*Abbreviations under the "Available" column: A = Available // NA = Not Available // R = Previously Registered // WL = Currently on the Wait List

M and Ms: Meaning, Mortality, and Memorialization

Can the meaning of life be enhanced? Is a “good death” possible? This course reflects on these timeless questions from the perspectives of psychology, art, literature, and one’s own life. We will examine cross-cultural rituals of death and dying, juxtaposed with the prevalence of death denial in US culture, to discover how facing mortality ultimately enhances life. Readings and lectures will frame class discussions about aging, end-of-life issues, grief, and memorialization. Finally, course learning will be extended by planning and creating personal legacies that celebrate life, enhance current relationships, and leave nothing unsaid. This course is for anyone who is mortal or knows someone who is.

Instructor Bio:

Dr. Polce is a developmental psychologist and licensed professional counselor with expertise in lifespan development and mental health. She was a Congressional Fellow who worked on healthcare policy and aging issues in the US Senate. She currently provides mental health services in a medical setting, is a hospice volunteer, and has a long history of teaching. This course has been popular among students because of the importance of death education and her engaging teaching style.

Required Reading:

Polce-Lynch, Mary. Nothing Left Unsaid, 2006.

Recommended Reading:

Robinson, Marilynne. Gilead, 2005. Recommend reading prior to start of class: Sacks, Oliver. Gratitude, 2015. These are four end of life essays; excerpts may be found on the internet.

Course Number Instructor Dates Day Time Location Available
A04 Mary Polce Feb 27, Mar 6, 13, 20 Mo 1:00-2:30 p.m. Senior Center A

Return to Courses