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ALL Courses

Academy for Lifelong Learning membership is now optional! If you choose to become a member of ALL, you will receive a 50% discount on all course fees.

In case of inclement weather, the Academy will follow school closing procedures for Talbot County Public Schools. Listen for information on radio stations such as WCEI 96.7 FM, WSCL FM 89.5, or WTK 107.1 FM, TV stations such as WMAR, WBAL, WJZ, and WBOC, or contact the public schools website at Come to class only when it is safe for you to do so. The Academy will endeavor to make up any class canceled due to inclement weather.

President’s Letter, Fall 2015

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful summer. Hard as it is to believe, we are about to begin another semester of engaging, provocative, and stimulating ALL courses, lectures, and field trips. And you no longer have to be an ALL member to participate! (But being a member will give you a discount.)

Our multi-session courses this fall include a fascinating review of the newspaper coverage
of wars in and involving America during the past 300 years; a look at how the “Beat Generation” writers influenced literature, poetry and society over the past 60 years; a delightful exposition of how the form of music enables us to far more easily understand a particular piece; renewable energy—what’s in it for you; more Great Discussions; how Eastern Shore communities have looked out after themselves for over 300 years; the spiritual aspects of aging; memoir writing; getting your own book published; how to compose better photos; the Chesapeake Bay oyster industry; Conversations (Round 2); an overview of mental health support services in the county; using Facebook; an intimate look at James Madison, self-effacing superhero; and field trips to Horn Point Laboratory and Poplar Island.

In short, a truly great lineup of courses, lectures, and field trips. And if there’s anything you think we should address or—even better—would like to help us address, we await your call.

Enjoy the fall semester!

Bob Lonergan

Multi-Session Courses

With George Merrill
Date: Seven sessions on Wednesdays Sept. 16, 23, 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28
Time: 10:30-Noon
Location: Conference Room, Trinity Cathedral,
314 North Street, Easton, Md.
Enrollment limited to 15; Sign up early!

Course Description:
Aging confidently is a spiritual challenge. Drawing from the great “wisdom traditions” and religious practices of history, this course is designed to broaden
our understanding of spirituality and to enhance our spiritual practices as seniors. We will investigate ways to harvest the fruits of our past, live more fully in the present, and face the future with increased equanimity.

The course involves reading selections from cutting-edge works on aging and spirituality by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and David L. Elkins. Sessions will begin with didactic presentations and then move into general discussion.

If your fall schedule requires frequent absences we suggest you take the course at another time. Since the format is primarily discussion, your regular availability enhances our learning together. We hope you can join us in this exploration.

ALL Members $30 | Non-Members $45

With Johnny Shockley
Session One: Monday, Sept. 21
Time: 1:30-3pm
Location: Van Lennep Auditorium, CBMM Campus

Session Two: Tuesday, Sept. 29
Time: 1:30-5pm
Location: Field trip to Hoopers Island Oyster Aquaculture Company; participants are
sible for their own transportation.
Course Description:

This course discusses the past, present, and future of the oyster industry in Maryland. We will begin with hand-tonging and then cover skipjacks, power dredging, diseases and Bay health, and contemporary aquaculture.

The first session of the course is a presentation at CBMM. The second session is a field trip to see a modern aquaculture operation. Arrangements for the
September 29th field trip using participants’ vehicles will be made at the end
of the September 21st session.

ALL Members $20 | Non-Members $30

With Denise Nathanson
Date: Four sessions on Wednesdays, Sept. 23, 30, Oct. 7, 14
Time: 10:30-Noon
Location: Van Lennep Auditorium, CBMM Campus

Course Description:
Just as one immediately has a vision of what a house looks like if it is said to be “Colonial,” one can have a similar concept of a work of music by knowing its form. Understanding form is one of the most assessable and enjoyable ways to understand a piece of music. It allows us to “follow along” by knowing how the composer constructed the piece. In this class, Denise will walk you through four types of form: Rondo, Sonata, Variation, and Fugue. One form will be highlighted each week. Some of the best loved pieces of classical music will be used as examples.

As always, Denise’s cello will be along for the adventure!

