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WISE Spring 2024

Join us with a new season of engaging courses. A PDF version of the WISE Spring 2024 Catalog is available here

Need help learning Zoom? WISE offers instruction, assistance, and support during our WISE Office Hours every Monday at 1:30 PM (except for holidays). 

All Zoom courses are recorded, so if you miss a class you can catch up. Our online Member Resources provides easy access to recordings for up to 30 days after each class session. 

You can also see some of our recent course offerings on the Past WISE Courses page.

Courses

    • 02/05/2024
    • 03/04/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • Zoom only
    Register

    Jazz History 3 picks up chronologically from where Jazz History 2 concludes, generally speaking around the big band-swing era of the 1930s. This section of Jazz History covers the rise of the large jazz orchestra instrumentation, the dance crazes and popular songs that characterized the era, the musicians and bands that rose to fame (such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw), and the historical events of the time period (such as the Great Depression and World War II).

    Recommended Reading: Jazz: Essential Listening (2nd Edition), Scott Deveaux, Gary Giddins

    Paul Buono is a pianist, educator, and attorney. He is a professor of music at Assumption University and directs the Assumption University Jazz Band.  He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in jazz performance as well as a law degree. Paul has international touring experience as a keyboardist on the Maroon 5 “OverExposed” World Tour, as a sideman with “The Voice” Season 1 winner Javier Colon, and as a musical director for Princess Cruises. Paul teaches online through his private piano studio and performs regularly throughout New England as a pianist and musical director.

    • 02/05/2024
    • 03/04/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • Zoom only
    Register
    Many people are familiar with the “big 3” Gilbert and Sullivan operettas: HMS Pinafore, Pirates of Penzance, and The Mikado. This course will acquaint you with several of the lesser-known – and just as marvelous - works of this famous Victorian duo.

    Victor Saffrin has a BA in Theater from SUNY Albany. His first job in NYC was as Master Electrician for the Light Opera of Manhattan (LOOM), the only year-round operetta company dedicated to the works of Gilbert and Sullivan and eventually other composers. At LOOM, he met his wife-to-be who was the company costumer. 

    • 02/06/2024
    • 03/05/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • Zoom only
    Register

    Women painters have faced numerous challenges throughout the centuries. We’ll explore these challenges, as well as the successes, in light of their relationship with the men in their lives. From the 17th through the 20th centuries, we’ll examine the personal and professional lives of Judith Leyster, Rachel Ruysch, Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Elizabeth Siddal, Laura Alma-Tadema, Elizabeth Jane Gardner, Emily Sargent, Camille Claudel, Georgia O’Keeffe, Sonia Delaunay, Marguerite Zorach, Frida Kahlo, Jo Hopper, Lee Krasner, and Helen Frankenthaler.  How were each of these women uniquely impacted by the men in their lives?

    Martha Chiarchiaro has brought art history to life for more than 30 years. She received her master’s degree in the history of art from Williams College and has taught a variety of classes at the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester State University, WISE, and other cultural organizations. Martha has always been fascinated by the relationships between male and female artists through the centuries.
    • 02/06/2024
    • 03/05/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • Zoom only
    Register

    Like George Sand, Colette emerged from a relatively happy childhood on an idyllic country estate to become the most famous writer of her day, but literary success saved neither woman from episodes of financial distress.  Unlike Sand, however, Colette was known for idiosyncratic responses to such crises, for example, at one point, performing as an erotic dancer.  In her long, prolific career, she explored the experience of modern womanhood from childhood through various stages of maturity.  In this course, we will read two short works written in her later years, Gigi and Julie de Carneilhan.

    Required Reading:  Gigi, Julie de Carneilhan & Chance Acquaintances trans. Roger Stenhouse & Patrick Leigh Fermor, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2001

    Optional but recommended: Secrets of the Flesh: a Life of Colette by Judith Thurman, Ballantine Books, 2000

    Lillian Corti obtained her doctorate from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and went on to teach Italian, French, World Literature, Comparative Drama and Women’s Literature at various institutions including the Foreign Language Institute in New York, Tulsa University, the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and the Athens Center in Greece. Among her publications are essays on Pierre Corneille Racine, Mariama Ba and Maryse Conde’ as well as translations of novels by Emmanuel Dongala and Helene Dworzan.

