My Osher classes began immediately after I returned from Chicago. Actually the Monday classes, Conversational Spanish, beginning class again, and something about Hamlet on film, began the week before to make up for Labor Day. As I went through the week I realized I had signed up for too many classes. I didn’t have time to do the reading or other homework. On Tuesday afternoon I audit another Japanese Art History seminar. This time it is about architecture. I’m not finding it so interesting, but I’ll hang in there. I’m bound to get something out of it.
I dropped my Wednesday class. It was supposed to be about three books of the Bible: Job, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. I sat through two weeks of Job and realized he was not giving me any new insight or new thoughts. Instead, I’ve been reading JB, the Archibald MacLeish take on Job. Much more interesting.
Thursday is another writing class: writing elements of your life story. I was off to a good start with the first assignment, but failed this week. I spent too much time listening to all the political stuff. It’s been a fascinating week, politically.
The Friday class is the most entertaining. Before I tell about it, I have to tell you I dropped the second Monday class, the one about Hamlet. I sat through half of the second class and found I couldn’t understand the Shakespearean speech and the British accents. It would be good if the instructor used the subtitles that are probably on the DVD, but I had too many classes anyway, so it was a good excuse to just walk out.
Back to Friday: Jewish Art in Paris (nineteenth and early twentieth century). Today was the third of four classes. I will be sorry when the series is finished. The lecturer is very knowledgeable in both the art and in Judaism, and tells her stories almost as if she had been there. She has been talking about Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine, Chana Orloff, Max Jacob, Pissaro, Lipchitz and several others. She has stories about all of their lives, their loves, their paintings (and sculpture), where the paintings are today, and in many instances, how much they sold for. Each lecture is filled with snippets of gossip, insights about the paintings, and photographs and some paintings I had never seen before. In addition, the lecturer is a picture herself. I can only guess her age; one side or the other of 70. She is beautiful; white carefully styled hair, flashy but fashionable clothing, (first week, white leather, second week, a kind of gold beige suit, today a sweater with a portrait of one of the artist’s subjects), amazing jewelry. She stands in high heels for an hour and a half, talking mostly from well integrated memory, but with notes available used only to verify dollar (franc) amounts and occasional dates. The high heels make me ache, but mostly she keeps me so involved I don’t think about it. A lovely way to spend a Friday morning.