Winter 2020 Term

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Registration for Winter 2020 Term has concluded


U.S. National Security Structure and Processes 10:00 a.m.-noon 4-week course 1/7, 1/14, 1/21, 1/28 (COURSE IS FULL; PLEASE CALL 725-4900 IF YOU WISH TO BE PLACED ON THE WAITLIST)

An examination of the broad range of issues on the U.S. National Security agenda, beginning with the basics of national security processes and procedures. Also to be covered will be case studies involving notable diplomatic, economic, and military operations of the past. Not all proved successful, or in hindsight even judged to be in the national interest. Lastly, we will explore how politics influence the conduct of U.S. national security policy. Dan Possumato is a former Director of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security for the U.S. Army, as well as a Deputy Garrison Commander for the U.S. Army in Germany and Alaska. He was also a professor at the Army Management Staff College, Fort Belvoir, VA. He retired after 25 years and then worked as a contractor who helped conduct anti-terrorist exercises at U.S. Army installations in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. He currently holds a Top Secret clearance and works as a Special Investigator for the U.S. Department of State. Optional reading: Josh Dean, The Taking of K-129: How the CIA Used Howard Hughes to Steal a Russian Sub in the Most Daring Covert Operation in History, ISBN 978-1101984437

Shakespeare’s Insights & Wisdom on Aging 1:00-3:00 p.m.  4-week course 1/7, 1/14, 1/21, 1/28 (COURSE IS FULL; PLEASE CALL 725-4900 IF YOU WISH TO BE PLACED ON THE WAITLIST)

Throughout the Shakespeare canon of comedies, tragedies, and histories, memorable characters in their senior years face dilemmas, choices, compromises, and consequences of their actions or the actions of the “gods.” We shall explore the experiences of many characters, then focus specific attention on memorable seniors in As You Like It, King Lear and The Tempest. “He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear his hopes ‘bove wisdom, grace, and fear.” (The Tragedy of Macbeth). Explorations and insights into many of the men and women brought to life by Shakespeare have come to Joseph Coté from preparation and performance in fourteen of the great plays. Classical actor training has led to some career highlights on the stage as more an avid hobbyist than a research scholar. Joseph is always keen to spark the curiosity and even awake a new dawn of appreciation for the world of Shakespearean imagination, even in the most stoically reluctant. Scenes for reading, study, and relaxed class “performance” (by the willing) will be assigned from As You Like It, King Lear and The Tempest. Class reading: The Arden books of all plays offer detailed references and footnotes but all versions are quite acceptable.


Organic Gardening and Soil Science 10:00 a.m-noon  4-week course 1/9, 1/16, 1/23, 1/30

This course will investigate organic gardening in Maine. Topics will include: what to plant, when to plant, soil amendments, vegetable varieties, soil science for gardeners, extending the growing season, preserving the harvest, and building and using raised beds. This is intended to be an interactive course where the participants will share their own gardening successes and failures. Linton Studdiford is a Master Gardener and holds a Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture from the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Linton and his wife, Bonnie, have about three acres of gardens in Brunswick that include two large vegetable gardens, six raised beds, two perennial beds, an herb garden, a woodland garden, a shade garden, and a small orchard.

“The Spoils of Poynton” by Henry James  (COURSE HAS BEEN CANCELLED)

Religion and Science: Topics from the Great Debate  1:00-3:00 p.m. 4-week course 1/9, 1/16, 1/23, 1/30

The great debate on religion and science has long influenced history, ideas and life-changing outcomes in the world. Although the phrase “science and religion” may have been coined in the nineteenth century, the dialogue and associated discord originated in the ancient world. The debate continued with intensity during the seventeenth-century Enlightenment and responded with new energy following Darwin’s theory of evolution. It continues today in the great tension between Fundamentalism and more liberal religious views accommodating the new science. For the past fifty years, the science and religion debate has been primarily in the West; to what extent can Christian beliefs be brought in line with the results of Western science? Topics will be selected from the history of this persistent issue for consideration and discussion. Ed Lovely’s background is in research chemistry and management. After early retirement he earned his PhD in philosophy of religion and taught philosophy at Fairleigh Dickinson University, William Paterson University, and Drew University. He has published extenstively on American philosophy of religion. (Note: Taught as 6-week course in Fall, 2019.)

Tall Ships are Coming to Maine!   1:00-3:00 p.m. 4-week course 1/9, 1/16, 1/23, 1/30

In the summer of 2020, in cooperation with the Maine Bicentennial Commission, Tall Ships America will organize a series of visits to Maine ports by sail training vessels, including the Coast Guard’s barque Eagle.  This course will highlight the planned events and will trace the history of sail training in the U.S. and around the world as an ideal means for developing skills of leadership and teamwork.  We will also look at the development and the pioneers of the sail training idea since World War II. David Wood is a retired Coast Guard Captain who spent the last four years of a 30-year career in command of the USCG Barque Eagle.  He subsequently served as Chairman of Tall Ships America, and sailed occasionally on the tall ships HMS Rose, Picton Castle (barque), and Europa (barque), as well as the S/Y Sea Cloud. Class reading:  Sail Tall Ships, A Directory of Adventure and Education Under Sail, 22nd Edition, ISBN 978-0-979987854 (Available from the instructor at a cost of $5.)


On-line or In-person: At MSC office, 29 Burbank Ave., Brunswick between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. By phone: Call 207-725-4900




For weather closings, MSC will follow the decision of the Brunswick School Department. If classes in Brunswick are cancelled or delayed, MSC will cancel classes for that day. Make-up classes will be discussed by the instructor with the class. A recorded announcement will announce the status of classes: 207-725-4900.


Registration will be confirmed by email. A student may withdraw before the first class and receive a full refund of the tuition. The membership fee is non-refundable.


Books must be purchased by the student. Please see course description to learn if a book is required or recommended.


Midcoast Senior College is a 501c3, non-profit organization. It is largely supported through an annual membership fee of $35. The membership fee covers the fiscal year July 1 to June 30. Your annual membership allows you to participate in all MSC courses and workshops, as well as allows you to attend the annual meeting in June.


All classes and workshops during the Winter Term will be held at Midcoast Senior College, 29 Burbank Ave., Brunswick, ME