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WISE Summer 2020 Courses

This is a summer like no other. We have a terrific offering of summer courses that you can enjoy from wherever you are. You needn't be a WISE member to take these courses.

All of our courses are offered via Zoom. If you're not familiar with Zoom or if you'd like to know more about online life, join our one of our Zoom Coffee Breaks, held every Monday at 10 AM. (You'll need log in as a current or past WISE member or Summer Participant to see the page.)

You can also download the WISE Summer 2020 catalog as a PDF file.

If you have any questions about WISE, send an email to the office staff at wise@assumption.edu

Preview of Fall courses

Summer is just starting and we're already getting ready for the fall. Click here to see a preview of the courses we have planned. 

Courses

    • 06/08/2020
    • (EDT)
    • 06/10/2020
    • (EDT)
    • 3 sessions
    • via Zoom link
    • 5
    Register

    Course Description:  How do you begin to write? You stare at a piece of paper or computer screen, say to yourself: “OK, I can write whatever I want,” and your brain becomes paralyzed as though a steel door came down. This writing workshop will provide a seed to begin writing. Using a prompt, in this case a familiar object, we will engage in two exercises that feed off each other. The first is a straight-forward description. The second is where imagination sets in.

    NO REQUIRED BOOKS: The Instructor will email a packet of materials.

    INSTRUCTOR: Eve Rifkah is the co-founder and artistic director of Poetry Oasis, Inc. and co-editor of the literary journal Diner. She is author of two full length and three chapbooks of poetry and a winner in the 2002-2003 Worcester County Poetry Association contest. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College.

    Course fee:  $27.00

    Zoom Link:  Sent to paid and registered members before the start of course.

    • 06/08/2020
    • (EDT)
    • 06/22/2020
    • (EDT)
    • 5 sessions
    • via Zoom link
    • 68
    Register

    Course Description:  This course will look at the evolution of American wartime diplomacy from the founding of the Republic to the Cold War. In the interest of time we will look at five specific conflicts in order to discern what consistencies exist and how goals have changed over 200 plus years. Conflicts to be discussed include the Revolution, the Civil War, WWI, WWII, and the Cold War and Beyond.

    Required Book: Diplomacy by Henry Kissinger, Simon and Shuster, reprint edition 1995. ISBN 9780671510992.

    INSTRUCTOR: Jed Watters is a former Assumption history professor and retired naval officer. He has taught many courses with WISE

    Course fee:  $45.00

    Zoom Link:  Sent to paid and registered members before the start of course.

    • 06/09/2020
    • (EDT)
    • 06/23/2020
    • (EDT)
    • 5 sessions
    • via Zoom link
    • 10
    Register

    Course Description: We’ll explore the paintings of six key Impressionists who illustrate the varied social status, styles and subject matter of these avant-garde artists. We will begin with the revolutionary work of Edward Manet who was introduced to the Impressionists by Berthe Morisot. Camille Pissarro was a landscape painter who was the only Impressionist to exhibit in all eight Impressionist exhibitions. Edgar Degas, a painter of everyday Parisian life, considered himself a realist amongst the Impressionists. The works of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, a figure painter, and Claude Monet, a landscape painter, became icons of Impressionism.

    NO REQUIRED BOOKS

    INSTRUCTOR: Martha Chiarchiaro has brought history to life through art of the times for more than 30 years. She received her Master’s degree in the History of Art from Williams College and offers a variety of art history lectures at the Worcester Art Museum and local cultural organizations. Her specialty courses related to specific periods, artists and activities provide a more in-depth look at the life and times of the people who are a part of the exploration. Martha’s love of the Impressionists has prompted several trips to France to visit a variety of museums as well as Monet’s gardens at Giverny.

    Course fee:  $45.00

    Zoom Link:  Sent to paid and registered members before the start of course.

    • 06/12/2020
    • (EDT)
    • 07/17/2020
    • (EDT)
    • 5 sessions
    • via Zoom link
    • 64
    Register

    Course Description: Musical theater is often considered light fare and lacking the gravitas of serious subjects dealt with in more dramatic plays. But that can be deceiving. This course will discuss the important social and moral issues raised by many of the great musicals from the Broadway stage, while we will also hear much of the memorable music from these productions. Included in the course will be music and songs from George and Ira Gershwin’s production of “Porgy and Bess”; Rogers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific” and “Carousel”; Bernstein and Sondheim’s “West Side Story”; Lerner and Lowe’s “My Fair Lady”; Andrew Lloyd’ Webber’s “Evita”; Lionel Bart’s “Oliver”; and Lin-Manual Miranda’s “Hamilton”.

