Midcoast Senior College, bringing classes to seniors interested in lifelong learning, is rolling out a variety of courses for its spring term.

Courses start April 10 and run through May 19, with courses running between four and six weeks. Both in-person and online courses (hosted on Zoom) are available. There aren’t any grades or tests, just learning for the fun of it.

Registration is now open at midcoastseniorcollege.org or by calling (207) 725-4900.

Here is a list of offerings and course descriptions:

Steven Piker will be offering an online course Religious Conversion. What is it? Of what does religious conversion consist? This course sees it as an integral part of the life of the convert, in which the convert has considerable agency. Adopting a biographical perspective, we will rely on detailed case materials, seeking to grasp conversion from the convert’s point of view.

Susan Goran will offer an online course A Final Gift: Advance Directives. Despite the meteoric advances in life-extending technologies, death continues to come and occurs daily in most advanced health care organizations. The desire to control our final destiny requires knowledge and informed decisions, and articulating our final wishes to ensure that when we are unable to self-advocate, others can respectfully speak on our behalf. This course prepares the student to discuss and document final decisions.


George Young will take participants on a journey through an in-person course on Virgil’s “The Aeneid.” Often called “the poem of Europe,” Virgil’s beautifully written Latin epic tells the story of Aeneas, the Trojan prince who fled his fallen home city and struggled through trials of devotion and courage to found a new civilization: Rome. This course will focus on what may have made “The Aeneid” so important for so many centuries and will explore its value and relevance for our time.

Let Stuart Gillespie take you through five musical pieces in MSC Singers -Oldies and Goodies. Five pieces that have been voted by the Singers as their favorites include “Four Strong winds” and “Shenandoah.” Stuart is a published composer and has written numerous musical arrangements of well-known folk songs for the MSC Singers. This is an in-person course.

Have you ever wondered about the origin of everything around us and how it will all end up? Then join Bill Hammond in Introduction to Big History I. Using the latest scientific and historical research available, Part I tells the story of the Big Bang to the emergence of life on Earth. Part II, the sequel to this course, will trace the evolution of human beings, our history as Earth’s dominant species, and what the future may look like to the end of the universe. Big History I is an in-person course.

David Treadwell will be introducing us to Let’s Try Flash Fiction! In “flash fiction” the writer takes a short prompt (e.g., “the smell of chocolate” or “what a way to die”) and then writes a short story (1,000 words or less) to that prompt. The class will take a hands-on approach. David has been a professional writer for over 45 years and will share thoughts and tips on the genre. Students will be able to share their flash fiction with others in this in-person course.

Susan Bowditch will lead students through Affirmative Action in College Admissions: Where Do We Go from Here? In June of 2023 the Supreme Court will render a decision about two cases related to affirmative action in college admissions: The University of North Carolina and Harvard University. In order to understand the history of affirmative action, we will explore the origins of the idea, which were planted even earlier than the 1960s civil rights movement. This is an in-person course.

Robert Bunselmeyer will offer an online course England, 1910. In this course students will read and discuss two novels that brilliantly describe the social culture and class relationships of industrial England and urban/commercial England just before World War I. Robert will give short presentations about British society and politics before the war to provide background knowledge to the two novels, D.H. Lawrence’s “Sons and Lovers” and E. M. Foster’s “Howard’s End.”

To register for a course, you must be a current college member or a current member of another Maine senior college. The annual $35 non-refundable membership fee is valid from July 1 through June 30 of each year. All courses are $60 per person. A $10 discount is given for two people in the same household taking an online Zoom class together.

For information on registration and courses, visit midcoastseniorcollege.org. MSC offers confidential tuition waivers to its members from its scholarship fund. Contact the college if fees are outside your budget. Send your tuition waiver request to info@midcoastseniorcollege.org.

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