This winter’s varied offerings at Coastal Senior College range from historical architectural studies to current thinking on finding solutions to Maine’s addiction crisis. Classes meet during the day and are taught by instructors passionate about their subject matter.
Beginning on Monday, Feb. 5 for five weeks from 10 a.m. to noon at the Bremen Library, architect Brett Donham will teach “God’s Stones: A Social History of Church Building.” Donham said “one can ‘read’ church buildings to discover what was important to society and where the people at the time placed their values.” He brings a wealth of experience to this course, having worked on more than 25 church projects, including St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Newcastle.
If Tuesdays better fit one’s winter schedule, then consider signing up for one of the following three classes. First, Rolf Winkes, an archeology professor who often teaches for CSC, will offer a class at Skidompha Library in Damariscotta on four Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon, beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 30. “The Curse of Minerva: The Parthenon, its Impact, and the Elgin Marbles” will look at the architecture and impact of the Parthenon and trace the impact this temple had on later works. Special attention will be given to the international debate surrounding the return of the Elgin Marbles to the British Museum.
Second, instructor Jean Matlack will offer “Exploring the Larger Reality: Accounts of Unlooked for Awakenings” for six weeks from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the First Universalist Church in Rockland, beginning on Feb. 6. Matlack, a retired psychologist and psychotherapist, will focus on both the phenomenon of near-death experience and that of past-life recollections. “Many Lives, Many Masters,” by Brian Weiss, M.D., is the text for the course.
Also beginning in February for six weeks from 1:30-3:30 p.m., but held at Skidompha Library in Damariscotta, will be “Of Wattle, Thatch, and Half-Timbers: The Folk Architecture of the World (Part II).” Popular CSC architect-instructor Arnold Aho has designed this course to complement his prior “Folk Architecture of the World” and “Folk Architecture of America” classes. This visual exploration of the relationships between natural and cultural contexts ranges worldwide, from the crannogs of Ireland to the village churches of Hungary.
Two classes will be offered on Thursdays. For four weeks, well-known and respected Dr. Ira Mandel, founder of the Midcoast Recovery Coalition, will teach and also host several guest speakers for his course “Maine’s Addiction Crisis – Finding Solutions.” Students will learn the causes of the current epidemic, the science of addiction, and evidence-based practices, and learn how organizations are responding to this health-care crisis. This class will meet at University College, Rockland, from 1:30-4 p.m. beginning on Feb. 8.
Also meeting on Thursdays and beginning on Feb. 8, for five sessions at The Lincoln Home in Newcastle from 1:30-3:30 p.m., is “Homer’s Odyssey.” Instructors John and Maryanne Ward, retired college professors and inveterate CSC instructors, will make this epic poem come to life. The Fitzgerald translation of “The Odyssey” will be used to find out how the mythical world works and why veteran groups use this tale of homecoming to discuss post war psychological challenges.
If one is feeling a bit intimidated about studying this Greek classic, one should be happy to know that Athena makes a guest appearance at the first class to give students the background they need to “read the epic like a Greek.”
On Fridays at the Bremen Library beginning on Feb. 9 from 10 a.m. to noon, “Poetry: Donne to Dylan” will be taught by Chris Frost. Frost’s educational experience includes teaching in both private and public school schools and for Outward Bound, and serving as head of school for both U.S. and international schools. After analysis of literary devices and close readings of selected poems written by a wide range of poets – and students are encouraged to provide or suggest poems for discussion – students will “perform the poems themselves and consider the reader’s role in creating meaning,” said Frost.
The cost per course is $35, and a year’s membership is $25. Registration is simple – in person at URock, by phone at 596-6906, or by mail. Registration forms and complete course descriptions are found in CSC catalogs at many local libraries and businesses in Knox and Lincoln counties and at coastalseniorcollege.org.