Welcome to Fall 2018

Welcome to the Lifelong Learning Institute at National Louis University, where learning never retires.  As an LLI member, you open the door to endless opportunities for intellectual stimulation.

How involved do you want to be in your own learning?

We have expanded the variety of study group offerings at LLI, while maintaining the peer learning approach.  This fall, there are three options to choose from:

Traditional Model (Option I)

Fellow members who enroll in the study group are expected to take turns leading the class in the discussion.

Coordinator Facilitated (Option II)

The study group will follow the format of discussion questions and responses.  The only difference is that all discussions will be led by the coordinator.  This is not an expert-led lecture.

Professional Facilitator (Option III)*

A professional facilitator vetted by the curriculum committee coordinates and facilitates all discussions on a given topic chosen by the director and curriculum committee.

*Nominal fee for members. Additional fee for non-members

The Fall Semester runs from September 10 until December 14, 2018

New members can join us for a low price of $150 membership fee for 14 weeks.  Due to popular demand, we have also added an Associate Membership fee of $75.00 for the year.  The Associate Membership includes invitations to all social events, learning during lunch Events, monthly book club participation, Socrates Café, game days, travel opportunities and a subscription to our weekly newsletter.

Sincerely,

Beth Epstein-Rosenthal
Director, The Lifelong Learning Institute, National Louis University

Schedule at a Glance

Monday am Tuesday am Wednesday am Thursday am Friday am

The New Yorker I

 

The New Yorker II

 

The Russian Revolution:
1890-1928

Film Greats

 

The Wall Street Journal

 

American Lion

 

The Jewish Mob

 

World Literature

 

Writing about Family

 

Poetry

 

Superpower U.S.:
How it works &
The Role in the World

 

Around The Neighborhood

 

The New York Times

 

Contemporary Short Stories

 

Pink Brain; Blue Brain

The Women’s Room

 

Brand Luther

Monday pm Tuesday pm Wednesday pm Thursday pm Friday pm

Opera

 

Writing
Workshop

 

The History of God

 

 

 

Science News

 

Conversational Spanish

 

Science Fiction

 

Let’s Talk
Philip Roth

Broadway Musicals

 

The Righteous Mind

 

America’s 1st Daughter

 

Favorite Films

 

Documentary Films

 

Enlightenment Now

 

Shakespeare

 
 

Peer-led Learning

The cornerstones of LLI are peer-led learning and active participation in study group discussions. Members create the curriculum and take turns leading the discussion which makes the classes so rewarding.

Holidays

There will be no classes on Thursday, November 22 and November 23, 2018 for Thanksgiving.   

Membership Fees

LLI conducts sessions for the Fall (14 weeks), Winter (5 weeks), Spring (14 weeks) and Summer (5 weeks) and has a variety of membership plans designed to meet individual needs.  Options include a Full Year membership including all sessions; individual 14-week sessions for the Fall or Spring and Half Year memberships.  Half-Year memberships can be converted to full memberships with pro-rated fees.

Our Trial Membership is the perfect “get acquainted” level for individuals who are interested in seeing what LLI has to offer. This special rate is for first time members ONLY and entitles you to as many classes as you would like for one 14 week session.  Take as many classes as you would like, participate in planned social events, lunch and learn programs while meeting new friends.

New this year is The Associate Membership for individuals who may not have time to enjoy the study groups at LLI but want to participate in the learning during lunch events, the monthly book club, Socrates Café, game days, social events, travel opportunities and a subscription to our weekly newsletter.

Also new this year is the addition of professionally led study groups. Professional facilitators are hired by The LLI Director and vetted by the curriculum committee.  Often times, these are professors from other universities who are also experienced with Shared Inquiry™.  There is an additional fee associated with this study group which is reflected in the course description.

Scholarships are available and are based upon need.  Information is kept strictly confidential.  For more information contact Beth Epstein-Rosenthal at 224.233.2366.

