Midlothian, VA. 804.378.2527

Lifelong Learning Chesterfield

Literature, Poetry and Film - Fall 2019


Lifelong Learning Institute in Chesterfield                           

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Aspiring Writer's Critique                                           

Friday                                  EL193015             


Sept 6, 20, Oct 4, 18, Nov 1, 15, Dec 6, 20

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.


PBS Foyle's War Murder Mystery Series                                              

Friday                                  EL193021             


Sept 6, 20, Oct 4, Nov 1, 15, Dec 6

Instructor(s): Helene Wagner

This favorite, critically acclaimed original PBS series weaves mystery with real historical events that took place during World War II in the 1940's.  Set in the south coast of England, amid the disorder and danger, "Foyle's War" takes place far from the glory of the front lines. Michael Kitchen (Out of Africa) stars as quietly enigmatic Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Foyle. His is an ordinary struggle against everyday evil in extraordinarily dangerous times. Also starring is Anthony Howell as Paul Miller, Andrew Ovenden as Foyle's son and Honeysuckle Weeks as Sam Steward.  Foyle's War reviews: "Like a gift from the gods" - The New York Times. "One of the best mysteries you'll ever see on the telly"' - San Francisco Chronicle.  "A triumph from start to finish" - The Wall Street Journal. The viewing schedule is as follows: Sept 6 - Inside Foyle's War; Sept 20 - The Funk Hole; Oct 4 - The French Drop; Nov 1 - Enemy Fire; Nov 15 - They Fought in the Fields; and Dec 6 - A War of Nerves.


Poe's Gothic Classic: "The Fall of the House of Usher"                                   

Monday                                              EL193027             


Sept 9, 16

Instructor(s): Chris Semtner

It has been adapted to film dozens of times and inspired generations of authors and artists. This course will examine one of Poe's most enduring and popular tales, "The Fall of the House of Usher."


Meet the Verlanders                                    

Monday                                              EL193077              *$40


Sept 9

Instructor(s): Richard and Kathy Verlander

Richard and Kathy Verlander are first and foremost proud parents, and they have a story to tell! Their first book, “Rocks across the Pond,” (2012) chronicles their life journey raising 2017 World Series Champion Justin Verlander and his brother Ben, also a baseball star. Their newest book, “The Shelter Gang and Their Secret Adventure,” is a children’s book about dogs, cats, and baseball. This story was inspired by the authors’ love for and advocacy of homeless animals and the wonderful people who care for them. It is a tale of hope, acceptance, perseverance and love. Join the authors and proud parents as they walk through their books, their stories and their values. The books are optionally available for purchase through the LLI office during Open Registration with payment due at the time of registration. Students can optionally purchase either book or both books at the following prices: “Rocks across the Pond” ($25), “The Shelter Gang and Their Secret Adventure” ($15) or both ($40). The Verlanders will be happy to sign books after their class.


The Great War Films                                     

Monday                                              EL193022             


Sept 9, 16, 23, 30, Oct 7, 21, 28, Nov 4, 18, 25, Dec 2, 9, 16

Instructor(s): Greg Hall

Some of the best films ever made were set in The First World War. This course will present 12 of them with an introduction, viewing and discussion each week. Schedule subject to change: Sept 9 - Wings (1927); Sept 16 - All Quiet on the Western Front (1930); Sept 23 - Grand Illusion (1937); Sept 30 - The Dawn Patrol (1938); Oct 7 - Sergeant York (1941); Oct 21 - Paths of Glory (1957); Oct 28 - A Farewell to Arms (1957); Nov 4 and Nov 18 - Lawrence of Arabia (1962); Nov 25 Gallipoli (1981); Dec 2 - War Horse (2011); Dec 9 - They Shall Not Grow Old (2018); and Dec 16 - Sneak Preview.


Beginning Memoir Writing                                         

Tuesday                                              EL193048             


Sept 10, 17, 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Nov 12, 19

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!


Great Books                                      

Tuesday                                              EL193014              *$25


Sept 10, 24, Oct 8, 22, Nov 12, Dec 3, 17

Instructor(s): Wade Curry and Sara Unetic

This course is a continued discussion of the short works or selections in "Great Conversations 5," 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: Sept 10 - Bertrand Russell, Philosophy and Knowledge; Sept 24 - D. H. Lawrence, The Man Who Loved Islands; Oct 8 - Ruth Benedict, Anthropology and the Abnormal; Oct 22 - R. Akutagawa, Hell Screen; Nov 12 - Reinhold Niebuhr, The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness; Dec 3 and 17 - Alexander Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo.


