Winter 2018 Course Descriptions/Registration


The Founders on the Three Branches of Government

How did the American Founders understand the nature and purpose of our Congress, the Presidency and the Supreme Court? What light can they shed on American political life today? In this course, we will study the first three articles of the US Constitution, selections from The Federalist Papers and the writings of Thomas Jefferson. These cover topics including impeachment, the war power, the purpose of the Senate, the Electoral College, presidential re-eligibility, judicial review and the origins of the two-party system.

Tue 10:30-11:45 am  •   Jan 9, 16, 23, 30, Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27  •  8 sessions

Sandy Kessler, Ph.D., in Political Science from Boston College. He taught political theory and American political thought at North Carolina State University for 41 years, taught in North Carolina’s State’s OLLI (Lifelong Learning) program for five years, wrote a book on Tocqueville's understanding of religion and democracy, edited an abridged version of Tocqueville's Democracy in America, co-edited a source book entitled American Debates on Sexual Equality, has written many articles on religion and modern political thought.

Register for: The Founders on the Three Branches of Government

Listening to Poetry for Pleasure in the Winter

These lectures with discussion will involve close readings of poems – classic, modern and contemporary. Our aim is to listen to the sound poems make. What makes a successful language performance?  We’ll discuss these works’ emotional truth, unity of expression, and attention-holding, pleasure-providing use of language.

Tue 1:00-2:15 pm   •   Jan 9, 16, 23, 30, Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27  •  8 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 and Drastic Dislocations: New and Selected Poems and Tony’s Blues, a bilingual e-book. Barry is also an Editor of American Book Review.

Register for: Reading and Listening to Poetry for Pleasure

Magee Hickey on the News and the Blues, Flutes and Flukes, Newsmakers and Musicmakers

The veteran TV reporter comes back to CL&L to talk about her “double life” as a newscaster with views on the state of journalism today and as a musician. She’ll be accompanied by a pianist.

Tue 2:30-3:45 pm   •   Jan 9   •  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. Her career has been colorful (including 10 years on pre-dawn patrol, going undercover). She is a classical musician playing in chamber music ensembles, is a cabaret singer and member of a tango band.

Register for: Magee Hickey on the News and the Blues

Great Short Stories of the Late 20th Century

Tobias Wolff in his introduction describes the period from the l980’s to around 2000 as a renaissance, because it is a return from the postmodernism of the previous two decades to “stories about people who led lives neither admirable nor depraved, but so convincing in their portrayal that the reader had to acknowledge kinship.” As I read these remarkable stories by Beattie, Carver, Ford, Stone and so many other writers I love, it feels like returning home. We will be talking about and analyzing one or two stories a week. Text: The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories, edited by Tobias Wolff, A Vintage Contemporaries Original, 1994. (CL&L students receive 10% discount at Shakespeare & Co., 939 Lexington Ave. 68-69 Sts.)

Tue 2:30-3:45 pm  •   Jan 16, 23, 30, Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27  •  7 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: Great Short Stories of the Late 20th Century


Gabriel García Márquez: The Magic and the Real

The Colombian Nobel Prize winner for literature (1982) is the undisputed king of “magical realism,” an approach to writing best rendered in his internationally famous novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. In this course, we will read some of Márquez’s shorter fiction, a selection of stories and two novellas that exemplify his skillful blending of the magic and the real, and also offer perceptive insights into various aspects of Latin American culture and history. 2 Texts: Collected Stories and Collected Novellas. (Please read the short story “One of These Days” for the first class. (CL&L students receive 10% discount at Shakespeare & Co., 939 Lexington Ave. 68-69 Sts.)

Wed 12:15-1:15 pm  •   Jan 10, 17, 24, 31, Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28  •  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: Gabriel García Márquez...

Towards a Better Understanding of Emotional Health

A psychologist discusses what research has shown about some common issues. Session 1: Countering counter-productive thinking. Sometimes the same negative thoughts go round and round our brains and we don't know how to stop them. This session will look at their repetitive nature, identifying the more common cognitive distortions. We can learn to challenge this negative thinking to promote rational, positive thoughts that can enable us to live a better life. Session 2: Compassionate communication. Most of us learned ineffective communication patterns from an early age. However well-intended, these can provoke defensiveness, resistance and counter-attack, even among the people we care about most. Active listening skills can assist in connecting to others in compassionate ways.
Wed 1:30-2:30 pm  •   Jan 10, 17  •  2 sessions

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: Towards a Better Understanding of Emotional Health

