Lifelong Learning

  • German made easy

Charleston Area Lifelong Learning (CALL) provides an opportunity to go back into a classroom with your peers, to facilitate a class or just to learn. It’s a great way to make new friends.

You can choose to be on either side of the desk as experts share a lifetime of knowledge and experience with their peers.

Spring 2021 CALL Courses
(Course length varies from 1 to 6 weeks)

Some will be in-person at the Riley Center and some will be virtual.


“Breezing” – The Life of a Thoroughbred
Online and In-Person
(In-Person limit of 14)

Facilitator: Michael Ferrara

Course Description: IN THE WORLD OF HIGH STAKES RACING, IS IT TRAINING, MONEY OR LUCK THAT GETS THE WIN? Author Mike Ferrara’s third novel, entitled Breezing, explores the sport of thoroughbred racing through the eyes of a young female jockey and a horse trainer that mentors and guides her career. In a presentation based on the setting of his story, Mike will explore this exciting, tumultuous and sometimes controversial sport in a behind-the-scenes and fact-based manner. You will never watch the Kentucky Derby the way you have in the past!

Facilitator’s bio: After spending his professional career as an Air Force Officer and a Wall Street wealth manager, Mike started his third career as a writer in 2014.  In addition to Breezing, Mike is the author of two international spy thrillers: The land of the Million Elephants and Sons of Lubyanka. He and his wife Cathy reside in Charleston. He has been a CCR lecturer in the past.

IN-PERSON ONLY (Riley Center, Limit 14)
10-11:30 AM – 4 weeks (March 9 – March 30)

Facilitator: Diana Barth:

Course Description:   We will once again enjoy being dramatic in an easy, comfortable way. Readers Theatre actors do not memorize their lines. They use vocal expression to help listeners understand the story, rather than relying heavily on sets, costumes or movement. In this course, we’ll read both modern and classic plays aloud, discussing the issues explored in our chosen works. Participants will be invited to suggest scenes from some of their favorite plays.

Facilitator’s Bio: Diana Barth has taught English to adults and at the secondary school level. A retired attorney, she also wrote for her local newspaper, covering politics and later serving as arts and entertainment editor. She loves the opportunity to participate in Reader’s Theatre.



10-11:30 AM – 5 weeks (Feb. 24 through March 24)

Facilitator:  John Preston

Course Description: Each of us can achieve a greater depth of appreciation and admiration for the art, music, and nature that surrounds us if we have more understanding of the physical world in which we live. By applying our minds and the discoveries of great thinkers like Einstein, Newton, and Maxwell, we can expand our world and see new colors, hear new sounds, and perceive things that are normally too small or too large for us to notice. Join me in an adventure that will expand your mind and your horizons. -John Preston

While one registers for the whole course, classes stand alone and thus can be attended or skipped without losing continuity. Physics for the Humanities will be based on the classes John Preston taught two years ago, with updates. They will be presented follows:

Week 1: Physics for Art Lovers – Color and Vision
Week 2: Physics for Music Lovers – Sound and Hearing
Week 3: Physics for Philosophers – Astronomy, Relativity,  and Quantum Computers
Week 4: Physics for Citizens – Iran nuclear deal to Green Energy and the Grid
Week 5: Physics for History Lovers – Columbus to WWII radar.

Facilitator: Facilitator: Popular CCR lecturer John Preston is an Emeritus faculty member from Eastern Michigan University. John taught physics, computers, and technology for forty years and won regional and national awards for teaching. His specialty is making complicated ideas easy to understand in an entertaining and friendly manner.

Space in 2021
IN PERSON (Riley Center) & ONLINE

12:30 to 2 PM – 4 weeks (Feb. 24 to Mar. 17)

Facilitator: John Barth

Course Description: Want to know the status of the three Mars probes (launched last year by the US, China and UAE)? Want to know what else China is doing, particularly on the moon? Want to know what else to expect from space exploration in 2021?  If so, join John Barth as he shares what he’s learned about current space exploration. P.S., the United Arab Emirates probe is expected to reach the planet on Feb. 9; the China probe should go into Mars orbit on Feb. 10, and the US probe should land on Feb. 18. There will be a lot to discuss.

Facilitator’s bio: John Barth is a former USAF officer who later worked for BAE Systems NA as part of a joint program with Australia. He has a lifelong interest in flight, with a special interest in World War I aircraft. He has been following the competing missions to Mars and the latest news about space exploration worldwide.


MARY OLIVER: Popularity is a Two-Edged Sword

10 to 11:30 AM – 5 weeks (Feb. 26 – March 26)

Facilitator:  Diana T. Barth

Course Description: The works of American Poet Mary Oliver (1935-2019), have often been labeled as “inspirational” and “accessible.” In reality, according to the Washington Post, those labels are too often a “backhanded compliment”.  According to the Post’s critique of her poetry, the dismissive attitude toward her poetry that those labels foster shows a “deep misunderstanding” of that work. In a time when consolation, inspiration and joy are hard to come by, a look at her poetry seems well worth the time and effort. Mary Oliver has won numerous awards, including a Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1984. Participants will be emailed poems in advance of each week’s discussion.

Facilitator’s Bio: Diana Barth taught English literature before earning a law degree. She enjoys sharing her love of poetry. By happenstance, Diana was born very close to Mary Oliver’s birthplace, albeit several years later Also, like Oliver, she lived on Cape Cod and has similar ties to both New York and Florida.

Who We Are:

The Charleston Academy for Lifelong Learning (CALL) is a program offered by the College of Charleston Center for Creative Retirement.

  • Our classes are peer-to-peer and meet online and/or in person at the College of Charleston’s Riley Center for Livable Communities, 176 Lockwood Boulevard, Charleston. Parking is plentiful and free.
  • Courses are online, in person, or a hybrid, i.e., a combination of both.
  • Classes meet weekly for anything from one to six weeks and are 90 minutes each, unless otherwise specified in the course description.
  • CALL offers fall, winter, and summer terms.
  • CALL participants pay $5 per course (a token amount to cover costs during the current pandemic).
  • Participants may register for any or all the courses offered that term. They will receive a confirmation with the time, place and a parking permit. If the course is offered online, they will also receive a Zoom link to that class.
  • As a peer-to-peer lifelong learning organization, we are always looking for facilitators with an interest or passion to share. We are now looking for a wide variety of courses for our Winter Term (Feb/Mar).

Register/Contact Us:

Registration is secure and online at  If you have any registration questions, email us at

More information and links to CALL Registration are online at

 CALL is also on Facebook at

CALL Committee Chair Diana Barth can be reached at CAforLifelongLearning  The Riley Center for Livable Communities can be reached at (843)953-6103.

You do not have to be a member of CCR to take CALL classes. You can also reserve a spot in a class by mailing, completing payment and registration on the first day of class. Everyone who registers will receive an emailed confirmation.

If you want to be a part of the CALL committee, are interested in facilitating a class for future terms, or just want to ask a question, Email or CALL Coordinator Diana Barth at