 

Membership Type Dates Cost
Annual Membership 9/10/18 - 8/9/19 $450
Fall and Winter
or
Fall and Summer

9/10/18 - 2/15/19
or
9/10/18 - 12/14/18 (Fall)
7/8/19 - 8/9/19 (Summer)
$250
Fall Only    9/10/18 - 12/14/18 $200
Trial membership for Fall only (new members only) 9/10/18 - 12/14/18 $150
Winter Only 1/14/19 - 2/15/19 $75
Summer Only 7/8/19 - 8/9/19 $75
Annual Associate Membership 9/10/18 - 8/9/19 $75

Registration Information

Online Registration

Easy online registration allows you to sign up for classes in real time. To register, go to www.regonline.com/LLIfall2018

Registration Week:  In-Person

If you would like to register in person, registration week is:

Monday, August 6 – Thursday, August 9
5202 W. Old Orchard Rd, 4th floor lobby

Although we accept registrations on an ongoing basis, please try to complete your registration by August 27, 2018, to give our administrators and class coordinators ample time to send out welcome packets for the study groups.

Class Locations

All classes are held at

National Louis University
North Shore campus
5202 Old Orchard Rd., 4th floor
Skokie, IL  60077

Parking is convenient and free

Monday

9:30-11:30am

Readings from The New Yorker: Section I
Coordinator and Discussion leader (Option II): Penny Ellman

In this class, we share dialogue and laughter as we explore the current issue's content and call attention to favorite articles.  Then an article selected from a prior week's edition (read before coming to class) is presented for discussion.  It could be anything from a book review to a political exposé, from a short story to an in-depth profile, or a variety of other eclectic topics.  Group participation is key to a rich experience, and the insights of others will lead us to greater understanding of the topics included in what some call "the best magazine in the world."

Style of class: Discussions will be based on the content of the assigned text that all have read, but discussion of related topics will be allowed.

Discussion guidelines: Limited personal anecdotes and expertise may be shared only if they relate directly to the text.

 

Readings from The New Yorker: Section II
Coordinators (Option I): David/Madeleine Solomon

Each week various class members highlight features from a current issue of The New Yorker magazine, including “Talk of the Town,” the cover, advertisements, fiction, music, television, movies, art, fiction and, of course, the cartoons. Next, everyone engages in an in-depth, facilitated discussion of an especially interesting article. If you are a New Yorker reader, or have wanted to be one, you will enjoy starting your week with the give-and-take of new information, insights, and, when possible, humor, on timely, fascinating topics.

Style of class: Discussions will be based on the content of the assigned text that all have read, but discussion of related topics will be allowed.          

Discussion guidelines: Member’s expertise is welcome.

 

The Russian Revolution: 1890-1928
Coordinators (Option I): Trudy Gardner/Nancy Tarpey-Cole

This course provides a panoramic view of the Russian empire between 1890 and 1928. We will look at the results of the political turmoil from the 1880s into the 20th century, including the 1880s uprisings, the 1905 Revolution, the impact of WWI on the state, the collapse of the tsarist regime, and the two revolutions in 1917 followed by civil war and the Bolshevik rise to power. Why did the post 1917 democratic efforts fail, and why and how were the Bolsheviks able to grab and hold on to power? Ultimately, how and why did Stalin succeed in gaining power? We'll discover and explore the heroes and the villains during this tumultuous period of Russian history.

Finally, we'll discuss the repercussions of the Russian Revolution around the world, i.e., how it inspired and emboldened other political movements throughout the 20th century and into the 21st.

Text: Russia in Revolution: An Empire in Crisis by S. A. Smith; Oxford University Press, 2017; ISBN:  978-0-19-873482-6

Style of class: Discussions will be based on the content of the assigned text that all have read, but discussion of related topics will be allowed.

Discussion guidelines: Limited personal anecdotes: Must be directly related to the text or topic.

 

1:00-3:00pm

Opera
Coordinators (Option I):  Alyson Breuer/Harriet Weinstein
Note:  Class begins 9/17/218

As before, this Fall semester we focus on the current Lyric season productions in their same order, making for comfortable re-acquaintance—or preparation—for any personal Lyric attendance.  We explore each opera over two class sessions and email study material (composer bio and opera synopsis) beforehand (so please let us know if you require a printed hard copy)!  A different class member will present each opera, the format entirely straightforward.  Members volunteer to choose the Opera(DVD) from local libraries, sometimes we are able to enjoy more than one production concept, if available and time permitting, either an alternative complete Act or specific arias by different protagonists.  Drama, emotion and glorious music abound—join us not for the stories (which are universally silly)—but for these unique creations blending aural and visual media in real time!

