Winter 2017 Course Descriptions/Registration

Register for as many courses as you want…$265 for one or for all

How to register:

1.  Check off the courses you want
2.  Fill in the form at the bottom
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4.  Mail in your check


Please register for all the courses you plan to attend so our teachers will know how many students to expect. You may come to other classes any time.


Elder Law FAQs

What are the most common and most interesting questions seniors have about legal rules and strategies relating to health care, advance directives, and estate planning? David Cutner, elder law specialist, returns to focus on questions he is often asked by clients, their families and caregivers. He will also comment on the pros and cons of doing your own legal documents online. Bring your own questions for him to address as well.

Tue 10:30-11:45 am   •   Jan 10   •  1 session

David Cutner is co-founder of Lamson & Cutner, P.C., an elder law firm with offices in New York City and Westchester. An advocate for the elderly and disabled, he is the author of numerous articles and special reports for seniors and their families, and regularly appears on various media outlets.

Register for: Elder Law

Understanding Islam

Session #1: Family Law. Shariah ordains many aspects of family life, including courtship, marriage, divorce/remarriage, widowhood, inheritance, abortion, adoption, and LGBT. It also applies to modern issues like birth control, surrogate motherhood, and artificial insemination/IV. Sabeeha Rehman. Session #2: The Shia/Sunni divide.  Its origins, history, arguments on each side, spillover across the Muslim world and relevance to the U.S. today are discussed. Sabeeha and Khalid Rehman. 

Tue 10:30-11:45 am   •   Jan 17, 24   •  2 sessions

Sabeeha Rehman, author, Threading My Prayer Rug: One Woman’s Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim. Born and raised in Pakistan, living in NYC since her arranged marriage to Pakistani doctor, Khalid Rehman, in 1971. Director of Interfaith Programs, American Society for Muslim Advancement; COO, Cordoba Initiative, multi-faith organization building bridges between Muslims and the West. MS Healthcare Administration, hospital administrator 25 years in US, Saudi Arabia.
Khalid Rehman is a physician with special interest in cancer medicine, palliative care, end-of-life care and advanced planning for healthcare. Board certified in the fields of internal medicine, medical oncology and hematology. Fellow of the American College of Physicians, assistant professor New York Medical College department of medicine.

Register for: Understanding Islam

TLC for the Seriously Ill

What do people with major health issues like cancer look for and need from their family and friends? Do they want to talk about their condition or to ignore it?  Tender Loving Care involves sensitivity about their situation, and decisions about palliative and hospice care, at home or in a facility.

Tue 10:30-11:45 am   •   Jan 31   •  1 session

Khalid Rehman is a physician with special interest in cancer medicine, palliative care, end-of-life care and advanced planning for healthcare; also a cancer survivor. Board certified in the fields of internal medicine, medical oncology and hematology. Fellow of the American College of Physicians, assistant professor New York Medical College department of medicine.

Register for: TLC for the Seriously Ill

The Novel in Verse

Naomi Feigelson Chase will discuss novels in verse by reading from her latest book, The Journals of Empress Galla Placidia, and citing several of her own and other poets.  Galla, a Roman princess, kidnapped by the Goths when they razed Rome in 410 AD, was the only woman to ever rule Rome.  This class includes new readings from The Journals.

Tue 10:30-11:45 am   •   Feb 7   •  1 session

Naomi Feigelson Chase, author of seven books of poetry, many short stories, and books on the ‘60s and on child abuse. Awarded a 2015-2016 Fiction Fellowship from the NY Center for Fiction. BA English Literature, Radcliffe College; MA English Literature, Brandeis University. Director of Public Information, Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, Assistant Director at MIT.

Register for: The Novel in Verse

Toward a Just and Effective Criminal Justice System

Session #1:  Rethinking Mass Incarceration.  Alternatives for reducing prison overcrowding will be examined through the use of two creative, albeit controversial approaches:  The Community Service Sentencing Project, a Vera Institute initiative; and the Drug Treatment Alternative to Prison program, created by the Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney.  Session #2:  Shoot...Don't Shoot:  The use of force by police, sometimes lethal, is distressingly common. When is an officer justified in using deadly force? What steps are being taken in officer training to balance the need to control dangerous situations while deescalating tensions and confrontations? Session #3: "Inside the Deadly World of Private Prison Transport,” with the co-author of the investigative report published in The New York Times.

