2011 Course Schedule

Fall 2011 Schedule

Most fall study groups will meet in the Meeting Room of the Campus Recreation Center (a.k.a. Rec. Center), 100 Pawtucket Street. The exceptions are the Art and Music Tours. Locations for October 4 and 26 will be announced. See directions, including parking, by visiting the LIRA website. The Rec. Center is a controlled entry building. Please always bring your LIRA photo ID. Registration will take place at the Convocation at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 14 at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center (ICC). Each course description includes, beneath the title, the person who is presenter or facilitator. Below the paragraph is the name of the course coordinator who makes the arrangements and has responsibility for carrying out details of the class.

SHAKESPEARE’S “ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA”

Eight Mondays 10 a.m. – Noon September: 19, 26, October: 3, 17, 24, 31, November: 7, 14

Presenter: Frank Carroll*

Once more, Shakespeare uses Holinshed's Chronicles as a source for the framework of this play. He pretty much adheres to the facts of history for the structure of the story. However, unlike the indecision of Hamlet, the seeming senile dementia of Lear or the wild and dangerous jealousy of Othello, Antony is brought down by lust. Once or twice he tries to put her out of his life and mind, but falls again into her arms. According to the Outline-History of English Literature The Queen of Egypt is a rather complex character who, however, can be summarily characterized as a shameless coquette and harlot. Nevertheless, many critics declare this play one of Shakespeare's four great love poems ranking with Romeo and Juliet, Troilus and Cressida and Othello.

Coordinator: Ann Dahlman*

GREAT WORLD RELIGIONS: JUDAISM

Eight Mondays 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. September: 19, 26, October: 3, 17, 24, 31, November: 7, 14

Facilitator: Toby Hodes*

Following our earlier examination of Comparative Religions, we will take a slightly more in-depth look at the five major religions in the world, starting with the three Abrahamic religions, in the order in which they came into being. Our first look, therefore, will be at Judaism. Using a series of 12 half-hour lectures over the course of seven or eight weeks, we will try to see Judaism as it was understood by its adherents in the past and by those who practice or identify with Judaism today. We will have time for discussion after each lecture, with perhaps a visit by a more knowledgeable individual at some time. A list of additional resources will be distributed, and some books will be available for participants to borrow.

Coordinator: Ann Dahlman*

PHYSICS IN YOUR LIFE

Eight Tuesdays 10 a.m. – Noon September: 20, 27, October: 4, 11, 18, 25, November: 1, 8

Facilitator: Jerry Gilmore*

This course explores the physics of everyday events in an informative and fun way. It has the potential to lead to a deeper understanding of the universe. It is taught by Richard Wolfson, PH.D Professor of Physics at Middlebury College. The full course is 36 lectures but is broken into 6 modules. We will probably cover the first two or three in this fall period: Module one -Sight and Sound and Module two - Going Places (walking, to automobiles, to flight, and space space travel). He answers questions like - Why does a curve ball curve? Why does ice float? How do CDs and DVDs work? Why don’t your legs break when you jump off a chair? What keeps a moving bicycle from falling over? These questions involve physical principles that relate not only to interesting aspects of our daily lives, but also explain such phenomena as the cause of hurricanes, the formation of neutron stars, the ability of water to dissolve different substances, and other fundamental features of our daily life.

Coordinator: Steve Sussman*

OPERA

Seven Tuesdays 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. September: 20, 27, October: 4, 11, 18, 25, November: 1

Presenter: Barbara Wagner

Barbara Wagner has been teaching this course at UMass Boston for several years. She has made recordings of well-known operas, giving the story in English before each scene, which is sung in the original language. Each opera will be followed by (a) brief readings on the composer’s life and other relevant items of interest and (b) the most famous arias sung by others for comparison (as time permits). She will be doing three operas that the Metropolitan Opera Company will be presenting this season and screening on HD TV cinema. At the first class, there will be a $5. charge for librettos copying.

