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Peer Learning Collaborative 

Join our Peer Learning Collaborative Group for a dynamic and interactive educational experience. Collaborate with like-minded individuals, share knowledge, and engage in active discussions on topics of mutual interest. Enhance your learning through peer-led activities, diverse perspectives, and a supportive community. Together, we'll foster a rich and collaborative learning environment that empowers all participants to grow, develop, and achieve their goals.


  • Short courses on subjects of substance available Winter, Spring, and Fall

  • Developed and facilitated by peers

  • Any substantive top is open for "discussion"


  • See below for upcoming programs

  • Topics, dates, and times available below

  • Courses will be 3-5 weeks, 60-75 minutes each session


  • Open to LJolla Community Center Members $15, Non-Members $35

  • Sign up below

  • Everyone is invited to propose topics to facilitate


April 11, 2024 - Four Thousand Years of Pain and its Treatments
April 18, 2024 - The Opioid Crisis - What’s the Real Story
April 25, 2024 - Current Options for Treating Pain

Let’s talk about pain. Dr. Carol Warfield has published over 100 articles and several books on the topic of pain medicine, has lectured extensively both nationally and internationally and has served on the boards of many professional societies related to pain medicine. Because of Dr Warfield’s deep expertise and the widespread interest in pain management, these sessions will be larger than normal and follow more of a lecture than conversation format.

Facilitator: Dr. Carol Warfield
Dr. Warfield is a Harvard Anesthesiologist who has been on the faculty of Harvard Medical School for over 30 years and is currently the Lowenstein Distinguished Professor of Anesthesia. She is the first woman at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to hold an endowed chair at Harvard and served as Director of the Pain Management Center for 20 years and as Chairman of the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine for 7 years.

Thursdays, April 11, 18, 25. 4-5pm. Followed by drinks and appetizers.
$15/M, $35/NM for 3-week course.

A Better Understanding of Border Issues

We will discuss what borders are, what international law requires, and how the U.S. manages border control in the first three sessions. The fourth session will have a panel of recent immigrants discussing their path to the U.S.

Facilitator: John Holbrooke
In 1982, a young Holbrooke took a job with U.S. Customs at Los Angeles International Airport. It led to a 39-year career. For five years, Holbrooke was a customs inspector “annoying the traveling public and impeding, sometimes destroying international cargo. I also collected duty, stamped passports, seized dope and money - both laundered and counterfeit.” He then spent time as an intelligence analyst for two years before moving to Washington to work with the U.S. Customs Office of International Affairs. This transitioned into U.S. Customs and Border Protection within Homeland Security in 2004. Holbrooke explains: “I advised, promoted, represented, taught, interdicted, seized and coordinated. I travelled to East Asia, Central Asia, Most of Europe, the Caribbean, Central America and South America.  It was usually fun.  My career plan was to go to faraway places and eat.  Mission accomplished.” He retired in 2021.

Wednesdays, May 8, 15, 22, 29. 3-4pm. Followed by drinks and appetizers.
$15/M, $35/NM for 4-week course.

Rhetoric & Persuasion: Plato to the Present

This four-week course will examine rhetorical theory beginning with Plato and the Sophist Gorgias in the 3rd Century BC and ending with contemporary theories of persuasion. What moves us to believe what we believe, or to take a certain action? How do we evaluate the things we read, see, and hear? Along the way, we will consider the Talmudic tradition, early Puritan sermons, Presidential speeches, advertising, and visual rhetoric, through the lens of the options Plato and the Sophists offer. We will end with a consideration of ideology, discourse theory, semiotics, and 20th century discussions of “unconscious” rhetoric. How is meaning made? Why do we tell the stories we tell and what does their form reveal about our culture? Are we more like Plato or Gorgias? Which model serves us better and under what circumstances?

Facilitator: Dr. Deborah Williams
Dr. Deborah Williams holds a PhD in literature and rhetoric and is currently pursuing a master's degree in art history with a focus on visual rhetoric.  Her area of interest is mid- 20th Century American rhetoric. She wrote her PhD dissertation on early Cold War rhetoric’s of gender and patriotism and is currently studying mid-century abstract and figurative expressionist painting against the political and social backdrop of 1950s America.

Thursdays, June 6, 13, 20, 27. 3-4pm. Followed by drinks and appetizers.
$15/M, $35/NM for 4-week course.

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