UMass Lowell Professor John Shirley teaches Harmonica class to LIRA.

Spring 2010 Schedule

Spring study groups will meet in the Suffolk Conference Center - Room 204, with the following exceptions: LIRA classes will be held in the MIL Conference Center (on the first floor of the Wannalancit building) (1) April 5 and 6--Monday and Tuesday only; (2) all classes during the first two weeks of May; (3) all Art & Music classes that are not away on a tour. Each day, a notice will be placed inside the door at 600 Suffolk St, indicating where we are assigned.

Registration will take place at the Town Meeting, Wednesday, March 17 at 10:00 AM in the MIL Conference Center. 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.

If UMass Lowell is closed because of weather, we will not be having classes that day. The phone tree that is organized by Barbara Willman will contact you if you have not signed up for email notification. Otherwise, those that have indicated that they would like to be notified by email, should make sure that you check it before you leave for a class.


8 Mondays 10:00-Noon March 22, 29, April 5, 12, 26, May 3, 10, 17 Presenter: Frank Carroll*

We've decided to take a look at the history plays of Shakespeare for the upcoming spring session. It's a rather large number of plays, but we will try to read two of them this semester: Henry IV Part One, and Henry IV Part Two. These two dramas are among the Bard's shorter plays, and there should be no problem reading both. You may know that Henry IV Part One is the play in which that famous comic character, Falstaff, appears for the first time. This character is among the most important in either play, and it is said that Queen Elizabeth was so taken with Falstaff that she requested that Shakespeare write another play featuring the old fellow, and he did so with "The Merry Wives of Windsor," which we have already enjoyed looking at.

Coordinator: Ann Dahlman*


6 Mondays 12:30-2:30 March 22, 29, April 5, 12, 26, May 3 Facilitator: Jerry Gilmore*

This program features the history of Winston Churchill often called the "Greatest Englishman of all Times." The history covers his heritage and troublesome youth, his difficult relationship with his father, his years as a soldier and in parliament, the defeat in the Dardanelles and his embarrassment. It covers his rise back in parliament and his early much neglected warnings about Hitler and the Nazis, then appointment as Prime Minister and his rallying the people to fight on and never surrender, a leader of Great Britain during the war, his friendship with President Roosevelt, and his warnings on Stalin. In all, a man of principle and a bastion of liberty, who above party always showed an absolute courage of right over wrong. A fascinating history of a great man.

Coordinator: Jeanne Gunion*


6 Tuesdays 10:00–Noon March 23, April 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4 Facilitator: Alan Kent*

This course will give you the background to many of today's headlines. How does DNA instruct a single cell to create a human being? How does this affect a life? The course will provide a foundation for understanding how life works. It begins with an overview of core principles--basic but understandable under Alan Kent's guidance. The overview leads to exploration of the human genome and how it accounts for heredity and disease. The spring study group will cover 12 half-hour lectures and leads to the work of Charles Darwin (you remember him). In the fall, lectures 13-24 will be presented.

Coordinator: Mary Willis*


6 Tuesdays 12:30-2:30 PM March 23, April 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4

Facilitator: Toby Hodes*

At a time when religion and religious issues seem to be a part of every issue we deal with on both the national and international scene, it seems more and more important to learn all we can about this seemingly powerful force and its impact on the world. This course will offer us the opportunity to get a handle on some of the key issues of religion itself and on how the five major religions – Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism – address some of the same core issues in parallel and different ways. We will view 2 half-hour lectures at each meeting and discuss after each one some of the issues and ideas raised.

Coordinator: Dorothy Bromage*


8 sessions, usually Wednesday March 24, 31, April 8 (Thursday), 14, 21, 28, May 5, 12

Beginning March 24 through May 12, meetings will start at 10:00 AM and go until noon except for April 8, which is the Thursday trip to the BSO Open Rehearsal. 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*


8 Thursdays, 10:00–Noon March 25, April 1, 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20 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: Transnational crime: globalization's shadowy stepchild, China looks at the world: the world looks at China, The global financial crisis and its effects, and Europe's 'far east': the uncertain frontier. These topics are covered in the 2010 Briefing Book available for the subsidized price of $15.00. Join our group as we share knowledge and discuss these timely topics.

Coordinator: Shirley Mitchell*


8 Thursdays 12:30-2:30 PM March 25, April 1, 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20 Presenter: Barbara Page*

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

  1. March 25--The Rape of Europa--117 min.
  2. April 1--Pete Seeger: The Power of Song--93 min.
  3. April 15--March of the Penguins--80 min.
  4. April 22--Journey of Man--118 min.
  5. April 29--Wuthering Heights--director William Wyler--1939
  6. May 6 ---The Maltese Falcon--director John Huston-- 1941
  7. May 13---Notorious--director Alfred Hitchcock--1946
  8. May 20 --Some Like It Hot--director Billy Wilder--1959

Coordinator: Dorothy Bromage*


4 Friday sessions, 10:00–Noon March 19, April 23, May 14, June 18 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 spring 2010 include: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Wolf Hall; The Woman Behind the New Deal; and Homer and Langley.

Coordinator: Toby Hodes*

*Denotes LIRA member