Registration begins September 6
First session is September 21
CSC Coffee House: A Discussion Group
Since 2006 from 12 to 20 serious people have gathered weekly throughout the year to discuss topics of interest: politics, government, culture, etc. As there is no set agenda, any issue can be brought for discussion. Every fourth Tuesday, Peter Muth leads a discussion on globalization. Two criteria rule the group: Civility to others and reasoned articulation of comments. While participation is open at no cost to CSC members, we each contribute $2 per session, part as our contribution for coffee and the rest to St. Bernard’s soup kitchen. Call Bill (594-7534) or Peter (596-7562) to assure there is room. Class Limit: 20
Facilitator Bill Newman is a retiree from the pits of academe. Bill has taught many courses for CSC on film, literature, philosophy, and history. Facilitator Peter Muth was born in Germany and studied economics and political science in Germany, the United States, France, and Switzerland, obtaining his MA in economics and his PhD in political science. He has worked in industry, banking and, for more than 20 years, as a development practitioner and consultant in close to 70 countries.
At the Religious Education Annex, St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, Rockland (Click here for directions)
The Challenge of Change: A Community of Conversation
Continuing on 2nd and 4th Tuesdays
Starting Sept. 13, 10-12
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading” (Lao Tzu). This informal dialogue group will share opinions and options in a positive and respectful conversation related to the enormous economic, ecological, and cultural challenges facing us in our society. We will be looking for better alternatives on a personal, local, regional, national, and global level. As this group is “self-convened”, participants will share responsibility for the approach and direction of the dialogue, including the possibility of a film or guest speaker as a catalyst for discussion. Registration through CSC is not necessary as this class is free to CSC members. However, the conveners would appreciate knowing you plan to attend. Please call Susan van Alsenoy, email@example.com, 207 380-7716, or Jon Olsen, firstname.lastname@example.org, 207 549-7787.
Convener Susan van Alsenoy spent her first 30 years in New England and the second 32 in Antwerp, Belgium. There she was involved in finding solutions for learning-differently students in an international setting. Returning to the states, she expanded this topic into a book which was published in 2012. Currently she is a volunteer with the Damariscotta River Association, the Maine Sierra Club, the Wiscasset Sun CATS, Feed the Scholars Program, the Restorative Justice Project, and Coastal Senior College. Convener Jon Olsen, after attending Lincoln Academy and Bates College, got his Masters in Philosophy at the University of Hawai’i. There he became active in protests against the Vietnam War and the draft. He joined the Green Party, both in Hawai’i, where he marketed solar water heating systems for 20 years, and in Maine when he returned here in 2001. In addition to his political work, he is currently raising organic blueberries on his family’s property.
At the Friends Meeting House, 77 Belvedere Road, Damariscotta (Click here for directions)
Continuing on Fourth Mondays
Have you ever marveled at the way some people use everyday words to produce short stories, poems, novels and other forms of writing? If you like to write, this is your opportunity to discuss your work with like-minded enthusiasts.
This is not a writing class. We aim to benefit from the members’ different skills and experience. We will be our own audience and critics, but we plan to occasionally invite a published author to comment on our writing. Note: This is an on-going group that meets at no charge to CSC members. However, the group is limited to 10 and currently all slots are filled. To be placed on the wait list, please contact Marilyn at email@example.com or call her at 596-7562. Group Limit 10.
Organizer Marilyn Muth has many years of experience as an organizer and member of writers’ groups. She has written numerous short stories and has served in the capacity of organizer for this CSC group for a number of years.
At the Camden Library (click here for directions)
The Memoir Cafe
8 Wednesdays, 10:30-1
Sept. 21-Nov. 16 (no class Oct. 19)
New and returning students will be creating memoirs with the emphasis on having fun while reminiscing in a relaxed, non-threatening setting. Each week we will stop mid-way through class to share a break for enjoying our own brown bag lunches.
