Joy of Learning, April 2021!

Come join us in April for our ever-popular Joy of Learning series!  The Falmouth Public Library has offered Joy of Learning classes for many years, in April and October. Due to the pandemic, these classes are held on Zoom.  Registration is required-please go to to register for any or all classes! Description are below.

Joy of Learning classes are taught by educators and other experts on a volunteer basis and are free to the public.  They are designed for adults or for teens at a high school/college learning level. Come learn something new and have fun! This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Falmouth Public Library.

NOTE:  Downloading the Zoom application before the start of the class is required to participate.  If you need assistance with this, please contact the reference department at 508-457-2555 x 7. 

Discussion of Zora Neal Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God 
Mondays, April 5, 12, 26 and May 3, 2021, 10:00 AM -11:00 AM (doesn’t meet 4/19)

Hurston’s poetic language, female hero, and folk traditions combine to tell the powerful story of a woman who defied all that was expected of her.

Through shared inquiry, participants will explore the ideas, meaning, and themes presented in Their Eyes Were Watching God with a focus on the language and folklore, which Hurston uses to explore Janie’s search for her authentic self and for real love.

Joanne Holcomb, retired English teacher of 35 years and English/language arts department head for 14 years at Falmouth High School, will lead a 4-session discussion on Zoom. She has taught several literature classes for us at Joy of Learning!

You are encouraged to obtain your copy from the CLAMS library system-you can do that online, or contact the reference department if you would like assistance with that. Please read the first five chapters before the first session-a more detailed syllabus will be emailed to you before the class, as well as the Zoom link, after registration. As it is a literature discussion class, space is limited to 20 participants, so please register early to ensure that you can attend.

 You’ve Got Soul
Tuesdays, April 6, 13, 20 & 27, 2021, 7:00 PM -8:00 PM

A look at the Black American musical roots of American popular music, and the intersection of Black music genres and social conditions that led to the rise of Soul music in the late 1950s.

The rise of the record industry in the early 1900s reflected the racial and social segregation of American society, creating music categories: Pop, Hillbilly (later called Country) and Colored. While the names changed over the years, the genres and social attitudes remained the same.

As Black America began to actively question the human rights violations of a racist society, the music began to reflect the experiences and pride of a people and heritage of survival.

Why does Soul music sound so different in different parts of the country? What happened to soul music? Who are some legendary and contemporary soul artists?

Instructor Mwalim (Morgan James Peters) is a multi-award-winning storyteller/spoken word artist, playwright, oral historian, musician, filmmaker, and educator. Born in Bronx, NY and raised in both New York and Mashpee, MA, he is a trained violist, jazz pianist and composer. As an iconic part of the east coast underground art and music scenes for over 35 years, his stages have included theaters, schools, street corners, libraries, galleries, museums, festivals, powwows, jails, nightclubs, temples, community centers, and colleges throughout the country. His latest works include a novel, Land of the Black Squirrels and a forthcoming album projects by his multi- Grammy nominated soul-funk band The GroovaLottos, and a solo jazz album. He is a tenured Associate Professor of English & Communications and Black Studies at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Sensing in Aquatic Animals

Thursdays, April 8, 15, 22 & 29, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

This class will be offered by Jelle Atema, PhD, professor emeritus at Boston University, and guest scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Dominance, memory, courtship, navigation, homing, feeding behavior…what information do marine and freshwater animals need and how do they extract it? This series of four lectures addresses the sensory biology of aquatic animals based largely on four “model species”: lobsters, sharks, catfish, and larval reef fishes, one species per lecture. For example, can lobsters really remember the smell of another individual? Can sharks really sense a drop of blood a mile away? Why can catfish smell and taste under water? How can half-inch long fish larvae avoid being carried away in the big ocean? The lectures are based primarily on research in the “Atema Lab” in Woods Hole, as well as other labs and field studies in Australia and Cape Cod.


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