Dear ESI College Students:

Here is the list of September and October offerings for ESI College, serving those age 60 and older.  

ESI College Online Early Fall (September and October) Classes

We are so pleased to be offering the following classes by these wonderful instructors:

  • Eric Davis: The Presidential Election of 2020 ~ September 10, October 29: 10-11 a.m.
  • John Elder: Conversations in Poetry ~ September 14, 21, 28: 1:30-3 p.m.
  • Robert Wyatt: Porgy and Bess ~ September 16, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Joanne Corbett: Late-Life Worries ~ September 17, 10:30 a.m.-noon
  • Bill Schubart: Journalism and Opinion ~ September 22, 29, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Rick Hawley: Seeing the Light in Later Life ~ September 23, October 28: 1:30-3 p.m.
  • Richard Wolfson: Vermont’s Solar Revolution ~ September 24: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Rhonda Williams: COVID Update from VT Dept of Health ~ September 30: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Robert Wyatt: The Beatles ~ October 6: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Elise Blair: Somewhere Towards the End ~ October 7, 14, 21: 1:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Richard Wolfson: Einstein in a Nutshell ~ October 15: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Doug Richards: Shakespeare’s The Tempest ~ October 16, 23, 30: 10:30 a.m.-noon
  • John Berninghausen: The Modern Look of Things ~ October 20, 27, November 3,10, 17, 24: 10:30-11:45 a.m.
  • Caleb Kenna: Vermont from Above ~ October 22: 10:30-11:30 a.m.

To see a full course description, scroll down further in this email. You will find these descriptions and instructor bios on our website later this week: https://elderlyservices.org/esi-college-classes-2/ 

Registration

To sign up click this link: https://tinyurl.com/ESIC2020Sept-Oct. We will confirm your registration with an email from one of us at ESI College. 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 communication 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.

To Participate

What you’ll need to participate is a device (computer, tablet, 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 and Dana Perzanoski
for ESI College Online


Fall 2020 Online ESI College Classes

The Presidential Election of 2020

Instructor: Eric Davis
Date: Thursday, September 10
Time: 11 a.m.-noon
Cost: $10

Description: This presentation will review the state of the presidential campaign with about two months to go until election day. Topics covered will include Joe Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate, the Democratic and Republican “virtual conventions,” preparations for the presidential and vice presidential debates, and the impact of balloting-by-mail on the election.

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.


Conversations in Poetry

Instructor: John Elder
Dates: Mondays, September 14, 21 & 28
Time: 1:30-3 p.m.
Cost: $30

Description: Reading and discussing poetry in a group can foster a habit of attentiveness, not only to the achievements of the verse but also to other participants’ insights and experience. A poem can be the table where a community gathers.

In each of this class’s three sessions, we will focus on two poems—llooking not only at their individual structures, themes, and implications but also at some of the ways they illuminate one another. In the first week, the poems to be considered will be by Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson; in the second, by Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman; in the third, by Marianne Moore and Natasha Trethewey.

Instructor: John Elder taught English and Environmental Studies at Middlebury College for 37 years. He also taught for many summers at the Bread Loaf School of English and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He and his wife, Rita, live in Bristol.


Porgy and Bess

Instructor: Robert Wyatt
Date: Wednesday, September 16
Time:10:30-11:30 a.m.
Cost: $10

Description: Porgy and Bess opened in New York City on October 10, 1935, running for 124 performances before the production ended in financial ruin. Billed as an “American folk opera,” George Gershwin, his brother Ira and the author and co-librettist, DuBose Heyward, crafted an intense musical drama which ultimately spawned a furious debate about musical style and form, authenticity, race, discrimination, prejudice and national identity. The music and lyrics, however, have survived the seventy-five years of controversy, assuming a stature unsurpassed in the American operatic repertoire. In short, Porgy and Bess contains some of the most recognizable and beloved music ever written.

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. 


Late-Life Worries

Instructor: Joanne Corbett
Date: Thursday, September 17
Time: 10:30 a.m.-noon
Cost: $10

Description: “I don’t want to lose my independence!” “Will I have enough money?” “What if my spouse dies first?” This program will encourage you to take steps—both practical and philosophical—to prepare for the challenges of aging.

Instructor: Joanne Corbett, LICSW, has been executive director of Elderly Services Inc. since 1990. She received her A. B. from Harvard University and her M.S.W. from Boston College School of Social Work. Within Elderly Services she is a Medicare-participating provider of counseling for older people. 


