The Center for Life and Learning:
   Free Member-Run Programs

Our member-run programs were created by CLL members and are open to all 60 and older. One not need be a member of the CLL to participate.

For information on any of these programs, contact Susan Quaintance at 312.981.3386.

CLL Bridge Group
CLL Monthly Book Club
Short Story Reading Group
Great Decisions Discussion Group
French Practice Group
Great Ideas Men’s Group
CLL Games Group
Cinema Group

 


CLL Bridge Group

   Mondays, March 9, 23; April 6 and 20, May 4 and 18, June 1 and 15  
   1:00–4:00 p.m. 
   Organized by CLL Member Janet Reece 

   Contact Robbin Kotajarvi (312.981.3391) to inquire about joining
   Free and open to all 60 and older; no RSVP necessary
    
Interested in playing bridge? The CLL Bridge Group meets at the church on the second and fourth Mondays of every month. Three tables are needed each week. If you are interested, substitute players are always needed!

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CLL Monthly Book Club

   Tuesday, March 24; April 21; May 19; June 16
   11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
   Free and open to all 60 and older; no RSVP necessary

Come join us to see what we are reading - you are welcome even if you have not read the book!


March 24, 2020
The Man Who Saw Everything
by Deborah Levy

It is 1988 and Saul Adler, a narcissistic young historian, has been invited to Communist East Berlin to do research; in exchange, he must publish a favorable essay about the German Democratic Republic. As a gift for his translator's sister, a Beatles fanatic who will be his host, Saul's girlfriend will shoot a photograph of him standing in the crosswalk on Abbey Road, an homage to the famous album cover. As he waits for her to arrive, he is grazed by an oncoming car, which changes the trajectory of his life.

The Man Who Saw Everything is about the difficulty of seeing ourselves and others clearly. It greets the specters that come back to haunt old and new love, previous and current incarnations of Europe, conscious and unconscious transgressions, and real and imagined betrayals, while investigating the cyclic nature of history and its reinvention by people in power.

April 21
White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
by Robin diAngelo

Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, anti-racist educator Robin DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what can be done to engage more constructively.

May 19
Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neale Hurston

One of the most important works of twentieth-century American literature, Zora Neale Hurston's beloved 1937 classic is an enduring Southern love story sparkling with wit, beauty, and heartfelt wisdom. Told in the captivating voice of a woman who refuses to live in sorrow, bitterness, fear, or foolish romantic dreams, it is the story of fair-skinned, fiercely independent Janie Crawford, and her evolving selfhood through three marriages and a life marked by poverty, trials, and purpose. A true literary wonder, Hurston's masterwork remains as relevant and affecting today as when it was first published. A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick.

June 16
An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago
by Alex Kotlowitz

The numbers are staggering: Over approximately the past twenty years in Chicago, over 14,000 people have been killed and another roughly 60,000 wounded by gunfire. What does that do to the spirit of individuals and communities?

Drawing on his decades of experience, Alex Kotlowitz set out to chronicle one summer in the city, writing of those who have emerged from the violence and whose stories reveal the capacity--and the breaking point--of the human heart and soul. The result is a spellbinding collection of deeply intimate stories that upend what we think we know about gun violence in America. Among others, we meet a man who as a teenager killed a rival gang member and who, twenty years later, is still trying to come to terms with what he did; a devoted school social worker struggling with her favorite student, who refuses to give evidence in the shooting death of his best friend; the witness to a wrongful police shooting who can't shake what he has seen; and an aging former gang leader who builds a place of refuge for himself and his friends. Kotlowitz offers a tenderhearted yet piercingly honest testament to the strength of the human spirit. These sketches of those left standing will get in your bones. This one summer will stay with you.



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Short Story Reading Group

   Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
   March 3, 10, 17, 31; April 14 and 28, May 12 and 26, June 9


The short story is a literary art form that packs a lot of humanity into a small space. Because the writing is so concise, the reader is often required to connect the dots to uncover the messages behind the words. Doing this as a group allows us to experience the story from different perspectives and enrich our individual understanding. Each meeting, we focus on one story drawn from The Best American Short Stories 2018, edited by Roxane Gay.

In 2020. the group will be reading stories from The Best American Short Stories 2019, edited by Anthony Doerr.

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Great Decisions Discussion Group

   Tuesdays: March 3, 17, 31; April 14 and 28, May 12 and 26; June 9
   Tuesdays, 1:00–2:30 p.m.

   Administered by Mike Ban; each meeting facilitated by a volunteer    group member

   Free, open to all 60 and older

   Contact Robbin Kotajarvi (312.981.3391) to inquire about joining

Great Decisions is America's largest discussion program on world affairs run through the Foreign Policy Association. The program model involves reading the Great Decisions Briefing Book, watching the DVD and meeting in a Discussion Group to discuss the most critical global issues facing America today. Each year, eight topics are chosen by a panel of experts. This year critical issues from nuclear security to trade to the future of Europe are tackled.

Note: There is no cost to the class, but participants are in charge of ordering the book and completing the study before each class.

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French Practice Group

  Thursdays, 2:00–3:00 p.m.

Grammar and conversational practice for CLL members currently enrolled in French classes.

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Great Ideas Men’s Group

   Wednesdays, March 11, 25; April 8, 22; May 6, 20; June 3, 17 (year-end luncheon)
   10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. 
   Led by members of the group
   Contact Robbin Kotajarvi (312.981.3391) to inquire about joining

The CLL men’s discussion group has met faithfully since the fall of 2006 and come together to discuss foreign and domestic policy issues as they relate to the United States, with articles selected from Foreign Affairs magazine. This group is facilitated by members and come from a variety of different backgrounds. All are welcome.

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CLL Games Group

   Mondays, March 9, 23; April 6, 20; May 4, 18; June 1, 15
   2:00–3:30 p.m.
   Free and open to all 60 and older; no RSVP necessary

The simplest ideas are usually the best: the name of this group says it all! We put the games (Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit and the like) out every other Monday afternoon, and those who show up decide what they want to play. Join the fun!

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Cinema Group

   Fridays: March 20, April 17, May 15, and June 19

   AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St.)
   Time and film announced the Wednesday before (matinee showing)

Seeing films is always more enjoyable in the company of others, and if you can never seem to find someone to go with, now you have company! 

This group meets the third Friday of every month for a matinee movie at AMC River East 21 Theatre. An email will be sent with the film and the time the Thursday before. The group heads to Niu Fushion Lounge right next door after the film (optional) to discuss the film and have a bite to eat.

If you are interested in joining the group, please email Susan Quaintance or give her a call at 312.981.3386.

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For more information about the Center for Life and Learning, contact Susan Quaintance (312.981.3386), Director of the Center for Life and Learning.