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The Learning Collaborative

 

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Offering a variety of classes available to the entire Rockland County community. 

Fall Course Offerings:

SESSION 1A: Tuesdays: October 9 – November 13 (6 sessions @ 75 minutes each)
SESSION 1B: Thursdays: October 11 – November 15 (6 sessions @ 75 minutes each)
SESSION 2A: Tuesdays: November 20 – December 18 (5 sessions @ 90 minutes each)

1A-PERIOD 1: 10:00 – 11:15 a.m.

Lunchtime Activities
12:45-1:45 p.m.

This semester we will again be offering the popular lunchtime TED-talks on both Tuesdays and Thursdays. We are soliciting video suggestions (TED-talks or other Internet-available videos of 20-minute duration or less) from Learning Collaborative members. The suggester is invited to host the presentation if desired. Suggestions/hosting offers should be emailed to Berton Greenberg at bertongreenberg@gmail.com. The reception room will also be available for socializing with your friends. There may be other activities. If so, information will be posted.

1. PROTECTING FAMILY ASSETS: PLANNING FOR DEATH, DEMENTIA, AND MEDICAID – Courtney Boniface and Rondi Kline Loganzo
What happens to your assets when you are no longer able to manage them? How do you take care of yourself while protecting your loved ones? We will address key issues to consider when planning your estate, including health care documents and powers of attorney that take into account the possibility of illness (including dementia and Alzheimer’s), anoverview of Medicaid planning, and protecting family assets. NEW!

2. GARDENING TIPS FROM THE EXPERTS – Master Gardeners of the Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Rockland (with one new topic each week)Winter Container Gardens – Vivienne Dieckmann
Lavender: An Ancient Herb – Sam Amdurer

Caring for and Decorating with Houseplants – Vivienne Dieckmann
Flowering Bulbs from Spring through Fall – Donna DeSousa
Growing Orchids – Celia Juris
Holiday Houseplants: Amaryllis, Poinsettia, etc. – Vivienne Dieckmann
Course and instructor descriptions are at www.rocklandcce.org/gardening. NEW!

3. THE GOLDEN AGE OF OPERA – Dr. Irwin Elkins
We will hear recordings of great singers and great arias from Dr. Elkins’s music library andhe will share stories from his many years as a standee at the Met. (Last given several yearsago. Much new material.)

4. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: THE LIMITS OF POWER – Duncan Lee II
Just how much power do the President, Congress, and the Supreme Court have? What is the source of their powers? How have their respective powers evolved? Most importantly,what are the limits? This course will examine the portions of the U.S. Constitution, English Common Law, and U.S. case law that have defined the powers of each of the branches of our Federal Government. NEW! (This class will commence 15 minutes early, at 9:45 a.m.)

5. UNDERSTANDING ADDICTION: BIOLOGY, PSYCHOLOGY, AND SOCIAL FACTORS – Dr. Steve Levy
Addiction is best understood as a multifaceted disorder with acute and chronic features. We will consider these features from the perspectives of biology, psychology, and social factors.Recovery can be attained when the addict/alcoholic embraces the reality “only you can doit but you can’t do it alone!” We will learn how to balance compassion and “tough love”in breaking the cycle of addiction. We will also consider special populations including the mentally ill, impact on seniors, and treatment-resistant clients. 

6. RELIGION AND GOVERNMENT IN THE AGE OF TRUMP – Bill Saum
Traditional issues of church and state have been thrown into turmoil in this administration.Consider: Hundreds of refugee children on our borders, the Attorney General criticized by his own church, Evangelicals in confusion, and the Supreme Court “decision” about wedding cakes for same-sex couples, etc. Join us for lively and informed discussions. NEW!

7. JOY THROUGH IMPROVISATION – Adam Seitz
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.NEW!

1A-PERIOD 2: 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

1. FREDERICK DOUGLASS, MORE RELEVANT THAN EVER – Bill Batson
Born a slave and rising to the position of one of America’s leading abolitionists and orators, Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) was a dynamic force to be reckoned with. His autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, (1845), became an inspirational bestseller and it is still inspirational today. NEW!

