Early Spring 2019 Session (March 11 – April 26)

The Early Spring 2019 Session will feature twelve lecture series, one writing workshop and two language workshops. Alternatively, you can also view a PDF version of Learning in Retirement’s Early and Late Spring 2019 Session brochure.

Registration for Spring 2019 is now open. Please visit our registration page to register now!

Lecture Series
1. Physics Around Us
2. Women’s and Children’s Contributions to Canadian History
3. UN Security Council: “We Cannot Afford to Fail”
4. Art Appreciation: Canadian Art (Daytime) – FULL, WAITLIST OPEN
5. Six Mathematical Results with Profound Impact
6. Israel and the Palestinians: Will It Ever End?
7. After the Cold War: Conflict and Development in Europe and Post-Soviet Countries
8. The Finer Points of Listening to Music
9. Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness – FULL, WAITLIST OPEN
10. Art Appreciation: Canadian Art (Evening)
11. Impact of Vitamins and Nutrients on Neurological Function
12. Genetically Modified Everything

Writing Workshop
1. The Art of Writing Songs

Language Workshops
1. Italian for Travellers (Level I) – FULL, WAITLIST OPEN
2. Itinerari Italiani: Sardinia’s Art, Legends, Celebrations, and Natural Features

Lecture Series 1
Physics Around Us

Lecturer: Dr. Andrew Robinson

Physics is an experimental science based on observation of the world around us. Familiar everyday examples will show the important principles of physics in a gentle and non-mathematical way. Examples from biology, chemistry, engineering, and medical sciences will be used as illustrations. The classes will be highly interactive, with many opportunities for discussion and questions, on topics of interest to those attending.

Note: This series has been offered previously as “Physics of Everyday Life”.

  • Days: Mondays, March 11th – April 15th
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $140.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants
  • Lecture series outline

Lecturer biography: Picture of LinR Lecturer Dr. Anthony RobinsonDr. Andrew Robinson is a Contract Instructor in the Physics Department at Carleton University. He has degrees in Chemical Physics and Physical Chemistry from Bristol University and Bath University. He has worked as a professional scientist in Germany and the UK, and moved to Canada in 2000. After working at the University of Saskatchewan, he moved to Ottawa in 2010. His current research interest is the teaching of Physics at the post-secondary level, and he uses innovative technology and pedagogical methods in his classes. He has won Faculty of Science Teaching Awards in 2012, 2014, and 2017.

Register here, on or after February 12th


Lecture Series 2
Women’s and Children’s Contributions to Canadian History

Lecturer: Dr. Patricia Kmiec

While often ignored in mainstream narratives, women and children have been active participants in shaping every aspect of Canada’s past. This series will explore Canadian history through the experiences of diverse women and children. Each lecture will feature a community of women or children in Canada whose contributions have impacted politics, social change, community-building, or transnational connections. Lectures will also investigate types of “hidden” records where we can locate the voices of women and children throughout Canadian history.

  • Days: Mondays, March 11th – April 15th
  • Time: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $140.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants
  • Lecture series outline

Lecturer biography: Dr. Patricia Kmiec is an interdisciplinary scholar and instructor at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, where she teaches Gender Studies, Child Studies, and Human Rights. Her research examines the history of gender and childhood through early Canadian religious schools and literature. Her first monograph, More Than Sunday’s Lessons: Childhood, Religion, and Sunday School Education in Upper Canada, is currently in preparation for publication with McGill-Queens University Press.

Register here, on or after February 12th


Lecture Series 3
The UN Security Council: “We Cannot Afford to Fail”

Lecturer: Dr. Marcel Jesenský

Since 1946 the United Nations Security Council has gathered the most powerful states together to oversee world security and provide order. To this end, it has launched a broad range of initiatives, using law, diplomacy and military force. This lecture series surveys international crises from the vantage point of the body created to manage them. Each lecture will analyse one of six phases of the Council’s existence, addressing both successes and shortcomings.

  • Days: Tuesdays, March 12th – April 16th
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $140.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants
  • Lecture series outline

Lecturer biography: Picture of LinR lecturer Dr. Marcel JesenskýDr. Marcel Jesenský is a specialist on the United Nations, international relations, diplomacy and European history. He holds a PhD in History (University of Ottawa). His book The Slovak-Polish Border, 1918-1947 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) chronicles the legacy of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. He is teaching at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, and his current research focuses on the history of the United Nations after 1945.