    NO REQUIRED BOOKS

    INSTRUCTOR: Joe Corn spent most of his professional career working as an engineer. He has also taught in the NYC school system, Springfield Technical Community College, Penn State University, and worked as a technical instructor for Moore Products. Joe has taught numerous music and technology course for WISE and is a former WISE President.

    Course fee:  $45.00

    Zoom Link:  Sent to paid and registered members before the start of course.

    • 06/16/2020
    • (EDT)
    • 06/18/2020
    • (EDT)
    • 2 sessions
    • via Zoom link
    • 24
    Register

    Course Description:  Through the magic of Zoom, we will examine the life and times of Henry David Thoreau’s 1843 travelogue, A Walk to Wachusett.  An initial classroom meeting to discuss the travelogue will prime us and set the stage. On our virtual field trip we will visit Walden Pond and other cultural locations known to Thoreau, experience the natural landscape as he would have seen it in Bolton and Lancaster, and culminate atop the peak of Mount Wachusett. We will spend some time with the birds, trees and plants mentioned in Thoreau’s essay and consider how the landscape has transformed since his journey and what to expect from climate change. Participants will gain an understanding of the context of the Central Massachusetts landscape in the 1840’s, compare components of the bio-fauna then and now, and come away with a list of interesting places to explore on your own.

    FOR THE FIRST CLASS: Read A Walk to Wachusett, available online at http://monadnock.net/thoreau/wachusett.html

    REQUIRED BOOKS:  A Walk to Wachusett by Henry D. Thoreau in Littleworth, 2001.ISBN:978-1478153948.Henry David Thoreau, Collected Essays and Poems, ISBN: 978-1883011956.

    INSTRUCTOR: Martha Gach is Conservation Coordinator at Mass Audubon’s Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester and also teaches environmental science and climate change at Worcester State University. Her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is from the University of Michigan. Connecting people to landscape and how landscapes change through time have been themes in her career.

    Course fee:  $18.00

    Zoom Link:  Sent to paid and registered members before the start of course.

    • 06/23/2020
    • (EDT)
    • 07/14/2020
    • (EDT)
    • 3 sessions
    • via Zoom link
    • 63
    Register

    Course Description:  It’s summertime and the living is easy. Dust off your flip flops and come join us as we discuss and view intriguing films set in getaway locales both close and remote. Our survey will include films with characters whose exotic excursions, weekend outings, or holiday activities have been detoured or derailed by unexpected developments by cultural differences, personality quirks, and emotional baggage. Participants will view films ahead of time and then discuss at each Zoom class meeting.

    NO REQUIRED BOOKS

    INSTRUCTOR: Jeff Long has taught film studies courses for WISE, Becker College, and elsewhere. He has also reviewed movies for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. He is the author of Remembered Childhoods: A Guide to Autobiography and Memoirs of Childhood and Youth (2007).

    Course fee:  $27.00

    Zoom Link:  Sent to paid and registered members before the start of course.

    • 07/06/2020
    • (EDT)
    • 07/20/2020
    • (EDT)
    • 5 sessions
    • via Zoom link
    • 60
    Register

    Course Description:  Cultural texts like songs offer a unique and vital window into understanding our history. In this course we will use five songs from “The Star Spangled Banner and “John Brown’s Body/The Battle Hymn of the Republic” to “America the Beautiful”, “This Land is Your Land,” and Bruce Springsteen’s “American Skin (41 Shots)” to analyze two centuries of American history.

    NO REQUIRED BOOKS

    INSTRUCTOR:  Ben Railton is Professor of English Studies and American Studies at Fitchburg State University. He is the author of five books, most recently: We the People: The 500-Year Battle over Who is an American. He writes a daily American Studies blog and the biweekly “Considering History” column for the Saturday Evening Post online.

    Course fee:  $45.00

    Zoom Link:  Sent to paid and registered members before the start of course.

    • 07/06/2020
    • (EDT)
    • 07/20/2020
    • (EDT)
    • 5 sessions
    • via Zoom link
    • 77
    Register

    Course Description: The Civil War is a vast subject. We will focus on the life of one Union regiment through the course of the war. The 1st Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery began its recruitment in spring 1861 with most of its members coming from Essex County, MA. The Regiment was deployed to the forts defending Washington DC and afterwards fought in the Battle of Spotsylvania and the Siege of Petersburg. Topics include recruiting bonuses; music of the Civil War; medical treatment; soldiers’ letters home; prisoners of war; and widows’ pensions.

