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Fall Session 2018

Course Descriptions


News and Views 

10:30 - 11:45 a.m.,
October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; November 5, 12, 26

Mel Radner, retired engineer and long-time LIRIC member, will alternate with Jim O’Neill, whose resumé includes experience in the political arena. They will lead provocative discussions of topical and often controversial news.

Autumn Mélange

12:30 - 1:45 p.m.,
October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; November 5, 12, 26

Join us for this series of eight totally unrelated – and thoroughly engrossing – talks.

  • October 1
    How Technology Might Shape Our Future
    Presenter: Dr. Fran Bailie, Chair, Computer Science Department, Iona College
  • October 8
    Senior Self Defense
    Presenter: Jim Christiano, Retired Larchmont Detective
  • October 15
    Those Oldies but Goodies: A LIRIC Sing-Along
    Presenter: Gary Adamson
  • October 22
    The Republic of the Marshall Islands: Nuclear Testing, Climate Change,and Missile Defense
    How a tiny island nation became the front lines of global geopolitics.

    Presenter: Reverend Paul Sauer, Concordia College
  • October 29
    Inside Animal Hearts & Minds
    Presenter: Dianne Heim
  • November 5
    Greening America’s Schools
    Presenter: Brad Hochberg
  • November 12
    Detergents (For Laundry and Beyond)
    Presenter:  Naomi Eliezer
  • November 26
    Building an Entrepreneurial Career After Your Career
    Presenter: Christoph Winkler, Iona College,
    Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation


2 - 3:15 p.m.
October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; November 5, 12, 26

Old, new, comedy, drama, “the play’s the thing.” You’re welcome to join our group to read selected plays aloud, or simply to listen if that’s what you prefer. The first play we’ll read is George Bernard Shaw’s Arms and the Man. Scripts will be provided, as they will be for the additional plays which will be announced in the fall.

Presenter: Lila Ogman, one of the founding members of LIRIC, has been a member of the play-reading class since its inception.

Art Workshop

2 - 3:15 p.m.
October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; November 5, 12, 26

In spite of the wide range of ability and experience among participants, each person is encouraged to develop his or her own style. All proceed at a comfortable pace while learning the fundamentals of composition, design, color, and painting techniques. Even if you have never painted but have always wanted to try, you will find satisfaction and pleasure in this creative experience. Bring your own materials to the first class. If you have questions, call the instructor, Louise Stern, at 914-793-6652.

Instructor: Louise Stern has studied art in university settings as well as with known artists. She is listed in Who’s Who in American Art and is well represented in corporate art collections at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and General Foods, among others. She studied at MOMA’s Peoples Institute with Don Stacy and is a member of Silvermine Guild of artists (New Canaan, CT), the National Association of Women Artists and others.

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Tai Chi

9 - 10 a.m.,
October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; November 6, 13, 27

Pre-registration and an additional non-refundable fee of $65.00 are required for this class. We must have a minimum of 13 students registered by September 19th for the class to run. Register on page 5.

Tai Chi, as it is practiced in the west today, can perhaps best be thought of as a moving form of yoga and meditation combined. In Chinese philosophy and medicine, “chi” is a vital force that animates the body; thus one purpose of Tai Chi is to enhance the health and vitality of the practitioner. Tai Chi also fosters a calm and tranquil mind by focusing on the precise execution of the exercises. Learning to do them correctly provides a practical method for improving balance, posture, alignment, fine-scale motor control, rhythm of movement, and breathing. Tai Chi has been recommended as an adjunct therapy for chronic pain, arthritis, insomnia, asthma, high blood pressure, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis and fibromyalgia.

Instructor: Domingo Colon is the owner of the Tai Chi School of Westchester in Bronxville. He has been practicing Tai Chi since he was fifteen, and is the teacher of other Tai Chi masters as well as a frequent judge at Tai Chi competitions.

Writer's Workshop

9 - 10:15 a.m.,
October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; November 6, 13, 27

All of us have a vast number of stories and experiences within us just waiting to be heard. Here is your chance to release your hidden Hemingway and Tolstoy as the class explores a variety of writing experiences in a relaxed informal setting.

Facilitator: Chuck Miller enjoys writing and is excited about the opportunity to share that joy with others who share the passion. An educator for 48 years, as well as past editor of LIRIC’s newsletter, Chuck’s goal is to encourage each participant’s writing aspirations.


10:30 - 11:45 a.m.,
October 2, 9, 16, 23

This four-part series on the history of New York City goes beyond the usual who-what-where-when to examine the why and how things happened.

