We are pleased to offer 13 classes for the March-April term of ESI College Online, serving those age 60 and older. Registration is now open, and classes begin March 2. Click on the title of a class in the list below to see complete descriptions of the classes and instructor bios, or simply scroll down the page.

To register, click here: https://tinyurl.com/ESICollegeMarchApril21 

Registration

To sign up, click here: https://tinyurl.com/ESICollegeMarchApril21

We will confirm your registration with an email from one of us at ESI College (from college@elderlyservices.org). Please look for that. Some classes have limited enrollment so sign up early—and sign up at least 48 hours in advance so we can be in touch with you about the class.

Cost

Classes cost $10 per session per person, $20 per session per couple. Each class lists the cost per person. The total cost for the classes will be listed on your registration confirmation. Sorry we can’t take payment online or over the phone. We’ll ask you to send a check within a week of registering.

Participation

What you’ll need to participate is a device (computer, tablet, iPad, Chromebook or smartphone) that you can use to Zoom, and to have Zoom set up on your computer. A device with a webcam is preferable so that people can see you. We will send a Zoom link for each session the morning of each class.

Technical Support

We have technical support for every class session. Don’t let technology be a barrier. If you need help, we will do our best to help you remotely.

We look forward to seeing you online!

Kind regards, 

Kristin Bolton
Dana Perzanoski
Jeff Rehbach
Anya Schwartz
Geetha Wunnava
for ESI College Online 


ESI College Online Classes / March-April 2021 

Beauty and Terror: Circumnavigating the Baltic Sea
Instructor: Tom Perera
Date: March 2
Time: 1:30-2:45 p.m.
Cost: $10

Description: This talk will take you all the way around the Baltic Sea starting in Sweden, ending in Denmark, and stopping off to explore some of the most beautiful, historically important, and tragic sites.  It will show one of the most extraordinary nautical blunders of all time, take you through the magnificent palaces of imperial Russia and explain how the various wars and military occupations terrorized the countries that border the sea.  It will take you inside a former KGB prison and a secret hidden underground missile base that had targeted all of the major cities in Europe. 

Instructor: Tom Perera is a retired Columbia University professor who has been traveling through Europe and studying World War II history for many years. His father was one of Patton’s Monuments Men and for the last 40 years Tom has been the only person in the world that hunts for, researches and restores German Enigma machines. 

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Historic Geology of the Champlain Valley
Instructor: Will Amidon
Dates: March 4, 11 & 18
Time: 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Cost: $30

Description: The geologic landscape had a major influence on settlement and cultural patterns of Native Americans and early European settlers, the effects of which are still visible today. This course will explore the intersection of geology and human settlement, considering topics such as: Paleo-Indians and the Champlain Sea, rivers and lakes as corridors for settlement and war, glacial soils and early agriculture, the early iron industry, the slate and marble industries, and more.

Instructor: Will Amidon is an Associate Professor of Geology at Middlebury College. He teaches environmental geology, climate history, satellite remote sensing, plate tectonics, and geomorphology. Will grew up in Charlotte, Vt., and graduated from Champlain Valley Union High School in 1997. He received his B.A. from Carleton College, his M.Sc. from U.C. Santa Barbara, and his Ph.D. from Caltech. His research focuses on developing techniques to date the age of rocks and sediment deposits.

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Louis Armstrong: Ambassador of Swing
Instructor: Robert Wyatt
Date: March 9
Time: 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Cost: $10

Description: One of the earliest trumpet sensations, Louis Armstrong pioneered the groundwork which shifted the newly founded jazz from collective improvisation to solo performance. His distinctive singing voice was also used as an improvisatory tool, and we owe scat singing to his list of inventions. The pairing of his unique instrumental gift and a charismatic personality won him universal and eternal appeal as the “Satchmo,” king of all jazz aficionados.

Instructor: Robert Wyatt is a Steinway Artist who has performed throughout the United States and internationally, gathering critical acclaim for sensitive and colorful solo and chamber music recitals. He delights audiences with a rare blend of pianistic savvy and engaging storytelling that makes each performance a creative event.

