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.

*Please note an important change to our registration policy:  You can register by postal mail using the printable registration form (above), but please note that registrations received by postal mail will not be processed until 2 PM on the day registration opens, as administrative time permits. Therefore, spaces are not guaranteed if your class selection fills up prior to 2 PM.  We strongly encourage you to register online and early.

Cover photography by LLC member Tom Amsterburg.

Registration opens Monday, December 2, 2019 @ 9 AM.

Click to view/print Wintersession 2020 catalog (PDF) or read full course descriptions below.

Mondays
Open Studio Art (AM)

Tuesdays
Great Decisions (AM)
A Matter of Balance: Conquering the Fear of Falling (PM)
Scrabble Social Club (PM)

Wednesdays
Hot Topics 1 (AM)
Knitting: Beyond the Basics (PM)
Poetry Workshop (PM)
Short Stories: The O. Henry Prize Stories 2019 (PM)

Thursdays
Irish American Films (AM)
Hot Topics 2 (PM)
LLC Course Development Workshop (PM)
Mah Jongg Drop-In (PM)

Fridays
Artemisia and Her Sisters (AM)


Monday mornings
Temple Beth-El
9:30 AM-12:00 PM
7 weeks
Jan 6-Mar 2 (No class Jan 20 or Feb 17)
Fee: $35
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 improving this winter? Please join your friends 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 has been a summer Plein Air painter since joining LLC. Kathy has co-coordinated many LLC courses.


Tuesday mornings
Temple Beth-El
10:00 AM-12:00 PM
8 weeks
Jan 7-Feb 25
Fee: $70 (includes $30 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. Great Decisions is a national civic education program sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association. This year’s class covers eight issues: Climate Change and the Global Order, India and Pakistan, Red Sea Security, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, U.S. Relations with the Northern Triangle, China’s Road into Latin America, The Philippines and the U.S., Artificial Intelligence and Data.

Format: The 2020 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. Expect a lively highly collaborative exchange of presentations, opinion and perspectives. Presentations are encouraged.

Resources/Expenses: Participants will need access to Internet and will share articles drawn from newspapers, journals, magazines, and/or news releases with the group by email. There will be no additional expenses.

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

 


Tuesday afternoons
Temple Beth-El
1:00-3:00 PM
8 weeks
Jan 7-Feb 25
Fee: $40
Class size limit: 20

A Matter of Balance: Conquering the Fear of Falling
Coordinator: Sam Shamoon

Many older adults experience concerns about falling and restrict their activities. Learn how you can reduce your fear of falling and increase your activity level, strength, and balance through A Matter of Balance. The goals of this program are to learn how to control falls by reducing fall risk and to increase strength through exercise and balance and to set personal goals for increasing activity.

Format: Led by two certified instructors. Participants are given workbooks to utilize resources in the community, learn new practices, and participate in moderate chair and standing exercises.

Expenses: There are no expenses anticipated.

Coordinator: Sam Shamoon is a certified planner with over 45 years experience in planning throughout the State of Rhode Island. Before retiring, Sam was the Director of Planning for the City of Providence. He has coordinated several classes for LLC.


Tuesday late afternoons
Temple Beth-El
3:15-5:00 PM
8 weeks
Jan 7-Feb 25
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: Cathy Hurst, Sheila Zompa

Do drop in any Tuesday by 3:15 for a friendly game or two of Scrabble. We need the time from 3:15-3:30 to set up the boards and players so that we can start playing right at 3:30. All levels welcome – no fee, no registration. 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. Game boards provided.


Wednesday mornings
Temple Beth-El
10:00 AM-12:00 PM
8 weeks
Jan 8-Feb 26
Fee: $40
Class size limit: 20

Hot Topics 1 (AM)
Coordinators: Mark Guyer, Eugene Mihaly

If you enjoy discussions about controversial topics and news of the day, you’ll like Hot Topics. The course will center on a vigorous exploration of the pressing issues of our time – national and international. We shall dig into the forces and trends underlying the Democratic and Republican primaries and the early stages of the campaigns. Foreign affairs will be a parallel focus: Brexit, so-called trade wars, the Middle East and more. We shall share perspectives developed during lifetimes and new views generated by recent events with the intent of deepening understanding through debate and by searching together.

