Coastal Senior College opens Winter Term 2021

Mon, 01/04/2021 - 4:00pm

Coastal Senior College is back and ready to welcome seniors in Knox and Lincoln counties to join the newly independent College.

“Our transition as an affiliate of the University of Maine System to an independent nonprofit organization is now complete,” said the College, in a news release. “We continue as an active member of the Maine Senior College Network. Although much is new, our mission remains the same: to enrich the lives of our members through the joy of lifelong learning.”

You can now become a member and register for courses and events on the new website at A year’s membership still costs $25; however, you now are a member for an entire year with rolling membership. Course fees continue to be $35 each.

Winter term registration opened Monday, January 4, and the first classes begin Monday, February 8. You must be a member in order to register for courses.

The nine winter courses are varied – but all offer the opportunity to engage with others who share similar interests. Winter term will be taught on Zoom by both veteran and new CSC instructors.

On Mondays, join Nancy Wood for “Healthy Eating for a Healthier You;” each session includes a cooking demo.

On Tuesdays, Joel Shapiro asks students to think about how cultural and social environments shape beliefs and behaviors in “Seeing Ourselves: Why We Feel This Way About That.” Set some time aside for painting each Tuesday and join Cynthia Dias for “Watercolor First Steps: Scenes of Maine.” Or spend some time with Shakespeare; Joseph Cote, who teaches “The Late-Life Challenges of Shakespeare’s Elder Characters” states it’s “Not the rekindling of your dreaded high school class on Julius Caesar,” but rather a lively and fun analysis of some of Shakespeare’s iconic characters.

On Wednesdays, discuss the essential role of education reform in nineteenth century New England with Jayne Gordon and Kay Liss as they examine the explorations and experiments of the nineteenth century Transcendentalists in “Transcendentalism and Education Reform.” Rekindle your appreciation of poetry and join John Ward for a discussion of the wit and value of the poems of John Donne and George Herbert in “Word Play and Prayer in Donne and Herbert.”

On Thursdays, learn all about black holes from retired astronomer Ted Williams in “Black Holes (in four easy lessons).” No previous scientific expertise required; curiosity welcome. Maryanne Ward considers the “promise of light” in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse and E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View, “even as they explore the darker aspects of society.” Come out of the cold and dark to discuss the light in “Looking Forward.”

On Fridays, join William Solomon for a discussion of recent documentaries that the class will have viewed before each class (a list of documentaries, recommended readings, and a syllabus will be provided) in “Documentaries in a Time of Pandemic.”

As a CSC member, you are invited to attend the winter Brown Bag Lunch Series on Zoom. Sign up for one – or more! The theme is “A Maine Sampler,” which features Maine artists and writers, and it’s free. Members may invite a guest ( a next door neighbor, a daughter who lives in Austria . . . Zoom offers participation from anywhere!) Members will register a guest at the same time they register themselves online. Find details and instructions on the CSC website at

As the pandemic continues, the College is holding all courses and lunch talks on Zoom.

“We look forward to resuming in-person classes and programs when it’s safe to do so; in the meantime, we’ve discovered that whether one is discussing a poem or working on a watercolor, the camaraderie of class remains even on Zoom,” said CSC.

Coastal Senior College’s transition to independence has brought both positive changes and new challenges. We are now truly a totally volunteer-run community of learners. Consider becoming a CSC volunteer: join a committee, offer a course, present a talk, help an instructor as a Zoom co-host or class assistant, organize a special interest group, or share a special skill or your non-profit experience. Contact us at