Quest Learning Community

A communal learning experience for adults
designed to expand one's intellectual and social world.

History

These courses are offered by the Quest Lifelong Learning Community. For more information on Quest, click here and also see more details at the bottom of this page.

FROM GRUNTS TO TWEETS: EXPLORING HOW WE’VE COMMUNICATED THROUGH THE AGES

Coordinators: Beth Callender, Patricia Geehr

This course will explore seven key communications inventions that changed the course of human history. We’ll start with speech and writing, the inventions that enabled us to become fully human and to develop large-scale culture. We’ll then examine the impact of inventions such as the printing press and telephone that made modern life possible. The last module will look at how cell phones and social media are changing the way we communicate and experience the world.

INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD

Coordinators: Pete Weis, Jim Brook

This course will explore major advances in applied science or technology that have fundamentally altered how we all go about our daily lives. Topics will take us from the invention of the plow to the coming of the internet or anything in between. We will also consider processes such as the assembly line or automation that have had a profound effect on everyday life. Each presentation will explore what the world was like before the innovation, the story of its invention and how it forever changed our lives for the better—or perhaps the worse.

MEMORABLE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

Coordinators: Ellen Gottfried, Bob Gottfried

Most people think that Congress in 2019, although more diverse than ever before, is dysfunctional and too prone to partisan politics. Although members do not resort to fistfights or duels as in years past, there is no one able to rise above the mediocre mass and lead a bipartisan Congress which resolves the crucial issues facing the country. This was not true in the past, and this course will be about Congres-sional leaders who have changed, and may change in the future, the course of America’s history.

MOVERS & SHAKERS

Coordinators: Caroline Thompson, Pam Gemelli, Ruth Ward

We will examine the lives and accomplishments of outstanding people whose ideas and actions have had a lasting influence on our society, whether for good or evil. Subjects covered in past talks have included Dmitri Shostakovich, Larry Page and Sergey Brin (founders of Google), Isaac Bashevis Singer, Winston Churchill, and Martin Luther.

THE ROARING TWENTIES 

Coordinators: Wayne Cotter, Leslie Goldman, Michael Wellner

The 1920s witnessed dramatic social, political and cultural change. For the first time, more Americans were living in cities than on farms. As the nation’s total wealth more than doubled during the decade, many Americans were filling their free time with jazz, the cinema and demon alcohol. In this course, we’ll focus on Prohibition, women’s suffrage, silent films, the Jazz Age, and the advent of radio. We’ll also look at some of the larger-than-life personalities that dominated the decade.

SOUTH OF THE BORDER BEFORE COLUMBUS

Coordinators: Frank Montaturo, Ruth Ward

This course proposes a closer look at a few of the many ancient cultures that thrived in the Pre-Columbian Period. We hope to concentrate on the Olmecs, Maya (of Mexico and Guatemala), Zapotecs, Moche and Incas (Peru). Each presentation will touch on universal issues: origins, development, settlements, architecture, monuments/art, sport, music, dance, ceramics, cosmology, religion, food (cultivation and preparation), war, literature, daily life and death and relation to time.

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