Register here, on or after February 12th


Lecture Series 4
Art Appreciation: Canadian Art (Daytime) – FULL, WAITLIST OPEN

Lecturer: Angela Marcus

The panorama of art presented in the updated Canadian Galleries at the National Gallery of Canada will be our field of exploration. Beginning with New France through to our current period, we will follow developments in portraiture, landscape, the Group of Seven, Emily Carr, the Beaver Hall Group, the Woodland School, Canadian abstraction, and Inuit and First Nations’ art production. All these, and more, comprise the varied story of Canadian art history.

  • Days: Tuesdays, March 12th – April 16th
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: National Gallery of Canada
  • Fee: $140.00 (HST included)
    • National Gallery entrance fee not included
  • Note: Meet at the National Gallery front entrance
  • Enrollment capacity: 20 participants
  • Lecture series outline (not applicable)

Lecturer biography:Picture of LinR lecturer Angela Marcus Angela Marcus (BA Hons/78 MA/93) has taught in Art History and Art Appreciation for over two decades. She has taught for several years for the Learning in Retirement Program. She has been an independent researcher, art writer, and curator.

Register here, on or after February 12th


Lecture Series 5
Six Mathematical Results with Profound Impact

Lecturer: Dr. Kevin Cheung

In this lecture series, we look at six mathematical results that can be stated quite simply, yet have profound consequences or impact beyond pure mathematical interests. We will examine the mathematical content and stories behind the Pythagorean Theorem, Euler’s formula, the Four-Colour Theorem, Fermat’s Last Theorem, duality theorem for linear programming, and the Halting Problem. We will also explore these results’ far-reaching implications, some of which have transformed the way mathematicians view their subject, or led to technological advances that we now take for granted. The lectures are aimed at a general audience with a high school math background and an interest in the history of math and technology.

  • Days: Tuesdays, March 12th – April 16th
  • Time: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $140.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants
  • Lecture series outline

Picture of LinR lecturer Kevin CheungLecturer biography: Dr. Kevin Cheung has been a faculty member of the School of Mathematics and Statistics at Carleton University since 2005. After completing his PhD at the University of Waterloo in 2003, he spent two years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Postdoctoral Fellow. His current academic interests include discrete optimization, designing and developing teaching tools, and exploiting technology to help students attain mastery.

Register here, on or after February 12th


Lecture Series 6
Israel and the Palestinians: Will It Ever End?

Lecturer: Dr. Peter Larson

Over the last 70 years, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has cost thousands of lives and imposed misery on many innocent people. To many Canadians, the issue appears unsolvable. It is difficult to have a calm discussion about it, as emotions are high on all sides. This lecture series will examine the Israeli and Palestinian narratives and compare them to the historical record and current reality. We will also ask whether Canada’s current policies are likely to help bring about a resolution.

  • Days: Wednesdays, March 13th – April 17th
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $140.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants
  • Lecture series outline

Lecturer biography:Picture of LinR lecturer Dr. Peter Larson Peter Larson is the Chair of Canada Talks Israel Palestine, (CTIP) a Canadian human rights organization focusing on the Middle East. His professional career included periods at the Public Policy Forum, the Conference Board of Canada, Le Droit, and as a consultant to labour unions and federal government departments and agencies. For the last 10 years, he has taken a particular interest in human rights issues in the Middle East, visiting Israel, Iran, Jordan, Egypt and the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza. He has also led many trips to Israel/Palestine for Canadians interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the complex Israel/Palestine issue. His presentations are appreciated for being fact-based and balanced. He was the founding Chair of the Middle East Study Group of the Canadian International Council (National Capital Region), and was also a board member of the National Council on Canada Arab Relations, and the first chair of its National Education Committee on Israel/Palestine. In 2012, he was awarded The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Governor General of Canada in recognition of his educational work on Canada Arab relations. Peter holds a PhD in Political Economy from Université de Grenoble, France. In addition to English, he speaks fluent French and passable Italian and Spanish.

Register here, on or after February 12th


Lecture Series 7
After the Cold War: Conflict and Development in Europe and Post-Soviet Countries

Lecturer: Dr. Milana Nikolko

Why did the Soviet Union collapse? How did the end of the Soviet era affect the rest of the world? What happened to Socialist bloc countries, and what kind of problems are former Soviet republics facing now, almost 30 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain? These questions will be carefully analysed during this lecture series. We will start with a discussion on the shift in international development from a bipolar to unipolar world, triggered by the end of Soviet system. Case studies will then highlight the stories of German Unification in 1990, anti-EU sentiments, the rise of populism in Eastern Europe after 2015, Russia’s “realpolitik” strategy, and the military conflict in Ukraine.