You will be encouraged to write two pages on a specific theme at home each week; there will also be writing in class. Students may choose whether to read their own work aloud. Grammar and spelling in the memoir will NOT be checked unless a student specifically requests help and/or editing. Your classmates will provide invaluable feedback to help everyone refine stories and skills. Each student will produce a unique keepsake. Class Limit 8.
Instructor Alice Dashiell has been both an educator and a librarian in public and private schools, from pre-school through college and also in Federal Government. She has a BA from Queens College, NY and an MLS from the University of Maryland. She fills various volunteer roles at the Thomaston Library, coordinates the book discussion group, and participates in the knitting group. One particular joy is attending CSC courses!
At University College, Rockland (click here for directions)
Geology for You and Me
8 Mondays, 10:15-12:15
Sept. 26-Nov. 21 (no class Oct. 10)
These eight classes will present an introduction to our (relatively!) solid earth, including Maine. The information will provide some insight into what’s actually going on out there, with some bits that may be of immediate value to you. Topics include plate tectonics, mineral and rock groups, magma and igneous rocks, volcanic eruptions, sedimentary rocks, metamorphism, the rock cycle, earthquakes, age determination and biography of the earth, and landscapes in motion. DVD’s will be used to illustrate many concepts. Neither prior knowledge nor homework will be required of the student. Class Limit 30.
Instructor Jack Farlow earned his B.A. in geology at Harvard College and his M.A. in Physical Oceanography at the Johns Hopkins University. He worked at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution during the International Geophysical Year in the Arctic, on the North Atlantic and the Caribbean, and on the North American coastal shelf. He then worked for the U.S. Dept. of the Interior on estuarine studies from Delaware to Maine. He worked on oil spill, hazardous material spill and leaking underground storage tank research projects for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He has taught at a community college and at Coastal Senior College.
At the Bremen Library (click here for directions)
The Architecture of Christian Churches
6 Fridays, 10:15-12:15
Oct. 7-Nov. 18 (no class Nov. 11)
The architecture of Christian churches has been the most important part of the story of western architecture, at least until the 20th century. This course will explore how Christians adopted and adapted Roman and Jewish models and went on to create new building forms that changed how all buildings were made. We will look in detail at some major monuments like Hagia Sophia, St. Peter’s, and the Gothic Cathedrals, and will also examine how these buildings shaped smaller, local places of worship, and how the churches we see in Maine today are heirs of these traditions. Class Limit 30.
Instructor Chris Glass is an architect who has been practicing in Camden since 1974. His practice has consisted primarily of new houses and renovations to existing ones, along with historic preservation and small commercial and church projects. He is the former architect member and chairman of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission and former president of Maine Preservation; he has received awards from both organizations. He taught architectural design at Bowdoin for 20 years and has lectured widely. Chris has authored several books and has taught for both Belfast and Coastal Senior Colleges.
At Bremen Library (click here for directions)
Maine’s Marine Wilderness: Exploring Maine’s Offshore Fishing Grounds
6 Fridays, 1:30-3:30
Oct. 7-Nov. 18 (no class Nov. 11)
We will examine the historical ecology, environment, and fisheries of eighty marine fishing grounds off the Maine Coast from waters off Frenchmans Bay to those off Muscongus Bay. These seamounts, canyons, shoals, and ledges are familiar places to Maine fishermen. Their forebears named them, mapped their geography, and studied their seafloor types and currents. With this knowledge they harvested the seasonally moving inshore schools of cod, haddock, herring, menhaden, and other fishes that live in and visit our part of the Gulf of Maine. This class will virtually visit these fishing grounds and map out the historic seasonal travels of fish along the Maine coast. This information is worth knowing. As Penobscot River dams go down and pollution declines, these grounds may once again be as fish-rich as they were in the early 20th century. Class Limit 10.