Tue 10:30-11:45 am   •   Feb 14, 21, 28   •  3 sessions

Fred Weinberg worked for 45 years for the NYS Division of Parole, NYS Department of Correctional Services, Kings County District Attorney, Vera Institute of Justice, other agencies. Author, Social Workers with Guns, self-published account of his experience with NY, NJ parole agencies. BA NYU, graduate of F.B.I. National Academy.

Eli Hager, Marshall Project staff writer.  Criminal justice investigative projects, coverage of breaking news, and editor of the "Life Inside," a series of first-person essays by people in prison.  Published in the Washington Post, the Atlantic, Newsweek and the Huffington Post.  BA University of Michigan, MFA Columbia University Writing program.

Register for: Toward a Just and Effective Criminal Justice System

Veteran Reporter Magee Hickey Gives a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Local TV News

The glamorous and not-so-glamorous world of television news from a news reporter who has worked at every station in New York City (three of them twice!). She’ll try to answer any questions you’ve ever had about how the sausage – er, TV news – gets made.

Tue 1:00-2:15 pm   •   Jan 10   •  1 session

Magee Hickey, Emmy Award-winning tristate news reporter for over 30 years. Reporter at WNEW, WABC, WNBC, WCBS and now WPIX, channel 11; first anchor of Weekend Today with the “new guy in town,” Matt Lauer. Her career has been colorful (10 years on pre-dawn patrol, going undercover). She is a classical musician playing in chamber music ensembles, is a cabaret singer and recently joined a tango band.

Register for: Veteran Reporter Magee Hickey Gives a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Local TV News

Reading & Listening to Poetry for Pleasure

This series of lectures with discussion will involve close readings of poems – classic, modern and contemporary. Our aim is to listen to the sound poems make, discovering what makes a “successful” language performance. In other words, we will discuss each poem’s emotional truth, unity of expression, and attention-holding, pleasure-providing use of language.

Tue 1:00-2:15 pm   •   Jan 17, 24, 31, Feb 7, 14, 21, 28   •  7 sessions

Barry Wallenstein, Emeritus Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the City University of New York. Author of eight collections of poetry, most recently At the Surprise Hotel and Other Poems. Barry is also an Editor of American Book Review.

Register for: Reading & Listening to Poetry for Pleasure

Modern American Short Stories

We will again focus on eight stories from 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories, edited by Lorrie Moore and Heidi Pitlor. The earliest stories are from the 1980’s, the most recent from 2014. The range is great: two are about first generation Americans, and all about people facing very different kinds of external hardships and internal conflicts. We will analyze the way they are put together (how form and content are interwoven), and discuss our responses to the issues they raise.

Tue 2:30-3:45 pm   •   Jan 10, 17, 24, 31, Feb 7, 14, 21, 28   •  8 sessions

Lisa Commager was a writer and editor for UNICEF in Kathmandu and an editor at Orbis Publishing in London. When she returned to New York, she taught literature and writing in private high schools and, for ten years, at Hunter College.

Register for: Modern American Short Stories


Men of La Mancha: Cervantes and Don Quixote (Part II, 1615)

Don Quixote is a work of extraordinary importance, significant not only in itself but also because of the long-lasting influence it has exerted on the development of modern fiction, of the novel as we understand this term today. In Part II, published 1615, Cervantes continues narrating the “adventures” of the main characters, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, further developing their complex and mutually enriching relationship. It also explores a variety of issues, ranging from personal to political, from local to universal. Close reading and textual analysis discover the text’s multiple layers and far-reaching significance. Read the Prologue and ch. 1 for the first day of class. Recommended: Edith Grossman’s translation (Harper Perennial, 2002, pb.).

Wed 12:15-1:15 pm   •   Jan 11, 18, 25, Feb 1, 8, 15, 22, March 1   • 8 sessions

Pilar V. Rotella, Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, University of Chicago. Taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Saint Xavier University, University of Chicago, Sarah Lawrence College, Chapman University; continuing education at University of California-Riverside, Marymount Manhattan College and New York University.

Register for: Men of La Mancha: Cervantes and Don Quixote (Part II, 1615)

The Beauty of Bach: His Life, Organ Music and Enduring Legacy

More than three centuries later, Johann Sebastian Bach’s music remains beautiful and relevant. James D. Wetzel, music director/organist, discusses and performs Bach. Session #1: Overview of Bach’s life as a practical church musician and how that influenced his compositions. Session #2: Demonstration, recital of Bach’s organ music in St. Catherine of Siena Church.
Wed 1:30-2:30 pm   •   Jan 11, 18   •  2 sessions

James D. Wetzel, Director of Music and Organist of the Parish of Saint Vincent Ferrer and Saint Catherine of Siena. Assistant Director of the Greenwich Choral Society. Studied at Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School.