2. GREAT CULTURAL TRADITIONS OF LANDSCAPE GARDEN DESIGN – Linda Chisholm
Through pictures, lectures, and discussions, French, Italian, Islamic, English, Japanese, and Chinese landscape and garden design will be shown to reveal the religious, political, economic, social, technological, and aesthetic conditions that gave rise to each form. NEW!

3. SIX U.S. PRESIDENTS WHO HAVE HAD A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT – Tom DeStefano
This class will discuss one of the following presidents for each class session: Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan. NEW!

4. FRENCH THROUGH MUSIC – Amy Kanarek
Learn French and/or sharpen your skills by listening to and studying the lyrics to Frenchsongs by Francis Cabrel. You will learn vocabulary and grammar in context. This course is great for those who want a review of the French they’ve learned, and is also welcoming to adventurous beginners! Singing along is encouraged but not required. NEW!

5. JEWISH ROOTS IN POLAND-RUSSIA – Dr. Michael Nevins
Dr. Nevins wrote a memorial book about his ancestral shtetl, Dabrowa, in 1982 and since then has made three visits there. He will discuss not only his family’s narrative but also related matters, including a history of the Jews of Eastern Europe, a pictorial survey of the first generation of “painters of the Pale,” and what medical practice was like in shtetls and ghettos. He’ll conclude by reviewing the survival struggle of the tiny Jewish community in Poland under an increasingly hostile right-wing government. NEW!

6. HATHA YOGA – Charlese Randolph
“Sun Salutation” is a Hatha Yoga sequence that incorporates breath work and movement from one asana (posture) to another. Sun salutation variations will be presented along with modifications for chair practice. Bring water and wear loose clothing for comfort. Remember to eat a light breakfast or snack at least 90 minutes before class. NEW!

7. THE LOST TRIBES OF ISRAEL – Barbara Shair
Throughout the world, there is a phenomenon of newly emerging Jewish communities. In this course we will study the fascinating stories of the Subbotniks in Russia, Christian groups and the 10 tribes, Madagascar and Togo communities, the hidden Jews of Europe, and the latest groups in India, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nicaragua. (Last presented three semesters ago. Much new material.)

8. WOMEN IN GREEK TRAGEDY: A COMPARISON – Alice Twombly
We will read two plays in which Greek women choose to control their fates with mixed results: Antigone by Sophocles and Medea by Euripides. (Information on translation will be forthcoming.) NEW!

1A-PERIOD 3: 1:45 – 3:00 p.m.

1. READING IRISH WRITERS – Susan Barnett
In this course we will examine the works of a variety of prize-winning writers from the Emerald Isle, some of whom now call America home. What special qualities do they share?What subjects fascinate them? We will read and discuss their stories – materials to be provided in class. NEW! (This course was introduced during the summer season.)

2. THE STATE OF NYS POLITICS AND THE UNION – Bill Batson
For nearly 20 years, Bill worked in New York State politics as an operative, organizer, communications officer, and candidate. He will bring his war stories and observations to reflect on the current state of NYS politics. Though Bill is an activist Democrat, you are invited to present opposing views. This course is a reasoned, yet respectful, exchange of conflicting ideas ominously absent in our current political debate. (All new material.)

3. BIOETHICS – Mary Lou Dillon
Viewed from a public policy perspective, we will examine the application of technology,law, and science, to healthcare and the challenges that arise. We will consider the essenceof personhood and how it has evolved in the United States from the colonial period until the present. We’ll then take a glimpse into what it might be in the years to come. This class is conducted in seminar fashion and participation is a key element. Some reading may beassigned between classes. (All new material.) (Also given Session 2A, period 1.)

4. AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: TYCOONS & MOGULS – Rick Feingold
This class covers Industrial Revolution topics including Adam Smith’s pin factory, Slater’s Textile Mill, the Luddites, the Lowell mill girls and the first strikes, and critical advancements – cotton gin, steam engine, Erie Canal, the National Road – as well as the transportation revolution. Alexander Hamilton will be featured with video from the hit Broadway play Hamilton: the Musical. Featured tycoons are Cyrus McCormick (the mechanical reaper) and John Jacob Astor (furs to real estate.) NEW!

