Fall Course Offerings – 2019

Here is an archival listing of our Fall 2019 course offerings.

Welcome to the Fall 2019 session of Belfast Senior College beginning Thursday, September 19. Classes run for six consecutive Thursdays, ending October 24. All classes are offered at the Hutchinson Center, Route 3 in Belfast. Please register early for the classes you would like to take to avoid disappointment and be sure to order your text(s) or materials at least two weeks in advance.

Annual membership fee is $25.00, valid Sept. 1 through Aug. 31, and is required for all courses, except summer, which is free. Six-week courses are $35.00, four-week courses are $30.00, and one-or-two-day courses are $20.00. You may register: 1) online; 2) by submitting a printed form by mail; or 3) in person at the Senior College Office. All messages will be forwarded to the registrar. Please note that you are now responsible for purchasing the text(s) or materials, if required for your course.

Note: If in doubt about classes being held due to inclement weather, please call the Hutchinson Center main desk at 207-338-8099. If classes are cancelled, there will be a recorded message shortly after 6:30 a.m.

You must be a member of a Maine Senior College to take a course. The membership year runs from Aug. 1 to July 31, so last year’s membership is expired and the membership fee is required. Take a look at all the classes, and after you’ve decided on the ones you are interested in, fill out our quick and easy registration form. No login necessary.

Morning Classes

War: Journalism and History

Instructor: Bob Rackmales

Since the Crimean War, journalists have provided accounts of combat that brought the realities of war home to people around the world. This course will examine the lives and work of some preeminent war correspondents of our lifetimes: print journalists Martha Gellhorn; Vasily Grossman; and Bernard Fall; and photo journalist Margaret Bourke-White.

The least known of the above names is probably Grossman’s. His reporting for the Soviet Army Newspaper from Stalingrad is considered by historians a pinnacle of war reporting. His account of the Nazi extermination camp at Treblinka was used by the prosecution at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. His great novel, Life and Fate, offers unique insights into the impact of the war, the Holocaust, and Stalinism on the Soviet people.

Gellhorn, Fall, and Bourke-White are better known in the US, and a closer look at the impact of their work on our understanding of World War Two and the Vietnam War should help us bring the contribution of war correspondents into sharper focus. The course will also provide background for the 2020 Camden Conference on the role of the media in global affairs.

Download Reading List
Download Syllabus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pucJTYK7_Yo&feature=youtu.be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CU5Sz8PSoNQ&t=11s

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I Just Love Maine

Instructor: Barbara LeGendre

  • Thursday Morning
  • 9:30 – 11:30 AM
  • Required Text
  • Class limit 20
  • Class closed

Get to know Maine through its most exciting writers: their personal essays; recollections; and short fiction. Explore E. B. White, Anne Beattie, Henry Beston, Monica Wood, Wesley McNair, Richard Russo, and more. Purchase the text, A Place Called Maine, ISBN 978-0-89272-760-5 (Amazon has used copies). I’ll also have handouts each week. At the first class we’ll discuss the essays by Richard Ford, Baron Wormser, Alice Bloom.

Class limit: 20.

Required Text: A Place Called Maine. ed. Wesley McNair, ISBN 978-0-89272-760-5. Available on Amazon Kindle for $13.50 and on Amazon Used Books from $2.99.

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Art, Nature, and Mathematics

Instructor: Cyrene Slegona

  • Thursday Morning
  • 9:30 – 11:30 AM
  • Required Materials
  • Class limit 14
  • Class closed

The more we look at nature the more we can find “purposeful design.” Using basic tools, including a ruler, protractor, and compass, we will create art using methods invented by the ancient Greeks, Renaissance and other artists inspired by the nature that surrounds them. We will work with Fibonacci numbers, the Golden Rectangle, Durer’s grid, Latin Squares, Archimedean Spirals, and flexigons to name a few methods/tools. Art examples using these methods will be examined with the majority of class time dedicated to learning how to construct with such methods and create our own art work with them. If this course is interesting, it meets your ability level. This course is offered to inspire creativity using intriguing tools of mathematics to interpret nature around and in each of us. A willingness to both explore and to play with ideas is an asset.

Class limit 14.

Required materials: Assorted drawing pencils, ruler (metric and standard), 9” x 12” sketch pad and journal.

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World Scriptures 3: the Mediterranean

Instructor: Arlin Larson

  • Thursday Morning
  • 9:30 – 11:30 AM
  • Required Text

Three of the world’s great religions originated in the Middle East. Each is based on a sacred book that traces itself to a man named Abraham from the 2nd millennium BCE. The sacred books – Tanakh, New Testament, Qur’an* – are closely intertwined. Christians incorporated the Hebrew Scriptures in their entirety. The New Testament was written in constant conversation with the Tanakh. Likewise, Islamic scripture carries on a similar dialogue with both the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament.

