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Spring 2019 Course Schedule

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

Click here to view a sortable schedule of Spring 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.

Spring 2019 courses will begin the week of March 4 and run through the week of May 13, with a break the week of April 8. There will be no courses on Patriot's Day, Monday April 15. 5b courses will begin the week of April 15, except Monday classes which will begin April 22 and run through May 20. For the Spring 2019 schedule, click here.

If needed, make up classes will be held May 20 - 23. 

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

H&G6-10-Tue1   
The War on Drugs: How Did We Get Here and Where Do We Go?
Ollie Curme

H&G11-5a-Tue1   
Make America Great Again? Exploring Current Foreign Policy Issues 
Howard Barnstone
5 Week Course – March 5 - April 2

SOC1-10-Tue1   
What's Justice Got to Do With It? Justice and the Right Thing To Do     
Will Grogan

ART5-5b-Tue1   
Smartphone Photography Greets Spring 2019
Nancy Katz
5 Week Course - April 16 - May 14

H&G7-10-Tue1   
W.O.W. - Words of Warning from Writers in Post WWII America
Sue Wurster

Period 2
11:10 am to 12:35 pm

ART7-10-Tue2
Let’s Get Real! Realist Art in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries
Suzanne Art

LIT7-10-Tue2   
#HIMTOO: Portrayals of Men in Mid-Twentieth Century American Fiction
Kathryn Bloom

WRI1-10-Tue2   
The Voice Within: A Course in Memoir Writing
Marjorie Roemer

H&G8-10-Tue2   
From the Guillotine to #MeToo: A History of European Feminism(s)
Natalie Cornett

LIT6-10-Tue2   
Jane Austen and Edith Wharton: Commonalities and Differences
Diane Proctor

12:35 pm to 2:00 pm

Lunch, Learning, and Social Life

Period 3
2:10 pm to 3:35 pm

ART8-5a-Tue3   
The Life and Work of John Singer Sargent (5a)
Nancy Alimansky
5 Week Course – March 5 - April 2

ART9-5b-Tue3   
The Life and Work of John Singer Sargent (5b)
Nancy Alimansky
5 Week Course – April 16 - May 14

SCI1-5a-Tue3   
Let There Be Water
Lloyd David
5 Week Course – March 5 – April 2

MUS2-5b-Tue3   
Becoming Beethoven
Eric Elder
5 Week Course - April 16 - May 14

H&G9-10-Tue3   
Cornelius Vanderbilt: The Tycoon Who Changed America
Fred Kobrick

LIT8-10-Tue3   
Blazing a Trail: New Poets and Poems for Our Time
Jan Schreiber

H&G6-10-Tue1   The War on Drugs: How Did We Get Here and Where Do We Go?

Leader – Ollie Curme

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

Description   In 1969, 1,601 Americans died from drug overdoses. In 1971, President Nixon announced his War on Drugs. In 2017 over 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. How could our public policy have been so ineffectual or counterproductive? This course will explore this question from a variety of viewpoints. We’ll start from a historical and policy perspective, examining the social and racial factors that led to drug prohibition early in the 20th century. We’ll look at the political and racial drivers of the War on Drugs, as successive Presidents from Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton increased drug penalties, sending a wave of millions of mostly black inmates into prison, devastating families and neighborhoods. We’ll look at the science of addiction in an attempt to understand the biological, psychological and social drivers of addiction, and the difficulties involved in curing addiction. The economics of the drug trade will be key to understanding its structure and the challenge of interdiction. And the interplay among the institutions supporting the drug trade versus those arrayed against will be key to understanding the successive waves of drug abuse, from heroin and marijuana to cocaine and crack cocaine, methamphetamines, and most recently the opiate crisis. We’ll finish the course on a hopeful note, examining promising policy and treatment options that offer hope in turning the tide toward a better future. Class will consist of 50% SGL presentation and 50% discussion.

Readings   All readings will be accessed online at a class website: www.WarOnDrugsOC.com

Preparation Time   2-3 hours of readings per week.