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Book Group: Novels of E.M. Forster and Elizabeth Van Arnim
Instructor: John Berninghausen
Date: March 16, 23, 30 & April 6
Time: 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Cost: $50

Description: These three charming and gently satiric English novels explore social conventions, subtle class distinctions, friendships, love and marriage in early 20th century England. Two of these novels, E.M Forster’s A Room with A View (1908) and Australian born English writer Elizabeth Von Arnim’s The Enchanted April (1922) include potentially life-transforming sojourns in sunny Italy by British tourists. The equally compelling plot and vivid characters of Forster’s penultimate novel, Howard’s End (1921), revolve around connections formed and transformed between the upper-middle class art-loving Schlegel sisters of London and the much wealthier family of the pragmatist businessman Henry Wilcox and his wife who have residences both in London and at their country home, Howard’s End. (Books will be ordered through the Vermont Book Shop at a discounted price; class limited to 15 students.)

Instructor: After earning his Ph.D. at Stanford, Professor Emeritus of Chinese John Berninghausen established Middlebury College’s Department of Chinese Language and Literature. Along with teaching Chinese, he led popular seminars on Western and Asian literature. An avid reader, he collects Chinese paintings and is a world traveler.

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Aging Gracefully Group*: When Bad Things Happen to Good People
Instructor: Elise Blair
Dates: March 24, 31 & April 7
Time: 1:30-2:45 p.m.
Cost: $30

Description: Rabbi Harold Kushner’s best-selling book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People, has resonated with many people who’ve dealt with tragedy in their lives. In this group we’ll use the book to discuss how we’ve made sense of the seemingly random and undeserved difficulties thrown our way by fate. We’ll share the ways we’ve coped with hardships throughout our lives, and how we’ve changed and grown as a result. Come and enjoy aging with a new perspective. Books will be ordered through the Vermont Book Shop at a discounted price.
(* Formerly called “Perennials” Group.)

Instructor: Elise Blair trained and worked in the Netherlands as an industrial social worker. She became a psychoanalyst in Washington, D.C., and had a private practice for 30 years. She played a large role in the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis as a teacher, board member and president. She is a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association.

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‘Our Best Endeavors’: Temperance and Prohibition in the Champlain Valley
Instructor: Susan Evans McClure
NEW DATE: March 25
Time: 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Cost: $10

Description: When you think about “Prohibition,” most people imagine gangster and bootleggers with tommy guns and fancy cars in the 1920s. But to truly understand federal Prohibition in the Champlain Valley, you have to start earlier than the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1919. Vermont actually had statewide prohibition for half of the 19th century! Join us to examine how the Champlain Valley went from being a major producer and consumer of alcohol in the early 1800s to a hotbed of temperance sentiment by the mid-19th century. What caused the members of the Westport Sons of Temperance to proclaim in 1853 that they would “use our best endeavors to procure and sustain a stringent prohibitory law”? And what can this all help us understand about the tension between regulation and personal freedom that plays out in our society today?

Instructor: Susan Evans McClure is the executive director of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. She leads the talented team of educators, curators, museum professionals and archaeologists as they explore the relationship between the land, the people, and the water of the Champlain Valley. Previously, Susan was director of programs and audience development at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, where she launched the Smithsonian’s first brewing history research and collecting initiative. Her research focuses on the field of public history, connecting people with the past in ways that are relevant to their lives today outside of the walls of the classroom.

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Understanding South Africa’s Deep Colonial Roots: Race and Power Before Apartheid
Instructor: Jacob Tropp
Date: April 8
Time: 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Cost: $10

Description: The rise of the South African apartheid system and its doctrine of white supremacy was a pivotal event of the second half of the 20th century. But what deeper historical developments made apartheid possible? This course explores the long-term dynamics of racial and colonial power in South Africa that became the building blocks of apartheid in the late 1940s. Such structural inequalities, created over centuries, also continue to shape inequities and problems in post-apartheid South Africa today.

Instructor: Jacob Tropp is Professor of History and John Spencer Professor of African Studies at Middlebury College. He is the author of Natures of Colonial Change: Environmental Relations in the Making of the Transkei and has written extensively on the social and environmental history of the Eastern Cape, South Africa. His other research direction examines connections between development programs on Native American reservations and in multiple international settings in the mid- to late 20th century. At Middlebury he teaches a wide range of courses related to African history: survey courses on early and modern Africa and topical seminars on women and gender, health and healing, popular culture, everyday life in South Africa, and liberation struggles in southern Africa.

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Film Discussion: The Visitor (2007)
Instructor: Frankie Dunleavy
Date: April 8
Time: 1:30-2:45 p.m.
Cost: $10

Description: A chance encounter with an immigrant couple forces a lonely white middle-aged man to face many issues, both personal and political. This thoughtful and award winning drama, directed by Tom McCarthy, explores the diversity of other cultures, racial politics, immigration, and administrative missteps without rage, accusations or one-sided arguments. During the class we will discuss the many perspectives that the film raises. We highly recommend two viewings if possible; it’s available to rent on Amazon Prime.

