Registration begins March 6
First session is April 3
On-going groups are self-directed learning communities affiliated with CSC.
Participation is free – do not call URock to participate. To join, contact the listed facilitators.
Fourth Monday Writers’ Group This group is for people who love to write. This is not a writing class; we learn from each other by sharing our work and each other’s experience and skills. We are our own audience and critics. Group meets monthly at the Camden Library. If you are interested in joining, call Marilyn Muth, 596-7562 or email@example.com
Challenge of Change We provide a venue for community conversation to discuss economic, ecological, and cultural challenges facing our society. We seek better alternatives in a respectful and positive way. Participants share responsibility for topics, provide resources, and may invite guest speakers. We gather twice monthly at the Friends Meeting House in Damariscotta. Contact Jon Olsen, 549-7787 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Coffee House Discussion Group This group meets weekly at St. Bernard’s Church, Rockland to discuss topics suggested by the group, mainly but not limited to culture and politics. Our ground rules are that we practice civility and offer reasoned arguments and comments. Members contribute $2.00 each meeting for coffee and St. Bernard’s soup kitchen. Contact Bill Newman, 549-7534.
The Rise of Eastern Christian Churches and Their Fate Under Islam
8 Tuesdays, 10:00 – Noon
April 3 – May 22
Until well after 1000 CE there were more Christians outside of Europe (non-Roman Catholic and non-Orthodox Christians) than there were European Christians. We will look at how these churches came to be and why they were not in communion with the Roman Catholic or Orthodox Churches, and look at the ways of worship of all Eastern Churches, how they interacted with Muslims after the rise of Islam, and their fate today. Sessions 1. The Rise of the Eastern Christian Churches 2. The Worship of Eastern Churches: the Eucharist 3. The Worship of Eastern Churches: Baptism and Daily Worship 3. Muhammad and the Rise of Islam 4. African Churches after the Islamic Conquest 5. The Church of the East, the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Maronites, and the Armenian Church after the Islamic Conquest 6. The Eastern Orthodox Church after the Islamic Conquest 7. How Islam affected the teaching of Eastern Christian Churches 8. Christian Churches and Islam in the Twentieth Century and today. Class limit 20
Instructor Byron Stuhlman is a retired Episcopal minister with a doctorate in theology and the author of six books. He was a member of the faculty of Hamilton College and the General Theological Seminary. Prior to moving to Maine, he taught at the Mohawk Valley Institute for Learning in Retirement (Utica, NY). Byron has served as the chair of the CSC board and chair of its curriculum committee as well as teaching a good number of courses.
Sushi, Kabuki & Subaru: The Art and Geo-Politics of Japan
6 Tuesdays, 9:30 – 11:30
April 24 – May 29
As Americans, we have a long-held interest in and curiosity about Japan. The Japanese appear exotic and different from us, and yet, as this course will show, we share many beliefs and values. We will see Japan from two perspectives: its geo-political history with particular focus on our relationship with Japan during the last two centuries, and how Japanese values and beliefs are expressed in art, theater, literature, language, landscape, religion, and food. Most of the course material will be presented through a series of Smithsonian video presentations followed by class discussion. Class Limit 30
Instructor Paul P. Somoza has spent the majority of his career in health care administration and organization development, most recently as director of education at Maine General Medical Center. Paul did his undergraduate work at Fordham College with concentrations in philosophy, psychology, and theology, has a law degree from Fordham U., and a masters in health care administration from the U. of Pittsburg. He has a strong interest in Asian art, religion, and cultures.
Documentary Visions of Reality
6 Thursdays, 1:30 – 4:00
April 26 – June 7, No class May 17
Our world views are shaped by our genetics, our life experiences, and a proliferating media world which appears to be endlessly diverse. Yet the reality is that, increasingly, huge firms such as Apple, Google and Microsoft shape the global information infrastructure and the flow of information and ideas. For instance, the current PBS documentary, “The Vietnam War,” financed by corporations, tries to influence our collective memory of that war in such a way as to reaffirm conventional wisdom about the world and to support U.S. policies at home and abroad. And yet some scholars, authors and artists offer critiques of such thinking, articulating alternative visions of our past, present, and future. This course invites students to view the world through their eyes. (See, for instance, the 9/15/2017 essay by Jerry Lembcke, Burns and Novick, Masters of False Balancing. http://publicbooks.org/burns-and-novick-masters-of-false-balancing/ Class limit 20
Instructor William S. Solomon has researched, published, and taught about the mass media, particularly the news media, for many years, primarily as a tenured professor at Rutgers University. He also has taught at the University of California, at Berkeley, and the University of Illinois. (email@example.com)
The Topsy-Turvy World of Gilbert and Sullivan
8 Wednesdays, 10:00 – Noon
April 4 – May 23
The fourteen satirical operettas by W.S. Gilbert and A.S. Sullivan have delighted audiences for nearly 150 years. Join Nate Randall in an exploration of their origins, how they work as musical theatre, and why they are (and always will be) enduringly funny. As Nate has done in the past, “homework” assignments will consist of YouTube videos to watch before class. Class limit 60
Instructor Nathan A. Randall (“Nate”) has been a regular instructor for CSC since his retirement from Princeton University in 2010, offering a variety of courses ranging from the music of Igor Stravinsky to Italian cooking. Nate holds degrees in music history from Tufts, Smith, and Princeton. The son of a Savoyard, he has been fascinated by Gilbert and Sullivan since “he was a little boy of five” (Pirates).
