UMass Lowell Professor John Shirley teaches Harmonica class to LIRA.

Fall 2009 Schedule

Fall study groups will usually meet in the MIL Conference Center (first floor of the Wannalancit Building). When that space is not available, the group will meet in Room 203 or 204. A notice will be placed inside the door at 600 Suffolk St, indicating where we are assigned. If we are to meet in Room 203 or 204, follow these directions: Upon leaving the elevator, turn left and walk to the end.

Registration will take place at the Convocation, Wednesday, September 16 at 10:00 AM in the MIL Conference Center on the first floor of the Wannalancit building. If you wish to register in advance, please complete the sign-up form included in the newsletter. Mail the form to the Curriculum Committee Chairman: Dorothy Bromage, 8 Skyline Drive, Billerica, MA 01821.

Each description includes, beneath the course 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.


Seven Mondays 10:00 AM - Noon September 21, October 5, 19, 26, November 2, 9, 16

Presenter: Frank Carroll*

Having examined several of the Bard's romantic comedies during the past few semesters, the Shakespeare class returns to tragedy for the fall sessions, and we will be reading "Othello." This play ranks with "Macbeth," "Hamlet" and "Lear" as the Master's greatest tragedies and since we have already read the other three, we are "completing the square," as it were, by a close look at this one.

Coordinator: Ann Dahlman*


Five Mondays 12:30 - 2:30 PM October 5, 19, 26

Facilitator: Jerry Gilmore*

China History will complete the series this coming year. There are 10 half-hour lectures left, that should require 4 meetings perhaps 5. Starting with the period 1661 to 1795 with life under the Manchu's through the 1800s - coming of the West and war with Britain (opium trade), The Boxer Rebellion of 1899 and harsh humiliation by Western governments. The Cultural Movement 1919, collapse of the Dynasties and rise of the Communist Party. WWII, civil war that followed and Communist take over. Life under Mao. After Mao and China in the world of today.

Coordinator: Jerry Gilmore*


Seven Tuesdays 10:00 AM – Noon September 22, 29, October 6, 13, 20, 27, November 3

Facilitator: Alan Kent*

These classes will meet in Room 204.

The scope of medical history reveals a compelling story. In this video course, Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland, surgeon and bestselling author, draws on the lives of 12 of medicine’s greatest contributors to tell the human story behind the development of Western scientific medicine since ancient Greece. Learn the contributions of Hippocrates, Vesalius, Lister, Taussig, and others. The course focuses on personalities and tells the story of medicine.

Coordinator: Dorothy Bromage*


Six Tuesdays 12:30 - 2:30 PM September 22, 29, October 6, 13, 20, 27 Facilitator: Dorothy Bromage*

These classes will meet in Room 204.

This is an introductory course in video for anyone interested in ancient Egyptian civilization. It is presented in terms of the lives of its rulers. Rather than focusing on dates, the course traces the rise of Egypt from a scattering of villages along the Nile to the greatest power the world had ever seen, through the lives of the pharaohs. These stories include the art of building pyramids and women wielding immeasurable power.

Coordinator: Dorothy Bromage*


Eight sessions, usually on Wednesday September 23, 30, October 7, 14, 21, 28, November 4, 12 (Thursday)

Beginning September 23 through November 12, 2009 meetings will start at 10:00 AM and go until noon except for the last session, which is the Thursday, November 12 trip to the BSO Open Rehearsal. On September 23 and November 4, the meeting is in the Wannalancit Mills MIL Conference Center. Please see attached schedule for dates, times, topics, and coordinators of all the Art & Music sessions, and the locations of those not at the Wannalancit Mills.

Coordinator: Barbara Page*


Eight Thursdays, 10:00 AM – Noon September 24, October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, November 5, 19

Facilitator: Shirley Mitchell*

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: The U.S. and rising powers, Afghanistan and Pakistan, The Arctic age, and Human rights in a new era: wars for peace? These topics are covered in the 2009 Briefing Book. Join our group as we share knowledge and discuss these timely topics.

Coordinator: Shirley Mitchell*


Eight Thursdays, 12:30 - 2:30 PM September 24, October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, November 5, 19

Presenter: Barbara Page*

A selection of black and white films in roughly chronological order. All shown on Thursdays from 12:30 PM to approximately 2:00. Bring a sandwich and popcorn.

  1. Sept. 24 – City Lights; Director: Charlie Chaplin (1931) 81 min.
  2. Oct. 1 – Lady for A Day; Director: Frank Capra (1933) 95 min.
  3. Oct. 8 – Ninotchka; Director: Ernst Lubitsch (1939) 110 min.
  4. Oct. 15 – Beauty and the Beast; Director: Jean Cocteau (1946) 90 min.
  5. Oct. 22 – Hobson’s Choice; Director: David Lean (1954) 107 min.
  6. Oct. 29 – Nosferatu; Director: F.W. Murnau (1922) 63 min.
  7. Nov. 5 – Night of the Hunter; Director: Charles Laughton (1955) 93 min.
  8. Nov. 19 – Paths of Glory; Director: Stanley Kubrick (1957) 86 min.

Coordinator: Barbara Page*


Fridays, 10:00 AM – Noon September 25, October 23, November 20, December 11

Facilitator: Toby Hodes*

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 fall 2009 include: The Great Bridge, non-fiction by David McCullough; Huckleberry Finn, the classic by Mark Twain; The Pickup, award winning fiction by Nadine Gordimer; and The Lemon Tree, non-fiction by Sandy Tolan.

Coordinator: Toby Hodes*

*Denotes LIRA member