LEWISTON — The Senior College program at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College will offer 14 courses for the fall semester, Sept. 21 through Nov. 19.

Now in its 11th year, the coming semester includes such subjects as contemporary Canadian fiction, a review of the works of Stephen King, Verdi’s operas, the founding of the American republic, the Civil War, England’s Elizabethan Age and Martin Luther’s Reformation.

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 and to other 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 L-A College, 51 Westminster St., except for the “American Ideals” and “Ancient Rome” courses as noted.

The fall semester courses are as follows:

“Her Father’s Daughter”: The course continues the series on English history and culture, focusing on the Elizabethan Age and the English Renaissance. Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Mondays, Sept. 21 to Nov. 16. Instructor Barbara Randall is a retired English literature teacher from Edward Little High School, a former dean at Bates College and a frequent presenter at Senior College.

“The Science of Horticulture”: Originally presented in the fall 2008 semester, and expanded in the spring 2009 landscaping course, the course will return to the science of plant husbandry by addressing taxonomy, soils, pruning, transplanting and morphology. Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Tuesdays, Sept. 22 to Nov. 10. Instructor Dr. Edward Corbett earned degrees in horticulture and in plant physiology at UMO and a PhD in plant breeding at UNH. He has taught plant science at UConn for more than 30 years.

“Luther: Gospel, Law and Reformation”: The course will confront such questions as how Martin Luther launched the Protestant Reformation which arguably created the modern world, and what was so different in Luther’s theology compared to that of the Roman Catholic Church.

Classes are scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. for seven Tuesdays, Sept. 22 to Nov. 10. Instructor and course leader Alan Elze will facilitate a DVD course presented by nationally known scholars.

“Special Destinations”: The course returns with a series of day trips to provide learning about the region by visiting historical sites, museums, public gardens and places of business. Specific locations will be determined prior to semester start.

Trips are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for six Tuesdays, Sept. 22 to Oct. 27. Members will provide their own transportation from L-A College, with any admission fees covered by the course fee. Tour guide Dot Rupert is a retired Lewiston teacher and a seasoned trip leader for Senior College. She is a past member of the board of directors.

“American Ideals: The Founding of a Republic of Virtue”: The course will have as its focus the conditions that led to the fateful break with England, the principles that guided the founding of our nation and the attempt to design institutions to fulfill the founders’ ideals.

The course will be held at Schooner Estates from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Tuesdays, Sept. 22 to Oct. 27. Enrollment for Schooner residents will begin on Monday, Aug. 24, and for the general public on Monday, Aug. 31. Instructor Charles Plummer is a frequent presenter for Senior College programs at USM LAC and the Midcoast Senior College, and is a retired educator and administrator with 30 years in the Auburn school system.

“Stephen King: His Popularity vs. Our Fears”: Maine native Stephen King is one of the most popular American authors of horror fiction. The class will read and discuss one of his novels and three or more of his short stories to see why he is so widely read.

Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Wednesdays, Sept. 23 to Nov. 18. Instructor Ila Green majored in English at UMO and has a master’s degree in school counseling from USM-Gorham. She has taught English and reading for 30 years.

“Writers’ Workshop”: The workshop course will be the place to bring writing – fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose, concepts or finished work – for constructive comments by class members. Some participants may want to work toward publication, others may want to hear responses to ideas. All writers are welcome.

Classes are scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. for six Wednesdays, Sept. 23 to Oct. 28. Instructor Sarah Andersen Lawrence has worked as a teacher and as a journalist in corporate communications. She earned a bachelor of arts from Lawrence College and an master of arts from the University of Minnesota.

“The Civil War: A Different Perspective”: The course will cover the economic, political and social forces that led to, shaped and prolonged the American Civil War. From Lincoln’s election to Reconstruction, the forces influenced the roles played by the courts, newspapers, government officials and ordinary citizens.

Classes are scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. for eight Wednesdays, Sept. 23 to Nov. 18. Instructor Robert Gilbert is a retired educator and administrator with the Auburn school system. He received a bachelor of arts from Bates College and an master of education from UMO. He has taught a chronological series of American history courses at Senior College.

“Verdi, His Life and Work: A Video Presentation”: The course presents a video biography of the composer containing many opera excerpts and followed by complete video operas from different periods of Verdi’s life. Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Thursdays, Sept. 24 to Nov. 19. Instructor John Serrage is a retired physician, professional church organist, opera lover and lecturer. The course is the latest of his series of opera presentations at Senior College.

“Digital Cameras”: The course will describe the many capabilities of digital photography, the range of costs and the specifications of the camera models available. Recent digital innovations will also be discussed. This is an interactive class – bring your camera and your questions.

Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for four Thursdays, Sept. 24 to Oct. 22. Instructor Alan Elze has more than 30 years of experience with 35mm cameras. He moved to digital five years ago and discovered a whole new world of photography. Elze is a member of the board of directors.

“Ancient Rome and Sicily”: The course will visit ancient sites of Rome and Sicily utilizing film slides. Special attention will be given to St. Peter’s and other major churches in Rome, along with the Vatican Museum, the Forum, Coliseum, historic fountains and other notable sites. Shifting the focus to the island of Sicily, the course will examine its history and visit the Greek ruins, the Roman villa in Piazza Armeni, and sites in Palermo, Siracusa and Catania.

The course will be held at Schooner Estates from 1 to 3 p.m. for seven Thursdays, Oct. 8 to Nov. 12. Enrollment for Schooner residents will begin on Monday, Aug. 24 and for the general public on Monday, Aug. 31. Instructor Alan Elze has taught a variety of courses over the past several years at Senior College. He is retired from the U.S. Navy and traveled extensively, coordinating educational tours for crew members.

“Writing Our Stories”: Join the writing group and share memories and life experiences in writing short stories and poems. No previous writing experience is required. Grammar will not be corrected unless requested and class comments will be optional. Course is limited to 15 participants.

Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Fridays, Sept. 25 to Nov. 13. Instructor Anita Greenblatt, a lifelong learner and Andover College graduate, has been an adult education instructor in Auburn for several years.

“Instruction to Computing”: The basic computing course will cover uses of e-mail, Internet research and writing using Microsoft Word.

Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Fridays, Sept. 25 to Nov. 13. Instructor Nancy Whitehouse has a master of business administration from Western New England College and an master of arts from UConn. She is the curriculum technology coordinator at USM LAC and has taught computer courses to all age groups since 1985.

“Contemporary Fiction North of the Border”: Class members will read and discuss three contemporary Canadian works of fiction, Margaret Atwood’s “Dancing Girls and Other Stories,” 1977; Robertson Davies’ “The Cunning Man,” 1994; and Alice Munro’s “Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage,” 2001.

Classes are scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. for eight Fridays, Sept. 25 to Nov. 13. Instructor Lincoln Ladd is a retired educator who has taught at North Carolina University and UNC Greensboro, and the University of Maine at Farmington and Augusta. He has presented several literature courses at Senior College and is a member of the board of directors.

Course registration is by mail only. Forms are available at the Senior College office, 51 Westminster St. and can be also 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 www.usm.maine.edu/lac/seniorcollege.


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