ALL Members $30 | Non-Members $45

With Glory Aiken
Date: Six session on Mondays, Sept. 28, Oct. 5, 19, 26 & Nov. 2, 9
Time: 9:30-11:30am
Location: Dorchester House, CBMM Campus

Enrollment limited to 10; Sign up early!
Course Description:

Please join us on our journey into the art of writing memoirs. This course will provide the writer with the opportunity to begin, continue, and ultimately complete their unique memoir. The bulk of class time will be devoted to reading each participant’s 1-2 page submission each week.

You may choose to write about your family’s story or even just a story about a day, an event or a celebration. Your memoir may include and focus on research into your family’s history or consist of a collection of photographs or letters and journals.

A discussion of the many publishing opportunities now available to writers will also be included.

ALL Members $30 | Non-Members $45

With Peter Thatcher
Date: Eight sessions on Fridays, Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13, 20
Time: 10:30am-Noon
Location: Van Lennep Auditorium, CBMM Campus

Course Description:

Developed by the Foreign Policy Association ( in 1954, the Great Decisions Discussion Program is the longest-standing and largest grassroots world affairs educational program of its kind. It is designed to encourage debate and discussion of the important global issues of our time. Any individual with an interest in expanding his/her knowledge of international relations as well as engaging in active discussion of crucial global issues is welcome.

Topics for 2015:

The Foreign Policy Association (FPA) Briefing Book and supplemental FPA video materials will provide a common point of departure for further discussions. Participants are asked to purchase a FPA prepared Briefing Book, which may be purchased directly from the Foreign Policy Association or though ALL. Contact or 410-745-4941 to order through ALL.

ALL Members $30 | Non-Members $45 (plus $20 for briefing book)

With Mary-Eileen Russell (AKA Elana Maria Vidal) and Alexandra Hamlet

Date: Three sessions on Wednesdays, Oct. 7, 14, 21
Time: 1:30-3:30pm
Location: Van Lennep Auditorium, CBMM Campus

Course Description:

Having a book published is the dream of many fine writers. Today’s technology provides resources to help with the challenging task of finding an agent and a publisher, as well as an abundance of marketing tools.

Published authors Alexandra Hamlet and Mary-Eileen Russell will share their hard-earned knowledge of how to get one’s work published and onto the book store shelves. Several topics will be covered in three weekly two-hour classes, including how to write a query letter and take rejection and criticism, what to expect from an editor, how to pitch your story, the importance of careful proofreading, how to use social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, BlogTalkRadio, Linked In, Google+, forums, etc.), and how to find your readership.

Practical tips will also be given about how to set up book-signings, Internet etiquette, how to protect yourself from trolls, navigating and Goodreads, and what to do if you receive bad reviews.

The Internet book world is a new frontier where there is great potential but it helps to have a guide. Let Alexandra and Mary-Eileen be your guides!

ALL Members $30 | Non-Members $45

With Ryk Lesser
Date: Three sessions on Tuesdays, Oct. 13, 20, 27
Time: 10-11:30am
Location: Van Lennep Auditorium, CBMM Campus

Course Description:

You have heard about alternative energy for the home, but do you know what it is and what it can mean for you? In this three-part program, Ryk will introduce you to alternative energy sources and explain what practical differences they can make in your home and budget.

Session 1: Solar Thermal and Solar Electric Systems

Of all of the renewable energy systems available today, solar thermal and solar electric are the simplest to integrate into your home’s energy grid. This session will provide a 90-minute overview of these technologies and how you can benefit from them.

Session 2: Efficiency and Your Heating and Cooling Systems

Do big or unpredictable seasonal swings in your energy bills ruin your budget? This session will look at the likely culprit:  your heating and cooling (HVAC) systems. We will look at how the various systems work, what they will cost, and how to get costs under control.

Session 3: Wind and Battery Backup Systems for Your Home

In this session, we will look at the small wind turbine market and what it has to offer Eastern Shore residents, including its applications and costs. We will also look at battery backup systems and examine one offering from Tesla motors.

ALL Members $30 | Non-Members $45

With John Ford & Kate Livie
Date: Five sessions on Tuesdays, Oct. 13, 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10

Time: 1-2:30pm
Location: Van Lennep Auditorium, CBMM Campus

Course Description:

Driven by the tumult of the atomic bomb, the Cold War, and anti-Communist hysteria, writers like Alan Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Gary Snyder and many others rejected society and the literary conventions of the day to create some of the most startling fiction and poetry in American history. The Beat Writers’ purpose was to create a “New Vision” of art, trying, as Ginsberg’s friend Lucien Carr said, “to look at the world in a new light, trying to look at the world in a way that gave it some meaning. Trying to find values… that were valid. And it was through literature all this was supposed to be done.” This five-week course will take a look at many of these writings and their authors, along with the societal forces of the late 40s and 50s that pushed these minds toward the fringes of literature.

