Institute for Learning in Retirement Course Schedule

Course Schedule Spring 2020



CRN 30001
Leader: Jose Mittleman
Fee: $25
Roosevelt Hall, Room 111
April 27; May 4, 11, 18
11/l00 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. From this video series, we look at the backstories of celebrities such as Nostradamus, Abbott and Costello, Bacall on Bogart, and Mary Tyler Moore.

Nostradamus: Prophet of Doom
We believe that the truth about people is always more entertaining than fiction. Biography is about real people and their real lives, close and personal, gritty and provocative, always unfiltered. Biography uncovers the real drama in people's stories--everyday situations with a twist, celebrities going off-script--daffy crime stories and paranormal events. Here you will learn about the predictions of Nostradamus. Was he correct?

Movie Mondays!  AFI 100 Years...100 Laughs

CRN 30003                                      
Facilitator: Larry Blaeser                            
Fee: $38
Roosevelt Hall, 111                          
Mar. 16, 30; Apr. 13, 27
May 4, 18                                  
2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Monday Movies will be presenting six comedies, four of which appear on the American Film Institute's list: AFI 100 Years...100 Laughs. We'll start with the top three on the list then move to three films suggested by ILR members who attended the session last fall.

Some Like it Hot is a 1959 American black and white romantic comedy film set in 1929, directed and produced by Billy Wilder, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. The screenplay was written by Billy Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond. The film is about two musicians who dress in drag in order to escape from mafia gangsters whom they witnessed commit a crime inspired by the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre. This is number 1 on the AFI list.

Tootsie is a 1982 American comedy film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Dustin Hoffman, with a supporting cast that includes Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman, Bill Murray, Charles Durning, George Gaynes, Geena Davis, Doris Belack and Pollack. The film tells the story of a talented but volatile actor whose reputation for being difficult forces him to adopt a new identity as a woman in order to land a job. This film is number 2 on the AFI list and a class member request.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, more commonly known simply as Dr. Strangelove, is a 1964 political satire black comedy film that satirizes the Cold War fears of a nuclear conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States. The film was directed, produced, and co-written by Stanley Kubrick, stars Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, and Slim Pickens. Production took place in the United Kingdom. This is number 3 on the AFI list.

A Fish Called Wanda (Rated R) is a 1988 British-American heist comedy film directed by Charles Crichton and written by John Cleese. It stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, and Michael Palin as a gang of diamond thieves who double-cross one another to find stolen diamonds hidden by the gang leader. A barrister (Cleese) becomes a central figure as femme fatale Wanda (Curtis) uses him to locate the loot. It was Crichton's last film. This film is number 21 on the AFI list and a class member request.

The Ladykillers is a 1955 British black comedy crime film directed by Alexander Mackendrick for Ealing Studios. It stars Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers, Danny Green, Jack Warner, and Katie Johnson as the old lady, Mrs. Wilberforce. William Rose wrote the screenplay, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and won the BAFTA Award for Best British Screenplay. This film was a class request.

The Sting is a 1973 American caper film set in September 1936, involving a complicated plot by two professional grifters (Paul Newman and Robert Redford) to con a mob boss (Robert Shaw). The film was directed by George Roy Hill, who had directed Newman and Redford in the western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. This film was a class request.

CRN 30004                                      
Leaders: Renee Nisembaum/Brenda Yudin
Laffin Hall, 321    
Fee: $50                          
Mar. 16, 23, 30; Apr. 13                            
Apr. 27; May 4, 11, 18          
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 14.



CRN 30002                                      
Leader: Diana Hodes                                  
Fee: $25
Roosevelt Hall, 111                          
Apr. 28; May 5, 12, 19          
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Have fun being creative while learning and practicing basic watercolor painting techniques. Sketching, prospective planning, and use of color are part of every session. You will plan and execute a complete picture at each session. All levels of ability are welcome. Supply list available upon registration. Maximum: 20.


Contemporary Literature

CRN 30005                                      
Coordinator: Louise Mehrtens                  
Fee: $38
Roosevelt Hall, 109                          
Mar. 11; Apr. 1, 22, 29; May 6, 20                                
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. Send in your registration quickly, since the study group fills up fast. March 11, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson led by Maxine Atkins; April 1, Where the Crawdads Sing by Celia Owens led by Karen Gowrie; April 22, The Address by Fiona Davis led by Eva Waldner; April 29, The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes led by Janet Gelfand; May 6, Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate led by Julie Lupson, and May 20, The Secrets Between Us by Thrity Umriga led by Arlene Holmes. 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: 25.

Current Events in Israel/ History of the Holocaust

CRN 30006                                      
Leader:  Robert R. Weiss                            
Fee: $50
Roosevelt Hall, 111                          
Mar. 11, 18, 25; Apr. 1, 29; May 6, 13, 20                            
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 earth. Despite its small size, Israel seems to be always in the news. In the first hour of the class, we will discuss the current events that are facing Israel today, and in the second hour we will discuss the "History of the Holocaust".

Between January 1933 and April of 1945 Nazi Germany engaged in a state-wide mass murder of the Jewish people. It is estimated that by the end of WWII six million Jews were killed for no other reason but that of being Jewish. Dr. Weiss will try to answer some of the most puzzling questions in this regard. This sad chapter in Jewish history must never be forgotten.


