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 1A Fall 2021

    • Period 1

        The Amazing Biblical Books of Esther and Daniel
        Instructor: Dr. Marty O. Cohen

        Esther and Daniel, the last two books to be added to the Hebrew Bible, were written and circulated in the province of Judah in response to the bitter persecutions of Antiochus IV, the Greek-Syrian despot of the 2nd century BCE. Esther became vitally important to Jews while Daniel became equally important to Christians. Join with…


        More Movies
        Instructor: Robin F. Brancato

        You’ll receive in advance titles of six films to watch on your own, for discussion in class, one per week, of themes, characterizations, directors’ decisions, relevance to today, and more. NEW!


        Constitutional Law: First Amendment Religious Freedom and the “Trump” Court
        Instructor: Dr. Duncan Rogers Lee II

        The class will review important Constitutional cases forming a framework for the extent to which government may be involved with or restrict religion. The last two classes will be devoted to recent and upcoming cases pitting the first amendment against the right to privacy, LGBTQ rights, and the rights of local governments to restrict religious…


        A Century Of Progressive Photography Through The Lens Of Arthur Rothstein
        Instructor: Dr. Ann Rothstein Segan

        Since the 1920s, photography has been a dynamic element of the cultural landscape, but images have also been used to document, expose, and explain societal problems. Governments and reform advocates have employed images and photo-stories to inspire or provoke political supporters and opponents at every level, from the neighborhood to the national. This course will…


    • Period 2

        Art History Of The Renaissance
        Instructor: Suzanne Altman

        A journey of art from the 14th to the 16th centuries. We will study the origins of the Renaissance with artists such as Giotto and Duccio; the early Renaissance (15th century) with Donatello and Botticelli; the High Renaissance of Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael; the Early Renaissance in the North with artists Durer and Bosch; in…


        Positive Pyschology: The Science of Human Flourishing
        Instructor: Debra Levin

        We will explore Positive Psychology – a recent outgrowth of the field of Psychology that explores science-based tools that facilitate happiness. Positive Psychology is NOT positive thinking. We will explore how to adopt a positive lens through mindfulness, meditation, meaning and purpose, gratitude, character strengths, and more! NEW!


        These Are a Few of My Favorite Things: A Literary Souk
        Instructor: Judith Rose

        Imagine walking through a lively Middle Eastern market filled with an exciting variety of literary wares! Sample and savor the stories, poems, essays, and parables that have left their mark on the heart of the reader. Note: Weekly texts will be emailed to students for at-home printing; the instructor will not be sharing them on…


        Nostalgia
        Instructor: Martin Schneit

        This course involves a week devoted to each of the following nostalgic topics: Fred Astaire, the Borscht Belt, New York City during World War II, The Brooklyn Bridge/Brooklyn Heights, Irving Berlin, and Audrey Hepburn. NEW! [Special Note: On week 2, instead of meeting on Tuesday, the 12th, this class will meet at 10:00 am on…


        Modernism In The Short Stories Of Ernest Hemingway And F. Scott Fitzgerald
        Instructor: Alice Twombly

        Modernism was a worldwide artistic movement of the late 19th and early 20th century in the pre-WWI and post-WWI worlds. It sought to break with traditional and classical forms of art be they music, painting, dance, or literature. Two American writers of the 1920s and 1930s, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, changed forever the focus…


    • Period 3

        Overlooked and Underappreciated: Art of the
        Instructor: Suzanne Altman

        In this course, we will look at the contributions of six different marginalized groups of artists: Women, African Americans, Latin Americans, Asian Americans, Indigenous Americans, and members of the LGBTQ community. In addition to discussing their works, we will examine how their identity impacted their creativity and how the works were received by the larger…


        Fifth Business: Introducing Robertson Davies
        Instructor: Susan Barnett

        If you have read anything written by this Canadian writer, he needs no introduction, and is well worth re-reading. Otherwise, welcome to a “marvelously enigmatic novel, elegantly written and driven by irresistible narrative force,” as described in Christopher Lehman-Haupt’s New York Times Book Review. The latest Penguin edition is preferred but not required! NEW!