In a Democracy We Must Distinguish Fact-Based Journalism from Idea-Based Opinion

Instructor: Bill Schubart
Dates: Tuesdays, September 22, 29
Time: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Cost: $20

Description: In an age where news and opinion are often intentionally commingled, we will explore together the difference between the two and discuss why it’s vital to maintain that boundary in a democracy. Participants will be invited to explore examples of each and to differentiate between the two.

Instructor: Bill Schubart has served as board chair at Vermont Public Radio, UVM Medical Center, Vermont Digger and Business Roundtable. Educated at Exeter, Kenyon and UVM, he co-founded Philo Records and Resolution Inc. Bill currently chairs the Vermont College of Fine Arts and has written five books of fiction.


Seeing the Light in Later Life

Instructor: Rick Hawley
Date: Wednesday, September 23
Time: 1:30-3 p.m.
Cost: $10

Description:

Description: In the first six or seven decades of our lives we are in building mode: we may build families, enduring relationships, careers. In the later decades we have gained sufficient perspective to consider the value and meaning of what we have built. In early life we learn outward; in later life we learn inward—and if we persist, we experience a depth and quality of understanding that is only possible in later life. In this course students will be invited to consider late life surprises and insights Hawley documents in his series, On My Way Out, and to share their own. This monthly class continues the discussion from August 26 with new material. Whether you’ve attended previous sessions or not, you are invited to join in. (This monthly class runs again on October 28 with new material.)

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.


Vermont’s Solar Revolution

Instructor: Richard Wolfson
Date: Thursday, September 24
Time: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Cost: $10

Description: Drive most any Vermont road and you’ll see solar photovoltaic systems sprouting on roofs and fields. What’s driving this solar revolution? How much energy do we get from the Sun? Is solar practical in our cloudy state? How do solar panels work? What would your electric bill look like if you had solar panels? Is the solar revolution unique to Vermont? Physicist and environmental educator Richard Wolfson examines these and other questions about solar photovoltaics, drawing from personal and professional experience with solar energy in Vermont and the world beyond.

Instructor: Richard 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.


COVID Update from the Vermont Department of Health: Staying Informed and Staying Well During the Pandemic 

Instructor: Rhonda Williams
Date: Wednesday, September 30
Time: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Cost: $10 (no charge?)

Description: Rhonda Williams from the Vermont Department of Health will share a brief history of the virus, summarize the very latest data about COVID-19 in Vermont, provide reliable resources for staying informed, and answer your questions about the virus. She will also focus on ways to keep up your spirits and your health during the fall and winter.

Instructor: Rhonda Williams is the Chronic Disease Prevention Chief at the Vermont Department of Health. In the Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, she oversees several CDC-funded initiatives including the tobacco control and prevention program and the asthma program, and is the lead on healthy aging. She received her master’s degree from Yale in environmental studies.


The Beatles

Instructor: Robert Wyatt
Date: Tuesday, October 6
Time: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Cost: $10

Description: In 1956, 16-year-old John Lennon had formed a skiffle band called “The Quarrymen,” eventually adding two even younger local guitarists, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. By 1960, they were known as the “The Beatles,” a band quickly becoming one of the most popular in Europe. With the addition of drummer Ringo Starr in 1962, they released their first LP, “Love Me Do,” and Beatlemania began to take flight. During the next eight years, the Beatles recorded and released 214 different songs while becoming the most significant band in world history.

Their musical style, a combination of pop ballads and traditional 1950s rock and roll, was eventually spiced with classical elements, Indian ragas and psychedelic hard rock. Their genesis contributed to the evolution of pop music into an art form, while their aura generously sweetened the counterculture of the 1960s. Robert Wyatt will guide you along a magical tour while listening to epic songs like “Hey Jude,” “Something,” “Yesterday,” “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “A Day in the Life.” The morning will abound with clips from their five films while documentary recording sessions and live interviews permit you to witness the individual personalities of the “Fab Four.”

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. 


Perennials Group: Somewhere Towards the End

Instructor: Elise Blair
Dates: Wednesdays, October 7, 14, 21
Time: 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Cost: $30 (not including book: purchase the book through the Vermont Book Shop)

Description: We will use Diana Athill’s book: Somewhere Towards the End. This British literary editor and writer of several books wrote this book at age 91. She died at age 98. She thought the fact that we now live much longer made it worthwhile for her to describe her life and how she managed it. “There are few books written about this topic,” she explained. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote: “There is something terrifically comforting about a nonagenarian writing with clarity, wit and verve about getting old and facing death.” It is a wonderful read and since the average age of our classes is between 75 and 80, I thought this would be a good book as background for our discussions.