 

Writing Workshop
Coordinators (Option I): Ivan Berk/Al Zimbler

You love to write and may have been doing so for years. This is your chance to participate in a group of practicing writers, to learn and explore new methods and writing styles, and to constructively critique each other's work. It may be fiction, non-fiction, poetry or plays. In a supportive setting your classmates will provide concrete and considerate suggestions, reactions and evaluations intended to encourage you to put forth your best efforts. Thereis a certain discipline to writing and you will benefit from having an audience that is always looking forward to your next composition.  Many members have their writings published in our member supported LLI Review, an annual literary and arts publication. Don't be afraid, jump in, the water is calm and warm.

 

The History of God
Coordinators (Option I): Dee Hannan/Janet Pearlstein
Note:  Class begins 9/17/2018

What is religion?  Is it beneficial or baleful? How did it begin?  Is it philosophical or psychological or historical or mystical?  Or none of the above?  Let’s explore these mysteries together.  Our text will be The History of God by Karen Armstrong.  She examines how the three dominant monotheistic religions-Judaism, Christianity and Islam – shaped and altered the conception of god.  According to the Sunday Times of London she can take a long and complex subject and reduce it to the fundamentals without oversimplifying.  It is a brilliantly lucid, splendidly readable book.  Join us, as together we discover insights into these questions.  In this class, we will concentrate on the text that we all have read but discussion of related topics may be included.  In addition to the text we will have some speakers.

Text: The History of God by Karen Armstrong; 1993; ISBN:  0-345-38456-3

Style of class: Discussions will be based on the content of the assigned text that all have read, but discussion of related topics will be allowed.

Discussion guidelines: Limited personal anecdotes: Must be directly related to the text or topic.

Tuesday

9:30-11:30am

Film Greats
Coordinator (Option I): Andrea Herbster/Barry Lippa
Note: Class starts at 9:00am

This semester's "Film Greats" class will focus on films that relate to Chicago.  Class members will volunteer to select a movie from a list that will be handed out at the first session, and lead a discussion on that movie, which will be shown in class.  The films relate to Chicago in different ways, some really showing Chicago off.  Due to the length of some of the movies, the class will start at 9:00 AM and end at 11:30 AM.  We hope that you will join us in celebrating our wonderful city.

Style of class: Discussions will be based solely on the content of the assigned text that all have read.

Discussion guidelines: Limited personal anecdotes: Must be directly related to the text or topic.

 

The Wall Street Journal
Coordinators (Option I): Alan Senner/Mark Lieberman

Foreign affairs, the economy, politics, medicine, and other subjects form the basis for discussions of articles taken from The Wall Street Journal, the largest newspaper in the U.S. and winner of 34 Pulitzer Prize awards. Each week, three classmates volunteer to present one article each from the previous week's paper and distribute their choices to the rest of the class. After reading and forming individual opinions, each presenter briefly outlines the article or asks a cogent question related to the topic after which the participants begin sharing viewpoints and knowledge by discussion rather than lectures, making the class even more interesting. Come and join the fray and enjoy knowledge shared by all.

Style of class: Discussions will be based on the content of the assigned text that all have read, but discussion of related topics will be allowed.

Discussion guidelines: Limited personal anecdotes:  Must be directly related to the text or topic.

 

American Lion
Coordinators (Option I): Neal Rubin/Bob Radunsky

Pulitzer Prize winning biography American Lion by noted historian Jon Meacham, deals with one of the most unconventional and divisive Presidents in history.  Not only noted for the women in his life and his big hair, he sought to advance the cause of the "common man" who he felt was ignored by the Federal government.  Thumbing his nose at "aristocracy", he took steps to dismantle many of the institutions that his predecessors initiated.  He had a powerful persona and mystical connection to his base and was beloved and hated, venerated and reviled, in short, a lot of his country-sometimes kind, often vicious, alternately brilliant, blind and tone deaf.  His name:  Andrew Jackson, our seventh President.  Join Neal and Bob for exciting discussions of a pivotal individual, who forever changed the American Presidency.

Text: American Lion by Jon Meacham; 2008; ISBN:  978-0-8129-7346-4

Style of class: Discussions will be based solely on the content of the assigned text that all have read.

Discussion guidelines: Limited personal anecdotes: Must be directly related to the text or topic.

