Home Discussion Forums Augusta Senior College Classes Roosevelt Class Wrapping Up

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    Mike Bell

    Dear Roosevelt Class . . .
    It is hard to believe that our class is almost complete. As we draw to a close, please allow me to make two observations. The first is what a resilient group you all are. In these trying times, you have stayed upbeat and focused. I think it’s great that you wanted to try this little social experiment out and continue with this new tech platform. Kudos to each of you for sticking with the program!

    Secondly, I have been truly amazed by our subject matter. I do not know how these two continued on at times…
    Eleanor has a father who struggles with Alcoholism and mental health issues. Her mother has to deal with her father and is given to horrendous headaches and undoubtedly depression from Eliot’s
    lifestyle. And then, just at the age when a kid really needs their parents, she finds herself alone.
    Franklin grows up with a father who is there but whose health does not allow for a strenuous life. His mother is a bit domineering and smothering…even as his political career takes off, “Ma-ma” is always there, trying to control things.

    And then there are the complicated relationships, the friends, the lovers and the enemies. The ability to move onward after a great illness or the willingness to accomplish your greatest work after “the story was over”

    At the end of the day, what I have found SO engaging is that personal side, those struggles. That these two could accomplish all that they did, in spite of the many obstacles, is what I admire most. We can see ourselves in them. They were not perfect and neither are we. I don’t think heroes beckon to us because they are better than us or because they become some perfect ideal. I believe that we are drawn to heroes because they are us.

    Thanks again for joining me on this new journey.



    Mike, your class on the Roosevelts was great! Since it was so disappointing to have our spring semester cancelled, I really appreciate your willingness to take on Zoom. It worked out so well. Being able to visit the Roosevelt Cottage on Campobello Island (virtually, of course) was a treat and our visit with Missy LeHand (aka Kathryn Smith) was just delightful! Thanks again for being the UMASC Zoom pioneer.

    Ann Sullivan

    I enjoyed the class. I love the way Mike makes connections between what he’s teaching and other often more recent events. And I am impressed by how Mike brings these historical figures to life; they’re very real to me now. The amount of work he’s put into this class is amazing. The number of books he’s read on the subject and the arrangements he made with Campobello and Kathryn Smith, all of that took a lot of time and effort.
    Thank you, Mike, both for the class and your Zoom “leadership.”


    From the very beginning, I knew that the next 9 weeks would be a rich journey into the lives of two very important people in the history of our country — Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Mike showed us key photos and video clips and read countless books in order to cover all aspects of his topic. He worked hard to arrange a virtual visit of the Roosevelt Cottage and an interview with Kathryn Smith who wrote about FDR’s secretary Missy Lehand. Mike answered all of our questions, gave us a resource list of books about the Roosevelts and, above all, Mike’s enthusiasm each week was contagious. Because of you Mike, other UMASC instructors will be encouraged to teach a Zoom class. Thank you very much.

    Amy Anderson

    Dear Mike – As we said under the “Classes and Presentations” topic, we would be enthusiastic about joining any of your future Zoom presentations! We had a fantastic experience with “The Roosevelts” class and will remember how it rallied us from our “pandemic fever” when it seemed our brains could think of little else! During this challenging spring 2020, what a fantastic relief! Warmest thanks – Bob and Kathy Anderson

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