Courses

Explore Maine's rich and diversified agricultural history and how this industry changed Maine's economy and culture. Learn how the state evolved from an agricultural state with 67,000 farmers to a low of 6,700 farmers in the mid-1960s.


September 16, 2019 to November 18, 2019, Wishcamper Center
Tentatively, we will focus on why, though our economy seems to be doing very well, many Americans still feel insecure.


September 16, 2019 to November 18, 2019, Wishcamper Center
We will examine the spate of synagogue murders and the ideology of white supremacism, how this "newer" hatred is akin to America's Know-Nothing Party, "No Irish Need Apply," the failure of Reconstruction, and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the restrictive immigration act of 1924, and the Trump ban of Muslims.


September 19, 2019 to November 7, 2019, Wishcamper Center

Discover and explore your own inner resources for successful living. Each session in this nine-week, repeat course features insightful talks and meaningful interaction about inner resources such as peace, appreciation, inner strength, self-awareness, understanding, dignity, choice, hope, and contentment.



September 16, 2019 to November 25, 2019, Wishcamper Center

Escape from "busy" and give yourself a two-hour block of time to work on your art, at your own pace, in a relaxed environment. Fellow artists share ideas, encouragement, and support. Pack your materials and come paint!


September 20, 2019 to November 8, 2019, Wishcamper Center, Room 103
September 20, 2019 to November 8, 2019, Wishcamper Center, Room 103

How can a painting or a poem give rise to a tactile sensation? How can music summon spatial imagery? Human experience is a creative act. In this slide/ lecture/discussion course, we'll read from philosophers, neuroscientists, musicians, and poets and look at paintings from Lascaux to Expressionism as we attempt to answer these questions. There will be simple, optional homework.



September 18, 2019 to November 6, 2019, Wishcamper Center
This repeat class is based on the PBS online course by Dr. Philip Plait, a.k.a. "The Bad Astronomer." It consists of 10- to 15-minute sessions covering basics: moon phases, tides, the Milky Way, black holes, the Big Bang.


September 17, 2019 to November 5, 2019, Wishcamper Center
This course explores Beethoven's creative and personal life through the prism of his nine symphonies. We will see videos of all nine and, if time permits, several early piano concertos.


September 19, 2019 to November 7, 2019, Wishcamper Center, Room 203
The Iliad and the Odyssey are grouped with several other poems in what is called "The Epic Cycle."


September 20, 2019 to November 8, 2019, Wishcamper Center
In the film and book Being Mortal, New York Times bestselling author/surgeon Atul Gwande discusses medicine at life's end. Many physicians offer procedures/treatments to terminal patients that may extend suffering.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Brian Allen continues his exploration of Broadway musicals with the decade of the 1940s. This is considered to be one of the greatest decades for musicals and the height of the Golden Age of Broadway.


September 19, 2019 to November 7, 2019, Wishcamper Center, Room 133
This repeat course provides a foundation in the combined skills of listening, speaking, and writing Chinese characters as well as a general picture of Chinese culture. Students start with the Mandarin phonetic system (Pinyin), pronunciation, stroke order, and basic Chinese characters.


September 18, 2019 to November 6, 2019, Wishcamper Center, Room 415
In this second edition of three workshops, we will watch "To be continued" chapters of those great Saturday Matinee film serials we so enjoyed in our youth.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
In this class we will discuss the constitutions of four countries: France, Germany, Japan, and the United States. What is unique to each constitution?


September 18, 2019 to November 6, 2019, Wishcamper Center
Sacred Geometry involves sacred universal patterns used in design of everything from nature to art and architecture. This class will explore the use of Sacred Geometry in making mandalas.


September 19, 2019 to November 7, 2019, Wishcamper Center
How has justice evolved? What have cultures and courts said about religion, slavery, civil rights, colonialism, assimilation, authoritarianism, community, and justice?


September 18, 2019 to November 6, 2019, Wishcamper Center

This repeat course provides a new view of the Third Age (from 50 to 80), based on 25 years of Sadler's research about people who are creatively redesigning their lives and redefining retirement. Students will explore principles for personal growth that can support a successful transition into a Third Age of fulfillment. Classes encourage participant interaction.



September 17, 2019 to November 5, 2019, Wishcamper Center
Beginning with ashort and easy lesson on color theory, we will explore drawing and painting with watercolors andpastels, using one medium at a time andsometimes combining them. 


September 16, 2019 to November 18, 2019, Wishcamper Center, Room 103
A Baroque Period follows any Classical Period in the Fine Arts and can last for centuries. The end of Classicism is defined by codified academic schools looking to the past.


