Providing Lifelong Learning for over 30 years

Lifelong Learning Collaborative (LLC, formerly BCLIR) was established in 1984 as the Brown Community of Learning in Retirement, and has been an active educational model for lifelong learning for over three decades.  In May of 2008, we became an independent non-profit organization, an umbrella for continuing lifelong learning education in the Providence area. Most of our classes meet at Temple Beth-El.

Click to view/print Wintersession 2019 catalog (PDF).

Full course descriptions are available below.

Mondays
Hot Topics, Section 1 (AM)
Peeling the Tangerine, Calming the Restless Mind (PM)

Tuesdays
Great Decisions (AM)
Open Studio Art (AM)
Poetry Workshop (PM)
Scrabble Social Club (PM)

Wednesdays
Mah Jongg (AM)
Hot Topics, Section 2 (AM)
Grateful Dead II (PM)
Outlander, Book 1 (PM)
Knitting: The Basics (PM)

Thursdays
The Best American Short Stories 2018 (AM & PM)
Just for the Fun of It: An LLC Course Development Workshop (PM)

Course Descriptions

Monday mornings
Temple Beth-El
10:00 AM-12:00 PM
7 weeks
Jan 7-Mar 4 (No class Jan 21 or Feb 18)
Fee: $35
Class size limit: 20

Hot Topics, Section 1 (Section 2 offered on Wednesday mornings)
Coordinators: Lenore Piper Bunting, Bob Martin

If what’s happening in the nation and the world leaves you bursting with desire to share your viewpoint and listen to others’, Hot Topics will provide an opportunity to do just that. Class members will be expected to take turns choosing a Hot Topic of the week, presenting the facts and pertinent questions and leading the class discussion. Topics can include Arts, Brexit, Changes in Congress following mid-terms, China, Climate change, Free Press, Free Trade, #Me Too, Immigration/detained children, Iran, Israel, North Korea, UN, Voter Suppression, and others as long as the topics are timely, and hot!

Format: Each week one member in each hour will present & lead the discussion, with assistance from the coordinators. The presenter will identify one or more articles that will be the focus for the class session and will forward copies of the material to the coordinators at least three days prior to the class. Coordinators will forward articles, giving class members time to read and think about the topic. The coordinators will act as moderators of the session and help ensure that all viewpoints are heard.

Resources/Expenses: Resources can include the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal along with any other news sources, paper or electronic. Participants will need access to Internet. No other expenses are anticipated.

Coordinators: Lenore is a retired attorney who likes nothing better than informed discussion of topics in the news. She has taken many LLC classes and has recently coordinated about immigration. Bob Martin has been a coordinator of three prior LLC courses.

 

Monday afternoons
Temple Beth-El
1:00-2:30 PM (Note 1.5 hr length)
7 weeks
Jan 7-Mar 4 (No class Jan 21 or Feb 18)
Fee: $35
Class size limit: 16

Peeling the Tangerine, Calming the Restless Mind
Coordinator: Susan Glogovac

Do you find yourself engaged in NST (Non-Stop Thinking) more than you’d like? Does your mind dwell too often on things that have happened in the past, or jump ahead to plan for the future? Do you long to calm your restless mind and stay more grounded in the present moment? In this class, we will explore together a variety of mindfulness practices, such as mindful eating and walking, in the tradition of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. These can help us be more present to life as it unfolds in and around us. Our homework will be to explore each of the practices further and keep a journal of our experiences. Class discussions will offer us an opportunity to reflect together on ways to calm our restless minds. No presentations required.

Format: The coordinator will introduce each mindfulness practice in class, followed by direct experience and discussion.

Resources/Expenses: There are no additional expenses or resources required. Various resources will be recommended for those wishing to learn more.

Coordinator: Susan Glogovac has been practicing meditation for more than 25 years and has facilitated meditation groups for the past 15 years. In 2009, she was ordained in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Interbeing. She is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Cal. State. Univ., Long Beach. She now offers individual and group coaching in mindfulness, compassionate communication, and mediation.

