Courses

The events, achievements, and ideas of 19th century America laid the foundation for American domination in the 20th. We will include such topics as Westward expansion, the industrial revolution, women's suffrage, the Dred Scott decision, and Plessey vs. Ferguson and how they determined what the country would become as a world power.


Today, a version of English is spoken by about 450 million people. Another 1.4 billion use it as a secondary language. English is the most global of languages and, in some form, has been in use for 1,500 years.


This repeat class will view Sub-Saharan Africa since the first Colony gained independence in 1957, and focus on Ghana, South Africa, and the DRC. We will analyze trends, and discuss how the past 65 years are impacting the continent today.


Grab the popcorn and return with us now to the golden days of yesteryear, when film directors taught us all we needed to know about great events and personages in two hours! We will view such films as Sunrise at Campobello, Gentlemen's Agreement, Inherit the Wind, and others. Suggested discussion topics: How have movies shaped our view of the past?


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.


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! NOTE: if you are using oils, please plan to use water-based paints only.


We will explore the constellations of the spring and summer skies and some of the deep-sky objects they contain. Learn the causes and appearance of events viewed with the unaided eye, including auroras, sun dogs and halos, comets, meteor showers, and the lunar cycle of phases that causes lunar and solar eclipses.


The first part of this repeat course will be an in-depth review of painting landscapes. We'll review bamboos, trees, leaves, and waterfalls; the three perspectives; composition; and the always-present symbolism, embodied by the concept of yin and yang. We'll then move to the simplicity and changing moods of seascapes and the value of adding color.


Why is there such tension and anxiety today - and such a gap of achievement - between those societies that are the outgrowth of the culture of Western Christendom and those that regard themselves as Islamic?


This will be a continuation, not a repeat, of "The Hard Problem." The first two sessions will review foundational presentations by physicists Brian Greene and Peter Russell and Australian philosophical pioneer David Chalmers.


This film/discussion series follows that of fall 2017, in which we considered the lives of individual musicians and/or bands, as portrayed in film. We'll open with The Piano (Jane Campion's tour de force about obsession and love). Then, using documentary, biopic, and narrative film, we'll explore various musical genres and individuals who have contributed to the songs that we know and love.


Imagining, remembering, sensing, and feeling are all gifts that we use as we engage with life - making things to express ourselves in the world, looking at beautiful works of art, enjoying the movements of a dancer, songs and laughter, the line made by our own paintbrush, and the special turn of the phrase by a writer.


Lack of trust in government and other institutions, extreme political polarization, congressional inability to address key issues and govern, weakened political parties, and a presidency like none other in our lifetime prompt many to wonder if our democracy can survive.


Did you ever duck a tough conversation, wishing it would disappear? Ever wish you could just dive in? Diving into discomfort is much easier with some planning.

This repeat course (2013) concentrates on Europe in the years leading to the eruption of The Great War (1914). During this period the major countries appeared solid, and the prevailing culture was colorful and exciting.


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.


Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), paleontologist and Jesuit priest, foresaw a synthesis of religion and science, applicable to people of all religions and spiritual traditions. Scientists rejected his idea that evolution has a goal or specific direction (orthogenesis, or "conscious evolution").


Teaching requires a love of learning and sharing ideas, dedication, patience, and the ability to communicate and listen. Most of all, it requires a love of humanity and the desire to shape the next generation. A good sense of humor helps a great deal.


This course will consider questions of masculinity and heroic behavior in four 21st-century novels. Not long ago we examined contemporary womanhood; now we'll consider the corollary: What makes a man a hero in the eyes of contemporary writers? Where do we look for our heroes?


This workshop will evaluate Richard Dawkin's book, The God Delusion, in which, from the point of view of natural science, he purports to invalidate religion.

Great Decisions is a flagship program of the World Affairs Council of Maine, facilitated by members of the Council. The eight topics of discussion for 2018: The Waning of Pax America; Russia's Foreign Policy; China and America: The New Geopolitical Equation; Media and Foreign Policy; Turkey: A Partner in Crisis; U.S. Global Engagement and the Military; South Africa's Fragile Democracy; and Global Health: Progress and Challenges.


We will discuss the musical magic of Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II, from before they were united until their last musical.


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.

We will meet for six one-and-a-half to two-hour leisurely walks to historic sites of Portland - rain or shine. This repeat walk series proceeds from east to west across the peninsula, tracing the history of Portland as it developed westward.