5. PRINTMAKING WORKSHOP – Carl Rattner
Printmaking encompasses a variety of studio techniques used to create multiple images, some of which look like drawings (etchings and engravings) or paintings (monotypes). In this workshop, we will explore the strategies and techniques used to create our own attractive prints using relief, intaglio, collograph, and monotype methods. Previous experience is welcome but not required. A materials fee of $30 will be collected at the first class. Enrollment is limited to 14. NEW!

1B-PERIOD 1: 10:00 – 11:15 a.m.

1. THE QUANTUM WORLD – Dr. Philip Goldberg
Quantum theory is one of the greatest achievements in the history of science. But it isstrange and deeply mysterious. In this course, we will explore the history, physics, and philosophy of quantum theory and puzzle over the interpretation of its many mysteries.NEW!

2. JOYCE’S ULYSSES: PART VI – Dr. Warren Grodin
Ulysses, by James Joyce, may well be the most influential book of the twentieth century. It isnot easy to understand, but with appropriate historical, geographic, and biographic supportand text analysis, it becomes a fabulous read. This course starts where we left off in thespring. However, Parts 1 through 5 are not prerequisites and a catch-up will be given fornew students that will also serve as a refresher for prior students. NEW!

3. CHOCOLATE PASSION – Kim Hendrickson
The following aspects of chocolate, everyone’s favorite flavor, will be covered in this class:history of chocolate, current trends and recent trivia, how chocolate is grown and made,tempering with a demo, chocolate tasting – 12 chocolates from around the world, simplerecipes to satisfy your chocolate cravings. The course includes recipe handouts. There is a$5 food fee due on the first day of class. NEW!

4. FRANK SINATRA: THE MAN AND HIS MUSIC – Floyd Lapp
We will cover several periods. 1935-1942: the amateur and big band vocalist with the Harry James and Tommy Dorsey bands; 1943-1952: the Columbia recordings and the rise and fall of “The Voice”; 1953-1960: the Capitol recordings with a new “Voice” with the top singles and the concept albums; 1961-1995: the Reprise recordings and duets; and 1942-1964: songs from his motion pictures: NEW! (This course was introduced during the summer 2018 season.)

5. DYING PRESIDENTS – Mike Rossi
Eight of our American presidents died while in office. Who were they? Were there smooth transitions? How was American history altered? NEW!

1B-PERIOD 2: 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

1. RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN – Arthur Aldrich
This will be a show-by-show exploration of the Rodgers & Hammerstein partnership with an in-depth look at the dynamic that produced musicals with social context, ranging fromOklahoma! to The Sound of Music. NEW!

2. THE FUTURE OF MANKIND – Dr. Marty O. Cohen
“Space – the final frontier!” The long-term survival of humanity probably depends upon
our ability to leave Earth and to journey to the stars. In this class, we will answer two basic questions: Why does interstellar travel appear to be an impossible task? What mind-blowing,highly imaginative approaches may provide solutions? NEW! (This course was introducedduring the summer 2018 season.) (Also given Session 2A, period 2.)

3. ISLAM: 570-2018 – Azeem Farooki
This is a history of Islamic civilization with its ups and downs. The course will cover: Pre-Islamic Arabia, Prophet & Caliphate, Golden Age & Decline, Mixed Messages, Crisis of Identity. NEW!

4. THE ARTS & ARTISTS OF SPAIN – Sandra Martin
We will explore the lives, study the paintings, and learn about the time periods of Spanish artists from the Renaissance through modern times. We will study El Greco, Ribera, Velázquez, Murillo, Goya, Sorolla, Gaudí, Picasso, Dalí, and Miró. (Last taught 4/2015.)

5. MULTICULTURAL DIVERSITY/PREJUDICE REDUCTION – Willie Trotman 
We are all born innocent. Most of what we know about other groups comes either from what we are told, what we have learned from the media, or what we have experienced from incomplete encounters with other groups. In this course, we will concentrate on Diversity Training with the objective of prejudice reduction. NEW!

1B-PERIOD 3: 1:45 – 3:00 p.m.

1. WHAT HE DID FOR LOVE – Arthur Aldrich
This course will cover the life and work of Marvin Hamlisch, who produced memorable music for film, theater, and individual artists. NEW!

2. JOHN F. KENNEDY – Walt Brown
Our topic is the life and death of JFK. We will cover important milestones in his pre- presidential life, move into critical questions and policy issues during his presidency, and conclude with his assassination in Dallas and the 55 years of doubt that have followed the official version of that event. NEW! (This course was introduced during the summer 2018 season.)