 

Tuesday mornings
Temple Beth-El
10:00 AM-12:00 PM
8 weeks
Jan 8-Feb 26
Fee: $65 (includes $25 for the Foreign Policy Association briefing book)
Class size limit: 24

Great Decisions
Coordinators: Dennis Flavin, Dave Hansen

If you want to discuss thought provoking world issues, many with serious implication for America, this course is for you. The 2018 Great Decisions Briefing Book, which provides a wealth of background information, current data and policy options, serves as a jumping off point for each discussion led by a class member. Great Decisions is a national civic education program sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association. This year’s class covers eight issues: the waning of Pax Americana, Russia’s foreign policy, China and America: the new geopolitical equation, media and foreign policy, Turkey: a partner in crisis, U.S. global engagement and the military, South Africa’s fragile democracy, and global health: progress and challenges. Expect a lively highly collaborative exchange of presentations, opinion and perspectives. Presentations are encouraged.

Resources: Participants will need access to Internet and will share articles drawn from newspapers, journals, magazines, and/or news releases with the group by email.

Coordinators: Dennis and Dave have coordinated many similar courses in the past and love nothing better than a good juicy discussion!

 

Tuesday mornings
Temple Beth-El
9:30 AM-12:00 PM
8 weeks
Jan 8-Feb 26
Fee: $40
Class size limit: 12

Open Studio Art
Coordinator: Kathy Webster

Are you an artist (or budding artist) who enjoys working in the company of other artists and wants to keep in form over the cold winter months? Please join us for an informal meeting of artists who will independently pursue the paper/canvas medium of their choice using acrylics, oils, watercolor, pastel or drawing. There will be no instruction, just camaraderie and informal sharing by all.

Note: This class will be held in the Temple craft room which is upstairs above the offices, with no elevator access.

Resources/Expenses: There will be water and trash available in the room, and ample lighting. It is suggested you bring a small tabletop easel if desired. No expenses required other than supplies you want to use.

Coordinator: Kathy Webster is a summer Plein Air painter since joining LLC. Kathy has co-coordinated many LLC courses.

 

Tuesday afternoons
Temple Beth-El
1:00-3:00 PM
8 weeks
Jan 8-Feb 26
Fee: $40
Class size limit: 10

Poetry Workshop
Coordinators: Bill Carpenter, Ira Schaeffer

This course is for writers at all levels of experience who want to experience the beauty and mystery of creating poems. Weekly critiques, writing prompts, and occasional craft sessions will help you on your way. The key element, however, to crafting poems will be your willingness to exchange feedback for the purpose of revision through deep engagement with a community of writers. Each week you will read and discuss model poems, participate in critique sessions, and write both in class and at home. Expect to create at least six “raw” poems in class, and to have a minimum of four of them undergo the full workshop cycle of presentation/feedback/revision. These “finished pieces” will be your offerings for our group reading, a culminating event to celebrate the poetic creativity of our class.

Resources/Expenses: Copies of model poems; YouTube clips of poets reading and discussing their works; writing prompts, devised and adapted. No additional expenses expected.

Coordinators: Bill is a widely published poet and member of the Ocean State Poets, whose mission is to provide an environment for self-expression through poetry. Bill is a member of the Crosswinds Poetry Journal editing team, for which he reads hundreds of poems for their annual poetry contest. Ira is an active writer with advanced degrees in English, whose poems have appeared in various print and e-publications. Ira’s mantra should be “Serious Fun” in his approach to his life and art. Ira and Bill have both previously coordinated courses for LLC.

 

Tuesday late afternoons
Temple Beth-El
3:30-5:00 PM
8 weeks
Jan 8-Feb 26
There is no fee for this course, but you must be a member of LLC.
Registration is not required. Just drop in and play.

Scrabble Social Club
Coordinators: Pete DuPont, Bob Goodwin

Do drop in for a friendly game or two of Scrabble. All levels welcome, including any who have never played before. No fee, no sign up, just show up. Hopefully, you’ll become a regular. We generally have three to five games in play and there is room for more. Cathy will be on hand for documentation and rule clarification. Sheila will create our groups of threes and twos each week and we shall see if Pete will continue to hold onto his distinction as our Scrabble Icon. Then join us afterwards, if you wish, for supper at a local restaurant. We may touch on many interesting topics or just relax and unwind in a convivial group.

Coordinators: Bob is a long time LLC coordinator who relishes bringing people together informally. Pete is a more recent member of LLC. He and Bob have also collaborated on group hikes with LLC friends and others.
Pre-registration is NOT required; no fee, just drop in to play.

