LEWISTON — The Senior College program at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College will offer 23 courses in the spring semester, March to May.

Now in its 18th year, the program’s upcoming semester will feature new and continuation courses, ranging from French and Spanish language studies, genealogy, art appreciation, investments and economics, drama participation, religious history and spirituality and women’s history, as well as others.

Open to everyone 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, 2015, through Aug. 31, 2016, is required. Members who attend a course will have access to the campus library, computer lab and to free Senior College courses.

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 during the day at L-A College, 51 Westminster St., except as noted..

The spring semester course offerings are:

Food and Culture: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Mondays, March 28 to May 2. The course by Mark Silber, PhD, examines how food reflects significant issues facing people today, connecting them to many aspects of human existence, including health, culture and social justice.

Drama, Its History Through Participation: 1 to 3 p.m. for six Mondays, March 28 to May 2. The history of drama will be demonstrated by student class activities. Instructor Hugh Keene was the drama coach at Edward Little High School, producing more than 65 plays and musicals.

Modern Vietnamese Fiction and Film: 1 to 3 p.m. for six Mondays, March 28 to May 2. The course will sample the Vietnamese government’s 1985 loosening of restrictions as it began the reprivatization of land and business while keeping political power. Instructor Bill Hiss teaches Asian studies at Bates College and has visited post-war Vietnam.

New England Folk Dance: The French Connection: 3 to 5 p.m. for six Mondays, March 28 to May 9, at Callahan Hall, Lewiston Public Library. The course will introduce students to the evolution and basics of traditional New England contra dancing as well as a variety of French Canadian social dances. Instructor Cindy Larock has taught folk and ballroom dance at Bates College and holds an MA in theatre education.

Special Destinations: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for six Tuesdays, March 29 to May 3. The group travel course visits historical sites, places of business and museums. Instructor Dorothy Rupert is a retired teacher and has guided numerous trips for Senior College.

Intermediate French: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Tuesdays, March 29 to May 17. The continuing course is for those who already have some skills in French and are interested in acquiring additional fluency. Instructor Ann Anctil earned an MA in French and is bilingual in Canadian and standard French.

An Introduction to the Study of Religion: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Tuesdays, March 29 to May 17, at Schooner Estates, Auburn. The course will examine the academic disciplines of religious studies and the ways manifestations of religion have been studied by scholars and scientists. Instructor Charles W. Plummer, PhD, has taught many courses for Senior College.

History of Futures and Commodities Trading: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Tuesdays, April 12 to May 17. The latest course of instructor Andrew Saucier’s series on understanding investments will relate the history of Chicago’s commodities exchanges, ranging from grain and cattle to currencies and carbon.

Badly Behaved Women: 1 to 3 p.m. for six Tuesdays, March 22 to April 26. This repeat course from fall 2015 examines the history of a group of European women, some well-known, others not so well-known, but all notable for their outstanding lives. Instructor Christine Holden, PhD, originated courses in European and U.S. Women’s History at USM.

Jubilados: Platicando y Practicando: 1 to 3 p.m. for eight Tuesdays, March 22 to May 17. The advanced Spanish course will increase vocabulary and refine grammatical skills using previous texts. Instructor Barbara Oliver has studied in Madrid and has taught Foreign Language Methodology.

Creating Paper Art!: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Wednesdays, March 30 to May 4. The course will explore paper sculpture. Hand cut and layer paper using patterns and templates provided. No experience is needed, just imagination. Instructor Karen Brooks is a member of the Paper Artist Collective.

Exploring Spirituality: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Wednesdays, March 30 to May 4. The importance of spirituality in the well being of seniors will be addressed in the course. Instructor Marguerite Stapleton has created and led retreats, workshops and conferences in helping men and women uncover the depth of their spirituality.

Humanity: A Search for Meaning and Identity: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Wednesdays, March 30 to May 4. The attempts at creating a new/better civilization is the basis for the course which will discuss and analyze the novel, “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding. Instructor George Blouin has over 30 years of teaching English, speech and drama.

Great Decisions Discussions 2016: 1 to 3 p.m. for six Wednesdays, March 30 to May 4. Based on the Foreign Policy Association program, the course encourages debate and discussion of important global issues to reach informed opinions. Discussion leaders are Patricia Vampatella, past chairwoman of the Senior College board, and Marty Gagnon, adult services manager at the Auburn Public Library.

Capitol Hill: 1 to 3 p.m. for six Wednesdays, March 30 to May 4. The Legislative branch of the Federal Government will be studied, from its constitutional inception to the present. Instructor Crystal Ward taught American Government at Lewiston High School.

Advanced Conversational French: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Thursdays, March 31 to May 19. The course is for students already well versed in French who want to further improve their speaking skills. Instructor is Ann Anctil.

Greek and Roman Mythology: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for eight Thursdays, March 31 to May 19. The course will provide answers to old and new questions about early European mythology with a tongue-in-cheek presentation. Veteran instructor Alan Elze has taught over 24 courses covering a wide range of subjects for Senior College.

Maine Artists You May Not Know: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Thursdays, March 31 to May 5. The course will introduce and review many outstanding artists from Maine who have not received the attention they deserve. Instructor Kirsten Larsson-Turley has extensive experience as a senior docent at several Maine museums.

Spanish, Step 2: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for six Fridays, April 8 to May 20. This continuation course will provide students with further knowledge about speaking skills as used by travelers and tourists for shopping, sightseeing and at restaurants. Instructor Jean Roy taught foreign languages for 29 years at Lewiston High School.

Maine Trees, Top to Bottom: 1 to 3 p.m. for six Fridays, April 1 to May 6. Maine’s landscape is 85 percent covered by trees. The course will identify the various trees by their features and discuss their relationships with other plants and animals, their role in the natural community and their value to humans. Instructor Pam Davis Green is a Maine Master Naturalist and has a degree in environmental science.

Genealogy Online (and Off): 1 to 3 p.m. for eight Fridays, April 1 to May 20. This repeat course presents the strategies, standards and resources for online genealogical research — getting started, record types, locations, organizing findings. Students should be comfortable using a computer. Instructor Ethelind Wright has an MA in American and New England studies with more than three decades of genealogy study.

Course registration is by mail only, with registration closing Friday, March 11.

FMI: 207-753-6610, usm.maine.edu/seniorcollege. 

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