Charleston Academy for Lifelong Learning

Charleston Academy for Lifelong Learning (CALL) provides an opportunity to go back into a classroom with your peers, to facilitate a class or just to learn. It’s a great way to make new friends.

You can choose to be on either side of the desk as experts share a lifetime of knowledge and experience with their peers.

2020 Winter Term

The Charleston Academy for Lifelong Learning’s Winter Term runs from February 18 – March 27, 2020. Classes meet once a week for 90 minutes at the College of Charleston’s North Campus. Ready to register? Click here for Winter Term registration.


Tuesdays (February 18 – March 24)

10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – An Introduction of Astronomy, Part I

This course is designed to give you an awe-filled appreciation of what’s above you. With the use of Crash Course videos, facilitator Fred Rosenberg will discuss naked-eye astronomy observations and telescopes, focusing on the moon and our solar system, including the planets, asteroids and comets. A second course (to be offered in the future) will look at stars, galaxies and cosmology.

Facilitator: Fred Rosenberg has a Pd.D. in astronomy from the University of Virginia. He performed x-ray and EUV astronomy research at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory/University College London, Naval Research Laboratory, and the Harvard/Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He did national Defense research at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and was adjunct faculty at the College of Charleston.

12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. – Sailing for Beginners (NOTE: This course is 4 weeks only: February 18 – March 10) 

Sailing is a delightful experience, but one that requires some basic knowledge (and some physical effort) to be ready to take part. Students in this course will learn the language of sailing, how to chart a course and essential knot-tying. They’ll learn the parts and function of a sailboat and how to operate it. Upon completion, they should be able to plan a short (10-nautical mile) cruise or act with competence as a crew member.

Facilitator: Paul Jacques is an avid sailor who learned on a Sunfish and later crewed on a racing sailboat on Lake Erie, moving to Charleston, the “sailing paradise” of the East Coast 18 years ago. He has owned or co-owned 3 sailboats that competed in the races sponsored by the Charleston Ocean Racing Association. He now co-owns a J105, a 34.5-foot racing yacht. He sails 2 or 3 times a week year-round. He also skippers for Veterans on Deck, a non-profit organization that helps veterans with PTSD. Paul has ample information about sailing opportunities in the area.

1:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. – Writer’s Workshop

Poems to finish? A novel in the works? A play you’d like to write? If you’d like to set aside an afternoon dedicated to writing…sharing your work or not…this is the course for you. You’ll be joining an ongoing group that takes its writing seriously.

Facilitator: This group is led by CCR member Wendy Fish, who has a lifetime of poems and prose that she’s completed and a book of her own that’s almost finished.

Wednesdays (February 19 – March 25)

12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. – The U.S. Constitution: Government without Politics (NOTE: This course is 5 weeks only: February 19 – March 18) 

Much of the chaos in Washington, D.C. and the frustration of the American people is due to our loss of interest in, knowledge of, and reverence for our Constitution. The Constitution and Declaration of Independence offer not just a spirit of freedom and goals, but a logical and rational framework based on reasonable principles. We will discuss the framers’ ideas, along with readings from the Declaration, the Constitution, and a few select Federalist papers. This course is what it says – no politics! But facilitator Vincent McGuire will be happy to discuss things out of class, and even buy coffee for anyone who wants to discuss the more political aspects of these foundational documents. While he may not be providing ammunition for political fights, he does guarantee a good time in class.

Facilitator: Vincent McGuire, Ph.D., has recently retired as a professor of Politics at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Dr. McGuire recently moved to the Charleston area after teaching in Boulder for more than 25 years.

Thursdays (February 20 – March 26)

9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. – Bits and Pieces from the History of Photography

Much of what we know about the modern world is derived from the photographic medium and its stepchildren, motion pictures and television. In this course we will look at some of the practitioners, the technological innovations and the thematic concerns that have shaped the medium over the past 180 years.

Facilitator: Mark Jones is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Art and Architecture at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He retired in 2015 after a 30-year teaching career. He taught courses in Photography, Painting and Art History.

11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Thinking with Numbers (NOTE: This course is 5 weeks only: February 20 – March 19)

Like the Physics for the Humanities class in 2019, Thinking with Numbers applies mathematics to a broad range of human activities from communicating with aliens to a statistical study that linked vaccines to autism. If you are convinced that you aren’t good at math or if you are a scientist or engineer, this class has something for you because it focuses on issues that are important to people. This is the math class you will wish you had when you were a child.

Facilitator: Professor John Preston is an emeritus faculty member at Eastern Michigan University where he taught computer applications, project management and technology for thirty years. He has an undergraduate degree in Physics with a minor in mathematics from the University of Michigan with a master’s degree in physics education from Eastern Michigan University and advanced studies in educational technology at Wayne State University. He has co-authored more than sixty college textbooks on computer applications and written textbooks on quantitative reasoning and global technologies. He has made presentations to the Center for Creative Retirement at the College of Charleston on nuclear energy and the history of China and taught a class for CALL in 2019 titled Physics for the Humanities.

1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – China’s Modernization 

We will explore 40 years of China’s transformation from a Third World nation into a modern nation state. Starting with an introduction to Chinese culture and Modernization, continuing through the country’s Four Modernizations and the changes that followed, the course will conclude with a look at China’s five new Wonders of the World.

Facilitator: Melford Wilson, Ph.D., holds a BA from Wofford College, an MA in Asian studies and a Ph.D. in International Relations at the American University. A Distinguished Professor and Vice President at Winthrop University, he also holds a Key to the City of Shanghai. He is an Honorary Distinguished Professor at Shanghai International Studies University. He has been a visiting lecturer for the State Department, authored five books. He is the recipient of five Fulbright awards. He has worked in the US, India, UAE, China, Pakistan and Japan.

Fridays (February 21 – March 27)

10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Reader’s Theatre

Reader’s Theatre actors do not memorize their lines. They use only vocal expression to help listeners understand the story, rather than relying on sets, costumes or movement. In this course, we’ll read both modern and classic plays aloud, discussing the issues explored in our chosen works. Participants will be invited to suggest scenes from some of their favorite plays.

Facilitator: Diana Barth has taught English to adults and at the secondary school level. A retired attorney, she has also written for her local newspaper, covering politics and later serving as arts and entertainment editor. She loves the opportunity to participate in Reader’s Theatre.

You do not have to be a member of CCR to take CALL classes. You can also reserve a spot in a class by emailing CAforLifelongLearning@gmail.com, completing payment and registration on the first day of class. Everyone who registers will receive an emailed confirmation. Register here.

If you want to be a part of the CALL committee, are interested in facilitating a class for future terms, or just want to ask a question, Email CAforlifelonglearning@gmail.com or CALL Coordinator Diana Barth at dianabarth09@gmail.com.