Midlothian, VA. 804.378.2527

Lifelong Learning Chesterfield

Literature, Poetry and Film - Summer 2018


Lifelong Learning Institute in Chesterfield                           

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Advanced Memoir Writing                                        

Tuesday                                              EL182009             


May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, June 5, 12

Instructor(s): Suzanne Kelly and Harry Rast

In this class, students will continue writing their memories and experiences that they started in previous classes. They will share their writings each class. Many times a shared memory from one student brings back a long-forgotten memory to another student. Hopefully, students will just have fun writing and sharing. Everyone has a story. Continue to come and share yours!


Great Books                                      

Tuesday                                              EL182014              *$20


May 8, 22, June 12, 26, July 10, 24, August 7

Instructor(s): Wade Curry, Sara Unetic and Lorraine Nichol

This course will provide discussion of the short works or selections in “Great Conversations 2,” published by the Great Books Foundation. The books, which are strongly suggested, are optionally available for purchase through the LLI Office during open registration only, and payment is due at time of registration. Alternatively, the books may be ordered directly from the Great Books Foundation or from other book retailers. We have found that reading followed by discussion is almost always a richer experience than reading alone. May 8 – Samson (Judges 13-16); May 22 – Donne, Selected Poems; June 12 – Meditations I; June 26 - Gogol, "The Nose"; July 10 – Dostoevsky, "The Grand Inquisitor"; July 24 and August 7 - To Be Determined.


Aspiring Writer's Critique                                          

Friday                                  EL182015             


May 11, 25, June 8, 22, July 6, 20, August 3, 17, 31

Instructor(s): Dorothy Moses

This course is for aspiring writers who want gentle feedback on their writing. Are you working on your memoirs, a short story, novel or screenplay? Bring in a few pages each time we meet and get feedback from the group while giving your own comments on others’ work. Learn to be a better writer through giving and receiving constructive feedback.


Film Appreciation                                          

Friday                                  EL182016             


May 4, 18, June 1, 15, 29, July 13, 27, August 10, 24

Instructor(s): Helene Wagner

Helene will present this class with nine carefully selected films: “An Officer and a Gentleman” (May 4); “In the Line of Fire” (May 18); “The Documentary: History of the Eagles” (June 1); “Kramer vs. Kramer” (June 15); “Must Love Dogs” (June 29); “Gray Gardens” (July 13); “Forest Gump” (July 27); “Million Dollar Baby” (August 10); and “The Artist” (August 24). Additional information about the films will be available at the first class. Please note that class on August 24th will end 30 minutes early.


Courtroom Drama Films                                              

Monday                                              EL182022             


April 30, May 7, 14, 21, June 4, 11, 18, 25, July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, August 6, 13, 20, 27

Instructor(s): Greg Hall

Many of the best films have trial settings. We will view and discuss 17 of them: The Paradine Case (1947), Intruder in the Dust (1949), The Caine Mutiny (1954), The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955), Witness for the Prosecution (1957), Twelve Angry Men (1957), Anatomy of a Murder (1959), Compulsion (1959), Inherit the Wind (1960), Judgement at Nuremberg (1961), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), A Man for All Seasons (1966), The Verdict (1982), A Few Good Men (1992), My Cousin Vinny (1992), The Lincoln Lawyer (2011), and Bridge of Spies (2015). Viewing schedule will be available the first day of class.


Poe’s Most Cryptic Poem: Al Aaraaf                                       

Monday                                              EL182027             


May 7, 14

Instructor(s): Chris Semtner

Poe’s longest poem is also his most enigmatic. Published when he was 20 years old, Al Aaraaf is set in Purgatory, where Michelangelo’s spirit meets that of a young woman from another planet. This course will examine this early Poe masterpiece.


Poe's Unfinished Works                                             

Monday                                              EL182028             


July 23, 30, August 6, 13, 20, 27

Instructor(s): Chris Semtner

When he died, Edgar Allan Poe left three major works unfinished—his second and final novel, The Journal of Julius Rodman; his only play, Politian; and his last short story, “The Lighthouse.” Although these works are rarely anthologized and nearly forgotten, they hint at new directions Poe planned to take with his writing. They follow the adventures of explorers on the American frontier, a tragic love triangle in ancient Rome, and the claustrophobic world of a lighthouse keeper on the edge of the world. This class will examine these intriguing fragments of what could have been classic Poe tales.