  • Days: Wednesdays, March 13th – April 17th
  • Time: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $140.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants
  • Lecture series outline

Picture of LinR lecturer Milana NikolkoLecturer biography: Milana Nikolko, PhD, is an adjunct professor at the Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (EURUS), Carleton University. From 2005 to 2014 she was associate Professor of Political Science (Docent) at V.I. Vernadsky Taurida National University (Ukraine), and in 2008 was appointed as visiting professor in the Political Science Department, Valdosta State University (USA). Dr. Nikolko is co-editor of Post-Soviet Migration and Diasporas: From Global Perspectives to Everyday Practices (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). Her fields of interest include research on Ukraine’s national building process, mediation of grey zone conflicts, political narratives of victimization among ethnic groups, migration and diasporas in post-Soviet space, and research on social capital and diaspora networks.

Register here, on or after February 12th


Lecture Series 8
The Finer Points of Listening to Music

Lecturer: Keith McCuaig

This lecture series will increase your enjoyment of music through a greater understanding of what you are hearing. Learn about a variety of musical forms and how to identify individual instruments through sound. Explore the use of production techniques and effects, and further develop your ears through in-depth guided listening sessions. A wide variety of popular genres will be covered, including rock, pop, blues, country, R&B, reggae and more. Our analyses will not be overly technical, and you don’t require a musical background; all you need is a love of music.

Note: If you enjoyed the series “Actively Listening to Music”, you will enjoy this series as well; however, knowledge of material from the previous series is not required.

  • Days: Thursdays, March 14th – April 18th
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $140.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants
  • Lecture series outline

Lecturer biography: Picture of LinR lecturer Keith McCuaigWith an MA in Music and Culture, and over 20 years’ experience as a musician, Keith McCuaig is dedicated to all things music and art. He loves exploring the histories of popular music, especially the interconnectedness of genres, and the socio-cultural significance of music. Keith has extensive experience in researching, writing and teaching a variety of music-related topics; he’s taught musicology courses through Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, and presented at international musicology conferences. From performing, writing, recording, and producing, to lecturing, giving music lessons, and working with community music programs (such as Ottawa Bluesfest’s Blues in the Schools and Be in the Band), Keith’s life and passion is music.

Register here, on or after February 12th


Lecture Series 9
Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness – FULL, WAITLIST OPEN

Lecturer: Dr. Jennifer Thake

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of human flourishing and wellness. In this lecture series, we will draw from research in personality, developmental, and social psychology that has identified clues to living a good life. Concepts discussed in the lectures will include happiness and well-being, resilience and personal growth, self-regulation, character strengths, and positive relationships. The overall aim of this lecture series is to provide you with an understanding of positive psychology, as well as to develop better personal insight into what might help or hinder your well-being.

  • Days: Thursdays, March 14th – April 18th
  • Time: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $140.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants
  • Lecture series outline – coming soon!

Lecturer biography: Dr. Jennifer Thake has unique training in health and well-being that includes a strong understanding of research and theory, as well as ground-level training in the delivery of services aimed at promoting holistic health. In addition to her PhD, Jennifer has completed an MA in counselling, and is a Registered Psychotherapist. This training has allowed her to apply her high level knowledge of health with clients at the ground level. She has been formally trained and clinically supervised in a variety of effective counselling methods, including cognitive-behavioural therapy, mindfulness and self-compassion, and motivational interviewing. Jennifer’s true passion is the promotion of health and wellness, whether in the counselling setting, a classroom environment, or workplace workshops. Jennifer is warm, knowledgeable and funny, and she uses these personal strengths to make talking about and learning about health and wellness feel easy, normal and non-threatening.

Register here, on or after February 12th


Lecture Series 10
Art Appreciation: Canadian Art (Evening)

Lecturer: Angela Marcus

The panorama of art presented in the updated Canadian Galleries at the National Gallery of Canada will be our field of exploration. Beginning with New France through to our current period, we will follow developments in portraiture, landscape, the Group of Seven, Emily Carr, the Beaver Hall Group, the Woodland School, Canadian abstraction, and Inuit and First Nations’ art production. All these, and more, comprise the varied story of Canadian art history.

