WISE COURSES

WISE SUMMER 2019 COURSES

Registration is underway for 2018-2019 WISE members. On May 13, 2019 non-WISE members are welcome to register for courses. All participants must pay all course fees prior to attending class. Registration will remain open while there is available space in the course.

You can register online and receive a confirmation email for courses in which you are enrolled. We recommend online registration. It's faster.

You can register over the phone. Call the WISE Office (please have your list of course selections and credit card in hand) during office hours.

You can register by mail by returning the Registration form in the summer catalog or return the form and check. The Office staff will manually enter in your course selections as they're received from WISE members and starting on May 13 for non-members. Please note that we cannot guarantee a seat in any course. 

If you have any questions about the registration process, send an email to the office staff at wise@assumption.edu

The WISE Spring 2019 catalog is available as a downloadable and printable PDF file

Our Curriculum Committee is completing the list of Fall 2019 courses Watch for an email announcing the Fall catalog. 

Upcoming Spring class sessions

    • 06/10/2019
    • 06/24/2019
    • 5 sessions
    • AC La Maison Salon
    • 30
    Register

    Course Description:

    This course will look at the general way historians evaluate historical evidence and arrive at reasonable conclusions.  It will also look at how science and history are related in the search for consensus and how this nexus serves to answer far-fetched historical claims.  Specifically, we will look at the historian’s craft from Thucydides to Kuhn; the persistence of witchcraft (not all witches live in Salem); the curse of Darwin and his theory of evolution; the Holocaust as seen as a Zionist Conspiracy; and the fake moon shot - Disney’s production of the moon landing.

    **Please note: The class on 6/17 will be held in La Maison Hall  (across the hall from La Maison Salon).

    Required Book: Michael Shermer, Why People Believe Weird Things. St. Martins. (available from Amazon)

    Group Leader: Dr. Watters is a former Assumption history professor and retired naval officer. He is not a Martian.

    Course fee:  $40.00

    • 06/11/2019
    • 07/16/2019
    • 5 sessions
    • Worcester streets
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Course Description:  This course will encourage participants to reevaluate the landscape (buildings, pars, cemeteries) with which we interact every day.  Let us introduce you to the stories and architecture that makes Worcester like no other place.  Examine aspects of Worcester’s rise to prominence in the 19th and early 20th centuries; discover the people who made it happen.  Learn more about the architecture, history, and notoriety of Worcester’s buildings and neighborhoods.  You will enjoy access to areas not open to the general public.  Weekly walks include walking by the canal; Crown Hill and the Greek Revival Style; Worcester Common and Worcester City Hall; Bancroft Heights and Bancroft Tower; and Hope Cemetery.  Participation on these walks involve walking for an hour and half with some stairs and hills.

    Optional Books:

    Worcester’s Best: A Guide to the City’s Architectural Heritage, Knowlton, E. B. and Gibson-Quigley, S.

    Worcester: Preservation Worcester, 1996 (second edition). Available from Preservation Worcester for $18.00, paperback

    GROUP LEADERS:  .Preservation Worcester Docents with expertise in each of the neighborhoods and Megan Blomgren, Director of Education.

    Course fee:  $40.00

    • 06/11/2019
    • 07/16/2019
    • 5 sessions
    • AC La Maison Salon
    • 31
    Register

    Course Description:  

    Flowers have been an inspiration to artists for centuries.  In the class we will explore changes in artistic style for more than four centuries; from the nature paintings of the Renaissance to the 21st century.  We will examine the exquisite floral paintings of the Dutch artists of the 17th century and the importance of florals in the 18th century during the reign of Marie Antoinette and George III.  Floral art from the 19th century will be illustrated in works by Delacrois, Fantin-Latour, Cassatt, Morisot, and Van Gogh.  The flower paintings of Georgia O’Keefe and Joan Mitchell reflect modernism of the 20th century.

    No Required Books

    Group Leader:  Martha Chiarchiaro has brought history to life through the art of the times for more than 30 years. She received her Master’s degree in the History of Art from Williams College and has taught a variety of art history courses at the Worcester Art Museum and Worcester State University. Martha has provided numerous talks on American painting, with a special fondness for American landscapes.

    Course fee:  $40.00

    • 06/12/2019
    • 07/17/2019
    • 5 sessions
    • AC Plourde Rec Center CR
    • 4
    Register

    Course Description:

    During the five-week course you will embark on a personal journey through the stories from your life. You will learn the techniques and structures of the memoir writing process.  This class will be a safe place to write and share.  Come start your journey this summer.

    Required Book: Old Friend from Far Away, Natalie Goldberg Simon/Schuster #9781416535034

    For the First Class: Bring either a writing notebook, chrome book, or laptop, depending on your preference for writing and editing.  Bring a photograph to share (avoid pictures on your phone-too small) that is not too current that you either took yourself or one in which you are the subject of the photograph.

    Group Leader: Mary Botticelli Christensen, Ed.D. holds a doctorate in Education from University of Hartford CT, a MA in English from Trinity College in CT , a BA in English from UConn and has 48 years of teaching experience. Besides her love of literature, she is passionate about teaching writing to all ages at all levels of ability.

