Midlothian, VA. 804.378.2527

Lifelong Learning Chesterfield

Literature, Poetry and Film - Spring 2019


Lifelong Learning Institute in Chesterfield                           

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The Making of America Films                                    

Monday                                              EL191022             


Jan 7, 14, 28, Feb 4, 11, 25, March 4, 11, 18, 25, April 8, 15, 22, 29

Instructor(s): Greg Hall

Students will view and discuss ten movies and one mini-series about the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. The expected viewing schedule is as follows: Jan 7: Drums along the Mohawk (1939); Jan 14: Northwest Passage (1940); Jan 28: The Howards of Virginia (1940); Feb 4: Magnificent Doll (1946); Feb 11: Unconquered (1947); Feb 25: The Devil's Disciple (1959); March 4: 1776 (1972); March 11: The Last of the Mohicans (1992); March 18: The Crossing (2000); March 25: The Patriot (2000); and April 8,15, 22, 29: John Adams (2008).


Great Books                                      

Tuesday                                              EL191014              *$20


Jan 8, 22, Feb 12, 26, March 12, 26, April 9

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

This course will continue the discussion of the short works or selections in "Great Conversations 2," published by the Great Books Foundation. The book, which is strongly suggested, is optionally available for purchase through the LLI office during Open Registration only with payment due at the time of registration. Alternatively, the books may be ordered from the Great Books Foundation or from a used book retailer. Students have found that reading followed by discussion is almost always a richer experience than reading alone. The expected reading schedule is: Jan 8: Friedrich Hayek, "Planning and Democracy;" Jan 22: John Rawls, "Distributive Justice;" Feb12: Frank O'Connor, "Guests of the Nation;" Feb 26: Nadine Gorimer, "Which New Era Would That Be?;" March 12: Raymond Carver, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love;" March 26 and April 9: novel to be selected.


Enjoy Poetry                                     

Friday                                  EL191043             


Jan 11, 25, Feb 1, 8, 15, 22, March 1, 15, 22, 29, April 12

Instructor(s): Bob Ferguson and Timothy Pace

Bob and Tim will continue to share poems on a number of topics with the class. We will choose various themes such as seasons, holidays, places of interest, and aspects of the world around us as described by various poets. As always, we will welcome contributions from students of favorite poems or your own work. We will try to keep the class structure flexible. For example, we might spend one session on the work of one of your favorite poets. The course will prioritize reading poetry for our own enjoyment, and it will only touch on analysis of the poetry itself.


Aspiring Writer's Critique                                          

Friday                                  EL191015             


Jan 11, 25, Feb 8, 22, March 15, 29, April 12, 26

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.


Revisiting Midsomer Murders                                  

Friday                                  EL191021             


Jan 11, 25, Feb 8, 22, March 15, 29, April 12, 26

Instructor(s): Helene Wagner

Back by popular demand from LLI students, this class will revisit eight of Midsomer Murders best mysteries for us to untangle. Set within small English country villages, the show has an identity as a crime drama peppered with both lighthearted whimsy and dark humor. The stories revolve around the efforts of Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby, played by John Nettles, to solve numerous murders. The series pilot episode "The Killings at Badger's Drift" showed on March 23, 1997, and was the highest-rated single drama program watched by 13.5 million viewers and will be our first opening episode. The viewing schedule is as follows: The Killings at Badger's Drift (January 11), Written in Blood (January 25), Death of a Stranger (February 8), The Straw Woman (February 22), Birds of Prey (March 15), Ghosts of Christmas Past (March 29), Death in Chorus (April 12) and Bantling Boy (April 26).


Poe’s Opinions: The Marginalia Essays                                 

Monday                                              EL191027             


Jan 14, 28, Feb 4, 11, 25

Instructor(s): Chris Semtner

Among Poe’s least known works are a series of short essays he serialized under the title “Marginalia.” Sometimes humorous and other times darkly pessimistic in tone, these brief pieces explore a wide variety of Poe’s interests including science, language, philosophy, visual art, and the literary scene of his day. This class will attempt to better understand Poe’s personality by exploring selections from “Marginalia.”


Connecting With Books: A Book Discussion Group                                          

Wednesday                                      EL191052             


Jan 16, Feb 13, March 20, April 17

Instructor(s): Pam Bachman

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. Selections for this session will include short books with similar settings and themes followed by some other wonderful selections: "Winter's Bone" by Daniel Woodrell; "This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!" by Jonathan Evison; "Best Boy" by Eli Gottlieb; "All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr.


