BRIDGTON — Reservation for classes is now open for the Winter Term at the Senior College at Bridgton. Eight two-hour classes are offered. Classes will be given from 10 a.m. till 12 noon; they will start January 14 and run through February 6. All classes will be offered at the Magic Lantern Tannery Pub. Mail-in Registrations are due by January 11. Walk-ins may be admitted if space is available.

Tuesday, Jan 14 – Cyrus Fields – Laying the First Transatlantic Cable. Before the mid-1800s, the only way news could travel from North America to Europe was by ship. That all changed when the first transatlantic telegraph cable was laid. The project, led by Cyrus West Field, was one of the greatest technological achievements of the 19th  century. It took unbelievable courage and persistence, struggling against overwhelming obstacles: failed attempts, millions of dollars lost, technological problems, ridicule, suspected sabotage, and more. Cowan presents a slideshow, based on her award-winning biography, Cyrus Field’s Big Dream: The Daring Effort to Lay the First Transatlantic Telegraph Cable—a true story that changed communications forever. Presented by Mary Morton Cowan.

Thursday, Jan 16 – Louis Armstrong – An Icon of American Music. Louis Armstrong was a trumpeter, composer, vocalist and actor and one of the most influential figures in American music. He was a jazz innovator and entertainer for five decades. This class is an overview of his rise to stardom and will feature several of his landmark recordings.
Presented by Peter Berry.

Tuesday, Jan 21 – Vernal Pools. Vernal Pools are a vitally important resource in our landscape for Maine amphibians, and an incredible food source for birds and mammals, but due to their seasonal nature are often overlooked. Join Alanna from the Lakes Environmental Association to learn more about these ephemeral pools created by rainwater and snowmelt, who counts on them in the woods, and how we can identify, assess and protect this special resource. Presented by Alanna Doughty.

Thursday, Jan 23 – The Poems of Spring. When Shelley wrote the hopeful lines, “O, wind, if winter comes, Can spring be far behind?”, he evidently never lived in Maine, where spring often seems to lag far behind winter. But the imagination can see further and deeper than the snow and ice and can warm us with images of the nascent spring. This class will read and enjoy a collection of poems whose subject is spring and be inspired that spring sails upon the winter wind. Presented by Ken Gibbs.

Tuesday, Jan 28 – Fly Away Farm – From Woodlot to Productive Farmstead. While many people dream of simplifying and “living the good life”, few accomplish this lifestyle. Join Jenn and Justin Ward as they discuss the beginnings of Fly Away Farm and their journey of homesteading in the mountains of western Maine. They will cover a range of topics including house building, off-grid living, solar power, greenhouses, gardens, fruits, seedlings, root cellars, maple sugaring, bees, raising animals and homeschooling four children. They will include photos of the homestead, an honest account of living on a family farm and the trials and tribulations they have encountered along the way. Presented by Jenn and Justin Ward.

Thursday, Jan 30 – The Politics of the Right to Die. When our family pets are old and sick, we put them out of their suffering.  Yet, medically assisted suicide for individuals is rare, illegal in most states, and highly controversial.  Maine is one of only nine states that have passed “Death with Dignity” laws.   Should the right to control one’s own body include a right to die?  Will euthanasia become more common? Presented by Alan Schechter.

Tuesday, Feb 4 – U.S. Global Engagement & the Military. The global balance of power is quickly evolving, leaving the United States at a turning point with respect to its level of engagement and the role of its military. Some policy makers argue for an “America First” paradigm, with a large military to ensure security, while others call for a more assertive posture overseas.  Some advocate for a restoration of American multilateral leadership and a strengthened role for diplomacy, while others believe that the U.S. role should be more restrained, involving a more limited military. How does the military function in today’s international order, and how might it be balanced with diplomatic and foreign assistance capabilities? Can America’s military keep pace with the military advancements by China and Russia and the rise of near peers? Presented by John Doughty.

Thursday, Feb 6 – Classic Movies – Key Largo. The 1948 film Key Largo will be Margaret Reimer’s offering for the winter session. This drama about the Florida Keys during a hurricane stars Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Edward G. Robinson, and Lionel Barrymore, produced by Warner Brothers and directed by John Huston. Frank McCloud is a WWII vet, at loose ends after returning from the war and suffering from PTSD. He goes to Key Largo to find the family of a buddy–the man’s wheelchair bound father and grieving widow–to tell them about their lost loved one’s bravery in the war.  While Frank is on the Key, a severe storm breaks out and life is complicated when a group of gangsters intrudes on the quiet inn owned by the family.  This is a terrifically tense drama and a classic film noir. Presented by Margaret Reimer.
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The Senior College at Bridgton is the home-town program for anyone 50 years or older in Bridgton and surrounding Lakes Region communities to learn new things and meet new friends. Senior College has sessions in the spring, fall and winter each year that are designed to appeal to every interest. Membership is open to any senior in the Lakes Region.
Copies of brochures with descriptions of the Winter Session course offerings as well as a Reservation Form are available at the Bridgton Library and at the Senior College web site http://www.seniorcollegeatbridgton.org. Everyone should fill out the Reservation Form by January 11 to reserve a space in the class(es) you wish and return the form with a check to: Senior College at Bridgton, P.O. Box 308, Bridgton, ME 04009 If you have questions contact Kappy Sprenger, Senior College Registration, at 207- 647-5593.

For Senior College members: Winter classes are FREE if you joined or re-joined in September 2019. Simply fill out the Reservation Form to reserve space in the classes you wish to attend. If you are not now a member you may become a member for $20, which will allow you to take any of the Winter classes you wish for free. In addition, your membership will be valid for the spring session, April-May 2020. A la carte students: If you are not now a member and only want to take a class or two, the fee is $5.00 for each class.


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