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Monday July 2, 2018 -- Thursday August 17, 2018

Monday 12:00-3:15 p.m.

My All-Time Favorite FIlms

We all have a favorite movie. You now have the opportunity to view and discuss it. Each class member will nominate a film, and the class will select six standouts to view and discuss. This class is 3 hours and 15 minutes long. During the first part of the class we will view the film, and in the second part we will discuss it.

Monday 1:15-3:15 p.m.

Waterways of the World: Their Part in History

Throughout history, waterways, both natural and man-made, were the easiest way to travel and transport goods. They also facilitated control of territories, often dictated the culture and economics of the surrounding area, sparked international conflicts as nations sought to control access to them and sometimes had religious significance. For example, the Rhine allowed for travel and commerce through Europe; the Mississippi continued to support transport of goods; the Suez canal had an immediate and dramatic effect on world trade and played an important role in increasing European colonization of Africa and has been at the center of serious international conflicts; The Erie Canal greatly influenced the development of the Eastern part of the United States; and the Jordan and The Ganges rivers have historic and religious significance. This class will explore the importance of waterways in our lives and history.

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

Hot Topics

This is an open-ended class. Presentations can utilize 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 discussion.

California Cities - What's in a Name?

What are the origins of city names? Who established the city or town? Why was the name chosen and did it change over the years? Who were the prominent leaders, the main characteristics and the importance of the city/town in California history? Who were/are noteworthy citizens and their position(s) in the California hierarchy?

Tuesday 1:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Women Vocalists From Bessie Smith to Madonna

America has had many great female vocalists who have topped the charts over the decades. How have singing styles changed over time, and how do they differ between genres? This course will explore the greats such as Barbara Streisand, Lena Horne, and many others.

The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad

Joseph Conrad's short novel The Secret Agent deals with the seamy, sordid world of anarchists in Edwardian England. The year is 1907, and the main characters are Adolf Verloc, a small-time pornographer and part-time secret agent and anarchist, and his long-suffering wife Winnie. The anarchists were the era's terrorists, crude bomb makers who blew themselves up in crowded trains and cozy cafes, as well as attacking political targets. Much of this story concerns a plot to bomb the Greenwich Observatory outside London. This is a Hitchcockian tale of suspense told with unfailing skill and blood-curdling charm.

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

FBI and CIA Directors

The CIA is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the U.S. Government tasked with gathering, processing and analyzing national security information. The FBI is a domestic security service and is the principal law enforcement agency. Over the years over 40 different interesting people have held the position of either FBI or CIA director. Examples are J. Edgar Hoover, the first director of the FBI, and Allen Dulles, the first CIA director. Who has held these positions, how have they influenced the functions of these agencies and how have they impacted our nation and the world?


A photojournalist is someone who photographs, edits, and displays images in order to tell a visual story. They are journalistic professionals skilled at interpreting and communicating an event through a photograph. If a picture can say a thousand words, the trick is finding the right photo. There are a variety of famous photojournalists to choose from. Choose your favorite and share photos and stories with us.

Wednesday 1:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Famous Murders That Shocked the World

Jack the Ripper terrorized London's East End in the 1880s. Charles Manson and his family shocked America in the 1960sÉ and the list goes on. In this class we will discuss murders that shocked the world from the murder of Julius Caesar to the present.

Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

Innocents Abroad is the entertaining account of Twain's trip to Europe and the Holy Land aboard one of the first American steamships to visit the old world in 1867. The book is filled with insights and anecdotes about people in different cultures as well as candid observations of his traveling companions. It is one of the bestselling travelogues of all time. Join us as we discuss Twain's light-hearted but insightful work. Mass Market Paperback. This book is also available on Kindle (ISBN: 3849675297).

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

Gangster Warlords

What is it about Gangster Warlords that make them so captivating? Drugs, unions, gambling, prostitution, racing are all fertile fields for these criminals. What talents and skills are necessary to be a successful gangster warlord? Pick your favorite gangster and tell us how he/she came to be so well known.

The World's Most (In) Famous Prisons

The Tower of London, Devils Island, and Alcatraz--there are many infamous prisons that capture the imagination. Throughout time prisons have been used to incarcerate a variety of people under a variety of conditions. A few became infamous due to their illustrious inmates; their barbaric treatment of prisoners and because of daring escapes that some of their "guests" devised. This course will explore many of the world's most (in) famous prisons, their history, purpose, controversies and future.

Thursday 1:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Bob Dylan: His Music and Poetry

In 2016 Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. His lyrics are rich and subject to a wide variety of interpretations, which should provide the inspiration for lively discussion. Pick your favorite Bob Dylan song and share it with the class. You can address the time in Dylan's life when this song was written and how the song reflects these times, as well as the song's musical and poetic structure. Join us as we explore the musical and poetic legacy of one of America's national treasures.

Our Most Storied Hospitals

Bellevue, Massachusetts General, Walter Reed, Cedars-Sinai and Johns Hopkins are a few of America's premier hospitals. Pick your favorite and tell us its story from its origins to the present. What makes this facility unique and important? Does it occupy a special niche in our health care infrastructure? How did it influence the evolution of medical care over the decades, and what problems did it face as it evolved and grew? In this class we will look at both U.S. and foreign hospitals and hospital systems, such as the Kaiser Permanente, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, H™pital de la Salptrire in Paris, the bombing of hospitals in Syria, and the National Health Service in Great Britain.


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