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Spring 2018 Course Schedule




CRN 30001                                        Leader: Joe Mittleman                                  Fee: $25

Mondays, Roosevelt Hall, 111          Apr. 23, 30; May 7, 14          11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Biography explores the portraits of superstars that charmed audiences with masterful portrayals of ordinary men and women thrust into extraordinary circumstances. This series examines the back stories of celebrities who were superstars. Included are the following superstars: Louis Armstrong, Jack Lemmon, Goldie Hawn, and Bette Davis.

MOVIE MONDAYS! Works In Progress

CRN 30003                                        Leader: Michael Givant                                Fee: $44

Mondays, Roosevelt Hall, 111          Apr. 23, 30; May 7, 14, 21         2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Some films are worth seeing twice if not more. Sometimes they stick with you, other times you just enjoy them and want to see them again, and other times you "discover" the film's depth, intensity, and meaning after a second viewing. It may become one of those classic films that can be seen numerous times and something new can be found with each successive viewing. We will see five of these films followed by a lively and insightful class discussion of each.

Wild Tales (2014). Six darkly comic and wildly exuberant tales make up this film from Argentina, which was that country's entry for Best Foreign Film. Centering on powerlessness and the excesses of revenge, this film will alternately shock and make you laugh out loud.

Frantz (2017). Odds are you've not heard of Francois Ozone nor his latest film. Set in Germany and France in the aftermath of WWI it opens with a young woman putting flowers on the grave of her former fiancé who died in the trenches. A stranger doing the same. Who is he? Thus begins a journey of coming to terms with death by the young woman, the soldier's parents, and this mysterious stranger. You may want to see this a second time.

Hell or High Water (2016). Jeff Bridges gives a magnificent performance as a Texas Ranger. Is this tight, taut film, set against the barren landscape of West Texas, a western, a morality tale, a 21st century or a condemnation of corporate greed sucking Main Street dry? Or is it a love story? There's a long scene in this film that this observer has seen thirty times. We'll look at it only twice.

Maudie (2017).American actor, writer and director Ethan Hawke, a four-time Academy Award nominee, and British Actress Sally Hawkins (Happy Go Lucky, Blue Jasmine, The Shape of Water) are fringe-of-society people in rural Nova Scotia. The two bring to life the protagonists of this true story of a reclusive, difficult man and an arthritic, non-self-sufficient woman who finds fame in creating art.

The Big Sick (2017). Kumail Nanjiani, a real life Pakistani-American comic, actor and writer, Zoe Kazan,TV comic Ray Romano and Holly Hunter all-star in this romantic comedy.While Nanjiani's parents are trying to pair off their son with "a nice Pakistani girl" the standup comic falls for a graduate student who slips into a mysterious coma. Her parents initially are less than enthused about him but things change.  Based on a true story.


CRN 30014                                        Co-Leaders: Adrienne Burack/Brenda Yudin

Mondays, Roosevelt Hall, 109          Mar. 19, 26; Apr. 2, 9                                   Fee: $50

Apr. 23, 30; May 7, 14,           9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Women are from Venus, men are from Mars! Join in a discussion group/expression of feelings from a female point of view.   Each session will be based on a single topic, focused on how one feels about circumstances facing our lives today.   We hope to enlighten ourselves and each other through our sharing. Maximum 10.



CRN 30005                                        Coordinator: Louise Mehrtens                     Fee: $38

Wednesdays, Roosevelt Hall, 109     Mar. 14, 28; Apr. 11, 25

May 9, 23                                  12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Once again our Contemporary Literature group will be discussing a variety of books suggested by both our membership leaders and our very enthusiastic group participants. Our six sessions will begin March 14.  Our titles and dates are as follows:

March 14, Waking Lions by Aylet Gun, led by Maxine Atkins; March 28, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi, led by Julie Lupson; April 11, My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrente, led by Sybil Oster; April 25, Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig, led by Bonnie Marks; May 9, The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck, led by Eileen Garbe; May 23, Lost Horizon by James Hilton, led by Judith Merl.

Our group is a welcoming one with many diverse points of view. We look forward to many thought-provoking and stimulating discussions. You are welcome to bring your lunch.  We hope you will join us. Maximum: 20.