Biography   Ollie Curme has an undergraduate degree in biochemistry and an MBA. He has been retired since 2005 and has led numerous study groups in adult learning programs; this will be his first at BOLLI.  He is interested in seemingly intractable social problems and social justice.

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H&G11-5a-Tue1   Make America Great Again? Exploring Current Foreign Policy Issues

Leader – Howard Barnstone

Tuesday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am
                5 Week Course – March 5 – April 2

Description   Here’s your opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of today’s fateful foreign policy issues. In this course we will use materials from the Great Decisions Discussion Program, which is this country’s largest discussion program on world affairs. These materials are especially designed to support adult learning. In class we will view expert videos professionally produced by the program, and engage in discussion to gain clarity about the foreign policy choices before us. We will cover five foreign policy topics including: the Waning of Pax Americana; Russia's Foreign Policy; the New Geopolitical Equation of China and America; Media and Foreign Policy; and Turkey: Partner in Crisis.

Readings   There is a briefing book that accompanies this class that students will purchase. The cost is $30.

Preparation Time   Reading the appropriate briefing topic chapter is the primary preparation for the class, about an hour of preparation for each class.

Biography   Howard Barnstone spent 25 years in the financial information technology business where he led the company in areas of strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic partnerships. He has applied these skills in pro bono consulting activities for several not-for-profit organizations and is a member of Newton’s Economic Development Commission. In his free time, he is a self-appointed Secretary of State to those who will listen to him and dabbles in making furniture.

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SOC1-10-Tue1   What's Justice Got to Do With It? Justice and the Right Thing To Do

Leader – Will Grogan

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

Description   The question, “What is the right thing to do?” is one everybody faces. Whether we are discussing our personal lives, society, or government, we all have beliefs about what is just and how we should live. In this course, we will explore these intuitions alongside Harvard University Professor Michael Sandel to understand the weighty concept of justice. Each week, we will watch one of Sandel’s online lectures from his renowned Justice course at Harvard and engage in discussion about contemporary social issues to challenge our intuitions about justice and sharpen our reasoning about ethical questions. Following Sandel, we will explore topics such as affirmative action, income distribution, assisted suicide, surrogacy, same-sex marriage, abortion, stem cell research, debates over human rights and property rights, and more. Students will be expected to watch the corresponding lectures by Michael Sandel prior to class each week; classroom time will be split between an in-class presentation of Sandel’s material and discussion of the important and exciting topics introduced by each week’s lecture.

Readings   Michael Sandel, Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2010). Additional readings may be consulted but these will typically be optional and made available online as needed.

Preparation Time   1-3 hours each week

Biography   William Grogan is a graduate student at Brandeis University where he is currently pursuing his MA in philosophy. Having helped teach ethics in the past, William is particularly interested in the way our underlying philosophical commitments inform our everyday beliefs and our ability to reason consistently with these commitments. Beyond ethics, his research interests include epistemology, philosophy of mind, and existentialism. William holds a BS in Practical Ministries from Southeastern University where he studied divinity, philosophical theology, religious epistemology, and ethics.

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ART5-5b-Tue1   Smartphone Photography Greets Spring 2019

Leader – Nancy Katz

Tuesday – Course Period 1 – 9:30 am to 10:55 am
               5 Week Course – April 16 – May 14

Description   Reviewing the composition basics of good photography and learning how to apply them to your Smartphone is a critical part of the course. Composition techniques that all pros use include: focal point, rule of thirds, diagonal lines, filling the frame and more. One session will be dedicated to discussing and shooting each of the following topics: macro shooting and budding/blooming plants, self-portraits and plants, urban landscapes, flowering gardens and A Day in My Life. We will always return to the basics of composition. There will be homework assignments that we will discuss in class. Editing on the Smartphone, with the Snapseed app and a painterly app (TBD) will be a highlight of the class. Familiarity with your Smartphone and its features is a requirement. This is a class where the challenge will be to see and think like a photographer in the spring with its beautiful and varying light. Applying editing tools from your phone and apps will enhance your images. A tripod will be helpful but not required. Posting, and sharing our images will be through Google media. If you took the class in Fall 2018, there will be new topics.