In Conversation: Ronnie Eldridge with Ritz Satz

Liberal activist, broadcaster, and government administrator, Ronnie Eldridge will be interviewed by her close friend (and CL&L board member) Rita Satz. They'll talk about her experiences with and views of local and state politics, broadcast journalism, the state of feminism today. Her long-term marriage to legendary newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin ended with his recent death; she’ll share her thoughts on dealing with loss.
Wed 1:30-2:30 pm  •   Jan 24  •  1 session

Ronnie Eldridge, host of Eldridge&Co on CUNY-TV. City Council representative for Manhattan’s west side 1989-2001, Special Assistant to Mayor John Lindsay and Deputy City Administrator, Director of Community/Government Affairs at the NY/NJ Port Authority, member of Governor Mario Cuomo's Cabinet and Director of the NY Division For Women. Director of Special Projects at MS Magazine, first Executive Director of the MS Foundation for Women; Executive Producer of WOMAN ALIVE, a feminist series on network public television. Rita Satz is an Emmy award-winning journalist, writer/producer at NBC News, investigative reporting.

Register for: In Conversation: Ronnie Eldridge with Ritz Satz

Estate and Healthcare Planning Update

Legal strategies to protect senior assets through trusts and estate planning. Recent changes and possible future changes in the laws make it particularly important that plans be updated. Advance directives, power of attorney, and the health care proxy will also be covered.

Wed 1:30-2:30 pm  •   Jan 31  •  1 session

David Cutner, co-founder of Lamson & Cutner, P.C., an Elder Law firm with offices in New York City and Westchester. Advocate for our aging population and the disabled, author of numerous articles and special reports for seniors, their families and caregivers; regularly appears on various media outlets.

Register for: Estate and Healthcare Planning Update

Clenched Fist vs. Open Hand:  A Guide to Improving Your Neighborhood

It turns out that you can work with City Hall – that is, if you're persistent and reasonable enough. This is what two Upper East Siders learned, as they transformed themselves over the years from a quiet couple into neighborhood advocates. After living, working and raising a family here for 30 years, in 1991 the Schneiders heard of an MTA plan to convert a vacant lot at 2nd Ave. and 63rd St. into a parking lot. Alarmed by the prospect of more traffic at one of the city's busiest intersections and eager to shape decisions affecting their own backyard, they got together with six neighbors to create a committee challenging the proposal. Their success in countering the plans sparked the formation of the East Sixties Neighborhood Association, a forum for all area residents concerned with quality of life issues. (Working with ESNA, the MTA eventually leased the lot to a notable statuary garden.)  ESNA founders share lessons learned on ways everyday citizens can improve their neighborhoods. 

Wed 1:30-2:30 pm  •   Feb 7  •  1 session

Judith and Barry Schneider, Vice President and President, respectively, East Sixties Neighborhood Association. He was the owner and creative director of NYC boutique advertising agency, 1958-98   She was a consultant to the architecture and design industry in Manhattan. They each serve on the boards of several non-profits organizations on the Upper East Side.

Register for: Clenched Fist vs. Open Hand...

Drawing (and Coloring) Outside the Lines

Ever said or thought, “I can’t draw a straight line”? Well, good for you! Artist Johanna Heinemann-Haas believes this is one’s personal mythology, and that we all can create art once we free ourselves up to have fun. More gut and less head make room for creativity to brew. She’ll take us through the process. We’ll have paper and markers for you. Feel free to bring a picture or two that might inspire you.

Wed 1:30-2:30 pm   •   Feb 14  •  1 session

Johanna Heinemann-Haas, illustrator. Her whimsical illustrations have become t-shirts for Urban Outfitters; she has a seasonal card line and fulfils commissions.

Register for: Drawing (and Coloring) Outside the Lines

MoMA Talks:  Art for the People — Chagall, Malevich, and El Lissitzky in Vitebsk

Jennifer Katanic returns to CL&L to tell us about another presentation from the Museum of Modern Art’s collection. This session focuses on Marc Chagall's return to Russia at the beginning of World War I when he established a progressive and experimental art school in his home village of Vitebsk. Together with Polish-born artist Kazimir Malevich and Lithuanian-Jewish graphic designer El Lissitzky, Chagall created an exciting program of art and design study during a period of great cultural change. His goal was to motivate young people to work collectively towards a new, modern world through a rigorous program of training that served as laboratory of new ideas. The People's Art School remains one of Chagall's greatest contributions to modern art today.