Register for: The Beauty of Bach: His Life, Organ Music and Enduring Legacy

Advances in the Science of Hearing: Do You Hear Me Now?

Many people don’t know or deny that they have a hearing problem. And they resist getting a hearing aid, which they consider a public sign of aging. Improvements in the technology of audiology make it easier to know if you do have significant hearing loss and what kind of hearing aid can help you the most. New computerized techniques will be demonstrated. How do you find a way to broach this sensitive subject with a friend, family member or colleague?

Wed 1:30-2:30 pm   •   Jan 25   •  1 session

Georgette Sinclair, audiologist, Hear USA. MS Hunter College; AuD, CCC-A, FAAA, Audiology. Award-winning painter of landscapes and scenes from daily life, member/officer of the Salmagundi Club, Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association board.

Register for: Advances in the Science of Hearing: Do You Hear Me Now?

Me. You. Us. Them: A New Look at Diversity

We live in a shrinking world. As 21st century technology brings people closer together, we find ourselves increasingly exposed to different cultures. Diversity has become more than just an abstract concept: it is a worldwide social phenomenon growing in importance and here to stay. Since our subconscious values and beliefs impact how we communicate with one another and how we are perceived, a considered understanding of key diversity issues can improve how we see ourselves, relate to others, and choose to move forward in these rapidly changing times. Join us for a fresh look at diversity – cultural, gender and generational differences – and its implications for our daily lives.

Wed 1:30-2:30 pm   •   Feb 1   •  1 session

Kathryn Alexander, principal, K.A. Enterprises, Inc. one of the first U.S. African-American-owned, operated marketing research and consulting firms. Specializes in qualitative research for private and public sector organizations. Guest lecturer on Workplace Diversity and Cultural Adaptation, Human Resources Management Program at the Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina. Ph.D. NYU, Media, Culture & Communications, MA NYU, Vocational Counseling.

Register for: Me. You. Us. Them: A New Look at Diversity

From Script to Screen: The Secrets of Creating the Next Hollywood Star

Learn about the complicated recipe it takes to pluck someone from obscurity and make them a household name. A head of casting for 20th Century Fox TV and Fox Broadcasting explains how her finely-honed instincts led her to recommend unknown actors to the studios, including Hugh Laurie, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kerri Russell, Katie Holmes, Keifer Sutherland, Brad Pitt. (And she’ll talk about what it’s like to work with actors.)

Wed 1:30-2:30 pm   •   Feb 8   •  1 session

Marcia Shulman, executive talent consultant. Previously EVP, casting for Fox Broadcasting Company; SVP, Talent and Casting at 20th Century Fox Television; talent coordinator Sesame Street and The Electric Company. Casting credits include Peewee’s Playhouse, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Felicity and Dawson’s Creek. BA Richmond College, Theater and Film.

Register for: From Script to Screen: The Secrets of Creating the Next Hollywood Star

A Concise and Entertaining History of the Screwball Comedy

This course looks at the history and enduring popularity of screwball comedies. We will examine how this entertaining subgenre first emerged during an important and multifaceted period of development in Hollywood filmmaking. In doing so, we will look at some of Hollywood’s finest and funniest filmmakers and actors.

Wed 1:30-2:30 pm   •   Feb 15, 22, Mar 1   •  3 sessions

Robert Hensley-King, visiting research scholar at Boston College, has written on the intersections of film and politics. He has extensive international academic experience, including Harvard, the University of Edinburgh and Ghent University, and has worked in Europe and North America as an independent filmmaker and broadcaster.

Register for: A Concise and Entertaining History of the Screwball Comedy

A Perspective on Consciousness

Who are we? Where did we come from? And what are we supposed to be doing here? These are perennial questions humankind has asked for millenniums. Out of our desperate need to know the truth we have created religions, sciences, philosophies and the arts, each of us with a special way of answering these questions. This class gives an overview and suggests new ideas that create new possibilities to ponder and incorporate into our lives about what it is all about. It includes PowerPoint, video clips and lively discussions which will spark the curious student to consider some new realities.

Wed 2:45-3:45 pm   •   Jan 11, 18, 25, Feb 1   •  4 sessions

Alan Steinfeld teaches adult education on topics devoted to creativity and perception. He hosts a cable program, “New Realities” Monday nights on WLNY, Channel 57, and is the founder of, a website for body, mind and spirit.

