Skip to content

The Lark: Vol 1, Issue 7, December 2021



One goal of The Lark is to feature articles about LLC personalities, the people who make LLC such a successful organization.

Linda Shamoon

“Buona giornata!” Linda said as we finished our conversation one chilly Saturday morning, a conversation about how Linda discovered, joined, and contributes to LLC. In 2010, Linda Shamoon retired as a Professor on Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Rhode Island. One year later, she and her husband Sam joined LLC. Her “career” as a coordinator for courses began in 2013. Linda has co-coordinated over 15 courses in the arts, music, and literature categories.

Linda attended school in New York City at the High School of Music and Art with a focus on classical music and the clarinet. “I received a terrific music and music theory education.” At Purdue University, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Experimental Psychology. On to Tufts University where she earned a Master of Arts degree in English Literature. URI welcomed her as a professor of literature and later as professor of writing and rhetoric. In that position, Linda helped found the writing program at URI, as well as found a Bachelor’s Degree program and a Master’s Degree program in writing and rhetoric.

Linda and Sam have two children, David, a professional chef, and Deborah, a professor of Japanese literature, film and popular culture at the National University of Singapore. Linda and Sam are the proud grandparents of Deborah’s twins, Sophie and Peter.

The Shamoons find joy in traveling. Many of their travels generated from visiting family: Japan, Israel, Singapore, Canada, and England, where Sam’s parents lived and his older brother, who lives in London. They also have traveled extensively around the United States. Italy is a favorite destination.

Linda’s interests are varied. Music, of course, and chamber music, “one of my passions.” When Linda coordinated LLC’s “Concerts and Conversations” class, it allowed her to reengage with Classical music in a new way, to devote serious study time to a lifelong love and to share that love with others. Her love of poetry spurred her to co-coordinate LLC poetry classes, including co-coordinating a poetry class this semester, “Luminous Things: African American Poetry,” with Christine Rose and Karen Stein. “I love reading poetry and talking about it with others.”

Another interest: cooking. Linda loves to try new recipes, especially for Indian food “which Sam loves.” One interest developed from an LLC class Linda took called IPhonography – photography using only your iPhone. This creative class, “gets you outside for photography walks. You work right on the phone to create pictures you love and can hang on the wall.”

Another of Linda’s passions is something you might not know about her: After retirement she decided to try to learn to speak a foreign language that was new to her. Why? “A friend showed me a list of “20 things to do when you retire.” High on the list was learning a foreign language. “I always thought I would do that after I retired.”

Her decision to focus on Italian came from her music background and “just feeling that it is a beautiful language. My first step was to find a good teacher. I discovered Professor Maria Mansella at CCRI, the world’s best teacher of Italian. But even with a great teacher, it is hard to learn a new language at our age. I have been at it for nine years, and I am still a novice, but I get great satisfaction from reading it, speaking it, and understanding it when others speak. Speaking Italian also introduced me to a whole new community of friends. All in all, it has been a joy.”

Now integral members of LLC, Linda and Sam learned about our organization from Roberta Segal, president of LLC when it was called BCLIR (Building a Community of Learning in Retirement). After talking with Roberta, they decided to try some BCLIR classes. After one semester, they were both hooked. Linda became very active as a co-coordinator of classes in the arts and music. Sam took a variety of courses, co-coordinated courses on City Planning, his profession, and he joined the Board and, within a few years, becoming president for a two-year term.

Along the way, Linda took LLC’s training workshop for coordinators, where she demonstrated one of her long-time teaching methods: collaborative learning. These days, Linda joins with LLC’ers Catherine B. Hurst and Kathy Webster to help others to use collaborative learning in their LLC classes. Providing that help underscores Linda’s belief that using your professional skills after retirement, perhaps in a different way, is a very good thing for everyone.

Grazie mille, Linda, for a stimulating Saturday morning conversation.


Tutoring Program at the Veazie School

Lifelong Learning Collaborative’s tutoring program at Veazie Street School in Providence, organized by Eugene Mihaly and Norma Rossi Mead is scheduled to start on January 10, 2022.

Norma indicated that the process has been challenging, but ten of the original twenty participants, will be tutoring. “This intelligent and caring group put great effort into learning about tutoring and the curriculum needs in Providence, and many of them took a field trip to the school in order to orient themselves on everything from security procedures to where to park,” she explained.

The tutors will be working with second through fifth grade students; some in reading and some in math. Remote learning was a challenge for students, especially the younger ones whose kindergarten and first grade years were affected. “We feel empathy with the students and teachers in these tough times,” she said.

“Everyone who originally signed up and took this program has shown an interest and ability in helping the kids of our community. And we made plans to go forward with our program. Originally, we understood that we could use space heaters to work with students outside, but we just learned, Friday, that the school district determined that to be dangerous. This necessitated some of our tutors to defer their participation to protect vulnerable family members. We are hopeful that Covid rates will go down and warm spring temperature will allow them to come back to school,” she said.

Thank you to Lifelong Learning Collaborative and the participants who volunteered to help Providence students.


Can You Help?

Please help Dorcas International Institute of RI welcome those escaping upheaval and suffering in Afghanistan as they seek to resettle and build a life in RI. You can donate funds, goods, and/or volunteer your time. To see how you can help, please go to the Dorcas International Institute website. Thank you for helping.


Inspiration from Our Members

From Jan Wenzel:

This morning, a newsletter I received included this link. Thought you might be in interested in reading this article: “Indigenous Parents Say Debates Over Teaching History Exclude Native People” by Asher Lehrer-Small.

From Sheila Brush:

31 Must-Read African American Books

Stages of Freedom is featuring a different book with an African American theme each day of December. The selection for December 3 is Native Son by Richard Wright. The Lark will publish the month’s list in the January edition.

Stages of Freedom is a Rhode Island non-profit organization that promotes black cultural events for the entire community and educates and empowers inner-city youth by providing cultural opportunities and access to museums and live performance.

Visit their website:

Stages puts out a daily email that always has interesting nuggets of information including the daily book. Email and ask to subscribe.


Interesting Facts from RINews

  • The first traffic law in RI was created in 1678, when authorities banned galloping horses on local streets in Newport. December 3, 2021
  • The first circus in the United States was in Newport in 1774. December 5, 2021
  • Over half of Rhode Island - the Ocean State - is covered in forest land. December 12, 2021