Like many Brightview Senior Living communities, Brightview Rolling Hills in Catonsville works with community colleges and local organizations to provide educational presentations and classes for the residents. These events keep residents active and engaged, but when the pandemic struck, in-person classes were canceled.
Luckily for the residents at Brightview Rolling Hills, “Professor” Warren Moore moved into the community in late December of 2020. This self-proclaimed lifelong teacher wasted no time adding his weekly classes to the schedule.
“Warren’s classes are one of our most anticipated weekly activities,” said Vibrant Living Director Buna Cumbie. “He’s very knowledgeable and teaches his class in an engaging way.”
Warren’s passion for Baltimore, sports, and learning in general, is extremely evident in his conversations. A true Baltimorean, Warren played football in high school for Baltimore City College before attending Towson University to earn his degree in English and Loyola University for his Master’s.
Warren then spent 25 years working as the Head of Academics at the Baltimore School for the Arts. “I loved every second of it,” he said. “The kids were amazing, and I was able to do a lot of academic counseling with them.” Warren also led teaching classes at Notre Dame of Maryland (NDMU) and Loyola University. Always a student, Warren was also involved in the NDMU’s Renaissance Institute, a learning cooperative for students 50 and over.
After a hospital stay during Thanksgiving 2020, Warren soon settled into Brightview Rolling Hills. “I mentioned to Buna that I led classes at Notre Dame, and if he was interested, I could do them here,” Warren said. “He mentioned a few topics that residents would like, like the history of Baltimore and the history of the 60s.” With that, Warren was off to his research.
Warren still hosts an impressive library in his Brightview Rolling Hills apartment. “I got rid of over 1000 books when I moved here and donated about 100 to the community library,” Warren smiled. He scours his personal library for information as well as his computer.
“A lot of times, the ideas come when I go to bed at night,” Warren said. “I’ll think of something and write it on a scrap of paper and throw it on my desk.”
Subjects for Warren’s classes span a wide variety of interests: Baltimore history, the poetry of Robert Frost, “Hamlet,” women of folk music, Oscar Wilde, and more. “Sitcoms of the 50s” was Warren’s most popular course to date. Another popular presentation was “History of Baltimore in the 50s.”
“I learned so much researching and got really into digging up pictures,” he said. “I even found a photo of Nancy Pelosi in her communion dress.” Warren and Buna work together to pick topics the community will enjoy, and residents have started suggesting subjects as well.
Warren’s latest class fit in perfectly to honor Black History Month in February: “Negro League Baseball: Only the Ball Was White.” He was well-equipped to research this topic, as he owned about 30 books about the Negro League in his personal library.
“I had the Negro League class all ready, and then I started thinking about other aspects of it and researching a whole new topic,” Warren explained. “I might have two to three classes in progress at any given time.”
While observing his class, Warren’s natural teaching ability is evident. He makes the presentation active, asking residents questions to keep their interest and making them laugh with well-chosen comments (one in particular concerning baseball’s fixation with naming their teams after hosiery!) The amount of trivia and facts Warren keeps at the top of his head is truly astounding. He also brought a critical eye to teams like the Indianapolis Clowns and the Zulu Cannibal Giants for exploiting African and Black stereotypes.
Outside of leading his classes, Warren enjoys attending other lectures, live music, movies, and Jeopardy. Although his cat Natty Boh keeps him company in his apartment, he misses having dogs and loves when any visiting dog comes to Brightview Rolling Hills. “I love here that the calendar covers everybody,” Warren said.
Up next on the docket is a class sure to intrigue any music lover: “The Poetry of Simon and Garfunkel.”
“It’s a lot of work, but I enjoy the research part of it,” Warren said. “I strongly believe it is good for keeping my mind active.”
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