  • Week 1: Brief History of Italian Opera
  • Weeks 2 and 3: Don Giovanni (Mozart) Saturday, October 29
  • Weeks 4 and 5: Faust (Gounod) Saturday, December 10
  • Weeks 6 and 7: La Traviata (Verdi) Saturday, April 14

Coordinator: Barbara Page*

LEND ME YOUR EARS

One Tuesday 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. November 8

Presenter: Dorothy Bromage*

The first focus in this program is on the human voice—more specifically, on the range that a person achieves to be called a soprano, alto, tenor, or bass. Guided listening will illustrate this, as well as the ranges incorporated in musical instruments. A further activity involving listening is directed toward hearing one melody or rhythm when another is going on at the same time. Without too much straining, a person can hear the highs and lows and distinguish cleverly composed melodies and counter melodies.

Coordinator: Kay Carroll*

ART & MUSIC

Eight sessions, usually Wednesday 10 a.m. – Noon September: 21, 28, October: 5, 13, 19, 26, November: 2, 9

Beginning September 21, meetings will start at 10 a.m. and go until noon except for October 13, which is the Thursday trip to the BSO Open Rehearsal. Please see attached schedule for dates, times, topics, coordinators of the Art & Music sessions, and the locations of those not at the Rec. Center.

Coordinator: Barbara Page*

GREAT DECISIONS

Eight Thursdays 10 a.m. – Noon September: 22, October: 6, 12, 20, 27, November: 3, 10, 17

Facilitator: Shirley Mitchell*

The Great Decisions studies are based on materials supplied by the Foreign Policy Association in Washington, D.C. The following four topics will be discussed this semester: Rebuilding Haiti, American national security since 9/11, Sanctions and nonproliferation, Making sense of multilateralism. Join with us in our in-depth studies of topics featured in today’s news. Note that on October 12, Thursday classes will meet on Wednesday.

Coordinator: Shirley Mitchell*

TWO MUSIC DELIGHTS

I. Four Thursdays 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. September: 22, October: 6, 12, 20

Presenter: Jeanne Gunion*

LISTENING TO AND UNDERSTANDING GREAT MUSIC In the first four weeks, this will focus on Mozart and More! The class will view the Teaching Company’s DVDs on Mozart followed by background information and by listening to the music described on the DVD's. Note that on October 12, Thursday classes will meet on Wednesday, October 12.

Coordinator: Dorothy Bromage*

II. Four Thursdays 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. October 27, November: 3, 10, 17

Presenter: Janet Shawcross*

MUSIC AND POETRY HONOR NATURE In each of the second four weeks we will emphasize a topic of nature (example, “Water”). This topic will, in turn, be divided into four subtopics (example, “Lake”). There will be at least one classical composition and one poem representing each subtopic. Words about each poem or piece of music will precede the listening of that poem or music. Volunteers will read the poems selected for each subtopic. And, of course, there will be a sing-along for each topic to end the day!

Coordinator: Dorothy Bromage*

BOOK DISCUSSION

Four Friday sessions, 10 a.m. – Noon September 23, October 14, November 18, December 9

Facilitator: Toby Hodes*

Do you like to read fiction or perhaps the classics, or are biographies your preference? Perhaps, you are an aficionado of non-fiction. Whatever your genre preference, guaranteed sometime during the year the book group will read and discuss an example thereof. And what is more inviting to a passionate reader than an opportunity to discuss a book - like it or hate it - with other like-minded people? Our discussions are always lively, interesting and varied and a new point of view is always welcome. The December 9 meeting will be held from 12:30 to 2:30. Our selections for 2011 are:

  • September 23 – American Lion, biography of Andrew Jackson by Jon Meacham
  • October 21 – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, non-fiction by Rebecca Skloot
  • November 18 – Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation, history by Cokie Roberts
  • December 9 – Jane Eyre, classic fiction by Charlotte Bronte

Coordinator: Toby Hodes*

*Denotes LIRA member