Learning in Retirement with Nina Scott: Feminism, Frost and opera beckon

  • ELIZABETH ARMSTRONG

  • Soprano (Descant) recorder. Plastic recorder flute isolated on white background with copy space for text. Classical Baroque music instruments. Education on music class. alphaartinan/via Vecteezy—

For the Gazette
Published: 7/14/2022 3:30:13 PM
Modified: 7/14/2022 3:27:28 PM

Trust members of Five College Learning in Retirement to search for intellectually challenging activities in the summer. And trust other members to provide them.

Any non-LIR folks can see what is being offered at any time by going to the 5clir.org webpage and clicking “Programs.”

All the Summer Seminars are online, meaning that members can access them even when they may be on vacation.

Finnegan Alford-Cooper and Bonnie Strickland, both former professors, are offering “Feminism: Our Stories, Ourselves. How our lived experiences shaped and were shaped by feminism,” to no more than 12 participants. The course description says that:

“Through storytelling participants will explore the experience of our generation with the feminist movement and its ideals. We will try to answer some key questions. Were our individual decisions driven by personal circumstances or sociohistorical factors or both? Have older women and men paved the way, making tough choices and refusing to ‘fit in,’ so that younger women and men have more opportunities with less social rejection? Over the years what has feminism meant or not meant to us? How can we identify and communicate what we’ve learned, our wisdom, to younger generations?”

Because the discussions are often private and confidential, no auditors are allowed, understandably.

Elizabeth (Lise) Armstrong has been directing literature seminars for eons, and never seems to tire. This summer she is leading a seminar on “Sense and Sound: The Poetry of Robert Frost.”

She plans to discuss about 20 of his poems, and participants can choose others. She has us look at his sentence structure, punctuation, rhyme schemes.

I am not in the class, but Lise urged me to participate, and I was anxious to do so, having had the privilege of hearing Frost read his poetry when I was a graduate student at Stanford in the early 1960s. It’s amazing what you can learn when you really look closely at a poem’s construction, sound, etc.

Later in August, Lise will also host an open discussion on Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” (1818).

Katy van Geel, an opera buff, is inviting others to share their favorite opera arias, situating them within a particular opera, its story, singers, etc. She asks people to share videos of these arias (and will help those who do not know how to do this). Katy said that in high school she took singing lessons, but though she realized she would not be the next world sensation, the love of opera remained.

Larry Ambs, a former professor of mechanical engineering at UMass, is our go-to guru for anything related to the internet. He already presented his seminar focusing on how to do internet searches for information one might need for a particular seminar. He has recorded this presentation for later viewing.

All this should keep us out of trouble for a little while this summer.


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