Wed 1:30-2:30 pm   •   Feb 21   •  1 session

Jennifer Katanic, Course Instructor and Lecturer, The Museum of Modern Art. Ph.D. candidate, CUNY Graduate Center, Art History. This session is made possible through MoMA Prime Time, offering programs for older adults about modern and contemporary art.

Register for: MoMA-Talks-Art-for-the-People

Discovering My Native American Heritage

Growing up with Cherokee lineage on her father's side, Jamie Guyer was fascinated by this disappearing culture since she was a little girl. She spent time with many different teachers, Native Americans and shamans, both in the US and in Latin America, participating in pow-wows and other ceremonies. She was particularly impressed by the respect for elders and for women. This presentation will feature photos and videos of the Native American culture. 
Wed 1:30-2:30 pm  •   Feb 28  •  1 session

Jamie Guyer, University of Massachusetts-Lowell Bachelor’s degree in business. Her business, Strong Heart Project, works with people of all ages on their strength and health.

Register for: Discovering My Native American Heritage

Finding the Self:  A Practical Approach to Awareness and Consciousness

Discover how special each of us is and the deeper human potential we have inside of us. We will learn meditation, discover our psychic abilities and find out who we really are. Slideshows, discussion and guest lecturers in the consciousness field will make this an exciting couple of weeks.
Wed 2:45-3:45pm   •   Jan 10, 17, 24, 31  •  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: Finding the Self...

Staying Fit After 60

Remaining in – or getting into – good shape becomes more challenging as we age. Regular exercise and physical activity are essential to continuing doing the things you love and living an independent life. Jamie Guyer’s Strong Heart Project is a wellness organization devoted to inspiring older adults through exercise and nutrition. She rejects the idea of “No Pain, No Gain,” believing that intelligent training takes people out of their comfort zone without being painful. This session will demonstrate ways to gain strength, prevent bone loss, improve balance and coordination, lift your mood and boost your memory. A workout is more than just exercise for your heart and muscles: it should make you feel better from the inside out and empowered.

Wed 2:45-3:45 pm  •   Feb 7  • 1 session

Jamie Guyer, Founder of Strong Heart Project, has certifications as a fitness trainer, including as a Senior Fitness and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist. She works with clients 9-99 years old, helping them live more independent and happier lives. B.S. Business Administration, University of Massachusetts-Lowell, volleyball scholarship.

Register for: Staying Fit After 60

Healthcare Now and in the Future

Session 1:  Healthcare Now — Obamacare is the Republican Solution. A historical perspective on healthcare reform, focusing on the policy and legislative development of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The Congressional Republicans’ inability to formulate a “repeal and replace” proposal will be discussed in the context of the ACA's underlying policies.

Wed 2:45-3:45 pm   •   Feb 14  •  1 session

David Steinman has 30+ years of consulting and management experience in the healthcare industry. Chief Operating Officer of SOMOS Healthcare, an organization of 3,000+ physicians participating in NYS’s Medicaid redesign program. Previously consultant to the NYS Department of Health on the Medicaid redesign program; VP at three Fortune 500 companies, including I.B.M. J.D., Hofstra University. M.B.A., Cornell School of Business.

Register for: Healthcare Now and in the Future

Creating a Legacy Letter

Beyond material possessions, many people want to leave their loved ones a legacy of life wisdom. Writing a Legacy Letter, also known as a non-legal “Ethical Will,” comes from an ancient tradition now being updated for our digital time. Session 1: the concept, steps involved in composing a Letter and its many benefits. Templates and prompts will be provided to help you get started. Session 2: Providing individualized assistance in finalizing these documents and in creating a new family tradition.

Wed 2:45-3:45 pm  •   Feb 21, 28  •  2 sessions

Amy Paul, President of HeirloomWords, has worked for the past 15 years in the non-profit world on behalf of older individuals, most recently as Executive Director of Friends and Relatives of Institutionalized Aged and of the Center for Aging in Place in Westchester. Formerly corporate attorney for Hertz and MasterCard International, Chair of the Women’s City Club Committee on Health. Awarded a Geriatric Scholar Certificate by The Consortium of New York Geriatric Education Centers. J.D., St. John's School of Law.