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/Expenses: Participants will need access to Internet and will share articles drawn from newspapers, journals, magazines, and/or news releases with the group by email. There are no additional expenses.

Coordinators: Gene Mihaly is a seasoned coordinator with a keen interest in current events. Mark Guyer recently moved to Providence after a career on the Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health. He is an avid reader of mysteries and has lately taken up an interest in U.S. history.


Wednesday afternoons
Temple Beth-El
1:00-3:00 PM
8 weeks
Jan 8-Feb 26
Fee: $40
Class size limit: 9

Knitting: Beyond the Basics
Coordinator: Doris Briggs

This knitting course will take you beyond the basics of knit and purl. We will build your skills together one stitch at a time and learn such things as how to READ your stitches, fix dropped stitches, pick yarn for your project, increase/decrease stitches, bind off to finish the project, do a gauge swatch, learn several cast on methods, and basic tools for knitting and how to use them. If you have a knitting question, you can bring it to class.

Format: The sessions will be divided into three parts: (1) review and status of your project and questions, (2) discussion and practice of a new technique, and (3) time to sit and knit.

Resources/Expenses: A list of patterns and materials will be provided before classes start. Expenses will vary depending on your project and material selected.

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, and other endeavors. Doris has coordinated all of our previous knitting classes.


Wednesday 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 has been designed for writers at all levels 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 to successfully crafting poems will be your willingness to exchange feedback for the purpose of revision. Expect to experience both the satisfaction of creating poems and the pleasure of being part of a community of writers.

Format: Each week you will be required to 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. There are no expenses anticipated.

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. His book of poetry, Templates, is for sale through Amazon or from him personally. Ira is an active writer with advanced degrees in English, whose poems have appeared in various print and e-publications. Ira’s mantra could be “Serious Fun,” in his approach to his life and art. Ira has previously coordinated courses for LLC, including, Short Stories, E. A. Poe, and the Poetry Workshop.


Wednesday afternoons
Temple Beth-El
1:00-3:00 PM
8 weeks
Jan 8-Feb 26
Fee: $40
Class size limit: 20

Short Stories: The O. Henry Prize Stories 2019
Coordinators: Patricia Becker, Carole Marshall

Join us as we delve into this year’s O. Henry Prize Stories 2019, featuring twenty of the very best short stories published in literary magazines this year. Read Tessa Hadley’s Funny Little Snake, about a sad little girl and the woman who saves her, or Sourvankham Thammavongsa’s Slingshot, about an older woman who learns from her young neighbor that it’s never too late for passion. Or consider Alexander MacLeod’s Lagomorph, about a family’s experience with the oldest rabbit in the world.

Format: Participants will read selected stories and lead discussions of their chosen stories. Active class participation is expected.

Resources/Expenses: The O. Henry Prize Stories 100th Anniversary Edition (2019) is available at local bookstores and at Amazon for $15.95. This year is its 100th anniversary, so the book is thicker and a little more expensive than previous years.

Coordinators: Carole Marshall taught high school English for two decades and wrote a memoir of that experience in 2014. Patricia Becker was active in a lifelong learning organization in Madison, Wisconsin.


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

Irish American Films
Coordinators: Paula Keogh, Rick Keogh

Enjoy the saga of the Irish – an ethnic group that has played a prominent role since coming to America. Through the lens of the filmmaker, this course will explore the full gamut of the Irish-American experience: coming to America, adjusting to – and struggling with – the New World, succeeding in the worlds of politics, entertainment, the law, the Church, business – and in less legitimate endeavors. Films to be viewed and then discussed in class include Far and Away, Gangs of New York, The Last Hurrah, Angels with Dirty Faces, and Yankee Doodle Dandy, among others.

Format: Participants will be expected to view all films on their own, with two members presenting on films of their choosing at each class.

Resources/Expenses: There are no required readings, though a bibliography of relevant material will be provided. Films to be viewed are available through a variety of streaming formats including YouTube, Turner Classic Movies, Netflix, etc., as well as through local libraries.

