Joy of Learning classes return in October!

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!  This program is free, sponsored by the Friends of the Falmouth Public Library. Must register, please do so by clicking the links below, or call us at 508-457-2555 x 7!

Meditation and Mindfulness, 4 Mondays, 10/3, 10/17, 10/24 and 10/31 3:00—4:00 pm (does not meet Columbus Day 10/10), Instructor: Janet Gardner Format: Discussion, class size limited to 25. Cumulative, please plan to attend all 4. Register here

There’s a lot of talk these days about meditation and mindfulness, and there are almost as many ways to meditate as there are people who meditate. If you’d like to try meditation but don’t know how to start–or if you meditate currently but would like to expand your practice–this is a chance to start finding a type of meditation that works for you. We will explore a range of meditation and mindfulness techniques, including seated silent meditation, guided meditation, meditation using mantras (repeated words or sounds), walking meditation and mindful movement, mindful eating, compassionate kindness meditation (called metta), and more. Each class session will include both open discussion and brief practices of the various techniques, and all participants will be encouraged to practice at home between sessions in order to help establish a meditation habit. 

Janet Gardner earned a certification in teaching mindfulness meditation as part of her training through the Kind Yoga School in Centerville, MA. She has been leading group meditations and teaching yoga around the Cape since 2016, and has recently taught Chair Yoga at the library! Having meditated regularly for several decades but not (yet) achieved enlightenment, she considers herself an advanced beginner in the practice of mindfulness. She also works at the library, in Acquisitions. (Space is limited, preference given to waitlist from April 2022. This class is cumulative, please plan to attend all 4.

Theater Design and Process, 4 Tuesdays, 10/4, 10/11, 10/18 & 10/25 10:30 AM -12 PM, Instructor: Mark Pearson, Format: Lecture and Hands-On Participation, limited to 14 participants. Click here to register.

Explore all aspects of theater design from Scenery and Lighting to Costumes and Props! Mark Pearson, Executive Director of the College Light Opera Company, will take you on a creative journey exploring the elements of theatre design by developing your own unique design for a specific show. Learn about text analysis and developing a design concepts and creating cohesive designs for the stage. places.  This course will have hands-on participation and weekly assignments! It is also cumulative, please plan to attend all 4.

Mark will choose a musical for the class to read and listen to. We will discuss the aspects of theatre design and begin design meetings. Class members will develop image boards for scenery, costumes and lights. We will end with presentations of their designs to the class as a “pitch” 

 Mark Pearson received his MFA in Theatre Design from Boston University and completed the young artist apprenticeship at the National Opera in DC under Plácido Domingo. In addition to being the Executive and Artistic Director of Falmouth’s own College Light Opera Company, Mark has had an extensive career in theatre both in the United States and abroad. 

Discussion of Winesberg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson, 4 Wednesdays, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19, & 10/26 10:30 AM -12 PM, Instructor David Webb, Format: Discussion, class size limited to 20. Register by clicking here.

 Sherwood Anderson had immense impact on writers that followed him (Hemingway, Faulkner, Wolfe, Steinbeck), and much of his influence is attributable to Winesberg, Ohio (1919), an early work and largely considered his best.  Anderson is perceived as a contributor to a school of writing known as American Naturalism as personified by Frank Norris, Stephen Crane, and later William Faulkner, and Anderson’s choice to set this book in a small Ohio town contributes to this.  It is both a collection of short stories and a novel with a clear “hero” in George Willard.  We will read this book over four reading “assignments” of about 60 pages each and discuss in four classes.  Please read “The Book of the Grotesque” (p. 21) through “Nobody Knows,” p. 62, before the first meeting. Copies will be available for checkout here, at the Reference Desk!

 Afghanistan: The Untamable Kingdom: 1750 – 2022, 4 Wednesdays, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19, & 10/26 1:00 – 2:15 PM, Instructor: Michael McNaught, Format: Lecture and discussion, register by clicking here.

 Over the past thirty or forty years, few countries have had a more devastating impact on the world stage than Afghanistan. Situated as it is at the crossroads of Asia and the Middle East, Afghanistan has been a thorn in the side of Western powers since the mid-18th century. Underestimated and profoundly misunderstood by Western cultures, the country has been a source of endless political and military frustration to Britain, Russia, India, and most of its neighbors. This course will examine the historical background of today’s events, and perhaps explain why Afghanistan has never been “tamed” by either the great powers, or any of its immediate neighbors, since the days of Alexander the Great.

Michael McNaught has B.A. and M.A. degrees in history from Trinity College, Oxford (where he specialized in Military History and the Theory of War), and an M.A. in history from Columbia. The son and grandson of British army officers, he came to the USA in 1961. He retired to Falmouth in 2004 after a 43-year career in independent schools in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.  In retirement, he has lectured extensively at the Falmouth Historical Society, Falmouth Academy, the public libraries of Falmouth, Chatham and Orleans, and other venues.

Falmouth Genealogical Society, 4 Thursdays, 10/1, 101, 10/1 & 10/3 7-8 PM, Instructor: Tim Martin and Ralph Wadleigh, Format: Lecture, hybrid (in-person with a Zoom option) Register for any or for all! You only need to register once, at the first week, or whatever week you join. Register for week 1 by clicking here-for late weeks, go to that date on

Oct.  6th  : “Overview of Genealogy” – an amazing cooperative effort!
Oct. 13th : “Researching Sources”  – introduction to online & offline resources.
Oct. 20th : “Building Your Family Tree”- and applying to lineage societies.​
​Oct. 27th : “Genetic Genealogy” – consumer DNA companies & interpreting the results.

A special series of presentations by Tim Martin and Ralph Wadleigh of the Falmouth Genealogical Society-come to any or all! Register at

The sessions can be attended live in the Hermann Foundation Room or by Zoom (Note: this is outside of library hours, and the rest of the library will not be open). The Zoom links for each session will be emailed upon registration.



2 comments on “Joy of Learning classes return in October!

  1. Irma Moss says:

    will Janet offer chair yoga again this fall?

    1. Phoebe Acheson says:

      Janet is not scheduled to teach chair yoga this fall. We will be announcing a series of wellness related classes, beginning in November and continuing through the winter and spring: stay tuned!

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