Readings   Visit as many indoor/outdoor gardens, parks, garden shows and arboreta, as possible.
Optional Reading:
Android Phones For Dummies (For Dummies, 2014), authored by Dan Gookin or iPhone the Missing Manual by David Pogue are suggested if you want to get into all the details and specifics of how your phone works.

Preparation Time   2 hours shooting and editing

Biography   Nancy Katz, a graduate of Girls' Latin School and Hebrew College, holds a BA in Sociology (Phi Beta Kappa) from UMass, Amherst and MEd from Western Maryland College. She studied Landscape Design at the NY Botanical Garden. She taught darkroom photography and Adult Education digital photography in NJ and Boston. She photographed extensively for newspapers and magazines and had many exhibitions, including a series on the Jewish community of Cuba. In 2017, she was a guest artist at the Apple Store, Boston. She is a docent at The Vilna Shul, and is teaching at The Arnold Arboretum, also.

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H&G7-10-Tue1   W.O.W. - Words of Warning from Writers in Post WWII America

Leader – Sue Wurster

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

Description   In the 1950s, when the First Amendment rights of U.S. citizens were being trampled in Washington, several enduring pieces of American literature provided warning visions for the future. Fueled by the flames of the anti-Communist fervor of the day, these works remind us of issues considered central to our American character—particularly, our passionate concern about our individual freedom of thought and expression. But, of course, this led these writers to what may be an even more important question: If this right is so central to our cultural being, how and why have we allowed it to be threatened in times of turmoil? Using this lens, we’ll look at two of Arthur Miller’s plays, The Crucible and A View from the Bridge, as well as Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s enduring work, Inherit the Wind. In addition, we’ll focus on Ray Bradbury’s powerful novel, Fahrenheit 451. We’ll examine these works in their multi-layered historical contexts, explore the warnings provided in each, and focus on why they have endured as now-classic pieces of American literature. Class sessions will consist of approximately equal portions lecture/presentation, discussion, and—especially considering the fact that plays are written to be performed--the reading aloud of key scenes in order to bring each work more fully to life.

Readings   The Crucible by Arthur Miller
A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller
Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
“History Handouts” provided on course Google Site

Preparation Time   1-2 hours each week

Biography   Sue Wurster earned BS/MA degrees in Communications from Ohio University, taught speech at St. Cloud State, writing at Elizabeth Seton College, drama at the Chapin and Calhoun schools, and English/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.  (She is often referred to as “Wurster, the Wily Word Woman.”)

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ART7-10-Tue2   Let’s Get Real! Realist Art in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries

Leader – Suzanne Art

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

Description   Just mention the art of the 19th and early 20th centuries and most people will think of the avant-garde – from broad-stroke impressionism to fauvism to cubism and beyond. And yet, it was the realist artists of that period whose names were best known to their contemporaries. While artists of the avant-garde were, broadly speaking, waiting to be accepted by the general public, realist paintings sold like hotcakes. Realist artists depicted the world as they saw it. They were chroniclers of their times, and their paintings are invaluable resources for those who want to learn about the everyday lives of people of all levels of society during three overlapping historical periods: the Belle Époque in France, the Gilded Age/Progressive Era in the US, and the Victorian/Edwardian period in England. But these artists were also innovators, who challenged the old academic dogma and forged new ways of interpreting the world in which they lived – all while maintaining a realist vision. In this course, we will study the evolution of realist art, from French artists Gustave Courbet and the painters of the Barbizon School to Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, and Gustave Caillebotte. We’ll then move on to American artists Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer, as well as expats James Whistler and John Singer Sargent, who spent most of their time in Europe. And we’ll conclude with a look at the art of George Bellows and the Ashcan School of New York City. There will be a combination of lecture and group discussion.

