Winter 2017 – Free Classes

Free Classes – Winter 2017 

Arctic Overview 
Tuesday, January 31, from 1:10pm to 2:50pmIMG Arctic Fox

This presentation offers a comprehensive overview of “All Things Arctic” – accompanied by extraordinary imagery, video footage and authentic hands-on artifacts and items from the Far North. The interactive lecture also cover atmospheric phenomena such as the northern lights, the unique properties of sea ice, amazing facts about the region’s distinctive animals as well as indigenous cultures, their mythology and traditional lifestyles.

 Moki Kokoris is the first Ukrainian woman to reach the Geographic North Pole. A life-long advocate for the environment and UN representative, she is the founder of “90-north” and the Polar Film Festival. Past Arctic Editor of The Polar Times and contributing author at The Arctic Institute, she has written many articles for leading print and online publications. She firmly believes that everywhere is walking distance…if you have the time.




Car Savvy: Fundamentals    
Tuesday, January 10, from 1:
10pm to 2:50pm  Car savvy

Learn about the systems that make up our cars—engine, brakes, electrical, suspension and drive train. Learn fundamentals of how the systems work, common maintenance requirements, alarms and their meaning and noises that warn of potential safety issues. Bring your owner’s manual, if available.

Frank M. Phillips is a retired mechanical engineer who has worked on cars since he was 12 years old. He has owned over 20 cars and performed his own maintenance, from engine rebuilding to brake discs to clutch replacement.


Collage and Beyond
Friday, January 20, from 10:
10am to 11:50am   IMG Collage
Have you ever want to create artwork from images, decorative papers and art materials? Let mixed media artist Ellen Gordon show you how to combine materials to create fascinating artwork. Drawing and painting will be integrated with collage.  No experience necessary – just a willingness to try!

Ellen Gordon is the recipient of many awards in mixed media artwork. Her artistic creations are exhibited regionally, nationally and abroad.  She holds degrees from Boston University and Baruch College. She is the President of the Loft Artists Association and currently serves on the board of the Greenwich Art Society.  Her creative and artistic talents lend to her impressive educational programs for adults as well as children.


Conflict Resolution: Examples and Strategies
Monday, January 30, from 1:
10pm to 2:50pm  IMG Conflict Res
Can conflicts be resolved? Many models have been used to positively resolve conflicts in countries, communities, the justice system and elsewhere. This is a conversation about global, community and person-to-person conflict, and actual and potential means that have been used or could be used to solve these conflicts. We discuss Rwanda, South Africa, indigenous communities, and racial conflict, and different schools of thought on conflict resolution.

Jackie Labatt-Simon has been facilitating conflict resolution workshops for fourteen years. These workshops are held in prisons, schools, communities and Habitat Community, to create conflict free communities. She speaks at NCC classes and at community forums on conflict resolution.


Connecticut in the American Revolution     
Tuesday, January 17, from 1:10pm to 2:50pm  IMG CT Rev Minuteman

Despite being one of the smaller states, Connecticut played an extraordinarily large role in the American War for Independence. Connecticut government, people, industry and inventiveness helped pave the way to a remarkable victory against the superpower of the 18th Century. But it was not without cost, as Connecticut was repeatedly invaded by British forces during the war. This lecture reviews the importance of Connecticut and those whose actions proved significant during the eight years of conflict. So grab your cocked hat, buckled shoes and quill and paper for a visit to Connecticut’s Revolutionary past.

Eric Chandler has been involved in American Revolutionary War Living History since 1974, and has presented LLI classes on aspects of the American Revolution and early America. He is a retired land title insurance underwriter of residential and commercial properties. His artistic endeavors have included cartooning, working in local theater and decades as a saxophonist in area Rock & Roll and Blues bands. To his credit (or shame), his likeness was used in an issue of MAD magazine.


Frank Sinatra: The Man and His Music 
Tuesday, January 24, from 1:
10pm to 2:50pm IMG Sinatra

Dr. Joe will briefly survey Frank Sinatra’s famous life and his contribution to the Great American Songbook. Sinatra recorded and performed more of the great songs than any other singer, before or since. His greatest gift was his uncommonly beautiful voice, his phrasing of a lyric and his “way” with a song. Sinatra was a unique force in American music. It is, of course, impossible to do him justice in one class session, but Dr. Joe will hit many of the high notes. He will play recordings, as well as perform on an electronic keyboard a selection from Sinatra’s more than 500 famous recordings. 

