Senior College offers variety of courses

Posted Aug. 22, 2012, at 9:53 a.m.

Sharpen your pencils and put on your thinking caps; it’s time for the fall semester of Penobscot Valley Senior College.

Classes start Sept. 27 and run for six Fridays, ending Nov. 2. Art classes are available on Thursdays beginning Sept 28. Morning and afternoon sessions are offered and the variety of subject surely includes something for everyone.

Senior College is a volunteer effort by and for people who embrace the act of learning. The courses are taught by college professors and lay people who have significant expertise in their fields.

There are no tests, quizzes, grades or pressure. No prerequisites, no prior college needed and no requirements other than being at least 50 years of age. And you can’t beat the price. Annual membership is $25 or $40 per couple and each class is $25 per person.

Seeing how this is an election year, PVSC is offering a class to get you in the political mindset. The 2012 Election Cycle with Mark D. Brewer will focus on the 2012 election cycle. As we wind down to Election Day, the class will contain important historical context where appropriate. The presidential race will receive a good deal of attention, but you’ll also examine congressional races and state elections in Maine.

The 2012 Election Cycle will start and end a week later, Oct. 5 to Nov. 9, than the other classes to enable Election Day class coverage.

You’ll be in good hands with Mark Brewer, who is associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Maine. He has been a visiting associate professor, assistant professor and faculty fellow at Colby College.

As someone who loves light and usually has every lamp in house on, Electricity, The Inside Story, with Fred Otto, sounds fascinating. Have you ever wondered about the magic that is electricity? This mysterious force that gives us light and power has been one of mankind’s greatest achievements and has become a vital part of our lives, as anyone who has been without power for a few hours can attest. This course will explore what lies behind the flip of a switch. Bring your questions. A number of demonstrations are planned, and you will have a chance to safely handle the equipment.

Fred Otto has the power to keep your interest sparked. He has degrees from the University of Maine and the University of Connecticut and has done not only household wiring and stage lighting but designed the electrical distribution for the Collins Center for the Arts, among others.

Bette Davis said, “Old age is no place for sissies.” She might have felt differently had she been able to take Passages Through Adulthood: The Golden Years with Jane Fairchild and Cathy Knox. Together, you’ll explore the challenges and joys of late adulthood, and investigate topics such as handling problematic adult children and grandchildren, maintaining your identity and independence as you age, stimulating new interests, furthering brainpower and memory, and dealing with grief from losses of mobility, friends and family members.

The class will cover coping skills, spiritual concerns and just plain fun as you embrace your golden years. It is recommended that participants read Gail Sheehy’s books about passages. This particular class will be held in Milo.

Jane Fairchild, assisted by Cathy Knox in this class, is a licensed clinical social worker with a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Connecticut. She has a private practice in the Milo area and works part time at the Charlotte White Center in Dover-Foxcroft.

This is a small sample of the classes available at Penobscot Valley Senior College. For more information or to register for some surefire fall fun, please call the message phone at 992-0118.

Carol Higgins Taylor is director of communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging. For information on EAAA, call 941-2865, toll-free 800-432-7812, email info@eaaa.org or visit http://www.EAAA.org.

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