Readings   All assignments will be online. They will include short biographies and articles on historical background as well as videos featuring art historians and curators discussing specific works of art.

Preparation Time   Average preparation time will be about an hour and a half.

Biography   Suzanne has always loved art and history. Her favorite pastime is “experiencing” the paintings in art museums. She has a BA in history, an MA in French language and literature, and an MA in teaching. She taught history for 16 years at a private school. During that time, she also wrote a series of twelve history books, a major feature of which is the study of art in a given culture. She has taught six art history courses at BOLLI.

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LIT7-10-Tue2   #HIMTOO: Portrayals of Men in Mid-Twentieth Century American Fiction

Leader – Kathryn Bloom

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

Description   American men are getting a bad rap these days. Some criticism is clearly deserved, but are we going too far and damning too many men as arrogant, would-be abusers? In this course, we’ll look at how American men are perceived in mid-twentieth-century fiction and discuss the challenges they faced as they tried to find themselves in a culture that often situates masculinity within rigid social boundaries. We consider the author’s point of view about masculinity and how he—or she—presents their protagonist’s situation and how he resolves his personal and professional conflicts. Texts to be considered are Sloan Wilson’s The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, Truman Capote’s Other Voices, Other Rooms and short stories by writers including Ernest Hemingway, James Baldwin, John Cheever, John Updike, Cynthia Ozick, and Grace Paley.

Readings   Sloan Wilson, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
Truman Capote, Other Voices, Other Rooms
Short Stories:  Most of the short stories that we will read are easily available online.  Several will be reproduced and distributed to students for a small fee.  A full syllabus will be available before the first class.

Preparation Time   2-3 hours per class

Biography   Kathryn Ruth Bloom, PhD, teaches literature at BOLLI and several adult communities in the greater Boston area. She knows a lot about literature, but is not an expert on men.

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WRI1-10-Tue2   The Voice Within: A Course in Memoir Writing

Leader – Marjorie Roemer

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

Description   This will be the fifteenth iteration of this course. The design is simple. We all commit to writing each week and 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 on the concrete, the dramatized, the immediate. Many of this semester’s prompts will come from Beth Joselow’s Writing Without the Muse.  Our work together is to encourage and to support the effort 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. Sometimes missing a class is unavoidable, but please don’t sign up for this class if you plan in advance to miss several sessions. 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   Instructor will provide a packet of assignments. It usually costs $5.

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.

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H&G8-10-Tue2   From the Guillotine to #MeToo: A History of European Feminism(s)

Leader – Natalie Cornett

Tuesday – Course Period 2 – 11:10 am to 12:35 pm
          (No Class April 30, Make up: Tuesday, May 21)

Location – This study group is co-sponsored by the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center. The course will take place at the Liberman-Miller Lecture Hall in the Epstein building located at 515 South Street, next to South Street Market. Parking will be available for class participants in the Epstein building lot which wraps around the side and back of the building. Please vacate the lot at the end of class.  Note that it is also just a short walk from 60 Turner Street. 

Description   This course will delve into the European origins of Western feminist thought and explore questions such as: What is feminism? Who were the early thinkers? How do different feminist movements compare with each other across time and space? In addition to defining key terms of feminist parlance during two lecture-style sessions, we will use a historical perspective to approach the unique context of various feminist movements, including those in Greece, Germany, Great Britain and France throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In the following eight sessions, we will discuss the ways in which each movement or set of actors sought to rectify the power imbalance between the sexes, in both private and public spheres, in order to create a more egalitarian society. A compilation of primary-source documents from leading feminist thinkers, as well as theoretical lenses will be used to help shape our understanding of each movement. This comparative lens will not only shed light on little-known historical female actors, but also on the relationship of the “women’s question” to other pressing issues of European history: nationalism, imperialism, racism and classism. Overall, the class will show that rather than a peripheral issue, the women’s question, and the subsequent fight for equal rights, is at the heart of the modern nation and contests the very framework on which it rests. At the end of the course, students will have a more informed perspective from which to approach contemporary feminist thought and movements, such as the #MeToo phenomenon and “post-feminist” discourse.

