Amelia Lifelong Learning opens enrollment for spring semester 2022

Amelia Lifelong Learning
Media Release
January 26, 2022

Amelia Lifelong Learning (ALL) became an independent organization in 2016. The original organization was established in 1998 as the Nassau Institute for Continuing Education (NICE). It was dedicated to providing educational opportunities for adult learners.

In 2006, NICE affiliated with the Florida State College at Jacksonville and the name was changed to The Center for Lifelong Learning. Since its inception, the organization has provided educational opportunities to over 1800 students.

Our mission is to provide intellectual, social and cultural enrichment through short courses that promote learning and sharing of ideas.

To register for any of the upcoming classes, visit


Japan in the Age of the Samurai

Course Description: The samurai warrior is a familiar figure in popular culture and entertainment, both in Japan and in the West, but who were the samurai? The samurai class dominated Japan for centuries and created a distinct society and culture in world history. The course will provide an understanding and appreciation of Japan during the age of samurai rule. The course will focus on the origins of the samurai, samurai ways of warfare, and the impact of the samurai on government, religion, the arts and popular culture. Finally, the course will examine the influence and legacy of the samurai on modern Japan and their image in the United States.

Instructor: Mark Ericson was born in Japan and has a doctorate in Japanese History. He retired after 37 years as a Department of Defense intelligence officer. Dr. Ericson taught courses focusing on East Asian Civilization for over 40 years, including several for Amelia Lifelong Learning. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Maryland Global Campus.

Schedule: Eight sessions. Thursdays, Feb.17 through April 7, 1:30-3:00 p.m. Fee: $50
ZOOM Class – The Instructor will send the Zoom invitation prior to each class.

Materials: Instructor will provide handouts via email prior to each class.

Continuing Basic Spanish for Busy People II

Course Description: This Spanish course is designed to continue developing conversational skills learned in Basic Spanish for Busy People I. Conversation will build confidence in the language on topics such as family, shopping, travel, recreational activities, hobbies and participants’ interests in both the present and past tenses. This class is recommended to anyone who has taken Dr. Arias’ Basic Spanish classes or who has a basic knowledge of Spanish.

Instructor: Dr. Berta Arias is a Professor Emeritus in World Languages and International Education as well as a local author. Dr. Arias enjoys sharing her love of Spanish and the Hispanic/Latino culture.
Schedule: Ten sessions. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 02/08/22 to 03/10/22, 9:30 – 11:30am

Location: Baker Hall at the Amelia Island Museum of History, 233 S. 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach. Masks are required with the following exceptions: Dr. Arias cannot wear a mask while teaching since participants need to see her pronounce words in Spanish. When a participant needs to speak, s/he will need to lower mask for the same reason. Social distancing will be expected at all times.
Fee: $50/person
Materials: Text: “Practice Makes Perfect: Basic Spanish” (Premium 3rd edition) by Dorothy Richmond. McGraw Hill, 2020. ISBN 978-1-260-45349-2

Japanese Society since World War II: Successes and Problems

Course Description: This class will provide an overview of urban and rural change in Japan since WWII, the strengths and weaknesses of the educational system and “examination hell,” the challenges faced by various disadvantaged groups, and Japan’s handling of crises ranging from pollution to mass aging of the population.
Instructor: Steven Ericson was born in Tokyo and raised in Japan. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is an associate Profession of Japanese History at Dartmouth College where he has taught for over 30 years. He is the author of The Sound of the Whistle: Railroads and the State in Meiji Japan (Harvard University Press, 1996) and Financial Stabilization in Meiji Japan (Cornell University Press, 2020.)

Schedule: Four sessions. Tuesday and Friday, Feb.22 and 25, Mar.1 and 4, 10:00-11:30 a.m.. Zoom Class: The instructor will provide the Zoom invitation prior to the class.
Fee: $35
Materials: The instructor will provide handouts via email prior to each class.