We will examine core passages in these core scriptures. For the Tanakh, it will be the story of the Exodus – Israel’s escape from slavery in Egypt. In the New Testament, we will look at the Gospel of Mark, the first telling of the story of Jesus. In the Qur’an, we will look at passages illustrating Muhammad’s call for submission to Allah and his complicated relationship to Judaism and Christianity.

Required Texts: All three scriptures are available online. For those wanting printed versions, there are many choices. JPS TANAKH: The New JPS Translation according to the Traditional Hebrew Text, by Jewish Publication Society. New Testament – New Revised Version of the Bible by National Council of Churches. *The Qur’an (Oxford World’s Classics) by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem.

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Fascism

Instructor: Larry Litchfield

  • Thursday Morning
  • 9:30 – 11:30 AM
  • Required Text
  • Class limit 25

We will attempt to clarify the nature of fascism and to determine whether it has any important connection to current politics. We must explore various hypotheses about this ideology developed by scholars, and we must consider explanations advanced by ideologies hostile to it such as those of liberalism and Marxism. Next we will trace the stages of fascist development in the political history of various countries from marginal movements to established regimes in at least two countries in the 20th century. Finally we will try to determine whether neo-fascism, crypto-fascism, fascism lite, or any kind of fascism has any importance to our own troubled moment in history, either here or abroad.

Class limit 25.

Required text: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder. ISBN 978-0-8041-9011-4 (Tim Duggans books, 2017). This book is available on Amazon for around $6.00.

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Forgotten Pop: American Popular Music 1945-1965

Instructor: Neal Harkness

  • Thursday Morning
  • 9:30 – 11:30 AM

The history of American music in the twentieth century has been written almost exclusively by scholars of jazz and rock and roll. Consequently, the period between the end of the swing era and the rock era has been, to a large extent, overlooked. And yet, it was an era as rich in talent, diversity and innovation as those that preceded and followed it. It was the heyday of some of the greatest vocalists ever recorded, from Doris Day and Rosemary Clooney, to Nat King Cole and Bobby Darin. We will hear their voices, we will examine the role of Hollywood and Broadway in shaping popular taste, and we will discuss the controversial issue of appropriation from other cultures into the mainstream.

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Winterizing Your Yard and Gardens in Fall

Instructor: Jean Vose

  • Thursday Morning
  • 9:30 – 11:30 AM

This course will cover monthly to-do lists for gardens and lawns, general overall yard care/preparation, and lastly, we’ll answer the question about where the pollinators and birds go in winter. It is a slideshow presentation.

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Afternoon Classes

More About Native American Literature and Culture

Instructor: Wendy Kasten

  • Thursday Afternoon
  • 1:00 – 3:00 PM
  • Required texts

While everyone is welcome in this class, it has been especially designed with those in mind who took the prior course, “Native American Literature and Culture.” Using two primary texts, one written by a Penobscot woman, we will read and discuss two key works aimed at gaining historical and cultural insights into the issues of the past and the present. One class session will include a visit by a local Native American. By taking an optional field trip to Palermo, Maine on Sunday, September 22, we can attend the Ceremony of 8000 Sacred Drums which includes participating in a pot luck dinner, and an introduction to “The Great Thunder Chickens” Native American drumming group.

Required texts

Mitchell, S., Sacred Instruction: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit Based Change.
ISBN 10-1623171954 North Atlantic Books (approx. $13.00).
Weatherford, J., Indian Givers: How Native Americans Transformed the World.
ISBN 978-0-307-71715-3, Broadway Books, NY. (approx. $13.00).

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See the USA with American Fictional Detectives

Instructor: Nancy Perkins

  • Thursday Afternoon
  • 1:00 – 3:00 PM
  • Class limit 30
  • Class closed

A major characteristic of all detective and mystery fiction is a well-defined sense of place. From Maine to Florida, from New York to Los Angeles, countless writers have created a body of work that describes the geographic, social, and cultural climate of the regions in which they set their stories. This class will explore American detective fiction and the geographic locales that are so expertly defined by the masters of the craft.

Class limit 30.

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Continuons! (Let’s Keep Going!) Intermediate Conversational French

Instructor: Lila Nation

  • Thursday Afternoon
  • 1:00 – 3:00 PM
  • Class limit 12

This is NOT a course for beginners! You will love this course if you have had, at least, two years of high school French, or one year of university French, or completed Beginning Conversational French IV with me. Starting where we left off this past spring, we will go further into the passé composé, and the sixteen verbs that use être instead of avoir to form them. Soon you’ll be able to talk about not only what you are currently doing, and what you plan to do, but also what you did in the past. It takes some practice, of course, but we are all here to help each other grow more fluent in this beautiful language, and we’ll have fun doing it! Allons-y!

Class limit 12

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The Quest for Gender Equality

Instructor: Pamela Chase

  • Thursday Afternoon
  • 1:00 – 3:00 PM
  • Class postponed

Aren’t women protected under the constitution? Next year we celebrate the 200th anniversary of our state and the 100th anniversary for women acquiring the vote. This course will present an historical and sociological overview of the quest for gender equality. We will discuss other topics relating to gender equality including racism, sexism, feminism, and LBGTQ issues.