        Celebrated Authors Reading from Their Works
        Instructor: Richard Markowitz

        In 1953, Goddard Lieberson, the Executive Vice President in charge of artists and repertoire at Columbia Records, initiated a series of spoken word recordings documenting the voices and writing of a dozen American and British authors. We will hear Edna Ferber, Katherine Ann Porter, John Steinbeck, Aldous Huxley, Christopher Isherwood, Truman Capote, William Saroyan, the Sitwells,…


        New Views on Key Elder Issues
        Instructor: Julia Schwartz-Leeper and Jim Evers

        This course presents fresh views on key Elder issues by national and local guests, who will give talks and hold Q&A sessions. Topics to be covered, among others, are Longevity, Wellness, Economics, and Housing/Living. Speakers will include Karl Pillemer, Cornell University author and gerontologist, and Taylor Patskanick, specialist and researcher at MIT AgeLab. We are…


    Session 1B Fall 2021

    • Period 2

        Forensic Psychology: Exploring Complex Human Criminal Behavior
        Instructor: Dr. Steve Levy

        People have always been fascinated by criminal behavior. Just look at TV listings, popular movies, and offerings on streaming services. This class will examine the complex nature of concepts like diminished capacity, insanity pleas, intoxication, specific intent, ability to stand trial, and the psychology behind jury selection. NEW!


        American Artists of the 18th and 19th Centuries 
        Instructor: Sandra Martin

        We will explore the lives and times and study the paintings of American artists from the 18th and 19th centuries. The painters studied will be: Copley, Stuart, Peale, Cole, Heade, Church, Bierstadt, Moran, Whistler, Eakins, Homer, and Sargent. (This course was last taught eight semesters ago.)


    Session 2A Fall 2021

    • Period 1

        Sinatra Sings Songs from His Movie Musicals
        Instructor: Dr. Floyd Lapp

        Hear excerpts from Sinatra’s twenty Hollywood musicals that span the period beginning as Tommy Dorsey’s big band vocalist in the early 1940s, continuing with his MGM musicals as “the Voice”, and as the “Chairman of the Board” in the 1950s and 1960s. This class provides a nostalgic tour de force with Sinatra as a balladeer…


        An Opera Experience
        Instructor: Joan Adinolfi Mallory

        Here are the topics, one for each of the six weeks. Excerpts of recordings with great soprano and contralto artists with anecdotes of their careers and personal life, tragic finales including Werther, happy endings including La Donna del Lago, party scenes including La Traviata, signature scenes including Tosca, and famous choruses including “The Anvil Chorus.”…


        Deconstructing Two Shakespearean Plays: Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth
        Instructor: Alice Twombly

        A look at the poetry of the plays and the structure it provides as it reveals character and the contrast between an early and a late play. Familiarity with both plays would be helpful.” NEW!


        Absolute Beginners Talmud Class
        Instructor: Rabbi David Berkman

        The age-old wisdom of the Talmud has inspired medieval scholars, modern yeshiva students, Supreme Court justices, Long Island Railroad commuters, and people of all faiths. Thanks to several excellent annotated translations, this ancient text is more accessible than ever before. Join Rabbi Berkman as we explore the history, language, and methodology of the Talmudic text…


        Hamilton Returns to Broadway, Fall 2021
        Instructor: Rick Feingold

        Today, Hamilton, a ground-breaking musical featuring Black and Latino actors playing the founding fathers, is the hottest ticket on Broadway. Hamilton, who as an immigrant became the first Secretary of the Treasury and founded the U.S. financial system, died at the hands of Vice President Aaron Burr upon the dueling grounds in Weehawken, NJ. The…


    • Period 2

        Still More Stories, Some From The New Yorker
        Instructor: Robin F. Brancato

        You’ll receive in advance a list of stories, two per week, with instructions on how to access them. Read the stories more than once, if possible, for best possible discussions. NEW!


        Bioethics in 2021: What Have We Learned So Far?
        Instructor: Mary Lou Dillon

        Since 2007 we at The Collaborative have looked at many ethical challenges in medicine from a policy perspective. In terms of enacting good planning, what have we learned so far? What is the responsibility of the public? Elected officials? The courts? What, if any, kind of flexibility should each constituency be willing to demonstrate to…


        Enhance Your Brain Using Unusual Thinking Skills
        Instructor: Jim Evers

        Discover how to think like a Rocket Scientist, Futurist, Freakonomist, Inventer/Designer, Exponentialist, Possibilarian, Neurologist, Einsteinianist, Poker Player, and Flexible-3D Open Thinker. You will also learn how to detect a con artist and a liar. Great fun, significant insights, and lots of resources. NEW!