    • 02/06/2024
    • 03/05/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • Zoom only
    Register

    The Nuremberg trials were held between 20 November 1945 and 1 October 1946, by the International Military Tribunal of the United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and France, against representatives of the defeated Nazi Germany.  Twenty-one of the most important surviving leaders of Nazi Germany were accused of at least one of the following: conspiracy, crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

    The trials defined for future generations what war crimes and crimes against humanity were. The so-called Nuremberg Defense – “I was only following orders” – was ruled to be no defense at all.

    This course will feature Robert H. Jackson, the US Supreme Court Justice who was lead prosecutor at Nuremberg, and Dr. Gustave Gilbert, an American who was prison psychologist at Nuremberg, and his conversations with the defendants in their cells.  

    Optional readings:

    • 1.     Nuremberg Diary, Paperback – August 22, 1995, ISBN-13: ‎978-0274793921, by Gustave Gibert
    • 2.     Tyranny on Trial: The Trial of the Major German War Criminals at the End of the World War II at Nuremberg Germany 1945-1946 (Revised Edition) Paperback – September 1, 1999, ISBN-13 : 978-0870744372 by Whitney Harris

    David Nevard grew up in suburban Boston and has always been fascinated by history – especially World War II and the postwar era. He attended UMass-Amherst and worked as an IT professional for over 30 years. Since retirement, David has been an instructor at WISE and other area lifelong learning programs. 

    • 02/07/2024
    • 03/06/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • Zoom only
    Register

    “I was eager to document my experience of being a black woman artist – that seems as important to me as breathing.” We Flew over the Bridge: The Memoirs of Faith Ringgold

    Faith Ringgold is an American artist, writer, educator, and activist.  This course will explore the life and work of Ringgold from the 1960s through today.  Beginning in the 1960s, we will examine the figurative paintings of her experience as a Black woman artist in America, focusing on her American People Series and its signature work “Die,” as well as her activist work to protest the exclusion of Black artists from the major museums of New York.  We will then examine her work of the 1970s drawing on African masks and craft traditions, including soft sculptures used in performances across the country.   This will lead into our examination of Ringgold experimentation with quilt making in the 1980s to create her signature medium of the “story quilt.” Drawing on her story quilt “Tar Beach,” we will review Ringgold’s contribution to children’s literature where she explains the hard facts of slavery and racial prejudice, issues she feels, while difficult, are crucial to the education of all children. 

    Finally, we will explore The French Collection, a group of twelve story quilts with a semi-autobiographical narrative of a Black woman artist and her encounters with modern art and society in Paris.  The French Collection story is a remaking of history, placing women and African American artists and leaders at the salon of Gertrude Stein, the studios of Picasso, and the cafes of Paris.  The bright colors and playful themes draw our attention to the quilts, yet a more careful analysis of the images and their descriptive text discloses a deeper message of social injustice.

    Focusing on both the narratives painted and the narrative of the artist’s life, I will examine Faith Ringgold’s use of images and text to tell the unfolding story of African American history and life in the 20th Century.  The last class on May 6 will be held at the Worcester Art Museum for their Ringgold tour.

    Required Reading:   Ringgold, Faith.  We Flew over the Bridge: The Memoirs of Faith Ringgold.  Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005.  ISBN 0 8223 3564 6

    Optional Rading:  Faith Ringgold: American People.  Edited by Massimiliano Gioni and Gary Carrion-Murayari.  New York: Phaidon Press and The New Museum, 2022.  ISBN 978 1 83866