 

The Jewish Mob
Coordinators (Option I): Mike Reinstein/Jill Meyer

Investigative reporter Gus Russo returns with his most explosive book yet, the remarkable story of the Supermob―a cadre of men who, over the course of decades, secretly influenced nearly every aspect of American society. Presenting startling, never-before-seen revelations about such famous members as Jules Stein, Joe Glaser, Ronald Reagan, Lew Wasserman, and John Jacob Factor―as well as infamous, low-profile members―Russo pulls the lid off of a half-century of criminal infiltration into American business, politics, and society. At the heart of it all is Sidney "The Fixer" Korshak, who from the 1940s until his death in the 1990s was not only the most powerful lawyer in the world,according to the FBI, but the enigmatic player behind countless twentieth century power mergers, political deals, and organized crime chicaneries. We will review the history of The Jewish west side from the 1930s to the 1960s and use various sources.

Text: Supermob by Gus Russo; Bloomsbury 2006; ISBN: 978-1-58234-389-1

The Style of class: Discussions will be based on the content of the assigned text that all have read, but discussion of related topics will be allowed.

Discussion guidelines: Limited personal anecdotes: Must be directly related to the text or topic.

 

1:00-3:00pm

Science News
Coordinators (Option I): Yvette Lewis

Are you interested in knowing what is happening in ALL the sciences today?  Science News is your answer!  Science News has been in existence since 1926 and is currently published bimonthly.  This highly regarded, accurate magazine reports, in short articles, the latest achievements in scientific research and development.

In class, our group discussions are an effective (and fun) way to understand and absorb each issue’s content, be it on the environment, the cosmos, matter and energy, genes and cells, body and brain, etc.  While the material is fascinating, the readings are not highly technical.  You do not have to have a science background in order to participate.  Science is everywhere and constantly moving forward.  Much is applicable to our daily lives and affects us directly.  Why not join Science News and keep up-to-date!

The style of class: Discussions will be based on the content of the assigned text that all have read, but discussion of related topics will be allowed.

Discussion guidelines: Members may share existing expertise, but it must relate to the text.

 

Conversational Spanish
Professional Facilitator: Susan Nusbaum
Note: There is an additional fee for members: $75
Non-members: $100
Class is 10 weeks long:  9/27/18 - 11/29/18

This class is facilitated by Dr. Susan Nusbaum. The class is designed for anyone who would like to learn Spanish or improve their existing Spanish skills.  The class will be ten weeks in length and will meet the needs of the individual students.  We will provide for individual learning styles and levels of proficiency.  The class will focus on conversation, but reading and writing skills will be included.

There are two goals in class: to work hard and learn, and to have fun! The focus of the lessons will be "immersion" in the language, which means that students will have activities other than just speaking in the classroom. Students will be exposed to movies and television in Spanish. To enhance the program, we will venture out on field trips into the Spanish-speaking community, to a museum and restaurants.  We will have Spanish -speaking guests in the class, and students will have one-on-one conversations.

At the beginning of the class, members will be asked what they want to learn, and we will adapt the class to those needs. At the end of the class, members will receive a special certificate showing their accomplishments.

Text:  Will be decided once class begins.

Style of class: Discussions will be based on the content of the assigned text that all have read, but discussion of related topics will be allowed.

Discussion guidelines: Member’s expertise is welcome.

 

Science Fiction
Coordinators (Option I): Bob Holstein/Russell Jersey/Judy Holstein

John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War gives us another rather unusual option for aging.  This novel, published in 2005 is one of the great charismatic reads in Sci Fi.  His view of the universe is clearly non-dystopian, but neither is it the super-optimistic Star Trek. Scalzi’s sense of humor is an added bonus.  Join us to discuss the many philosophical issues that he raises and to explore his surprisingly original universe.

Text:  Old Man's War by John Scalzi; Tor Books; ISBN: 0-7653-0940-8

Style of class: Discussions will be based on the content of the assigned text that all have read, but discussion of related topics will be allowed.

Discussion guidelines: Member’s expertise is welcome.

 

Let's Talk Philip Roth
Coordinators (Option I): Sarah Walker/Carol Brazen/Walter Brown

Join us for a semester of reflection on American culture as expressed through the writings of Philip Roth.  The class will discuss two books by Roth:  American Pastoral, and The Human Stain.

American Pastoral is described in Amazon.com as follows:  "Here is Philip Roth's masterpiece - an elegy for the American century's promises of prosperity, civic order, and domestic bliss.  Roth's protagonist is Swede Levov, a legendary athlete at his Newark high school, who grows up in the booming postwar years to marry a former Miss New Jersey, inherit his father's glove factory, and move into a stone house in the idyllic hamlet of Old Rimrock.  And then one day in 1968, Swede's beautiful American luck deserts him."  Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for this novel in 1997.

