Adult Education Classes, 2018

Adult Education Classes

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There are three periods during the morning of 55 minutes each. Classes are for six days, Sunday through Friday. Teachers are selected by the Program & Evaluations committee. Each teacher teaches his/her class twice each morning for 6 days. Classes are strictly optional and no attendance is kept.

The Program & Evaluations committee seeks to achieve a balance of classes in these categories, usually nine or more classes total:

  • Social/Political:  Labor issues, political workings, and miscellaneous other
  • Religion & Spirituality:  Bible study, comparative religion, etc.
  • Personal Development:  Dance, yoga, etc.

New teachers are sometimes brought in because the committee is looking for someone to teach a specific topic. Most often, a teacher is brought in by a camper who has experienced the teacher elsewhere.


Classes for 2019 have yet to be determined

The classes, 2018

—    Socio-Political    —

The Whole Truth and Nothing But The Truth  –  Robert Campbell

Fake News, biased reporting, internet cascading, partisan views, click bait, trolling hackers and all the catch phrases and methods used to sway our perceptions and our opinions about the world around us will be explored. This class will discuss and determine how best to decipher the truth in the new jungle of information and disinformation. And just for fun we will explore how Human and Artificial Intelligence may play a role in cleaning our information sources and help us make better decisions. Some films will be included in the course and you are encouraged to share experiences and trusted sources of information.

Robert has been a life-long artist in multiple mediums, bringing creative thinking to Fortune 500 companies, political organizations and the non-profit sector with culture management consulting. He strives to raise the integrity of human and artificial intelligence.

Into The Future, One America  –  William Foster

The current social and political mood in America is more divided than even before. We as people of good conscience need to work harder than ever to create a spirit of equality in our homes, schools, communities, workplaces and country. Even though it appears enormous; this movement always starts person to person. We start small, and rotate out as the circle of discussion expands. This is our opportunity to prioritize this important conversation, and prepare to carry it back to our everyday lives.

Bill has spent over 25 years teaching at a Community College and 35 years as a martial arts instructor. He has also been an ADL (Anti-Defamation League) diversity consultant since 1996, a Diversity Officer for the Connecticut Congress of Community Colleges for 5 years and past Dean at NNESRE.

Understanding White Privilege  –  Dr. Piper Kendrix Williams and Rev. Amy Bruch

Privilege, particularly white privilege, is hard to see for those who were born with access to the power and resources that simply being white affords. This kind of privilege is very visible for those to whom privilege is not granted. The subject can be extremely difficult to talk about because many white people don’t feel powerful or privileged in ways that others are not. It is like asking fish to notice water or birds to notice air. For those who lack privileges based on race, white privilege is very visible and the impact of white privilege are evidenced to them daily.

In this course, we hope to help participants understand the basics of white privilege, what it is and how it works. Based on the curriculum created by the United Church of Christ, this course will include some definitions, an understanding of “white” as the norm, the meaning of the “black tax,” white privilege as it impacts education and housing and some direction on becoming an “ally.”

Piper (B.A. Spelman College, M.A., Ph.D. Rutgers, the State University of NJ) is an Associate Professor in the English and African American Studies Departments at the College of New Jersey. She teaches various classes on topics in 19th and 20th Century African American Literature, African Diaspora Literature, and Multicultural Studies. Piper authored; Re-presenting Segregation: Toward an Esthetics of Living Jim Crow, published in 2010. She is currently writing A Black American Love Story.

Amy is Associate Minister of The Congregational Church of Topsfield, MA. She is ordained for over 25 years and has served in Old Lyme, CT, Lenox, MA and Norwell, MA. Amy is also a potter and has been creating liturgical pottery for many years.

—    Religion and Spirituality    —

Who Me?  –  Jennifer Hanrahan

Throughout the Bible we meet several characters whom God calls to do God’s work in the world. Some laugh in surprise, some drop everything and follow, some turn and run in the opposite direction (or at least try to). In this class we will explore God’s call to Moses, Jeremiah, Jonah, Mary, Peter, and more. We will read, share insights, sing, and maybe even play games as we explore questions such as: What do these stories have in common? Do these characters inspire us? Empower us? What can these stories teach us as we seek to “Be the Change” in these challenging times?

