Courses Archive

Please enjoy browsing The Learning Collaborative’s Archives.
Each Session offers an eclectic and impressive collection of courses, many of which merit repeating based on student feedback.
Feel free to inquire about possible re-offerings in the future.

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    Session 2 Spring

    • Period 1

        Plato’s Relevance Today
        Instructor: Howard B. Goldstein, M.D.

        Twenty-four hundred years after they were written, the dialogues of Plato remain meaningful in our times. Excerpts from these dialogues will be explored in this introduction to the minds of Plato and his teacher, Socrates.

        The Air Force in World War II
        Instructor: Rick Feingold

        This class will cover the United States Air Force in World War II. Topics include the B-17 bomber, American propaganda including the Three Stooges’ short You Nazty Spy!, The Great Escape, Skippy Smith – a black daredevil parachutist stuntman who founded the American Parachute Company with “Rochester” Eddie Anderson, and Hollywood and the Air Force. The final session will cover the “Escape from Behind Enemy Lines” account of how the instructor’s own father, Louis Feingold, a B-17 navigator, escaped enemy capture with the help of  the French Underground after his plane was shot down in 1943 over occupied France.

        Medicine in the Courts
        Instructor: Mary Lou Dillon

        In today’s world, many health issues are debated in court because the matters that arise are so challenging and oftentimes have little precedent. Are the courts the correct venue? If so, why? If not, what is the appropriate arena? A basic understanding of bioethics is important to dealing with the issues presented. Class participation is…

        More Short Stories Mostly from The New Yorker
        Instructor: Robin F. Brancato

        We’ll read and share ideas on two stories every week, many of them from The New Yorker. Stories will be selected on the basis of relevance to our world today, diversity of content and style, and likelihood of inspiring good discussion. Stories will either be available for you to access directly on the Internet or sent by me to you in digital form.

        Figurative Art Movements of the Early 20th Century
        Instructor: Suzanne Altman

        The class will examine the developments in art in America following the artistic revolutions in Europe in the late 19th century. We will explore American Impressionism, the Ashcan School, Regionalism, Social Realism, the Harlem Renaissance, and Contemporary Realism. Some of the artists we will view and discuss are John Singer Sargent, Edward Hopper, Grant Wood, and Jacob Lawrence as well as many lesser known figures.

    • Period 2

        The American Renaissance: Walt Whitman
        Instructor: Alice Twombly

        “The American Renaissance” (1840–1870) is the name given the period when America’s first literary giants emerged. Herman Melville and Walt Whitman, who defined American individualism, created their epic works mid-century: Moby Dick in 1850, and the first edition of Leaves of Grass in 1855. In this class, we will read Whitman’s Civil War poems from the…

        New and Emerging Technologies
        Instructor: Dr. Alan J. Pierce



        Civilizations Collide: China’s Quest for Primacy in the 21st Century
        Instructor: Jim Levey

        Since the victory of Mao Tse Tung in 1949, China has been on a path to regain its primacy and restore its dignity within the world order. Mao’s successor, Deng Xiao Ping, rebuked communism and embraced free enterprise to enable China to ascend economically. China’s rise since then has been nothing less than spectacular, lifting over a…

        Clarissa Vaughn (Session Two): A Day in Her Life
        Instructor: Susan Barnett

        In The Hours, Michael Cunningham describes the world of his heroine living in New York City at the end of the twentieth century, during the AIDS crisis. He begins with a moving description of the last day of Virginia Woolf’s life. The new virus is devastating to the lives of many, including Clarissa’s friend, Richard,…

        Art History for Travelers
        Instructor: Suzanne Altman

        This is a class for armchair travelers who want to relive the joys of a past trip or those planning one in the future (when we can travel again!). Each class explores a different country (France, Italy, Greece, Spain, The Netherlands, and the UK and its essential contributions to art history, including the great museums, important works of architecture, and cultural monuments.

    • Period 3

        Instructor: Mark Silberstein

        We are going through unprecedented times based on issues of racism. This class will make it clear how racism has been percolating through our society since the inception of our nation and help you understand what brought it to a boil. The class will present a direction for positive change. If you took one of Mark’s courses before,…

        Joy Through Improvisation
        Instructor: Adam Sietz

        Add JOY to your life through “Improv.” Stretch your mind by opening up the dusty files of your imagination. This improvisation series provides an enjoyable brain workout through games, exercises, and imaginary play. The results are humor, fun, and a sharpened mind. ALL NEW SITUATIONS!

