Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Maps & Directions

Psychology and Sociology

Fall 2013

  • Let’s Talk About Three Elephants in the Room: Ageism, Ableism and Heterosexism

    Day: 6 Wednesdays
    Time: 1:15-2:45 p.m.
    Dates: 9/11-10/16
    Location: UMass Boston, McCormack Bldg., 3rd FL., Room 201
    Facilitator: Maura Albert & Diane McCormack
    Description: People in our American culture are often reluctant to talk about aging, physical or mental disabilities, and sexual orientation. Societal, institutional and individual beliefs and practices give privilege to people who are young, meet certain standards of fitness and are heterosexual. Through questionnaires, videos, speakers and discussion, this course seeks to explore these “elephants in the room.” The goal is to discuss stereotypes, expand knowledge and improve comfort levels around these three topics, as well as to see similarities in the issues surrounding them. This is a participatory type of course which will be based on confidentiality, trying on new ideas, feeling good about yourself and using a sense of humor to discuss tough topics. All you need to bring is your smile and your open mind.

  • Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Reaper? And Why is He So Grim?: Personal Chats on Death and Dying

    Day: 6 Mondays
    Time: 10-11:30 a.m.
    Dates: 9/16-10/28 (no class on 10/14)
    Location: UMass Boston, McCormack Bldg., 3rd FL., Room 204A
    Facilitator: Rob Weiser
    Description: There are too few opportunities to reflect on our inevitable demise, to be exposed to new information and thinking, and to discuss and share our fears and beliefs with peers. This course provides a safe and supportive setting for participants to glean a greater awareness of their attitudes and feelings around issues of critical illness, death, and grief. The course is very interactive and participants are expected to be open-minded and respectful of other viewpoints. Class size is limited to 15 students.

  • Social Change Explorers’ Workshop

    Day: 6 Thursdays
    Time: 10-11:30 a.m.
    Dates: 9/19-10/24
    Location: UMass Boston, McCormack Bldg., 3rd FL., Room 201
    Facilitator: Jeremy Szteiter
    Description: Is there some social issue that you’re curious about? Do you care about the environment, health care, education, economy, arts and culture, human rights, social justice? Be a Social Change Explorer! In this workshop, each participant will be encouraged to choose a topic or area that you don’t know very well but would like to learn about, and through a series of creative activities and discussions in class, you’ll explore your topic to deepen your understanding of what it means to be an “agent of social change.” At the end of the workshop, you’ll know more about your own and other topics, and you’ll have a sense of next steps for learning, action, and connecting with community resources.

  • Ageism: Social/Political Implications and Dispelling Aging Myths

    Day: 5 Fridays
    Time: 10-11:30 a.m.
    Dates: 10/25-11/22
    Location: UMass Boston, McCormack Bldg., 3rd FL., Room 204A
    Facilitator: Jenn Ingle
    Description: “Well, what do you expect at your age?” “You’re not getting any younger.” Statements like these are common place when referring to older persons in America. Using current writings, media examples and interactive class discussions, this course will focus on defining and recognizing the overt and subtle forms of biological, social, psychological and political aspects of ageism in the U.S. The course will also focus on learning about current effort to fight ageism.

  • Self-Help in Modern Times: A Primer

    Day: 3 Wednesdays
    Time: 1:15-2:45 p.m.
    Dates: 10/30-11/13
    Location: UMass Boston, McCormack Bldg., 3rd FL., Room 201
    Facilitator: Patricia Delval
    Description: Millions of self-help books have been written with the goal of assisting us to become the best we can be. This course will introduce some of them in the physical health, emotional health and spiritual health arenas: Andrew Weil, Dr. Oz, Joel Fuhrman, Sarah Ban Breathnach, Wayne Dyer, Thich Naht Hanh, Eckhart Tolle, Mark Nepo, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins. Students may suggest additional gurus to be discussed in the later sessions of the course. The goal of this participatory course is to introduce or re-introduce students to the main focus areas and beliefs of various modern self-help gurus in order to direct them to those in whom they will be most interested.