Instructor: Frankie Dunleavy graduated from the University of London, where she majored in French and minored in English. In addition to those subjects, she has also taught Latin, Spanish and German in England, France, Germany and, most recently, Middlebury, Vt.

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Dreams: How They Nourish the Body, Mind and Soul
Instructor: Tom Verner
Date: April 14, 21 & 28
Time: 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Cost: $30

Description: Using ideas, stories, poetry, modern science and ancient wisdom we will gain an understanding of dreams and dreaming—body, mind and spirit. We will focus on the amazing things that go on in the body while we are dreaming, how dreams can give us guidance for psychological and emotional concerns, and the mysterious world of the spiritual aspects of dreaming. We will explore how dreams have been a source of inspiration for creative artists throughout the ages. We will also learn how to work with our dreams. Using various methods drawn from modern psychology and ancient traditions, we will learn to remember, record, and gain guidance from the “terrible beauty” of our dreams. Come with your dreams and a journal.

Instructor: Tom Verner, Ph.D., has been a clinical psychologist and college professor, specializing in dreams and Jungian Psychology for forty years. He is the author, with Jungian analyst, Stephen Larsen, of The Transformational Power of Dreaming. He and his artist wife Janet Fredericks conduct week long Dream Retreats and workshops at their home in Lincoln, Vermont. Tom has also been a professional magician for 45 years, and twenty years ago with Janet they co-founded the international, award winning organization, Magicians Without Borders. By UN estimates, they have performed for more than one million refugee and orphan children in 45 often war-torn countries.

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Even More Photos from 20 Years on the Road in Addison County
Instructor: Trent Campbell
Date: April 15
Time: 1:30-2:45 p.m.
Cost: $10

Description: In this class Trent Campbell will share a new collection of some of his favorite photos from 20 years covering the people, events and beauty of this county. 

Instructor: Trent Campbell, who learned photography at his grandfather’s knee in his home state of Minnesota, became the Addison Independent photographer in 1998. He has taken award-winning photos around the county for more than 20 years.

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Cole Porter: Sophisticate of American Song
Instructor: Robert Wyatt
Date: April 22
Time: 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Cost: $10

Description: Dilettante, hedonist, elitist, snob: Cole Porter was called all of them during his glittering yet troubled life. Whatever detractors may have said about him personally, Porter’s reputation as a musical genius has never been questioned. Porter’s life on Broadway and in Hollywood covered 40 years, producing 33 stage works and the music for 23 films. Rare archival film clips and recording of original cast members, including Ethel Merman, Fred Astaire, Louis Armstrong, and Bing Crosby are featured, along with Porter himself singing and playing “You’re the Top”—which he was.

Instructor: Robert Wyatt is a Steinway Artist who has performed throughout the United States and internationally, gathering critical acclaim for sensitive and colorful solo and chamber music recitals. He delights audiences with a rare blend of pianistic savvy and engaging storytelling that makes each performance a creative event.

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The Biden Presidency After 100 Days
Instructor: Eric Davis
Date: April 27
Time: 11 a.m.-noon
Cost: $10

Description: The 100-day mark is often used as a time to assess a newly-elected President’s initial months in office. What have been the major accomplishments, and major challenges, faced by the Biden-Harris Administration since January? Topics covered will include the response to COVID-19, economic recovery, climate policy, and international affairs.

Instructor: Eric Davis (B.A., Brown University; M.A., Ph.D. Stanford University) is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Middlebury College. From 1980 to 2008 he taught courses on American politics. Since retiring, he has continued to be a close observer of Vermont and national politics, writing a column for the Addison Independent and providing analysis for local and national media.

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The Passionate Observer: Keeping a Travel Journal
Instructor: Janet Fredericks
Date: April 29
Time: 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Cost: $10

Description: Join Janet on a colorful journey to exotic lands through her visual travel journals highlighting fifteen countries. While you take in the sights, learn what inspires the artist, how she goes about creating a journal, and how you can begin your own while staying at home—dreaming of places you’d love to visit. We will consider other types of journal keeping including garden journals, nature journals, life journals, ancestor books, and more.

Instructor: Janet Fredericks’ career as a Vermont artist and teacher spans 50 years. She has taught at Burlington College, Community College of Vermont, and has been an invited presenter at the University of Vermont. She currently gives workshops at her studio in Lincoln, Vt.

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Due to COVID-19, in-person programs at Elderly Services are on hold for now.Read more.