Coordinators: Rick and Paula Keogh have been LLC members for several years. A retired college librarian and film aficionado, Rick holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in history, as well as library science. Paula, who holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in communications, directed marketing communications and public relations activities in both higher ed and health care.


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

Hot Topics 2 (PM)
Coordinators: Lenore Bunting, Mary Snowden

If you appreciate discussions about controversial topics and you enjoy talking with others about news of the day, you’ll enjoy Hot Topics. In this class, you will have the opportunity to participate in probing and exciting sessions while exploring current events. Perspectives on issues will vary and deepen understanding through debate and by searching together.

Format: In each class hour, we will focus on a different topic with a different discussion leader. Members of the class will take turns selecting a Hot Topic of the week, one that will stir discussion, presenting key materials to the class to stimulate the discussion. A few questions get discussions rolling. The coordinators will act as moderators to help insure that all viewpoints are heard.

Resources/Expenses: Class members should plan to read local papers like the Providence Journal and national publications like the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Other news sources, paper or electronic, will do as long as topics are timely. Participants will need access to the Internet and will share articles drawn from newspapers, journals, magazines, and/or news releases, with the group by email via the coordinators. No expenses are anticipated.

Coordinators: Mary Snowden, an artist and Lenore Bunting, a retired attorney, are experienced LLC coordinators and are both keenly interested in Hot Topics.


Thursday afternoons
Temple Beth-El
1:00-3:00 PM
4 class meetings
Jan 16, Jan 30, Feb 13, Feb 27 (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 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.

Note: This course is only for LLC members who are thinking about coordinating a course in the summer or fall of 2020 or beyond. It is not intended for those who are planning to coordinate a spring 2020 course.

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 prepare a written assignment ahead of each class, for example: a draft of your course description, course calendar, course format, etc. Each week we will ask you to share your drafts for feedback from the coordinators and the class. Preparing written assignments, sharing the material, and receiving feedback will be a part of every class.

Resources/Expenses: No text, no expenses.

Coordinators: Catherine Hurst has coordinated six LLC courses in a variety of content areas, and has served on the LLC Curriculum Committee for the past four years. Linda Shamoon has co-coordinated over 15 courses, including numerous iterations of the popular Concerts and Conversations course, and has led many LLC Coordinator Orientations and Syllabus Workshops.


Thursday afternoons
Temple Beth-El
1:00-3:00 PM
8 weeks
Jan 9-Feb 27
There is no fee for this course, but you must be a member of LLC.
Registration is not required. Just drop in and play.

Mah Jongg Drop-In
Coordinators: Sheela Percelay, Sandra Wyn

This is intended for people who know how to play and want some new people to play with! There is no fee, and registration is not required, but please contact Sheela Percelay (401-726-5863) or Sandra Wyn (401-272-8136) for details.


Friday mornings
Temple Beth-El
10:00 AM-12:00 PM
8 weeks
Jan 10-Feb 28
Fee: $40
Class size limit: 20

Artemisia and Her Sisters: Early Women Painters in Europe
Coordinator: Bob Martin

Why haven’t you heard of Caterina deVigri, or Judith Leyster, or Mary Beale? Like Artemisia Gentileschi, these Medieval and Renaissance artists were among the first women to attain places in standard art histories — places they were denied until recent decades. Join us in learning about the lives and work of such artists, starting with nuns who illustrated medieval illuminated manuscripts, and continuing with an illustrious group of other artists born before 1700. Click here to view course syllabus.

Format: Class members will need to read portions of the text for each class and take part in class discussions. Participants will be asked but not required to give a presentation of about 20 minutes regarding the life and work of one of a list of artists supplied by the coordinator.

Resources/Expenses: Our texts will be the remarkable The Obstacle Race: The Fortunes of Women Painters and Their Work, by Germaine Greer, and Great Women Masters of Art by Jordi Vigue. Other resources will be available on the Web. The two texts can be obtained for a total of less than $15 from Amazon.com or AbeBooks.com.

Coordinator: Painter Bob Martin has organized several other LLC courses, including, most recently, The Silk Roads: Travels with an Ancient Chinese Monk and a Modern Archeologist.