 

Wednesday mornings
Temple Beth-El
9:30-11:30 AM
8 weeks
Jan 9-Feb 27
Fee: $40
Class size limit: 11

Mah Jongg
Coordinator: Carol Desforges

Enjoy playing a challenging game and forming a social group? Learn how to play Mah Jongg, a tile game formerly played only by Chinese royalty, which may have originated with Confucius about 500 BC. The American version has a set of 152 tiles marked with Chinese symbols. Though the game is played worldwide, it did not become popular in the U.S. until the 1920’s. At that time, it was the most popular board game in the US exceeding even Monopoly. In order to play the game you must learn the symbols on the tiles, the patterns of hands on a score card, the many rules of the game, and the protocols of play. It is a challenging game to learn but we will guide you through it. Once you master it, Mah Jongg is addicting and you will not want to stop playing it.

Coordinator: Carol Desforges is a retired high school science teacher who loves to play and teach Mah Jongg. She has been teaching Mah Jongg at senior centers, with social organizations, and in private homes since 2007.

 

Wednesday mornings
Temple Beth-El
10:00 AM-12:00 PM
8 weeks
Jan 9-Feb 27
Fee: $40
Class size limit: 20

Hot Topics, Section 2 (Section 1 offered on Monday mornings)
Coordinator: Gene Mihaly

Do you enjoy talking with others about news of the day, hearing what they think is important, and why? If so, you’ll enjoy Hot Topics. We expect probing and exciting sessions that look at current items in the news: Russia, China, separatist Kurds in Iraq, separatist Spaniards in Catalonia, actors and producers preying on women and children, Republican tax “reform”, white “supremacy”, you name it. Members of the class take turns selecting a hot topic of the week – one that will stir discussion – and presenting key material to the class. The person presenting the topic gets things rolling with a few questions to stimulate discussion. Don’t be surprised if at times the discussions become intense and controversial. Class members should plan to read the Providence Journal and either The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal – or both – along with other news sources they might want to look into. Any medium will do, paper or electronic, if the topics are timely, and hot.

Format: Each week two members of the group will choose one article on current hot topics. After briefly presenting these to the group, they will propose the questions and lead the discussion. The coordinator will act as moderator of the session and help ensure that all viewpoints are heard.

Resources: Participants will need access to Internet and will share articles drawn from newspapers, journals, magazines, and/or news releases with the group by email.

Coordinator: Gene is a seasoned coordinator with a keen interest in current events.

 

Wednesday afternoons
Temple Beth-El
1:00-3:00 PM
4 weeks
Jan 9-Jan 30
Fee: $20
Class size limit: 20

Grateful Dead II
Coordinator: Bob Trudeau

Have you heard of the Grateful Dead, but never paid much attention? Or are you already a Deadhead who simply want to hear some “grate” music and talk about it? This course will introduce you to the Grateful Dead phenomenon, with an emphasis on how to listen to their music and lyrics. Each of the four meetings will focus on a different style of music that the Dead played, from folk to jazz, or country rock to many more.

Note: This is a follow up to the Grateful Dead course Bob offered in Summer of 18. The class will start with the old favorites, but your input will determine where the music goes from there!

Format: Presentations are not required, but active participation will be. There will be lots of opportunities for conversation and listening.

Expenses: No additional expenses are anticipated.

Coordinator: Bob Trudeau is the co-author of The Grateful Dead’s 100 Essential Songs: The Music Never Stops. He is a retired PC Professor and a Deadhead since 1971.

 

Wednesday afternoons
Temple Beth-El
1:00-3:00 PM
8 weeks
Jan 9-Feb 27
Fee: $40
Class size limit: 20

Outlander, Book 1 by Diana Gabaldon
Coordinator: Deborah Chorney

Find out why the series, The Outlander, was voted by PBS viewers as American’s #2 best loved novel in The Great American Read. Loved by millions across the world, some of the categories the Outlander series fits into include adventure, fantasy, time travel, romance, history and of course, sex. This class will concentrate on Book 1 of the series. We will not be watching the TV series. The aim is to study the history of the time, the author’s language and writing style and why this book has resonated with so many across the world and generated so many Facebook groups. The course will be fun, informative and thought-provoking. Je suis prest.

Format: Class members will be expected to read Book 1, choose a topic that will be provided in the syllabus, join in the discussions and present a 30-40 minute presentation.

Resources/Expenses: The book is available on Amazon with prices ranging from $3.99 to $9.99, as well as on Kindle.

Coordinator: Deborah Chorney has coordinated Memoir classes. Who better to lead a class on Outlander than someone who has four T-shirts, three hoodies, three calendars, two bears and one coffee cup, besides have read the eight published books of the Outlander series seven times, all the Lord John series at least once and all the “books in between” at least once. Outlander has renewed her faith in love.