Continuing Memoir Writing                                       

Tuesday                                              EL193009             


Sept 10, 17, 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Nov 12, 19

Instructor(s): Suzanne Kelly

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


Enjoy Poetry                                     

Friday                                  EL193043             


Sept 13, 20, 27, Oct 4, 18, Nov 1, 8, 15, 22, Dec 6, 13

Instructor(s): Bob Ferguson and Timothy Pace

Roses are red, violets are blue, here come Tim and Bob, with more poems for you. This course will mix contemporary and classic poetry and try seasonal themes, all with an eye toward enjoyment and even fun. The poems will be supplemented with videos about authors and their poems. As always, suggestions from the students of favorite poems or poets are welcome. This will surely be an enjoyable approach to learning more about poetry.


Moby Dick: A Tale of Fatal Attraction                                    

Monday                                              EL193078             


Sept 16, 23, 30, Oct 7, 21

Instructor(s): Vic Thompson

Adam had his Eve, Clyde had his Bonnie, and Ahab had his Moby. Although fatal attractions between men and women are popular subjects in literature, Melville’s story is about a man and a large white whale. Most Americans of mid-nineteenth century America weren't quite ready for it, and Melville’s masterpiece was essentially a commercial failure. One British critic gave it perhaps its greatest praise, "poetry in blubber," but the book virtually disappeared from public view until the early twentieth century. This course will combine lecture and discussion as students consider why many critics now consider this strange book to be "the Great American novel," as well as the early attempts by the movie industry to present a traditional romantic theme. In John Barrymore’s 1930 film, a young vigorous Ahab was in love with a beautiful girl back home, but even a beautiful girl was no match for a white whale. In America, it takes a Moby Dick to give us a subject vast enough to match the American Dream.


Connecting With Books: A Book Discussion Group                                          

Wednesday                                      EL193052             


Sept 18, Oct 16, Nov 13, Dec 18

Instructor(s): Pam Bachman

Four works by critically acclaimed writers will be discussed, with background and author material provided by the instructor. Authors for this session originate from the modern American South, presenting a variety of themes and characters. The selections include: Ava's Man by Rick Bragg, Bootlegger's Daughter by Margaret Maron, Guests on Earth by Lee Smith, and Varina by Charles Frazier.


Dora the Explorer: Applied Psychologist and Cartographer                                          

Wednesday                                      EL193080             


Sept 18

Instructor(s): Jim Carter

When the instructor was teaching a course in maps and cartography, one of his students mentioned his 18-month-old son knew what a map was because of watching Dora the Explorer. “Wow,” he thought! The literature does not recognize map use in children that young. He investigated and was impressed with the research and efforts behind the design and production of Dora the Explorer. Dora is very popular around the world. Of course, Dora always uses two languages, whatever might be appropriate where she is. Jim continued to dig and ultimately wrote three articles about Dora and maps. This course will reflect on what he learned about Dora the Explorer and maps and will offer thoughts and perspectives. He hopes to hear stories about Dora the Explorer from the students who are also grandparents.


Poe's Theory of Everything: Eureka                                        

Monday                                              EL193028             


Sept 23, 30

Instructor(s): Chris Semtner

Poe considered his book, “Eureka,” to be the most important thing he ever wrote. In this strange cosmological essay, Poe proposes his unified theory of everything. This course will attempt to make sense of Poe's theory, how it foreshadows modern cosmology, and how it relates to the rest of Poe's works.


The Power of Healing Stories: The Healing Garden                                         

Tuesday                                              EL193007             


Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Nov 12, 19, 26

Instructor(s): Les Schaffer

Throughout human history, effective stories and storytelling demonstrate that it's possible to survive and triumph over life's challenges and pains. This course will enable students to find, create and utilize therapeutic stories to help create safety, find healing, foster learning and promote connection and understanding. The storytelling tradition is ageless and known as an experience vital to the health of individuals, their communities, and environment. Together, students will take a deep dive into ancient and contemporary healing stories; from sources such as ancient myth, religious and spiritual texts, folk and fairy tales, current medical and brain research, as well as creating new personal verbal medicines. The instructor has often been called upon to train others in the use of storytelling for mental and physical health promotion and prevention. Students may find this to be a life-changing experience and inspiration to read, create and tell more healing stories.


Home of the Brave Table Read                                 

Friday                                  EL193079             


Oct 18

Instructor(s): Helene Wagner and Friends

Once again, enjoy some of Richmond's most talented actors as they present a full-length performance table read of Helene Wagner's beautiful, character-driven play inspired by an actual event. Set in a time of heroes and courage during World War II, it tells the story of 10-year-old T.C. Phillips's stormy relationship with his father, Roy. Roy is the Mayor of Mexia, a small Texas border town poised on the brink of receiving an invasion of 8,500 German prisoners of war to be housed in the Army's Enemy Interment Camp located just outside of town. This timeless story deals with the good people of Mexia who must learn to overcome their fears in order to survive. At one point, a producer from Hallmark Hall of Fame Movies optioned the screenplay. In 2011, the script was among the top 20% out of 6,730 entries in the prestigious Nicholl Fellowships, which is part of the Academy Awards Foundation.


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.