UMass Lowell Professor John Shirley teaches Harmonica class to LIRA.

Summer 2011 Intersession Schedule

The 2011 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.

Please note the location of classes. All the indoor Summer Intersession programs will be held in the Wannalancit Building, 600 Suffolk Street, Lowell in Room 101B. 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.


Rebecca Shafir

Helpful, practical, and affordable ways for optimal brain fitness

Rebecca Shafir, author, speech pathologist and neurotherapist will tell how to:

  • Prevent Alzheimer’s and dementias
  • How to boost working memory
  • How stress affects thinking and how to manage it
  • Concentrate and focus better
  • Brain Training - what works and what’s hype?

Coordinator: Ron Cannistraro*


Steve Sussman*

The Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge along the Nashua River near Harvard, MA is managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. We will walk a level interpretive trail less than two miles long with stops to learn about the natural environment. Wear comfortable shoes; carry water and insect repellant.

Eight years ago LIRA enjoyed a pleasant walk at this site. Since then many improvements have been made including board walks over muddy sections and toilet facilities at the trail head.

After the walk we will gather for a picnic lunch on the banks of the Nashua River. Since no picnic tables are available, take along a lawn chair or blanket.


  • From Route 495 South go on Route 2 West
  • At Exit 38A go on Route 110 West to Harvard
  • At the blinking light on Harvard Green go right onto Route 110
  • In two miles look for sign to Oxbow Wildlife Refuge and go right on Still River Depot Road
  • Proceed downhill across railroad track and follow gravel road left then right to the trailhead parking lot

Car-poolers meet at the Hannaford parking lot at 9:30 a.m. Others plan to arrive at Oxbow at 10:15 a.m.

Info: Steve Sussman 978-486-9630

Coordinator: Steve Sussman*


139 Barnum Road - Devens, Mass.

Company personnel will guide a tour of manufacturing facilities including demonstration of products such as: MagneMotion's QuickStick® Linear Synchronous Motors (LSMs) provide a highly adaptable transport and positioning solution that uses electro-magnetic force to propel, control, and track payloads through automated manufacturing and assembly automation processes. MagneMotion Maglev (M3) utilizes patented advances in magnetic levitation technology resulting in the design and implementation of highly efficient, safe, and cost-effective LSM-based transportation systems.


  • Follow Route 495 South to exit 30 toward Littleton/Ayer.
  • Turn left at King St. /Rt 110/Rt 2A. Continue to follow Rt 110/Rt 2A. (4.6 mi)
  • At the traffic circle, take the third exit onto Barnum Road.
  • Follow Barnum Road. MagneMotion will be approx. one mile on the right.
  • Car poolers depart Hannaford at 9:30 a.m.

Coordinator: Steve Sussman*

Friday, June 17 - BOOK DISCUSSION

Toby Hodes*

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. Please contact Toby for the location.


Melissa Pennell

We'll consider the key factors that define the hard-boiled sub-genre in detective fiction, briefly look at the updates and changes introduced in the 1960s - 1980s, and then focus on some of the ways that the sub-genre has continued to change and/or how elements of it have been incorporated into other sub-genres within detective fiction. Authors to be discussed include Ian Rankin, Philip Craig, Kate Atkinson and others.

Coordinator: Ann Dahlman*


Jane Calvin

Join Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust Executive Director, Jane Calvin, for a behind-the-scenes tour of the partially completed Concord River Greenway. See the two completed sections and learn about plans for future sections as well as the trail’s connection to the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail at the border with Chelmsford. See some of Lowell scenic vistas along the Concord River and learn about the river’s wildlife. You’ll also get to explore the Greenway’s public art, multi-lingual signage and learn about how the Greenway is used as an outdoor classroom.

Meet at 10 a.m. at the Lawrence St. entrance to the Lowell Cemetery. The address is 1001 Lawrence St. Stage One of the Concord River Greenway Walk begins here. For Stage Two, we will carpool to the downtown location.

Coordinator: Connie Lanseigne-Case*


  • Jeri Durant*: “Gardens of Glass”
    What a pleasant surprise it was when we visited Kew Gardens in London and discovered the spectacular works of Dale Chihuly. His vibrantly colored glass sculptures were scattered throughout the 300 acres of gardens and greenhouses. A DVD will be shown of Chihuly working in the glass shop along with a fascinating look at the installation process happening at Kew Gardens the very week that we arrived in London.
  • Connie Lanseigne-Case*: “Albert Schweitzer”
    In the summer of 1962 while teaching for Crossroads Africa in Gabon West Africa, I visited Lambarene, where Dr. Albert Schweitzer established his hospital. In 2006 I toured his home/museum in Gunsbach, Alsace and talked with the curator. The slides are of daily life of patients, their families and Dr. Schweitzer along with an update of Lambarene 44 years later.
  • Jerry Gilmore*: “Souvenirs from Trip to China”
    I will exhibit several items I brought back from China with some slides of locations where I purchased them. They include a Magic Rug, a Porcelain two-sided figure, a Buddha carved in a blossom, and a small jar painted in the inside. They are all very unusual and reflect the art of Chinese craftsmen.

Coordinator: Dorothy Bromage*


Robert Hanlon*

  • RFID - How radio frequency ID is being used to track us and the products we buy.
  • Wireless technology smart phones, tablet computers, e-book readers – how dedicated applications are replacing the World Wide Web.
  • Social networking - How Facebook, Twitter and virtual reality are changing our lives.
  • Entertainment: 3D TV and the internet. How the conventional TV set is becoming just one of many ways to view movies, TV shows, and internet content. What's ahead for 3D TV.
  • Education – Use of online learning, netbooks, and interactive whiteboards

Coordinator: Bill Terris*


Dee Freeman

Daphne Freeman will be giving a talk about her personal experiences as a teenager growing up in London during WWII in the Blitz and the bombardment of war torn Britain, and how every day’s survival was a challenge.

Coordinator: Dottie Morris*

*Denotes LIRA member