Exercise Class

Spring 2008 Schedule

Please note: schedule timing change this term: afternoon groups meet at 12:30 PM, not 1 PM.

Spring study groups will meet on the fourth floor at Fox Hall, in Rm 412 or in the Office. Registration will take place at our Town Meeting on Wednesday, March 19, 2008, in the King Room, first floor of Fox Hall. If you wish to register in advance, please leave a message at the LIRA number: 978‑934‑3135.

In case of inclement weather or other emergency circumstances, cancellations will be announced over radio station WCAP (980 AM). LIRA programs are held independently from the university schedule. If UMass Lowell is not in session due to adverse weather conditions, however, LIRA classes will also be canceled.

NOTE: Annual Meeting, Wednesday, May 28


4+ sessions, Monday 10 AM–Noon
March 24, 31,April 7, 14
(No meeting on Patriots’ Day, April 21)

Shakespeare has not only survived the holidays; he will be on hand again for the spring semester once more. This term we will read Measure for Measure. The play is not a "tragedy," and yet it does not fall neatly into the "Comedy" classification. Many critics place it into a small group of plays called "The Bitter Comedies." It would seem that in the first eight or nine years of the 17th century, the Bard wrote no comedies except Measure for Measure, and, as we stated earlier, this play has very little claim to the term Comedy. On the other hand, according to one critic, that period in Shakespeare's life where he wrote no comedies is noted for the continuous majesty of the writing and especially the beauty of the poetry. I think our play will prove that point despite what some critics have called the "unpleasantness" of certain aspects of the plot. We look forward to our first class on Mar.24, and we welcome any new readers interested in the mysteries of Shakespeare.

Frank Carroll*


by Garry Wills
8 sessions, Monday, 12:30 –2:30 PM
March 24, 31, April 7, 14, 28, May 5, 12, 19
(No meeting on Patriots’ Day, April 21)

Over the course of eight meetings we will examine in depth the book, Head and Heart: American Christianities, a history of Christianity in the United States from the Puritans to the present. The author, Garry Wills, examines the key movements and personalities that have transformed America’s religious landscape and the patterns that have emerged. Together we will review the reasoning of the Founding Fathers in forbidding a national church, and explore the various movements and developments that have seesawed back and forth in their influence on our government, concluding with the situation today.

Coordinator: Toby Hodes*


8 sessions, Tuesday, 10 AM‑‑Noon
March 25, April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13

In this study group we will explore the lives of women in ancient times and the stories about women that have been recorded in the Hebrew Bible. The course will encourage the sharing of information, engaging our imaginations and discussing how these stories might relate to our lives as women in the twenty‑first century. Come and learn more about Eve and Lilith, Sarah and Hagar, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah, Miriam, Esther and Vashti, and many more.

Coordinator: Dona Beavers


4 sessions, Tuesday, 12:30–2:30 PM
April 8, 29, May 6, 13

This is an extension of the lively discussion series which began in the Fall of 2007.

Coordinator: Alan Kent*


3 sessions, Tuesday 12:30–2:30 PM; Saturday 1:30
April 15, 22, 26 or 27 (Lowell theatre)

"Daughter of the Regiment" (La Fille du Régiment) by Gaetano Donizetti is the opera for spring semester. It will be given on Tuesday afternoons, April 15 and 22, preceding the Live from the Met HDTV theater production April 26 (encore on April 27). This delightful opera buffa tells the story of Marie, an orphan who is the mascot of the regiment. Much merriment ensues until Marie's true identity is discovered and, of course, they all live happily ever after. The DVD we are using features Beverly Sill in the lead and is sung in English.