It is suggested that class participants use the following texts for the class:

• The Portable Beat Reader by Ann Charters (Penguin Classics)

• On the Road by Jack Kerouac (Penguin Books, June 1, 1999)

The Birth of the Beat Generation: Visionaries, Rebels, and Hipsters, 1944-1960

by Steven Watson (Circles of the Twentieth Century)

ALL Members $30 | Non-Members $45

With Norman Bell
Date: Three sessions on Fridays, Oct. 16, 23, 30
Time: 10-11:30am
Location: Oxford Community Center
200 Oxford Rd., Oxford, Md.

Course Description:

If you’ve been taking pictures for a while but are not satisfied with the results, come join us to learn how you can improve your pictures through an understanding of the principles of composition. We’ll cover topics such as the Rule of Thirds, Horizon Placement, Point of View, and Lines as well as other approaches to composition. We will look at examples of the principles and discuss them for understanding. We also will have friendly critique time at the beginning of the second and third sessions to review pictures participants have taken between sessions. This will give us an opportunity to review what we’ve learned before moving on to the next topic.

This course is not intended to be an introduction to photography. Participants are expected to have a working knowledge of their cameras and have experience taking pictures—any kind of pictures. Some understanding of post-processing techniques including lightening, darkening, cropping, and other adjustments is helpful but not necessary. What is necessary is the desire to improve the pictures you take to enhance the photographic experience.

ALL Members $30 | Non-Members $45

With Stephen Goldman
Date: Five sessions on Mondays, Oct. 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9, 16
Time: 9-10:30am
Location: Van Lennep Auditorium, CBMM Campus

Course Description:

2015 marks several milestones in the Wars of America: It is the 313th anniversary of the end of Queen Anne’s War (an early Colonial American War—1715), the 260th anniversary of the start of the French & Indian War, the 240th anniversary of the start of the Revolutionary War, the 200th anniversary of the end of the War of 1812, the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, the 125th anniversary of the end of the Plains Indian Wars, the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, the 65th anniversary of the start of the Korean War, and the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.

We will take a look at how the newspapers of these eras covered the important American military events over the past 500 years, using historical newspapers as our “time travel machine.” This five-part lecture series will utilize images of rare newspapers to examine the history and news coverage of all of the major wars in the Americas between the landing of Columbus in the New World (1492) to the Iraq War (2003).

• Session 1:  From the Colonial Indian Wars to the American Revolutionary War

• Session 2: The American Revolutionary War to the Civil War

• Session 3:  The Civil War

• Session 4:  The Plains Indian Wars through World War I

• Session 5:  World War II to the present

ALL Members $30 | Non-Members $45

With Phillip Hesser, PhD
Date: Four sessions on Mondays, Oct. 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9
Time: 2:30-4pm
Location: Van Lennep Auditorium, CBMM Campus

Course Description:

The Eastern Shore had a long history of isolated communities coming together to respond to common needs and concerns before the state and federal government also began to address many of these areas. From schools and almshouses to churches and fraternal organizations to fire companies and banks, the communities of the Shore literally built their own institutions and even shaped those public institutions that came with an expanding government.

This course will examine:

• Women and Children First: Schools & Almshouses

• When the Roll is Called: Churches, Camp Meetings, & Fraternal Organizations

• Putting the Capital in Social Capital: Banks, Fire Companies, & Charities

• Institutionalizing Community: Dealing with State Hospitals, Prisons, Universities, and

County School Boards while Maintaining Community

Participants will explore how the Shore’s unique history fostered both community organization and active involvement in state and local government institutions.

ALL Members $30 | Non-Members $45

Field Trips and Tours

With Horn Point Staff

Date: Thursday, Oct. 1

Time: 10am-Noon

Location: 220 Horn Point Rd., Cambridge, Md.

Please use your own transportation to arrive at Horn Point Laboratory between 9:45 and 10am. Enrollment limited to 20; Sign up early!

