Fall Course Offerings – 2020

Welcome to the Fall 2020 virtual session of Belfast Senior College via Zoom video teleconferencing.

Annual membership fee is $25.00, valid Sept. 1 through Aug. 31, and is required for all courses, except summer, which is free. Zoom classes are priced as follows.

    1 session class – $10
    2-4 sessions class – $15
    5-6 sessions class – $20

This fall, all registrations are on-line only as we cannot process mail-in registrations due to Covid-19. 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.

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.

Zoom Classes

War, Protest, and Great Music

Instructor: Pete Reilly

  • Zoom Class
  • 3 Sessions: Wednesdays at 4pm – 5:30pm, December 2, 9, and 16th
  • $15

This 3 day course will be a “Readers Digest” review of the Vietnam war told through the popular music of the period. The 60s and 70s are a time of incredible civil disturbance and unrest. The country is being ripped apart, but yet somehow the artists and musicians of the time are inspired to write and perform music that gives identification and maybe a significance that can only happen through art and music. We will look at many prominent singers and groups, but will spend a little more time on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young whose music so captured the impact of those years.

3 Sessions: Wednesdays at 4pm – 5:30pm, December 2, 9, and 16th – $15

Registration for this class is closed.

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Planning to Age Well

Instructor: Karen Gleeson

  • Zoom Class
  • 6 sessions, Thursdays 10:00am-12:00pm, September 17, 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22nd.
  • Limited to 25
  • $20
  • This class has been cancelled

None of us want to get older, but with good planning, and utilizing the resources from our community, aging doesn’t have to be stressful. This course will be a chance to speak with local experts who can answer your questions about the law, medicine, end-of-life planning, finding alternative housing, and local resources for aging well. Participants are asked to “bring a problem/bring a solution” to share.

6 sessions, Thursdays 10:00am-12:00pm, September 17, 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22nd.
Course will be limited to 20 people.

See the full schedule

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The Mayflower: 400 Years Later

Instructor: Arlin Larson

  • Zoom Class
  • 6 Sessions – Thursdays, 10am-11:30am, Sept 17, 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22
  • $20
  • Class has begun, registration closed

In 1620 a small band of English refugees fleeing religious persecution landed at Cape Cod. Hounded from England, they had first settled in Leyden, Holland, more tolerant than England, but still not hospitable to a spirituality that was radically individualistic and local. At Plymouth, they were free to begin a new way of life unhindered by the British Crown or even by effective opposition of the indigenous people, the Wampanoag who had been decimated by recently introduced European diseases.

Augmented by a much larger emigration in 1630 to nearby Boston the Pilgrims pioneered a highly democratic and communitarian society that was to contrast starkly with the aristocratic and libertarian society created in the slavery-based American South. This course will first examine the social and religious controversies that caused the Pilgrims to flee. Next it will look at the colonists and their voyage followed by consideration of the indigenous people and their continent-wide decimation by disease. Puritan society’s development will then be traced as well as its contribution to American life as what Colin Woodard calls “Yankeedom.”

6 Sessions – Thursdays, 10am-11:30am, Sept 17, 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22

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World Events Through Historical Fiction

Instructor: Wendy Kasten

  • Zoom Class
  • 6 Sessions, 10-12 on Mondays beginning Sept. 21, Oct.5, 12, 19, 26, Nov 2
  • $20
  • Class has begun, registration closed

This class will focus on five world events through literature. During our lifetime, while we were busy growing up, working, and raising families, politically stunning events happened around the world which may have gotten limited news coverage in the U.S. Five short novels will be read in this course with insider perspectives on events in Tehran, the Dominican republic, Communist China, the rise of Idi Amin, and the rise of the Taliban.

6 Sessions, 10-12 on Mondays beginning Sept. 21, Oct.5, 12, 19, 26, Nov 2

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The Book of Job

Instructor: Deirdre Good

  • Zoom Class
  • 6 Sessions, Thursdays from 1 pm- 2pm, Sept. 17, 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22
  • Maximum of 10 in class
  • $20
  • Class has begun, registration closed

“I read the book of Job last night. I don’t think God comes well out of it,” Virginia Woolf wrote in a letter to Lady Robert Cecil on 12 November 1922. Using Edward Greenstein’s new translation & commentary on Job (“Job: A New Translation,” Yale University Press 2019) we will situate Job in wisdom materials of the Ancient Near East, the Hebrew Bible, and the Second Temple period, and together read and discuss new readings and interpretations of this profoundly engaging yet perplexing text.

6 Sessions, Thursdays from 1 pm- 2pm, Sept. 17, 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, Maximum of 10 in class.