This course focuses on the post-World War II dramatic influx of immigration; Part One is not a prerequisite. The origins of this increase were at first from Europe but increasingly from Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Post-war displacement, political turmoil, and growing U.S. prosperity were major forces in this influx.$11.95


This three-part, repeat workshop will be an introduction to the family of religions called Buddhism. We will discuss the development of Buddhism in India, focusing on the life and teachings of its founder, and will then briefly follow its spread across time and space through Asia and the West.

Irish Drama Live presents four classic Irish plays on film and radio: John Millington Synge's The Shadow of the Glen, Riders to the Sea, and Playboy of the Western World, filmed by Druid Theatre Co., Galway; and John B. Keane's Sive in RTE 50th anniversary radio broadcast.


The Dead is the final story in James Joyce's first published prose work, Dubliners. It's been celebrated as the finest short story ever written in English. For this workshop, please read the story prior to meeting; instructor will provide an online link in advance.

This fun and highly interactive course will explore keys to joyful living. We will focus on traits and practices that create inner peace in the face of unsettling events.


Over the past quarter century, hundreds of students have taken this course, originated at Brandeis University and taught at OLLI for some eight years. Many have published books; all have written life stories. Included will be informational lectures, writing and editing tips, and "how-to's"; oral and written classroom exercises; and home writing assignments.


A continuation of French-language study, with emphasis on expanding vocabulary and listening and speaking ability. This six-week course assumes a basic knowledge of French, as it is conducted largely in French to encourage participation in simple discussions.


This course is a continuation of basic French refresher. It offers a review of pronunciation, vocabulary, listening, and conversation skills in a travel/tourism context to help you feel comfortable using your French.


Ever wonder why Botswana, a small land-locked country in southern Africa, is so strong, while Chad, a large land-locked country in north-central Africa is destitute? Why do some countries flourish while next-door neighbors flounder?


Based on what feminist Donna Harraway calls "situated knowedge," reading aloud selected passages from this classic American text will affirm that a view is always from somewhere and that what one sees depends on that somewhere.


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.


The title of the workshop is the title of the instructor's book, published in December 2017. It forcefully argues that the 1986, 1989 Bell cases ceding Maine's title to its intertidal land to adjacent upland owners were wrongly decided.

This course will provide an introduction to the use of mandala journaling as a tool for exploring our inner lives.


Nineteenth-century France was the perfect laboratory to foment a political, social, and cultural revolution. By mid-century, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, and Paul Cezanne were three artists who bridged the early Realists of the century to the mid-century Impressionists and the Modernist Revolt at century's end.


Here are two of our most famous Americans: one historical and the other his fictional creation. We will follow Huck and his slave friend Jim on their adventurous trip down the Mississippi and watch as Huck agonizes with his conscience over his relationship with Jim.


This repeat course features oral family storytelling. Weekly, students will prepare and tell the circle brief stories from their lives, using written points to guide them.


Join the Biodiversity Research Institute at River Point Bird Observatory (West Falmouth, ME) for an interpretive discussion about our use of bird banding in research.
We will reexamine the importance of music in enhancing the cinematic experience. We will highlight a few more great movie composers whose work has stood the test of time and is frequently heard in symphonic halls.
You must be a current member in order to participate in OLLI Programs.
This unique workshop is designed to engage, educate, and entice participants about opera. It will put Mozart's music and The Marriage of Figaro into broader contexts musically, socially, and historically.

Daniel Ellsberg's new book, The Doomsday Machine, rouses far more than Dr. Strangelove's toothy grin picturing a male paradise surviving nuclear desolation. Ellsberg has warned American leaders since the '50s about the devastating consequences of accidental confrontations and bad assumptions.


Remember snail mail? The anticipation of opening your mailbox? Let's revive the tradition! You will learn three different techniques for decorating paper. Then we will transform our favorites into a variety of cards and envelopes..


Great artists have discovered the neurological antecedents of our perception, each in a manner unique to their method. J.S. Sargent's work seems to have great sensuality. Ellsworth Kelly's work is simple and intellectual.


For starters, participants will read aloud from a new collection: The words of men of international distinction confessing to being moved to tears by poems that continue to haunt them and why.

This course contains no sessions

Have you made slideshows before, but now want to insert video clips seamlessly into your presentation? Come watch various methods to do that. We'll look at ways you can incorporate YouTube videos, your own movie clips, and sections from DVDs directly into your shows.

This lecture/film/discussion course honors the healing power of retelling stories of genocide. From the 13th-c Albigensian Crusade to the Rohingya in modern-day Myanmar, we'll explore factors that lead to categorization and dismissal of one's fellow humans as "the other."


Let's focus on films. We'll use concepts and experiments from Psychology to shed light on cinema scenes. Mini-lectures and 15-minute video clips will provide a background for examining about 20 movies.


