Courses Spring 2017

Registration begins March 13, 2017. Download a registration form here.


Great Decisions
Great Decisions is America’s oldest and largest citizen discussion group on our foreign policy challenges. WMSC is proud to have offered the first of eight such groups now meeting in Maine. The non-partisan Foreign Policy Association provides our briefing books and a DVD annually on eight critical issues facing America’s foreign policy. The spring 2017 term introduces the first four of these issues: Saudi Arabia in Transition; U.S. Foreign Policy and Petroleum; Latin America’s Political Pendulum; The Future of Europe. Participants are committed to assigned reading prior to open discussions. Class limit 19.
Rotating Facilitators; Coordinator Peter Gartner
Tues., Mar. 28, Apr. 4, 11, 25, May 2, 9, 16, 23; 10:00-noon; THS rm. 133.

The Dark Ages
Long presented as a time of decay, destruction and general malaise, the historical period in Western Europe referred to as the Dark Ages (500-1000 AD) is now being seen by some historians as a dynamic period of material recovery, social development, national growth, and even scientific experimentation. While this new interpretation has its detractors, its validity seems to be increasingly accepted. We will examine and evaluate this relatively new opinion for the European areas now encompassed by Britain, France, Italy, the Low Countries, and western Germany. Class limit 16.
Facilitator: Tim Roberts
Mon., Mar. 20, 27, Apr. 3, 10, 24, May 1, 8, 15; 10:00-noon; THS rm. 133.

Creative Writing

Reflective writing will be emphasized in this course. Individual and group writing activities will include opportunities for sharing work and consultation as desired. Class limit 12.
Facilitator: Suzanne Taylor
Fri., Mar. 24, Apr. 7, 28, May 12, 26; 10:00-noon; THS rm. 133.

Drawing and Painting
This course is designed to meet the needs of most people, even the very beginner. The idea is to get together and enjoy the creative experience as a group. Instruction is offered in all media. Some materials are provided. Class limit 12.
Facilitator: Suzanne Taylor
Thurs., Mar. 23, 30, Apr. 6, 13, 27, May 4, 11, 18; 10:00-noon; THS rm. 133

This class is a continuation of the winter term course but new folks are encouraged to join in. If you’re just starting out playing this “brain game,” or have been playing for a while but would like to hone your skills, give this fun course a try. We’ll mostly play bridge but will share some tips as we go along.
Facilitator: Jack and Irene Kuchta
Thurs., Mar. 23, 30, Apr. 13, 27, May 4, 18; 3:00-5:00; Summit Hotel, 2nd Floor Owners Room, Sunday River.

From Counterpoint to Cakewalk: Composers and Their Times
Beginning with the Baroque Period and moving through Classical, Romantic and Twentieth Century music, the course will offer a brief overview of musical composition and the lives of some of the major composers. Anticipating the summer's piano festival, emphasis will be given to the piano repertoire.
Facilitators: Brendon and Jean Bass

Wed., May 3, 10, 17, 24; 4:30-6:00; McLaughlin Auditorium, Gould Academy.


Introduction to J.S. Bach Mass in B minor
The Maine Music Society Singers will be presenting Bach’s Mass in B minor on March 25 and 26 in Lewiston. This class will prepare you for that concert by examining the composer, the music, and the performers. Even if you are not able to attend the concert, this is a great opportunity to get a refreshing dose of Bach.
Facilitator: Tom Davis
Mon., Mar. 20; 2:00-3:30; West Parish Congregational Church.

A Guided Tour of the WMSC Blog
Have you wondered what all those “things” around the sides of the WMSC blog are? They are links to resources and other senior colleges. If you would like a guided tour, come to this one hour session. There's no charge but registration is required.
Facilitator: Kathleen DeVore
Wed., Mar. 22; 10:00-11:00; THS rm 133.

Isn’t It Just a Dirty Old Mill Town?
Take a walking tour of Rumford Falls’ architectural treasures. There are 11 sites on the National Historic Register in the town of Rumford. Among them are six architecturally distinguished structures on and around the Rumford Falls Island. This area is under consideration to be a national historic district. Learn the history of the town Hugh Chisholm built and the falls that powered his success. The tour is roughly two hours long. Afterwards, if you want to socialize, bring a lunch to enjoy by the falls.
Facilitator: Linda MacGregor
Fri., May 5 (Rain Date: Fri., May 19); 10:00-noon. Meet at the Rumford Information Center.

Medical Grand Rounds
A 58 year old woman with sore tongue, unsteady gait, agitation,
hallucinations, and a very low hemoglobin level ---megaloblastic madness?

In the traditional manner of grand rounds, the medical problem is presented, pertinent physical findings and lab data shown, and the unfolding clinical course discussed. We apply this protocol to the above problem. No class limit.
Facilitator: Jim McLean
Mon., May 22; 3:00-5:00; THS Lecture Hall.

Rock Hunting and Mineral Collecting for the Beginner
These two activities, usually done in combination, can be separate interests for some people. We will hold a short classroom discussion about rock hunting and various types of local mineral deposits and what might be found in them. There will be an introduction to tools and location data. We will also discuss collection and preservation methods. After the classroom discussion we will carpool to a well know mine to find treasures! Class limit 12.
Facilitator: Dwight Mills

Thurs., May 25; 8:00-2:00; THS rm. 133 and field trip.


Valentine Conservation Center Wildflower Hike
This event has been paired with a Brown Bag Lunch discussion at 12:30.  For full description of the afternoon see  "Searching for the Plants and Flowers of Spring" in the Brown Bag Lunch Section of Public Events.
We’ll explore the Mahoosuc Land Trust’s new acquisition on the North Rd. to identify wildflowers and enjoy the fields and forest. Be sure to bring appropriate footwear, water, bug repellent and camera. For more information, contact Lynne Zimmerman ( or 595-0780). Open to the public and free of charge.
Facilitator: Lynne Zimmerman

Thurs., May 11; 12:30-4:00 (Wildflower Hike is at 2:00); Valentine Conservation Center, 162 North Rd., Bethel.


Pairs & Spares Dinner Out
Join other couples and singles for the Pairs and Spares dinner at the Town and Country Inn and Resort located a half hour west of Bethel on Rt. 2. You may bring a guest if you like. To sign up and make carpooling arrangements, please contact Kay Larson at or call 207-824-3333.
Tues., May 16; 6:00; 2 Main St., Gorham, N.H.

Spring Potluck Supper
Join your Senior College friends for an evening of good food and conversation. Bring any kind of dish to share. Members are welcome to bring a guest. We need volunteers to set up at 4:30 and to clean up at 7:00. Please contact Irene Kuchta ( if you can help.
Wed., May 24; 5:30-7:00; West Parish Congregational Church.