Great Decisions 2022

Description: This course offers guided discussions of specific foreign policy challenges facing the U.S. with the objective of better understanding the dynamics of international relations and U.S. goals. Each week participants read a set of assigned articles and watch an in-class video in preparation for group discussion facilitated by the class leader. The 2022 topics include: changing demographics, outer space, climate change, Russia, Myanmar and ASEAN, the Quad Alliance, industrial policy, drug policy in Latin America, and Biden’s agenda. It is expected that all participants will be vaccinated and that masks and social distancing will be observed.

Facilitator: Steve Kimmel has been a participating member of the Amelia Island Great Decisions program sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association of Washington DC since 2012 and has facilitated the course since 2019. He holds a BS in Chemistry and an MBA from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana. Mr. Kimmel worked in sales and marketing for Shell Chemical Company and as a management consultant for Robert H. Hayes and Associates, and for 27 years for the Dutch firm Akzo/Nobel NV from which he retired as Vice-President and General Manager of its Polymer Chemicals business in the Americas.

Schedule: Eight sessions. Tuesdays, Feb.15 through April 5, 1:30-3:00 p.m.

Location: Room 201, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 801 Atlantic Avenue, Fernandina Beach

Fee: $50
Materials: Here is the link for the course briefing book which you should purchase as a hard copy or e-book before session #1:

Constitutional Law

Course Description: This class is for anyone seeking to understand America’s Constitution: its text, history, and relevance today. Classes will include discussion of the plain or original meaning of the Constitution; how the text has been interpreted by judicial decisions and Acts of Congress; the Bill of Rights; and texts that have impacted its interpretation, such as the Federalist Papers. It will consider the legal frameworks used by the Supreme Court in published opinions regarding freedom of religion and expression, bearing of arms, privacy, and states rights. However, the class will avoid party politics. It is expected that all participants be vaccinated, and that masks and social distancing be observed.

Instructor: Susan Raab is a 1981 graduate of the University of Florida School of Law. She spent the majority of her legal career as a Federal Prosecutor and Appellate Attorney in U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Tampa and Jacksonville, FL.

Schedule: Six sessions. Thursday, Feb. 17 to March 24, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

Location: Room 201, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 801 Atlantic Avenue, Fernandina Beach

Fee: $40
Materials: Amelia Lifelong Learning will provide each student with a copy of the US Constitution.

English Poetry from William Blake to T.S. Eliot

Course Description: This course will study important English poems and poets from the late 18th Century through the mid-20th Century in a context that is both literary and historical, covering romantic, Victorian and modern English Poetry. Students do not need to have taken Prof. Wesley’s fall 2021 poetry class. It is expected that all participants be vaccinated and that masks and social distancing be observed.

Instructor: Prof. Norman Wesley’s career spans fifty years of teaching English, American, and world literature as well as grammar and linguistics at American colleges and universities and briefly at Cambridge University in England. He is now a retired [emeritus] professor from The State University of New York, and lives in Fernandina Beach.

Schedule: 8 sessions. Thursday, Feb. 17 to April 7, 11:30-1:00.

Location: Upstairs conference room at Scott & Sons Jewelry, 9900 Amelia Island Parkway, Fernandina Beach. Please park away from the front door to the store.

Fee: $50
Materials: Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 2, any edition.

Our Future –
Opportunities, Challenges, Surprises, and Wonders

Course Description: This course may be unlike any you have ever taken. It may challenge some of your ideas about the past, present, and future. For example, some broadly accepted notions from science fiction and other literature will be examined and shown to be unworkable. Other widely-held beliefs about the past, present, and future will also be appraised. The course includes glimpses of our distant past and insights into our present, as well as in-depth exploration of times that may come. We’ll consider possible fantastic futures in energy, space exploration, and extraterrestrial intelligence as well as in human health and aging. Along the way, we’ll review predictions made, examine major challenges that could curtail any future, and find insights that help better understand those challenges and what we might do to meet them. It is expected that all participants be fully vaccinated and that masks and social distancing be observed.