    Course fee:  $40.00

    • 06/13/2019
    • 07/18/2019
    • 5 sessions
    • AC La Maison Salon
    • 8
    Register

    Course Description:  Theater improvisation can be funny, heartening, and insightful.  This participatory class offers an introduction to the creative opportunities and laughter possible with classic theater improvisation.  The workshop covers projects, theater games, and supportive theater habits.  If you’ve ever had stage fright but want to be less shy, or even yearned for more time on stage but haven’t found the place, both needs can be met in this fun and kind-hearted setting.  Each workshop period opens with physical warm-ups and thought-provoking warm-ups.  Each class closes with a review of successes and guided relaxation.

    No Required Books

    GROUP LEADER: Margaret McCandless has been teaching theater and improvisation for many years, most recently on the faculty at Bancroft School in Worcester where she taught drama, scenery painting and design and directed 5th grade plays.  Her classroom atmosphere helps adults as well as children use theater improvisation to meet various needs such as helping shy people become more at ease speaking before a group.  Primarily, Margaret’s Theater Improvisation Workshop is fun.  Whether participants are beginners or experienced in theater improvisation, the process brings people together and enriches creative vitality.

    Course fee:  $40.00

    • 06/13/2019
    • 07/18/2019
    • 5 sessions
    • AC La Maison Salon
    • 50
    Register

    Course Description:  Each of us has favorite poems we cherish.  While the poems themselves have not changed, we have.  Thus, it may prove interesting to look again at these poems and examine the ways in which they continue to enrich our lives.  New insights may accompany this effort. At the first session, the Group Leader will introduce his favorite poems. Class members are invited to submit titles of their favorite poems which will be drawn from a hat.  The selected poems will be discussed in the remaining sessions.  (Members are not obligated to lead the discussion of their poem(s).)

    No Required Books

    Poems will be distributed to class members

    For the First Class:  Bring one or two (or more) of the titles of your favorite poems.

    Group Leader:  Jim Foley is Professor of English Emeritus from Worcester State University with interests in Shakespeare, 19th century American Literature, and drama of all periods.  Among his most rewarding teaching experiences was his course, Introduction of Poetry, which reached a variety of students not majoring in English (and skeptical that poetry offered them anything of value).  Some minds were changed for the better!

    Course fee:  $40.00

    • 06/14/2019
    • 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    • AC Plourde Rec Center CR
    • 13
    Register
    Course Description:  Participants will “fall into a work of art” and begin poems which emerge from the work they are visualizing and come from their own personal experience. We will work with imagery which is the most translatable aspect of poetry; it is the universal language. Imagery shows first and then, with its literary statement implied inside, it tells.  There will be two periods of writing which are stimulated by a prompt and followed by discussion of each person’s work. In the workshop you will create a workable draft of a poem.

    No Required Books

    For the Workshop: Please bring paper and writing implements

    Group Leader:  Eve Rifkah has an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of the Arts.  She has run many workshops in poetry writing over the years, the last in 2018 as part of the Stanley Kunitz Home summer writing program.  She was editor of Diner, a literary journal for seven years and taught English writing and literature on the college level.  She has many publications including two full length books of historical poetry and two chapbooks.

    Course fee:  $25.00

    • 06/21/2019
    • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Tour down Blackstone River - Meet at Assumption College by parking garage next to Testa Science Building
    • 18
    Register

    Course Description: Class participants will be introduced to the many cultural, historical, and natural resources of The John H. Chafee Blackstone River National Heritage Corridor, officially established as a permanent National Park in 2015.  It is a region of nearly 400,000 acres located within Worcester County in central Massachusetts and Providence County in northern Rhode Island. The National Corridor was designated by an Act of Congress on November 10, 1986 to preserve and interpret for present and future generations the unique history and significant value of the Blackstone River Valley. We will travel down the Blackstone to visit several key locations and visitor destinations along the river that are part of the National Heritage Corridor.  We will travel by bus for the day. There will be a fee for the transportation and admission fees of $40.00.  Bring your own packed lunch.  Stops include Slater Mill and Blackstone Valley Visitor Center in Pawtucket, RI; Captain Wilbur Kelly House Museum in Lincoln, RI; and Museum of Work and Culture, Woonsocket, RI, among others. 

      Location: Class participants will meet at Assumption College  at the parking garage, alongside the Testa Science Building to pick up the bus.

      For the Outing:  Bring a packed lunch.  Water will be provided.

      Group Leaders:  Deb Cary is Director of Central Sanctuaries for the Massachusetts Audubon Society.  Donna Williams is on the Blackstone River Heritage Corridor Board of Directors, former Commission Chair, and former member of Mass Audubon Blackstone River Advocacy.

      Course fees:  $40.00 + $40.00 for transportation and museum admissions = $80.00 total

      • 07/08/2019
      • 07/22/2019
      • 5 sessions
      • AC La Maison Salon
      • 33
      Register

      Course Description:  American history is still often taught and understood through the lens of American exceptionalism.  The alternative can seem like a litany of abuses and horrors. Somewhere in between lies the truth; a history full of dark and divisive events and moments, but also of impressive and inspiring stories and figures.  In this class we will examine a handful of focal histories to consider both sides, and model how a skeptic can approach and engage the worst and best of American history. Topics to be focused on include: the Puritans, the Revolution, the Frontier, Women’s Suffrage, and the Greatest Generation.

      No Required Books

      Group Leader:  Ben Railton is Professor of English Studies and American Studies at Fitchburg State University. He is the author of five books, most recently, We the People: The 500-Year Battle over Who is an American. He writes a daily American Studies blog and the biweekly “Considering History” column for the Saturday Evening Post online.

      Course fee:  $40.00


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    Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)
    Assumption College, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609
    wise@assumption.edu
    508-767-7513

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