Midlothian, VA. 804.378.2527

Lifelong Learning Chesterfield

Literature, Poetry and Film - Spring 2020


Lifelong Learning Institute in Chesterfield                           

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Tom Hanks Films                                          

Monday                                           EL201022           


Jan 6, 13, 27, Feb 3, 10, 24, March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, April 20, 27

Instructor(s): Greg Hall

Tom Hanks with his vast range and acting ability is the closest thing we have to a Jimmy Stewart. To put it simply, he is our Everyman. This course will attempt to show his versatility by presenting 13 of his best films. Schedule subject to change: Jan 6 - Splash (1984); Jan 13 - Big (1988); Jan 27 - The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990); Feb 3 - Sleepless in Seattle (1993); Feb 10 - Philadelphia (1993); Feb 24 - Forrest Gump (1994); March 2 - Apollo 13 (1995); March 9 - Saving Private Ryan (1998); March 16 - You've Got Mail (1998); March 23 - The Terminal (2004); March 30 - The Da Vinci Code (2006); April 20 - Saving Mr. Banks (2013); and April 27 - The Post (2017).


Enjoy Poetry                                   

Friday                                 EL201043           


Jan 10, 24, 31, Feb 7, 14, 21, 28, March 6, 13, 20, 27, April 3, 17, 24

Instructor(s): Bob Ferguson and Timothy Pace

In this course, both the instructors and students participate by sharing poems they enjoy and by helping each other discuss the shared poems. The atmosphere is informal, relaxed, and the emphasis remains on enjoying a wide range of poems. Much of the time poetry readings and videos that can be found on YouTube are used to add to the enjoyment of the class.  Each week offers different poems and poets. Expertise in poetry is not necessary. Try this course, and you just might find that you, too, enjoy poetry.


Aspiring Writer's Critique                                         

Friday                                 EL201015           


Jan 10, 24, Feb 7, 21, March 6, 20, April 3, 17, May 1

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. Please bring five copies of your work to each class and come early in case you need to make a few extra copies in the office.


PBS Foyle's War Murder Mystery Series                                            

Friday                                 EL201021           


Jan 10, 24, Feb 7, 21, March 6, 20, April 3, 17, May 1

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. The viewing schedule is as follows: Jan 10 - Bad Blood; Jan 24 - Bleak Mid-Winter; Feb 7 - Casualties of War; Feb 21 - Plan of Attack; March 6 - Broken Souls; March 20 - All Clear; April 3 - The Russian House; April 17 - Killing Time; and May 1 - The Hide.


Great Books                                    

Tuesday                                           EL201014            *$25


Jan 14, 28, Feb 11, 25, March 10, 24, April 14

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: Jan 14 - Jean-Paul Sartre, Why Write; Jan 28 - Richard Wright, Bright and Morning Star; Feb 11 - Simone Weil, Human Personality; Feb 25 - Eudora Welty, A Still Moment; March 10 - Doris Lessing, To Room Nineteen; March 24 and April 14 - To Be Selected.


Connecting With Books: A Book Discussion Group                                        

Wednesday                                     EL201052           


Jan 22, Feb 26, March 25, April 29

Instructor(s): Pam Bachman

Four critically praised novels will be discussed, one each month, in the order listed here: Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, Tatiana by Martin Cruz Smith, and A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen. Different settings and a wide variety of characterizations will encourage readers to explore life in Russia, from a modern as well as an historical perspective. This challenging theme is sure to stimulate discussion and thought.


Social Media for Writers                                            

Friday                                 EL201083           


Jan 31

Instructor(s): Heather Weidner

Book marketing is a key aspect for today's writer. It is expected that authors have multiple platforms to promote their work. Where do you start? This course covers the basics and provides how-to tips for anyone who wants to start a website or blog or to build their social media platforms.


Beginning Memoir Writing                                       

Tuesday                                           EL201048           


Feb 4, 11, 18, 25, March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

Instructor(s): Suzanne Kelly

Webster's Dictionary defines a memoir as "a narrative composed from personal experience." In this course, students will begin writing 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 back a long-forgotten memory to another student. Everyone has a story. Come and share yours!


Continuing Memoir Writing                                     

Tuesday                                           EL201009           


Feb 4, 11, 18, 25, March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

Instructor(s): Suzanne Kelly

In this course, students will continue recording and sharing their memories and experiences started in the Beginning Memoir Writing course.  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 to record your memories for your children, grandchildren, and friends to enjoy.


Fictional Detectives                                     

Friday                                 EL201081           


Feb 28, March 6, 13, 20, 27, April 3, 17, 24

Instructor(s): Pasquale Accardo, M.D.

The origin of the detective story and its classic practitioners will be presented by an in-depth discussion of Edgar Allan Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown, John Dickson Carr’s Dr. Gideon Fell and Robert van Gulick’s Judge Dee. The overriding influence of Sherlock Holmes on the development and evolution of the detective story will be emphasized. Holmes will be discussed from the perspective of the Canonical texts and not from other media (radio, television, cinema and online).


The Glass Castle: An Overcoming Memoir                                         

Wednesday                                     EL201082            *$8


April 15, 22

Instructor(s): Patricia Ryther

The Glass Castle was a New York Times best seller for more than seven years. It’s a memoir about a real-life horrifying childhood and a narrator who overcame impossible odds to succeed in the world with almost no help from her family. Jeannette Walls’ mother is a would-be painter who has a teaching degree but won’t work even when her family is hungry. Her father is a charming alcoholic who loses or quits jobs again and again forcing the family to “do the skedaddle,” leaving in the middle of the night with whatever possessions can be jammed into their latest banger of a car. Both parents are flawed characters capable of treating their children with neglect or outright cruelty, but they manage to convince the children that their lives are exciting, adventurous, and preparing them for the world. This course will discuss not only the book but also the popularity of this type of memoir about overcoming adversity. What’s the value of stories like Jeannette’s? Are they uplifting, teaching important life lessons? Or just popcorn reading, similar to reality TV? Do they expose the failings of our society? Come ready to talk about what you liked and hated and how you would re-write Jeannette’s life. The book is optionally available for purchase through the LLI office during Open Registration only with payment due at the time of registration.


Dora the Explorer: Applied Psychologist and Cartographer                                        

Thursday                                          EL201080           


April 16

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.


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.