        Evolving Technological Trends and Digital Transformations
        Instructor: Dr. Alan J. Pierce

        The pandemic has moved this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) event to a fully digital online format. The six sessions of this class will cover the rapid changes and technological trends that are here today, some formed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Pierce will use video clips that he recorded during CES…

        Memoir Plus
        Instructor: Ronni Miller

        This is a hands-on writing workshop to use the raw material of your own life to write fact or fiction stories. It is sometimes the everyday, ordinary moment, a phrase, taste, smell, touch, or sight that is embedded in memory and once released makes for the best stories. To document and express these stories is…

        Basic Bioethics
        Instructor: Mary Lou Dillon

        Bioethics, as we will discuss it, examines the application of technology to healthcare and challenges that have arisen. We will examine factors such as autonomy, resource allocation, constitutional issues, genetic engineering, and death and dying from a public policy perspective.  Class participation is key to the success of this class.

    • Period 5

        Poets of the Harlem Renaissance: Part II
        Instructor: Charlese Randolf

        This is a continuation of Poets of the Harlem Renaissance: Part I. We’ll introduce poets such as Arna Bontemps, Anne Spencer, and Sterling Brown, whose works spoke of the physical, emotional, and intellectual aspects of life for African Americans during the 1920s–1940s.

        Great Thinkers in Their Own Voices (Series 4)
        Instructor: Richard Markowitz

        The actual voices of important personalities of the recent past are rarely heard in the modern age. Recordings of distinguished men and women, including Bayard Rustin, Malcolm X, Margaret Mead, James Baldwin, Woody Guthrie, Aaron Copland, Arthur Miller, Moss Hart, Aldous Huxley, H. G. Wells, Edith Sitwell, and Robert Graves will be heard. (Originally given in Fall 2012.)

        Reframing New Mindsets about Aging, Ageism, and Longevity
        Instructor: Julia Schwartz-Leeper and Jim Evers

        From a collection of insights and experiences, you will learn new ways of thinking (mindsets) about the challenges of the increasing number of older people, the rise of ageism, and the issues of well-care and health-care coming from living longer. You will also gain a deeper sense of hope and a more informed way to respond to these concerns.

        Science in the News
        Instructor: Dr. Marty O. Cohen

        Every day, new and exciting discoveries and developments in the various fields of science are announced. In this course, the prior week’s most important scientific news items will be presented to the class and discussed. Participation by class members is encouraged.

    Session 1 Spring

    • Period 1

        Mindful Chair Yoga
        Instructor: Bette Willins

        This chair-based yoga class is appropriate for all ages and levels of ability. Instruction incorporates yoga postures, gentle movement sequences, breath work, and guided meditation, all of which focus on bringing about an increased sense of mindful awareness. Research has demonstrated that mindfulness practice of breath and body is effective in managing stress and “quieting”…

        Selected Topics in the Visual Arts: Part 3
        Instructor: Dr. Carl Rattner

        This class will focus on the media and methods of art making: how design factors and creative concepts govern artistic creation; how drawings, paintings, sculpture, prints, and architectural forms are made.

        Death to 2020? What Have We Learned from It?
        Instructor: Dr. Steve Levy

        “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it!” Members of AA work the 12 steps with their sponsor. In step 4, people are asked to conduct a “searching and fearless moral inventory” of their lives. From this analysis they can strengthen their resolve for sobriety and a return to sanity. As…

        French Art: Impressionism and After
        Instructor: Sandra Martin

        Explore the lives and study the paintings of the French Impressionists and those who came right after them. Some of the artists who will be studied are Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cassatt, Caillebotte, Cezanne, and Seurat.

        Sing Me a Song of Social Significance

        The International Ladies Garment Workers Union produced and toured the nation with a musical promoting union membership and labor solidarity. It had a message that was sugar coated as entertainment. “Social Significance” was one of those songs. Other lyricists and composers also used the same technique to communicate their own messages within the entertainment genre.…

    • Period 2

        On Being a Musician
        Instructor: Louis Landon, Tara Hooker, Karen Gilbert, Patricia Haddad, Jeffrey Friedberg, and Brian Bonvissuto

        Join us for a rare and personal glimpse into the world of professional musicians. This interactive course brings us directly into the studios and homes of a master pianist, violinist, harpist, trombonist, guitarist, and singer/song writer. In addition to learning about their early lives as performing artists and their various creative processes, we’ll all enjoy…

        The Great Traditions of Imperial China
        Instructor: Jim Levey

        For over four thousand years, China enjoyed an advanced civilization that contributed to the world in science, technology, the arts, and the humanities. China’s longevity is largely due to her intellectual foundations that enabled economic prosperity and political stability for an agrarian society that viewed the world through the lens of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Understanding…

        Hot Topics in Constitutional Law
        Instructor: Dr. Duncan Rogers Lee II

        This course will examine the Trump Impeachments, Trump and the 2020 Elections, First Amendment: Religious Freedom, and the Future of Roe v. Wade.