CRN 30006                                        Leader:  Robert R. Weiss                               Fee: $38

Wednesdays, Roosevelt Hall, 111     Mar. 14, 21, 28

May 2, 9, 16                           9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Israel is one of the smallest countries on the face of the globe. It is the size of the small state of New Jersey, and has a population of 8.2 million, of which 20 percent are Arabs and the rest Jews. It is the only Jewish country on the face of the earth. Despite its small size, Israel seems to be always in the news. In this class we will discuss the current events that are facing Israel today. In preparation for this class, we will pick out some articles or TV programs on the subject and try to understand their significance.  Active class participation both in selecting the articles/editorials and in the analysis that follows are encouraged. Debates on controversial points is welcomed.



CRN 30010                                        Leader: Art Feeney                                       Fee: $44

Thursdays, Roosevelt Hall, 111    Mar. 15, 22; Apr. 5, 12,

Assisted by Mary Barry                     May 3, 10, 17                             2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

In this video presentation, we will start our tour visiting Alfred the Great as he unites England and expels the Vikings from Britain. We then move on to the Pilgrim's Persecution in England and journey to America. Next, the English Civil War through the eyes of a young girl and her involvement with key historical figures involved in that war. Then it's a big jump to WWI and the Battle of the Somme. The Somme, along with the battle for Verdun, are two of the most senseless and bloody battles in what was the most senseless war of all time. Art Feeney is a history buff with a focus on American and British History.

GREAT BOOKS: Counterparts

CRN 30009                                        Facilitators: Linda Ilan, Linda Lupario, Marilyn Seidler,

Thursdays, Roosevelt Hall, 109        Mar. 15, 22; Apr. 5, 12, 26                             Fee: $50                        

                                                    May 3, 10, 17                             12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Stimulating discussion relative to personal and cultural aspects of life. Counterparts presents pairs of contrasting texts that interact with one another in differing and surprising ways. The topics to be discussed this term will be science, gender, war, and death. The texts (10-20 pages each week, including fiction and non-fiction) explore the ongoing conversation between writers of different eras.  Maximum: 15. Required Book: Counterparts. Book Fee: $24.95.

PLEASE NOTE: This is the same book used last semester. If you need to purchase the book, please indicate this on the registration form. The books for the class will be ordered               on 2/17.  If you register after that date, you will be responsible to get the book on your own.  To purchase your book, please go to greatbooks.org.



CRN 30004                                        Leader: Nelson Burack                                 Fee: $25

Friday, Laffin 321                             Mar. 23; Apr. 6, 13, 20            9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

CRN 30008                                                                                                         Fee: $25

Friday, Laffin 321                             Apr. 27; May 4, 11, 18            9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

This study group is intended to be a discussion group that will address issues mainly of concern to men. The topics are chosen by the members of the class.  The objective of the group is to share experiences and feelings on topics that generally affect men.  The group is expected to be supportive and nonjudgmental.  Each member will be considered an equal participant in a non-threatening environment.  The class is designed explicitly for men, and is NOT therapy, but IS therapeutic.


CRN 30011                                        Leader: Chet Gerstenbluth                            Fee: $25

Fridays, Whitman Hall, 150             Mar. 9, 16, 23; Apr. 13         10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

CRN 30012                                                                                                          Fee: $25

Fridays, Whitman Hall, 150             Apr. 20; May 4, 11, 18          10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Each week for the first hour the class will set the agenda and exchange ideas concerning local, national, and global issues. Discussion and participation are strictly voluntary, but members are encouraged to express their opinions and bring in news articles to share and discuss.

In the second hour we will focus on one or more controversial topics, such as capital punishment, immigration, gun control, etc., in an effort to identify problems, generate solutions, and hopefully, clarify your position. Maximum: 90.



CRN 30051                                        Lecturer: Linda Lupario                               No Fee

Tuesday, March 27                           Roosevelt 111                         12:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Coffee-Table books are usually large, lavishly illustrated, informative, artistic, and intended for casual reading.  In this workshop, we will learn about the history of Coffee-Table books and share ours.  Please bring in one or two of your favorites.