Don’t you envy Roberta Klein? A “lifelong student who wanted to keep engaged,” she holds the record for taking the most Academy classes. Of course, she got a head start on many of us, since she has enrolled every year, beginning with The Academy’s very first term eleven years ago. She learned first-hand about The Academy’s launch from Sally Kneser, one of The Academy’s co-founders and Roberta’s longtime friend from years of playing bridge and riding a ski bus together.
But Roberta laughs off any notion that she deserves any special recognition as a student, saying, “I concentrate on courses requiring the least homework!” But that doesn’t mean the courses she tackles are lightweights. “I love thinking about things I wouldn’t have thought about otherwise,” she notes, citing this fall’s course Justice on a Tightrope, led by retired attorney Ted Borrillo. In examining the Lindbergh baby kidnapping case, for example, she was struck by “how things have improved in the justice system.”
She is also so fascinated with Paulette Wasserstein’s Contemporary American Short Stories that she has taken every new installment in this ongoing series for the past three years—and is hoping she gets her registration in early enough to get into the upcoming Spring 2014 class (it always fills quickly). Roberta is particularly impressed with “the tremendous interaction” in every one of Paulette’s courses.
She is equally enthralled with Robin McNeil’s music classes—a wonderful chance to “try to fill in a total gap” in her background, she notes. She is constantly amazed by both how much she learns and how he “just sits down at the piano and comes up [spontaneously] with a tune” to illustrate the point he’s making.
Just as valuable as The Academy’s courses, she emphasizes, is “meeting so many people who are so intelligent and knowledgeable.” Of course, Roberta is one of those people herself—someone whom the rest of us so enjoy meeting and getting to know. With her love of learning and her professional experience heading up the Denver Public Library’s Great Books program, after several years as a New York City teacher, she’s a perfect fit for The Academy.