The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Boston held a series of interesting Brown Bag Lunches during April. Topics included:

Mentally ILL Offender: Services Post Incarceration
This presentation provided an overview of the status of specialized services and programs that support ex-inmates and their return to the community post-release.

Four Young Women Escape From Berlin Just Prior to World War II: Their Stories
A presentation from the book Then There Were Four; the stories of four girlfriends (age 10-11) who were uprooted and resettled in a new country with a language they didn’t speak.

What is the Prospect of a Lasting Peace in Iraq?
This presentation addressed the questions of lasting peace. Is it possible? Can the progress made thus far be sustained? What are some major remaining issues that need to be addressed by the U.S. and Iraqi authorities during the next phase of moving the country toward a lasting peace and prosperity?

Stopping U.S. Torture Now
Facilitators presented an overview of the history and nature of torture policy and the U.S. public’s role in its development. Participants reflected on the current state of opposition to torture in this country, discussed the existence (or non-existence) of a burgeoning, anti-torture movement, and compared activities today to that of the 1950s-1970s era. They ended with the question of how persons of all ages can make their voices heard on the issue of human rights in the United States.

India: Tradition and Modernity Collide on the Subcontinent
Based on the facilitator’s recent travels, this lecture provided a panorama of life across India, ranging from religious observances and ceremonies to bustling markets and daily lifestyles


To Pskov, Russia with Love
Massachusetts State Senator Therese Murray spoke about her mission to the Eastern European city of Pskow, a city of 200,000 about 200 miles from St. Petersburg, near the Estonian border in northwest Russia. Her visit there was to promote business, tourism, and academics.

Peace and Palestine: A View from Dorchester
The speaker, having returned from his fourth trip to the area, spoke from personal observations and readings about the situation on the ground, and the effects of occupation and perceptions of people he met in the area. In addition, his work inside Israel with communities of Palestinian citizens presented a perspective on the conditions of a “minority” community of 1.5 million people whose rights and opportunities are severely restrained.

Hooked on Crosswords (and Other Addictive Puzzles)!
This presentation explored the history, evolution, and popularity of crosswords. Participants looked at various kinds of crosswords (diagramless, cryptic) and introduced a variety of related challenges (sudoku, logic puzzles, acrostics, etc). Puzzles of different skill levels were distributed to attendees to try at lunch and at home.

Women, Activism, and You
This presentation gave an overview of the Older Women League (OWL), a national organization that works to improve the status and quality of life of midlife and older women, and its role as an activist organization.

Talking to Your Health Care Provider
This presentation by a clinician and researcher who has a long interest in integrating mind, body and spirit in health and healing was something everyone could relate to. They discussed what to do before the visit, what to do/say during the visit, and what to do/say after the visit.






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