Readings   SGL will create a course book of readings at cost. There will be guidance questions for the readings.

Preparation Time   Approximately 50 pages/week

Biography   Natalie Cornett is a PhD candidate at Brandeis University, specializing in women’s movements and social politics of modern Europe. Her dissertation, “The Politics of Love: Narcyza Zmichowska and the Enthusiasts of Nineteenth-Century Poland” explores a particularly active women’s network during the tumultuous years of revolutionary fervor in 1840s Europe. She has presented and published on topics concerning feminism, Jewish-Polish relations and right-wing political movements both in the U.S. and Europe. Her research and teaching interests include: nationalism, social power dynamics and the history of women and sexuality. Natalie is also co-editing an anthology on feminist transgressions in Polish history.

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LIT6-10-Tue2   Jane Austen and Edith Wharton: Commonalities and Differences

Leader – Diane Proctor 

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

Description   Born almost fifty years after Jane Austen’s death, Edith Wharton has often been described as the American version of the famous British novelist. Their personal stories could not vary more dramatically. Austen, the daughter of a cleric, never enjoyed great wealth and depended, throughout her life, on the largesse of family to live comfortably. Wharton, by contrast, was born to NYC aristocracy and privilege. She owned residences in Lenox, Massachusetts, Paris, and the South of France. Despite the vast differences in their material and social lives, they have both been depicted as “morally scrupulous” women. This course will examine the question of whether their novels vary as greatly as their biographies. Comparing Persuasion and House of Mirth, we will enjoy a close reading of each. We shall view movie versions of each novel as well.

Readings   Persuasion by Jane Austen
House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Preparation Time   2 hours each week/50-60 pages, week of close reading with guidance questions.

Biography   Diane Proctor has enjoyed offering courses at other Learning in Retirement programs for five years. She taught writing, history, and literature at Milton Academy, the Hotchkiss School, and Middlesex School.

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ART8-5a-Tue3   The Life and Work of John Singer Sargent (5a)

Leader – Nancy Alimansky  

Tuesday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm
               5 Week Course – March 5 – April 2

Description   Although John Singer Sargent was born in Florence, Italy and lived most of his life in Europe, he was an American and very proud of his heritage. He became famous first as the painter of a scandalous portrait of Mme. Gautreaux which appeared in the Paris Salon. Unable to get any more work in France, he moved to England and became the most sought-after portraitist of his time. He also traveled extensively in the United States where he continued to paint the rich and famous. But he was much more than a portrait painter. In this course we will learn about his life and study his famous portraits but also explore his landscapes and the Boston murals that he was especially proud of. In this course, we will use the reading and supplementary materials as background to analyzing the art. The class time will be divided between discussion and lecture. The instructor 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 we will hope to reach a better understanding of John Singer Sargent the man and the artist. Please note that because each session builds on the one before, regular attendance is strongly encouraged.

Readings   John Singer Sargent, His Portrait by Stanley Olson – 1986
Available in hardback or paperback. Readily available on Amazon.

Preparation Time   There will be at least 50 pages a week of reading from the text, numerous articles on line.  Study questions to answer. Various short videos to watch. Estimated 3 hours of preparation.

Biography   This will be Nancy Alimansky’s 14th 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 29 years.

