ESI College Online Classes / November-December 2020 

A Small-town Photographer’s Life with Trent Campbell of the Addison Independent

DATE: Wednesday, November 4 
TIME: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
COST: $10

Description: In this class Trent Campbell will share 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.


Listening to Classical Music: An Introduction to Musical Form

DATES: Thursdays, November 5 & 12 
TIME: 10:30 a.m.-noon
COST: $20

Description: What is a sonata? What is a fugue? What is a rondo? These terms for musical form may at first seem mysterious, but emeritus music professor Peter Hamlin will offer a friendly and non-technical explanation with lots of examples. The class will learn how to hear elements of the forms, and learn why they were used by the great composers at different stages of musical history.

Instructor: Before retiring in 2019, Peter Hamlin taught music theory, electronic music and composition at Middlebury College, where he was the Christian A. Johnson Professor of Music. Peter has been a radio host and producer in San Diego and Iowa, hosted television programs on Iowa Public TV, and taught music at St. Olaf College before returning here to his alma mater in 2004. Peter is also active as a composer of instrumental, choral, chamber and electronic music.


The Hollywood Musical: Part 1

DATE: Monday, November 9 
TIME: 10:30-11:45 a.m.
COST: $10

Description: This country’s most prized contributions to world art are jazz and American musical theater. The Broadway show moved to Hollywood in 1927 when Warner Bros. introduced the first “talkie,” The Jazz Singer, in which Al Jolson sang six songs. Throughout the 1930s the screen boomed with sensational musical films and the decade ended with the blockbuster The Wizard of Oz. Part 1 of this new four-part series will thrill you with lively banter and sensational movie clips!

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.

Poems as Life Maps

DATE: Wednesday, November 18
TIME: 1:30-3 p.m.
COST: $10

Description: In this session poet Richard Hawley will invite readers to consider together a selection of poems which explore—as only poems can—how various stages register in our deepest interior. The poems selected will focus on formative experiences in childhood, midlife, and advanced age. Participants will reflect on what is particular and what is universal in the individual poems and how they bear on one’s own life. The selected poems will be distributed in advance.

Instructor: Richard Hawley, Ph.D., is a lifelong teacher, writer and musician. For four decades he taught, coached and counseled boys at Cleveland’s University School, serving for 17 years as the school’s headmaster. He has published 30 books, dozens of articles, stories and poems in publications ranging from The Atlantic to the New England Journal of Medicine. Also a lifelong piano player, Hawley has performed in jazz clubs and other venues across the country.


Book Group: De Maupassant’s The Necklace

DATE: Thursday, November 19
TIME: 1:30-3 p.m.
COST: $10

Description: In this class we’ll discuss “The Necklace,” a short story by Guy De Maupassant (1850-1893). In it, Mathilde is an unhappy housewife, dissatisfied with her lot in life. When given the opportunity to shine in society with a borrowed necklace, she seizes the chance but the consequences are not what she imagined.

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.


The Thanksgiving Plate: Why We Eat What We Eat at Thanksgiving

DATE: Monday, November 23 
TIME: 1:30-2:30 p.m.
COST: $10

Description: How did America’s most iconic food holiday come to include green bean casserole and creamed onions? What did the Pilgrims really eat in 1621? How did the Civil War shape Thanksgiving as we know it? And what’s the deal with canned cranberry sauce? Susan Evans McClure, Executive Director of Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, will serve up the story of the foods we eat, the holiday we share, and how that helps us understand American identity over time.

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. 


The Election of 2020: What Happened?

DATE: Tuesday, December 1
TIME: 11 a.m.-noon
COST: $10

Description: This class will be about explaining the results of the elections for President, U.S. Senate and U.S. House, and looking ahead to major developments leading up to Inauguration Day on January 20.

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.


The Deep Nature of Boys

DATE: Wednesday, December 2
TIME: 1:30-3 p.m.

COST: $10

Description: In this class, participants will consider what author and former Boys School Headmaster Richard Hawley believes to be the distinctive nature of boys and how that nature, if it is allowed to flourish, shapes the men they will become. This exploration comes at a time when the nature of masculinity—even the notion of gender itself—is undergoing a radical reconsideration. Due to contemporary concerns about violence, failure of empathy, and unapologetic misogyny, some cultural commentators have advanced the notion of “toxic masculinity”—and that it is personified daily in some of our most focal public figures. This class will, through a series of readings and discussion, consider what boys bring into the world before they are anything like “toxic.”

