Tuesday, July 7 - Thursday. August 20

Virtual Learning

Because of the Covid-19 Coronavirus, SAGE Learning in Retirement has found it advantageous to turn to virtual online learning. Since our members are seniors sheltering in place, we have turned to Zoom to continue enjoying our educational program.

When the pandemic crisis ends, hopefully, we will be able return to our two classrooms at St. Andrew and St. Charles Episcopal Church to resume our normal activities: the joy of learning and socializing together.


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

Hot Topics

This is an open-ended class.  Participants can use any qualified source (newspapers, magazines, radio, television, books, etc.) covering the recent political or social scene and historical events with current relevancy.  Issues can be local, national or international.  Controversial topics are welcome as they engender discussion.  Join us if you enjoy lively, stimulating discussions.


Do you have a favorite presentation from past SAGE classes?  Now is a chance for your ENCORE! Pick one and re-share your presentation with your classmates.

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

The History of Gems

People have treasured gems for many reasons throughout history. Some of these reasons include the use of gems as beautiful decorative ornaments, religious symbols, and amulets and good-luck charms. Gems have also been used for barter and medicinal purposes. Some people have even used gems as investments. For others, gems have been used to display wealth, status, and power.  In centuries past, royalty often owned the finest gems. Some of these gems still exist, and their histories are a fascinating mix of fact and legend. Take, for example, the Black Prince’s Ruby and the Timur Ruby. Both are set in the Imperial Crown of the British crown jewels.  Pick a gem and tell us about its impact on history.

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

French Composers

Composers who were born in France or made France their home have made major contributions to music literature. This class will focus on their lives and their music. We will learn what, if anything, is uniquely French in their music and the impact French composers have made on Western music. We all know the impact of French Impressionism in art. Is there a similar style in music? These and other musical matters with be addressed as we focus on such composers as Debussy, Ravel, Berlioz, Alkan, Offenbach, Lalo, Saint-Saëns, Bizet, Fauré, Dukas, and Satie. Pick your favorite composer and share your favorite musical pieces.

Japanese Movies

How well do we understand other cultures?  Do we rely on stereotypes?  Or do we really know enough to pick up on cultural cues, “in” jokes, and political satire?  A kiss on the neck in the U.S. is pretty normal, but it’s explosive and very taboo in Japan.  What about our views on life and death, good and evil, male and female?  How are these concepts viewed in Japan? Some values we consider “universal” may be less important elsewhere.   In the U.S. we admire the “bad boy”, the individualist, the new and all things future.  Let’s take a deep dive into another culture, Japan, and see what their views are as expressed in their films.  Most importantly, how do our similarities and differences affect international relations and person-to-person contact?  Are the Japanese inscrutable or are we?   And what’s with Godzilla, and why do the Japanese love American singers so much?   Hopefully, all will become obvious to the informed observer after we watch Classic Japanese Films.  These examples of great cinema include some that became “classics” in the U.S.  For example, the works of Kurasawa and Mizoguchi. Class participants (individually or in pairs) will present and discuss one of the important films from a list provided by the class coordinator. The coordinator will show each of these films at weekly viewing meetings, which will be in addition to the regular class meetings, where the films will be discussed.


Wednesday 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendahl

The Charterhouse of Parma narrates the adventures of the young noble Italian Fabrizio del Dongo, from his birth in 1798 to his death. Fabrice spent his early years in the family’s castle on Lake Como, while most of the rest of the novel is set in a fictionalized Parma. The book begins with the French army sweep in Milan and (“that” instead of “and”?) stirs the sleepy region of Lombardy, which was allied with Austria. Fabrice grows up surrounded by intrigues and alliances for and against the French.  Available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle. ISBN 9780140449662


Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence by ship or boat-borne attackers upon another ship or a coastal area, typically with the goal of stealing cargo and other valuable items or properties. Those who engage in acts of piracy are called pirates. The earliest documented instances of piracy were in the 14th century BC, and it continues to modern times in various forms and not just by ship.  Witness corporate piracy. Both men and women have been pirates. Participants in the course should present a specific pirate or group of pirates with such information as who they were/are, where they operated, methods used attempts to stop them and economic impact.

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

Academy Award Best Picture Nominees and Winners

Is there an Academy best picture you absolutely loved? Was there a runner up you thought was a much better choice that year and should have gotten the Oscar instead? Let’s watch it in the comfort of our homes, and discuss it together. Will the group agree with you that the Oscar belongs to the movie you chose? We will use either the Netflix or Amazon platforms to watch the movies.

Tour of World’s Greatest Museums
Imagine visiting some of the great museums without leaving your home! You can this summer when participants in this class have the opportunity to virtually visit these museums while the Covid-19 Coronavirus is active. Some possibilities are The National Portrait Gallery in London, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and many more.



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

Howard Zinn’s A Peoples History of the United States

This is not the history you learned in high school.  The New York Times obituary of Howard Zinn in 2010 said this about A People’s History of the United States: “Almost an oddity at first, with a printing of just 4,000 in 1980, it has sold nearly two million copies. To describe it as a revisionist account is to risk understatement.”  Zinn provides a narrative of U.S. history from what was then the unusual perspective of the working poor, of people of color, and of the dispossessed.  In the process, he turns some old villains into heroes and vice versa.  In this class we will read and discuss selected chapters of Zinn’s provocative account.  Available at Amazon in paperback ($16.24) ISBN 978-0062397348 or for Kindle ($14.99) ISBN 0060838655

The Collected Stories of Grace Paley

The collection demonstrates Paley’s rich use of language as well as her extraordinary insight into and compassion for her characters, moving from the hilarious to the tragic and back again. Whether writing about the love (and conflict) between parents and children or between husband and wife, or about the struggles of aging single mothers or disheartened political organizers to make sense of the world, she brings the same unerring ear for the rhythm of life as it is actually lived. Available on Amazon in paperback for $12.19. ISBN 978-0-374-52431-9