Come join us in October for our ever-popular “Joy of Learning” series! We have offered Joy of Learning classes for many years, in April and October. They are taught by educators and other experts on a volunteer basis, for adults and for teens at a high school/college learning level. Come learn something new and have fun! All classes are free to the public and are sponsored by the Friends of the Falmouth Public Library.
We are offering five classes this October; all will meet in person. Here are the titles, see below for descriptions and registration links!
People, Land and Climate Change with Skee Houghton, 4 Mondays, 10/2, 10/9, 10/23 & 10/30, 2-3 pm (does not meet on Indigenous Peoples’ Day 10/16)
Discussion of Station Eleven with Monica Hough (this year’s Falmouth Reads book!) 4 Tuesdays, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17 & 10/24, 4-5 pm
Poetry of Emily Dickinson with David Webb, 4 Wednesdays 10/4, 10/11, 10/18 &10/25, 10:30-noon
Texture of Memory with Rae Nishi, 4 Wednesdays 10/4, 10/11, 10/18 & 10/25, 3-4 pm
Written Language, Past and Present with Ryan Budnick, 4 Thursdays, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19 & 10/26 2-3 pm
Registration is required; click the link after the class title below, go to the library’s online event calendar, call the Reference Desk at 508-457-2555 x 7 or email us at email@example.com. Brochures are also available at the library!
People, Land and Climate Change with Skee Houlton, 4 Mondays, 10/2, 10/9, 10/23 and 10/30, 2-3 pm (does not meet on Indigenous Peoples’ Day 10/16) Register by clicking here!
The primary driver of climate change is carbon dioxide. What adds CO2 to the atmosphere? What removes it? How has the concentration changed over the last 170 years and longer? What can we do to slow or reverse the rise in CO2? This course will emphasize the role of land and land use in the global carbon cycle and in the management of future changes in climate. This class will meet in the Hermann Room.
Skee (R.A.) Houghton is senior scientist emeritus at the Woodwell Climate Research Center in Falmouth. He was an active researcher at the Center for 35 years, studying the effects of land-use change on terrestrial carbon storage and climate change. He received a Ph.D. in ecology from Stony Brook University in 1979. He has worked at the Marine Biological Laboratory, at NASA, and has participated in numerous IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) assessments.
Discussion of Station Eleven with Monica Hough (this year’s Falmouth Reads book!) 4 Tuesdays, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17 and 10/24, 4-5 pm Register by clicking here!
This is also this year’s Falmouth Reads title! It depicts life after a devastating pandemic destroys most of the world’s population, and it took on new significance in 2020, reminding readers that “survival is insufficient,” and demonstrating the power of art, relationships, and maintaining humanity in an inhumane world. This discussion-based course will explore the ways in which Mandel uses structure, style and modern pop culture references to support her themes and create deeper meaning. We will investigate her incorporation of allusions ranging from Shakespeare to Sartre to Star Trek, and more. Participants should read the novel before the start of the course, as the non-linear structure plays an important role–it will be available to borrow at the Reference Desk. Limited to 20 participants; this will meet in the Bay Room. Please note that our fiction book club will read her recent book, Sea of Tranquility, for the November meeting-all are welcome!
Monica Hough has been teaching English at Falmouth Academy since 1986. She holds a B.A. in English from Yale University. Station Eleven is part of her ninth-grade English curriculum.
Poetry of Emily Dickinson with David Webb, 4 Wednesdays 10/4, 10/11, 10/18 and 10/25, 10:30-noon. Click here to register!
Emily Dickinson is a candidate for “The greatest American Poet” award. While many Americans know this about her, very few have actually read much of her poetry. In spite of her unusually limited life-style — she had modest schooling, lived at home with her family in Amherst, Massachusetts, travelled very little, never married or really had a partner– she enjoyed a rich and lively intellectual and spiritual life. She wrote about 1775 poems, most of these secretly, and she published just seven, all anonymously. As she said to her would-be publisher and mentor Thomas Wentworth Higginson, “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.” David has chosen 32 poems for this offering, eight per session, and hopes that a few friends of the Falmouth Library will choose to read, wrestle with, and discuss these poems with him. Limited to 20 participants; this will meet in the Bay Room.
David has taught Joy of Learning classes in October on short story writers, since 2016. David is a 1964 graduate of Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, 1968 from Wesleyan, and he holds two advanced degrees from Columbia University. He spent his entire career at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, CT, where he taught English, mathematics, and Architectural Design and did college counseling. He is now retired and lives with his wife in Cotuit.
Texture of Memory with Rae Nishi, 4 Wednesdays 10/4, 10/11, 10/18 and 10/25, 3-4 pm. Click here to register!
This course will cover how memories are formed, what happens when these processes are damaged, and how memories shape our identities, culture and history. This class will meet in the Hermann Room.
Rae is a retired neuroscientist with a PhD in Biology, and resides in Falmouth year-round. Prior to retirement, she was Director of Education at the Marine Biological Laboratory, and prior to that, she was a tenured full professor in the Neurological Sciences Department at the University of Vermont.
Written Language, Past and Present with Ryan Budnick, 4 Thursdays, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19 and 10/26 2-3 pm. Click here to register!
Writing is one of the most widespread and influential technologies in the world (that you are using right now!), and has taken many forms across space and time. This course covers the history of writing systems, from ancient Cuneiform and the recently deciphered Mayan through to modern spelling reform movements. Different types of writing systems are surveyed, demonstrating how the particular system used by a community may be the result of a combination of historical accident, political expression, and functional need. This class will meet in the Hermann Room.
Ryan Budnick has a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from Princeton University and recently completed his Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. While his research focuses on the formal modeling of language acquisition, he has a deep interest in bringing accessible linguistics education to general audiences.