    Martha Barry McKenna is a University Professor Emerita at Lesley University where she taught courses in the arts, creativity and aesthetic education. She is co-editor with Gene Diaz of Teaching for Aesthetic Experience: The Art of Learning (Lang Publishers, 2004 and 2010) and Preparing Educators for Arts Integration: Placing Creativity at the Center of Learning (Teachers College Press, 2017).   She is a Fulbright Scholar Specialist in Creativity and the Arts in Education.  Dr. McKenna holds a doctorate in Music, the Arts, and Humanities from Teachers College, Columbia University. While a Visiting Scholar at the American University of Paris in 2012, she pursued research and presented at the Narrative Matters Conference in Paris which focused on Faith Ringgold, among other American artists in Paris, entitled “Narrative Inquiry as an Approach to Aesthetic Experience: Life Stories in Perceiving and Responding to Works of Art.”  She also presented at the Narrative Matters Conference at the University of Twente in The Netherlands in July, 2018 on “Faith Ringgold’s The French Collection: A Narrative of an American in Paris.”  

    • 02/07/2024
    • 03/13/2024
    • 6 sessions
    • Zoom only
    Register

    Have you ever seen a bird and wondered what it was? Have you been trying to figure out who was singing outside?  If so, this class is for you. Through interactive presentations, we will learn about typical New England backyard birds, their songs, behavior, feeding preferences and seasonal activity.  Learn methods to strengthen your identification and observation skills for appreciating those wild, winged visitors even more. Topics include identification, birdsong, feeding birds, migration and other survival strategies, and of course, conservation.

    Sheryl Pereira is Mass Audubon’s Birding Instructor and Visitor Services Coordinator at Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Worcester. She is a longtime birdwatcher and keeps the sanctuary feeders well-stocked. When not birding or managing the reception desk, Sheryl can usually be found teaching her granddaughters about the out-of-doors. Sheryl’s favorite bird is the cardinal.  

    • 02/08/2024
    • 03/07/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • Zoom only
    Register

    “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” This is, perhaps, the most famous line in all of Mary Oliver’s poetry. Now, five years after her death, we’ll explore some of what made her own life “wild and precious.” Through writings, interviews and poetry readings from and about Oliver, we’ll explore the experiences and people that shaped her work: nature, books, inspiring writers, (St. Vincent Millay, Emerson, Wordsworth, Rumi), her beloved partner, Molly Malone Cook, and, of course, her irrepressible dog Percy. This course takes a broad look at Oliver’s work and does not repeat “Mary Oliver’s Search for God,” offered in Spring 2020; it can be enjoyed with or without the previous course.

    Kathleen Fisher has taught several WISE courses arising from her study of and fondness for Irish history, medieval monks, and contemporary poetry. She holds a Ph.D. in Medieval History and Religion from Boston University and recently retired from a long teaching career in Theology at Assumption University. Long a fan of Mary Oliver, Kathleen began studying and writing about her work six years ago and taught a WISE course in 2020 on the faith and spirituality of her poetry. Kathleen now lives in Chapel Hill, NC, where you’ll often find her happily lost among the stacks of one of the local libraries.
    • 02/08/2024
    • 03/14/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • Zoom only
    Register

    Basketball is the most widely played indoor sport in the world. It has displaced baseball as America’s spectator past-time, judged by average attendance and viewership. How did that happen? While

    professional and college basketball draws much public attention, there is a whole other world of pick-up basketball, which has emerged spontaneously in countless gyms and outdoor hoops around the world, engaging millions of people from pre-teens to seniors. The two realms of basketball, formal and informal, are very different – as are the worlds of men’s and women’s basketball; black and white hoops; American and European style (defined by FIBA rules). And then there’s wheelchair basketball.


    Basketball in each of these venues is played by different rules. The differences in rules, values, and organizing principles among them reflect differences in the wider culture that are worth talking about

    and which help us understand the role of sports in America and globally.

    Rick Hendra is a long-time hoopster, playing 4 or 5 times a week until his 60’s at gyms and courts throughout Queens and Worcester Counties. He’s watched almost every game the Celtics have played on TV since 1981. He saw Kareem Abdul Jabbar play for Power Memorial High School and had his pen stolen as a kid by Meadowlark Lemon, star of the Harlem Globetrotters, at Madison Square Garden. He is proud to have once blocked Jack “The Shot” Foley’s jumper. He’s coached recreational and competitive level youth basketball, trained and certified youth coaches, and was president for many years of Quabbin Youth Basketball, a 5-town instructional/recreational league based in Barre. He wrote the By-Laws and served as first President of Oakham Senior Basketball. Oh – and he taught Organization Theory for many years at UMass, and several roots music history courses for WISE.

