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History & Culture
Alfred Russel Wallace, Co-Discoverer of Evolution by Natural Selection
with Thomas Hamilton
Everyone has heard of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, but it should more properly be called the Wallace-Darwin Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. The discovery of Evolution by Natural Selection was announced in London at a meeting of the Linnean Society in 1858 during which papers written by Darwin and Wallace were presented. This course will focus on the life and work of Alfred Russel Wallace. We will follow this extraordinary man from his childhood in Wales, his travels in the Amazon Basin of Brazil and extensive wanderings in the Malay Archipelago. We will explore how his experiences in the tropics influenced his thinking and the direction of his life as a scientist, biogeographer, socialist, social critic, and ardent spiritualist.
Thomas Hamilton retired from a 32-year career as an instructor in biology and chemistry, coach and house counselor at Phillips Academy, Andover MA. He holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Brown University and Ball State University.
West with Giraffes
with Laura Sturgis
We will take a look at Lynda Rutledge’s book, based on the true story of two rescued giraffes on their way from the East Coast to the San Diego Zoo.
Laura is a retired English teacher who loves to read. She taught a course for Syracuse University for seniors at Edward Little High School.
Class meets every other week; February 1, February 15, and March 1.
What is Negotiating in a Crisis with the North Koreans Actually Like?
with Mark Minton
In the autumn of 1996, a North Korean submarine inserting spy commandos into South Korea was beached on the shore there. The commandos killed their own crew, then struck out overland to try to return across the border. The South Korean army turned out to find them, eventually killing all but one of the commandos. This incident caused a direct armed confrontation between North and South Korea and threatened U.S. diplomacy with North Korea to contain its nuclear weapons program. The instructor, then Director of Korean Affairs in the State Department, was dispatched for two weeks to negotiate with North Korean diplomats to obtain the North Korean apology demanded by the South. What was that like and what was the result? Reference Reading: Riding a Submarine to the Conference Table: a Case Study in U.S.- DPRK Diplomacy (Georgetown University 13-page case study based on this negotiation) (google it)
Mark is a career Foreign Service Officer with many tours in Korea, Japan, and at the United Nations. He served as Director of Korean Affairs in the State Department and Deputy U.S. Ambassador in Seoul. Formerly, he served as Ambassador to Mongolia.
The Sons of Fez: A Moroccan Time Travel Adventure
with Kay Hardy Campbell
A Journey to the Moroccan City of Fez - and its Medina, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is the setting for Kay Hardy Campbell's novel, "The Sons of Fez: A Moroccan Time Travel Adventure". Discover the history, sights, and sounds of the only intact medieval city in the Arab world. Learn about its famous citizens, including Fatima al-Fehri, who in 859 AD used her inheritance to found the famous Qarawiyyin Mosque and University that still stand today, 1,100 years later. The session will include a discussion of the novel, with ample Q&A time for the author and the participants. Sit back with a cup of sweet mint tea and enjoy the adventure. Suggested book: The Sons of Fez: A Moroccan Time Travel Adventure by Kay Hardy Campbell
Maine author Kay Hardy Campbell's first novel, A Caravan of Brides: A Novel of Saudi Arabia was named one of the best 'Indie' books by Kirkus Reviews in 2018. A life-long student of Arabic language, culture, history, and music, Kay majored in Arabic at University and lived in Saudi Arabia for several years. She writes about Arab culture for AramcoWorld Magazine, and is a director of the Arabic Music Retreat. On her first visit to Morocco, she felt instantly drawn to the city of Fez, particularly its medina, sensing that history was very near. She and her husband live in Maine. www.kayhardycampbell.com
The Cuban Revolution that Succeeded
with Diane Parker
Why did the 1959 revolution in Cuba succeed when all the others did not? How did the people who became the leaders and winners meet? Are these leaders as black as the US paints them? Did anyone think that Cuba would still exist after more than six decades? Come explore the answers with me.
Diane was a Spanish teacher for 17 years. She became interested in Cuba when researching for an extensive paper, “Cuba's History and Why the Revolution We Remember Succeeded”. The bigger than life figures involved captured my interest and still do.
TED Talk Discussion Group
with Bill Frayer
As he did last year, Bill will show TED talks on six consecutive Tuesday afternoons and lead a robust discussion by our well-informed, sophisticated participants.
Bill Frayer has a BA in English from Brown and an MS in Adult education from USM. He taught at CMCC for 31 years where he chaired the Humanities Dept.
with Lucy Bisson
Portugal is a magical place which we were lucky to be able to visit. Despite Covid restrictions, we had a wonderful experience which we will share with you.
Instructors: Lucy Bisson and Judy Hierstein Two old ladies who like to travel visit a third old lady, and take lots of pictures