Learning in Retirement Association

Summer 2013 Schedule

The 2013 Summer Intersession, given between semesters, offers to retirees and those semi-retired, a sample of LIRA’s almost year-round program and friendly community.  The program is planned and much of it provided by the members themselves.  The general public is invited to all Intersession programs. The time for these programs is 10 a.m. to Noon, with two exceptions this summer.  The indoor Summer Intersession programs will be held in the Talon Club Room at the Tsongas Center, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Lowell, Mass. The carpool location is at the Hannaford on Drum Hill Road in Chelmsford. Park on the left side of the building toward the rear, bordering Parkhurst Road.

June 5: NATURE WALK - Steve Sussman*

Historic Groton Place is the site of this year’s walk.  Our path wanders among wild Rhododendron bushes, along the banks of the Nashua River and passes monuments of the Groton Hunt.  Wear comfortable shoes; carry water and insect repellant.  Thirteen years ago LIRA visited Groton Place and walked to the Groton School boathouse.  After the walk we will gather for a picnic lunch near the parking area.  Since no picnic tables are available, bring along a lawn chair or blanket.  For carpooling, meet at Hannaford in Chelmsford at 10 a.m.  The walk will start at 10:30 a.m.   Get directions at the Annual Meeting May 15 or at Hannaford the morning of the trip.
Coordinator:  Steve Sussman*  

June 12: INDIAN HILL MUSIC, LITTLETON, Mass. - Coffee with the Conductor

The Orchestra of Indian Hill Music’s conductor and Artistic Director, Bruce Hangen, and Concertmaster Alice Hallstrom will provide a morning of musical performance and lively discussion.  Bruce will offer an engaging preview of the 2013-2014 Orchestra season, sharing a lively introduction to the featured orchestral works.  Bruce’s charismatic style involves the use of audio clips, demonstrations, and explanations to help the audience understand and appreciate classical music.  Alice, along with accompanist Jenny Tang, will treat you to some gorgeous violin solos.  Orchestra ticket raffle and subscription discounts will be offered.  Carpool from Hannaford in Chelmsford at 9:15 a.m.  Directions will be available at the Annual Meeting or at Hannaford the morning of the trip.
Coordinator:  Marjorie Short*

June 14: BOOK DISCUSSION - Toby Hodes*

Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge's View, non-fiction by Stephen Breyer

June 19: FUN FACTS IN MATHEMATICS - Kimball & Beverly Rudeen*

Kimball Rudeen and his wife Beverly will present a multi-media, hands-on, fun look at several branches of mathematics, such as topology, probability, number theory, and basic number systems.  Included in the talk will be short biographies of some famous mathematicians and their work.  Kimball is a retired software engineer and has a BA in applied math and MA in math and computer science.  Beverly is a recent graduate from UMass Lowell with a BA in liberal arts.  Beverly’s background was in accounting and finance.
Coordinator: Russ MacLeod *

June 26: THE MANY LIVES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES – Melissa Pennell

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle introduced the character of Sherlock Holmes in 1887’s A Study in Scarlet.  Holmes went on to appear in three other novels, including the popular Hound of the Baskervilles and more than 50 short stories.  Conan Doyle tried to end Holmes’ career and life in the confrontation with Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls, but reader demand brought about his return.  Reader demand and fan interest has turned Sherlock Holmes into an immortal character.  In this talk and discussion, we’ll look at the original Holmes and at clips of some of the movie and television adaptations; we’ll then consider the many authors, as well as film and television productions, that continue to invent new versions of Holmes and his detective career.
Coordinator:  Ann Dahlman *

July 10: PARTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF CHAOS - Peter Modica
An introduction to numerical weather prediction and its role in present-day meteorology 

Present day meteorological forecast methods rely heavily upon guidance provided by computer models of the atmosphere.  These numerical weather prediction (NWP) models have a rich history that predates even the development of the first electronic computers.  This talk will present some of the historical foundations of present-day NWP leading to today’s suite of forecast models. Mr. Modica will explain the major categories of today’s NWP models and their operational implementations.  He will also describe how our National Weather Service is structured to utilize and distribute this information.  Concluding remarks will address some of the challenges ahead.
Coordinator:  Mary Willis*

July 17: THE FREDERICK HISTORIC PIANO COLLECTION

We travel to Ashburnham, Massachusetts to see the Frederick Historic Piano Collection.  The Frederick collection is housed in the former Stevens Library, 30 Main St., Ashburnham, MA, next to the Town Hall at the junction of Rts 12 and 101.  The time period of the collection is 1790-1907.  Check the web site:   frederickcollection.org. There will be two tours: the first at 10 a.m. and the second at Noon.  (There is only so much room between pianos.)   Carpool from Hannaford in Chelmsford at 8:45 a.m. or 10:45 a.m.  Those wanting to go will be divided into two groups ahead of time.  Directions will be available at the Annual Meeting or at Hannaford the morning of the trip.
Coordinator:  Dorothy Bromage*

July 24: HARD TRUTH, LEVITY AND HOPE
Young Refugees in Lowell:  Stories of Courage and Resilience

Hard Truth, Levity and Hope is a touching short documentary film that explores the lives of refugee teens that have settled in Lowell, Massachusetts. An urban city, Lowell has been a refuge for immigrants since its birth. The latest wave of refugees are from camps in Nepal, Burma, Iraq, Somalia, Congo, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Liberia, and various other African regions. Having faced incredible atrocities in their homelands, and disparaging conditions in refugee camps, they have come to the United States seeking a new life, and a chance at peace and freedom. 

This film follows the stories of six refugee teens who have come to Lowell with their families. They all attend Lowell High School. Many of them have faced significant gaps in their schooling, are learning English as a third, fourth, and sometimes even eighth language. We watch as they struggle to find their place in a world that is foreign to them, and ultimately succeed.  The film was inspired by the experiences of Executive Producer Deb Fowler, an ELL teacher in the Lowell Public Schools. Through her work with refugee students, she learned of their poignant stories that pervaded every aspect of their lives. The perseverance of their spirits through such painful human suffering astounded Deb. The students were bursting to tell their stories; to be heard; to be seen as human beings by the people around them who often saw them as nothing more than a burden on our society.

The film was made by Connor Crosby, a junior at Lowell High School at the time (two years ago) using the wonderful resources at the Lowell High.  Connor is currently a college student studying to become a documentary filmmaker. 
Coordinator:  Joan Kerzner*

July 31: THE MUSEUM OF SCIENCE

Our bus will leave Hannaford in Chelmsford at 7:45 a.m.   You will have the morning to enjoy the exhibit halls.  Through exhibits and hands-on demonstrations, learn about some of the latest advances in medicine, nanotechnology, renewable energy, biology, oceanography and a host of other topics.   In the afternoon, enjoy either an IMAX film or a planetarium show.   Our bus back to Chelmsford will leave at 2 p.m.   Lunch is on your own.  The museum has a cafeteria serving salads (pre-made and salad bar), sandwiches, soups, pizza, burgers, tacos, etc.  Cost of trip includes the show.  It is $30. for LIRA members and children.  The cost is $36. for non-members.  Please send checks payable to Robert Hanlon, postmarked on or before July 15.   Please indicate for each person whether you prefer to see an IMAX movie or a Planetarium Show.   Tickets for your choice will be purchased ahead of time.
Coordinator:  Bob Hanlon*

*Denotes LIRA member