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More In-Person Courses Starting Soon at GMU- Sign Up Now!

Are you seeking to meet other lifelong learners in-person? We are offering four in-person courses starting in late October at George Mason University-Arlington including Writing a Memoir, Aging and the Brain, Charles Dickens Bleak House, and Urban Green: Great New City Parks. We are requiring masks, proof of vaccination, and completion of the GMU safety check every time you come to class. 

Charles Dickens Bleak House will be taught by Rosemary Jann and will run from October 20 to December 1. In this course students will read Bleak House, among his most compelling: part mystery, part love story, part social commentary. The course will run for four sessions over seven weeks to provide ample time to digest this 900-page classic, which Dickens’ contemporaries would have read in suspenseful monthly installments. 

Aging and the Brain will be taught by Michael Stutts and will run from November 3 to December 15. In this course, students will learn the functions of the different parts of the brain and develop a better understanding of the brain’s normal aging process, with particular attention to memory. You will also learn about cognitive changes that are normal with aging versus cognitive decline due to disease (e.g., mild impairment or Alzheimer’s disease). Dementia is not inevitable with increasing age. Finally, you will examine behavioral and lifestyle practices that are likely to help preserve or enhance brain functioning. 

Urban Green: Great New City Parks will be taught by Peter Harnik and will run from November 3 to December 1. The course will cover not only the physical development of the parks but also the behind-the-scenes coalition-building and often intense politics underlying the successful (and even the instructively unsuccessful) campaigns. The course will also look at the possibilities for creating new city parks in Arlington, the Washington area and elsewhere.

Writing a Memoir will be taught by Marty Suydam and will run from November 5 to December 11. The course will be guided by William Zinsser’s wise, practical, and humorous book. You will consider the many styles of personal writing: memoirs, diaries, family histories, journals, letters and even poetry. The class format will be a lecture-discussion-workshop. Students will write, read their work and gently critique each other’s work — only with the writer’s permission. Practical exercises will help students get started in memoir writing and inspire them to keep writing. This course will also be offered virtually on Zoom during the same time slot as the in-person course.


If you would like to find out more about these courses you can find them on our website as well as instructor videos on our YouTube channel.