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 Backman.

Click to view/print Summersession 2020 catalog (PDF).

Our Summersession courses will be conducted exclusively via Zoom due to the continuing Coronavirus environment.

Using Zoom is quite easy and is free to class members. A Zoom Task Force has been created to help navigate the new distance learning environment. If you need help or have Zoom questions, please contact the Zoom Task Force at info@lifelonglearningcollaborative.org.

Mondays
All That's Jazz (AM)
Current Decisions (PM)

Tuesdays
New Yorker Podcasts (AM)
Summer Sampling of Movies, Session 1 (PM)

Wednesdays
Plein Air Art Group (AM)
Hot Topics (PM)
Summer Sampling of Movies, Session 2 (PM)

Thursdays
Churchill and the Blitz (AM)
Finding Purpose in a Pandemic (PM)
Fiction Critique Group (PM)

Fridays
Get Fit at Home (AM)
A Century of Stories by Women Writers (PM)


Monday mornings
Zoom Video Conference
10:00 AM-12:00 PM
5 weeks
Jul 6-Aug 3
Fee: $25
Class size limit: 40

All That’s Jazz: Ragtime, Blues, Swing, Bebop & More
Coordinators: Clay Nordhill, Sam Shamoon

Listen and learn – what could be easier and more fun? This is the next installment of LLC’s very popular class on the story of American jazz. This year you will hear more stories of great jazz musicians, plus new recordings. You will continue to learn about inspiring performers and composers as well as younger players who are influencing jazz today.

Format: Listening, lecture and discussion (no presentations required).

Resources/Expenses: None.

Coordinators: Clay Nordhill, a Rhode Island based jazz guitarist and composer, will lead the course. Clay is a graduate of URI with a focus on Jazz Performance. He has performed at the Newport Jazz Festival as well as at venues throughout the Northeast. Sam Shamoon has coordinated this class several times.


Monday afternoons
Zoom Video Conference
1:00-3:00 PM
8 weeks
Jul 6-Aug 24
Fee: $25
Class size limit: 20

Current Decisions
Coordinators: Dennis Flavin, Dave Hansen

Join us as we examine the important domestic issues, programs, and policies facing voters in 2020. We can certainly examine some of the traditional topics such as healthcare, global warming, the outlook for the American economy and recent Supreme Court decisions. But in this crucial election year, we hope to address some broader and overriding issues: how COVID-19 will impact the politics and future of the nation, the significance of the dramatic increase in the numbers of younger, more radical progressive Democrats, the relevance of traditional political parties, the role of caucuses in the primary process, the rise of imperialism/autocracy in American government, the undermining of our constitution, the eroding separation of power, and the significance of outside interference in our electoral process. In our last class, we will assess the two candidates’ chances of becoming our 46th President.

Format: Our goal is to discuss one or two issues each week. Individual or team presentations are encouraged.

Resources/Expenses: There are no assigned texts nor readings. Presenters, however, may suggest materials for class members to review on their chosen topics. There are no expenses.

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


Tuesday mornings
Zoom Video Conference
10:00 AM-12:00 PM
8 weeks
Jul 7-Aug 25
Fee: $25
Class size limit: 16

Short Stories from a Unique Vantage Point: Listen to New Yorker Podcasts!
Coordinators: Lenore Piper Bunting, Mickey Rosenberg

Close your eyes and let your imagination soar while you listen at home to New Yorker stories in two formats: (1) In The Writer’s Voice, a noted author will read you their recently published New Yorker story. You will feel the exact emphasis, phrasing and timing that the writer has intended, deepening the meaning of the work. (2) In The New Yorker Fiction Podcast, a well-known author reads a New Yorker story by another writer that has moved and inspired them. As part of this podcast, the reader and Deborah Treisman (New Yorker fiction editor) discuss this story.

Format: Each week you will experience at home and then discuss in class, two selected New Yorker podcasts, one of each format. Class participants will be expected to choose a story, formulate and email discussion questions to all members, do a short intro and lead the class in discussion.

