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Winter Activities 2022

It is getting cold, the threat of snow is in the air - it is time to have a little fun with your fellow LIR Members.

Before the Spring Seminars start in February check out these Winter Activities that LIR has to offer, some of these have the potential to repeat if they are popular, other options are suggestions for independent exploration or small group get togethers.

There is even a new experimental Workshop offered by Francie, that is an attempt at a Virtual Watercooler to give members an opportunity to socialize during this period of the year when people can feel isolated and get the blues.

So join us for one of these offerings or let us know if there is something missing, that you would like to see in the future!

Thank you!

Mindi Winter

Office Manager, LIR

Abortion and the Supreme Court

  • Hosted By Tyll Van Geel
  • January 12 and 19 at 10am
  • Online, Zoom session
  • The Supreme Court is on the cusp of deciding whether or not women will continue to have a recognized constitutional right to obtain an abortion, a right they have had for almost 50 years. Two Zoom sessions in January 2022 will carry forward the story of the woman’s right to obtain an abortion from the beginning to the present controversy before the Court.
  • In the first session Laura Frossard and Jay Russell will be guest speakers to help us understand the constitutional right to privacy
  • In the second session Ben Jaffee and Elizabeth Davis will help us examine the nuances of the Supreme Court decisions.

Time to Take A Break?

  • Hosted by Francie Borden
  • January 7 to February 16
  • Wednesdays at 10:00am
  • Online, Zoom session
  • It’s winter - cold and dark. Holidays are over. COVID lingers. So, grab a cup of tea or coffee - maybe a muffin, too, and check out who is gathered around the virtual table. Yes, we will be on Zoom, but we will see some new faces, hear some new ideas, find out what people are reading, share some rivalry over our favorite teams, get the low down on what is happening on the “other side of the river,” or bemoan the headlines. You might invite a friend….even a friend half a world away! We might choose our focus in advance - current events this week, show and tell the most curious item in your house the next….or not. Let’s play it by ear; but let’s do it together and add a little warmth and companionship to the season.

Gold Diggers of 1933

  • Moderator: Paul Cooper
  • Start Date: January 13 at 3:00pm
  • A presentation centered around the pre-code film Gold Diggers of 1933, which features production numbers designed and choreographed by Busby Berkeley. A genius of early Hollywood, Berkeley did his major work at Warner Brothers between 1932 and 1935, inventing extravagant film sequences that used squadrons of scantily-clad chorus dancers, kaleidoscopic patterns of movement, spectacular camera placement, and risqué stories. He invented a style of dance-on-film that influences directors to this day. (Mel Brooks’ seen-from-above swastika in the Springtime for Hitler number is an unabashed homage.)

Gardeners' Roundtable

  • Moderator: Sherry Wilson and Margaret Russell
  • Thurs, Jan 13 to Feb 3, 1:30 - 3:00pm
  • Limited to 10 Participants
  • Each week will have a focus: Fun and Frustration in the Garden; Gardening in Small Spaces (containers, raised beds, decks and balconies); Gardening as We Age (tools, downsizing from perennials to shrubs, cutting back on the size of the vegetable garden due to smaller families); and Garden Inspiration (whether a neighbor, professional, book or public garden).
  • Participants will each speak for a few minutes on the week's topic, followed by discussion prompted by participants' questions and suggestions.


A Zoom-style story slam

General Guidelines:

  • that the anecdote (or story) be based on a personal remembrance;
  • that it should be presented orally (ie. not read);
  • that it should be no more than 10 minutes (5 minutes suffice); and
  • that it is non-competitive (we all win by sharing stories).

Subject Matter:

Subject matter will be generated in response to a limited number of prompts, which could be a first line, punch line, or wherever else the phrase seems to fit into a narrative. Recommended prompts are:

  • and then, you won’t believe it …
  • I can’t help but laugh (or tear up) when …
  • I’ll never understand …


Zoom allows for an almost unlimited number of participants, including

  • Story-tellers (who sign up with selected prompt); and
  • Empathetic listeners.


Anecdotage is scheduled for two Wed afternoons from 2-4 pm, on

  • January 12th
  • January 19th.

The number of sessions may vary – more or less - depending on enrollment of story-tellers.


* Tom Mendenhall, the former President of Smith College, coined this clever term.

Ongoing Activities

Based on the Membership Survey the Extra Curricular Committee has put together the following recommendation for Destinations over the Winter Break.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the membership felt very strongly that they were not interested in a long bus trip and were uncomfortable planning something too far in advance or planning a big 'travel-type' event. As a result, the committee is recommending some activities that can be done either Individually or in a Small Group.

Springfield Museum; Currently showing the Ai Wei Wei Exhibit. Admission is $12.50 for Seniors. A guided tour is an additional $1.00. Contact Sharon Ferrara, Group Tour Coordinator at 413-314-6479.

COVID Precautions

  1. Strongly encourage all visitors to purchase Advance tickets on their website to allow for Social Distancing - especially in the more popular Dr. Seuss Museum which has a timed entry system.
  2. Masks must be worn at all times inside the Museum buildings
  3. Social Distancing should be followed
  4. All facilitated spaces feature individualized kits and social distanced activities.
  5. Hand sanitizer units stationed throughout the building
  6. The museums are featuring a new mobile guide with interactive scavenger hunts and tours, maps, and the Blake House Cafe menu.

Smith College Museum; $4 admission for seniors, but all Five College one-card holders receive free admission, as individual visitors and in groups. There would be no charge for LIR visitors. When ready to schedule a visit, please visit SCMA website and make sure that the Museum is Open and you are able to follow the current guidelines.

COVID Precautions

  1. Masks are required indoors on the Smith Campus
  2. Social distancing should be observed