The Human Stain is described in Amazon.com as follows:  "It is 1998, the year in which America is whipped into a frenzy of prurience by the impeachment of a president, and in a small New England town, an aging classics professor, Coleman Silk, is forced to retire when his colleagues decree that he is a racist.  The charge is a lie, but the real truth about Silk would have astonished even his most virulent accuser."

Texts:  American Pastoral by Philip Roth; Vintage International, a Division of Random House, Inc., 1997; ISBN:0-375-70142-7
The Human Stain by Philip Roth; Vintage International, a Division of Random House, Inc., 2000; ISBN:0-375-72634-9

Style of class: Discussions will be based on the content of the assigned text that all have read, but discussions of related topics will be allowed.

Discussion guidelines: Limited personal anecdotes: Must be directly related to the text or topic.

Wednesday

9:30-11:30am

Prize Winning World Literature
Coordinators (Option I): Carole Einhorn/Pat Roth

Join us for outstanding discussions and a great read!  This semester we will be reading The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.  The Corrections is a great work of art and a grandly entertaining overture to our new century: a bold, comic, tragic, deeply moving family drama that stretches from the Midwest at mid-century to Wall Street and Eastern Europe in the age of greed and globalism. Franzen brings an old-time America of freight trains and civic duty, of Cub Scouts and Christmas cookies and sexual inhibitions, into brilliant collision with the modern absurdities of brain science, home surveillance, hands-off parenting, do-it-yourself mental healthcare, and the anti-gravity New Economy.  We look forward to seeing you in class.

Text: The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen; 2002; ISBN13: 9781841156736

Style of class: Discussions will be based solely on the content of the assigned text that all have read.

Discussion guidelines: Limited personal anecdotes: Must be directly related to the text or topic.

 

Writing about Family and Preserving Treasured Memories
"Your Uncle Did What?!"

Coordinators (Option I): Don Draganski/Eve Perkal/Alyson Breuer

Join our interactive group and revive dormant memories of your family’s history, anecdotes and legacy, some of which may evaporate if not preserved by you! Let us help provide a positive and intimate environment in which you can read and share your musings in a format that your family will treasure. Take a ramble through your life experiences and family relations and develop new insights; feel free to bring your works in progress.  All readings are confidential; moreover, our resident expert can offer tips on genealogical research.

 

Poetry
Coordinators (Option I): Susan Chertkow/Susan Newman

In this class, your imagination will get a kick-start as you're introduced -- or perhaps reintroduced -- to some of our favorite poets and their poetry. We'll discover the meaning of poets' words and ideas and hopefully bring their sublime message home to our hearts. By reading aloud, we can give selected poems the concentration they deserve. At the end of the 14-week session, we hope you'll discover that you really do enjoy poetry and that your appetite will be whetted for more. Specific poems and poets will be selected by class members each week.

 

Superpower U.S.: How it works & its Role in the World
Coordinators (Option I): Greg Mancuso/Mark Lieberman

The United States has been fighting shapeless, stateless enemies, with no discernible end in sight. How do our institutions adapt? What are our goals, and how do we achieve them? We’ll use two books. The first explores posits that the military has assumed an increasing role in the U.S. foreign policy, and that we've come to accept such a role without really considering its complications. The book explores the internal, frequently confusing, operations of the Defense Department, and the military perspective on its new roles in the world, both war-making and peace-making. It also examines how we define, regulate and fight war, and the role of human rights in war-making. (Endorsed by both the NY Times and the National Review) The second book concludes that U.S. international policy is “incoherent” America, and considers several alternative approaches: an “indispensable” America, a “pragmatic” America, and an “independent” America. (Endorsed by both NPR and the American Conservative) Both books provide multiple perspectives and plenty of opportunity for thoughtful discussion. We'll discuss each view and attempt to reach our own conclusions about appropriate U.S. foreign policy.

Texts: How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything by Rosa Brooks; 2016; ISBN 978-1476777870
Superpower by Ian Bremmer; 2016; ISBN 978-0143109709

Style of class: Discussions will be based solely on the content of the assigned text that all have read.

Discussion guidelines: No personal anecdotes.