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ART9-5b-Tue3   The Life and Work of John Singer Sargent (5b)

Leader – Nancy Alimansky  

Tuesday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm
               5 Week Course – April 16 – May 14

Description   Although John Singer Sargent was born in Florence, Italy and lived most of his life in Europe, he was an American and very proud of his heritage. He became famous first as the painter of a scandalous portrait of Mme. Gautreaux which appeared in the Paris Salon. Unable to get any more work in France, he moved to England and became the most sought-after portraitist of his time. He also traveled extensively in the United States where he continued to paint the rich and famous. But he was much more than a portrait painter. In this course we will learn about his life and study his famous portraits but also explore his landscapes and the Boston murals that he was especially proud of. In this course, we will use the reading and supplementary materials as background to analyzing the art. The class time will be divided between discussion and lecture. The instructor 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 we will hope to reach a better understanding of John Singer Sargent the man and the artist. Please note that because each session builds on the one before, regular attendance is strongly encouraged.

Readings   John Singer Sargent, His Portrait by Stanley Olson – 1986
Available in hardback or paperback. Readily available on Amazon.

Preparation Time   There will be at least 50 pages a week of reading from the text, numerous articles on line.  Study questions to answer. Various short videos to watch. Estimated 3 hours of preparation.

Biography   This will be Nancy Alimansky’s 14th 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 29 years.

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SCI1-5a-Tue3   Let There Be Water

Leader – Lloyd David   

Tuesday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm
               5 Week Course – March 5 – April 2

Description   Israel today should be a rocky desert-like country, except for some areas near the Sea of Galilee and the rivers, just as it was before the second half of the 20th century. What caused this transformation that allowed Israel to become an exporter of fruits, vegetables, and wine; a country praised for its beautiful green fields, hills and valleys; and a major consultant to other countries?  The answer of course is water. How did Israel find water in the desert?  What strategies were used and what new methods were invented?  You will learn about the discovery of water resources, the maintenance of water quality, the treatment of waste water, and desalinization of ground and sea water. In a world of climate change how is Israel planning to overcome the lack of water and avoid a crisis? Israel is leading the way in finding and conserving water.

Readings   Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water Starved World, by Seth Siegel
There will be handouts from the SGL at nominal cost.

Preparation Time   1- 2 hours per class, 50 pages of reading each week

Biography   Lloyd David has been a BOLLI member for 6 years. Prior to this he was the President/CEO and founder of Creative Workplace Learning (CWL), a not-for-profit organization devoted to the education and training of workers primarily in manufacturing and health-related industries.  He has an Ed.D from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and he established CWL based on his dissertation which described the development of an alternative high school diploma program for adults.  He has traveled to Israel many times in the last decade including last year when he visited water projects as a guest of Mekorot, the national water company.

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MUS2-5b-Tue3   Becoming Beethoven

Leader – Eric Elder  

Tuesday – Course Period 3 – 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm
               5 Week Course – April 16 – May 14

Description   Ludwig van Beethoven has proven to be an enduring force in shaping global culture in an increasingly fractured world. His music has been used to reflect the inspirations and aspirations of diverse people on every inhabited continent, and his depiction in movies, children’s books, and other pop culture artifacts attests to Beethoven’s broad appeal across national boundaries and cultural differences. But how well does our contemporary image of the iconic, universal composer reflect the man that lived and worked in Vienna through the first decades of the nineteenth century? And what was it about Beethoven and his story that gave rise to his near-legendary status? In this five-week course, we will investigate these questions by considering Beethoven’s life and music from the perspective of his contemporaries, as well as that of later-nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first-century commentators. We will begin each session with a brief discussion of reactions to, and questions raised by, selected readings from Maynard Solomon’s biographical study of the composer. Then, in view of the “authoritative voice” provided by Solomon, the SGL will offer a short presentation of related material from Beethoven’s contemporaries, his immediate followers, and later writers and critics. We will conclude each class with a comprehensive, summarizing conversation incorporating the featured musical selections for the week.

Readings   Solomon, Maynard. Beethoven, 2nd ed. New York: Schirmer, 2001. ISBN: 0 8256 7268  6.
The SGL will provide each participant with a CD(s) of the music selections and will also make them available in a shared folder through Google Drive

Preparation Time   Weekly discussions will cover approximately forty pages of reading. In addition, we will engage a limited number of featured musical selections each week—generally one longer and two or three short pieces—in our conversations.

