Recognizing that most of us have few (if any) opportunities to talk—really talk—about death, this class may be a remedy. Sensitive conversation will consume most of our class time together. The instructor will invite students to suggest topics of interest in the weeks before the class starts. She will then frame discussions using materials students will access to prepare for each session. Discussions are likely to examine such topics as: death’s timing, meaning and value; getting the care we prefer; aging; dementia; medical treatments; legacy; and our beliefs about death. TED Talks, articles, and books like “A Better Way of Dying” and “The Five Invitations” may be used. The instructor’s intent is to prompt us to talk freely and meaningfully about this experience, which is part of all our lives. Students interested in joining in these important, personal discussions need to commit to attend every one of our six sessions so that our conversations can deepen over our time together.
NOTE: Conversations in this class, both in-person and online, will be deeply personal and confidential. This is best achieved, and the quality and content of discussions built upon, if the participants are consistent and reliable in their attendance. Students who know they will need to miss even one class should not enroll now. This class may be offered again in the future. Two separate sections of this course are being offered on different days and times: one online and one in person.