More Black and White Golden Oldies

CRN 30007                                      
Leader: Art Feeney                                      
Fee: $50
Roosevelt Hall, 111                          
Mar. 12, 19, 26; Apr. 2, 30; May 7, 14, 21                            
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Join us as we explore More Black and White Golden Oldies. We will view and discuss the following films:  Prisoner of Shark Island, (1936, Lincoln assassination); Grapes of Wrath, (1939, Depression Era); Mrs. Miniver, (1942 Civilians in England during the Blitz and Dunkirk); Cry Havoc, (1943, US Army RNs in the Philippines 1942); So Proudly We Hail, (1943); Force of Evil, (1948); Viva Zapata, (1952); Paths of Glory, (1957).

Great Books: Introduction to Great Books First Series 1

CRN 30008                          
Facilitators: Linda Ilan, Linda Lupario, Marilyn Seidler
Fee: $50
Roosevelt Hall, 109                          
Mar. 19, 26; Apr. 2, 30; May 7, 14, 21, 28                    
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

To expand our knowledge of "Shared Inquiry" and promote more productive discussions and debate techniques, we will begin with this book. Included are mid-length readings and broad discussion questions that will help guide participants to prepare for discussions. Twelve writings by such authors as William James, Anton Chekhov, Adam Smith, Joseph Conrad, and others are included. Subjects as Why War?, Concerning The Division of Labor, How an Aristocracy May Be Created by Industry,  An Essay in Aesthetics, and An Outpost of Progress are among the readings.  Maximum: 15.

REQUIRED BOOK: Introduction to Great Books First Series. The book fee is $16.95. If you need to purchase the book, please indicate this on your registration. The books will be ordered by 2/28. If you register after that date, you will be responsible for getting the book on your own. Books can be purchased at or


Am I My Father's Son?

CRN 30009
Leader: Nelson Burack
Fee: $50
Laffin Hall, 321
Mar. 13, 20; Apr. 3, 17, 24; May 1, 8, 15
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.

Current Issues Forum

CRN 30010
Leader: Chet Gerstenbluth
Fee: $25
Whitman Hall, 150
Mar. 20, 27; Apr. 3, 17
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

CRN 30011
Fee: $25
Whitman Hall, 150
May 1, 8, 15, 22
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 is 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.


Musical Genius at Work

CRN 30051
Leader: Jeffrey Norwood
Fee: $10
Roosevelt Hall, 111                          
Monday, Mar. 16                    
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

The characteristic profile of the composer as the "suffering artist" is a relatively recent development in the course of music history. The somewhat lofty view of the composer as an artist whose sole duty was to their devotion to true self-expression is a totally 19th-century creation. For hundreds of years, musicians and composers were nothing more than servants, whether it be to the church or an aristocratic patron. Indeed, prior to Beethoven, the musician was held in no higher esteem than the average household staff member.

In spite of this, many individuals created musical works of art that far exceeded their patrons' expectations. In truth, a few of them were true geniuses who toiled tirelessly under these conditions and produced a body of music that would forever change the course of music history. Two of the greatest of these composers will be examined in this session with a concentration on an exemplar work of each of them. J.S. Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No 5 in D Major; W.A. Mozart, Symphony No 41 ("Jupiter")

Monumental Masterworks

CRN 30052                                      
Leader: Jeffrey Norwood                           
Fee: $10
Roosevelt Hall, 111                          
Monday, Mar. 23
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

This workshop deals with two of the greatest works ever written and, chronologically speaking, they are from two different worlds. Beethoven's final Symphony is, arguably, the most important musical composition ever written. The Ninth Symphony changed music history and re-defined "Symphony". Bringing us into the 20th century, what Beethoven's Ninth Symphony was to the 19th century, Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring was to the 20th: the single most influential piece of music composed in its time. The Rite of Spring - composed in 1912 and premiered in Paris in 1913 - was new and different. Although it was conceived as a ballet, Stravinsky believed - and time has proven him correct - that the music of The Rite of Spring was strong enough to stand by itself, without reference to the scenario that inspired it. Igor Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring; Beethoven, Symphony No 9 in D Minor ("Choral").

Constitutional Law – Part 1

CRN 30053                                       
Leader: James Coll                                    
Fee: $10
Roosevelt Hall, 111                           
Monday, Mar. 30                 
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Constitutional Law – Part 2

CRN 30054                                       
Leader: James Coll                                      
Fee $10
Roosevelt Hall, 111                           
Monday, Apr. 13                  
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

"Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech..."

Despite the absolutist wording of the amendment excerpted above, the government routinely makes laws preventing people from speaking or expressing themselves in every instance without recourse. So if free speech is not an absolute right then when are government restrictions permitted? In an informative two-part workshop, circumstances and other landmark Supreme Court decisions will be discussed to analyze the challenge of balancing this important civil liberty and public safety in America.

Memory Wire Bracelet

CRN 30012                                       
Leader: Marlena Konas                               
Fee: $15
Roosevelt Hall, 111                          
Tuesday, Apr. 21                     
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

In this fun and exciting workshop, you will learn how to make a memory wire bracelet using crystals and metal beads. Each bracelet will have a charm and crystal dangles for extra bling. Different crystal color choices will be available for you to choose from. All materials will be provided. Maximum: 15.


institute for learning in retirement

Thompson Hall, Room 119
Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm


Maryellen Lostritto
Staff Assistant