More information at our website: www.LLISkokie.xyz

 

Around The Neighborhood
Coordinators: Rosalie Dixler/Lenore Caldwell

For those with a sense of curiosity and have an adventurous nature, and ask questions like How is it made? What do they do there? Where is it done? We find the answers in this Ed-Venture class. Our affiliation with National Louis University opens doors to visit special places in the Chicagoland area--places you never knew existed or may have wondered about. These behind-the-scenes, exclusive tours at places of historic, cultural, and educational significance include docents at facilities that are often not open to the public. Car pools are arranged with expenses shared. This class is for those in reasonably good physical shape as there may be considerable walking and standing.  This fall’s explorations will include: The Softball Hall of Fame, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Cheney Mansion, the Swedish American Museum, Long Grove’s Reed Turner Woodlands and more local historic sites, Bernacki's art and furniture restoration, a special art studio of a Holocaust survivor and many more.

Due to high demand, this group has a special registration procedure. Registration will open online at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, August 10, 2018 at 8:30AM at www.regonline.com/LLIatnfall2018. Car pools are arranged with expenses shared, and each class member is expected to take a turn driving.

 

1:00-3:00pm

Broadway Musicals
Coordinators (Option I): Shirley Cohen/Alyson Breuer

NOTE: Class ends at 3:30PM

This class on Broadway Musicals is great fun! So far, we have explored only a fraction of the repertoire and will continue to watch both appealing vintage and newer productions from different origins.  We can recapture the actors, the music and the choreography, unearthing sometimes unexpected gems.  To allow for different movie lengths, we are extending the class by 30 minutes to accommodate variations and give an opportunity to share our comments.  Please plan on staying the entire length of the class. We look forward to class members making presentations in turn. There will be no class on Wednesday, September 19, 2018.

Style of class: Discussions will be based on the content of the assigned text that all have read, but discussion of related topics will be allowed.

Discussion guidelines: Limited personal anecdotes: Must be directly related to the text or topic.

 

The Righteous Mind
Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

Coordinators (Option I): Reva Schneider/Mick Jackson/Gary Silvers

America continues to descend deeper into polarization and paralysis. Why?  How can our population differ so much on fundamental moral issues?  Why do liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong?   In this class, we will explore these questions using the book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt.  The book challenges conventional thinking about morality, politics, and religion in a way that speaks to everyone on the political spectrum. Drawing on the author’s twenty-five years of groundbreaking research on moral psychology as well as the thoughts of various philosophers on morality, he shows how moral judgments arise not from reason but from gut feelings. He shows why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different ideas about right and wrong, and he shows why each side is actually right about many of its central concerns. In this subtle yet accessible book, Haidt gives the key to understanding the miracle of human cooperation, as well as the curse of our eternal divisions and conflicts.

Jonathan Haidt is an American psychologist and Professor of Ethical leadership at New York University, Stern school of business. He received his BA in philosophy from Yale and PhD in psychology from University of Pennsylvania. His academic specialization is the psychology of morality and moral emotions.

The Righteous Mind: Why good people are divided by politics and religion was on the New York Times best seller list in 2012. This is a well-researched examination of human moral impulses that will appeal to liberals and conservatives alike following the 2016 election.

Join us in this class as we try to understand the cultural divide by educating ourselves about this pressing issue.

Text:  The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided on Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt; Pantheon Books 2012; ISBN:  978-0-307-37790-6

Style of class: Discussions will be based on the content of the assigned text that all have read, but discussion of related topics will be allowed.

Discussion guidelines: Members may share existing expertise, but it must relate to the text.

 

America’s 1st Daughter
Coordinators (Option I): Anna Anrod/Anna Marie Buchmann/Kate Katz

What was it like to be Thomas Jefferson's daughter, to grow up in the shadow of an American icon, and to create his legacy from his letters and papers?  Join us as we read this historical fiction describing the life and times of Patsy Jefferson.  Please note that there will be no classes on 9/19 and 11/21.

Text: America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie; 2016; ISBN:  978-0-06-234726-8

Style of class: Discussions will be based on the content of the assigned text that all have read, but discussion of related topics will be allowed.

Discussion guidelines: Member’s expertise is welcome.

 

Favorite Films
Coordinators and Discussion Leaders (Option II): Richard Rosen/Bob Holstein

The jazz Singer, the first talkie, began in 1927.  Since then some films have excelled because of the plot, character development, emotional intensity, directorial innovation or some other undefined quality.  Such films aren't necessarily box-office blockbusters or Academy Award winners but they are nevertheless our favorites.

