Adventures in Lifelong Learning


Given the increased health risk from COVID-19 for people aged 60 and above, the Adventures in Lifelong Learning program will continue to provide remote courses, using Zoom video and audio conferencing technology, in spring 2021. Courses are provided free-of-charge, or for a voluntary donation, and may be accessed via land line phone, cell phone, laptop, desktop, or tablet.

Spring 2021 classes take place on Tuesdays, April 6, 13, 20 and 27. 
Online registration opens on Monday, March 8, 2021 at 11:00am. 


9:00 am – 10:30 am

Course 101     
Dickens' Little Dorrit: “Shades of the Prison House”     
Dr. Helen Heineman

Last year marked the 150th anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens.  He has been called “England’s greatest novelist,” as well as “the most popular novelist who ever lived,” a combination which is the rarest of his achievements. Little Dorrit, one of the great novels of Dickens’ last period, still speaks to issues of our own time: imprisonment, whether physical or psychological, solitude, and the whole machinery of government. Its dominant symbol is the prison, both as experience and metaphor.  Divided into two books, “Poverty’ and “Riches,” the novel explores these two modes of existence while following the interconnected lives of a large cast of vividly drawn characters. Its other dominant subject is the family, whose relationships, in the modern world, have become inverted or distorted. The novel was to be his single most ferocious attack against English society. Controversial in its time, George Bernard Shaw described it as “a more seditious book than Das Kapital.” 

Dr. Heineman will be referring to the Penguin Classics edition of the book; all editions are acceptable.  Please read chapters 1 – 18 prior to the first class meeting.

Course 102     
Personal Responsibility and Civic Engagement in an Age of Post COVID-19  
Rev. Dr. J. Anthony LLoyd

We will explore what our leadership should be in that we impact the community around us in a new world. Attention will be given to self-reflection, self-care, leadership style and roles, dynamics of listening, essential leadership qualities and development of a personal mission statement that can be transformative for our families and community.  Topics such as ethics in relationships, community involvement, assessment of self and the contexts we find ourselves in will be examined and discussed.

10:40 am – 12:00 pm

Course 103     
Is the Party Over? A Look at the Future of the Republican and Democratic Parties     
Dr. David Smailes

The recent presidential election, the attack on the Capitol building and the fragile new Democratic majority in Congress make this an ideal time to think about the two major political parties and where they are heading in the future.  In this class, we will discuss where the parties came from, how they have become the Democratic and Republican party we see today, and where each party may be heading in the near future under a Biden administration.  What will happen to the Republican party in a post-Trump period?  Will the Democrats be able to govern effectively? We will assess the divisions within each party and discuss the possibility of new, third parties emerging as a result.

1:15 pm – 2:45 pm

Course 104 
An Academic Analysis of Islam  
Dr. Yaser Najjar

The course focuses on introductory information about Islam and its spatial and historical growth and distribution. Special emphasis will be on the importance of learning about Islam and Muslims; basic facts about Islam and the Qur'an; main traditional branches of Islam; and major misconceptions about Islam and Muslims.

Course 105 
The Equal Rights Amendment: 1920 – 2020  
Atty. Barbara Berenson

This course will consider the century-long effort to add an Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution. We will explore the campaigns for -- and the opposition to -- the ERA during the 1920s, 1960s - 1970s, and today. Few people today are aware that a bitter debate over the ERA began immediately after women were enfranchised. We will explore the ERA campaign during the 1960s and 1970s – and discuss figures including Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, and Shirley Chisholm. Throughout, we will discuss the historical connections between the women who opposed suffrage and those, like Phyllis Schlafly, who oppose(d) the ERA. We will also assess and predict the fate of the ERA under President Biden.

This course is in part based on Barbara Berenson’s research for her next book, which will examine the public lives of some former suffragists during the 1920s.