  • Days: Thursdays, March 14th – April 18th
  • Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: National Gallery of Canada
  • Fee: $140.00 (HST included)
    • Free entrance to the Gallery on Thursday evenings
  • Note: Please meet at the National Gallery front entrance
  • Enrollment capacity: 20 participants
  • Lecture series outline (not applicable)

Picture of LinR lecturer Angela MarcusLecturer biography: Angela Marcus (BA Hons/78 MA/93) has taught in Art History and Art Appreciation for over two decades. She has taught for several years for the Learning in Retirement Program. She has been an independent researcher, art writer, and curator.

Register here, on or after February 12th


Lecture Series 11
Impact of Vitamins and Nutrients on Neurological Function

Lecturer: Dr. Nafisa Jadavji

This lecture series will examine the role of vitamins and nutrients on neurological function during development, adulthood, and aging. We will focus on neurology and how these compounds affect normal function and disease processes. Topics covered will include: an introduction to basic neurology; how nutrient and vitamin deficiencies affect neurological function during development; effects of over-supplementation; and diseases of aging, such as neurodegeneration and stroke. This lecture series will cover B-vitamins (folates), vitamins D and E, as well as the nutrient choline.

  • Days: Fridays, March 15th – April 26th (no class April 19th)
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $140.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants
  • Lecture series outline

Picture of LinR lecturer Dr. Nafisa JadavjiLecturer biography: Dr. Nafisa M. Jadavji is a Neuroscientist. She is a Researcher at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and an Instructor at Carleton University. She completed her doctoral training at McGill University, and her postdoctorate at the Charité Medical University in Berlin. Her research focuses on understanding how dietary and genetic deficiencies in one carbon metabolism affect neurological function over the lifespan using model systems. Her research has been published in several journals including Biochemical Journal, Neuroendocrinology, Experimental Neurology, and Journal of Neuroscience. Dr. Jadavji has been funded by several research associations, such as the Federation of European Neuroscience Society, and the Canadian Association for Neuroscience. She is a regular journal reviewer, and an editorial member for Frontiers in Nutrition and JSM Nutritional Disorders journals. She is also the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Journal of Young Investigators (JYI), as well as a Board Member and Chair of Trainee Committee for the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences.
Register here, on or after February 12th


Lecture Series 12
Genetically Modified Everything

Lecturer: Daniel Burnside

The term “genetically modified” can mean many different things. From genetically engineered crops and livestock, to industrial microorganisms, to the development of bioterrorism agents, GMOs affect our lives in many ways. We now have the ability to alter the genome of a wide variety of organisms with relative ease. This lecture series will offer a general simplified explanation of modern genetic engineering, and discuss uses and potential future applications of the technology. We will also address the potential to modify human DNA to cure disease or produce desirable traits in our offspring. No previous scientific knowledge is needed to enjoy this series.

  • Days: Fridays, March 15th – April 26th (no class April 19th)
  • Time: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $140.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 55 participants
  • Lecture series outline – coming soon!

Lecturer biography: Picture of LinR lecturer Daniel BurnsideDaniel Burnside is a molecular geneticist and microbiologist with a broad range of research interests in the health and biological fields. His primary work involves identifying new genes that participate in the repair of our DNA, which in turn helps demystify predispositions to cancer and human responses to chemotherapeutic drugs. He has also studied interactions between viruses (such as HIV and the ZIKA virus) and their human hosts, for a better understanding of viral replication and disease onset. Another current project has pinpointed the specific mechanisms that antifungal drugs use to kill fungi, which should help us improve their efficacy in the future. Daniel has taught Human Physiology and Health Microbiology and other courses at Carleton, and aims to make his classes not only informative but entertaining and applicable to everyday life. He uses many modern examples to impart knowledge that can be translated directly from the classroom to the community.

Register here, on or after February 12th


Writing Workshop 1
The Art of Writing Songs

Lecturer: Dr. Diane Nalini

Have you always wanted to write songs, but weren’t sure where to start? Each week, Diane will guide you through different ways of getting your creative juices flowing. You’ll tackle writing lyrics to an existing melody, setting poetry to music, and writing your own song from scratch, all in the style of your choice. Participants can work individually or collaboratively and will come away having worked on at least three songs. Participants will also have the opportunity to have one song performed in a friendly, positive, and supportive class environment.