Register for: Creating a Legacy Letter


“Dizzy Dames” in Fiction and Film

The way women are depicted in the media has changed a great deal over the years. We’ll look back at three “dizzy dames” who were delightful and a whole lot smarter than they wanted people to think they were – Holly Golightly, Billie Dawn and Mame Dennis. Why do we find them so appealing and lovable?  What special qualities do they have?  We’ll watch Auntie MameBreakfast at Tiffany’s and Born Yesterday. Please read Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote, 50th Anniversary Edition in a collection of four stories published by Vintage International. (CL&L students receive 10% discount at Shakespeare & Co., 939 Lexington Ave. 68-69 Sts.)

Thu 10:30-11:45 am  •   Jan 11, 18, 25, Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22, March 1  •  8 sessions

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

Register for: Dizzy Dames

Politics 2018

It’s the new year and the investigations and possible indictments continue, the Republicans try to pass legislation, and Trump will have something to say about something, Congress will be preoccupied with the midterm elections, de Blasio is a lame duck mayor, and many Democrats begin visiting Iowa and New Hampshire. That and so much more in this interactive class.
Thu 1:00-2:15 pm   •   Jan 11, 18, 25, Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22, March 1  •  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 2018

Way Out There: Adventures of a Wilderness Trekker

Largely alone and unsupported, J. Robert Harris has backpacked in some of the world’s most tantalizing places for over 50 years. Age hasn’t stopped him – he just completed his most recent trek this fall. His stories of his adventures are by turns funny, tragic, and uplifting, and are all told in a down-to-earth, engaging style. 

Thu 2:30-3:45 pm   •   Jan 11   •  1 session

J. Robert Harris, president, JRH Marketing Services, the oldest African-American-owned marketing research and consulting firm. Growing up in a NYC housing project, JR became a successful researcher, served twice as president of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association, inducted into the MRC Hall of Fame. Member of the Explorer’s Club, a by-invitation professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research for explorers and scientists worldwide. A speaker who inspires today’s youth to climb metaphorical mountains.

Register for: Way Out There...

Memory and History: An Inside Look at the 9/11 Memorial Museum

Located on the footprints of the Twin Towers, 9/11 Memorial Museum serves as the country’s principal institution for examining the attacks and their ongoing implications. Housing thousands of artifacts, archival footage and media pieces, the 110,000 square foot museum is itself an artifact, located largely at bedrock at the architectural foundations of the site. The development of the museum and the Memorial above, both grappled with how best to honor the nearly 3,000 victims of the attacks, while acknowledging the emotional, difficult and ongoing nature of the story. The Museum’s head of Education & Public Programs discusses these challenges and offers behind-the-scenes insights into the institution and its vast collection.
Thu 2:30-3:45 pm   •   Jan 18   •  1 session

Noah Rauch is the Senior Vice President for Education & Public Programs at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. He was a senior member of the team that conceived and designed the institution’s educational programming in advance of its opening. He previously worked at several museums, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Exploratorium, and the L.A. Museum of Natural History.

Register for: Memory and History

Inside View on How Theater Professionals ‎Do Their Work

Behind-the-scenes insights of how some of Broadway’s top professionals go about preparing to work and then doing their jobs. Peter Lawrence not only has worked with major playwrights, directors and actors, he has been a keen observer as well. He will focus on Mike Nichols, Neil Simon, Emanual Azenberg, Bernadette Peters, Christopher Wheeldon and Alex Timbers. And he will explain how stage managers “bring order from chaos." 

Thu 2:30-3:45 pm   •   Jan 25   •  1 session

Peter Lawrence, theater director, stage manager, producer. 40 years of Broadway and off-Broadway experience, 2013 winner, Tony Award® Tony Honor for Excellence in Theater. Recent productions include revivals of Brigadoon, Sunday in the Park with George, Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Author, “Production Stage Management for Broadway: From Ideas to Opening Night & Beyond.”

Register for: Inside View on How Theater Professionals ‎Do Their Work

Central Park’s Magnificent Trees and Wildlife

Central Park has long been beloved and enjoyed by New Yorkers, yet much of its flora and fauna remain relatively unknown. Discover its wildlife and wildflowers, obscure footpaths and architectural features in this talk and slideshow by urban naturalist Ken Chaya. He describes his many years as a birder and how he and his partner created their celebrated tree map of all of the Park’s 843 acres.

Thu 2:30-3:45 pm   •   Feb 1   •  1 session

Ken Chaya, Educator and Naturalist at NYC H2O. Instructor at the New York Botanical Garden. Co-founder and President, Central Park Nature Associates. Co-creator of “Central Park Entire,” the definitive Central Park Tree Map. Leads nature walks throughout NYC. NYU Certificate in Multimedia Technology.

