Summer 2021
Tuesday, July 6 - Thursday, August 26, 2021

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.


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

Great Trials in History

Throughout history mankind has sought to address transgressions against society, governments or religious institutions by causing the accused to stand trial and be judged by the legal authorities of the day. We will study some of these trials and discuss the reason for the trial, the political and social climate in which they were held, the outcome of the trial and the aftermath.   Was justice done for the accused or society?  Presentations may cover political or criminal trials.  Some examples are the trial of Socrates, Salem Witch trials, Lincoln assassination conspiracy trial, Nuremburg trials, and many more. 

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

Movies about or Enjoying Food

There are a lot of movies about the preparation and enjoyment of food. Some are real classics. Here is a list of some of them: Chef, The Hundred-foot Journey, Julie and Julia, No Reservations, The Chef, Babette’s Feast, Eat Drink Man Woman, Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? Feast, Dinner Rush, The Restaurant, Le Grand Chef, Love’s Kitchen, Chocolat, Tortilla Soup, Today’s Special, Bon Appetit, Cuisine Américaine.  Each week the class will watch two of these movies on their own and then, during class we will discuss them.


The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haight

Why are good people divided by politics and religion? As the U.S. descends deeper into,polarization and paralysis?

Social psychologist Jonathan Haight challenges conventional thinking about morality, politics and religion in a way that speaks to everyone. Drawing on 25 years of groundbreaking research on moral psychology, he shows how moral judgments arise and gives us the key to understanding human cooperation, as well as the curse of our divisions and conflicts.  We will read The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haight and each will present on a selected chapter. ISBN-13: 978-0307455772 $11.39 paperback


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

Country Music

Country Music is an important branch on the tree of American Popular Music, which has its roots in Scots-Irish, Appalachian music and African-American Blues, along with influences from Hawaiian music.  In many ways, Country Music is today’s folk music, telling of the loves, trials and tribulations of working class Americans.  Country Music has a long history, stating with the “Big Bang Country Music” in 1927.  As Country Music evolved over the decades, it took on many forms – Blue Grass, Honky-Tonk, “Countrypolitian,” Outlaw Country, Neo-traditional and many others.  Pick a genre and tell us about the artists that made it popular and what made its sound unique; or, pick an artist. Join us as we explore this unique form of American popular music.


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

Native American Novels: Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine and Tommy Orange’s There There. 

We will read Erdrich’s Love Medicine (REVISED VERSION) that begins her epic series about generations of reservation families in North Dakota and Orange’s more recent novel about urban Native Americans in Oakland, California.  Amazon prices for new books are Love Medicine (ISBN 978-0-178742-3), $14.99 and There There $6.67. Used copies available.

The Amazing Growth of Transportation

How did we get from horse and buggy to rockets to the moon and self-driving cars? Together we will explore the growth of various modes of transportation.  This may include diverse modes of transportation, including elephants, camels, horses, carts, chariots, dugout canoes, cruise ships, trains, automobiles and airplanes.  We can also explore transportation of the future including self-driving cars, and space travel. We can also discuss transportation routes including paths, roads, routes and canals. What personal, cultural and economic effects have resulted from progress in transportation?   

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

My Favorite Trip Part 2

Since we have not been traveling, it might be fun to reminisce about travels past.  Because of popular demand, this is the second iteration of this class. Pick your favorite trip and provide us with a travelogue, sharing your photos and favorite memories of past adventures.  Tell us why you chose this destination, the most and least memorable aspects of the trip, what you learned, and how this trip changed your understanding of the world.

The Portable Hannah Arendt

A collection of writings by a groundbreaking political thinker Hannah Arendt, including excerpts from The Human Condition, The Origins of Totalitarianism and Eichmann in Jerusalem.  She was a Jew born in Germany in the early 20th century, and she studied with the greatest German minds of her day. After the rise of the Nazis, she emigrated to America where she proceeded to write some of the most searching, hard-hitting reflections on the agonizing issues of the time: totalitarianism in both Nazi and Stalinist garb; Zionism and the legacy of the Holocaust; federally mandated school desegregation, civil rights in the United States and the nature of evil. 

ISBN-13: 978- 0142437568 $18.29 paperback Used copies are also available from Amazon.

Thursday 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Gilbert and Sullivan

Gilbert & Sullivan were the lyricist & composer, respectively, who created ten of the most memorable light operas/operettas of all time.  Their works are clever and imaginative satires of British politics and sensibilities that stand the test of time.  And they are full of wonderful, memorable music.  The three best -known shows are the The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance, and H.M.S. Pinafore.  In this course, the three-hour time limit will enable us to hear in class and discuss almost all three.  We will also hear three others that are not so well known: The Gondoliers, The Yeomen of the Guard and Ruddigore.  (Cal appeared in the chorus of three of these shows and brings another level of understanding).  Depending on the number of participants, there may be a small cost (under $15) to purchase copies of the operettas for all to view.  Librettos will be provided at no cost.

My Genealogy. (Where did my family come from?)

Explore: What did we do? What were our religions, customs and traditions? How did these characteristics last through the generations? Tell the story of one of your family characters (Grandma Lilly, Uncle Ned, Cousins Randy and Richard– they were the trouble makers).