WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2014/2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/410492

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Page 103 of 227

turns 40 next year. The founders viewed it as much as a way to keep retired teachers and pro- fessors engaged as a source of continuing education. Today, it draws seniors from some 20 towns to courses taught by retired people from a wide range of backgrounds. As do the other programs, Wellesley Weston relies on students and teachers for course ideas. One suggestion made five years ago particularly caught the community's imagination. It came from a new registrant with an unusual past. "You ought to have a course about World War II and people's participation," he told Bruce Belason, the program's president. "The people are getting old." The newcomer was Shigeo Kondo, who spent most of his childhood in New Jersey but was forced to return to his native Japan after the outbreak of war. Kondo, who served as a medic but never saw action, gave the first lecture in the class. Since then, 100 dif- ferent speakers have shared their experi- ences, including a Holocaust survivor and the navigator of a B-24. Now, as the course has moved into the postwar period, it has featured a lecture on '50s rock. Courses, which range in size from 5 to 300 students, are offered Monday mornings at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Wellesley Hills. While subjects like current events (Jerome Grossman, uncle of the state treas- urer, led discussions into his 90s) and opera are guaranteed to be big draws, Belason says he was surprised that a course on the geol- ogy of New England drew 50 people. It was taught by a former high school teacher, 102 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 4 / 2 0 1 5 Beyond Bingo P A I G E T O B I E C O U R T E S Y O F W E L L E S L E Y C O U N C I L O N A G I N G

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