five years as an engineer, and then 40 years as an attorney. His teaching experience consists of three terms at BOLLI, leading two introductory science fiction courses and this course last term. He brings his enthusiasm and 60 years of experience as a pop culture geek and junkie. Dennis discovered Harry Potter in 1997 and since then has read the entire series numerous times, listened to all of Jim Dale’s magnificent audio readings many times and saw all eight Harry Potter films.  

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SOC6-10-Thur1   Sigmund Freud: First Psychoanalyst or Pseudo-Scientist?

Leader – Jennifer Eastman

Thursday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am

             10 Week Course – March 5 – May 14

                (No Class April 9)

Description   Sigmund Freud was one of the most controversial figures of the late nineteenth century. Most notably, he developed radical theories of sexuality including its roots in childhood and espoused a talking cure as a new mode of treatment for psychiatric illness. In this study group, we will delve into Freud's theories about sexuality, dreams, and the unconscious. We will explore his relationship with colleagues such as Wilhelm Fliess, the doctor who shared Freud's ambition to develop new theories of sexuality, and Carl Jung, the influential psychiatrist who founded analytic psychology. We will look at his family life and examine case studies including Dora, where Freud squarely confronted transference, and the Wolfman, whose dreams influenced Freud's theories of psychosexual development, particularly the primal scene. We will read excerpts from Freud's cultural works such as Totem and Taboo and Civilization and Its Discontents in which he explored the role of the individual in society and we will deal with some of the questions surrounding psychoanalysis. Frederick Crews, for example, a prominent critic, has said there were no cures; Freud thought otherwise. We will reach our own conclusions as we also think about how Freud's theories have held up and not held up over the years. The course will include readings from a Freud biographer and from Freud himself, brief lectures by the SGL and robust group discussion. No previous knowledge of this material is required, just the curiosity to pursue a balanced judgment of a compelling man.

Readings   Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision--An Analytical Biography by Louis Breger (available used). Optional readings from Freud's works will be from The Freud Reader edited by Peter Gay (available in paperback).

Preparation Time   2-3 hours per week.

Biography   Jennifer Eastman has a Certificate of Advanced Study from Harvard, has read all of Freud, and has written several articles on him published in “The Psychoanalytic Review.” She has a JD from Suffolk University and has taught law at Framingham State University and other area colleges for twenty-five years. She has taught a course on existentialism at BOLLI.

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H&G13-5b-Thur1   Pox and Progressivism: Individual Rights and their Limits in Progressive Era America

Leader – Ali Kardatzke

Thursday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am

             5 Week Course – April 16 – May 14

Description   Nothing inspires fear quite like the prospect of an epidemic, but do civil liberties exist in times of crisis? Beginning with the earliest European settlements in America, smallpox was one of the most deadly and consistent foes that swept across the continent, decimating the population. America’s last major smallpox outbreak struck at the turn of the twentieth century, a time of rapid transformation, increasing state power, and reform in America. Using Michael Willrich’s highly acclaimed study of this last smallpox epidemic, Pox: An American History, this course will examine the shifting and often contentious relationship between modern medicine, the state, and individual rights in Progressive Era America. As the expanding nation reckoned with the consequences of industrialization and an increasingly diverse population, medicine also dramatically transformed with the development of germ theory and a new emphasis on disease prevention. Health officials utilized new methods like compulsory vaccination to protect the public health during the smallpox epidemic. The state’s enforcement of these methods sometimes became violent, relying on armed police forces when locals resisted vaccination. These tactics inspired the early anti-vaccination movement and an ongoing debate about the limits of personal freedom during a public health crisis, topics that remain important today. Rarely do scientific understandings of disease alone dictate how we respond to an epidemic. This course will illuminate the myriad ways that our culture and values shaped the ensuing response to this unprecedented health crisis and the political challenge it posed in Progressive Era America.

Readings   Michael Willrich, Pox: An American History

Preparation Time   Class members will be expected to read about 65 pages for each class.

Biography   Ali Kardatzke is a doctoral candidate in the Brandeis history department. Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, she is a true Midwesterner. She received her BA in history and psychology from Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana and pursued her MA in history at the University of Nebraska. Since coming to Brandeis, Ali has taught a University Writing Seminar on epidemics in America and served as a teaching fellow for numerous history courses. Her dissertation examines the development of a veteran healthcare system in the wake of the Civil War.