  • October 2
    NYC, Capital of the World (What goes on here and how does it matter?) 
  • October 9
    Early New York (Who came? What did they find and what did they do with it?)
  • October 16
    Gateway: The Immigrants (Their experience - their character - their effect)
  • October 23
    Hidden in Plain Sight: History in the Streets (Reading culture through the bend in a road, shape of a building or site of a church)

Presenter: Peter Laskowich has been indulging his passion for New York since 1987 by giving classes, lectures, and tours of its history. He is the author of a coming book on the connections between the history of baseball and that of NYC.

New Rochelle, Queen City Of The Sound

10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
October 30; November 6, 13, 27

We follow our history of New York City with a series of talks about New Rochelle, which is, after all, only 45 minutes from Broadway!

  • October 30     
    Our Huguenot Heritage
    Presenter: Reverend Robert E. Gahler
    Trinity St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, New Rochelle
  • November 6 & 13
    Famous Residents of New Rochelle
    Presenter: Barbara Davis, Historian, City of New Rochelle
  • November 27
    The Ursuline Order in the City of New Rochelle
    Presenter: Sister Martha Counihan, Archivist,
    The College of New Rochelle Gill Library

To Dream The Impossible Dream

12:30 - 1:45 p.m.,
October 2, 9, 16, 23

Dostoevsky, the famous Russian writer said, “Of all the beautiful individuals in Christian literature, one stands out as the most perfect, Don Quixote,” adding, “but he is beautiful only because he is ridiculous.”

In this course, after being introduced to Spain in the 14th century you will hear about the adventures of the world’s most interesting literary man. While we will not be reading the entire novel, we will be doing a few chapters, focusing on the imperfections of the world as Cervantes saw it in his masterpiece Don Quixote. You might want to pick up a copy if you don’t already own one.

Presenter: Ana Maria Neuman, new to LIRIC last year, taught Spanish language, culture, and literature to high school students for twenty-five years. With degrees from the French Lycée in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Hunter College in NYC, and UNAM Mexico City in Mexico, she is a member of NYC’s Spanish Repertory Theater, and a lover of music, ballet, theater, museums, and travel.


12:30 - 1:45 p.m.,
October 30; November 6, 13, 27

A myth is a story that serves to define the fundamental worldview of a culture by explaining aspects of the natural world and delineating the psychological and social practices and ideals of that culture.  A myth can personify nature; it can be a hyperbolic account of historical events  or an explanation of existing rituals.  Whatever the source-- a culture's mythology conveys belonging, shared secular and religious experiences, behavioral models, moral and practical lessons.  Mythology has been the inspiration for the arts around the world.  In these four sessions we’ll look not only at the familiar classical myths of Greece and Rome, but at the Celtic myths, those of Scandinavia, Africa, and the Far East.

Presenter: Shirley Radcliffe taught in the New York City public school system for 38 years, and after retirement at Manhattanville College. Here at LIRIC she has led book discussions, given single lectures, and offered classes on literature, language, dining, clothes, and the year 1491. She chairs the Humanities Committee.

Here, There And Everywhere

2  - 3:15 p.m.,
October 2, 9, 16, 23

  • October 2 
    Performance by the New Rochelle-based vocal group Sing Your Heart Out, led by Robert P. Puleo
  • October 9 
    Lotus Flower Workshop from the Korean Spirit and Culture Promotion Project
    Advanced registration and a $5.00 materials fee are required. (See enclosed flier and registration form.) Only 30 spots are available, on a first come, first served basis, so send in your check and registration form quickly.
  • October 16
    Planetarium Trip to New Rochelle High School
  • October 23
    Wine-Tasting, in honor of Ed Richman, Presenter: Greg Koster

All That Jazz:  In-Concert Performances

2 - 3:15 p.m.
October 30; November 6, 13, 27

The ninth semester of our All That Jazz will once again enjoy classic performances filmed in Europe:  a fiery 1958 concert by Lionel Hampton and his legendary big band; three concerts by the legendary ‘60s Oscar Peterson trio with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen; two incredible concerts by Nina Simone from 1965 & 1968 showcasing the multifaceted diva in all her glory; and an all-star finale featuring Bill Evans, Sonny Rollins, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

Presenter: Gregory Koster has been a Jazz fan since the early 60s, was a Jazz DJ in college, contributed Jazz reviews and surveys to The Sensible Sound magazine for over 15 years, and is a Board Member and Past President of the PJS Jazz Society in Mount Vernon.

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Special Events At Liric

Wednesdays are special at LIRIC. Classes are suspended that day to allow for additional intellectual and artistic pursuits off site. The familiar is intertwined with the new in often off-beat adventures. The goal is to expose our members to things and places that enrich and feed the mind as well as the soul. Space is limited, so LIRIC members receive first priority. Information about our is generally sent in separate mailings. While information about our trips is generally sent in separate mailings, you will find registration forms for our October trips enclosed with this catalog.