        Artist’s Process: Unpacking the Mysteries with “Together in Dance”
        Instructor: Katie Palmer

        Get to know musical theater and dance professionals from the “Together in Dance” community (led by Executive Director Katie Palmer). Some performers will be returning (from last semester) and some will be new! In this series, participants will be treated to a sample of all of the artists’ work in their respective métier and have…


        Stretch Yoga
        Instructor: Charlese Randolph

        Charlese will lead you through Yoga poses to stretch your muscles while working on improving flexibility and balance. NEW!


    • Period 3

        The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Very Timely Novel
        Instructor: Susan Barnett

        How has Mark Twain’s Huck survived eviction by librarians, attacks for its use of racial slurs, and criticism for literary crimes? What connections can be made between the America Mark Twain writes about and the one in which we live today? Let’s read, re-read, and discuss. NEW!


        Virtual Museum Visits
        Instructor: Carrie Barratt

        Over the past several months, many of our beloved art museums have re-opened, yet not all of us are getting around to shows the way we used to do. In this course, we will visit one or two museums each week, a virtual tour of Frick Madison, The Whitney, The Met, Salon 94, DIA Beacon, Storm…


        Israel And Palestine: Thoughts On Healing The Divide
        Instructor: Dr. Leonard (Lenny) Grob

        This course will explore bridging ideas for resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We will thus give less attention to the past and more to the future. Although references to historical events will necessarily be made, the course will focus on ideas that might, at some future time, bridge the large gaps between traditional positions taken…


        The Beginnings of Baseball: Interviews with Players from the Early Years
        Instructor: Richard Markowitz

        Baseball, often referred to as “America’s National Pastime,” dates back to the Civil War years. We will focus particularly on the so-called Dead Ball era, the period between 1900 and 1919, at the end of which Babe Ruth became celebrated as a power hitter. Interview subjects recalling their careers will include Fred Snodgrass, “Goose” Goslin, “Lefty”…


        Why is she so angry?
        Instructor: Charlese Randolph

        Through the eyes of one black woman, we will examine the “angry black female stereotype” and what it has meant throughout history, exploring also the effects this issue has had on the presenter. NEW!


    Summer 2021

    • June 8 Period 1

        Growing up with Rock ’n Roll: Blasts from the Past 
        Instructor: Dr. Steve Levy

        Stephen discovered Rhythm & Blues music while listening on his first transistor radio to Jocko’s “Rocket Ship Show.” Suddenly one night, there was Alan Freed and his “Moondog” radio show. Stephen was hooked on Rock ’n Roll for the rest of his life. This lecture will review the early days of Rock ’n Roll and its effect on music, teenage social life, and social mores. It was the sound track of his generation.  He is the drummer in the Rockland-based band “Grandpa.” Join him for some music and share your own memories.


        War’s Consequences: Two Short Stories by Ernest Hemingway
        Instructor: Alice Twombly

        We will study “In Another Country” and “Soldier’s Home.” Here are the links: https://www.somanybooks.org/eng208/SoldiersHome.pdf and       https://mt15000219.schoolwires.net/cms/lib/MT15000219/Centricity/Domain/97/In%20Another%20Country.pdf. Please read the stories before class.


        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” the nervous system. Modifications are provided specific to participants’ needs, allowing for the optimal balance between support and challenge. This class will meet you where you are at any given moment. No yoga experience necessary.


    • June 8 Period 2

        A Writer’s Journey
        Instructor: Susan Barnett

        In her short story, “An Unwritten Novel,” Virginia Woolf shows us glimpses of her creative process as she describes an ordinary trip by train and focuses on a particular passenger, unknown to the narrator.  Once again, the magic of Woolf’s remarkable use of language and imagination is on display. Please read the story before class. It can be found at: http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/woolf/monday/monday-04.html


        Great Arias of Tenors and Baritones/Basses
        Instructor: Joan Adinolfi Mallory

        The class will feature nine Metropolitan Opera stars with some fascinating facts about their lives and careers.