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WRI3-5a-Thur2   “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!” Crafting Creative Nonfiction (Section 1)

Leader – Sue Wurster

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

             5 Week Course – March 5 – April 2

Description   Nonfiction writing has, all too often, been considered “dry” and even “dull,” but this seems to be changing.  In fact, Lee Gutkind of Creative Nonfiction magazine says that the genre, “true stories told well,” has become the most popular way to write.  The goal of this kind of writing is to make our biographical or historical sketches, opinion or “op-ed” pieces, travel writing, reviews, “how to” items and more just as captivating and enthralling as fiction.  In this course, we will zero in on what it is that readers seem to find compelling about the pieces they read and try to infuse our own writing with the dynamic elements that characterize “true stories told well.” After all, we know that “you just can’t make this stuff up!”

Readings   On Writing Well by William Zinsser as well as other reading/viewing items available on the course website. 

Preparation Time   There will be a short reading assignment for each week (15 minutes or so) as well as a piece of writing to produce or rework (however long that takes to create).

Biography   Sue Wurster earned B.S./M.A. degrees in Communications from Ohio University, taught speech at St. Cloud State University, writing at Elizabeth Seton College, drama at the Chapin and Calhoun schools, and English/Social Studies/Humanities at Nashoba Brooks School. She studied at Northwestern’s School of Speech, NYC’s New Actors’ Workshop, Bank Street College, and Columbia University.  She served as national chair of the high school division of the American Alliance for Theatre in Education, director of New York State’s Forensics League, and co-founding chair of the Massachusetts Middle School Speech League.  (In some circles, she is known as “Wurster the Wily Word Woman.”)

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ART4-10-Thur2   Four Rivalries in Art  

Leader – Nancy Alimansky

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

             10 Week Course – March 5 – May 14

                (No Class April 9)

Description   This course will explore four different artistic friendships/rivalries from the 19th and 20th centuries. The artists we will study are Freud and Bacon, Manet and Degas, Picasso and Matisse, Pollock and de Kooning. Although each of the relationships is different, there are some interesting similarities. Their personal histories and relationships will provide a basis for the study and analysis of the artists’ work. In this course, the reading and supplementary materials will be used as background to analyzing the art. This background information is particularly relevant because of the close relationship of the “rivals.”   The class time will be divided between discussion and lecture. The SGL will show images, some of which have been referenced in the text, and together the class will analyze the content, composition, color, value and other design principles of the art. By the end of the course, study group members will gain insight into the lives of the various artists and an increased appreciation of their work.

Readings   The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art by Sebastian Smee.

Preparation Time   3 hours a week including readings, questions, videos.

Biography   This will be Nancy Alimansky’s 16th teaching experience at BOLLI. 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, an MAT from Harvard Graduate School of Education and an MBA from Boston College. She has been a professional artist for more than 30 years.

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WRI4-5b-Thur2   “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!” Crafting Creative Nonfiction (Section 2)

Leader – Sue Wurster

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

             5 Week Course – April 16 – May 14

Description   Nonfiction writing has, all too often, been considered “dry” and even “dull,” but this seems to be changing.  In fact, Lee Gutkind of Creative Nonfiction magazine says that the genre, “true stories told well,” has become the most popular way to write.  The goal of this kind of writing is to make our biographical or historical sketches, opinion or “op-ed” pieces, travel writing, reviews, “how to” items and more just as captivating and enthralling as fiction.  In this course, we will zero in on what it is that readers seem to find compelling about the pieces they read and try to infuse our own writing with the dynamic elements that characterize “true stories told well.” After all, we know that “you just can’t make this stuff up!”

Readings   On Writing Well by William Zinsser as well as other reading/viewing items available on the course website. 

Preparation Time   There will be a short reading assignment for each week (15 minutes or so) as well as a piece of writing to produce or rework (however long that takes to create).

Biography   Sue Wurster earned B.S./M.A. degrees in Communications from Ohio University, taught speech at St. Cloud State University, writing at Elizabeth Seton College, drama at the Chapin and Calhoun schools, and English/Social Studies/Humanities at Nashoba Brooks School. She studied at Northwestern’s School of Speech, NYC’s New Actors’ Workshop, Bank Street College, and Columbia University.  She served as national chair of the high school division of the American Alliance for Theatre in Education, director of New York State’s Forensics League, and co-founding chair of the Massachusetts Middle School Speech League.  (In some circles, she is known as “Wurster the Wily Word Woman.”)