    • 02/08/2024
    • 03/07/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • Zoom only
    Register

    This course will look at Shakespeare’s dramatic response to a new concept evolving in late 16th century England: romantic love. The concept of choosing one’s life-mate rather than having that relationship “arranged” was new in Shakespeare’s England. Not only did he comment on that fashion but he also helped advance the notion of romantic love both then and down through the ages. We will begin this course by looking closely at ten of his sonnets, then shift to a play written about the same time: A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We will conclude by examining one of his most sophisticated romantic comedies, Twelfth Night.  The Hanover Repertory Company will stage Twelfth Night in April so participants may feel well-prepared to see the text come to life on stage.

    Required Reading:  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0743477545, and

    Twelfth Night , ASIN: B002B7ACDK

    Helen Whall - After finishing her Ph.D. at Yale University, Helen joined the faculty at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. There she taught Shakespeare and the Renaissance as well as modern drama, frequently writing on both subjects.  Since retiring in 2017, Helen has offered several courses for WISE.
    • 02/09/2024
    • 03/08/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • Zoom only
    Register

    An update of energy use and energy sources and how these have changed over the last five years. A look at the solar, wind, and battery development and installations. A discussion of the development of renewables. A summing up with a look at new technology and a prediction for the energy future.

    Pete Murphy retired from teaching Management in the Business Studies Department at Assumption College in August of 2011. He came to Assumption after a long career in the international energy industry managing a variety of business and technical organizations. He continues to consult in the energy and venture capital.

    • 02/12/2024
    • 03/11/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • Zoom only
    Register

    In this power-point series we’ll examine the global confrontation between the USA and the USSR—a standoff which defined the Cold War and shaped the 20th century. In part 1, we’ll explore the origins of the Cold War. Each of the next three parts will cover a 10-to-20 year period. In the fifth and final part we’ll examine the current state of the world and answer the question, “Is the Cold War really over?” 

    Optional Reading:  The Cold War by John Lewis Gaddis

    Rick Tulipano has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Massachusetts, as well as a master’s degree in education with a focus on Cold War studies.
    • 03/18/2024
    • 04/15/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • Zoom only
    Register

    Jazz History 4 picks up chronologically from where Jazz History 3 concludes, generally speaking around the Modern Jazz era. This section of Jazz History covers the rise of individual soloists and jazz artists, the bebop, hard bop, and cool jazz styles, jazz composition, the political and sociological events of the time (such as the emergence of overseas jazz performances and celebrity status, technological innovations, and the beginnings of the Civil Rights era), and the legacies of two of the greatest jazz artists - Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

    Recommended Reading: Jazz: Essential Listening (2nd Edition), Scott Deveaux, Gary Giddins

    Paul Buono is a pianist, educator, and attorney. He is a professor of music at Assumption University and directs the Assumption University Jazz Band.  He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in jazz performance as well as a law degree. Paul has international touring experience as a keyboardist on the Maroon 5 “OverExposed” World Tour, as a sideman with “The Voice” Season 1 winner Javier Colon, and as a musical director for Princess Cruises. Paul teaches online through his private piano studio and performs regularly throughout New England as a pianist and musical director.

    • 03/25/2024
    • 05/06/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • In Person - Library, Congregation Beth Israel (15 Jamesbury Drive, Worcester)
    Register

    There is an often used expression “two Jews, three opinions.” And although Jews often employ it jokingly, even mockingly, most of us believe that it contains a kernel of truth. Now if two Jews have three opinions, then one of those two Jews has two opinions. Can one person hold two opinions concurrently? Apparently, they can, and if they are a Jew, they often do!  In this course, we will look at the diversity of Judaism and why this might be true. We will also spend a significant amount of time looking at Jewish texts on discourse and the importance of being able to have a relationship with those who hold different views than us.