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Zora Neale Hurston: “A Genius of the South”

Instructor: Juliet Baker

  • Zoom Class
  • 6 Sessions, Wednesdays 10am – 11:30am, beginning September 23, 30, Oct 7, 14, 21, 28
  • Maximum of 20 in class
  • $20
  • Class full, registration closed

Born in 1891, Zora Neale Hurston, an African American, overcame tragedy to become an exceptional scholar, literary writer, ethnographer, and anthropologist of the mid-twentieth century. Of her many novels, short stories, plays, and even films, her novel, “Their Eyes Were Watching God, (1937)” is perhaps her best known. In this course, we will pursue a close reading of “Their Eyes Were Watching God” with frequent references to her other literary works, to her life’s story, and to her professional scholarship. Hurston’s knowledge of southern and African American ethnography and folklore buttress much of her fiction.

Through her work, we learn a great deal about African American History— the Harlem Renaissance, the Negro artist’s constant struggle for recognition, the Jim Crow Era’s thwarting of Black enterprise, and, most recently, the machinations of slave trafficking. From 1928 until 1931, Hurston had extensively interviewed one of the last slaves to be brought from Africa to the American South on the final and outlawed slave ship, the Clotilda. The posthumously published manuscript, “Barracoon (2018)” is based on these interviews. The fact that so dramatic and important a story had to wait until 2018 to be published, along with the fact that Zora Neale Hurston died in 1960, a lonely and impoverished woman [one thinks here too of Paul Robeson and so many others] amplifies our current focus on addressing American racism— and ending it.

6 Sessions, Wednesdays 10am – 11:30am, beginning September 23, 30, Oct 7, 14, 21, 28, Maximum of 20 in class.

Download Introduction and Class Notes

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Beginner French

Instructor: Elisabeth Goodridge

  • Zoom Class
  • 6 Sessions, Tuesdays, 9:30 to 11 AM, starting Sept 22, 29, Oct 6, 13, 20, 27
  • Maximum of 16 in class
  • $20
  • Class has begun, registration closed

Introduction to the basics of French, for those with little, distant, or no experience in the language. Pronunciation spelling peculiarities, grammar, and usage. Patterning dialogues, in everyday conversation and building of simple storytelling. The four foundations of listening, speaking, reading, and writing will all be addressed. There will be some video use. Use of outside online French language sites is encouraged to expand exposure to the language.

6 Sessions limit of 16 in class, Tuesdays, 9:30 to 11 AM, starting Sept 22, 29, Oct 6, 13, 20, 27

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Health Care is More Than Insurance

Instructor: Bob Kohl

  • Zoom Class
  • 4 Sessions, Thursdays, 10:00am-11:30am beginning September 24, Oct 1, 8, 15
  • $15
  • Class has begun, registration closed

This course will explore several definitions of health and well-being while probing the social determinants of health and the performance of the U.S. system. The contributions of public health programs and health system reform will be examined, including the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) and proposals such as Medicare for All.

4 Sessions, Thursdays, 10:00am-11:30am beginning September 24, Oct 1, 8, 15

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Introduction to Geographic Software and Mapping

Instructor: Fred Bowers

  • Zoom Class
  • 4 Sessions, 10:00a.m. 1 hour, Tuesday, September 22, 29, 6, 13
  • Class limit 20
  • $15
  • Class full, registration closed

Geography and map making are quite sophisticated today; enabled by Geographic information systems (GIS) that rely on an array of earth satellites that provide data for software applications. Using these systems, we plan routes for our car and bike trips, browse for real estate, take hikes, conduct environmental and urban planning, and more.

The basic science of these systems requires some understanding of geometry to determine locations, draw objects, and use software to input search parameters like latitude/longitude, state, county, town, zip. The objective of this course is to learn how to make maps and routes using free software applications. Creating these maps is an interesting challenge, but not difficult.

The instructor will interactively teach students how to use these tools. Instruction methods will include Zoom meetings, PowerPoint presentations, and electronic chats or email. GIS can become an interesting hobby and can be performed at home.

4 Sessions, 10:00a.m. 1 hour, Tuesday, September 22, 29, 6, 13
Class limit 20

Class materials available online. Click here for complete info and links to course materials.

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100 Years in Maine: From Woman’s Suffrage to the ERA

Instructor: Anne Gass

  • Zoom Class
  • 3 Sessions, No limit, 10-12 a.m. Sept.29, Oct.6. and Oct. 13. 1 and ½ hours.
  • $15
  • Class has begun, registration closed

This course will deal with the work of the Instructor’s great-grandmother and her work as a leader with Alice Paul to achieve voting rights for women, “Voting Down the Rose” Part 1, “We Demand” Part II, and Patriotism, War and Woman Suffrage Part III will present the battle for suffrage as well as looking back over the past 100 years since the right to vote was achieved.