Coordinators: Bob and Betty Jack*


8 sessions, 10 AM–Noon, usually Wednesday
March 13 (Thurs.), March 26, April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7

Members can look forward to several "first‑time" visits. In Clinton, MA, is the Museum of Russian Icons which features the lifetime collection of its owner. It will be toured with a docent. The MIT Museum recently opened the Mark Epstein Innovation Gallery. The morning there will see us learn and explore researchers' work located on two floors. Independently, we'll tour the newly reopened Currier Museum of Art which has new galleries and a Winter Garden. There are three programs scheduled for Fox Hall. Jack Craig, a graduate of UMass Lowell, presents an entertaining program, "The Songs and Stars of Vaudeville" featuring songs popularized by Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson, and Sophie Tucker. The Whistler House Museum of Art has had a number of oil paintings restored by Peter Kostoulakos. A conversation I had with him promises to make his talk most informative. Dr. Liana Cheney, always an outstanding presenter, will discuss Mannerist artists. When Dr. Marie Frank last guided us on a walking tour of Lowell, the heat forced an abbreviated architectural look at the nineteenth century buildings. She again will meet with us to complete that program.

Coordinator: Connie Lanseigne‑Case*


3 sessions, Wednesday, 12:30-3PM
April 2, 9, 23

The documentary film series which began several years ago will continue with a selection of three films on Wednesday afternoons. Titles will be announced.

Coordinator: Barbara Page*


8 sessions, Thursday, 10 a.m.—Noon
March 27, April 3, 10, 17, 24, May 1, 8, 15

The Great Decisions studies are based on current materials supplied by the Foreign Policy Association in Washington, D.C. The following four topics will be discussed this semester: U.S.‑China trade policy; Russia; Iraq: endgame; and Talking to our enemies. Copies of the 2008 Briefing Book are available for $15 each.

Coordinator: Shirley Mitchell*


4 sessions, Thursday, 12:30 ‑‑2:30 PM March 27, April 3, 10, 17

This is a four week course. Each week a particular playwright will be emphasized. For the first hour we will look at the life of this playwright and then have an oral reading of one of his one‑act plays, followed by discussion. After break we will consider the ten minute play and some drama history.

Coordinator: Janet Shawcross*


4 sessions, Thursday, 12:30–2:30 PM April 24, May 1, 8, 15

Sometimes a composer inserts a surprise into one of his works, a surprise that brings a smile to the listener as it is a little‑‑or a lot‑‑ out of sync. A few examples of this are use of objects as instruments that are not usually considered instruments, prolonging an ending, using "wrong" notes, etc. We will listen to some music that illustrates these and other incongruities.

Coordinator: Janet Shawcross*


6 sessions, Friday, 10 AM–Noon
March 28, April 4, 11, 18, May 2, 9

The Hitler Program corresponds to a DVD lecture series that traces the rise in power of Adolf Hitler and his NAZI party. The lectures pose two fundamental questions: 1) How did Hitler and the Nazis come to power in such a highly educated industrially developed country at the heart of Western culture and civilization? This question leads to issues: What did the Germans think they were getting when they voted for the Nazis? How did the Nazis present themselves to the German public? What did they seem to stand for? 2) How were the Nazis able to establish the foundations of their totalitarian regime in such a short time and hurl the world into a devastating war that consumed millions of lives and changed international politics in the 20th century? Why so little resistance? How did the Nazis seize control of the press, the radio, the courts and the police? The DVD lecture series, which addresses these questions and many others, consists of twelve 1/2 hour lectures by Professor Thomas Childers, PH.D in History from Harvard University.

The series will be presented in two or three ½ hour lectures each LIRA session by Jerry Gilmore, and he will bring up questions for discussion as time permits.

Coordinator: Jerry Gilmore*


4 sessions, 10 AM–Noon (once a month, usually on Friday)
March 21, April 25, May 16, June 13

If you love to read, enjoy reading an eclectic mix of books, and look forward to having like‑minded people with whom to discuss these tomes, the book discussion group has it all. Every month we read and discuss a variety of books, including sociological studies, memoirs and biographies, political histories, and, yes, fiction, including the classics. Our selections for this spring include three works of non‑fiction – The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, Team of Rivals, The Coldest Winter and a work of fiction by Doris Lessing.

Coordinator: Toby Hodes*

*Indicates a LIRA member