Learning in Retirement Association

Spring 2013 Schedule


Spring study groups will meet in the Talon Club Room at the Tsongas Center, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Lowell, MA. Registration will take place at the Town Meeting, Wednesday, March 13 at 10 a.m. at Alumni Hall, 84 University Avenue, Lowell, MA.  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.

GETTING HERE WAS HALF THE BATTLE:  IMMIGRATION AND THE MAKING AND
 
REMAKING OF THE MERRIMACK RIVER VALLEY
Seven Mondays 10 a.m. - Noon March 18, 25, April 1, 8, 22, 29, May 6
Presenter:  Bob Forrant

The story of immigration is the story of the United States and the region we live in today.  In this course we will take a close look at the general history of immigration and as well study immigration into this part of Massachusetts.  The time period will be from approximately 1870 through the recent waves of Southeast Asian and African immigration today.  We will read: Ethnicity in Lowell by Robert Forrant and Christoph Strobel.  It can be found online at http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/lowe/ethnicity.pdf and The Big Move by Robert Forrant and Christoph Strobel.  This book sells for $10 and I will bring copies with me for the first class for everyone to purchase.
Coordinator: Russ MacLeod*

GREAT WORLD RELIGIONS:  BUDDHISM
Six Mondays 1 - 3 p.m. March 18, April 1, 8, 22, 29, May 6
Facilitator: Toby Hodes*

In our continuing quest to begin to understand the great religions of the world, we will spend our spring semester exploring Buddhism, a 2500 year old religion. According to the professor whose lectures we will be viewing, although Buddhism plays the role of a “religion” in many cultures, it challenges some of our most basic assumptions about religion.  Buddhists do not worship a God who created and sustains the world.  They revere the memory of a human being, Siddhartha Gautama, who found a way to be free from suffering and bring the cycle of rebirth to an end. For Buddhists, this release from suffering is the ultimate goal of human life.
Coordinator:  Russ MacLeod*

SHAKESPEARE’S “MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM” 
Eight Tuesdays 10 a.m. - Noon March 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7
Presenter:  Frank Carroll*

Our next venture into the world of Shakespeare will be a return to comedy.  For this spring’s effort we have chosen “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”  This is an early play, dating to 1595 and is the first of two “fairy” plays—that is, plays featuring those ethereal individuals.  The other is a much later and equally well-known play, “The Tempest,” of 1611.   The sources of most of Shakespeare’s plays are well-known, but for this work the provenance is still a mystery.  Most critics consider it based on several themes from Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales,” while others with equal insistence claim it clearly comes from stories in the “Metamorphoses” of the Latin poet, Ovid.  In any case, it is the Bard’s first comic masterpiece despite the assertions made by critics that is more of a masque than a play, and the abundance of puns, conceits, and classical allusions are overdone.  Despite all that, it is among the half dozen or so of the master’s plays that are most frequently performed on the modern stage.  Well, perhaps so, but we will look forward to unraveling and enjoying its many mysteries.
Coordinator:  Ann Dahlman*

THE HOME FRONT IN WORLD WAR II AND LIFE IN LOWELL DURING WWII
Four Tuesdays 1 - 3 p.m. March 19, 26, April 2, 9
Presenter:  Pat Fontaine

This class will look at the home front in WWII, concentrating on women and minorities.  It will also showcase Lowell as a defense city and the opportunities given to women to do their share in Lowell but also in Boston.
Coordinator:  Carole Mumby*

PHYSICS IN EVERYDAY LIFE
Four Tuesdays  1 - 3 p.m.  April 16, 23, 30, May 7
Presenter:  Emanuel Polizzi

Some features:  Diagnostic medical equipment and why the sky is blue; how to ask your doctor intelligent questions and how to answer your grandkids’ questions.
 Coordinator:  Dorothy Bromage*

Eight sessions, usually Wednesday March 20, 27, April 3, 10, 17, 24, May 2 (Thursday), 8

Beginning March 20 and continuing through May 8, meetings will start at 10:00 a.m. and go until Noon except for May 2, 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 sessions,
Coordinator:  Barbara Page*

GREAT DECISIONS
Eight Thursdays, 10 a.m.–Noon March 21, 28, April 4, 11, 18, 25, May 1(Wednesday), 9
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:  Iran, Egypt, Myanmar and Southeast Asia, and Threat Assessment.  2013 briefing books are available for $16.00 each.
Coordinator:  Shirley Mitchell*

LET’S GO TO THE MOVIES
Five Thursdays, 1 - 3 p.m. March 21, 28, April 4, 11, 18
Presenter:  Barbara Page*

March 21 Merrill’s Marauders (1962) Army Rangers in WWII
March 28 Northwest Passage (1940) Rogers’ Rangers
April 4 Up the Yangtze (2007) The effect of the Three Gorges dam on one family
April 11 Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) Australian orphanage
April 18 Galllipoli (1981) Peter Weir, Director, starring Mel Gibson
Coordinator: Dorothy Bromage*

MUSIC APPRECIATION: LEARNING ABOUT AND LISTENING TO THE MUSIC OF FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN
Three Thursdays 1 - 3 p.m. April 25, May 1(Wednesday), 9
Presenter:  Jeanne Gunion*

The Classical style as exemplified in the music of Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) will be listened to and appreciated through studying his works and life as presented on digital video discs in the Teaching Company’s series by the lecturer Robert Greenberg. After viewing a lecture by Dr. Greenberg the class will listen to Haydn’s music.
Coordinator:  Judith Raiguel*

BOOK DISCUSSION
Four Fridays 10 a.m. – Noon March 15, April 19, May 17, June 14                                                               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.  Our selections for spring 2013 are:

March 15- Bring Up the Bodies, fiction by Hilary Mantel
April 19- Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, non-fiction by Daniel Okrent
May 17 - The Buddha in the Attic, fiction by Julie Otsuka
June 14 -Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge's View, non-fiction by Stephen Breyer

The first three will be in the Talon Room at Tsongas.  The June meeting will follow our usual custom and be a pot-luck lunch in someone's home.

*Denotes LIRA member