        Seen Any Good Movies? Part 2
        Instructor: Robin F. Brancato

        In this class you’ll view for the first time, or re-watch, six films, one per week. When we meet we’ll discuss the content, relevance, style, and intrinsic value of that week’s movie. You’ll receive in advance a list of six titles, chosen because they’re worth discussing, diverse in subject matter and not overly lengthy. Every…

        CIVICS: 911
        Instructor: Bill Batson

        This is the seventh in a series of discussions between TLC students and local civics leaders, moderated by Bill Batson. Bill worked in New York State politics for 20 years as an operative, organizer, communications officer, and candidate. Six new speakers will be presented.

    • Period 3

        The American Renaissance: Herman Melville
        Instructor: Alice Twombly

        “The American Renaissance” (1840–1870) is the name given to the period when America’s first literary giants emerged. Herman Melville and Walt Whitman, who defined American individualism, created their epic works mid-century: Moby Dick in 1850, and the first edition of Leaves of Grass in 1855. In this class, we will study Melville’s Moby Dick (In class 2.2.6, see below, we will read Whitman’s Civil War poems from the later editions of Leaves of Grass:  “Drum Taps” and “Memories of President Lincoln.”) You can take both courses or just one.

        Artist’s Process – Unpacking the Mysteries with Together in Dance
        Instructor: Katie Palmer, Karen Curlee, Colleen Hawks, Sabrina Chapadijev, Louise Heit-Radwell, and Macy Sullivan

        Please join us as musical theater and dance professionals from the “Together in Dance” community (led by Executive Director Katie Palmer – see Bio section), share their experiences and processes as artists. In this series, participants will be treated to a sample of all of the artists’ work in their respective métier and have a…

        Intermediate Genetics
        Instructor: Phyllis Citrin

        We will cover important concepts in genetics that are required for understanding our modern world, including basic molecular genetics, new technologies, and the ethical issues involved in the use of new technologies. The technology is complex but every effort will be made to provide the background needed and the explanations will be as simple as possible.

        Estate Planning 2021
        Instructor: Courtney E. Boniface

        Topics include: Did your estate plan survive the pandemic and the election? Lessons learned during Covid-19; how estate planning evolved in 2020; how will changes in Washington DC affect your estate planning?

        Clarissa Dalloway (Session 1): A Day in Her Life
        Instructor: Susan Barnett

        A new edition of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway is out this January, one hundred years after the Spanish flu pandemic ravaged the world. Although not mentioned directly in the novel, that epidemic affected various characters, including Clarissa Dalloway herself. As she prepares for a dinner party, we learn about post-World War I London as well…

        Organizing Step by Step
        Instructor: Helena Bardusco

        In preparation for Spring, use the time to finally get organized. Join Helena, a professional organizer, as she presents some guiding principles while sharing her secrets for organizing your closet, your papers, your kitchen, hobbies, and collectibles. You’ll feel better about your home and your life. Stop procrastinating! Organize Step By Step! (The class will be a…

    • Period 4

        Great Thinkers in Their Own Voices (Series 3)
        Instructor: Richard Markowitz

        The actual voices of important personalities of the recent past are rarely heard in the modern age. Recordings of distinguished men and women, including Jimmy Carter, Grandma Moses, Louise Nevelson, Jonas Salk, Linus Pauling, Isaac Stern, and Glen Gould, will be heard. (Originally given in Fall 2011.)

        The Amazing Biblical Book of Samuel
        Instructor: Dr. Marty O. Cohen

        Foreign enemies, a leader who doesn’t want to step down when his time has come, passionate love, bitter hatred, forbidden sex, highly dysfunctional families, jealousy, revenge, plagues, and, of course, religion. It’s all there in the incredible biblical book of Samuel that chronicles events that took place over 3,000 years ago. Join with Marty as…

        Human Kind vs. Human Unkind: A New Perspective
        Instructor: Jim Evers

        In this class, you will look at a range of descriptions of human kind by such thinkers as Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke, Darwin, and several compelling contemporary writers such as Bregman, Hiadt, Konnicova, and Eagleman. You will gain a full-spectrum perspective on whether are we basically good or evil, selfish or altruistic, con artists or trust-worthies, or some of both. You will also learn tools to…

    Wednesday Session

      Seen Any Good Movies? Part 2 – Wednesday Session
      Instructor: Robin F. Brancato

      In this class you’ll view for the first time, or re-watch, six films, one per week. When we meet we’ll discuss the content, relevance, style, and intrinsic value of that week’s movie. You’ll receive in advance a list of six titles, chosen because they’re worth discussing, diverse in subject matter and not overly lengthy. Every…