Senior College announces spring semester offerings


LEWISTON – The Senior College program at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College will offer 11 courses for the spring semester, March 22 through May 14.

Now in its 11th year, the program’s upcoming semester will include such diverse subjects as the history of Hitler and Nazi Germany, homeopathic medicine, the works of Mark Twain, the American Indian wars, practical geometry and Spanish language.

Open to all persons age 50 or older and their spouses, the courses will be presented by peers, with no entrance requirements, grades or tests. An annual membership fee of $25, valid from September through May, is required and provides access to the computer lab and library, newsletters, special winter courses and to Senior College courses at other USM campuses.

The course fees, which include the cost of most books and materials, are $25 each for the first two courses and $10 for each additional course. All classes will be held at the L-A College, 51 Westminster St., except for the Hitler and Nazi Germany course as noted.

The spring semester courses are as follows:

A Little Useful Geometry: Bringing the mathematics of geometry into practical focus, the course will highlight the usage of triangles and circles in the familiar world, including global positioning system aid to enjoying both Mt. Katahdin and the Androscoggin River for hiking and boating. Hands-on opportunities will be provided.

Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Mondays, March 22 to April 26. Instructor Bruce LePage is a retired Auburn teacher with 35 years experience in high school and adult education.

Understanding and Using Homeopathic Medicine: Class attendees will learn the history, philosophy, laws and mechanism of homeopathy; how to gather information from the patient; available natural remedies and their prescription.

Classes are scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. Mondays, March 22 to April 26. Instructor Stephen Kottler, HMC, practices updated homeopathy from his Lewiston office. His credentials include degrees from Johns Hopkins and Harvard and specialized study at Teleosis and at Luminos, where he earned his master clinician certification after studying with Louis Klein.

The Indian Wars: The course will examine the relationship of European settlers, and their descendants, with Native Americans who were here when the Europeans first arrived in the 16th century. Causes of conflict and their results as American history has been written will be discussed.

Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, March 23 to May 11. Instructor Alan Elze will facilitate the course using multimedia in his presentation. He has an MA in American history from the University of Rhode Island and has taught several courses in Senior College where he is a member of the board of directors.

Survival Spanish: Introduction to Past Tenses: A continuation of earlier courses, previously learned grammar will be reviewed in a new context of past tenses. Attendees will advance their language skills by more listening, speaking and singing.

Classes are scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, March 23 to May 11. Instructor Barbara Oliver, a non-native “survival” Spanish speaker, will use her teaching methodology to guide students into the Berlitz self-study course. She has a BA from William and Mary College and an MA from Middlebury College.

Special Destinations: Once again Senior College will provide an opportunity to continue learning about the region by visiting historical sites, museums, public gardens and places of business. Each week the class will travel to a different destination. Members will often gather at a nearby restaurant before heading back to the campus. All entrance fees are met by Senior College; however, lunch and travel are the responsibility of the participants.

Trips are scheduled from 9 a.m. to approximately 2 p.m. Tuesdays, March 23 to April 20. Tour guide Dot Rupert is a retired elementary teacher with many interests. She is a seasoned tour director with a loyal following, and is a past member of the Senior College board.

Watercolor Painting: The course, meant for beginners, will provide an introduction to watercolor painting.

Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays, March 24 to May 12. Instructor Marjorie DiRenzo has a BA degree from Macalester College and has taught watercolor at Lewiston Adult Education for 10 years.

Advanced Readers’ Theatre: In the popular course offering, students will explore character development and play directing. Experience in readers’ theatre either at Senior College or some other venue is a requirement.

Classes are scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays, March 24 to May 12. Instructor Hugh Keene chaired the science department and taught drama at Edward Little High School for 28 years, producing more than 60 plays and musicals.

Mark Twain: The Man and His Work: The course will provide the interested student with a smorgasbord of impressions of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, the great American writer and humorist aka Mark Twain.

Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursdays, March 25 to April 29. Instructor June Spear taught for 37 years in the U.S. and abroad. She has a BA in education and a M.Ed in language arts. She has taught several Senior College courses and is a member of the board of directors.

Architect of Doom: A History of the Rise and Fall of Hitler’s Nazi Germany: The course traces the rise to power of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party. The study will be based on two questions: first, how could Hitler and the Nazis come to power in such a highly educated nation as Germany? Second, how were the Nazis able to establish their totalitarian regime in such a short time?

The course will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursdays, March 25 to May 13, at Schooner Estates in Auburn.

Instructor Charles Plummer holds degrees in education, administration and supervision. He is a frequent Senior College instructor at both USM/L-A and Midcoast Senior College programs, and is a member of the board of directors.

Horticultural Problems and Solutions: The course is a continuation of previous horticultural courses and will focus on the problems caused by insects, weeds and diseases, and the controls that may be employed to solve those problems.

Classes are scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursdays, March 25 to May 13. Instructor Edward Corbett earned degrees in horticulture and in plant physiology at the University of Maine at Orono and a Ph.D in plant breeding at the University of New Hampshire. He has taught plant science at the University of Connecticut for more than 30 years.

Writing Our Stories: A popular offering, the course can help to discover how much fun a writing group can be by providing the needed boost to start writing again, whether the interest is in memoir writing or journaling, although no previous writing experience is required.

Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Fridays, March 26 to May 14. Instructor Anita Greenblatt is a graduate of Andover College and is a life-long learner. She has been an instructor for the Auburn Adult Education program for several years.

Course registration is by mail only. Forms are available at the Senior College office, 51 Westminster St., and can also be downloaded from the Web site. Senior College is an affiliate of the Elderhostel Institute Network and an initiative of the Osher Learning Institute at USM. For more information on courses and enrollment, call 753-6510 or visit