September 18, 2019 to November 6, 2019, Wishcamper Center, Room 203
It is said that when Paris sneezes, Europe catches cold. This view is justified by the events following the Paris uprising of 1789: the ensuing 20-plus years of war, ending only with the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo.


September 18, 2019 to November 6, 2019, Wishcamper Center
Dr. Roger Nelson of the PEAR Lab at Princeton University cites numerous examples of perturbations in group and global consciousness when tested with an assembly of random number generators strategically located around the world.


September 19, 2019 to November 7, 2019, Wishcamper Center
Explore the history and culture of Maine. A half-dozen non-political topics will be examined in a fashion that emphasizes hands-on experiences and off-campus activities.


September 17, 2019 to November 5, 2019, Wishcamper Center

Enjoy six weekly, narrated walks through Portland's historic neighborhoods exploring the city's history, architecture, and people since Europeans arrived. In this repeat class, you'll view historic structures, learn about Local architects and their works, and discuss immigrant populations. The longest walk is 2 miles in two hours.



September 18, 2019 to October 23, 2019
Tarot is a divination technique that uses brightly colored cards rich with images to tap into intuitive knowledge. The 78 cards in a Tarot deck create a complex structure that assists the reader in accessing personal and universal mystery.


September 18, 2019 to November 6, 2019, Wishcamper Center
Most film narratives include some component of dream-seeking. This seven-week series features three true-life stories to ground and inspire our magical quest.


September 19, 2019 to October 31, 2019, Wishcamper Center, Room 133
This highly interactive class will prove that you're a born expert at humor, creativity, and play. Through theater improv games, you'll develop your natural (not "comedy club") humorous style.


September 17, 2019 to November 5, 2019, Wishcamper Center
This course will cover all the principal topics necessary for a good lay-person's understanding of global-climate-change risks and possible responses.


September 17, 2019 to November 5, 2019, Wishcamper Center
This course is an exploration of work by four popular British women detective novelists of the early 20th century: Josephine Tey, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers, and Margery Allingham.


September 16, 2019 to November 18, 2019, Wishcamper Center
Humans have been coming to America for centuries, and immigration has defined our society and national identity. Immigration has been a major contributor to the ethnic, racial, cultural, religious, and political struggles that have made America what it is today.Immigrants Since 1882, Roger Daniels, ISBN 9780809053445, USM price $17.


September 16, 2019 to November 18, 2019, Wishcamper Center
Intended for all, "Growing Up..." is the intriguing story of courageous grandparent and parent immigrants who heartily embraced their new country, the United States, yet remained inherently true to many of their cherished Old World traditions.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Irish roots or not, people from all over are drawn to this small (size of Indiana), lush, green island called Ireland. A stalwart example of survival through countless invasions, hunger, and loss of land, the Irish people's interior way of life has sustained a deep cultural heritage and a deep connection to the land.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
We continue the sequence on British history, starting with the return of the Stuart kings through the tumultuous 18th century. We will deal with the changes to the social and cultural fabric of society in this period.


September 16, 2019 to November 18, 2019, Wishcamper Center

This two-semester course will cover Maine from pre-historic times to the recent past. Each semester is independent but will complement the other. Presenters are a collaboration of noted scholars of Maine history. Though this is a repeat of Part 1 from fall 2016, there will be some new topics and lecturers.



September 19, 2019 to November 7, 2019, Wishcamper Center
The course will begin with a map of Puerto Rico, showing its location in the world. It will continue with the history of the people of Puerto Rico through dance, music, and art.


September 16, 2019 to November 18, 2019, Wishcamper Center
People are drawn to OLLI for its informative lectures, stimulating discussion, and rewarding socializing. OLLI members are largely liberal, but maybe we are a bit too comfortable in our "cocoon of like-minded individuals" (Haidt).


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
This seven-week course will examine the important works of recognized international film directors from an aesthetic point of view.


September 16, 2019 to November 4, 2019, Wishcamper Center, Room 133
This series of films will comprise a cycle of courses that deal with three films on the ARTS, covering the visual, musical and movement arts.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
"Astrology, like the collective unconscious with which psychology is concerned, consists of symbolic configurations: The 'planets' are the gods, symbols of the powers of the unconscious." - C.G. Jung, Letters Vol. II. 


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Each week this course will explore three or four things that have changed our world in terms of economics, society, psychology, politics, geography, and globalization.


September 19, 2019 to November 7, 2019, Wishcamper Center
Ireland is once again in the news, though on this occasion as a player in the UK's effort to extricate itself from the EU. 



