Exercise Class

Spring 2012 Schedule

Most spring study groups will meet in the Talon Club Room at the Tsongas Center, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Lowell, MA. When the Talon Club Room is not available, the location will be announced well ahead of time. Registration will take place at the Town Meeting, Wednesday, March 14 at 10 a.m. at Alumni Hall, 84 University Avenue, Lowell. 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.


Seven Mondays 

Presenter: Bob Forrant

Through newsreels, readings, and lively discussions we will consider the travails and triumphs of working people in the U.S. as they struggled for dignity and a decent living. The course will provide an overview of this incredible history from the 19th century until today. We will discuss major events like Lowell and the ‘mill girls’, the Haymarket Affair, the Homestead Steel Strike, the 1911 Triangle Fire, the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike, the Bonus Army, the Memorial Day Massacre, sit down strikes in the 1930s, and what’s happened to unions since the end of the Second World War. Recommended (but not required) reading: From the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend: A Short, Illustrated History of Labor in the United States, by Priscilla Murolo and A.B. Chitty, New Press, 2003.

Coordinator: Dorothy Bromage*


Seven Mondays 

Presenter: Frank Carroll*

With the creation of Twelfth Night the genius of Shakespeare reached its highest creative point in sheer comedy. The plot, with its mistaken identities and coincidences, although taken from other sources going back to ancient Roman plays of Plautus, seems to come alive in a new and greater way under the pen of the master. In fact, the principal mistaken identity of the play is a device Shakespeare himself used in As You Like It. However we soon forget about the characters of the main plot and focus our attention upon the lesser characters like the drunken Sir Toby, the silly Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and, of course the foolish Malvolio. In any case, we look forward to a reading of this play. The only requirements are a love of Shakespeare and a copy of the text.

Coordinator: Ann Dahlman*


Eight Tuesdays 

Facilitator: Jerry Gilmore*

Physics in Your Life: is a video lecture course, with Prof. Richard Wolfson, Middlebury College.

Some of the subjects that will be covered are:

  • Keeping Warm –Temperature scales, heat transfer mechanisms (conduction, convection, radiation, energy balance).
  • Life in the Greenhouse – Earth’s Climate, Earth’s atmosphere & human influence.
  • Tip of the Iceberg - Freezing & transition to liquid & vapor.

Other subjects include: Physics in the Kitchen, Energy in Your Life, Your Place in the Sun (GPS), Dance & Spin (rotation & control), Light Fantastic (light bulbs to lasers) and more topics.

Should prove to be a fascinating educational experience!

Coordinator: Steve Sussman*


Eight Tuesdays 

Spend your Tuesday afternoons getting entertained and educated. There are four weeks highlighting the Classical Era of music, with selections chosen and augmented by Jeanne Gunion. This is followed by four weeks when Barbara Page presents a film series with background comments.

First four Tuesdays

Presenter: Jeanne Gunion*


The study of Mozart’s life and his musical compositions will be continued. We will pick up his life from about 1779 or the Vienna years, using The Teaching Co. DVDs with Robert Greenberg. In addition to viewing the DVDs we will also listen to the music - mostly chamber music - that is particularly illustrative of this period.

Coordinator: Martha Hill Sackett*

Second four Tuesdays

Presenter: Barbara Page*


  • April 17 The Kid with Charlie Chaplin 1921
  • April 24 The Gold Rush with Chaplin 1925
  • May 1 The Freshman with Harold Lloyd 1925
  • May 8 The Big Parade with John Gilbert 1925

Coordinator: Dorothy Bromage*


Eight sessions, usually Wednesday 

Beginning March 21 and continuing through May 9, meetings at the Talon Club Room will start at 10:00 a.m. and go until noon except for April 26, which is the Thursday trip to the BSO Open Rehearsal. Please see attached schedule for dates, times, topics, and coordinators of those Art & Music sessions which are not at the Talon Club Room.

Coordinator: Barbara Page*


Eight sessions Thursdays

Facilitator: Shirley Mitchell*

NOTE: The March 22 class will be held at the Campus Recreation Center, 100 Pawtucket Street, Lowell. Please bring your LIRA photo ID.

The Great Decisions studies are based on materials supplied by the Foreign Policy Association in Washington, D.C. The following four topics will be discussed this semester: Exit from Afghanistan & Iraq, Mexico, Cybersecurity, and Energy Geopolitics. Briefing books used in this course are available for $16.00 each.

Coordinator: Shirley Mitchell*


Eight sessions Thursdays

Facilitator: Alan Kent*

The lectures of “Great World Religions: Christianity” provide a clear survey of the most important elements of a vital religious tradition that has become the world's largest faith. In Yale University Professor Luke Timothy Johnson's course, consider fundamental issues including Christianity's birth and expansion across the Mediterranean world, the development of its core doctrine, its deep connections to Western culture, and more. Each one of these 12 video lectures is filled with insights that will enhance your understanding of the history and nature of a great world religion.

Coordinator: Dorothy Bromage*


Three Friday sessions

Facilitator: Shirley McCaffrey*

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 2012 include: March - Tinkers, fiction by Paul Harding, April - The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, non-fiction by Isabel Wilkerson, May - In the Garden of Beasts, non-fiction by Erik Larson.

Coordinator: Shirley McCaffrey*

*Denotes LIRA member