Note: Formal music training is not required, though basic knowledge of an instrument is an asset. A recommended selection of free apps on iOS and Android devices will help participants choose chords for their songs. If possible, please bring a mobile device to each class.

  • Days: Tuesdays, March 12th – April 16th
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 124, Leeds House Building
  • Fee: $200.00 (HST included)
  • Enrollment capacity: 12 participants
  • Workshop outline

Lecturer biography: Picture of LinR lecturer Dr. Diane NaliniSinger/songwriter Diane Nalini composes and sings in four languages. She has been a professional jazz singer for over 25 years and has recorded and produced four critically-acclaimed albums. She has sung at jazz festivals around the globe, and given gala performances for President Bill Clinton and Sir Paul McCartney. She was nominated for the Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors at the 2002 Montreal International Jazz Festival and was one of two finalists for the UK’s Young Jazz Vocalist of the Year awards for 2001. Diane’s original songs have also been featured in television and independent films. Her her song “L’amour d’autrefois”, co-written with UK arranger/composer Dick Walter, was featured in the Hollywood movie “Charlotte Grey” starring Cate Blanchett. Diane is also the resident vocalist with the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra, and sings regularly with them at the National Arts Centre. For more information, other press reviews, and to listen to Diane’s music, please visit: dianenalini.com.

Register here, on or after February 12th


Language Workshop 1
Italian for Travellers (Level I) – FULL, WAITLIST OPEN

Lecturer: Carla Bonora

This workshop will provide participants with the skills to feel comfortable while communicating during a trip to Italy or in an Italian environment. You will learn how to introduce yourself, make hotel reservations, ask for directions, make a phone call, write an email, order in a restaurant, and face emergency situations. One field trip will familiarize participants with Italian food products in an Italian shop. Audiovisual materials about Italian culture, music, and daily life will also be a part of the workshop. Vi aspettiamo!

  • Days: Mondays & Wednesdays, March 20th – April 17th
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 342, St. Patrick’s Building
  • Fee: $260.00 (HST included)
    • Fee includes printed materials and textbook
  • Enrollment capacity: 12 participants
  • Note: April 17th class will take place at the regular time at La Bottega Nicastro, 64 George Street
  • Workshop outline – coming soon!

Lecturer biography: Picture of LinR lecturer Carla BonoraA native of Naples, Italy, Carla Bonora has a Masters in History and Philosophy from the University of Naples. She is a journalist and has worked at the European Commission in Brussels, as well as for “Il Mattino”, the main newspaper of Naples. She also worked as an Ottawa correspondent for the Italian Canadian newspaper “Il Corriere Canadese”. She is an experienced teacher, having worked both in Naples and here as an Italian teacher. She has taught Italian Language and Culture at “Retraite en Action” in Ottawa since 2014. She is a member of the Board of Ottawa’s “Dante Alighieri Society”, and President of the Canadian Association “Friends of the Certosa of Capri”. Carla is a passionate traveller and she loves to cook Italian food.

Register here, on or after February 12th


Language Workshop 2
Itinerari Italiani: Sardinia’s Art, Legends, Celebrations, and Natural Features

Lecturer: Cristina Loi

This workshop allows participants to practice and improve their Italian language skills (preferably already assessed at A2/B1 low intermediate level), while exploring the topic of Sardinia, Italy’s second-largest island. Through a variety of sources like literary texts, maps, video clips, and guided activities, each lesson will address a specific theme: legends, Christian and pagan rites and celebrations, art, archeologic discoveries, endemic animal species, and trekking from inland Sardinia towards the sea.

Note: The Winter 2019 Itinerari Italiani workshop covered different aspects of Sardinia and is a good companion to this one, but is not a prerequisite.

  • Days: Tuesdays & Thursdays, March 19th – April 16th
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: Room 342, St. Patrick’s Building
  • Fee: $250.00 (HST included)
    • Fee includes printed materials
  • Enrollment capacity: 12 participants
  • Workshop outline

Lecturer biography:Picture of LinR lecturer Cristina Loi Ms. Cristina Loi is a visiting instructor from Italy. She started teaching Italian at Carleton University last winter term. She is here in Ottawa on a joint project of the Italian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education. This project promotes and supports the knowledge and appreciation of Italian language and culture, in partnership with Italian studies departments of universities around the world.

Register here, on or after February 12th

Check out the Late Spring 2019 Session offerings now.