2016 Winter/Spring Class Schedule



The LLI Winter/Spring class schedule has extended to include additional classes in April, May and even into June! 

All classes are in classrooms on the Charlotte Campus of Florida SouthWestern State College located at 26,300 Airport Road in Punta Gorda unless specified otherwise.  All classrooms have up-to-date audio visual equipment and projection.

Listed below are the class titles with instructors’ names, dates and times, room numbers and applicable fees. 

You can register online with your credit card by clicking on the appropriate  “Add to Cart” button (FRIENDS member or non-member) or you can call the LLI office at 941-637-3533.  Refunds must be requested either by email or in writing through the U.S. mail and will be granted only prior to the first class session.

Now make your choices and learn — just for the fun of it!  


Documentaries with Lunch

Wednesday, May 4 through June 1, 10:00 a.m. to noon – Classroom D210

Choose one, two, three or all five of these sessions. Each session will begin at 10:00 a.m. in classroom D210 with an online documentary chosen by the LLI Curriculum Committee for its cultural diversity and includes a special lunch served by the campus cafeteria staff.


May 4 “Who Killed the Maya?”

A powerful civilization ruled the rainforests of Central America for thousands of years, and then mysteriously vanished. Historians have never known for sure what triggered their disappearance, although many have speculated about it. This documentary is about The Maya: one of the greatest empires that history has ever known.

Best known for their bold and impressive architecture, which is still evident in hundreds of limestone pyramids and temples, this civilization had already developed a complex written code while Europe was still submerged in the Dark Ages. Historians are impressed with the accuracy with which The Maya were able to predict astronomical changes and events. They even went so far as coming up with the exact date for their creation.

German epigrapher and author Nikolai Grube, along with a team of archeologists, is finding important answers in the most remote places. He has been able to decipher the messages found in the many Mayan drawings that were carved in rocks and stones by cracking the code of Mayan hieroglyphs.

$10 Member                    

$15 Non Members        


May 11 – “Hitler’s Children

“Hitler’s Children” is an Israeli-German 2012 documentary film directed by  Chanock Zeevi that portrays how relatives of Hitler’s inner circle deal with the burden of that relationship and the identification of their surname and family ties with the horrors of the Holocaust. They describe the conflicted feelings of guilt and responsibility they carry with them in their daily lives and the disparate reactions of their siblings and other family members.

The film consists primarily of interviews with the descendants of several of the most powerful figures in the Nazi regime, including Heinrick Himmler, Hans Frank, Hermann Goring, and Rudolf Hoss, whose ties of kinship associate them with notorious criminals. They discuss the delicate balance they have managed to achieve in negotiating between the natural bonds between children and parents and earlier generations on the one hand and their innate revulsion at their crimes.  It was completed in 2011 and was produced by Chanoch Zeevi’s company Maya Production, in co-production with the German company Saxonia Entertainment.

$10 Member                    

$15 Non Members        


May 18 “Bugging Hitler’s Soldiers

During World War II, the MI19, an intelligence department of the British war office, set out to exploit over 4,000 German prisoners of war in the most ambitious surveillance operation ever attempted.

Three stately homes in the British countryside were converted into prison camps and were meticulously wired for sound. Bugging devices could be found in lamps and fireplaces and behind mirrors. In fact, even the trees were bugged. This PBS documentary shows how 100,000+ hours of taped secret conversations helped the Allies win World War II.

The “listening rooms”, hidden in basements and attics, were filled with what was at the time state of the art recording equipment. Captured generals and soldiers were brought to these bugged locations where listeners sat ready and waiting for them to start talking. The British were convinced that if they could understand the mindset of the German soldiers— how they thought and what made them tick— they would be at an advantage. The “guests” at Trent Park were generals who resided there until the war ended. These men were indulged with comfort and luxury such as day trips to London with the occasional luncheon at fancy restaurants and garden parties. They were even supplied with a radio, books, and newspapers in order for them to stay in touch with the outside world, and speak freely about what was going on.  Over 100,000 hours of recorded conversations between soldiers were secretly recorded and then transcribed word for word and these conversations reveal the hearts and minds of Hitler’s soldiers.

$10 Member                    

$15 Non Members        


May 25 “The Way of the Samurai

Weaving a beautiful tapestry of compelling imagery, a traditional Japanese music score and an intriguing story line, The Way of the Samurai tells the story of a how Japan evolved from brutality to refinement. As much a story of the great Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu as it is a story of the Japanese renaissance leading into the 19th century, it is a tale of honor and discipline, betrayal and mystery.

Beginning with the arrival of the first Europeans in Japan, coinciding with the privileged birth of Ieyasu, the story is set in motion amidst the methodical conversion efforts of Catholic missionaries.  The decision of Ieyasu’s father to unite forces with an opposing warlord, sends Ieyasu to be a prisoner as a token of trust to establish the alliance. It is during his childhood years of imprisonment that Ieyasu learns the way of the Samurai and begins to develop the innovative thinking that will result in the end of the traditional warring Samurai class.

A fierce and brutal warrior, Ieyasu was the epitome of the traditional Samurai and was celebrated for his courage and honor.  He matured into a dominant warlord in the turmoil that permeated Japan at the time and as his power increased, his non-traditional ideals began to emerge.  As Ieyasu gained more power, his evolution from warrior to strategist began to change the Samurai and Japan’s course forever.

$10 Member                    

$15 Non Members        


June 1 “Terra Antarctica: Rediscovering the 7th Continent

The Earth can be seen as a single complex system with Antarctica as its heart. While some people think that the Seventh Continent is a fortress that is far removed from the negative influence of humans, the reality is that external forces are seriously impacting it and everything is changing at a rapid speed.

In 1989 National Geographic correspondents visited Antarctica for the first time and documented a seven month long crossing of the Continent by dog sled. Since then the changes in this part of our planet have been evident. Since 1959 an unusual international treaty was signed between twelve nations. This treaty continues to govern the continent. The Antarctic Treaty demands that tourists leave nothing behind except footprints. It also requires that visitors provide their own search and rescue in case of emergency.

This extraordinary film documents National Geographic’s sea-level exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula. For six weeks the crew travelled by kayak, sailboat, small plane, and foot in order to observe the evolution of this most remote place. Antarctica has been seriously impacted by climate change. Evidence of this is the fact that temperatures have warmed along the Peninsula faster than anywhere else on the planet during the past 50 years. Add to that the tourism boom and international property rights battles. All of this takes place while its ice slowly disappears.

$10 Member                    

$15 Non Members        


Tuesday, May 10 – “Influential Women”, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Classroom D108

Celebrate Mother’s Day with a presentation on our area’s most influential women and the achievements they accomplished which nurtured our community.  This class is offered at no charge and is presented by Crystal Diff, Historical Coordinator at the Charlotte County Historical Center, and Libby McDonald-Schaeffer, local author of The Ladies of Punta Gorda.

Libby will share tidbits from her most recent book and other stories she has collected about the history of Punta Gorda.  Crystal will present a broader, living history with volunteer docents of the women who lived in an early era of Charlotte County. 

All in all a fun morning to learn more about our local history!!!

No Fee — call LLI office (941-637-3533) to reserve a seat!