LEWISTON — The Senior College program at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College will offer 11 courses for the spring semester, March 21 through May 13.

Now in its twelfth year, the program’s upcoming semester includes such diverse subjects as the writings of Mark Twain, an introduction to Judaism, native wildflowers of Maine, a study of psychology and human behavior, introduction to musical theater, horticultural science, a writer’s workshop, observational drawing, play writing, special destination travel and a Spanish language course.

Open to all persons 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 September through May, is required and provides access to the computer lab and library, newsletters, 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 are held at L-A College at 51 Westminster St. except as noted.

The spring 2011 semester courses are as follows:

“Flora of Maine”: Susan Hayward will introduce students to the ecology of Maine native wildflowers and the effective use of a field guide to identify plants. Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for four Mondays, April 25 to May 16. Instructor Hayward is a naturalist and environmental educator and is coordinator of volunteer activity for the Thorncrag Nature Sanctuary.

“Let’s Have a Show”: Have fun while you learn how to write plays, skits and satires. No experience necessary, just an interest in theater. Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Mondays, March 21 to May 9. Instructor Hugh Keene is chairman of the Senior College board and has presented various courses in drama. He formerly taught drama at ELHS for 28 years, producing more than 60 plays and musicals.

“Psychology and Human Behavior”: A basic introduction to psychology, this course will cover behavioral disorders and therapies, learning, memory, perception and addiction while utilizing a multi-sensory approach to teaching and learning. This course will be held at Schooner Estates from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Tuesdays, March 22 to May 10. Instructor Charles W. Plummer is a long-time presenter for Senior College programs at USM LAC and the Midcoast Senior College, and is a retired educator and former administrator in the Auburn school system.

“Special Destinations”: This popular course provides an opportunity to continue learning about our region by visiting historical sites, museums, public gardens and places of business. Each week the class travels to a different destination. Members will often gather at a nearby restaurant before heading back to the college. 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 2 p.m. for six Tuesdays, March 22 to April 26. Travel guide Dot Rupert is a seasoned tour director for Senior College with a loyal following and is a past member of the Senior College Board.

“Musical Theater: A Reflection of American Society”: Paul G. Caron will introduce the world of musical theater of the late eighteenth century to that of the early twentieth century, focusing on how musical theater reflects American society, and identifying the major components of a musical play for the stage. Classes are scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. for six Tuesdays, March 29 to May 3. Instructor Caron is a veteran performer, director and musical director in the theater community. A writer of music and lyrics, he is the composer of the Moss Hart Award-winning original musical, “Lewiston: A New Home.”

“Introduction to Judaism”: This course will provide an overview of some of the basics of the Jewish faith and how it has and continues to contribute to Christianity and Western civilization. Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for four Wednesdays, March 23 to April 13. Instructor Rabbi Hillel Katzir has served the Jewish community of central Maine at Temple Shalom in Auburn since 2003. He has taught Judaism and religion at USM, Bangor Theological Seminary and many church and school groups.

“Mark Twain Revisited”: June Spear takes a further look into the talent and idiosyncrasies of the great American writer, Mark Twain. The class will read his “Puddn’head Wilson” and part 1 of his recently released autobiography will be reviewed. The previous Mark Twain course is not a prerequisite. Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Wednesdays, March 23 to April 27. Instructor Spear, a retired teacher, has a B.A in education, with a minor in English and a Master of Education in language arts. She is currently a member of the Senior College Board.

“Science of Horticulture”: This course is a brief introduction to the “whats and whys” of growing plants, morphology, adaptations, soils, fertilizing, pruning and transplanting. Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Thursdays, March 24 to May 12. Instructor Edward Corbett has advanced degrees in plant physiology and plant breeding. Dr. Corbett has taught Plant Science at UConn for over 30 years.

“Espanol Para Viajar”: Students will learn new grammar and vocabulary by continuing with the Berlitz text. A phrase book will guide the class through language useful for travel in Spanish-speaking countries. Students should have the Berlitz Essential Spanish text from the previous semester. Classes are scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. for six Thursdays, March 24 to May 12. Instructor Barbara Oliver is a “survival” Spanish teacher and uses her knowledge of teaching methodology to guide students successfully. She holds degrees from William and Mary College and Middlebury College.

“Writing Our Stories”: Discover how much fun a writing group can be. This class can provide that needed boost to begin or to restart the recording of your memories.

Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Fridays, March 25 to May 13. Instructor Anita Greenblatt is a graduate of Andover College and a lifelong learner. She has been an instructor in the Auburn Adult Education program for several years and is a member of the Senior College Board.

“Observational Drawing”: The elements and principles of art will be introduced through learning traditional drawing skills — observing contours, 3-D form, proportion, foreshortening, shading and perspective. Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Fridays, March 25 to April 29. Instructor Linda DeSantis Pomerantz has degrees in liberal arts and art education with a M.A. in teaching. She has taught at the secondary level for 34 years.

Course registration is by mail only and forms are available at the Senior College office, 51 Westminster St., and also can be downloaded from the Web site. Payments must be made by personal check or money order. Some courses have limited enrollment and early registration is encouraged. For more information on courses and enrollment, call 753-6510 or visit www.usm.maine.edu/lac/seniorcollege.


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