        Rob Sings, Plays, and Answers Questions about His Sixty Years as a Rock Performer
        Instructor: Rob Stoner

        Rob Stoner will demonstrate various guitar techniques and sing your favorite songs. He will discuss the lifestyle of a traveling performer, the economics of the concert industry, how songs are written, and how recordings are made. Photographs and video from throughout his career will be exhibited and discussed.


    • June 8 Period 3

        A Blueprint for American Leadership in the Biden Administration 
        Instructor: Jim Levey

        Over the last four years, American foreign policy was severely compromised. Reestablishing American leadership is a top priority for the Biden Administration. This presentation will outline initiatives in both foreign and domestic policy that will enable the United States to regain global leadership in the face of an increasingly combative China intent on undermining American influence around the world.


        The Rise and Fall of Letchworth Village
        Instructor: Dr. Michael Nevins, M.D.

        During the early 20th century, Letchworth Village in Rockland County was at the center of the Eugenics movement in America. Administrators there performed research on “feebleminded” youth in order to validate the theory that mental illness was inherited, untreatable, and associated with anti-social behavior. Dr. Nevins, who has written several books and articles on this subject, will discuss the personalities and work of several of the Village’s local leaders.


        What is Yoga?
        Instructor: Linda Hoju Strauss

        Most people think that yoga means putting a young and flexible body into pretzel-like positions. But that’s only one part of yoga. Beyond a fitness and wellness trend, the ancient practice of yoga has Eight Limbs. You’ll find out about yoga philosophy, morality, and yoga breathing, and much more. You will also discover why yoga has endured for millennia, why it’s practiced by hundreds of millions of people of all ages around the globe, and why the medical community embraces yoga for treatment of common ailments (including back pain, arthritis, stress management, and more). The class is taught by a yoga instructor who undertook yoga teacher training at age 63 and who believes in aging well!


    • June 15 Period 1

        A Discussion of the Film Minari
        Instructor: Robin F. Brancato

        In advance of our meeting, please watch Minari, directed by Lee Isaac Chung, which follows a family of South Korean immigrants who relocate from California to Arkansas in the 1980s. By the time we meet, we’ll know whether Minari has won any of the six Academy Awards for which it’s been nominated.


        Moving Pictures
        Instructor: Dr. Ann Rothstein Segan

        Dr. Segan provides an intimate portrait of her father, the influential 20th century photojournalist Arthur Rothstein. She presents the photo-stories that highlight his pivotal role in the landmark New Deal-era documentary photography project that became a national treasure and explores the highlights of his fifty-year career that shaped the visual culture of post-war America during the Golden Age of picture magazines.


        Black Lives Matter  
        Instructor: Alice Twombly

        African American poets examine race through the lens of powerful poems. These poems are listed in order of publication. Each of these is downloadable using Google, but here are suggested links for each poem.
        1. “I, Too” by Langston Hughes 1926 www.poetryfoundation.org
        2. “Southern Cop” by Sterling A. Brown 1936 www.poemhunter.com
        3. “we real cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks 1960 www.poetryfoundation.org
        4. “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden 1962 www.poetryfoundation.org
        5. “Facing It” by Yusef Komunyakaa 1988 www.poetryfoundation.org
        6. “Incident” by Natasha Tretheway 2006 www.poetryfoundation.org
        If we have time for it:
        7. “Praise Song for the Day”, Elizabeth Alexander 2009 www.poetryfoundation.org (Written for President Barack Obama’s Inauguration, Jan 20, 2009.)


    • June 15 Period 2

        Let’s Take a Good Look at Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice
        Instructor: Dr. Marty O. Cohen

        Why did Shakespeare write this play? What do we make of it? Is it outright anti-Semitism, sympathy for the oppressed, or somewhere in between? (It would be helpful, but not essential, to have the text of the play in front of you during class.)


        Wisdom Through Humor
        Instructor: Jim Evers

        As a bit of “philosophy light,” we will share some life lessons found in the “wise fool,” court jester, and some appropriate jokes and other humor. We will avoid bawdy, racist, ethnic, insult and other hurtful humor. “Laughter is an overlooked medication.” – Norman Cousins.


