The fourth year of the Lifelong Learning Program kicks off with a reception Thursday, September 10, from 5:30 to 7:30, at the Senior Center.  All are welcome to attend and hear about the exciting fall lineup of courses and meet the instructors. For the first time, Lifelong Learning is offering Great Books, the history of the Mexican American War, the Evolution of Jazz, and the American Short Story.  Courses like the New Yorker Discussion and Controversial Issues are continuing due to their popularity.

Great Decisions Discussion Group will resume February, 2010 with a new study guide. The nearly 400 people who have taken a course rated the experience as outstanding and praised instructors for making the experience both fun and informative.  Many participants also noted that they thrived on the mental stimulation and have made new friends. Registration for the courses will begin at the reception and continue daily at the Senior Center until the course is fully subscribed.  It is also possible to register by mail (send payment and registration form to LifeLong Learning 10 Mayflower St., Duxbury, MA 02332).

Although the courses are held at the Senior Center, everyone, regardless of age, is welcome, including young mothers who need a break from caring for their children, and those who have a morning available to broaden their horizons. Because, the program depends on the talents and expertise of volunteers, the cost of each course to kept to $25.  All material or textbook costs are the responsibility of the participant.  Payment must be received in order to reserve your place in a course.  The courses depend on participation by all enrollees and therefore it is suggested that people sign up for courses they will be able to attend. Please make checks payable to Town of Duxbury.

Reading Short Stories
Facilitator: Helene DiBona
Monday 10 AM – 11:30 AM
September 21 through October 12
We will read selected short stories in an effort to reach a fuller understanding of the mechanics and meanings of each piece.  The format is class discussion.  Text: “The Best American Short Stories of 2008” (Houghton Mifflin, $14). Prof DiBona, PhD, was previously a professor of literature at the University of North Carolina and also taught English and comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley.  She was also a Fellow at Harvard.  

Reading Shakespeare’s Plays
Facilitator:  Carrie Meier
Monday 11:00-12:30 PM
October 19 through November 30 (no class Nov. 2) Reading Richard II.  We will read and discuss the play at the end of each scene.  Material will be available for historical background and literary value, and to encourage questions.  Paperback text (Folyer edition) is available from Westwinds Book Shop.Carrie Meier taught five semesters of poetry at the Senior Center and four courses on Shakespeare.  She was a teacher for 25 years and majored in creative writing.  

Introduction to Great Books –First Series
Facilitator: Suzanne Smith
Tuesday: 10:30 AM -Noon
September 29 through November 3
This course will follow Great Books guidelines for shared inquiry in considering several short classic texts, each to be read before class.  Selections include Chekov and Conrad, as well as excerpts from such notables as Freud and Thucydides.  Come experience the rewards of careful reading in good company.  Anthology is available for $13.95 (plus shipping). Suzanne Smith, once-upon-a-time English teacher in Hingham, still relishes talking about books with others who enjoy the serious sport of reading.  She has been a Great Book reader for 15 years.


Cultural Clashes in the New Yorker Discussion
Facilitators: Nancy Melia and Friends
Wednesday 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
September 23 through November 18
There’s something for everyone in these free-wheeling, lively discussions based on assigned readings of the weekly New Yorker magazine.  The subjects may be political, scientific, cultural or literary—not to mention the fiction and cartoon selections.  Discounted subscriptions are available.  Registrations accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.


The Mexican American War
Facilitator: Patrick Browne
Thursday 10:00-11:30 AM
October 1 through November 19
This class will explore the causes of the Mexican conflict which established a new manifest destiny and led to the emergence of national figures who would play prominent roles in the Civil War.  Patrick Browne is executive director of the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society and an historian.  His classes are always well subscribed.

The Evolution of Jazz Music
Facilitator: Charles Cassara
Friday 10:00 -11:30 AM
October 2 through November 13
An overview of jazz history--from its roots in blues through the various genres of the art form.  We’ll focus on both the instrumental and vocal styles from the 1900’s to today.  The genres covered will be ragtime, Dixieland, swing big bands, bebop, cool, progressive, free form, and fusion. Prof. Cassara teaches at Berklee College of Music, and is a performer, composer, musical director and author.  His Introduction to Jazz, a Saturday series course, was very well received.

Pros and Cons Voting State Politics
Facilitator:  Rep. Daniel Webster
Friday 9:00 – 10:00 AM
September 25 through October 23
Illegal immigrants or undocumented guests?  Pension for public employees-deserved or boondoggle?  Swim toward economic recovery—or bail out the sinking boat?  Where do you stand?  After hearing and discussing the facts on these and other hot topics, will your final vote be swayed?  You might be surprised.

The semester was planned by the LifeLong Learning Committee: Marcy Bravo, chairman; William Campbell, Carolyn Houseman, Eleanor McGonagle, Dr. Shirley Oktay, Pamela Campbell Smith, Myrna Walsh, Bev Walters,  Joanne Moore and Linda Hayes represent the Council on Aging on the committee.   For more information or to register, please call Linda Hayes (781 934-5774).