Learning in Retirement Association

Fall 2013 Schedule


Most Fall study groups will meet in the Talon Club Room at the Tsongas Center, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Lowell, MA. Study groups on 9/20, 10/8, 10/22 and 10/24 will meet at another location not yet determined.  See directions, including parking on this web site.    Registration will take place at the Convocation on Monday, September 16 at 11:00 a.m. in Cumnock Hall, 31 University Ave, Lowell.  Each course description includes, beneath the title, the name of 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.   Questions may be addressed to the coordinator. 
 
Stress and Your Body
Alan Kent*, Facilitator
Four Mondays 10:00 a.m.–Noon Sept. 23, 30, Oct. 7, 21

The first part of this video course marches through various parts of the body or physiological functions, examining first what happens during stress experience by a zebra or lion (great adaptiveness for them) and then how chronic stress winds up being bad news for us. The role of personality differences is explored. The final two lectures are an overview of stress management. Robert Sapolsky is professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Stanford University. We will have the last 8 lectures (4 sessions) left over from the course in fall of 2012.  
Dorothy Bromage*, Coordinator

The Creative Process
Dorothy Bromage*, Presenter
Four Mondays 10 a.m.–Noon Oct. 28, Nov. 4, 18, 25

Over the years, LIRA members have proven themselves among the most creative individuals ever.  This course will begin October 28 with Leon Poirier and his sundials.  In further sessions, other LIRA members will present their creation, answering questions about it.
We will want to know:  What did you create?   What gave you the idea?   What was involved in making it?   Any problems encountered?   The finished product—any follow-up?
Barbara Page*, Coordinator

The Other 1492  - Ferdinand, Isabella and the Making of an Empire
Russ MacLeod*, Facilitator
Eight Mondays 12:30–2:30 p.m. Sept. 23, 30, Oct. 7, 21, 28, Nov. 4, 18, 25

The year 1492 has long been seen as an important historical watershed, marking not only Christopher Columbus’s epoch-making voyage to the New World, but a boundary between the medieval and the early modern world. In Spain, 1492, from the perspective of contemporaries, was vested with a multitude of meanings: the conquest of Granada and the formal closing of the Reconquest; the expulsion of the Jews from the Spanish realms after a millennium and a half of life in Iberia; the triumph of the Catholic Monarchs’ reforms and the growing political centralization of Castile; and, yes, even the discovery of the New World or what was seen then as a new way to the Indies.
Focusing on 1492, the pivotal year in the history of the Spanish realms, this set of twelve lectures will examine in detail the historical developments leading to 1492 and the diverse and longstanding consequences of the events that took place that year. The course seeks to reassess and revise the historical meanings usually associated with that date and the privileging of certain historical phenomena to the detriment of others. Thus, 1492 will be examined from the perspective of a victorious Castilian and Christian society, but also from the perspective of Jews, Muslims, and the indigenous people of the New World.
Connie Lanseigne-Case*, Coordinator

Rosencrantz ad Guildenstern Are Dead
Frank Carroll*, Presenter
Eight Tuesdays 10 a.m.–Noon Sept. 24, Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Nov. 5, 12

The Shakespeare class has diverted from Shakespeare’s plays only once in all the years of studying the Bard.  That was when we read “Our Town.”  Well, the next play is a second diversion, as we are going to read "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" by Tom (now Sir Thomas) Stoppard. We now having read Hamlet twice are ready to decipher the complexity of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The play is woven into Hamlet constantly, and Hamlet and Claudius and Polonius all have parts to play in this modern creation. Anyone who thinks Shakespeare is occasionally difficult to understand is in for a shock with this new play. However, I think we will enjoy the adventure. I purchased the text from “Abe’s Books” on the Internet.  It was a second-hand paperback, quite old looking, but all of this for only one dollar.  But it took two weeks to deliver it and the shipping was $2.65. I didn't try any other book dealers but here are many out there. You can also download the text from the Internet, as you probably know. I look forward to dissecting this play.
Ann Dahlman*, Coordinator

Beethovan, Life and Works
Jeanne Gunion*, Presenter
Six Tuesdays 12:30–2:30 p.m. Sept. 24, Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

The life of Ludwig van Beethoven will be presented through the first four lectures of The Teaching Company’s eight-video series with lecturer Robert Greenberg. Additional lectures will focus on specific works of Beethoven. Following each lecture, the class will listen to representative music by Beethoven and music of composers influenced by him. Class members will offer their own experiences, knowledge, and recordings of Beethoven’s works. The remaining four lectures of the series will be offered in the spring.
Carol McCarthy*, Coordinator

Movies in the Afternoon
Barbara Page*, Presenter
Two Tuesdays 12:30–2:30 p.m. Nov. 5, 12

     Nov 5:    Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) Basil Rathbone is Sherlock Holmes
     Nov 12:   Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)

Dorothy Bromage*, Coordinator

Eight sessions, usually Wednesday 10 a.m.–Noon Sept. 25, Thursday Oct. 3, 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13

Beginning Sept. 25 and continuing through Nov. 13, meetings will start at 10 a.m. and go until noon, except for Oct. 3, which is the Thursday trip to the BSO Open Rehearsal. Please see attached schedule for dates, times, topics, presenters, and coordinators of the Art & Music series.
Barbara Page*, Coordinator

Great Decisions
Shirley Mitchell*, Facilitator
Eight Thursdays 10 a.m.–Noon Sept. 26, Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Nov. 7, 14

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: Future of the Euro, NATO, Humanitarian Intervention, and China in Africa. 
Shirley Mitchell*, Coordinator

My Favorite Universe
Bob Hanlon*, Facilitator
Eight Thursdays 12:30–2:30 p.m. Sept. 26, Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Nov. 7, 14

In My Favorite Universe, professor Neil deGrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist who directs the famous Hayden Planetarium and hosts NOVA programs on Public Television, takes you on a spirited and intellectually engaging journey through the cosmos and all its history, from before the Big Bang to the most likely ways in which Earth , and perhaps the entire universe, might end. Created for a lay audience and readily accessible, the lectures are entertaining, often funny, and even awe inspiring at times.  You will learn:
• How asteroids moving through space represent threats of extraordinary consequence to earth, no matter how long these threats may take to be realized.
• How Saturn’s rings are formed, and why they will eventually be lost.
• How astronomers actually look for new planets.
• Why the odds seem overwhelmingly in favor of some kind of life out there, whether we ever make contact or not.
• How black holes are formed and the extraordinary way they can cause havoc in the universe.
• Why even the jagged and wild of the earth’s mountain ranges are, from a cosmic standpoint, really part of a perfectly smooth sphere.
• Why the seemingly infinite panorama of celestial bodies revealed by the Hubble space telescope’s “Deep Field” so intrigued astronomers.
Alan McKersie*, Coordinator

Book Discussion
Toby Hodes*, Facilitator
Four Fridays 10 a.m.–Noon Sept. 20, Oct. 18, Nov. 15, Dec. (TBD)

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. Our selections for fall 2013 are:

Sept. 20 – Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage, non-fiction by Jeffrey Frank
Oct. 18 – The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, fiction by Ayana Mathis
Nov. 15 – My Beloved World, memoir by Sonia Sotomayer
Dec. TBD – The Great Gatsby, fiction by F. Scott Fitzgerald

*Denotes LIRA member