    Rabbi Aviva Fellman is the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel in Worcester, MA. She holds a BA in Religious Studies from the University of Pittsburgh and earned her Master’s in Talmud and Jewish Law from Machon Schechter in Jerusalem. Rabbi Fellman was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in NYC in 2012.
    • 03/25/2024
    • 04/22/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • In Person - Kennedy 112 at Assumption University
    • 38
    Register

    This cultural anthropology course will introduce students to how anthropologists think by asking them to consider the deep connections between food and power in a variety of societies worldwide. At issue: how do food systems interact with social hierarchies, religion, gender, personal and group identities? How does food work as a language? What happens in indigenous communities as food production and consumption becomes industrialized? Why is a food justice perspective a useful one, ethically? We’ll read anthropology essays and one ethnography (an anthropological study based on ethnographic fieldwork) – physician/anthropologist Seth Holmes’ prizewinning “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States.” The course will ask you to rethink food in general and your own food choices in a social science framework.

    Susan Rogers is an Emerita Prof. (Holy Cross) and is a cultural anthropologist studying the politics of art and literature in Indonesia and Malaysia. Among her favorite courses at Holy Cross: “Food, Body, Power,” with an emphasis on non-Western cultures. Her 1978 anthropology Ph.D. is from the University of Chicago. Current research: refugee resettlement, Worcester.
    • 03/25/2024
    • 04/22/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • Zoom only
    Register

    We explore the history and music of The Beatles in a 5-part series which incorporates lecture, audio, and video. The course begins with an examination of the time before the British Invasion, and the onset of Beatlemania. We follow the group through the 1960s, album by album, as they progress stylistically, add new sounds, technologies, and maturlyrical ideas. Ultimately, they become more independent of each other and finally break apart. Participation is encouraged with discussions, polls, etc. There are suggested readingfor enrichment and playlists accompanying each session.

    Optional Reading: Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles, Revised Edition, Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (Kindle or Paperback)

    Gene Shwalb graduated from Oberlin Conservatory of music where he studied piano and cello. He received his M.Ed. from UMass Boston in online learning design and is currently their Principal Learning Designer.  He edits the Music Museum of New England website: MMONE.org. Gene recently returned from a Beatles tour of Liverpool and London sponsored by the Fab 4 Masterclass. He is also proficient on synthesizer, bass, and guitar.
    • 03/26/2024
    • 04/23/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • Zoom only

    The rich visual and material histories of the Islamic peoples encompass many cultures and regions as diverse as Spain, Africa, the Middle East. Central Asia and the Americas. This introductory course selectively explores Islamic art and architecture from the lifetime of The Prophet Muhammad (d. 632) until ca. 1800. This course will feature architectural sites, including major mosques, and the signficance of the manuscripts, especially the Qur’an (Koran). We will also discuss the disinclination towards the representation of figural art (aniconic art) that has fostered the development of superb calligraphy, arabesques and geometric art forms and, at times, has resulted in iconoclasm.

    Optional Reading:   Islamic Arts by Bloom, J. and Blair, S. Phaidon Press (buy used)   

    Dr. Barbara Beall is a Professor Emerita and former Chair of the Department of Art, Music and Theater at Assumption College. As a Visiting Professor at Clark University, she taught African as well as Islamic Art and Architecture. She completed her doctorate at Brown University in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture and her publications in Art History include articles, reviews and the book, Understanding the Art Museum.
    • 03/26/2024
    • 04/30/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • In Person - Kennedy 112 at Assumption University
    • 36
    Register

    This course will suggest a framework for thinking about the current polarized views on educational topics. Starting with the proposition that discussions can be non-adversarial and productive, we will discuss learning theories; the value of standardized tests; the effectiveness of charter schools; inclusion of race and gender topics in classroom discussions; and the extraordinary cost of a college education. 

