Message from the President

Dear <<First Name>>,

As we celebrate the festive season and look ahead to the brightening new year, I send you my warmest wishes for abundant health, happiness, and enduring peace.

WinterFest 2022 offers a respite from the cold on each Wednesday morning in January; let’s snuggle in and enjoy! Please read the article for an enticing preview of our eight Zoom sessions.

Members of Gary Miller’s fall course, Words and Pixels for Smartphones, produced an excellent short video with our volunteers reflecting on LLI pre-COVID, how we faced the challenges of the pandemic, and what we learned together that already benefits our future. Find it on our website or click here to watch Bard LLI Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: 

In gratitude,


Stay Warm with WinterFest

by Deborah Lanser

As we settle down after the holiday season, we can start looking forward to WinterFest 2022. On four consecutive Wednesdays, beginning on January 5, there will be two lectures concerning a broad range of subjects. We need not worry about icy roads or parking since all lectures will be held on Zoom. Registration will not be required, and you may invite individual guests. Here’s a foretaste of what’s going to be on offer.

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Jeff Christensen Profile

by Gary Miller

What do an airplane pilot, a baseball player, and a surgeon have in common? The good ones stay calm under pressure. Focused, calm, cool. Some would say even relaxed. They get the job done.

When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Bard LLI life as we knew it, teams immediately formed to deal with the crisis. We didn’t know what we were going to do, but with open minds, everyone hunkered down and got to work. 

One of those team members was Jeff Christensen, who joined LLI in 2019. He’s a modest guy with grey hair and a baritone voice. He has a background in the financial industry, working with computers, computer applications, and computer science. The most challenging part of his job, however, was managing teams and funneling the results of team efforts to worldwide clients.

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Thoughts on the Fall Semester

by Deborah Lanser

Member comments about the fall semester were generally positive, with a number of courses and presenters averaging ratings of 9 or 10. There were exceptions, of course, and one only garnered ratings between 0 and 4. In some cases, the same lecture and presenter evoked responses ranging from 0 to 10. That’s where the comments are particularly helpful to the Curriculum Committee. They can assess the reasons, both good and bad, for members’ reactions and whether to repeat, rework, or let go of a course or presenter. Here’s a sampling of the hundreds of responses. 

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Tiny Bach Concert Features
a Favorite LLI Presenter

by Cathy Reinis

Raymond Erickson has produced a video for the American Bach Society, giving all of us a chance to enjoy the experience of learning from him. Ray is a distinguished musician and scholar, best known for his many publications about Johann Sebastian Bach and his stunning performances of Bach’s music. When LLI classes were on campus, he drew a devoted following eager to show up for an 8:30 a.m. class—with a class planned for 2020. 

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Bard Opens its Arms to Afghan Students

by Felice Gelman

“What is taking place now in Afghanistan is a tragedy. It affects students and colleagues we have worked with over many years. We stand with the Afghan students...Bard has a long history of helping students and faculty fleeing conflict and persecution, and we will continue to engage and help in every way possible.”

-- Leon Botstein and Jonathan Becker

Bard has taken on what may be its most challenging project ever, helping several hundred students continue their studies in Central Asia, Europe, and the United States. Many of them will be coming to the Bard campus here. And we can help. 

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SISTER2SISTER Program at Bard College

by Susan Phillips

In 2018, two first-year Bard College students, Sakinah Bennett and Skylar Walker, were inspired by Bard’s Brothers at Bard program to establish the SISTER2SISTER program. Both founders are women of color from Georgia and recipients of full scholarships from the Posse Foundation. Sakinah majored in historical studies and dance. Skylar studied jazz and has been involved in the release of several music projects. She wowed attendees at a recent CCE awards event with her singing. While both CCE programs have similar goals in supporting young minority students, S2S focuses exclusively on working with girls of color in the Kingston area through mentoring and experiences in the arts. 

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Turkey Talk

by Maddy Watterson

Can you answer these questions?