Our exploration will cover a cross genre collection of feature movies from 1935-2007--80 years is plenty--including suspense, crime stories, film noir, and comedy.  You'll see movies you've never seen before e.g. the 1949 version of The Great Gatsby, or at least don't recall.  A brief film introduction will start each class explaining why we picked it and alerting you to a few things to look for in the movie, things you might otherwise miss.  Then we'll show the entire film.  We'll conclude with a class discussion of why this film is exceptional, what worked, and what didn't work.  To accommodate all this, each class will run about two and a half hours.

True, you could see all these at home.  But you wouldn't have the fun of live discussions with your classmates or of defending your own tastes and preferences.

We're film buffs and proud of it.  Please come share with us.

Style of Class: Discussions will be based solely on the content of the assigned text that all have read.

Discussion Guidelines: Member’s expertise is welcome.

Thursday

9:30-11:30am

Contemporary Short Stories
Coordinators (Option I): Susan Siebers/Meredith Hellestrae

A novel casts a wide net that involves interweaving numerous characters over time, but a successful short story must capture a reader's attention in its first paragraph. Its brevity imposes the limits in which the writer employs his/her magic. No short story writer works that magic in the same way. Limiting our discussion to the text of each story, we will use shared inquiry to explore not only what the story means, but also what tools the writer used to construct it. We welcome members to join in our lively analyses and discussions.

Text: The Best American Short Stories 2017 by Meg Wolitzer, editor Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt /2017; ISBN:  978-0-544-58290-3 (paperback)

Style of class:  Discussions will be based solely on the content of the assigned text that all have read.

Discussion guidelines: No personal anecdotes.

 

The New York Times
Coordinators (Option I): Mike Kramer/Bob Holstein

The New York Times is the pre-eminent paper for news in the U.S. on a wide variety of topics.  Founded and continuously published in New York City since September 18, 1851, it has won 114 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other news organization.  Expect lively class discussions about current events, social issues, politics, foreign policy, energy and the environment.  Each week, members will be assigned readings from previous weeks' issues.  The Times is available online for a nominal fee or in public libraries, Starbucks, and by home delivery.

Style of class: Discussions will be based on the content of the assigned text that all have read, but discussion of related topics will be allowed.

Discussion guidelines: Member’s expertise is welcome.

 

Pink Brain, Blue Brain
Coordinators (Option I): Lois Glick/Lynn Steinberg

Boys and girls, men and women are different. But what creates these differences? Not a simple answer. Lisa Eliot's book, Pink Brain, Blue Brain leads the reader through a complicated web of biology, peer pressure and cultural stereotypes.  The result:  a clearer understanding of how and why behaviors are labeled male or female and the effects these labels have on us all.

Text: Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps -- And What We Can Do About It by Lise Eliot; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009; ISBN:   978-0-618-39311-4

Style of class: Discussions will be based on the content of the assigned text that all have read, but discussion of related topics will be allowed.

Discussion guidelines: Limited personal anecdotes: Must be directly related to the text or topic.

 

1:00-3:00PM

Documentary Films
Coordinators (Option I): Rhonda Milkowski/Rivia Greenberger

Note: Class ends at 3:30PM

Join us as we engage in lively discussions after viewing contemporary documentaries that are always informative, frequently controversial, and sometimes fun filled entertainment. Expand your appreciation of film by examining the techniques of significant filmmakers as well as determining whether a film is effective or weak, biased or balanced.  Presenters choose from the film list composed of current Academy Award winners, Netflix top 100, or class member recommendations, all readily available for presenters at libraries as well as Netflix. Materials provided for presenters include an Evaluation Guide and a Resource Guide, making question formulation and background sources a snap!

 

Shakespeare
Coordinators (Option I): Wade Bartlett/Paul Phillips

Welcome--or welcome back, LLI Shakespeareans.  Our two plays for this semester are Henry IV, part 2 and The Tempest.  We're midway through Shakespeare's Henriad--his second historical tetralogy, which includes Richard II, Henry IV, part 1, Henry IV, part 2, and Henry V.  If you have never or not recently read Shakespeare, these two plays can serve as a wonderful introduction.