    Optional Reading:  Charter Schools and their Enemies by Thomas Sowell Basic Books, 2020 

    Susan Starr’s teaching experience includes classroom teaching; 20 years at Clark University teaching undergrads & grad students to teach elementary students; 20 years at UMass Med School teaching educational strategies to doctors who teach medical students and residents.  Currently, she helps high achieving, low income (HALI) international students navigate the process of applying to college and succeeding once enrolled.  Her areas of interest include learning preferences, urban education and college counseling.
    • 03/26/2024
    • 04/23/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • In Person - Kennedy 112 at Assumption University
    • 33
    Register

    From the beginning, mankind has sought to harness the powers of nature. Over the centuries, humans did this empirically by breeding animals and plants for desirable traits. The discovery of DNA’s structure in 1953 revolutionized the search. Over the next century, scientists developed tools that could be used to improve the human condition, from laboratory-produced enzymes and vaccines to new gene editing tools that could prove transformational in medicine and agriculture. We’ll discuss the history of this genetic revolution as well as the challenges ahead. No previous experience in biology is required!

    Clare O’Connor is a cell biologist who received her Ph.D. from Purdue and did postdoctoral research at UCLA and Caltech. She moved to Shrewsbury in 1984 and led a lab at the former Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology before joining the Biology Department at Boston College in 1995. She taught both introductory and advanced courses in genetics and molecular cell biology before retiring from BC in 2017.
    • 03/27/2024
    • 04/24/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • Zoom only
    Register

    Flowers have been an inspiration to artists for centuries. We’ll explore the changes in artistic style for more than four centuries: from the nature paintings of the Renaissance to the abstraction of the 21st century. We’ll examine the exquisite floral paintings Dutch artists of the 17th century and the importance of floral paintings in the 18th century during the reign of Marie Antoinette and George III. Floral paintings from the 19th century will be illustrated in works by Delacroix, Fantin-Latour, Cassatt, Morisot, and Van Gogh. The floral paintings of or by Georgia O’Keeffe and Joan Mitchell reflect modernism of the 20th century.

    Martha Chiarchiaro has brought art history to life for more than 30 years. She received her master’s degree in the history of art from Williams College and has taught a variety of classes at the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester State University, WISE, and other cultural organizations. Martha has always been fascinated by the relationships between male and female artists through the centuries.
    • 03/28/2024
    • 04/25/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • In Person - Public Parks in Worcester (outside)
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    This class will bring you outside to encounter birds through the seasons, from late winter to spring. Each week will showcase a prime birding spot in and around Worcester, where we will explore different habitats and build our ‘bird list’ over time. We will walk at an easy pace, looking and listening for birds, then stopping to observe their behaviors. Expect to encounter familiar chickadees and woodpeckers, mark the first Eastern Phoebes, and experience the early weeks of migrating spring warblers. Participants may enjoy the Session C course “Introduction to Birds and Birding”, but it is not a prerequisite.

    Dr. Martha Gach is Regional Education Manager and Conservation Coordinator at Mass Audubon, leads classes on birds, insects, climate change, landscape history, and many other topics, and helps restore and protect urban greenspaces including the pollinator and wildlife landscapes of Broad Meadow Brook.
    • 03/28/2024
    • 04/25/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • In Person - Kennedy 112 at Assumption University
    • 26
    Register

    Since bursting on the scene in the 1970’s, the great song writer and artist Billy Joel has been known as the “Piano Man”, and the song of that name from his first album has been his signature song ever since.  Not to be overlooked, there have been a number of other great songwriters and artists whose principal instrument has been the piano – notably Elton John, Barry Manilow, Jackson Browne, and Ray Charles.  This course will feature many of the great musical compositions and performances of these wonderful talents who have enriched our lives so much with their music.  One artist will be featured each week throughout this 5-week course.

    Joe Corn spent most of his professional career as an engineer. He has taught in the NYC school system, Springfield Technical Community College and Penn State University, and worked as a technical instructor for Moore Products Co. Since joining WISE in 2010, Joe has presented both music and technical courses and is also a past President of WISE.
    • 03/28/2024
    • 04/25/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • In Person - Kennedy 112 at Assumption University
    • 28
    Register

    The term “the law of war” might seem an oxymoron. Are there any meaningful legal constraints on warfare? Or is all fair in love and war? This course will examine the central principles of international humanitarian law, which has developed over centuries through custom, treaties, judicial proclamations and international conventions. One scholar has called the law of war “a collection of international prescriptions on the conduct of war and the protection of victims of combat.” We will first examine the historical and philosophical underpinnings of the law of war, then address the evolution and application of international humanitarian law focusing on the Hague and Geneva Conventions and other protocols. We will also examine how the law of war is enforced and look at a number of case studies, including the Russia-Ukraine war and the Israel-Hamas war. 