Biography   Eric Elder is a candidate for the PhD in musicology at Brandeis University. He has broad interests within music theory and the history of music theory. Eric recently presented his award-winning study uncovering Rudolph Reti’s application of Alfred North Whitehead’s cosmological constructs in the 1951 book, The Thematic Process in Music, at the national joint meeting of the Society for Music Theory and the American Musicological Society. Eric has taught music theory, aural skills, and music appreciation at the university level and led courses or lectured on musical meaning, klezmer, and the music of the Harlem Renaissance at BOLLI.

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H&G9-10-Tue3   Cornelius Vanderbilt: The Tycoon Who Changed America

Leader – Fred Kobrick  

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

Description   Emerson once said “there is properly no history, only biography.” History is made by men, and Cornelius Vanderbilt, born during the Presidency of George Washington, made and changed more of our history than many Presidents. He was a poor NY boy who paddled passengers for dimes. As a teen he founded the Staten Island Ferry, and as a young man Cornelius Vanderbilt built the nation's largest fleet of steamships. Later, he designed ships to outrun Confederates to get Civil War gold from California to NYC banks, helped President Lincoln on the waterways and in the War, and built the New York Central Railroad. Although accused of being a robber baron out to fleece the public, Vanderbilt was a Jacksonian anti-monopolist and fought the robber barons as he grew his empire. He went on to build Grand Central Station, and changed Manhattan. He was both a visionary and a tough competitor, who became the richest man our country had ever known, owning 1 of every 20 dollars in America. He is responsible for a Supreme Court case that now defines how we govern interstate commerce. This is the story of the man, the empire, and how he changed American history, creating our modern form of capitalism and the structure of the modern corporation. Classes will have some SGL lecture and much discussion.

Readings   The First Tycoon, The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles, 570 pages,
National Book Award, Pulitzer Prize, and Financial Times Book of the Year Award winner.

Preparation Time   2 hours

Biography   Fred Kobrick managed one of the top 5 mutual funds in the country for 15 years. He has a BA in economics from Boston University and a MBA in finance from Harvard. Fred has led a number of BOLLI classes, including “Great Companies”, and “Cotton, Capitalism, and Globalization”, and several different courses on China’s foreign policy. He has taught in the graduate programs at Boston University on diverse topics such as finance, economics, the global history of slavery, and additional subjects from a book he has authored.

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LIT8-10-Tue3   Blazing a Trail: New Poets and Poems for Our Time

Leader – Jan Schreiber  

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

Description   We live in a time of prolific invention and ferment among poets. Readers looking for good contemporary poems risk drowning in a sea of words. In this country alone, some ten thousand books of poetry are published annually, and many times that number of individual poems appear in magazines and journals, online and in print. To help readers find their way, this course is built around a selection of poems by 30 living writers. The poets – and the poems – have been chosen for their evident intelligence, emotional power, musicality, and linguistic ingenuity. (Other readers and critics might apply different criteria and respond to the work of different poets.) In each session selected poems by three writers will be discussed. Participants may encounter a few well-known names (Robert Pinsky, Sharon Olds), but many of the poets, especially younger ones (Bill Coyle, Julie Kane), will almost certainly be unfamiliar. Some biographical research by class members is therefore encouraged. The course offers a chance to come to grips with new and challenging work not yet certified by critical consensus or established reputations.

Readings   No books are required, though class members are encouraged to acquire the books of poets they encounter here. All poems to be discussed will be provided in the syllabus.

Preparation Time   Two to three hours, including time for on-line research on the poets.

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 four books of poetry and many critical articles, he runs an annual symposium on poetry criticism at Western Colorado University. He has been an SGL at BOLLI since 2012. His book Sparring with the Sun, on contemporary American poets and poetry, was published in 2013. His most recent book of poems, Peccadilloes, appeared in 2014. He was poet laureate of Brookline, Massachusetts from 2015 to 2017. A new chapbook, Bay Leaves, is in press.

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