Twelve Belfast Senior College classes begin Thursday, March 30, with six available starting at 9:30 a.m., and six more starting at 1 p.m. Each runs for six weekly sessions, with classes held at the University of Maine’s Hutchinson Center on Route 3 in Belfast (with one course also available on Zoom). Go to belfastseniorcollege.org to register and for complete information on the courses.
“This spring’s offerings run the gamut from history to literature to the arts, from contemporary social issues to climate change to music,” said Senior College president Nancy Perkins, in a news release. “We could not be more pleased to offer this array of courses to the community. We welcome anyone over the age of 50 to participate. And we keep course registration and membership fees low and offer scholarships so as many people as possible can be part of Senior College.”
Morning course highlights in the spring semester include “Climate Change: Forests, Farms, Habitat and Sustainability of All Living Things,” featuring speakers and taught by Fred Bowers, chair of the Belfast Climate Change Committee, “Exploring Improv for Beginners” led by experienced performer Stephanie Natale, “Historians and the Holocaust,” taught by veteran Senior College instructor and Director of the Office of Human Rights Bob Rackmales, and a watercolor workshop with Mid Coast Art Guild member and artist Nancy Blatz. Other morning classes include “Tools and Tips” on family genealogy, led by genealogist Rick Davis, and Lila Nation’s discussion of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s “The Little Prince.
Afternoon classes include Lila Nation leading off the March 30, 1 p.m. courses with a discussion of the same book in French. In nearby classrooms are artist Sandi Cirillo and author Juliet Baker teaching “Inspiration and Empowerment: The Harlem Renaissance,” music aficionado Brian Richardson’s small-group seminar “Classic Music and More,” Minister and Family Promise of MidCoast ME is joined by John McLenahan to present “Neighbors You Didn’t Know,” a look at Belfast’s and Waldo County’s social issues that includes excerpts of Frederic Wiseman’s movie, “Belfast, Maine.”
Afternoon classes also include theater scholar and “Good Morning, Belfast” co-producer Kristin Frangoulis considering three Tennessee Williams plays, and veteran Senior College instructor Peter Reilly (in person and by Zoom) combining and reprising two of his most popular courses in “War, Protest, Great Music and Bob Dylan.
Two special classes include “Giants in the Earth: Immigrants on the Prairie” presented by Dr. Arlin Larson beginning April 4 (the second class available via Zoom), and a Waldo Reads Together two-session book group featuring “Night of the Living Rez” by Maine native American author Morgan Talty, starting April 13 and closing out the Belfast Senior College spring semester.
The registration fee for each six-week course is $37, with the fee for the two-session April 13 course only $19. A $25 Senior College membership fee, valid through Aug. 31, is required to register and courses are designed to appeal to anyone over the age of 50. Membership and registration can be made online at belfastseniorcollege.org.
University of Maine Hutchinson Center provides classroom space and Zoom services and for Senior College, which is an independent all-volunteer non-profit organization. Its spring semester begins in March and the summer semester begins in June.