        24 Hours of Reality: Protect Our Planet, Protect Ourselves
        Instructor: Susanne Kernan

        This class is about Climate Change (aka climate disruption), with a brief primer on what is happening and how critically important it is to take action, individually and collectively, asap.


    • June 15 Period 3

        Introducing the Lute
        Instructor: Kenneth Bé

        The lute was one of the most commonly and widely used musical instruments throughout Europe from the 15th through the 18th centuries. Through an overview demonstrating the history of its development, construction, technique, and repertoire, learn about why it was so popular and important in musical and social history during this period.


        Dance in Spain as Embodied Resistance
        Instructor: Anna de la Paz

        This will be an exploration of dance in Spain and its relationship to power throughout history. The class will study dance as an embodiment of resistance to the Reconquista during the Golden Age in Spain, the Napoleonic invasion, the subsequent fall of the Spanish empire, and finally the Spanish Civil War and the fascist Franco regime.


        Cognitive Health in Older Adulthood
        Instructor: Dr. Anna MacKay-Brandt

        Dr. MacKay-Brandt will discuss how cognition changes as we age and how cognitive changes are related to brain changes. She will review the current research findings on some of the factors that influence cognitive change and interventions aimed to reduce age-related changes.


    • June 22 Period 1

        The Ukraine: A Geopolitical Tinderbox.
        Instructor: Howard B. Goldstein, M.D. and Constantine Pavlov

        This will be an interview with Kos, who is a developer of the Collaborative’s new website and who lives in, and is a concerned citizen, of the Ukraine. The interviewer will be Dr. Howard Goldstein.


        Smooth Downsizing, Staying Organized!
        Instructor: Helena Bardusco

        If you are considering downsizing sooner or later, then this class is for you! Join Helena, a professional organizer, as she presents some structures and routines that will help you prepare for such a move. She will help you address all your organizational issues way in advance so that when the time comes you can ensure a smooth transition and not have to rush through the process of going through years of objects and papers in your home. Become and Stay Organized now!


        Current Issues in Policing
        Instructor: Officer Niles Davies

        Officer Davies is the Community Police Officer for the Clarkstown PD and has experience in Community Police, Crime Prevention, Scams, Emergency Management, CARES unit, and VIN etching. As part of this class, there will be questions from the audience – which are encouraged.


    • June 22 Period 2

        Vital MovementTM
        Instructor: Judith Rose

        Feel more vitally alive! Offer your body and spirit the gift of Vital Movement™, a unique program for wellness enhancement that integrates the teachings and principles of a variety of kinetic and artistic disciplines to provide effective, joyful, and restorative movement experiences for participants of all ages and levels of movement experience. Each class is a deeply focused, dynamic and fluid ritual that encourages growth and transformation. Please have a sturdy armless chair in your space. All new choreography!


        It’s a Mitzvah!: The Role of Rights, Responsibilities, and Obligations in the Jewish Tradition
        Instructor: Rabbi Craig Scheff

        While many have heard the word “mitzvah,” few understand what the word actually means. And fewer are comfortable with the ramifications that follow. But the word “mitzvah” is what lies at the heart of Judaism, and the different ways in which the word has been used have given rise to the many streams that exist within its practice. Join us to explore the word, its meaning, and resulting behaviors.


        The Roots of Rock ’n Roll
        Instructor: Jeff Sherer

        This begins with jump blues and in the late 40s with Louis Jordan, Swing Bands, and a compilation of songs that defined what is Rock ’n Roll.  Pioneers like SUN Records (Sam Phillips) and CHESS (Leonard Chess) created a new demographic. There will be a special segment on Boogie Woogie. Artists Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Elvis and the Rock-a- Billy Stars Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis will be presented. Also, the “beat,” from thigh slapping to Bo Diddley. The session will end with Jim Crow, juvenile delinquency and the teenage idols. Much new material.


    • June 22 Period 3

        Rescuers During the Holocaust: What They Can Teach Us About Human Nature?
        Instructor: Dr. Leonard (Lenny) Grob

        Christian rescuers during the Holocaust engaged in acts that put their own lives and the lives of their families in mortal danger. During this talk, Lenny will explore the implications of these altruistic acts for our understanding of “human nature.” He’ll be relying, in part, on interviews he conducted with rescuers during a visit to Germany.