Resources/Expenses: We will provide links to all the podcasts and the text versions. If you are not a New Yorker subscriber there is an introductory rate of $6 for 3 months unlimited digital access.

Coordinators: Lenore Piper Bunting is a retired lawyer and has coordinated many LLC courses. Mickey Rosenberg is a retired doctor and is an avid reader.


Tuesday afternoons
Zoom Video Conference
1:00-3:00 PM
8 weeks
Jul 7-Aug 25
Fee: $25
Class size limit: 12
NOTE: We are also offering this class on Wednesday afternoons.

A Summer Sampling of Movies, Session 1 (Session 2 is offered on Wednesday afternoons)
Coordinators: Helen Hawkins, Becky Randolph

This Zoom class will carry us from the comfort and safety of home to other times and locales. The movies are all small gems, and overall should provide a light and refreshing summer tonic. Ranging in time from the early 1800s until the present, movie locations include the backwoods of Florida, Canada, suburban London, the Isle of Skye, Chicago, Australia, Brooklyn, and the San Francisco Bay area. Genres include three romantic comedies, two historical dramas, one documentary, one bio-pic, and one cautionary tale. They are all about relationships. Movies: Harold and Maude, Cross Creek, Moonstruck, Oscar and Lucinda, The Governess, An Education, Stories We Tell, and The Big Sick. We will explore the intent of each film, its successes and shortcomings.

Format: Each week we will watch at home the film listed for that session and then discuss it in our Zoom class. Class members will be asked to sign up to lead the discussion of one film, providing questions and/or sharing movie clips. No PowerPoint presentation will be required. Class members will have free reign around how to present their understanding of the chosen film. We will be in “summer-lite” mode.

Resources/Expenses: The eight films are available to rent from Amazon Prime, Cox cable, and other streaming services. Your local library also carries them and may be open for business by July.

Coordinators: Helen Hawkins, M.S., is a retired Special Education teacher. She has held positions at several colleges and universities, drawn to the interesting people within those communities. She has loved movies all her life. Becky Randolph, M.S., CIH, CSP is a retired industrial hygienist. She is new to Rhode Island and walks everywhere.


Wednesday mornings
Zoom Video Conference
10:00 AM-12:00 PM
8 weeks
Jul 8-Aug 26
Fee: $25
Class size limit: 40

Plein Air Art Group
Coordinators: Roberta Segal, Mary Snowden, Kathy Webster

Special consideration will be given to Providence Art Club members who may participate with their PAC membership waiving LLC membership and paying only the $25 class fee.

Once again, LLC will be offering a Plein Air art group for this summer. This gives both newcomers as well as the experienced an opportunity to spend time exploring the inner artist in all of us. The class will include both painting (in any medium), pastels, and drawing. If you have never held a paintbrush, you are welcome to give it a try. And, if you are a working artist, just creating with others is an inspiration.

Format: Each week one of the coordinators will begin class with a presentation on some aspect of making art followed by a critique/viewing of submitted work on Zoom. Each artist enrolled will work outside in their own neighborhood and will turn in their work for the Wednesday Zoom critique via email by Monday of each week. Additional group Zoom classes may be available for ”new” artists.

Resources/Expenses: You will use your own art supplies; once enrolled specific details will be provided.

Coordinators: Roberta Segal and Mary Snowden are both lifelong artists with great creative gifts and an impressive ability to teach and help students learn. Kathy Webster has been a plein air painting student since 2010. They have coordinated many classes for LLC.


Wednesday afternoons
Zoom Video Conference
1:00-3:00 PM
8 weeks
Jul 7-Aug 25
Fee: $25
Class size limit: 12
NOTE: We are also offering this class on Tuesday afternoons.