    John S. Ross, III (Jack) holds degrees from Yale University and the University of Virginia School of Law. He served as Adjunct Professor of Law at Washington & Lee University and has taught numerous courses in the WISE program with a focus on constitutional law and the Supreme Court.  Jack also facilitates the WISE Special Interest Group focused on discussing Supreme Court case decisions.
    • 04/03/2024
    • 05/01/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • In Person - Kennedy 112 at Assumption University
    • 51
    Register

    The bicycle, human powered transportation, is a great invention.  “Across the world, more people travel by bicycle than any other form of transportation.”  We’ll discuss the history of its invention, and related inventions such as aviation. (The Wright Brothers were bicycle mechanics and applied learnings from bicycles to create flying machines.) We’ll explore the mystery and images of flying bicycles in literature, novels and science fiction.   Remember “ET”?  We’ll learn about Worcester’s famous cyclist, Major Taylor. We’ll discuss the role of bicycles in women’s emancipation.   Looking forward, what can we expect in the 21st century as bicycles become an emblem of sustainability (green machines) in the era of climate change.

    Jean Sifleet is a retired business attorney and CPA. Jean is an avid cyclist and recently helped to co-found a new bicycling club called the Central Mass Senior Wheelers.  She has taught several courses for WISE and enjoys learning about the subject matter of the courses and from the participants’ experiences.
    • 04/05/2024
    • 05/03/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • In Person - Worcester Art Museum
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    The course will consist of a series of gallery

    talks covering most of the collections of the

    Worcester Art Museum.  The course is designed

    for members who want a broad introduction to the museum.


    Course limited to 20 attendees.

    Paul Mahon is a professor Emeritus at Assumption University and is a Worcester Art Museum docent.  He collects Chinese and Japanese decorative arts and has had pieces from his collection shown at WAM.

    • 04/05/2024
    • 05/03/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • In Person - Kennedy 119 at Assumption University
    • 41
    Register

    In Humor 101, we will delve into the types, history, and characters of comedy. We will  deep-dive into slapstick, dark, stand-up, surreal, improvisational, topical, and observational humor with the likes of Buster Keaton, Lucille Ball, Henny Youngman, Monty Python, George Carlin, Richard Pryor as well as modern comics like Jerry Seinfeld and Worcester’s Orlando Baxter.  Homework will involve researching a type of humor that makes you laugh.  The goal is an appreciation of all types of humor.

    Joe Fusco has been a Worcester humorist/poet/storyteller for almost thirty years. Worcester Magazine publishes one of my humor pieces monthly. I have four books of humorous essays/poetry available at local bookstores and Amazon. I’ve featured at clubs, coffeehouses, bookstores, and other venues in Central Mass. I currently teach Humor to high schoolers at Gateways Academy in Shrewsbury.

    • 04/05/2024
    • 05/03/2024
    • 5 sessions
    • In Person - Kennedy 119 at Assumption University
    • 33
    Register

    This course traces the path of the Depression, starting with the speculation of the late 1920’s through the Crash of October 1929. As the Depression worsens, it is not abated by the inaction of the Hoover administration.  When the Depression reaches its depth, in March,1933, Franklin Roosevelt takes office, and immediately addresses the serious banking situation. The programs created in the “Hundred Days” of 1933 begin to take effect. After a sweeping re-election in 1936, FDR makes a serious misstep, but the economy experiences a slow but gradual recovery until events in Europe command the nation’s attention.

    John Northgraves is currently an adjunct faculty member (History) at Mass Bay Community College, where he has taught since 2013. Before teaching at MBCC, he conducted study groups at Tufts Univ.  and Regis College during 2010 to 2013. John is a 1967 graduate of Tufts (Political Science major) and has focused on U.S. History for his Study Groups.  After service in the Navy, John’s career was in the technology field.

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

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