Register for: Central Park’s Magnificent Trees and Wildlife

Income Inequality:  Problems and Possible Solutions

There is growing agreement over the last few years that income inequality has sharply increased in the US, a country that has prided itself on providing opportunity. Many say that we are seeing social class lines becoming more and more rigid. College graduation has become a necessity for entry into a comfortable middle class life, but only one third of young people 25-34 years old have a college degree. Good blue collar jobs are drying up and many new job categories are low paid and dead end. Upward mobility seems stalled. We’ll examine and discuss this issue: Are we losing the American ideal of social mobility and fluid class lines?  Why isn’t education working better to promote social mobility?  How much income inequality should be acceptable in our society?  What is the situation in other countries?  What should we strive for?  What are the different solutions being proposed and tried to lessen income inequality?  Sociologist Beth Pessen will discuss the ideas of some prominent scholars in the field, such as Thomas Piketty, Robert Putnam and Richard Reeves.

Thu 2:30-3:45 pm   •   Feb 8  •  1 session

Beth Pessen had 40-year career in qualitative research, conducting focus groups for a wide variety of commercial and non-profit clients, including museums and schools. Her company, Pessen Strategic Research, was started in 1990. B.A, Barnard College; M.A. sociology, UC Berkeley; Ph.D. sociology Brandeis University.

Register for: Income Inequality...

Brooklyn:  From Major History to Major Hip

To many Manhattanites, Brooklyn was the borough they left or had visited just once or twice, often lured by Coney Island. Suddenly, it seems, Brooklyn has become a trendy area, drawing both the hip and the curious. Reva Cooper, a licensed tour guide, will talk about how several vibrant and architecturally distinguished areas developed, and their exciting current scenes. Besides the borough’s beloved mythology – “Dem Bums,” egg creams, famous natives – Brooklyn had a major role in the creation and preservation of the United States, its business and industry. The talk will be illustrated with many photos. 

Thu 2:30-3:45 pm   •   Feb 15  •  1 session

Reva Cooper, a Brooklyn native and current resident of Brooklyn, hosts history and culture walks there and in Manhattan for visitors and residents. She marketed and publicized the arts for almost 40 years, including the original Broadway production of August Wilson’s Fences with James Earl Jones, the original run of Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love, 50+ productions at The Public Theater under Joseph Papp, and hundreds of star music and dance attractions. She began her walks in 2009 as a volunteer with Big Apple Greeters and now gives tours through her company The Heart of New York Culture. B.A. in theater, Brooklyn College.

Register for: Brooklyn: From Major History to Major Hip

Healthcare Now and in the Future

Session 2: The future of healthcare – understanding the emerging philosophical and economic approaches to achieving the “triple aim” of lowering healthcare costs, improving clinical outcomes, and creating greater patient satisfaction. Managed care contracting, shifting of financial risk from insurers to providers, the increasing focus on primary and preventative care will be discussed.

Thu 2:30-3:45 pm   •   Feb 22  •  1 session

David Steinman has 30+ years of consulting and management experience in the healthcare industry. Chief Operating Officer of SOMOS Healthcare, an organization of 3,000+ physicians participating in NYS’s Medicaid redesign program. Previously consultant to the NYS Department of Health on the Medicaid redesign program; VP at three Fortune 500 companies, including I.B.M. J.D., Hofstra University. M.B.A., Cornell School of Business.

Register for: Healthcare Now and in the Future

Why is Dickens Still Relevant?

There seems to be a relatively recent resurgence of interest in the Victorian period generally, and the works and life of Charles Dickens in particular. One would hope that this interest is spurred by more than mere nostalgia for a golden past that never really existed. Known to many high schoolers for some of his works (made into famous movies), such as A Tale of Two CitiesGreat Expectations and A Christmas Carol, Dickens was also a popular lecturer, with a personal life as colorful as his characters. This discussion will explore why Dickens was one of the most popular Victorian writers of his own time, and why he remains the most popular Victorian writer of our times.

Thu 2:30-3:45 pm   •   March 1   •  1 session

Mark Halperin, member of the Dickens Fellowship of New York executive board. DFNY, founded in 1905, meets monthly to discuss the author’s works, also commemorates his birthday and passing. Halperin has been a devoted reader of Dickens' novels for over 50+ years. Retired NYC English teacher, including at Stuyvesant High School. M.A. English, University of Iowa; M.Phil. English, CUNY Graduate Center.

Register for: Why is Dickens Still Relevant?

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