3 Sessions, No limit, 10-12 a.m. Sept.29, Oct.6. and Oct. 13. 1 and ½ hours.

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Historians and Racial Conflict In America

Instructor: Bob Rackmales

  • Zoom and Online Class
  • 6 Sessions, Thursdays from 3pm – 5pm, Sept. 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
  • Registration for the Zoom portion of class open until September 16
  • Class full, Zoom registration closed
  • How to participate without Zoom registration
  • $20

From the 1940s until today some of our most eminent historians have made significant contributions to public understanding of an issue which is once again at the center of national attention—social and political conflict based on race. Since understanding requires that we consider the meaning of events that happened many generations ago, historians’ views should continue to play a key role as we debate these questions.

This course will consist of six classes, each focused on a single historian. Required reading and video links are listed below each class:

Class 1: The Irony of Southern History. C. Vann Woodward

Class 2: Race and the Meaning of America. John Hope Franklin

Class 3: A Questionnaire on Monuments. Eric Foner

Class 4: Race and History in Virginia. Drew Gilpin Faust

Class 5: Frederick Douglass’s Vision For America. David Blight

Class 6: America’s Enduring Caste System. Isabel Wilkerson

The required readings for each class, consisting of a brief biography of each historian and the article whose title is listed above, are available as links below. In addition, suggestions for further reading and links to relevant videos are provided below. Click here for additional reading and video list.

Members may take part in the course by registering for six discussions via Zoom (see details above) or by sending their questions/comments to the instructor at rrackmales@gmail.com.

6 Sessions, Thursdays from 3pm – 5pm, Sept. 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

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Nordic Noir, the Mystery Continues

Instructor: Nancy Perkins

  • Zoom Class
  • 2 Sessions Class limit 35, October 13 and 20 from 1:30 until 3:30.
  • Class limit 35
  • $15
  • Class has begun, registration closed

In this course we will discuss the tremendously popular mysteries that have emerged from a talented group of writers from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. We will discover the differences that distinguish Nordic Noir, the ingenuity and brilliance of their examination of modern life in their respective countries, and finally their popularity among contemporary mystery aficionados.

2 Sessions Class limit 35, October 13 and 20 from 1:30 until 3:30.

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Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac

Instructor: Nick Turner

  • Zoom Class
  • 1 Session, 9:30 to 12:30 Wednesday, October 7th
  • $10
  • Class has begun, registration closed

You may have seen one of many wonderful renditions of this great play (including Steve Martin’s excellent Roxanne) but nothing compares to the original. We will examine Rostand’s play, the excellent translation by Anthony Burgess which was so good it was translated into French for a film starring Gerard Depardieu, and ultimately see why this is such a magnificent work.

1 Session, 9:30 to 12:30 Wednesday, October 7th

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What’s for Dinner in 1820: A Bicentennial Look at Maine Food.

Instructor: Sandy Oliver

  • Zoom Class
  • 1 day session no class limit, November 19th from 9:30 to noon
  • $10

Maine became a state in 1820 and in this presentation, participants will explore what Mainers ate, and why, in the early 1800’s, and over the course of the session, track Maine’s food ways into the 21at century. We will use Maine community cook books, and books by some prominent Maine cookbook writers of the mid-20th century. Participants are invited to bring an old family recipe from the past.

1 day session no class limit, November 19th from 9:30 to noon

Registration

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NAM – Nature, Art and Mathematics – A Shared Exploration

Instructor: Cyrene Slegona

  • Zoom Class
  • 4 Sessions, Tuesdays 9:30am to 11am, September 22, 29, Oct 6, 13
  • Class limited to 10
  • Materials Required
  • $15
  • Class has begun, registration closed

Together we will investigate some ways Nature and Mathematics meet and create Art. Using the Fibonacci number sequence, the Golden Rectangle and the Platonic Solids we’ll find examples in Nature and then use paper, pencil, protractor, compass and straight edge to create works of our own.

Each class will be divided into three segments – a presentation, work time and then sharing when we have discovered or found interesting. As this is a class via zoom, we can anticipate interesting outcomes and conversation.

Materials needed:
metric ruler
compass
protractor
drawing paper (8 x 11, or larger)
art supplies of your choice (colored pencils, crayon, paint)

Expectations:

Each week there will be suggested films to view via youtube and a related article. They are intended to be enjoyable as well as informative. The shared experience of reviewing these before each class will enrich our class conversation.

Participate, ask questions, enjoy the process!

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Continue to Drive Safely as We Age!

Instructor: Paul Sheridan

  • Zoom Class
  • Brown Bag Lunch Presentation
  • 12pm Thursday, Oct 8
  • Free with membership
  • Class has begun, registration closed

“I have been driving for 50 or more years, what’s the problem?”

You may be an excellent driver, better than average in fact, but things may be sneaking up on us, outside our control. This is a short overview of several options we have to help us as we grow older. Links to local and online classes, will be discussed and e-mailed as requested.” A few short videos, and “virtual handout” that can be e-mailed before or after the talk, and some time for a few Q & A.

Participants can be e-mailed a reference sheet outlining their options, if requested.

12pm Thursday, Oct 8

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