Instructor Ron Huber is executive director of Friends of Penobscot Bay, which responds to environmental threats to that bay’s seafood species and scenic resources. A Chesapeake Bay area native, he moved to Penobscot Bay in 1992 and since then has helped protect that bay’s fish nurseries from leaking shoreline waste dumps, oil and chemical spills, and bay-unfriendly port and marina sprawl. In 2005 he transcribed, digitized, and uploaded the 1929 US Fish Commission Report, Fishing Grounds of the Gulf of Maine, previously available only in paper form
At the Picker Room, Camden Library (click here for directions)
Memoir Writing: Crafting your own Story from a Kaleidoscope of Memories
6 Wednesdays, 10-12
Sept. 21 – Nov. 2 (no class Oct. 19)
Do you have stories to tell? According to Flannery O’Connor, “Anyone who has survived childhood has enough material to write for his or her life.” This course will provide a relaxed, entertaining, and supportive environment for memoir writing. No previous writing experience is needed, just the desire to peek into the corners of your life and to write ten minutes a day about what you remember. The stories you tell will delight and enlighten your family and friends for generations to come. Preference will be given to those who have not taken this course. Class limit 10.
Instructor Caroline Davis Janover is an award-winning author of four novels and a play for children and young adults. A recipient of the New Jersey Governor’s Outstanding Teacher Award, Caroline has spent her professional career working in public and private school education. Caroline has dyslexia and lectures nationally about the creative gifts and academic challenges of children who grow up with learning differences and ADHD. She is among the most popular CSC instructors.
At the Media Room of the Lincoln Home, Newcastle (click here for directions)
Crisis of Democracy-A Discourse on the Presidential and Congressional Elections of 2016
6 Wednesdays, 1:30-3:30
Sept. 28-Nov. 2
This seminar aims to address the “crisis of democracy”. We begin with a grounding in the political ideas and principles of the Founding Generation. We assess our present dysfunctional government and electoral process against the democratic form of government that emerged from the Constitutional Convention of 1787. The study topics begin with readings from primary historical sources. Major topics in this 45th presidential election are the professionalization of political parties and ideologies; the dominance of electronic media; the financialization of campaigns; impediments to voting rights; and the role of lobbying in legislatures. We will also look at recent Supreme Court decisions and dissents that affect electoral laws.Class Limit 12.
Instructor Carmen Lavertu has a B.A. in History, an M.S. in Education and a M.Div. in History of Religions. From an early age she has been active in politics at the local, state, and federal levels. She is a founder and still active member of the Henry Knox Reading Circle. The goal of this monthly book discussion is the “study of the lives and ideas of the founders and events that established the American democratic government.” Carmen has led the Pacifism Seminar in CSC and Belfast Senior College in 2009 and 2010, and has facilitated CSC’s Challenge of Change discussion group.
At St. John’s Episcopal Church, Thomaston (click here for directions)
Old English Poetry: Heroes, Monsters, and the Ice Cold Sea
7 Fridays, 1-3
Sept. 23-Nov. 18 (no class Oct. 14 and Nov. 11)
During the fifth and sixth centuries after the Romans withdrew from Britain, the Germanic tribes pushed the Celtic peoples back and established their separate, often warring, kingdoms in England. Between the sixth and tenth centuries, their poets shaped elegies and heroic verse in the language now called Old English. These poems contain powerful portrayals of courage, loneliness, and isolation and are rich with images of winter and the icy seas that should resonate with dwellers on the coast of Maine. The unknown poets also created gnomic verse and the clever, often bawdy riddles that capture the texture of more ordinary daily life. We will begin with the shorter poems and then move to the epic poem, Beowulf. Although it is set in Scandinavia, it is also in Old English and reflects the themes of the time. Lively modern translations have made Old English poetry much more accessible to the modern reader. The instructor strongly recommends that students purchase Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf (W.W. Norton), although they are welcome to bring and compare other editions as well. No knowledge of Old English is required. Class limit 15.
Instructor Ann Nesslage is graduate of Vassar with a masters degree in British literature from Bryn Mawr. In 2008, Ann retired from Choate Rosemary Hall where she taught different levels of English including British literature and British Studies. She also created electives including a course in early Irish and Welsh literature and mythology. Ann purchased her home in Bremen in the early 1970’s and moved there full time in 2008. She is an active gardener and avid reader and enjoys writing.