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H&G14-10-Thur2   History of American Judaism

Leader – Bar Guzi

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

             10 Week Course – March 5 – May 21

                (No Class March 19 or April 9)

Description   This course traces the history of the American Jewish community from the colonial period to the present, paying special attention to religious, social, and political trends. By reading Jonathan Sarna’s magisterial history of American Judaism, as well as engaging with primary sources of various genres, we will uncover the diverse ways in which American Jews have a created a “hyphenated identity.” Topics to be covered include Jewish migration, religious innovation, cultural adaptation, political engagement, collective responses to major historical events, and the image of Jews in the eyes of non-Jewish Americans. Some of the questions this course will touch on are: What have been the critical turning points in American Jewish life? In what ways is American Judaism continuous with past patterns and in what ways has it emerged as a distinctive culture and civilization? The class will combine lecture and discussion of primary sources in light of our readings from Sarna’s book.

Readings   Jonathan D. Sarna, American Judaism: A History, 2nd ed. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019). Handouts of primary sources sheets will be available online. Students will be responsible for bringing hard or electronic versions of the handouts to each class.

Preparation Time   Participants will be expected to read about 70 pages per week.

Biography   Bar Guzi is a doctoral candidate at Brandeis University. Fascinated by the religious and cultural creativity of American Judaism, he moved to the United States four years ago from Israel to study American Jewish thought. Bar has published articles on American Jewish thinkers’ engagement with Zionism and the Holocaust and is currently writing his dissertation on twentieth-century liberal American Jewish religious thought.

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LIT10-10-Thur2   Women with Unquiet Minds: Tales of Struggle and Survival

Leader – Sophie Freud

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

             10 Week Course – March 5 – May 14

                 (No Class April 9)

Description   This course will look at the lives of women who have suffered and survived various psychological afflictions as told primarily through their memoirs.  Among the emotional problems to be considered are: depression; alcoholism; bi-polar condition; autism spectrum disorder, anorexia and schizophrenia. Since women often have more than one emotional problem, each book deals with one or more of these conditions and their impacts.  This is a serious reading/learning course.  Many of the books we will read are gripping and quite painful; yet, most tend to illuminate the survival instinct of the human species and end on a hopeful note.  The course is not a lecture course; intriguing questions, posed on the syllabus and in class, encourage class members to express their views and teach one other.

Readings   Daphne Merkin, This Close to Happy. A reckoning with Depression (2017); Terry Cheney, Manic: A Memoir (2008); Esme Weijun Wang, The Collected Schizophrenias (2018) ; Caroline Knapp, Drinking. A Love Story  (1996); Sayaka Murata,  Convenience Store Woman  (2018); Lucy Grealy, Autobiography of a Face (1994); Lauren Greenfield, Thin  (2006) and/or the HBO documentary movie by the same name.

Preparation Time   100 to 150 pages per week

Biography   Sophie Freud, born in Vienna, came to the U.S. at age 18. She received a BA from Radcliffe/Harvard, an MSW from Simmons and 20 years later, a Ph.D. from the Heller School at Brandeis. After about 10 years of clinical social work practice she became a professor of social work at the Simmons College School of Social Work and stayed there for 30 years while also giving courses and workshops around the United States and Europe. Sophie has given at least 15 different courses at BOLLI. Indeed, inventing new courses has become her old age pastime.  Books have been Sophie’s cherished companions as reader, book reviewer and author.

 

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  CE2-10-Thur3   Current Events (Section Two)

Leader – Lois Sockol   

Thursday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm    
10 Week Course – March 5 – May 14

             (No Class April 9)

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.

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H&G15-5a-Thur3   Critical Issues Facing America: Let’s Practice Civil Discourse to Help Solve Them  

Leader – Jerry Wald

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

             5 Week Course – March 5 – April 2

Description   This course will examine key challenges confronting our democracy, including immigration reform, income and wealth disparity and our health care system. In order to assess these issues, we will rely primarily on in-depth guides provided by the National Issues Forum in conjunction with the Kettering Foundation. This material is specifically designed to highlight the important decision points and policy considerations for each matter in a substantive and nonpartisan manner. The course will also consider and apply the principles of civil discourse. The goal is to create an open democratic environment for the airing of all views in order to arrive at the best solutions. Class members should be receptive to looking at matters deliberatively, analytically, civilly and even differently. 