Into the Woods: Fairy Tales [are] for Adults                                       

Tuesday                                              EL191007             


Jan 22, 29, Feb 5, 12, 26, March 5

Instructor(s): Les Schaffer

Fairy tales aren't just for children. They teach us all about our higher qualities and give hope for the future. We need fairy-tale folk in our lives to help us get out of our problems and small universes into a bigger world where hope and goodness live. The words "fairy tale" and "fate" share the same Latin root, "fay". Pause a moment with this new meaning as fairy tale becomes "Fate Story.” Today, fairy tales are flourishing. There are beautiful editions of old and new collections. Recent movies, TV Series and graphic novels bring new and ancient versions of these stories to huge new audiences. To have survived over the ages, the traditional fairy tales must have very strong and special genes; mere entertainment is very short lived. What is the secret of their longevity? What is their appeal to adult audiences? We’ll explore the reasons why these tales feel comfortable and familiar, as if we've always known them, and of course we have. Whatever the story, it’s simply a mirror image of ourselves. The casts of royalty, witches, ogres, talking animals and wise fools are part and parcel of each of us. You’re invited to join this joyful trip through an Enchanted Wood. We’ll all come out changed for the better.


Beginning Memoir Writing                                        

Tuesday                                              EL191048             


Feb 5, 12, 19, 26, March 5, 12, 19, 26, April 9, 16, 23

Instructor(s): Suzanne Kelly

Webster's Dictionary defines a memoir as "a narrative composed from personal experience." In this course, new students will begin writing and organizing their memories and experiences so that they will have a brief memoir covering the 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!


The Carol Burnett Show Favorites                                           

Tuesday                                              EL191070             


Feb 5, 12, 19, 26

Instructor(s): Bob Ferguson

On 1970's TV, few shows were more popular than the Carol Burnett Show. Even after more than 40 years, the comic routines are as funny as ever. If you like a good laugh, consider registering for this class. Selected skits from a number of her shows will be viewed and discussed. Some are classics like "Went with the Wind", while others are less well known. Invest a little time, shake off the February blues, and have some fun. Laughter is good for your health!


Continuing Memoir Writing                                      

Tuesday                                              EL191009             


Feb 5, 12, 19, 26, March 5, 12, 19, 26, April 9, 16, 23

Instructor(s): Suzanne Kelly

In this course, students will continue recording and sharing their memories and experiences started in the Beginning Memoir Writing classes. Shared writings often lead to lively discussions and many times a shared memory from one student brings back a long-forgotten memory to another student. If you enjoy writing and the camaraderie of a small group, come join this class as we continue to record our memories for our children, grandchildren and friends.


A Golden Girls Table Read                                         

Wednesday                                      EL191073             


Feb 13

Instructor(s): Helene Wagner

Come and enjoy some of Richmond's most talented actresses presenting a table read of Helene's half-hour "Golden Girls" script, which she wrote in 1986 but was never aired. Her episode entitled "The One's That Got Away," has the girls reminiscing about their laugh- out-loud - first -lost- loves during a dark and stormy night. The first NBC show aired on September 14, 1985 and ran to May 1992 with a total of 180 half-hours episodes in seven seasons. The show stars, Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty played as four older women who share a home in Miami. Each of the four stars received an Emmy Award making one of only three sitcoms in the award's history to achieve this. The series ranked among the top 10 highest-rated programs for six of its seven seasons and Writers Guild of America placed the sitcom at number 69 in their list of the "101 Best Written TV Series of all Time."


The Story Behind DR COPTR: The Flying Physician and Tangier Island                                     

Thursday                                            EL191071              *$25


Feb 28

Instructor(s): Bill Lohmann

Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist and author, Bill Lohmann, will discuss his new book, "DR COPTR," the story of Dr. David Nichols, a Northern Neck physician who flew to Tangier Island once a week for more than 30 years to deliver medical care to the island. The people of Tangier came to view Nichols as a brother, and his death in 2010 hit the island hard, though his legacy lives on in the island's state-of-the-art health center and Inez Pruitt, the home-grown physician assistant who now tends to the island's medical needs on a daily basis. Purchase of the book through LLI is optional, and payment is due at registration.


Early TV Flashback: Howdy Doody, Fondly Remembered?                                          

Wednesday                                      EL191066             


March 6, 13, 20, 27

Instructor(s): Al Meyer

What a wonder! It's 1948. Radio with pictures! WOW! Looking Back, Americans were fed "Howdy Doody." This course will take a look at Howdy Doody clips as well as film clips from early kids TV shows to answer the question: Was this education or entertainment?  The songs and characters are indeed memorable. How is this time remembered? Was the first the best, or did this lead to something better? Students should come ready to laugh and share!


Beyond Texting: Connecting with Children through Picture Books                                          

Monday                                              EL191072             


March 18

Instructor(s): Deborah Alsko

Storyteller Deborah Alsko will show you how to use picture books as a springboard to activities you can share with the important children in your life. All books mentioned will be available through Chesterfield County Public Library.


Poe’s Cryptic Tales: “Shadow” and “Silence”                                    

Monday                                              EL191028             


April 8

Instructor(s): Chris Semtner

While these two brief tales influenced numerous French authors and are considered among Poe’s greatest artistic achievements, they have proven too cryptic to appeal to a general audience. This class will examine “Shadow” and “Silence” in search of the meaning behind the mystery.


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.