At the Bremen Library (click here for directions)
8 Wednesdays, 10-12
Sept. 21-Nov. 9
Why Opera offers a behind the scenes look at music’s most complex art form. Although not a survey course, Why Opera will include video musical examples from the major periods and genres of opera. Each week we’ll explore a different aspect: Where did opera come from? How did it grow and change? Who are the audiences? Does opera reflect society and politics? What role does the orchestra play?
As a special treat we will be visited by bass-baritone John David Adams, who will reveal what it’s like to perform in an opera.
Another special event will be a class trip to Lincoln Theater on Saturday afternoon, October 22nd, for a Met HD performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, starring Simon Keenlyside. (Students are responsible for purchasing their own tickets.)
“Homework” will consist of viewing on-line YouTube videos whose links will be provided by e-mail. If opera is new to you come and discover what all the fuss is about. If you love opera, come and celebrate with us! Not sure? Come and be converted.
Instructors: Nate Randall has taught numerous courses for CSC on topics ranging from the music of Igor Stravinsky to Italian cookery. He holds degrees in music history from Tufts and Smith Colleges and Princeton University where he served as Artistic Director of Princeton University Concerts for almost thirty years.
At Porter Hall, Skidompha Library, Damariscotta (click here for directions)
Legal Issues in Science Fiction
8 Mondays, 10-12:30
Sept. 19-Nov. 14 (no class Oct. 10)
The course will be a seminar discussion of texts and films. For many years the instructor has taught and written about law and literature (see: B. Rockwood, Law and Literature Perspectives, NY: Peter Lang, 1996, for example) and in particular law in science fiction. Legal issues from genetic engineering to the legal justification for using the atomic bomb to climate change or identifying with the “other” (alien, immigrant, or different persons) to genocide are usefully explored through a critical reading of SF stories, novels, and films. The course will expect some familiarity with the genre, and instructor asks that students read Kim Stanley Robinson’s Forty Signs of Rain (or the revised version in KSR’s Green Earth), The Lucky Strike, plus, and Greg Bear’s Darwin’s Radio, all available in libraries, inexpensive paperbacks or on Kindle. Other suggestions from class are welcomed and other texts could be considered (e.g. Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War or Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game). Class Limit 16.
Additional note from Bruce Rockwood: I just got my September, 2016 issue of Scientific American in the mail this week. It is a special issue focused on “The Future in 9 Big Questions”, with the 9th essay being by Kim Stanley Robinson, a SF author I am using in my class. Good issue and I’d like to recommend it to any one thinking about taking my course. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/20-big-questions-about-the-future-of-humanity/
Instructor Bruce Rockwood, Professor Emeritus, Bloomsburg University (PA), Swarthmore History Honors, University of Chicago Law School JD is Past Vice President and current member of Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) with many publications in the field of law and science fiction. Bruce is a member of the American Bar Association and American Society of International Law, and has previously taught Environmental Law and Ethics for CSC.
At Midcoast Friends Meeting House, Belvedere Rd, Damariscotta (click here for directions)
Man’s Quest for God: Exploring Jewish Prayer
5 Thursdays, 12-2
Oct. 20-Nov. 17
While the origins of Jewish prayer are found in the Hebrew Bible, today’s prayer book took shape after the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE. We will examine how the sages of the Talmud gradually crafted a liturgy of praise, petition and yearning; discuss its underlying theology; and explore fundamental questions such as whether a non-believer can pray. We will also listen to the recordings of Ashkenazic cantorial music, North African religious poetry, Sephardic chants and Hassidic “soul-songs”, and consider how neo-Hassidic rabbis and folk singers are influencing Jewish liturgy today. Class Limit 50.
Instructor Steve Shaw is a graduate of the University of Michigan where he studied both philosophy and forestry. He holds a rabbinical degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where, for many years, he served as Director of the Seminary’s Department of Community Education. Most recently, he worked as a philanthropic consultant, dealing with Israel’s Bedouin Arab community in the Negev. Steve now makes his home in Waldoboro, Maine.