This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
This course will focus on the practical Kabbalah and the Tree of Life. We will cover the layout of the Tree of Life, the levels of consciousness and the very specific life lessons that are contained in each of the Sepiroths on the Tree.


September 20, 2019 to November 8, 2019, Wishcamper Center
This is a continuation of French-language study, with emphasis on expanding vocabulary, grammar, and listening and speaking ability.


September 16, 2019 to November 18, 2019, Wishcamper Center

Frances Perkins, FDR's secretary of labor, was the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet. Learn how this self-made woman, with roots in Maine, became America's leading advocate for industrial safety and workers' rights.

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September 30, 2019 to November 11, 2019, Wishcamper Center
If you had been a teenager in the 1920s, like my mom, what music would you have listened to on your radio?


September 18, 2019 to November 6, 2019, Wishcamper Center, Room 102

This ongoing, participatory dance class draws from the dances of many cultures - traditional American Country/Western using contemporary C/W and pop music, Greek circle dances, Brazilian samba, tango, rhumba, Spanish cha-cha, and the Shim Sham jazz line dance from Harlem. Not all of these are taught every semester. Prior dance experience is not necessary, but ability to comfortably walk two miles at a decent pace is strongly recommended. This class includes a mix of new dances as well as dances taught in previous sessions.



September 19, 2019 to November 7, 2019, Wishcamper Center, Room 102
How can a civilization get lost? When people built 10 Stonehenges 7,000 years before Stonehenge itself, isn't that newsworthy?


September 19, 2019 to November 7, 2019, Wishcamper Center

This course based on the video series produced by WGBH Television in Boston, in cooperation with the BBC, follows the history of computer development from the 1830s to 1989.



September 20, 2019 to November 8, 2019, Wishcamper Center

Evergreen Cemetery is a jewel in the heart of the city. Many prominent Portlanders have been interred there. Walking through with a knowledgeable docent is a walk through our history. We will meet at Evergreen in the Wilde Chapel weekly, and we will learn about a different aspect of our past, as we have a lecture and a guided tour with a different trained docent each week.



September 11, 2019 to October 30, 2019, Evergreen Cemetery
Every writer struggles with TRUTH. It is a particular battle for the memoir writer. The Memoirist's Dilemma helps you navigate the sometimes murky waters of life to write your story. We pinpoint the relevant and relative scope, time frame, and truth of your story.


September 20, 2019 to November 8, 2019, Wishcamper Center, Room 105
In this workshop, you will learn how to cultivate awareness, calm stress, and bring mindfulness into your daily life through gentle yoga, meditation, and breath work.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
This repeat course presents works of important modern novelists whose works are passionately concerned with issues that confer meaning and value to life.


September 17, 2019 to November 5, 2019, Wishcamper Center
Why do two children, brought up together, often tell completely different family stories? How do we pick apart the past to determine the "truth" about a family?


September 16, 2019 to November 18, 2019, Wishcamper Center
This seven-week class, starting Sept. 18, will cover selected topics in Physical Oceanography, including: origin and structure of the ocean basins, atmospheric and ocean circulation, waves and tides, and tsunamis.


September 18, 2019 to November 13, 2019, Wishcamper Center
You must be a current member in order to participate in OLLI Programs.


June 19, 2019 to June 18, 2020
Imagine creating a life beyond what we've dreamed of - one of expanded consciousness, ability to love more fully, a path to transcend self. Maslow described this life as Self-Transcendence and its resulting peace and well-being in his last, unpublished work.


September 17, 2019 to November 5, 2019, Wishcamper Center
Pakistan was established in 1947 for Muslims in India after the grant of independence from the British Colonial Empire.


September 17, 2019 to November 5, 2019, Wishcamper Center
This is for a parking hangtag in order to park in the parking garage or the surface lot behind Wishcamper at the Portland Campus of USM.


September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2020
Join this class and immerse yourself in engrossing plays by well-known playwrights of distinction, covering many different genres.


September 18, 2019 to November 6, 2019, Wishcamper Center

Let's explore the elements of design and composition, applying them to your photographs (and mine), discovering the different things that make a photograph "work." Plan to create images each week and bring them to class for "show and tell." Yes, there is homework, which you will enjoy and which will help boost creativity in your photography.



September 16, 2019 to November 18, 2019, Wishcamper Center
With a career spanning six decades, Alfred Hitchcock is both respected and maligned - for his milestone, award-winning films, and his tendency to fall in love with his leading ladies. He liked women with classic, understated beauty, and sex appeal. He could read a script and make it come alive with passion and mystery. We will see: The Man Who Knew Too Much, with Doris Day; Rebecca, Joan Fontaine and Lawrence Olivier; North by Northwest, Eva Marie Saint, Cary Grant; Notorious, Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Rains; Marnie, Tippi Hedron; To Catch a Thief, Grace Kelly, Cary Grant; and Vertigo, with Kim Novak.