Beginner Memoir Writing                                          

Tuesday                                              EL182048             


May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, June 5, 12

Instructor(s): Suzanne Kelly and Harry Rast

Webster's Dictionary defines a memoir as "a narrative composed from personal experience." In this class new students will start writing and organizing their memories and experiences in five sections, so they will have a brief memoir covering the early stages of their lives. Everyone is encouraged to share their writing each week. Many times a shared memory from one student brings a long-forgotten memory back to another. Everyone has a story. Come and share yours!


Connecting With Books: A Book Discussion Group                                          

Wednesday                                      EL182052             


May 16, June 20, July 18, August 15

Instructor(s): Pam Bachman

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy easy-going beach reading, but a little more challenge may also be welcome.  This course has so far attracted many devoted readers who enjoy keeping their minds open to new ideas and their hearts in tune with pure enjoyment. The selections for this session will include: “The Reservoir” by John Milliken Thompson (based on a true event which took place in late 19th century Richmond and a murder mystery baffles local detectives as a family turns against itself); “Time and Again” by Jack Finney (an old favorite that puts a whole new and very human twist on time travel);  “In the Garden of Beasts” by Erik Larson (a detailed and fascinating look at how diplomacy failed in Hitler’s pre-war Berlin, while an uprooted American family witnessed and participated in the struggle – fans of Erik Larson will particularly welcome another of his non-fiction works ); and “The Man Who Ate the 747” by Ben Sherwood (a light fantasy that mixes humor and love – just a well-written fun read).  A little history, a little mystery - please join this course to share your thoughts and opinions.


Strange but Meaningful Films                                  

Thursday                                            EL182057             


May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, June 7, 14, 21, 28

Instructor(s): Charles J. Koutnik

There are several lists of strange films online. After a short study, six films were chosen that are indeed strange but are also quite powerful in meaning pertaining to the time period in which they were made. Students in this course will watch and discuss these strange but meaningful films: “The Gang's All Here” (1943); “Night Of The Hunter” (1955); “O Lucky Man” (1973); “Apocalypse Now” (1979); “A Serious Man” (2009); and “Patterson” (2016). Viewing schedule will be available the first day of class.


Drama of the Great War                                              

Wednesday                                      EL182058             


May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, June 6, 13, July 11, 18, 25, August 1, 8

Instructor(s): John Countryman

When most people think about the literature of the Great War (which came to be known as World War I after the occasion of World War II), it is poetry that comes to mind because it is the war poets (especially the “Brits,” Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Rupert Brooke, and others) who have received the greatest critical attention and are taught most often in schools. Fiction and memoirs also enjoy a great deal of popularity; however, there is a body of dramatic literature, some written during the conflict, and a great deal since, devoted to various themes that deserve serious consideration, as well. This course will consider plays by American, British, Irish, French and German authors (predominantly) and the range of themes those plays examine in an effort to demonstrate that the war was as much a cultural event as a military one.


A Farewell to Arms                                        

Monday                                              EL182059              *$12


July 2, 9, 16

Instructor(s): Larry Braja

Join Frederick Henry and Catherine Barkley as they experience World War I. More than the novel “The Sun Also Rises,” Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms” stamped him as a major modern novelist whose innovative writing style would influence generations of writers. An overview of Hemingway’s personal life will also be covered in this course.


Creative Writing Workshop                                       

Tuesday                                              EL182060             


May 8, 15, 22

Instructor(s): Patricia Ryther

This course will cover the following three topics: building tension, managing dialog, and creating character, or revealing it if you’re a memoir writer. Students will learn what makes a scene tense or relaxed and why we believe what some characters tell us—but don’t trust others. Dialog will be analyzed to make characters seem real. Students will create a few short paragraphs in class, and volunteers can read them aloud. There’s no assigned reading for the course, but everyone is encouraged to re-read a favorite author or work and bring in a short example of tension, dialog, or character to share.


Summer at Tiffany, a Book Talk                                

Tuesday                                              EL182061             


Aug 21

Instructor(s): Deborah Alsko

Relive the events of summer, 1945 in New York City as seen through the eyes of author, Marjorie Hart, who worked as a page at Tiffany's while she was in college. August, 1945 marked the end of WWII, and the instructor will present this special program "in character" as a first person narrative. A small display of items related to the time period will also be available.


About Fees
Your Lifelong Learning Institute membership gives you access to all of LLI classes and trips, most without any additional costs. There are some classes and trips which require additional fees. Where there are additional fees, those fees must be paid at the time of registration. Fees can be paid by check, cash or credit card. If paying by check, please clearly indicate the classes and trips being covered.