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.


Willingness to use your imagination to immerse yourself in a role is a prerequisite for this ongoing class. It's an opportunity to learn and practice basic acting techniques using voice and facial expressions. Class includes pantomime and improvisation skills.


Do you - like me, music lover but non-musician - believe that you would enjoy music even more if you could recognize what is going on? If so, Copland's timeless book is for you.


This repeat course is an introduction to, and discussion of, a range of retirement issues. Topics include estate planning practices, insurance issues (Medicare Advantage plans, long-term care, life insurance, annuities, etc.), trends in recreation and travel, and retirement financial planning and practices.


Shakespeare is at the top of his form and the height of his powers in Henry V, the last in his eight-play series telling the story of the English Kings between 1399 and 1485. Each act is introduced by a "chorus" that sets the scene for us as it comments on the action to come.


We'll shine a close-up lens on relationships of all kinds, intimate and platonic, and consider how one's destiny, even in angelic realms, might be altered by the influence of a loved one.


We will be learning about "spring ephemerals," wildflowers that bloom in early spring before the trees leaf out. In the morning we will be in the classroom becoming familiar with these flowers through a PowerPoint presentation.


This course examines six films, with discussion and popcorn included.


This class is for caretakers, change-makers, and those who care for our world. Caretakers are essential to the health and vitality of our communities, but without the right skills they can easily burn out.


We will practice the ancient Chinese movements of Qigong and Tai Chi for physical and mental well-being. We will also review and discuss the world view of Taoism in relation to health, healing, and ways of living.


This repeat course will review stock, bond, mutual fund, and ETF selection for individual investment portfolios. Whether you purchase your own securities or hire an investment manager, ultimately you must review the security selections that are made to assure that they meet your asset-allocation and risk needs.


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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Every planet in the Solar System has had at least one close encounter with a vehicle from Earth. We will show the vast increase in our knowledge of our neighbors from these efforts and discuss some of the unexpected information we received.


This discussion course will explore how music has evolved across many cultures and circumstances, and how it has served as an impetus for action throughout history. Music can lead to protest, and has helped to inspire revolution. It can also be used to instill a sense of conformity or fearfulness.


Live theater is magnificent. However, films capture intimate facial expressions. The following plays explore human relations in the search for identity, meeting basic needs, adjusting to different values and expectations, and exploring the psychology of fear.


This new course will unpack a toolbox of skills you might wish you had learned in school. Transformative communication can help turn difficult conversations into opportunities for healing, greater understanding, and finding solutions to seemingly irreconcilable differences.


The issue of security clearances has been in the news a lot lately. But what exactly is involved with granting federal government security clearances? How many agencies are authorized to issue clearances?

If you enjoy finding and identifying wildflowers and would like a challenge, the next step could be learning to use an identification key. Newcomb's Wildflower Guide is considered the go-to field guide by serious wildflower enthusiasts.


If you read Shakespeare in high school or college or never, now, in our increased maturity and wisdom, is a good time to visit, or revisit, the Bard and see what he now brings to us, and what you and I and recent scholarship now bring to him.


Hildegard and Queen Meera, Jesus and Sosan and other Zen masters, Meister Eckhardt and Lao Tsu, and the great Western unifier Heraclitus the Obscure.

Humans are animals. But how so? Often we think mainly of differences, humans and all other animals. This course treats similarities as well: morality, mental capacity, communication, empathy, altruism, tool use, cooperation.


The Bill of Rights was intended to protect individual liberties. Often those freedoms work well. Yet can they also backfire? The cherished opportunity for free speech can open the doors to hate speech, Citizens United, demonstrations at funerals for gays, and harassment at abortion clinics.


This workshop will be a day-long examination of where we are as we grow old, a matter of location. Where, in fact, are we, in terms of place, for example: How far from "home"? How did we get here? What is keeping us here?

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.


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. The workshop meets on the second Wednesday of each month from October through June.


This ongoing poetry-writing workshop is limited to 12 members. Participants may be asked to prepare a short poetic presentation, referred to as a "Golden Nugget," and to design a prompt for a poem for the next session. Everyone brings 12 hard copies of their drafts for the others, which are taken home, read, and returned with detailed suggestions given for the poet's use.


There are seven points in the body which, when focused on, bring an integration to the whole. These are simple points based on the chakras system of Yoga and the Chi system of Chinese medicine.


Would you like to publish your poems? Your short stories? Your memoirs? Your novel?...Or would you like to have a mini-book of the photos of your family? Of a trip? Of a festive occasion? Of your own artwork?...Or would you like to make a 12-month wall calendar with your favorite photos or quotations?