Joe Utterback received his MA in Piano Performance from Wichita State University and his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Kansas. He has over 400 published jazz and classical compositions. He has been Music Director and Organist of the First Congregational Church or Stratford for the past 20 years, and has taught music for 22 years at Sacred Heart University. He has taught 24 courses at LLI, and continues to perform throughout the US and the world.


Genealogy Sampler, Janeen Bjork 
Friday, February 3, from
10:10am to 11:50am  IMG Genealogy Tree

What do you know about your family tree? Is there a hero or a villain among your ancestors? You may never know unless you find out how genealogy is done. In this sampler class you will be introduced to the methods used—and especially internet sources—to begin the genealogical search.

Janeen Bjork has combined her 30 years of experience as a television researcher and presenter with her love of genealogy. She enjoys teaching others how to find and share their family histories. Her classes and presentations include: Genealogy; DNA for Genealogy; Newspapers for Genealogy; and MS Word and PowerPoint.  Her sharing of these skills as a researcher and presenter has given fruitful joy and vital information to those seeking their family history.   


Healthy Relationships: Personal, Professional and Platonic 
Friday, January 13, from 10:10am to 11:50am   IMG Rel

In a friendly atmosphere conducive to lively discussion, participants are able to share their ideas about what makes for a successful personal, professional or platonic relationship. We even tackle the age-old question “Can men and women be friends?” With stimulating facilitation, individuals are encouraged to share what has “worked” for them, and what changes need to be made for today’s society. Come join this interactive forum and leave with a smile!

Kenneth Ormand has been a classroom teacher for over 40 years. He specialized in peer mediation in which individuals were helped to resolve personal conflicts in a positive manner. He has organized and facilitated group interactive sessions where relationships were discussed at every level.


The Long Journey Home for Albert Afraid of Hawk 
Friday, January 27 from 10:10am to 11:50am  IMG Long Journey Home

Albert was a handsome 20 year-old Lakota Sioux who was a rider with the Buffalo Bill Wild West Program. In July, 1900, Albert was taken very ill, probably with food poisoning. He died in Danbury Hospital and was buried in an unmarked grave in Danbury’s Wooster Cemetery where he laid for 108 years, until evidence surfaced showing his burial location. This lecture discusses finding the grave, searching for his family, exhumation and his return to Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. 

Robert Young is a retired physician assistant and Viet Nam veteran. He attended Missouri State and Wake Forrest Universities. He is also the past President of the Danbury Museum and Historical Society and has participated in Colonial Apothecary portrayals.


P.T. Barnum: America’s Greatest Showman 
Monday, January 9, from 1:10pm to 2:50pm  IMG PT Barnum

Connecticut’s own Phineas Taylor Barnum! Conniving, manipulative, exploitative, innovative, ingenious, jokester, humbug, con-man…Barnum was all of these. Hear about the many qualities of this native son of Connecticut.

The Rev. Dr. Blaine Edele has been the Pastor of the Union Memorial Church, United Church of Christ, in Stamford for the past 24 years. He received a Ph.D. from Duke University in Semitic Studies and Old Testament, but since then he most enjoys researching and lecturing on American and Connecticut history.


Redirecting Your Career 
Monday, January 23, from 1:10pm to 2:50pm  IMG Re Career

This session is designed for people considering redirecting their careers into new pathways, or launching new careers. Especially for those who have recently retired, or wish to move from the business sector to the social service sector. We hold an interactive class exercise, designed to stimulate new insights about appropriate career possibilities not considered before, and have a chance to discuss these options with your classmates. This winter session is an excellent opportunity to explore career possibilities before launching a focused search.

Erik Rambusch has assisted hundreds of people to launch or relaunch their careers in the private and public sector. He has his own career practice, has worked with national consulting firms supporting professionals in career transition, and most recently, assisted NCC students and veterans select courses and initiate job searches. He has written two books: Conquer Resume Objectives and Conquer Interview Objections.