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Yes, We Can! Meet Everyone’s Needs and Save the Planet too!

Instructor: Paul Kando

  • Thursday Afternoon
  • 1:00 – 3:00 PM

The common thread of my earlier course offerings, “After Capitalism” and “An Optimist Looks at Climate Change,” was that our current economic system is on a collision course with nature. Climate change is but one consequence. Capitalism routinely overshoots multiple planetary boundaries, yet it fails to deliver on the basic purpose of an economy—to meet the basic human needs of every member of society.

This is where our exploration begins. Though the temptation may be great, this course, however, is not an invitation to vent. For no matter how eloquently we can recite what’s wrong, why would anything ever change for the better, if we cannot clearly state what we would do to set things right? 

Our task is not to fight capitalism. Nor can we effectively address climate change by swearing off certain diets or modern conveniences. Our hands-on task is to create a new economy that outperforms the old and meets the human needs of every member of society without violating the natural limits imposed by the finality of Planet Earth—even if we meet this challenge one human need, one human right at a time.

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Watercolor Class–The Sky’s The Limit or Not

Instructor: Nancy Blatz

  • Thursday Afternoon
  • 1:00 – 3:00 PM
  • Class limit 14
  • Bring your own supplies
  • Class closed

This course will focus on the techniques needed to paint realistic skies–the same techniques needed to paint anything in watercolor. All levels can participate, and if you don’t want to paint skies you don’t have too. Students need to have their own supplies and prepare for some homework.

Class limit 14.

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Wills, Trusts, and Probate

Instructor: Randolph Mailloux

  • Thursday Afternoon
  • 1:00 – 3:00 PM

Have you explored a sensible plan to handle your affairs in the event of your disability or death? In this eminently practical course on estate planning, we will look at the probate process, guardianships, conservatorships, wills, and trusts. We will also explore a variety of strategies to see that your wishes are fulfilled without burdening your survivors. We will open with a quick review of the history of the probate process and then discuss wills, trusts and other ancillary documents, what they can accomplish, and issues in their drafting. We will discuss specific types of trusts and explain their purposes, i.e., Medicaid planning, general estate disposition, and special needs. The ultimate goal of the class is to provide a thorough background so participants can prepare estate plans. Remember, it is not if…but when… .

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One-Day Classes

Berg’s Opera Lulu and its Place in Germany’s Weimar Republic

Instructor: Richard Brown

  • Tuesday, September 10, 2019
  • 9:30 am to 3:00 pm
  • Bring a bag lunch

Alban Berg’s opera Wozzeck, first performed in 1925, secured his place in the highest ranks of composers of that time and place. His second opera, Lulu, has since sealed that place. Begun in 1928 it remained unfinished at his death in 1935. Its first performance, still unfinished, was in 1937. Berg’s orchestral sketches for the final act were eventually completed by Friedrech Cerha in 1976 and its first complete performance was given at the Paris Opera by Pierre Boulez in 1979. Its disturbingly realistic story and powerful score reveal much about this chaotic and highly creative time in Germany. The parallels to today’s world as well as its equally creative intensity are worth exploring.

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Maine’s Evolving Working Waterfront

Instructor: Tom Groening

  • Tuesday, September 24, 2019
  • 9:30 am to 3:00 pm
  • Bring a bag lunch

The phrase “working waterfront” typically refers to the platform, or perch, from which fishermen access the resources of the ocean. There have been key battles over retaining that access, dating from mid-1980’s proposals to build condos on Portland piers, to this year in Boothbay Harbor, as a millionaire tries to rezone part of the waterfront to accommodate stores and motels. But the term also may be understood more broadly, as in the economic and cultural vitality that Maine’s eight coastal counties are enjoying; that is, these waterfronts are working. But threats loom—collapse of lobstering, lack of affordable housing, and more.

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Mixin’ It Up with Leonardo daVinci: A Renaissance Man for the 21st Century

Instructor: Sandi Cirillo

  • Thursday, November 7, 2019
  • 9:30 am to 3:00 pm
  • Class limit 14
  • Bring Drawing and Watercolor Materials
  • Bring a bag lunch
  • Class closed

This year is the 500th anniversary of Leonardo daVinci’s death, and it is bringing renewed interest to his artistry, his creativity, and his foresight in the arts and sciences. In this hands on class–we’ll learn more about Leonardo as we explore our own creativity with him as our muse. For him, the precepts of scientific-observation, hypothesis, and experimentation were critical to his art. His greatest gift was his ability to make knowledge visible. For him, it was all about the process, not the end-game. Bring any drawing and watercolor materials you have to this class as we learn more about this important artist. We may even try our hand at some portrait drawing which was how Leonardo began his career. Come celebrate one of the greatest and most influential artists of our time.

Class limit: 14.

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