In Henry IV, part 2, we encounter a return engagement between the King (with his son Prince Hal, soon to be Henry V) and the rebels (guess who wins!), along with the further adventures of Sir John Falstaff (funny, of course, but this time also poignant), climaxed by the death of Henry IV, crowning of Hal/Henry V, and the latter's rebuke of his old sidekick.  Fallstaff is one of Shakespeare's most iconic characters.

The Tempest is the last surviving play written entirely by Shakespeare.  Classified as a romance, it offers a suspenseful plot, memorable characters, great poetry, and vivid imagery.  Everybody loves The Tempest!  It is one of the bard's most frequently presented plays.

If all goes well, we'll have time not only to read/study the plays and scholarly insights to them, but also to screen performances of them, both in full length and focusing on discussable selected scenes.  Theater-quality popcorn will be provided by Mili (quiet crunching, please).  Come join us!

Text: Shakespeare, Henry IV-Part II by William Shakespeare; Folger Shakespeare Library; ISBN 978-0-7434-8505-0-Publ 1999; The Tempest, Folger Shakespeare Library, Updated Edition, ISBN: 978-0-7434-8283-7, Published 2015

Style of class: Discussions will be based on the content of the assigned text that all have read, but discussion of related topics will be allowed.

Discussion guidelines: Members may share existing expertise, but it must relate to the text.

 

Enlightenment Now
Coordinators (Option I): Mick Jackson/Gary Silvers

If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.

Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.

Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation.

With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.

Text: Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker; Penguin / 2018; ISBN:  9780525427575

Style of class: Discussions will be based on the content of the assigned text that all have read, but discussion of related topics will be allowed.

Discussion guidelines: Member’s expertise is welcome.

Friday

9:30-11:30am

The Women’s Room
Coordinators (Option I): Martha Fox/Mary Bloom/Nancy Bellew

Our goal is to explore the complexities of women's lives and experiences leading participants to think beyond the boundaries of traditional gender roles.  Our readings will emphasize issues that affect women today and in the past.  Through fiction, poetry and film, we search for a deeper understanding of women's individual and collective voices.  What are valued most in this study group are the lively and insightful discussions that result from our readings.

Text:  My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier Excellent Women by Barbara Pinn; Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Janet Winterson; Autumn by Ali Smith

Style of class: Discussions will be based solely on the content of the assigned text that all have read.

Discussion guidelines: No personal anecdotes.

 

Brand Luther
A revolutionary look at Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the birth of publishing, on the eve of the Reformation’s 500th anniversary

Coordinator (Option 1): Jill Meyer
Note:  Class runs 9/14/18 - 11/16/18

On All Hallow’s Eve in 1517, a young monk named Martin Luther posted a document he hoped would spark an academic debate, but that instead ignited a conflagration that would forever destroy the world he knew.  At the same time, the publishing industry was changing the way information was disseminated to the wider world five hundred years later, we view Martin Luther as a visionary, albeit a flawed visionary. Join us as we examine the world of Martin Luther and how his energy and genius, with the help of the printing press, changed that world. This class is ten weeks and runs 9/14 to 11/16.

Text:  Brand Luther by Andrew Pettegree;  2016 (Trade Paper) Also available in ebook form/ Penguin/ISBN: 978-0399563232

Style of class: Discussions will be based on the content of the assigned text that all have read, but discussion of related topics will be allowed.

Discussion guidelines: Members may share existing expertise, but it must relate to the text.

Additional Offerings

Socrates Café: Conversations that Matter

You don’t have to know anything about Socrates or philosophy. There is no text and no requirement except an inquiring mind. One question will be discussed each session. There are no right or wrong answers. It’s not necessary to sign up ahead of time, just come to any session that appeals to you. For details regarding the topic question and location, please read the LLI newsletter.

Learning During Lunch Events

Invited authors, guest lecturers, musicians and theater groups round out the learning opportunities during the lunchtime.

Book Club

Think about joining your fellow LLI members for collective reflection, critique, rumination and enjoyment in a small group setting.

Travel Opportunities

Join fellow LLI members in experiencing educational travel tours both around the world, within the United States and locally.

Social Events

LLI holds many social events throughout the year. Members enjoy experiencing dining out adventures at ethnic restaurants, attending music and cultural events as well as social gatherings at members’ homes.

Game Days

Interested in Bridge, Mahjong or Canasta? Join members on Wednesday and Friday afternoons.