Register for: A Perspective on Consciousness

Makers of History III

A look at some of the most dynamic people who have changed the course of history, for good or ill: Catherine the Great, Washington, Darwin, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Busy with our own lives, we of necessity harbor cartoon versions of historical VIPs. If we like them, they are good, if we dislike them, they are all bad. These lectures show that almost all are complex characters, with good and evil traits intertwined in varying proportions.

Wed 2:45-3:45 pm   •   Feb 8, 15, 22, March 1   •  4 sessions

Manfred Weidhorn, Professor Emeritus of English at Yeshiva University. He has published a dozen books and over 100 essays on such historical figures like Shakespeare, Milton, Churchill, Galileo, Napoleon, Robert E. Lee and Jackie Robinson, as well as on cultural history, and the relationship between religion and science. 

Register for: Makers of History III


From Page to Screen: Three More (of the Many) Faces of Meryl Streep

The most celebrated actor in film history, Meryl Streep is renowned for her versatility, transforming herself into a wide range of characters. She has one of the most durable careers, with memorable roles in 67 movies over nearly 40 years. We’ll see her as a mother who leaves her marriage and then fights for custody, as famous chef Julia Childs, and even as an aging rocker. Read in this order: 1) Kramer vs. Kramer by Avery Corman, 2) Julie and Julia by Julie Powell. (CL&L student 10% discount, Shakespeare & Co., 939 Lexington Ave.) We’ll also watch Ricky and the Flash.

Thu 10:30-11:45 am   •   Jan 12, 19, 26, Feb 2, 9, 16, 23, March 2   • 8 sessions

Louise Terry, MA Columbia University; college English instructor; Education Director, Accent on Language School.

Register for: From Page to Screen: Three More (of the Many) Faces of Meryl Streep

Politics 2017

The voters have decided. It’s over! Who is in the cabinet and who are the presidential advisors? What about the Supreme Court? The agenda for the first hundred days? Is compromise possible or will gridlock continue? Closer to home, will de Blasio and Cuomo survive the investigations in New York City and State?

Thu 1:00-2:15 pm   •   Jan 12, 19, 26, Feb 2, 9, 16, 23, March 2   •  8 sessions

Lawrence Geneen, formerly Chief Operating Officer of the American Management Association and Executive Vice President of Johnson and Higgins. He is currently a risk management consultant.

Register for: Politics 2017

A Political Scientist Looks at Questions Following the 2016 Election

Analyzing the election, a political science professor asks: What has this election revealed about the political impact of changing demographics? What are the antecedents and future of extreme political alienation? How will the new president govern, given the make-up of the new Congress? How can the two parties overcome their deep internal fractures? Can the U.S. address its delayed responses to climate change, infrastructure, jobs, health, education, criminal justice?

Thu 2:30-3:45 pm   •   Jan 12   •  1 session

Bill Caspary, political science faculty, NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Ph.D., Political Science, Northwestern University. Teaching and research interests are democratic theory, education, ethics, peace and conflict resolution. Taught for 30 years at Washington University in St. Louis; worked as an educational consultant, ombudsman, and mediator. Author of Dewey on Democracy. Received the Distinguished Career Award in 2002 from the American Political Science Association.

Register for: A Political Scientist Looks at Questions Following the 2016 Election

On the Front Line of the Presidential Campaign

Betsy Steinman worked full-time as a volunteer in the Hillary Clinton campaign from the primaries right through the election.. Part of the “ground game” in battleground states and New York, she went door to door to register voters, spoke at meetings, and helped get out the vote on the big day. She’ll talk about how the campaign was organized, her experiences dealing with and being confronted by Trump supporters, and the politicians she met (including the Clintons).

Thu 2:30-3:45 pm   •   Jan 19   •  1 session

Betsy Steinman, MSW and Ph.D. in Psychology from Yeshiva University in NY. Retired social worker; worked with refugees in the 1980’s, then in mental health with adult schizophrenics and later in private practice in NYC.

Register for: On the Front Line of the Presidential Campaign

Constitutional Law in the News

The Supreme Court often deals with fiercely fought, polarizing political and social issues. We will cover religious freedom and healthcare insurance coverage of contraception; probable cause and “stop and frisk”; the politicization of administrative agencies, like the IRS and Department of Justice.

Thu 2:30-3:45   •   Jan 26, Feb 2, 9, 16, 23, March 2  • 6 sessions

Dianne Stillman, attorney. Practiced criminal and civil law for nearly 20 years. She served as a volunteer attorney for Hurricane Sandy victims. Extensive experience teaching law at the college and graduate levels. JD, Brooklyn Law School; MS Lehman College of CUNY, Teaching English in High School.

Register for: Constitutional Law in the News

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