The Art of Spain: Power, Religion and Politics
8 Thursdays 10:15 – 12:15
April 5 – May 24
Let the passion of Spanish art ignite your spirit. Share in the powerful emotions and deep appreciation of beauty that characterize the Spanish artists. Discover the pictorial tradition of this mystifying and contradictory culture, simultaneously kindhearted and cruel; pious and irreverent. Stroll through centuries of artistic production reviewing a selection of works by the best Spanish ‘maestros’ of different time periods. Discuss some masterpieces and their imaginative creators within their own contextual environment; compare, analyze and dissect paintings, techniques and styles; uncover some of the secrets behind the paintings and possibly in the artists’ lives as well. El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán and Murillo guide us through the fantastic evolution of the baroque period. Then come Goya and Velázquez who paved the way to modern art; the impressionist Sorolla, master of light. Picasso unveils his own turbulent artistic and personal life populated by women, doves, and bull fighters during a challenging period of social, artistic, and political turmoil; and to wrap it up Dalí, a talented and eccentric genius of marketing, followed by the lesser known, highly talented Miró, and Varo. Class limit 15
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.
Courage, Magic, and Trickery in Medieval Welsh Tales
8 Fridays, 1:00 – 3:00
April 6 – May 25
In this course we will explore the rich mythic literature found in medieval Welsh tales. A major source for our study is Pedair Cainc y Mabinogi together with fragments of magical pseudo-history, the legend of Taliesin, and early Welsh versions of the Arthurian tales. The four branches of the Mabinogion are loosely linked and introduce powerful characters and difficult choices while combining mythological themes and archetypes with an almost fairy tale rhythm. The other tales have their own distinctive styles and tone as well. We will also read some samples of both medieval and modern Welsh poetry especially poems reflecting on the world of the tales. I strongly recommend that you purchase The Mabinogion, translated by Jeffrey Gantz, Penguin Classic ed. Read Pwyll Lord of Dyved for the first class. Class Limit 20
Instructor Ann Nesslage is a graduate of Vassar with a master’s degree in British literature from Bryn Mawr. 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 early 1970’s and moved there full time in 2008. She is an active gardener and avid reader and enjoys writing.
6 Thursdays, 10:00 – Noon
April 5 – May 10
Central to any consideration of the history of painting is the question of what constitutes a good painting. Such a question is ultimately grounded in the culture and values of each era as well as the vision of the artist. In this course, we will use some of the high points of painting to address the broader questions of art history, including whether we can articulate criteria which address the issue of quality with some degree of objectivity. We will learn to read more clearly the language with which diverse artists address us, allowing us to see and feel more deeply the value of works of art. Class limit 25
Instructor Winslow Myers grew up in Walpole, earned degrees from Princeton, Boston University, and Queens College, and taught at the Bancroft School, the Rhode Island School of Design, Assumption College, the Brooklyn Museum Art School, and the School of the Worcester Art Museum. As an artist, Winslow has had solo exhibitions at Yvette Torres Fine Arts, Round Top Center for the Arts, and Vermont Studio School among others. Winslow has his studio and lives in Bristol with his partner, Patti Bradley, also an artist. His daughter Anna teaches at Lincoln Academy.
How to Cut & Prune Your Writing
6 Wednesdays, 3:00 – 5:00
April 25 – June 6, No class May 16
According to Nancy Thayer, “It’s never too late . . . in life or in fiction . . . to revise.” Given honest and constructive feedback, students will learn to “cut and prune” stories as they organize a kaleidoscope of random recollections. Memoir writings and supportive ways to deliver and receive constructive criticism will be discussed. Each participant will bring a completed story to class. The group will respond to the story, discussing memorable “hot spots” as well as places that could be stronger, funnier or more real. No prior writing experience is necessary, just the desire to strengthen the impact of your writing. Class limit 10
Instructor Caroline Davis Janover is an award-winning author of four novels and a play for children and young adults. A winner 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 has lectured nationally on the creative strengths and academic challenges of children who grow up with learning and attentional differences. She is currently working (slowly) on a memoir.
8 Wednesdays, 1:30 – 4:00
April 4 – May 23
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 coffee/tea break to build rapport through informal conversations. Each week you will be encouraged to write two pages on a specific theme at home; 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 an educator and a librarian in public and private schools, from pre-school through college, and also in the Federal Government. She has a BA from Queens College, NY and an MLS from the University of Maryland. An avid gardener, she also coordinates the Thomaston library book discussion group and participates in the knitting group. Spending time with their children and 6 grandchildren is a particular joy for Alice and her husband. She also delights in attending and teaching CSC courses!