3. IN THE COMPANY OF ZORA – Charlese Randolph
Zora Neale Hurston became one of the premier African-American female writers to emerge from the Harlem Renaissance. Her works and the works of her colleagues Nella Larsen, Gwendolyn Bennet, Georgia Douglas Johnson, and others will be read and discussed, bringing awareness to the lost voices of these amazing writers. NEW!

4. MOVIES: THE LESS SAID – Marc Wantuch
There are a number of films that achieve their ends without much spoken word – sometimes none at all. To demonstrate this, we will view Big Night, Rififi, Koyaanisqatsi, The Triplets of Belleville, and others. NEW! (This class runs to 3:30 p.m.)

2A-PERIOD 1: 9:45 – 11:15 a.m.

1. SIX GREAT ARTISTS – Suzanne Altman
We will sample the works of six artists representing six different periods of art history. This includes Leonardo for Renaissance, Vermeer for Baroque, David for Neoclassicism, Thomas Cole for Romanticism (Hudson River School), Cezanne for Post-Impressionism, and Sargent for American Impressionism/Early 20th century. NEW!

2. RICHARD WAGNER, PART I: THE RING AS DRAMA – Tom Artin
This is Part I of a two part-course given this semester. (Students may sign up for one or both classes – see Period 3). Richard Wagner was first a dramatist. Before setting down a note of music, he wrote his dramatic texts, and often staged formal readings for his friends and admirers. This course will treat the two greatest of Wagner’s works, The Ring and Parsifal, from a literary perspective, informed by the insights of psychoanalysis. NEW!

3. ANGELS IN AMERICA – John Brancato
Using the text and the Mike Nichols film of the play, we will explore what Frank Rich called, “a vast miraculous play, provocative, witty and deeply upsetting... a searching and radical rethinking of American political drama.” We will study both parts, each of which could stand on its own: “Millennium Approaches,” and “Perestroika.” NEW!

4. BIOETHICS – Mary Lou Dillon 
Viewed from a public policy perspective, we will examine the application of technology,law, and science, to healthcare and the challenges that arise. We will consider the essence of personhood and how it has evolved in the United States from the colonial period until the present. We’ll then take a glimpse into what it might be in the years to come. This class is conducted in seminar fashion and participation is a key element. Some reading may be assigned between classes. (All new material.) (Also given Session 1A, period 3.)

5. TWELVE LEGAL TOPICS EVERYONE NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND – Edward Kallen, Esq.
The law is a vast area of interest we honor daily. We usually go about our lives without consciously thinking that everything we do is controlled by law, whether it’s driving on the right side of the road or paying for groceries at the supermarket. This course will review twelve important legal subjects that all well-informed Americans should understand. The topics won’t make you a legal scholar, but you’ll know enough to appreciate the law and our legal system on a totally different level. (Repeat of a course closed out this past spring.)

6. FIRST LADIES: THE POWER BEHIND THE PRESIDENTS – Mike Rossi
The First Ladies are more often than not the “eyes and ears” of the United States Presidents. There were times in America’s history when the First Ladies were the backbone of the federal government. We will explore the lives of some of these First Ladies and their feats!NEW! (This course was introduced during the summer 2018 season.)

7. THE MAGIC WISH – Prof. Ernest Sherman
The “magic wish” plays a key role in myth, story, religion, and philosophy. Is there a basic wish that we all have – or should have? In this connection, we’ll examine Plato’s Ring of Gyges, The Fisherman and his Wife, and the Zen teaching of “Be There Now.” NEW! (This course was introduced during the summer 2018 season.)

2A-PERIOD 2: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

1. IN MEMORY OF: MOSTLY SHORT STORIES – Robin Brancato
We’ll read and discuss short stories (or other pieces) of writers lost to us in the last year or two. Among the authors we’ll be remembering are Philip Roth, Tom Wolfe, Ursula LeGuin, and William Trevor. NEW!

2. THE FUTURE OF MANKIND – Dr. Marty O. Cohen
“Space – the final frontier!” The long-term survival of humanity probably depends upon our ability to leave Earth and to journey to the stars. In this class, we will answer two basic questions: Why does interstellar travel appear to be an impossible task? What mind-blowing, highly imaginative approaches may provide solutions? NEW! (This course was introduced during the summer 2018 season.) (Also given Session 1B, period 2.)

3. THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF CHEMISTRY – Dr. Joseph Epstein
The course will cover the history of chemistry and chemists, how atoms work, what these things called molecules are, and how they constitute and govern the world. We will start at“The Big Bang,” learn about the alchemists, explore how DNA works, and examine other topics of interest. No mathematics required! NEW!

4. IMPROVING INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATING – Jim Evers and Prof. Wally Glickman
As life gets more complicated, so does interpersonal communicating. Through role play, improvisation, and other fun theater activities, along with discussions and succinct reviews of recent research, we will learn how to be more comfortable and more effective in talking with each other. NEW!

5. ISAAC BABEL – Dr. Warren Grodin
Who was Isaac Babel? A bio and historical context talks will demonstrate his literary genius.NEW! (This course was introduced during the summer 2018 season.)

6. GOOD SHOWS IN SMALL PACKAGES – Richard Markowitz
We will sample a diverse group of musical shows, featuring between one and five actors (sometimes in multiple roles), produced between 1952 and 2002. These will include revues, several literary adaptations, and a few works with original plots. Details about the productions will be explored, as well as the critical reception of each. NEW! (This course was introduced during the winter 2017/18 season.)

7. THE LITTLE PRINCE: A VERY ADULT NOVEL – Judith Rose
The Little Prince, by Antoine de St. Exupery, has sold more than 150 million copies worldwide since its publication in 1943 and is generally regarded as a book for children. Yet this small novella with its iconic drawings is a deeply philosophical work of penetrating social criticism and rich spiritual teaching. We will mine the gold of its very adult wisdom during our course of study. Please bring a copy of the English text with you. (Last presented several semesters ago. Much new material.)

8. POLITICS, SOCIETY, AND SATIRE: GULLIVER’S TRAVELS – Alice Twombly
This course is a look back at Gulliver’s Travels. We will read books 1 and 4, (and maybe 2 and 3.) NEW!

2A-PERIOD 3: 2:00– 3:30 p.m.

1. RICHARD WAGNER, PART II: PARSIFAL – DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU SAW? – Tom Artin
This is Part II of a two part-course on Wagner given this semester. (Students may sign up for one or both classes – see Period 1). In the case of Parsifal, Wagner seriously considered leaving the dramatic text to stand on its own. NEW!

2. WHEN YOU’RE NOT READING FICTION – Susan Barnett
Once again, we will read and discuss a variety of essays about contemporary topics byintriguing authors. Reading materials will be provided in class. All new essays!

3. PLAYS BY LYNN NOTTAGE – Robin Brancato
We’ll be reading Nottage’s two Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, first Sweat and then Ruined – both available in paperback. (She is the only woman to have won the Pulitzer twice for Drama.) We’ll also see her in some video footage. She is resident playwright this year at the Signature Theater, where two of her new plays will be performed. In addition, she is writing the book for the Broadway musical based on Michael Jackson’s life. NEW!

4. AWAKENING AND SHARPENING YOUR CREATIVITY SKILLS – Jim EversEverybody is creative. In this “not your usual class,” we will awaken and practice our creativity skills by “learning with our hands” and through serious play. This will sharpen our creativity, our problem-solving skills and our overall brain capabilities. Lots of activities and discussions. (Revised and updated from a previous course.)

5. CONFRONTING CONTEMPORARY ISSUES – Howard Goldstein, M.D.
This discussion-based class, continued from the spring semester, will consider paranoidpolitics, labor and leisure, the meaning of beauty, and emerging societal concerns. All new issues!

6. FOLK MUSIC FOR EYE AND EAR: SERIES III – Richard Markowitz
Performances by a distinguished roster of folksingers, taken from the short-lived seriesRainbow Quest, will be shown. Hosted by Pete Seeger, these were filmed for educational television in 1965 and 1966. Segments will include intimate appearances by Tom Paxton, Jean Ritchie, Malvina Reynolds, Jack Elliott, Martha Schlamme, Len Chandler, JudyCollins, and many others. NEW!

Fri, November 16 2018 8 Kislev 5779