Winter 2017

Registration begins December 20, 2016
First session is January 24, 2017

The Challenge of Change: A Community of Conversation

Continuing on 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, 10-12

change“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,, 207 380-7716, or Jon Olsen,, 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 Hawaii.  There he became active in protests against the Vietnam War and the draft.  He joined the Green Party, both in Hawaii, 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)

CSC Coffee House: A Discussion Group

Continuing on Tuesdays  9:30-11:30

coffee-cup-imagesSince 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)

Writers’ Group

Continuing on Fourth Mondays, 9:30 -12

writing-1Have 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 or call her at 596-7562. Class 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)

Form in Nature and Design

6 Tuesdays, 1:00-3:00
February 7-March 21 (no class Feb.21)

incised-meanderThe natural world is not a random clutter or an accident. To the discerning eye all things appear as inventions and variations from a finite number of basic patterns. The beautiful spiral nebulae, the eddies in a stream and the nautilus shell share a common theme. So too do meanders, radiations, branching, as well as linear and circular systems. But why do these archetypal patterns occur? This course investigates the interactions of matter and energies in three-dimensional space as the underlying origin for these primary natural forms. If then, our material culture – what we make and what we build – are also compositions of materials and energies in space, perhaps these archetypal patterns also form the foundations for what we call harmony and beauty in built form as it does in nature. Class Limit: 40

Arnold J. Aho, A.I.A. has taught architecture and basic design for more than forty years at North Carolina State U., Mississippi State U., and Norwich U., where he started the new Architecture Program and served as its first Director. He was educated at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied under Louis I. Kahn. He has many publications on materials and energies in design, vernacular (folk) architecture, and the relationship between natural and built environments. In addition to numerous design awards he has received distinguished teaching recognition, including the Burlington Northern Outstanding Teacher Award (MSU) and the Dana Distinguished Professor (Norwich).

At Porter Auditorium Skidompha Library, Damariscotta (click here for directions)

Art + Soul

6 Tuesdays, 10 – noon
January 24-February 28

Yingana (Creation Goddess), Gunbalanya Rock Shelter, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory

Yingana (Creation Goddess), Gunbalanya Rock Shelter, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory

For thirty years indigenous Australian artists have been captivating viewers around the world with works of astonishing energy, power and beauty. Inheritors of the oldest continuing cultural traditions on our planet, indigenous Australians have created one of the most dynamic movements in contemporary art.

In this course we will view and discuss Art+Soul, a six part television series that captures the remarkable energy and diversity of contemporary indigenous Australian art. In the series we join curator Hetti Perkins as she travels across the vast continent of Australia to the homes and homelands of artists working in a wide variety of ways. With engaging skill, Perkins takes us on a personal journey into the world of imagination, experience and belief that fuel this extraordinary art. Those who wish to stay and continue the discussion until 12:30 pm. are invited to bring a brown bag lunch.

Instructor Lucie Bauer has taught art history at Dartmouth College, Rockport College, and the Maine State Prison. A former member of the CSC board and curriculum committee, she has taught many senior college courses. Lucie was educated at Vassar and the Institute of Fine Art at New York University and has held fellowships to the Warburg Institute at the University of London and to Villa I Tatti, Harvard’s Center for Renaissance Studies in Settignano, Italy. Annual visits to Australia and New Zealand in recent years have inspired her deep respect for indigenous art. Lucie is currently President of the Board of Out Maine, an organization supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in rural Maine.

At First Universalist Church, Rockland (click here for directions)

Robert Lowell’s Poetry: Troubled, Troubling and Troublesome but Still Great

4 Thursdays, 10 – Noon
February 9-March 2

Through Lowell’s dizzying psychological dramas and fits of despair, Bishop remained a steadfast but unsparing correspondent.

Through Lowell’s dizzying psychological dramas and fits of despair, Bishop remained a steadfast but unsparing correspondent.

Re-reading Lowell today, I found myself wondering why so many insightful critics in the 1960s were inclined to call him “the greatest American poet of the mid-century” or “’the’ American poet”. Then I returned to read Life Studies (1959) and For the Union Dead more carefully. And yes, those volumes merit our respect. Even when he is in the throes of a manic depressive episode, Lowell writes autobiographical poems that reach us. Many of these poems are set in New England, several in Maine. We will concentrate on these two volumes, but look at several others as well. There is a Noonday paperback combining the two volumes available used from Amazon. Class limit: 20

Instructor 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 19th century British literature and the history of the British novel. He has published on 18th and 19th century British works as well as those of Vachel Lindsay and Robert Lowell. John has taught for both Augusta and Coastal Senior colleges.

At the Media Room, Lincoln Home, Newcastle (click here for directions)

The Brontes: “Is This the Same Book I Read When I was Young?”