Trip planner Dianne Heim likes to travel far and near. With so many things to see in the world, Dianne would like to share with you some of those in our own backyard

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Hawking: A Mind Roaming The Stars

10:30 - 11:45 a.m.,
October 4, 11, 18, 25

Stephen William Hawking died on March 14, 2018. He was a man of awesome ability in spite of ALS, a disease that gradually paralyzed his body. He was a genius who showed us that the Big Bang that brought our universe into being was like the formation of a Black Hole in reverse. He was an avowed atheist who was a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and whose ashes will be interred at Westminster Abbey near the grave of Isaac Newton. He astonished the publishing world by turning a science book aimed at the general public into a bestseller. His A Brief History of Time sold more than ten million copies in twenty years. We will review the life and work of this unique individual in our Fall lectures.

Presenter: Dr. Raymond Peckauskas, emeritus professor of physics at Sarah Lawrence College, who received his doctorate in biophysics from Cornell Medical School. We have had the good fortune to hear other stimulating lectures by this erudite scholar, including last spring’s course on The Meaning of God in the 21st Century.

Criminal Justice And Sociology

10:30 - 11:45 a.m.,
November 1, 8, 15, 29

Past and present faculty from Iona’s Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology offer a series of four talks on their respective areas of expertise

  • November 1
    American Families Over the Past Fifty Years: A Professional Journey
    Presenter: Dr. William S. Egelman, Professor Emeritus
  • November 8
    Power and Paine: Sociology and Criminology of Injustice in Thomas
    Paine Presenter: Dr. Joshua Klein
  • November 15
    Otherizing in Vogue: The Rise of Nationalisms in Western Democracies
    Presenter: Dr. Derese Kassa
  • November 29
    Connecting the Disconnect: Creating Solutions for Humans, Animals and the Environment for a Just, Equitable and Sustainable World
    Presenter: Dr. Kimberly Spanjol

Art In The Abstract

10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
October 4, 11, 18, 25; November 1, 8,15, 29

Experimented with representational painting and drawing (or afraid to)? Now add something different to your repertoire, or try it for the first time – mixed media or assemblage art! Discover how to use color, composition, shape and design fundamentals to develop your personal style. You can create an abstract artwork, using mixed media, such as a collage, or an assemblage piece, using found objects from everyday life or from personal collections.
No supplies are needed for the first class, and everyone is welcome, including absolute beginners.

Instructor: Eileen Allen has a BA in Fine Art and an MA in Art Education.  She worked creatively in the business world in addition to teaching high school art.

War: The Beginning, The End

12:30 - 1:45 p.m.,
October 4, 11, 18

  • October 4 
    Remember the Maine
    Presenter: Walt Johanson
  • October 11
    The End of the First World War and the Demise of Empires
    Presenter: Jim O’Neill
  • October 18
    Brother Marinus and the Ship of Miracles:A Korean War Memory
    Presenter: J. Robert Lunney

Politics: Updates On The Judicial And Legislative Branches

12:30 - 1:45 p.m.,
October 25; November 1, 8, 15

Significant Supreme Court decisions for the term ended June 30 will be analyzed and discussed in the first and fourth sessions on October 25 and November 15. The remaining two lectures will be devoted to the midterm elections that will be held on November 6. The pre-election discussion on November 1 will focus on the most likely results for the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as gubernatorial and state races that may impact reapportionment following the 2020 census. The post-election presentation on November 8 will look at how well our predictions held up, as well as rationalizing our miscalculations. 

Presenter: Bob Kent is an attorney specializing in health care and human resources. With a JD from Harvard Law School he has, over the years, worked with NBC Universal, Lifetime Entertainment Services and TWA among others. In the last few years, he has spoken to LIRIC about such subjects as bioethical issues, supreme court cases, and the presidency.

Drawing And More

12:30 - 1:45 p.m.,
October 4; 11, 18, 25; November 1, 8, 15

Like to draw? Dream of taking your stick figures to the next level? Here’s where to start. We’ll cover the basics of design, contour, shading and composition – with in-depth demos to help you draw various types of objects – and have fun while bringing out the artist in you. Newcomers are welcome, as are returning students. No experience or talent necessary – just the desire to learn. Please bring an 11x14 sketch pad, a 2B pencil and a kneaded or white vinyl (Magic Rub) eraser to the first class, where you’ll receive a complete supply list. (You may add color if you wish.) Questions? Call Gail at 914-961-5661.

Instructor: Gail Apfel graduated from New York City’s High School of Music and Art then studied art at Buffalo State College and the Westchester Art Workshop. She taught photography and Arts and Crafts at summer camps for years and worked as a designer of custom framing as a sideline while teaching at the high school level in Westchester. Gail chairs our Fine & Performing Arts Committee.