Horn Point Laboratory (HPL) is an environmental research facility of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), the principal institution for advanced environmental research and graduate studies within the University System of Maryland. Horn Point staff have arranged for a special guided tour of the facility for ALL participants.

DIRECTIONS to Horn Point Laboratory from Easton

Step One: Take Route 50 heading east (toward Ocean City). Coming into Cambridge you will cross the Choptank River bridge. Go one block and turn right onto Maryland Avenue. Go through the light. Cross the drawbridge. Stay straight going through another light until you come to a “T” at Gay Street. You will see an old firehouse straight ahead. Turn left. Go one block to a light at Race Street. Your landmark is a store named Sunnyside. Turn left on Race Street. At the third stop light turn right onto Washington Street (Rte 343).

Step Two: Stay on this road for about 3 miles. The road will come to a V at a little store. Look for the UMCES sign on the right side of the road and bear right on Horns Point Rd. Continue for about 1.5 miles. The entrance to the lab is flanked by two statues of rams. Come in the lane. Turn at the first right at Coastal and Estuarine Sciences and Horn Point Offices sign. In front of the building on your left you will see visitor parking spaces and the entry into the building by the heron sculpture.

Download directions and view a map at

Please note: Horn Point Laboratory is a multi-building facility on the Choptank River. A tour of the facility requires the ability to stand for about 90 minutes and walk about ½ mile. Prospective participants who have mobility issues should contact Linda Starling at Horn Point Laboratory (301-802-1587) to discuss their needs and the suitability of this tour for them.

ALL Members $5 | Non-Members $7.50

With Poplar Island Staff

Date: Tuesday, Oct. 13

Time: 9am-noon

Location: 21548 Chicken Point Rd., Tilghman. Boat to Poplar Island leaves from Tilghman Island at 9am.

Enrollment limited to 24; Sign up early!

Poplar Island, once on the verge of disappearing, is today a national model for habitat restoration and the beneficial use of dredged material. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, teamed with the Maryland Port Administration and other State and Federal agencies to restore the island using dredged material from the Baltimore Harbor and Channel Federal navigation projects. Approximately 40 million cubic yards of dredged material will be placed to develop about 1700 acres of wetlands and uplands.

A guided tour of the island’s 13 miles of dikes will offer views of emerging
habitat for a variety of wildlife species including bald eagles, osprey, heron, and egret as well as insight into the challenges of island restoration.

DIRECTIONS to Poplar Island Tour Boat Departure Area

Cross Knapps Narrows Bridge on Route 33 to Tilghman Island. Turn left at the first street, Chicken Point Road. The office is the third building on the left, 21548 Chicken Point Road. Parking is available in the lot behind the building. Please park in the marked parking spaces.

Please note: The tour of Poplar Island involves a boat trip to and from the island. The tour itself is by bus with a trained guide. There are several stops on the tour involving getting on and off the bus if you choose. Please bring a container of water if the weather is hot.

ALL Member $5 | Non-Member $7.50

Single-Session Presentations

With Marie Thomas
Date: Monday, Sept. 28
Time: 1:30-3pm
Location: Van Lennep Auditorium, CBMM Campus

Enrollment limited to 15; Sign up early!

Course Description:

The social media site Facebook has over 1.4 billion active users—slightly more than the population of China. 71% of American adults use Facebook and 56% of Internet users aged 65 and older now use it.

Facebook is one long, continuous conversation, providing a platform for you to share photos, articles, news, observations, and more with friends and family. You can keep up with family and friends from around the world, or follow your favorite news and entertainment organizations and see updates on all the subjects you care about in one convenient spot.

In this session, we’ll talk about the following:

How to set up a Facebook account

How to set your privacy settings

How to find and add “Friends”

How to manage your notifications

Facebook “Map” – e.g. what’s the difference between a post and a private message?

Participants are invited to bring their laptops or tablets and follow along during instruction to set up their social media accounts. Users MUST have a working email address.

ALL Members $10 | Non-Members $15

With Sam Barnett & Guest Hosts

Session One: Thursday, Oct. 29
Time: 9:30-11am
Speaker: Kristen Greenaway, CBMM President
Topic: What are Museums for and Why Should We Care?

Session Two: Tuesday, Nov. 3
Time: 9:30-11am
Speaker: Richard Wagner, PhD
Topic: Can a Physicist Believe in God?