A Summer Sampling of Movies, Session 2 (Session 1 is offered on Tuesday afternoons)
Coordinators: Helen Hawkins, Becky Randolph

This Zoom class will carry us from the comfort and safety of home to other times and locales. The movies are all small gems, and overall should provide a light and refreshing summer tonic. Ranging in time from the early 1800s until the present, movie locations include the backwoods of Florida, Canada, suburban London, the Isle of Skye, Chicago, Australia, Brooklyn, and the San Francisco Bay area. Genres include three romantic comedies, two historical dramas, one documentary, one bio-pic, and one cautionary tale. They are all about relationships. Movies: Harold and Maude, Cross Creek, Moonstruck, Oscar and Lucinda, The Governess, An Education, Stories We Tell, and The Big Sick. We will explore the intent of each film, its successes and shortcomings.

Format: Each week we will watch at home the film listed for that session and then discuss it in our Zoom class. Class members will be asked to sign up to lead the discussion of one film, providing questions and/or sharing movie clips. No PowerPoint presentation will be required. Class members will have free reign around how to present their understanding of the chosen film. We will be in “summer-lite” mode.

Resources/Expenses: The eight films are available to rent from Amazon Prime, Cox cable, and other streaming services. Your local library also carries them and may be open for business by July.

Coordinators: Helen Hawkins, M.S., is a retired Special Education teacher. She has held positions at several colleges and universities, drawn to the interesting people within those communities. She has loved movies all her life. Becky Randolph, M.S., CIH, CSP is a retired industrial hygienist. She is new to Rhode Island and walks everywhere.


Wednesday afternoons
Zoom Video Conference
1:00-3:00 PM
8 weeks
Jul 8-Aug 26
Fee: $25
Class size limit: 14

Hot Topics
Coordinators: George Champlin, Lee Golden, Ed Mehlman

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. 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 one member of the group will choose one article on current hot topics. After briefly presenting these to the group, they will pose the questions and lead the discussion. The coordinators will act as moderators 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. No expenses are anticipated.

Coordinators: George Champlin, Lee Golden and Ed Mehlman have successfully coordinated this very popular course many times in the past.


Thursday mornings
Zoom Video Conference
10:00 AM-12:00 PM
7 weeks
Jul 9-Aug 20
Fee: $25
Class size limit: 16

Churchill and the Blitz: Lessons for Our Time
Coordinators: Richard Brush, Sheila Brush

The inspiring story of British courage and resilience in the face of months-long bombing by Nazi Germany has new resonance today. In his recently published book The Splendid and The Vile, Erik Larson (NY Times best-selling author of The Devil and The White City), presents a compelling and highly readable account of this period. Larson paints what the Boston Globe calls an “affecting and affectionate” portrait of Prime Minister Winston Churchill‘s leadership and of the family and colleagues who surrounded him. At the same time, he provides insights into the challenges of daily life for the common men and women who found the fortitude to endure months of bombing. As we face our own trying times, let’s turn to this beautifully crafted historical narrative for perspective and inspiration.

Format: All members should do the background reading prior to the start of class and participate actively in class discussions. Members are expected to choose one of the following two options, individually or in partnership with another class member: (1) Make a short oral presentation on a topic or individual covered in the book, followed by a class discussion. (2) Research and lead a class discussion on a topic or individual. Coordinators will provide a list of suggested topics but we also encourage participants to suggest subjects of particular interest to them.

Resources/Expenses: The Splendid and The Vile is available through Amazon on Kindle ($14.99) or in hardcover ($19.20).

Coordinators: Dick and Sheila Brush, both history lovers, have enjoyed a variety of LLC classes over the past five years and have co-coordinated a previous class.