September 18, 2019 to October 30, 2019, Wishcamper Center, Room 205
This time, we will start east at Chateau de Vincennes to end west at Place de la Concorde et Champs Elysees. Bring a map of Paris if you have one.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Each fall and spring, SAGE presents a series of Tuesday morning lectures that cover a wide array of topics of current interest.


September 24, 2019 to November 12, 2019, Abromson Center, Hannaford Hall
Shakespeare's Macbeth grew out of a time marked by social instability, rage against foreigners, religious intolerance, and state-sanctioned violence. Shakespeare built a play richly marked by social grace, hospitality, and restorative leadership. This tragedy of generosity overcoming grim psychological burdens offers models and cautions for our own time. Reading and discussing the play, viewing recorded versions, and drawing on insights from today, the course will lead to an understanding of Shakespeare then and now. Required book: Macbeth, William Shakespeare, ISBN 9780486278025, USM price $3 (any edition will do).


September 18, 2019 to November 6, 2019, Wishcamper Center, Room 113
This class is designed to be taught in one-hour sessions, twice a week, for eight weeks.


September 17, 2019 to November 7, 2019, Wishcamper Center, Room 102
In this repeat class, we will explore one of America's fascinating and controversial presidencies as well as one of its great presidential marriages.


September 20, 2019 to November 8, 2019, Wishcamper Center
This repeat course is for all those who have always wanted to read War and Peace but have never gotten beyond page 40.


September 19, 2019 to November 7, 2019, Wishcamper Center
In what could be one of the most enlightening two hours you've everspent, this repeat workshop will showyou how YOU could actually begin using your speaking voice for commercials,films, videos, and more!  


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
As exemplified by the movement of water, qigong consists of orchestrated body movements, breathing practices, and focusing the mind, all designed to enhance the life-force energy (or Qi) available to us.


September 27, 2019 to November 15, 2019, Wishcamper Center
After Elaine Pagels published Gnostic Gospels (1976), her ideas evolved with the Gospel of Thomas (2004) and Revelations (2013). Her mature spirituality was challenged by her 3-year-old son's death and physicist husband's fatal hiking accident one year later. She became a mid-life widow and single parent of two toddlers.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
This seven-week course will explore the wisdom of a beloved American. Fred Rogers (known as Mister Rogers) was a musician, puppeteer, ordained minister, pioneer in the history of television, and winner of numerous awards.


September 16, 2019 to November 18, 2019, Wishcamper Center
To paraphrase Bette Davis's immortal words, being an older woman in America's youth-obsessed culture can feel like an act of fortitude. We face significant challenges, but we also have new advantages.


September 18, 2019 to November 6, 2019, Wishcamper Center, Room 105
Come learn traditional community dances from Bolivia, Israel, Armenia, Kenya, Greece, and more! Dances range from calming to energetic. Formations include circles, snaking lines, pairs, opposing lines, etc. World Dances are for both men and women and don't require a partner or dance experience. Each week you'll learn new dances, step by step, and review those previously learned. Dress comfortably (you'll sweat). Bring a water bottle and non-street, smooth-soled shoes. This class meets at Portland New Church (302 Stevens Ave., Portland), to access their joint-forgiving wooden floor. An additional, one-time $20 fee for floor rental will be paid to instructor.


September 19, 2019 to November 7, 2019

This ongoing workshop is a supportive peer group of 10 fiction writers working to improve their short-story writing skills. Each month, members send their work to one another in advance of the meeting. Each is responsible for constructive feedback of the work to be shared and discussed at the next session. The workshop will evolve in response to the interests of its members. New members are welcome.



September 18, 2019 to April 15, 2020, Wishcamper Center, Room 105

This ongoing workshop is not a class but a supportive group of memoir writers who share and respond constructively to each other's work. New members are welcome, to a limit of 12.



October 9, 2019 to June 10, 2020, Wishcamper Center, Room 105
Open to new and experienced poets alike, this once-a-month class will study published poems and use imitation as a generative process for creating our own new work.


September 16, 2019 to May 18, 2020, Wishcamper Center, Room 105
This ongoing poetry-writing workshop is limited to 12 members. Participants may volunteer to prepare a short poetic presentation and design a related prompt for the next session. One week before each workshop, members will email a copy of their poem to all other members, who will print the poems and write comments on hard copies for discussion on workshop days.


October 2, 2019 to May 6, 2020, Wishcamper Center, Room 105