At Picker Room, Camden Library (click here for directions)
Joyce’s Dubliners: A Seminar
6 Tuesdays, 1:30-3:30
Sept. 27-Nov. 1
In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rebellion and the publication of Joyce’s Portrait, this course will be run as a seminar with student discussion encouraged. We will examine in detail selections from the work as individual, self-contained short stories, and compare them with other stories and with the collection as a whole. Our focus will be on Joyce’s view of the Irish and on his developing style and thematic content. Joyce’s masterpiece ends the collection and we will view the film of “The Dead” directed by John Huston (1987) as a visualization of Joyce’s world. The instructor recommends the Norton Critical Edition of Dubliners edited by M. Norris, but full texts may be found on line. No knowledge of Irish is required. Class Limit 15.
Instructor Harold Schramm moved to Bremen from Connecticut where he was a professor of English and Legal Studies at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury for some 40 years. He has a doctorate in English Literature from the University of Delaware with a concentration in Renaissance literature, and a law degree from the University of Connecticut. He has taught Shakespeare, medieval and renaissance literature, and constitutional law, as well as Dante and Donne, who are his especial favorites.
At the Media Room, Lincoln Home, Newcastle (click here for directions)
Conversations on a Dead End Road
6 Wednesdays, 1:30-3:30
Sept. 21-Oct. 26
This will be a six week group lightly conversing on subjects such as these: the living ponder exit strategies; a drug is a drug of course of course; all myths are not created equal; a New Whig considers freedom; what caused death; a veteran’s view of combat; addicts muse about addiction; it really is all natural – thoughts on the trans. Spectrum; a scientist compresses evolution. In order to stimulate conversation short (five to ten minute) dialogs will be offered to the class to be read by class members. Class Limit 20.
Instructor Bob Smith has a BSIE from University of Bridgeport, a MA in Human Development Education from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Union Graduate School. He has taught at the University of Bridgeport, Fairleigh Dickinson, Rutgers, and University of California San Diego.
At Schooner Cove, Damariscotta (click here for directions)
Stories of the Sea
6 Tuesdays, 9:30-11:30
Sept. 27-Nov. 1
Maritime historian and author Renny Stackpole will guide discussions about the prose, poetry, and songs of the sea. What is it in our favorite sea stories that reflect our own past, born of the sea? The class will discuss the lives and works of writers like Dana, Melville, Conrad, Riesenburg, Morison, and Colcord; also the poetry of Coleridge, Longfellow, Masefield, Poe, and C. Fox Smith. Students will be encouraged to share the work of their favorite writers and poets. We will also discuss how our New England heritage shaped much of our history and language. Instructor strongly recommends The Oxford Book of Sea Stories by Tony Tanner, 2002. Class Limit 10.
Instructor Renny Stackpole is a Maine historian who was Director of the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport for 13 years, after overseeing the restoration of the Arctic Schooner Bowdoin as Executive Director. Prior to moving to his ancestral home of Thomaston in 1985, he was Curator of Museums for the Nantucket Historical Association on his birthplace island. In his early career he taught history and naval science at New England prep schools Tabor Academy and Moses Brown. He has been a popular instructor for CSC in the past.
At the Library in Bartlett Woods, Rockland (click here for directions)
Understanding the Quest for the Historical Jesus
6 Mondays, 10-12
Sept. 26-Nov. 7 (no class Oct. 10)
What can we know about Jesus? The usual form the answer to this question takes is referred to as the “quest for the historical Jesus”. The quest started in the Enlightenment, when scholars began to use the tools of historical criticism to understand the gospels. The goal of the “first quest” was to “free” our understanding of Jesus from the interpretation of him in Christian doctrine. This quest came to an end in the early 20th century with Albert Schweitzer’s famous book, “The Quest of the Historical Jesus”, which argued that what investigators found mirrored the presuppositions with which they started, rather than being accurate portrayals of the historical figure. The “second quest” was started after WWII by Ernst Kasemann who sought to show the relation between the “historical Jesus” and the “Christ of Faith” proclaimed by the church. The “third quest” is more diverse; some (like E.P. Sanders) have emphasized the Jewish background of Jesus; the “Jesus seminar” seems to fall into the trap of the first quest; the most careful work has been done by John Meier, whose study so far is incomplete after five volumes of A Marginal Jew! Class Limit 15.