Thursday afternoons
Zoom Video Conference
1:00-3:00 PM
6 weeks
Jul 9-Aug 13
Fee: $20
Class size limit: 12

Finding Purpose in a Pandemic
Coordinators: Sheila Brush, Norma Rossi Mead

It’s easy to feel marginalized when those of us over 60 years of age are cautioned to stay home and out of the mainstream of life. How do we adapt to a new role – less doing and more supporting? We sense we are not elders as long as we have our ability to “do”. But there is more to life than the doing. We will use the book, Conscious Living, Conscious Aging by Ron Pevny as a launching pad for learning about the social and cultural infrastructure needed to ease the transition from activity to exploration of intellectual and spiritual growth. And each of us will identify a topic to present – it could be a role model of wise aging and a report on that person. (This could be your mother or Nelson Mandela – someone who inspires you.) Or, you can share a way you are expanding your life now: outreach to others, learning something new, or meditation and observation. We are open to many ways to grow.

Format: Participants will be given weekly reading assignments from the assigned book to explore the process of conscious aging and will lead a discussion on an inspiring role model, or a practice that is helping them grow and learn.

Resources/Expenses: Conscious Living, Conscious Aging by Ron Pevny is available on Amazon in paperback for $12.95. Other readings may be distributed electronically.

Coordinators: After less than a year in Providence, Norma Rossi Mead is an enthusiastic LLC member. Sheila Brush has been a member for five years and is an experienced coordinator. Together, they coordinated the Spring 2020 course: Winning the Vote – Launching a Legacy.


Thursday late afternoons
Zoom Video Conference
3:15-5:00 PM
8 weeks
Jul 9-Aug 27
Fee: $20
Class size limit: 10

Fiction Writing Critique Group
Coordinator: Mary Ball Howkins

Join a group of fiction writers. We’ll help you mold character, plot, description and narrative structure into fiction! Gather with writers who conjure tales of far away and nearby, who love telling stories and have many to tell. In an intimate and supportive group, learn how to hone your writing, explode it into something brand new, or extract it sentence by sentence from your imagination with cheers and encouragement from others. No judgments allowed – only constructive assessment to urge you on to finding and asserting your writer’s voice.

Format: Two participants will submit a story or chapter online to class members by the Monday before the Thursday class meeting date. Class members will prepare comments, suggestions, and editing corrections by that Thursday and be ready to discuss those comments etc., in the class meeting. The two persons submitting will be expected to ask for specific feedback when emailing the story or chapter to others so that the class will have some direction while reading and commenting.

Coordinator: Mary Ball Howkins has coordinated many LLC courses and is an active writer of fiction, an international wildlife volunteer, and art historian.


Friday mornings
Zoom Video Conference
10:00-11:00 AM
5 weeks
Jul 10-Aug 7
Fee: $50
Class size limit: 14

Get Fit at Home
Coordinators: Sam Shamoon, Adam Stone

Have you been sitting around during the Coronavirus lockdown? Join us in a personalized exercise course to help you get back on your feet with increased stamina, strength, agility, flexibility, and overall health.

Format: Our instructor will lead you through effective, safe and functional exercises and offer individual feedback to ensure you employ proper techniques that are appropriate for Seniors.

Resources/Expenses: There are no additional expenses.

Coordinators: Adam Stone is the owner of STONEFIT, an independent Rhode Island based personal training company. Sam Shamoon, an accomplished LLC coordinator, has been Adam’s student for a year and is delighted with the results.


Friday afternoons
Zoom Video Conference
1:30-3:30 PM
8 weeks
Jul 10-Aug 28
Fee: $25
Class size limit: 12

A Century of Stories by Women Writers
Coordinator: Robert Martin

Join us in this Zoom-based course as we read and discuss short stories by several women writers – from Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Edith Wharton to Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro. Click here to read the course syllabus.

Format: Each week we will read at least two stories and see where the discussion leads us. The coordinator will send out PDF files of the week’s stories well in advance, along with some discussion questions to get things started. Presentations will not be required. The only prerequisite is your ability to join us to video conference on Zoom on a desktop, laptop or tablet computer.

Resources/Expenses: All stories will be available in PDF form, to be read online or to print out. There will be no expenses.

Coordinator: English Major Bob Martin has coordinated LLC courses on the history of India, the Silk Roads, and the Ottoman Empire, as well as early women artists.