Instructor: Richard A. Scribner, PhD led the Science, Technology, and International Affairs program at Georgetown University. As a U.S. Department of State official, he dealt with global environmental and nuclear nonproliferation issues and participated in international negotiations. He developed and ran the Congressional Science Fellowship program for the American Association for the Advancement of Science and also its Arms Control and International Security program. He was the first Director of a counterterrorist research institute at Dartmouth, and, for years, a consultant to the U.S. Federal government. Dr. Scribner is the author of books and articles on arms control, science and public policy, and climate change.

Schedule: Eight sessions. Thursday, Feb. 17 to April 7, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Location: Room 201, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 801 Atlantic Avenue, Fernandina Beach

Fee: $50
Materials: None required. Instructor will provide handouts and a variety of electronic links.

Herbs as Culinary Enhancements

Course Description: This is a two-part course. Participants can select one or both parts. Part One will be in Fernandina Beach and will consist of a 2-hour lecture and demonstration
Bringing home the herbs – bottles,jars,& plants
NE Florida peculiarities in growing herbs
Now that I have them,what do I do with them and when do I do it? (Includes samples)
Simple herbs
Herbal blends
Vinegars and Oils
The nutritional value of herbs
Part two will be at Marge’s home in Callahan and will be a participatory experience and will include a tour of my herb garden. This will from 10:AM – 2PM As a group participants will prepare and enjoy an herbal lunch which includes an entrée, yeast bread, side, dessert, and herb infused wine. All ingredients and equipment will be provided.It is expected that all participants be vaccinated and that masks and social distancing be observed.

Instructor: Marge Powell has been an herbalist for over 30 years and an avid plant person her entire life. Her herbal interests span both the culinary, the medicinal and body care as well as growing herbs. Marge is a passionate cook and most of her cooking is herb enhanced. She teaches classes in cooking with herbs, making your own medicines, creating lotions and ointments, making soap, and blending scents. She has conducted hands-on workshops on these and a variety of other herbal topics across the United States including Lifelong learning workshops in NE Florida. She is currently a board member of the International Herb Association (IHA) and the International Herb Association Foundation and is past president of IHA’s former Southeastern Region. She has had numerous herbal articles published in IHA’s annual Herb of the Year publications.

Part One: Wednesday,March9,1:00-3:00p.m.
Part Two: Wednesday,March16,10:00-2:00p.m.
Part One:Fernandina Beach Library community room, 24 North 4th Street, Fernandina Beach.
Part Two: Marge’s home in Callahan. Instructor will send address and directions to registrants prior to the class.
Fee: Part One –$15
Part Two — $25(will cover cost of food)
Materials: None needed. Participants may wish to bring an apron for Part Two cooking class.

The Neuroscience of Learning and Memory

Course Description: In this highly recommended interactive class participants will get a deeper understanding of : 1) how the brain processes information, constructs meaning and creates sustainable memory; 2) how memory loss, and information overload occur and how you can more effectively respond; 3) the benefits, blessings and challenges of aging brains (at all ages);
4) how to enhance brain function to empower yourself and others; and 5) how to develop an individualized action plan for better brain performance.

Instructor: Dr. Rita Brodnax earned her doctorate from Indiana University in leadership and applying brain research to teaching, learning and communication. Dr. Brodnax has had culturally diverse and in-depth experiences in the business and education fields as a teacher, administrator, professional development coordinator, technology coordinator, superintendent, and advocacy consultant. She has trained thousands of teachers and administrators and worked with hundreds of schools in urban, rural and suburban areas. Dr. Brodnax’s workshops are interactive, engaging, and participatory. She models the most powerful brain-based strategies to demonstrate how brain compatible learning experiences ensure learning, and sustainable memory. Participants experience first-hand the power, delight and real-world benefits of using their brains better to address real-world challenges.

Schedule: Six sessions: Thursday, Feb. 17, 24, March 3, 10, 17, 24 9:30-11:00
Time: 9:30 – 11:00

Zoom Class – The instructor will provide registered students with the Zoom link prior to the beginning of the course.

Fee: $40 per person
Materials: None required