Instructor Byron Stuhlman is a familiar figure to CSC students. A retired Episcopal minister with a doctorate in theology and the author of six books, he has served on the faculty of Hamilton College and the General Theological Seminary. Prior to moving to Maine, he taught a variety of classes at the Mohawk Valley Institute for Learning in Retirement (Utica, NY). For the past 3 years Byron has served CSC as Curriculum Committee Chair, and as Board President, as well as an instructor.
At Chase Point, Miles Health Campus, Damariscotta (click here for directions)
Making Monsters, Breaking Rules
8 Thursdays, 10-12
Sept. 22-Nov. 10
Looking ahead to the fall of 2016, America may be wondering if there will be any rules left unbroken before Christmas. Monsters of ambition, ignorance, malice, unkindness and misbehavior seem to be tearing apart the fabric of our social and political contracts. Editorials and cartoons depict nightmarish scenes; Munch’s “Scream” is a go-to image. Students of literature will recognize that imagery and literary conventions of the Gothic are being used to describe our world.
Mary Shelley and Charles Dickens famously describe threats to British ethical and social norms, making monsters who challenge what was thought right, proper and expected. Anticipating their own culture’s version of political correctness, these authors used the tools of the Gothic as a kind of “get out of jail card,” empowering them to explore challenges and threats to social order without having to be “realistic.” We want to read Great Expectations and Frankenstein to gauge their relevance to our own anxious times.
For the first class read Volume 1 of Frankenstein. If your text is not divided by volumes, read through the chapter which ends with “the first hapless victims to my unhallowed arts.” How’s that for a cliffhanger? Class limit: 25.
Instructors: John Ward has been professor and chair of Kenyon College (Gambier, OH) English Department and has served as Dean of Centre College (Danville, KY). He earned his B.A. from Amherst College and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and has taught courses in 18th and 19h century British literature and the history of the British novel. He has published on 18th and 19h century British works as well as those of Vachel Lindsay and Robert Lowell. Maryanne Ward is retired after a 40 year career in small college education. She chaired Kenyon College Humanities program and served as Academic Dean until moving to Centre College to become Professor of English and Chair of the Humanities Program. Her area of special interest and scholarship is 19th century British literature. Among other topics, her publications have examined the relationship between literature, landscape and painting. As a Master Gardener and critic, she has written about Jane Austen’s interest in landscape gardening. The Wards have taught for Augusta Senior College as well as for Coastal Senior College.
At the Media Room at Lincoln Home, Newcastle (click here for directions)
Immortals We Are!
4 Tuesdays, 10-12
Oct. 18–Nov. 8
There will be four lectures with power point presentations on the varied impact of Greek and Roman mythology. The subjects will be its influence on ancient art, theater and literature and how these myths inspired later creations up until the 21st century. Examples will embrace the visual arts, music (especially opera), ballet and literature. Students do not need to attend all classes in order to understand a particular lecture. There will be a sequel in the spring of 2017 entitled Immortals we are! II
Instructor Rolf Winkes is Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology, History of Art and Architecture and Old World Archaeology and Art at Brown University. He retired eight years ago to Damariscotta. At Brown he created a number of international exchange programs and became the co-founder of what is now the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World. He excavated 12 summers on the Greek island of Corfu and afterwards at the site of Tongobriga, a National Monument in Northern Portugal. In the past he has taught several well-received courses for CSC.
At Porter Hall, Skidompha Library, Damariscotta (click here for directions)