Readings   Comprehensive guides issued by the National Issues Forum in conjunction with the Kettering Foundation. These can be ordered from the National Issues Forum website for a modest cost. Additional selected material regarding the major topics will also be examined.

Preparation Time   About 20-40 pages with possible podcasts or videos. Preparation time should be about 3 hours per week.

Biography   Jerry Wald was an attorney for 34 years in Chicago and Connecticut.  In his retirement, he devotes time as a board member for the Harry Chapin Foundation and mentors in both an English literacy program and a college program for prisoners. Jerry enjoys kayaking, hiking and reading.  He graduated from the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago Law School.

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LIT11-10-Thur3   The Founders of Modern Poetry

Leader – Jan Schreiber

Thursday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm - 3:35 pm

             10 Week Course – March 5 – May 14

             (No Class April 9)

Description   The course will focus on six American poets, all born in the late nineteenth century, who set poetry on a new trajectory: Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, and Marianne Moore. Their writings, collectively termed “modernism” (a term with various meanings but always signifying a decisive break with the past), would influence poetic technique, language, and subject matter over the twentieth century. We will devote two sessions to each poet, except for Pound and Eliot who will be considered together over two sessions. A sufficient number of works will be offered in the syllabus to afford a good sense of each poet’s accomplishments and styles. In the second session devoted to each writer, participants may volunteer to lead a discussion of a poem of their choosing by that writer, or by a later writer whom they see as an inheritor, in some sense, of the originator’s style or approach. (Class members are encouraged to team up if they wish.) People should emerge from the course with a better sense of the strains (in the sense of both inheritances and tensions) that run through the poems being written today.

Readings   All poems assigned for the course will be included in the syllabus.

Preparation Time   About 2 hours on average; more if you’re preparing to lead a discussion.

Biography   Jan Schreiber received a PhD in English and American Literature from Brandeis in 1972, after which he taught at Tufts and UMass Lowell, edited a literary magazine (Canto), and inaugurated the poetry chapbook series at the Godine Press. An author of five books of poetry and many critical articles, he has been an SGL at BOLLI since 2012. His critical book Sparring with the Sun was published in 2013, followed by Peccadilloes (poems) in 2014. He was poet laureate of Brookline, Massachusetts from 2015 to 2017. His new chapbook, Bay Leaves, came out in the fall of 2019.

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SCI2-5b-Thurs3   Our Mysterious Sub-Atomic World: Quantum Mechanics Without a Wrench     

Leader – Peter Schmidt

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

                6 Week Course – April 16 – May 21

Description   Come take some quantum leaps. Cuddle up with Schrödinger’s cat. Quell your doubts about the Uncertainty Principle. Find out whether God rolls dice. The development of quantum mechanics was one of the most significant scientific achievements of the 20th century, and also one of the greatest triumphs of the human mind. Not a one-man show like Relativity, the quantum mechanics cast of characters includes Niels Bohr, Albert Einstein, and an array of brilliant physicists recognized with Nobel Prizes. Their struggle toward the understanding of quantum phenomena, as well as its implications for causality and determinism, carries to the present day. But these physicists also had their human side, with personal quirks and passions. The course book helps to bring them to life with vivid anecdotes and descriptions well beyond their ground-breaking work. To join this adventure, you will need no more than curiosity and a willingness to stretch your mind, rather than any previous knowledge. Over six weeks, we will cover mainly the advancement of quantum mechanics from the early roots to its consistent formulation in the 1930s, but we’ll also take a look at some recent developments like quantum computing and cryptography. Given the nature of the subject, there will be substantial presentation, but with time for discussion, and for pondering and questioning of the interpretations. Because each class will build on the learnings of the previous ones, it’s imperative not to miss any classes. Please note that this is a six (6) week course that will extend into the make-up week.

Readings   Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality. Manjit Kumar W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-33988-8 paperback.

Preparation Time   About two hours.  The reading will be 60-80 pages per week with some sections to be skipped or skimmed, as detailed in an accompanying reading guide that I will supply. Biography   Peter Schmidt has had an academic and research career in experimental high-energy physics, one that included teaching at Brandeis, and a second one in the application of machine vision in private industry. Joining BOLLI in 2006, he has led and co-led a number of courses in diverse subjects, from

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