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.


Einstein in a Nutshell

Instructor: Richard Wolfson
Date: Thursday, October 15
Time: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Cost: $10

Description: Einstein’s most famous contribution to science—his theory of relativity—is based on an idea so simple it can be stated in one sentence. Yet from that simple idea, explains Middlebury professor Richard Wolfson, follow conclusions that have revolutionized our notions of space, time and causality. Whether your background is in English, education or engineering, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of Einstein’s revolutionary theory and how it’s changed our world. 

Instructor: Richard 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.


Shakespeare’s The Tempest: Time, Magic, and the Capacity for Change

Instructor: Doug Richards
Dates: Fridays, October 16, 23, 30
Time: 10:30 a.m.-noon (check email!!)
Cost: $30 (not including book; purchase book through The Vermont Book Shop)

Description: The Tempest tells the story of Prospero and daughter Miranda, marooned with servants Ariel and Caliban on an island, when a ship carrying his betrayers appears. As the play unfolds, Shakespeare invites us to consider questions about parents and children; exercising unbridled power; aging and our time-bound-lives; the competing claims of revenge, empathy & forgiveness; and our capacity for change. All this in a play full of music, comedy, spectacle, young love and magic. During the course, we will explore our responses to the play’s characters, staging, language, themes—and what these might tell us about Shakespeare.

Instructor: Doug Richards (B.A. Hamilton, Ph.D University of Rochester) has taught Shakespeare in diverse settings over 40 years, primarily at Keuka College, but also to youth and adults. Other teaching/interests include early British, children’s, and environmental literature, poetry, natural history, and higher education.


Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau and Art Deco: The ‘Modern’ Look of Things, 1860-1940

Instructor: John Berninghausen
Dates: Tuesdays, October 20, 27, November 3, 10, 17 and 24
Time: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Cost: $60

Description: The Modern look of things was defined by three movements in design that arose in Europe and quickly spread around the world. The Arts and Crafts Movement originated in the United Kingdom (1860-1890) and then, around 1893, Art Nouveau suddenly emerged in Brussels, spreading to other European cities. In the U.S., Tiffany & Co. stained glass and jewelry, the Palmer House Hotel, Frank Lloyd Wright homes, Stickley furniture, and California bungalows all contained influences from these two movements. After WW I, the Art Deco movement burst upon the scene, and by the early 1930s, had gone global. In the U.S., South Miami architecture, the Chrysler Building, aerodynamic automobiles, Union railway stations from Cincinnati to Los Angeles, dozens of movie theaters, cocktail sets and 1930s graphic arts all represented the new look of Art Deco. Six illustrated lectures tell the remarkable story of the evolution of these three successive and inter-related movements in architecture, furniture, interior design, graphics, fashion, and advertising and the role of technology, commerce and global communications in their development.

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.


Vermont from Above: Drone Photography over the Green Mountain State

Instructor: Caleb Kenna
Date: Thursday, October 22
Time: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Cost: $10

Description: Middlebury photographer Caleb Kenna will show his drone photography from around Vermont and discuss using a drone to capture Vermont’s landscapes.

Instructor: Caleb Kenna is a photographer and drone pilot based in Middlebury. His clients include The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Vermont Community Foundation and Vermont Land Trust. More of his work can be seen at www.calebkenna.com and on Instagram @calebkenna.

Seeing the Light in Later Life

Instructor: Rick Hawley
Date: Wednesday, October 28
Time: 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Cost: $10

Description:

Description: In this course students will be invited to consider late life surprises and insights Hawley documents in his series, On My Way Out, and to share their own. This monthly class continues the discussion from August 26 and September 23 with new material. Whether you’ve attended previous sessions or not, you are invited to join in.

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.


The Presidential Election of 2020

Instructor: Eric Davis
Date: Thursday, October 29
Time: 11 a.m.-noon
Cost: $10

Description: What is the state of the campaigns for the presidency and the Senate with less than a week to go until election day? What insights might polls, economic indicators, and other events provide about the outcome on November 3? How will the large number of mail ballots affect the process of counting and reporting the vote? 

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.

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