Literary Discussion

2 - 3:15 p.m.,
October 4, 11, 18, 25; November 1, 8, 15

In keeping with the theme for our Friday lecture series, all our selections are either by Scandinavian authors or set in Scandinavian countries. Our final class will offer you the opportunity to share with the group books you think they might enjoy – and no, they need not be Scandinavian!

  • October 4  
    The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson (384 pp.)
    Presenter: Lois Lovisolo
  • October 11 
    Scandinavian Short Stories
    Presenter: Rick Leibert
  • October 18 
    Britt Marie Was Here, by Fredrik Backman (324 pp.)
    Presenter: Linda Whetzel
  • October 25 
    Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen
    Presenter: Viviane Ponslet
  • November 1
    Norwegian by Night, by Derek B. Miller (290 pp.)
    Presenter: Beth Hofstetter
  • November 8 
    Astrid and Veronika, by Linda Olsson (244 pp.)
    Presenter: Mary Arnone
  • November 15 
    Book Recommendations

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Lecture Series: Scandinavia

1 - 2:15 p.m.,
October 5, 12, 19, 26; November 2, 9, 16, 30

In recent years we’ve traveled to Australia, Russia, India and, closer to home, the American South. This fall our Friday lecture series  takes a closer look at Scandinavia,  land of fjords, the northern lights, and, of course, the Vikings. We’ll examine Nordic history and geography, the political and educational systems, philosophy, music and architecture and learn how much of the Scandinavians’ culture – and how many of their customs -- migrated to the United States with them. Those of you who can’t get enough might like to join our literary discussion class, or sit in on the film course, where our study of Scandinavia will continue.

All Lectures take place in the Christopher J. Murphy Auditorium at Iona College.

  • October 5
    An Overview of Scandinavian Geography & History
    Presenter: Martin McCormack
  • October 12
    The Viking Saga
    Presenter: Greg Koster
  • October 19
    What We Can Learn from the Scandinavian Political System
    Presenter: Dr. Josh Leon, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and International Studies, Iona College
  • October 26
    Scandinavian Culture in America
    Presenter: Lois Lovisolo
  • November 2
    Soren Kierkegaard and the Limits of Reason
    Presenter: Dr. James Stillwaggon, Philosophy Department, Iona College
  • November 9
    Northern Lights: The Music of Scandinavia
    Presenter: Jason Thoms, DMA Dean of Arts and Sciences, Director or Choral Activities Associate Professor of Music, Concordia College
  • November 16 
    A Swedish Education
    Presenter: Dr. Amanda Howerton-Fox, Dept. of Education, Iona College
  • November 30
    Scandinavian Architecture
    Presenter: Ed Shiffer

Film Course: Scandinavia

2:30 - 4:45 p.m.,
October 5, 19, 26; November 2, 9, 16, 30

Note: There will be no class on October 12th. All classes meet in Romita Auditorium in Ryan Library.
Scandinavian films were not a contender on the global market until after World War II. Unlike most stylized Hollywood films, Nordic films were more personal and realistic, tending to be psychologically driven rather than plot driven, and focusing more on reactions to social conflicts and everyday drama. They featured everyday characters in everyday situations, identifying with the masses and not the elite few.  Stressing the importance of community and nature, the themes often include isolation, mortality, love, politics, and religion. In addition, these films champion female equality and explore human sexuality.  This course will introduce a smorgasbord of films from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. The complete schedule of films will be announced in the fall.

Everyday Excel, Part 1

2:30 - 4 p.m.,
October 5, 12, 19, 26; November 2, 9

(Murphy Computer Lab Room 122)

You must register for this course by September 19th using the Technology Registration Form on p. 23.

Excel is a spreadsheet program that can be used for personal budgeting, monthly expenses, or processing and organizing information. 

Topics for Everyday Excel Part I will include:

  • Getting to Know Excel – the Excel Interface including Menus, Ribbons,
  • Cell Formats and Worksheets
  • Creating, saving and retrieving documents.
  • Cell basics and data entry techniques
  • Using Formulas and Functions
  • Completion of a project such as "Keeping Track of Personal Expenses"

Student Requirements:

  • Working knowledge of Windows for PCs
  • Working email account
  • Must bring a USB flash drive to every class to save work.
Students must register for this class by September 19th.  No students will be admitted to class unless they are confirmed through LIRIC.

Instructors: Diana Breen, former manager of the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching at Iona College (CELTIC), has a B.S. in computer science and a M.A. in English. She has developed software for IBM and has been an independent hardware/software consultant, a high school teacher and a technology coordinator.

Anna Martone has been an independent computer consultant for over twenty years. Anna has developed training materials and documentation that have been used in various training programs. Her varied clients include government entities, local colleges, and some of the top financial institutions.

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