Courses Fall 2017

Registration begins August 31, 2017. Download a registration form here.


American Mah Jongg 
Learn as you play American Mah Jongg. Mah Jongg is a table game for four players using 152 small rectangular tiles stamped with characters and symbols used to assemble patterns that match a specific card of hands. The game is both simple and complex, requiring luck and skill. Learning the game requires time and patience. The course will be based on the National Mahjongg League (NMJL) standardized rules and procedures. Come and learn this fun and sociable game. Class limit 12,
Facilitator: Rita Aromaa
Fri., Oct. 13, 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17; 2:00-4:00; GEM Theater.

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., Sept. 15, 29, Oct. 13, 27; 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 in all media. Some materials provided. Class limit 12.
Facilitator: Suzanne Taylor
Thurs., Sept. 14, 21, 28, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9; 10:00-noon; THS rm. 133.

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 discussion 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 fall 2017 term focuses on the final four of this year’s topics: Trade, Jobs and Politics; Conflict in the South China Sea; Prospects for Afghanistan and Pakistan; Nuclear Security: the enduring challenge of nuclear weapons. Class limit 19. Rotating Facilitators; Coordinator: Peter Gartner
Tues., Sept. 19, 26, Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Nov. 7; 10:00-noon; THS rm. 133.

Philosophy 101 for Adults
Aristotle pornographic? Why does anyone at this stage of life need philosophy? The reading is too difficult. Socrates' head was in the clouds. I have too much stuff cluttering the attic of my mind, anyway. Humbug! But, if you have ever been curious about how Western thought developed; what the divisions of the discipline of philosophy are; why some people (and people in political factions) can't agree; whether logic really leads to truth; why the methodology of science is important; where does a belief in God fit into all this and why physicists often believe in God; what did Thomas Jefferson borrow; is there an American philosophy; what are fallacies; how to approach modern and contemporary art—ever avoid those areas of a museum? Perhaps spending some quality time in this course could enrich the wonderful stuff you already have in your head by organizing it and giving it new meanings! The approach will be more on the academic side, but the end result will probably be more valuable and growth-oriented than if we keep our heads in the clouds! We will use a combination of small group/large group/lecture, printed materials, readings, films—and perhaps a group trip to the Portland Museum of Art! Class limit 18.
Facilitator: Iris Roberts
Wed., Sept. 13, 20, 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1; 10:00-noon; THS rm. 133.

Science for Seniors
We will learn (or remind ourselves of what we did learn when we were in school) about the science of atoms, water, biological molecules, energy use, and genetics. We will also explore DNA, genetics and inheritance, evolution of species and the latest medical advances with regards to DNA and drugs. There are no quizzes or tests. Feel free to bring coffee, tea and snacks. A thoroughly enjoyable experience should be had by all. Class limit 14.
Facilitator: Anne Morin
Mon., Sept. 25, Oct. 2, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6; 1:30-3:30; Valentine Conservation Center.

Senior Players
For the eleventh year, the Senior Players will be back. The course is nothing more than preparation for the performances on November 17 and 18. We hope that we will have some new faces this year and would love to have you join us. No memorization required. Everyone carries a script. This year we will do three or four short plays, depending on how many players we have. It’s about giving the community something to laugh at, either the play or us. Come join us for a fun fall.
Facilitator: Jack Kuchta
Wed., Sept. 13, 20, 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8, 15; 2:00-5:00; West Parish Congregational Church.

The Witchcraft Crisis of 1692
The Salem Witchcraft Crisis is a long-studied historical event subject to much conjecture. In this course we will focus on: ties to the Maine frontier; living with the continued threat of Indian raids; the shift from a "perfect" Puritan world to a Yankee culture; the role of women in northern New England and how the “voiceless” became powerful. The influence of "nights without light and full of sound" and the belief in the unseen spectral world could bring down almost anyone, maybe even the Governor's wife. Class limit 12.
Facilitator: Jean Waite
Mon., Sept. 25, Oct. 2, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6; 10:00-noon; THS rm 133. 


Train Trip to Boston

Day trip to Boston on the Downeaster train. Possible activities include: the Museum of Science, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Aquarium, the Harvard Museum of Natural History or just explore Boston on your own. We will leave Bethel at 6:00 am, carpool to Portland to take the 8:20 train, and arrive at North Station in Boston at 10:55. We will leave North Station at 6:15 pm, arrive in Portland at 8:50, and carpool back to Bethel. The Downeaster costs $25 round trip. Additional costs depend upon the sites participants choose to see.

Those participating will meet on October 6th to discuss details of the adventure.
Facilitator: Lynne Zimmerman
Trip Planning: Fri., Oct. 6; 10:00; THS rm. 133.
Excursion: Thurs., Oct. 26; Leave Bethel 6:00 am.

Senior College Players Performances
Don’t miss these fun filled evenings. See a different side of your friends and neighbors as they perform in this popular annual event.
Fri., Nov. 17 and Sat., Nov. 18; 7:00; McLaughlin Auditorium, Gould Academy. 


Annual Meeting and Potluck Supper
Join your WMSC friends for our annual business meeting and potluck supper. We will elect new members to the WMSC Board, hear about the year ahead from the Board Chair Irene Kuchta, and enjoy stories of summer adventures from our friends over dinner. Thanks to Marvin Ouwinga and his helpers for arranging the dinner.
Sept. 6; 5:30-7:30; West Parish Congregational Church, Bethel.

Pairs and Spares

The Pairs and Spares group has arranged to dine upstairs at the Sudbury Inn in Bethel for our fall outing on Wednesday, September 27, at 6:00 pm. Since this is a special arrangement with the Sudbury on a weeknight, we will pre-order off the menu and receive separate checks, Please contact Kay Rector to reserve your spot and choose your dinner selection by Sept. 20. Newcomers welcome!
Coordinator: Kay Rector: 207- 824-3333 or 

Holiday Party 
A social event not to be missed! Friends from WMSC come together for an evening of fun. Appetizers and desserts will be provided by our members; beverages will be provided by WMSC. Contact Lynne Zimmerman at or 207-595-0780 to RSVP and tell her what you will bring.
Tues., Dec. 5; 5:30-8:30; Moses Mason House. Snow date Dec. 7.