6 Thursdays, 1:30-3:30
February 9 – March 16

wuthering-heights-wuthering-heights-10128534-800-600This is what a CSC participant said when she finished Jane Eyre the last time I did the Brontes; it seemed absolutely new to her. How will you feel about Jane, Rochester, Cathy and Heathcliff now that you are a mature adult? Read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights again and discover two not very romantic but well-crafted Victorian cautionary tales using Gothic conventions. Sex, madness, the moors and a couple of “ghosts”; just what you need to keep warm on a winter night. Please read the first ten chapters of Jane Eyre for the first class. Class limit: 20

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. Maryanne has taught for both Augusta and Coastal senior colleges.

At the Schooner Cove Library, Miles Hospital Campus (click here for directions)

Tales Told With a Brush: The Venetian Painters of the Renaissance

4 Mondays,10:15-12:15
February 6-March 6 (no class Feb. 20)veronese-colorato

During the Renaissance the masters of the Venetian School had a very different approach to painting than their colleagues in Florence: oil vs. fresco; canvas vs. stucco; geometric vs. aerial perspective and most importantly, disegno vs. colorito. The privileged location of Venice gave them access to exotic pigments from the East and new technologies from Northern Europe. The Venetian artists told amazing tales writing with their brushes on canvases. Within their canvases we find whole chapters taken from the works of ancient writers as well as popular legends and myths. These pictorial masterpieces often have hidden meanings that, when unraveled, open for us a whole new understanding of their art. Looking at those paintings with fresh eyes is like setting off on a cruise along the Adriatic Sea on a voyage of discovery – endlessly fascinating and deeply rewarding. When their tales are told and we learn what the painting is about we gain in awareness and heighten our pleasure. Class Limit: 30

Instructor Antoinette Pimentel  has a degree in biochemistry, but grew up among pigments, easels and brushes, since her father was an artist, a printer and an engraver. Her travels made her turn to art as science requires a more sedentary life. She attended the Kunsternes Hus in Oslo, Norway, and the Volksuniversiteit in Amsterdam, Nederland. She has taught history of art and art appreciation for several years in a variety of settings.

At Bremen Library  (click here for directions)

Soviet Collapse:
How it Happened and its Meaning Today – the View of a Participant

6 Wednesdays, 10 – Noon
February 8-March 15


A piece of the Wall

When the USSR disappeared a quarter century ago, it came as a surprise to many. None of the usual causes of imperial downfall – foreign invasion, military defeat, famine, pestilence, or the like – applied.  This course, repeated from last winter, will look at the events over the final twenty years of the USSR to examine what caused the collapse. The perspective of the course will be that of the participants on both sides.  At its end the course will address the contemporary relevance of the Soviet collapse for events in Putin’s Russia. Class limit: 20.

Instructor Louis Sell has had a twenty-eight year career in the US Foreign Service, dealing in various aspects of US-Soviet relations, including six years at the US Embassy in Moscow. He was present and witnessed the collapse of the USSR and its aftermath.  His book on the subject, From Washington to Moscow: US-Soviet Relations and the Collapse of the USSR, was published this August by Duke University Press.   He has also written Slobodan Milosevic and the Destruction of Yugoslavia.  He is one of the founders of the American University in Kosovo and teaches at U. Maine at Farmington.  Louis speaks Russian and Serbo-Croatian.

At University College at Rockland  (click here for directions)

Exploring the Parables of Jesus

6 Tuesdays, 10 – Noon
February 7-March 14

parables-christensenC.H. Dodd and Joachim Jeremias, in the mid-twentieth century, did major work on recovering the original meaning of the parables of Jesus, enabling us to recover what Jeremias called the ipsissima vox, “the authentic voice,” of Jesus. The course will focus on the interpretation of the parables by Jeremias, recognizing at the same time some of the limitations of that interpretation. Students are strongly encouraged to purchase Jeremias’ book, Rediscovering the Parables  (London: SCM Press, 1993, ISBN 978-0-334-01377-8), which will be the principal text for the course. 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). Byron has served CSC as Curriculum Committee Chair, and Board President, as well as an instructor.

At Chase Point, Miles Health Campus, Damariscotta  (click here for directions)

Immortals We Are! II

4 Tuesdays, 10-Noon
January 31-February 28 (no class Feb. 21)

There will be four lectures with PowerPoint presentations on Greek and Roman mythology. The impact of these myths on ancient art, theater and literature will be investigated, but just as much also the impact on later periods in history up to the 21st century. Examples will embrace the visual arts, music (especially opera), ballet and literature. One does not need to attend each class in order to understand a particular lecture. This course is a sequel to the “Immortals we are I” that was offered in the fall.

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 five 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  Tongobriga, a National Monument in Northern Portugal. In the past he has taught several well-received courses for CSC.

At Porter Auditorium, Skidompha Library, Damariscotta (click here for directions)