  1. Do turkeys mate for life?
  2. What state produces the most cranberries?
  3. In what year did Swanson introduce the turkey TV dinner?

Jan Kohn correctly answered these and other questions, and as a reward, she won a turkey trophy. She joined all the members of the Membership Development Committee at a recent potluck lunch where Robert Inglish posed questions from his extensive collection of turkey trivia. Everyone had a good time gobbling their food, laughing, catching up with each other, and meeting new members.

Membership Development would enjoy having more people to work (and play) with them. If you are interested and want to know more about what they do, contact Robert at

Answers: 1. No, turkeys do not mate for life. 2. Wisconsin produces the most cranberries. 3. TV dinners were introduced in 1954. 

Council Notes for November 2021

by Deborah Lanser

The following topics were discussed at the November meeting:

The Nominations and Elections Committee for 2022 will include Linda Stanley, Barbara Burns, Navin Sharma, John Mathews, Carol Goss, Chuck Mishaan, and Marge Moran.

More session managers are needed. 

Any member interested in observing a Council meeting should email Linda Stanley at

The spring semester will consist of two Zoom sessions on Thursdays and three in-person sessions on Fridays.

Council approved donating $1200 to the Afghan Student Fund. 

Highlights of the Bard Calendar

by Felice Gelman

Bard goes on vacation on December 17 and the winter break lasts until January 31 but there are still some noteworthy events in December. 

Thursday, December 9, from 7:00 p.m.-9 p.m. the Bard Conservatory will present Richard Teitelbaum’s  “Music at the Threshold,” electronic music reflecting the natural world.  Performances will include Kajia Saariaho’s “Sept Papillons” (Saariaho is familiar to those who took Chuck Mishaan’s Opera as Politics course this fall) as well as Paula Matthusen’s “Ontology of Echo,” a study of resonances in the NYC aqueduct system, and more. The concert will be held at the Bitó Conservatory Building. Register in advance here.

Bard’s The Orchestra Now is pleased to offer complimentary tickets for their performance of Handel’s Messiah to those who work or study at Bard. For complimentary tickets to their live December 11 and 12 concerts, use this link OR enter promo code TONCOMP. Both performances will also be livestreamed at For more info, click here.

Saturday, December 11, from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm, don’t miss the Chamber Music Marathon, an all-student performance that will be held at the Bitó Conservatory Building. Register in advance here.

Tuesday, December 14, from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 pm the Bard Center for Moving Image Arts will screen two films from the Hong Kong modernist genre: The Killer and In the Mood for Love. If you plan to attend, email and bring your vaccination proof.

Wednesday, December 15, from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., the Center for Moving Image Arts will screen Beau Travail and will offer a second screening of In the Mood for Love. If you plan to attend, email and bring your vaccination proof.

Important Dates for LLI Members

December 14: Curriculum Meeting on Zoom at 10:00 a.m. If you would like to attend, please email Bill Tuel at

December 16: WinterFest catalog is released

December 20: Council Meeting on Zoom at 9:30 a.m. If you would like to attend, please email Linda Stanley at

January 5, 12, 19 and 26:  WinterFest presentations 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

January 11: Curriculum Meeting on Zoom at 10:00 a.m. If you would like to attend, please email Bill Tuel at

January 18: Council Meeting on Zoom at 9:30 a.m. (it is moved to a Tuesday because of Martin Luther King Day). If you would like to attend, please email Linda Stanley at

This newsletter is a publication of Bard LLI Council. Communications Team Chair: Cathy Reinis. Writers and editors: Susan Christoffersen, Felice Gelman, Carmela Gersbeck, Deborah Lanser, Jill Lundquist, Dona McLaughlin, Chuck Mishaan, Kathy OConnor, Susan Phillips, Deborah Schwartz, Margaret Shuhala. Photographers: Gary Miller, Chair, Carmela Gersbeck, Kathy OConnor
Bard LLI Newsletters are always available on our website at

Copyright © 2021 Bard LLI, All rights reserved.

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