    OPTIONAL BOOK: History of the First Regiment of Heavy Artillery Massachusetts Volunteers, by Alfred Seelye Roe and Charles Nutt. Paperback, April 25, 2010. Available on Amazon and for free at: https://archive.org/details/historyoffirstre00roea/page/n6. Selections from this book as well as articles will be distributed by email.

    INSTRUCTOR: David Nevard is a retired IT professional with a lifelong interest in history. He taught at Osher Lifelong Learning at Brandeis (BOLLI) and with WISE. The Civil War course grew out of a family history project. David’s great-great-grandfather, John Louis Harris, served in the 1st Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery Regiment from 1861 – 1864.

    Course fee:  $45.00

    Zoom Link:  Sent to paid and registered members before the start of course.

    • 07/07/2020
    • (EDT)
    • 07/21/2020
    • (EDT)
    • 5 sessions
    • via Zoom link
    • 80
    Register

    Course Description: This course will address a variety of social, economic and legal issues related to sports in America with a primary emphasis on intercollegiate sports. Topics include the role of athletics in higher education; balancing athletic achievement and academics; NCAA academic policies; sports and the admissions process (including recent college admissions scandal); compensating college athletes; the impact of professional sports draft rules on college athletics; emerging state laws and NCAA policy on student athlete marketing of intellectual property; unionization of college athletes; NCAA enforcement policies and sanctions; the revenue impact of big-time college sports; Title IX and women’s sports equality; and the college football playoff and bowl game structure. We will also examine the issues of gambling in sports; the head injury conundrum; professional sports leagues’ policies and sanctions on player misconduct; and national anthem protests.

    NO REQUIRED BOOKS, readings will be emailed prior to classes.

    INSTRUCTOR: Jack S. Ross, III has taught many courses in the WISE Program focusing on constitutional law and the Supreme Court. He also has a background in sports journalism and is an avid observer of college sports. He holds degrees from Yale University and the University of Virginia School of Law.

    Course fee:  $45.00

    Zoom Link:  Sent to paid and registered members before the start of course.

A Look Ahead

Here's a list of the courses that we're planning for our Fall sessions. All of the courses will be available to WISE members wherever they are. You'll just need a computer, tablet, or smartphone and the Zoom app. 

The full catalog will be available in July and registration will start in early August. Watch for announcements here and via email. 

Some of the courses, noted with an asterisk, were originally scheduled for our Spring D session. WISE members who had registered for those D session courses will be pre-registered for the Fall offering.

Course offerings are subject to change. 

Planned Fall Courses – A Session

Lillian Corti*

The Odyssey con’d from C

Victor Saffrin*

Transcontinental Railroad

Jeff Long*

We Wanted More

Ben Railton*

Of Thee I Sing (or B)

Joe Choiniere

Mosses for Beginners

Rosemary McCarthy*

News Media

Helen Whall*

Antony & Cleopatra

Joe Corn

The Beatles

Gary Shahinian*

The Twilight Zone

Les Blatt/Corn

Climate Change

Bill O’Brien

Mathematical and Economic Models of Elections

Tim Burger*

Flannery O’Connor

Jack Ross

The Law of Pandemics

Martha C

Masters of the Italian Renaissance

Clare O’Connor

Cells (or B)

· Courses from D session

Proposals for B session

Jean Sifleet*

Common Sense

Jed Watters*

American Air Power

Gordon Arnold*

America Imagines the Future

Martha Gach

Geology of Massachusetts

M. Tannenbaum*

Yiddish Short Stories

Lee Morin*

There’s Something Happening Here

Les Blatt

Cookbook of the Stars

J. Corn

Beatles – cont’d

Eve Rifkah

Worcester Poets

Pete Murphy

Asia, Global Trade

David Nevard

The Berlin Wall

K. Hakkarainen

Election 2020

G. Shahinian

The Devil

Tim Burger

Faulkner (no proposal yet)

Aviva Fellman

The Body of an Ethereal God (proposal late)

Jack Ross

Electing a President, the American Way

Martha C

American Painters during our Revolutionary War

· Courses which were scheduled in D session

Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)
Assumption College, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609
wise@assumption.edu
508-767-7513

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