December 2021 Newsletter

Holiday Party: Saturday, December 4 at 1:30 pm via Zoom:

As planned, we’ll meet on December 4 at 1:30. However, instead of meeting at the Old First Church Barn, our party will be on Zoom.

Simply click this link to be taken to our Zoom meeting. We will open a few minutes early to give everyone a chance to get settled. We’ll  do a group reading of Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory.” Originally published in 1956, it is the story from Capote’s childhood of lovingly making fruitcakes from scratch at Christmas-time with his elderly cousin, and has become an American holiday classic.  As we read, think about your own holiday memories. There will be time to share. No need to read the story in advance. The text will appear on the computer screen.  If you’d rather not read, you’re welcome to sit back and listen.  Note: Read-Around Group will not meet this month. Please attend the Virtual Party instead.

Comic Finale

Telling our Stories.”  In her final column for AAUW, Anna Lev gives us a peek underneath the hood, explaining how she tells stories through comics and how we can tell our own stories.  What an appropriate piece to end her appearance on our newsletters.  She got us started, now we can carry on, sharing own own stories. Thanks so much, Anna!

From the Book Group: Meeting on December 15 at noon at the Martha Canfield Library in Arlington

We will read “And  Then There Were None”.  Those who attended our November meeting have scripts.  Mary Feidner will bring more for everyone else on December 15th.  We can choose roles then.  We can wear masks, or not, as is recommended by the Martha Canfield Library. Bring your own lunch.

Meet new AAUW member Sarah Krinsky!

by Carolyn Webb

Holiday Traditions

Enjoy this reprise of a set of essays by Scribble Sisters and others, originally posted in December 2020.

Announcing Great Decisions Group–Join the Planning Group

AAUW Bennington Branch and The Universalist Unitarian Fellowship are starting a new Interest Group: The Great Decisions Program. Sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association, Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. The program involves reading the Great Decisions Briefing Book and meeting to discuss the most critical global issues facing America.

We’ll launch the event with a public meeting in late January (date tbd) and continue meeting once a month through June.  We are hoping to meet at the UU rather than on Zoom.  There are nine different topics, from which we will select six.  Each session will have a group leader who will provide  historical background, examine the subject impartially, help group members explores options facing citizens and policymakers, and lead a debate on the implications. January’s meeting will be open to the public and those attending will be invited to continue meeting with us monthly.  The Foreign Policy association creates a video and a briefing book about each topic.

Take a look at the topics below and consider leading the discussion for one of them:

  • Changing Demographics (See Demographics and their Implications for the economy and policy)
  • Outer Space (See The Commercial Space Age is Here)
  • Climate Change (The ideological divide in the United States on the subject of climate change has impeded progress in curbing greenhouse emissions. But extreme weather events at both ends of the thermometer have focused attention on the consequences of inaction. What role will the United States play in future negotiations on climate? See article from PEW Research Center.
  • Russia & the U.S. (Russia and the United States have many areas of conflict and some possible areas of mutual interest. Arms control, Russian interference in U.S. elections and support of cyberattacks, the status of Ukraine, the fate of opposition politicians in Russia, all continue to be concerning. How will the new administration in Washington approach these issues? by Allen Lynch)
  • Myanmar and ASEAN (See ASEAN has failed Myanmar: What’s Next?)
  • Quad Alliance (See The Quad in the Pacific: What to Know)
  • Drug Policy in Latin America (See 50 Years of Failed Drug Policy and Its Consequences)
  • Industrial Policy. The current discussion of industrial policy in the United States is not simply about whether or not to support specific companies or industries, but about trust or mistrust of the government and its ability to manage the economy and deal with a rising China. The upheaval in supply chains during the pandemic exposed weaknesses in the international economy. What policies can the United States implement to deal with trade and the economy? See Secure Energy Archives by Johnathan Chanis 
  • Biden’s Agenda. (The new administration in Washington promised to reverse many of the policies of the past administration, especially in foreign policy. How will issues such as climate, the pandemic, and alliances be treated under the Biden administration? See The Intellectual Foundations of the Biden Revolution by John Ikenberry.)

Interested? Send and email to Dawn Rodrigues (, Gudrun Hutchins (, or Sheila Mullineux

 November Branch Meeting: Bennington in WWII: the Women and Men Who Served 

In case you missed our November program, we have a YouTube video of the November presentation. (Thanks to Jackie Marro,)

Newsletter Editors: Dawn Rodrigues ( and Carolyn Webb (

We invite stories, book reviews, poetry, and announcements.