Senior College offers new spring courses


LEWISTON — The Senior College program at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College will present 20 courses in the spring semester, March 24 through May 16.

Now in its 16th year, the upcoming semester will feature both new and continuation courses, ranging from legal issues for seniors, Spanish and French language studies, current economic policy issues, drawing basics, Canadian landscape painters, the U.S. space program, the history of Maine’s early female physicians and a retrospective of James Stewart films, as well as others described below.

Open to all people age 50 and older and their spouses, the courses will be presented by peers, with no entrance requirements, grades or tests. An annual Senior College membership fee of $25, valid from Sept. 1, 2013 through Aug. 31, 2014, is required and provides access to the computer lab and library 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 then $10 for each additional course. All classes are held during the day at L-A College, 51 Westminster St., except as noted below.

The Spring 2014 semester course offerings are as follows:

“Drawing Basics”: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Mondays, March 24 to May 12. Instructor Helen “Joie” Crockett will provide techniques for beginners or for the refreshing of prior skills.


“Fables Do Come True”: 9 to 11:30 a.m. for seven Mondays, March 17 to May 5. Instructor Mark Silber. Ph.D. This course will show how fables define “national character” as they are analyzed for structure, theme and other influences. Films will be used in the presentations.

“Henry David Thoreau’s Maine Adventures”: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Mondays, March 24 to April 28. This course is Part II of Thoreau’s life. Instructor June Spear is a retired educator and a past member of the Senior College Board.

“ Maine Female Physicians”: 1 to 3 p.m. for five Mondays, March 24 to April 21. This course explores the culture, lives and careers of Maine’s earliest female physicians (1850-1920) using biographical profiles. Instructor Annette Dorey is a former educator and Maine author and historian.

“Stories of the Civil War in Fiction and Film”: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Tuesdays, March 25 to April 29. This course will use historical fiction and popular films to look at experiences on and off the battlefields. Instructor David Bernier is a retired educator in local schools.

“Legal Issues for Seniors”: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Tuesdays, March 25 to April 29. Attorneys from the Isaacson & Raymond law firm will discuss many legal topics of interest to seniors.

“American History Myths”: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Tuesdays, March 25 to May 13, at Schooner Estates in Auburn. Instructor Charles W. Plummer, Ph.D. This course will examine many commonly held myths, misconceptions and half-truths about American history.

“Special Destinations”: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for six Tuesdays, March 25 to April 29. This popular group travel course provides visits to places of interest in our region. Instructor Dorothy Rupert is a retired teacher and past member of the Senior College Board.

“Current Economic Policy Issues”: 1 to 3 p.m. for six Tuesdays, March 25 to April 29. This course will provide discussion on economic issues prominent in the news today. Topics include debt and deficits, the Federal Reserve, economic growth, and globalization and trade. Instructor Alene Staley was a college business professor for 13 years.

“Sharing Memories”: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Wednesdays, March 26 to May 14. This course will provide interaction in the writing, reading and sharing of short poems and stories about the “growing up years.” Instructor Martha Stevens-David has taught and traveled extensively and has published her own book.

“The Group of Seven: Canada’s Landscape Painters”: 1 to 3 p.m. for six Wednesdays, March 26 to April 30. This art appreciation course will study the painting of landscapes by a group of Toronto-based artists from 1920. Instructor Michael Everett is an oil painter specializing in landscapes of remote northern locations.

“Great Decisions Discussions”: 1 to 3 p.m. for six Wednesdays, March 26 to April 30. Based on the Foreign Policy Association program, this course encourages debate and discussion of important global issues to reach informed opinions. Discussion leaders are Patricia Vampatella, chair of Senior College Board, and Marty Gagnon, adult services manager at the Auburn Public Library.

“Fairy Tales and Archetypes”: 1 to 3 p.m. for four Thursdays, March 27 to April 17. This interactive course will provide insight and fun in showing how our personal and impersonal worlds bring past and present together. Instructor Elizabeth Rodenz, Ph.D, has provided workshops and retreats for women for the past decade.

“Advanced Conversational French”: 9 to 11 a.m. for eight Thursdays, March 27 to May 15. Instructor Ann Anctil continues the course on conversational French for persons to improve their speaking abilities.

“That’s One Small Step for Man …”: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Thursdays, March 27 to May 22. This course will provide a non-technical look at the U.S. Space Program from inception through the Apollo Missions. Instructor Alan Elze has taught many courses at Senior College.

“Espanol: Practicando y Platicando”: 1 to 3 p.m. for eight Thursdays, March 27 to May 15. This is a continuation course and is at an advanced level using previous texts. Instructor Barbara Oliver has taught Foreign Language Methods at the College of William and Mary.

“Films of James Stewart: A Retrospective”: 1 to 3:30 p.m. for seven Thursdays, March 27 to May 8. This film program will screen a selection of the actor’s best films, from comedy to dark dramatic roles. Instructor Ralph Tuttle has presented an extensive series of film programs for Senior College.

“Learning to Paint with Acrylics – 2nd Session”: 10 a.m. to noon for six Fridays, March 28 to May 2. This course is a follow-up to the Fall 2013 session and those students will have priority. Not for beginners. Instructor Anita Poulin is a registered Maine graphic and fine art artist.

“Forests and Fields of Maine”: 1 to 3 p.m. for four Fridays, March 28 to April 18. Exploring Maine’s landscape and the processes that impact natural plant and animal communities. Instructor Pam Davis Green is a Maine naturalist with interests in botany and ecosystems.

“Religious Concepts in the 21st Century – Not Just for the Faithful”: 1 to 3 p.m. for eight Fridays, March 28 to May 16. This course will examine the role of traditional religion as it contends with societal changes. Open discussion will be encouraged. Instructor Rabbi Hillel Kitzir has taught several Senior College courses on religion and society.

Course registration is by mail only, with registration closing Friday, March 14. Registration forms are available at the Senior College office and can also be downloaded from the website. Some courses have limited enrollment and early registration is advised. For more information, call 753-6610 or online at