Spring 2022
Tuesday, April 5- Thursday, May 26, 2022

Virtual Learning

Our new reality now includes the wonderful Zoom classes that allow us to see each other while maintaining distance and keeping safe. Based on our success to date, we may continue to offer some Zoom classes when our normal in-person meetings resume.

We definitely look forward to the joy of learning and socializing together again face to face.

IMPORTANT:  We will be having two of our SPRING classes in-person.  These are:

1.     Native Americans of the Northeast

2.     Biographical Movies


We will be following the CDC guidelines for our in-person classes.  All who take the classes must provide proof of vaccination, there will be no food or drinks in the classroom, and all but the presenter will wear masks.   


Tuesday 9:30 a.m - 11:30 a.m.

Native Americans of the Northeast

 (In Person)

Since studying the Native Americans of the Southwest, it is only logical to study the Native Americans of the Northeast. These tribes are quite different and have different history from the Southwest tribes.

Breaking News, Making News and Shaping Opinion: The Impact of American Journalism 


This course will look at the way individual journalists, news organizations, media companies and the commentariat generally have not only reported the news but shaped politics, public opinion, and our culture.  The topic possibilities are practically endless.  From the Federalist and Republican newspapers of the 1790s, to Frederick Douglas and other abolitionist journalists of the mid-19th century, to the sensationalist “yellow journalism” of the Hearst and Pulitzer newspapers, to the muckraking of the Progressive Era, to Woodward and Bernstein’s coverage of Watergate in The Washington Post, to The New York Times publishing the Pentagon Papers, to Rupert Murdoch and Fox News, and to famous opinion writers like Walter Lippmann, I.F. Stone and many more. class members will do deep dives into specific journalists, news organizations, commentators, or incidents, and talk about impact.

Tuesday 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Climate Change and Migration 


The world is in the midst of the Great Migration Clash, a bitter struggle between those who “want out” of their countries and those who want others to “keep out” of their countries. Much of this is due to changes in climate but there are other reasons such as the treatment of women in Afghanistan. What are the reasons? What can be done?

Wednesday 9:30 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.

Hey, Louis or Lewis or Louie or Louise or Lois 


The class will research and present people with that nomenclature. They were kings, writers, sports players, movers and shakers, musicians, sports figures, comedians, inventors.    Examples include but not limited to:  Kings named Louis, Louis Armstrong, Lou Gehrig, Lewis Carroll, Lou Reed, Lou Diamond Phillips, Louie Anderson, Lou Gossett, Jr., Louis C.K., Lou Rawls, Lewis Black, Louis Prima, Louis Farrakhan, Louis L’Armour, Louis Jourdan, Lou Holtz, Louis Pasteur, Lou Piniella, Louis Jordan, Louis B Mayer, Lou Dobbs, Louis Braille, Louis Morris, Louis Marx, and Louis Brandeis.  Or Louisa May Alcott, Louise Rachel Carson, Louise Fletcher, Mary Louise Brooks, Louise Post, Louise Lasser, Louisa Adams, Lois Smith, Lois Nettleton, Lois Capps, Lois Wyse, and Lois Lenski.

The Silk Road


The Silk Road was a network of interconnecting trade routes that connected the East to the West and visa versa. It went from Venice, Italy to China. It was crucial not just to trade but cultural sharing. In this course, we will learn about the locations used for this commerce. We will explore the political, cultural, religious, economic, and other influences along the way. Why were these hubs chosen? what were the challenges encountered in keeping this trade route functional.  Why was the Silk Road important? How has this route changed over time? Do we have Silk Road(s) today? What purpose do they serve? Why those routes?

Wednesday 12.30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

La Boheme and Porgy and Bess 


The operas for this class will be La Boheme by Puccini and Porgy and Bess by Gershwin.  This will be the fourth consecutive year that we have had an opera class, and these two operas were selected by last year’s class.

La Boheme is the most often performed opera, and
Porgy and Bess is the American opera about poor black people in a South Carolina fishing village.
Wednesday 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Washington: A Life. By Ron Chernow. Part 2 


Part two of our study of Chernow’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, by the same author who wrote Alexander Hamilton. This book has received excellent reviews from the vast majority of readers, and is a fitting capstone to a study of our founding fathers. There are 19 copies available at Los Angeles Public Library. ISBN-13: 978-1594202667

Thursday 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

The Making of the U.S. Constitution


This class will study the people, the struggles and the values that went into the writing of our Constitution.   It has been called the greatest legal document ever written and it is a living document that began in 1887 with the Constitutional Convention.   How was it decided that there should be three branches of government, hence three Articles?   What arguments were raised as each Article was written? Which “Founding Father” supported or opposed the final statements?  Why was it necessary to adapt a Bill of Rights just four years after the Constitution was adopted?

Biographical Movies

(In Person)

Let’s talk about famous or not so famous biographical movies.  Some are current and some go way back.  Examples are Sergeant York, Brave Bulls, Pride of theYankees, Words and Music, Rhapsody in Blue, Julia Julia and dozens more.

Thursday 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

The Brothers Karamazov Part 2 


Because of the length of this book, it will be offered in two sessions. We will also be reading  The Grand Inquisitor (124 pages). The Brothers Karamazov is a murder mystery, a courtroom drama, and an exploration of erotic rivalry in a series of triangular love affairs involving the “wicked and sentimental” Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov and his three sons―the impulsive and sensual Dmitri; the coldly rational Ivan; and the healthy, red-cheeked young novice Alyosha. Through the gripping events of their story, Dostoevsky portrays the whole of Russian life, its social and spiritual striving, in what was both the golden age and a tragic turning point in Russian culture.  We will use the award-winning translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, which remains true to the verbal inventiveness of Dostoevsky’s prose.