Location: Van Lennep Auditorium, CBMM Campus

Enrollment limited to 20; Sign up early! Participants may register for either one or both sessions.

Course Description:

Conversations is not a “course” in the traditional sense. Rather, it is an opportunity to join a discussion on topics of interest, each discussion co-hosted by members of the Talbot County community. The aim of Conversations is to provide a forum for discussion by course participants about a topic, issue, or problem. The discussions are not aimed at solving a problem or even reaching agreement about a topic; the aim is to learn about different perspectives from the participants in the discussion and to consider different points of view. General agreement, if it occurs, would be a happy consequence of every discussion member expressing their thoughts and opinions, but learning from each other is the major goal of each week’s conversation.

Whenever possible, participants will receive some background material. The background material is intended only as a way of giving all participants a common starting point for the weekly sessions. Coffee and tea will be available at no cost. If we are lucky, there might even be some donated munchies (consider bringing some to share). Conversations participants will be asked to contribute ideas and topics for another round of Conversations in a future ALL term.

ALL Members $5 per session or $8 for both

Non-Members $7.50 per session or $12 for both

With Lesa Lee
Date: Thursday, Nov. 5
Time: 10:30am-Noon
Location: Van Lennep Auditorium, CBMM Campus

Course Description:

In this interactive dialogue, Lesa Lee, Clinical Director of For All Seasons, will discuss mental health problems in the United States as well as in our local community.

Too often, and for too long, there has been stigma attached to needing assistance with mental health problems. While social media has made some attempts to correct that problem, there are still generational biases as well as societal struggles against needing mental health services and support.

We will discuss what it means to have a mental health problem as well as who suffers when someone has diagnosis and support needs. We will also discuss what to do in our community if you have concerns or have an identified mental health concern.

ALL Members FREE | Non-Members $5

Date: Thursday, Sept. 24
Time: 10-11:30am
Location: Van Lennep Auditorium, CBMM Campus
Course Description:

David O. Stewart

Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships That Built America

Short, plain, balding, neither soldier nor orator, low on charisma and high on intelligence, James Madison cared about achieving results, not taking credit. To reach his lifelong goal of a self-governing constitutional republic, he blended his talents with those of his most talented contemporaries. It was Madison who invoked the influence of his patron George Washington to lead the drive for the Constitutional Convention and an effective new government; Madison who wrote the Federalist Papers with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay to secure the Constitution’s ratification; Madison who corrected the greatest blunder of the Constitution by drafting and securing passage of the Bill of Rights with Washington’s essential support; Madison who worked with Thomas Jefferson to found the nation’s first political party and transform the nation’s politics; Madison who drew on the martial virtues of James Monroe to guide the new nation through its first, unsteady war in 1812, and who handed the reins of government to this last of the Founders, his old friend and sometime rival. No American leader has matched Madison’s gift for joining with brilliant and diverse personalities in pursuit of great achievements.

Madison’s partnership with his charismatic wife, Dolley, was his most important.
With unfailing charm and sure political sense, she proved an invaluable asset both to the career of her soft-spoken mate and to a nation struggling for its republican identity. Their partnership was a love story that sustained Madison
through his political rise, his presidency, and his fruitful retirement.

After practicing law for many years, David O. Stewart began to write history, too. His first book, The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution, was a Washington Post bestseller and won the Washington Writing Award as Best Book of 2007. Two years later, Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln’s Legacy, was called “by all means the best account of this troubled episode,” by Professor David Donald of Harvard.

The Society of the Cincinnati awarded David its 2013 History Prize for American
Emperor, Aaron Burr’s Challenge to Jefferson’s America
, an examination of Burr’s Western expedition, which shook the nation’s early foundations. The Lincoln Deception, an historical mystery about the John Wilkes Booth Conspiracy,

was released in late August 2013. Bloomberg View called it the best historical novel of the year, while Publishers Weekly said it was an “impressive debut novel.”

Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships That Built America, was released in February, 2015. The Washington Post called it a portrait “rich in empathy and understanding”
by “an acknowledged master of narrative history.” In November, David will receive the Prescott Award for excellence in historical writing from the National
Society of Colonial Dames of America. He also is the president of the Washington Independent Review of Books, an online book review.

ALL Members FREE | Non-Members $5