Instructor: Richard Hawley, Ph.D., is a lifelong teacher, writer and musician. For four decades he taught, coached and counseled boys at Cleveland’s University School, serving for 17 years as the school’s headmaster. He has published 30 books, dozens of articles, stories and poems in publications ranging from The Atlantic to the New England Journal of Medicine. Also a lifelong piano player, Hawley has performed in jazz clubs and other venues across the country.


Book Group: Dubliners

DATES: Thursdays, December 3, 10 & 17
TIME: 10:30 a.m.-noon
COST: $10

Description: Dubliners, a collection of 15 short stories by James Joyce, is the source of almost all modern ideas about the short story. It features the convention of stark realism, a moment in which a character becomes aware of his or her situation and realizes there is no way out. But instead of pity or consolation, it creates a curiosity about human nature. The X-ray vision and penetrating analysis of these stories also yields the joy of grasping how difficult and mysterious is human existence.

Instructor: Paul Christensen taught contemporary literature at Texas A&M University and coordinated its creative writing program. His short stories have appeared in national journals and reviews, and he is the author of two memoirs and studies of the American poets Charles Olson and Clayton Eshleman.


Climate Update

DATE: Wednesday, December 16
TIME: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
COST: $10

Description: The past seven years are the warmest Earth has seen since record keeping began in the mid-19th century—and almost certainly in the past two millennia. 2020 is on target to be the warmest year ever recorded. This recent warming is only one of many pieces of evidence for an unprecedented warming of our planet over the past few decades. Both observations and modeling show that the dominant cause of this warming is human activity—in particular, our fossil-fuel consumption and the resulting increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. This talk reviews the latest evidence for human-induced global warming, explores the science behind our changing climate, and outlines scenarios for possible climatic futures.

Instructor: Rich Wolfson is Benjamin F. Wissler Professor of Physics Emeritus at Middlebury College. Educated at MIT, Swarthmore, Michigan and Dartmouth, he’s particularly interested in presenting science to non-scientists. Rich has written a half-dozen books, including Simply Einstein: Relativity Demystified.


Beloved Christmas Favorites: “Twas The Night Before Christmas” and Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

DATES: Fridays, December 11 and 18
TIME: 1:30-2:30
COST: $20

Description: Enjoy reading and discussing these secular favorites of the holidays. The December 11 meeting will discuss Clement Moore’s poem, “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and on December 18 we’ll talk about Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This book group depends on students having read the works prior to the first meeting of the class. Information on the books will be sent when you sign up. 

Instructor: John McWilliams is retired College Professor of Humanities at Middlebury College. He taught courses in the History, History of Art, Religion, and English & American Literatures departments.


Music for Advent and Christmas

DATE: Tuesday, December 15
TIME: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
COST: $10

Description: From the middle ages through the height of the Renaissance, European vocal and choral music changed in amazing ways. It moved from solo chant to two-part motets and then to intricate polyphonic choruses. In this class, we will trace the many historic sounds of the holiday season with music composed from 1100 to 1600, as we sample performances from groups such as Anonymous 4 and Chanticleer. We will also look at how music notation developed during these five hundred years, from hand-written medieval manuscripts to published scores with the use of moveable type. 

Instructor: Jeff Rehbach has led the Middlebury College Community Chorus since 2000 and Middlebury’s annual reading of Handel’s Messiah since 1984. He also serves as assistant conductor of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Chorus. He worked for nearly 30 years in a variety of positions for library and information technology at Middlebury College. Jeff holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in musicology from Cornell University.


The Hollywood Musical: Part 2

DATE: Tuesday, December 22
TIME: 10:30-11:45 a.m.
COST: $10

Description: In the 1940s. America was just emerging from The Great Depression. War engulfed half the world and the future looked uncertain. The Hollywood musical had the recipe to make things better. Join Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Fred Astaire, Doris Day, Gene Kelly, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne and a host of others as we celebrate the great musicals of the 1940s, when Hollywood put its best dancing feet forward.

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.

 

 

 

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