 

Wednesday afternoons
Temple Beth-El
1:00-3:00 PM
8 weeks
Jan 9-Feb 27
Fee: $40
Class size limit: 9

Knitting: The Basics
Coordinator: Doris Briggs

Do you want to learn to knit or brush up on skills? In this class, you will learn the two knitting foundation stitches KNIT and PURL, how to cast on and bind off stitches and to finish your project. You will learn the language of knitting – what it all means, as well as how to read a simple knitting pattern.

Format: In this class, each participant will produce a simple scarf with both purl and knit stitches. The relaxed environment allows for interaction among participants.

Resources/Expenses: Coordinator will provide copies of the knitting pattern. Knitting needles and yarn to make your scarf; details will be provided once registered. You get to chose your own yarn.

Coordinator: Doris Briggs is a happily retired Registered Nurse who has been knitting for many years. Her interests include knitting samples for a yarn shop, spinning fiber, weaving, wine making, volunteering with Waterfire as a boat captain and learning new things.

 

Thursday mornings & afternoons
Temple Beth-El
Section 1: 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
Section 2: 1:00-3:00 PM
8 weeks
Jan 10-Feb 28
Fee: $40
Class size limit: 20

The Best American Short Stories 2018, Sections 1 & 2
Section 1 Coordinators: DJ Foley, Sheila K Lawrence
Section 2 Coordinators: Jane Adler, Mary Ball Howkins

This collection of short stories reflects the perilous times in which we live. In choosing these twenty stories, Editor Roxanne Gay purposefully selected authors whose stories reveal the best and worst in us. From the Boys Go To Jupiter, a story of friendship and grief, to Control Negro, where a father uses his son for a social experiment, each story presents intriguing insights into the human condition against the backdrop of an America in turmoil. Participants in this class will have the unique opportunity to engage in political and societal conversations as it relates to The Best American Short Stories 2018.

Format: Participants will read and lead discussions of their chosen stories. Active class participation is expected and it is suggested that class members sign up early, as stories will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. The leader for each upcoming class will be expected to submit a series of discussion questions for class distribution a few days before her or his presentation date.

Expenses: The Best American Short Stories 2018 is available at bookstores and through Amazon (paperback $13.99).

Section 1 Coordinators: A former journalist, Sheila K Lawrence is the author of A Leap of Faith – A History of Sophia Academy: 2004-2014. She has coordinated many LLC courses, including fiction and memoir writing workshops. DJ Foley is a retired teacher and current volunteer chair for Reading Across Rhode Island. DJ’s love of reading and writing are natural outlets for sharing her passion for books. She along with her co-coordinator, Sheila K Lawrence, coordinated several short story courses at LLC.

Section 2 Coordinators: Mary Ball Howkins has coordinated many LLC courses and is an active writer of fiction. Jane Adler is also a fiction writer and a semi-retired newspaper columnist.

 

Thursday afternoons
Temple Beth-El
1:00-3:00 PM
4 class meetings
Jan 17 & 31, Feb 14 & 28 (Note late start date)
Fee: Free!
Class size limit: 10

Just for the Fun of It: An LLC Course Development Workshop
Coordinators: Catherine Hurst, Linda Shamoon

Have you thought about an idea for an LLC course that you might like to lead (or co-lead)? Or maybe you want to rethink/reorganize/reposition a course you’ve coordinated previously. Perhaps you like the idea of coordinating a course but don’t have a topic in mind. This free, no-obligation, workshop-style course is designed for any LLC member who would like some help/guidance in developing an idea into a full course plan. You’ll have the opportunity to explore ideas for a course and/or to get feedback on a course you already have in mind, as well as to look at techniques for developing that idea into a course of from 5-10 weeks in length. Along the way we will discuss different ways to run a class; interesting class activities; how to include readings, guest speakers, and field trips; and other possibilities for course development.

Format: There will be a mixture of small group discussion, guest speakers, and hands-on work sessions. No formal presentations will be required, but we will ask you to share your drafts of course descriptions, course proposals, etc. for feedback from the coordinators and the class. Sharing and feedback will be a part of every class.

Resources/Expenses: There is no required text or expenses.

Coordinators: Catherine Hurst has coordinated four LLC courses in a variety of content areas, and has served on the LLC Curriculum Committee for the past three years. Linda Shamoon has co-coordinated at least ten courses, and led numerous LLC Coordinator Orientations and Syllabus Workshops.