        Beginning Piano Improvisation
        Instructor: Louis Landon

        This class will teach piano students how to improvise using some basic techniques. By learning the blues scale, pentatonic scales, and major and minor modes, they can begin to improvise after this class.


        The Life and Works of Irene Nemirovsky (and a Sneak Preview!)
        Instructor: Sandra Smith

        Irene Nemirovsky was a famous writer in France before she was arrested and later killed at Auschwitz. Many of her works describe the lives of Jewish immigrants in France in the interwar period, as well as provide insight into French society of the time. A novella of hers, coming out in September, is The Prodigal Child. This was translated by Sandra, who will give a sneak preview of the work. (The first part of this lecture was last given for the Collaborative about five years ago.)


    • June 29 Period 1

        Great Women in Art
        Instructor: Suzanne Altman

        Long overlooked and underappreciated, women have been a force in art history for centuries. From Renaissance portrait painters to the still life painters of the Dutch Golden Age to accomplished Impressionists to the many important 20th century women in Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, and Feminist Art, this lecture explores artists both obscure and well known. Works by Artemisia Gentileschi, Rosa Bonheur, Mary Cassatt, Helen Frankenthaler, and Georgia O’Keeffe will be shown and discussed.


        Motown Records and Berry Gordy
        Instructor: Rick Feingold

        Berry Gordy wrote the Jackie Wilson hit Lonely Teardrops but barely made any money. So he started his own record company named “Motown”. The label played an important role in the racial integration of popular music, achieving crossover success. Motown would launch the careers of Diana Ross & the Supremes, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, the Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, and The Jackson Five. The class will feature classic videos of the early years of Motown music.


        Rene Magritte and His Thought-Provoking Paintings
        Instructor: Sandra Martin

        This Belgian surrealist will amuse you, confuse you, and delight you with his images of everyday objects and people in unusual spaces. Let’s look at these paintings and see how challenging it is for us to interpret them..


    • June 29 Period 2

        Tales of the Folk
        Instructor: Richard Markowitz

        All cultures have stories that are transmitted orally from one generation to the next. We will consider stories from four cultures: French, Irish, Yiddish, and West African, in captivating recordings by distinguished storytellers, authors and actors. To follow along during this class, you may request texts in advance. Forward your email address to Richard at thinkers.liu@gmail.com. and he will email them to you.


        The Case Against Reparations to African Americans for the Enslavement of Their Ancestors
        Instructor: Robert Tompkins

        Proposed legislation HR 40 in the U.S. Congress would create a commission to study and propose reparations for slavery in our past. Robert will share his rationale against federal reparations, and then encourage discussion.


        From North Dakota to the Metropolitan Opera House
        Instructor: Korliss Uecker

        Korliss Uecker, a Juilliard School graduate (BA and MA) and richly endowed operatic soprano, who has appeared in over 150 Metropolitan Opera performances (including appearances with Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo), will discuss her career and perform a broad variety of music, from Puccini to Gershwin, and more. Ms. Korliss will be accompanied on the piano by Christopher Oldfather.


    • June 29 Period 3

        Henri Matisse
        Instructor: Suzanne Altman

        Henri Matisse is considered to be one of the greatest of the 20th century artists. This class explores his influences, his life, and the astonishingly innovative journey of his art during his long career. Matisse is widely regarded as the greatest colorist of the 20th century and as the main rival to Picasso for the title of greatest artist of his time.


        Celebrated Authors Reading from Their Works
        Instructor: Richard Markowitz

        In 1953, Goddard Lieberson, the Executive Vice President in charge of artists and repertoire at Columbia Records, initiated a series of spoken word recordings documenting the voices and writing of a dozen American and British authors. We will sample these records by listening to Edna Ferber, Katherine Ann Porter, John Steinbeck, and Somerset Maugham – each reading for the microphone and captured for posterity. To follow along during this class, you may request texts in advance. Forward your email address to Richard at thinkers.liu@gmail.com and he will email them to you.


        Science Fiction as a Predictor
        Instructor: Dr. Alan J. Pierce

        Science Fiction books, movies, and TV shows have long been predictors and inspirations for invention. This PowerPoint presentation will use photos and videos to explore the predictions and then compare them to the actual technologies that were eventually created.


    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

        Racism
        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 Randolph

        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
        Instructor:

        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…