Jennifer has a BS in physical therapy from the University of Vermont and a M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. An active member and lay leader of Spring Glen Church for several years, she completed clinical pastoral education residency at Yale New Haven Hospital and has worked as a hospice chaplain. A Morning Watch regular at NNESRE, she is currently living in southwest, NH, discerning a call to ordained ministry in the United Church of Christ, and hoping to serve in outdoor ministry at the NHUCC’s Horton Center this summer.

Song Writing for The Soul  –  Lynn Adler & Lindy Hearn

Continuing the songwriting journey we began last summer with "Breakthrough Songwriting" — we'll head down 'the soul path' and look in such directions as Faith, Meditation, Mystery, Religion and Spirit to find our way to a kind of 'song soul-therapy.' By the end of the week you may write just the song your spirit needs. Or maybe you'll be inspired to write a group sing-along celebrating life's mysteries, or a calming sung prayer for a hurting world. You can take this class to heart, or you can attend with the simple goal of experiencing a fresh way to get outside your comfort zone and try your hand at something new.

In last year's "Breakthrough Songwriting” class, participants experienced breakthroughs regarding lost love, finding their voices, making peace with the past and facing fears. So as you see, this can go any direction you want.

Participants are encouraged to share as much or as little about their songwriting process during the week as they want. No pressure.

Is there a 'soul song' you long to sing to yourself or to the world? Maybe a lullaby of comfort and reassurance. Or a rap to get your life in step to a new beat. Or a spiritual song, anthem or ballad. No prior songwriting experience is necessary. Nor do you need to play or bring an instrument. If you play guitar or ukulele, you're welcome to bring it along. Please do bring a notebook and pen for writing down random thoughts, ideas, lyrics, poems, and observations during the week. (We recommend this over using your phone or other device.)

Lynn & Lindy are the national touring, performing-songwriting duo Adler & Hearne, and are official Texas Touring Artists of the Texas Commission on the Arts. The two met in Nashville while on solo musical journeys. Years later their paths merged in Texas, and the couple now hails from Texas’ Upper East Side where they reside at their Spring Hollow Organic Song Farm outside the rural arts hamlet of Winnsboro. The two are award-winning performing songwriters who also teach voice, guitar and songwriting. They share a love of helping others write, sing and play their own songs.

Spirit Books  –  Gail Turgeon

Susan Gaylord relates, “Spirit Books bring together my love of the book and my response to the natural world that we see and to the invisible one that lies beyond.” After seeing an exhibit of Gaylord’s books at Mercy Center in Madison, CT, I was inspired to create my own. Nature never fails to renew my spirit, and remembering that Winni is a natural paradise prompted me to propose this course. In class we will create books using natural elements such as twigs, leaves, and flat rocks. We will leave at the end of the week with a piece of Winni to sustain our spirit in the days ahead.

Note: If you plan to take the class please bring any of the following: scissors, glue, handmade papers (neutral colors), large needles, thread or embroidery floss, tiny beads, and pressed leaves or flowers from your world. We will be using Winni’s natural materials, but can combine them with your own. And I encourage you to Google Susan Gaylord to see the creations that inspired me.

Gail has taught calligraphy and related arts in her community for 20 years and was an English teacher in the Groton School System for 33 years. Currently, she is teaching and tutor writing at Mitchell College in New London, CT.

—    Personal Development    —

Music and Video: Capturing Winni Magic!  –  Will Abbot

"Music and Video: Capturing Winni Magic!" is a collaboration between Winni musicians and photographers/videographers/anyone with a camera or smartphone! We'll begin with videography basics: how to hold your smartphone to take video, how to move and frame your subject to make video more dynamic, how to capture good audio even without designated audio equipment, and how to do basic editing/uploading on your own. Next, we'll apply these fundamental skills to create semi-professional videos using DSLR cameras and dedicated audio equipment. We'll pair videographers with musicians to shoot music videos around the many amazing locations at Winni. These videos can help Winni musicians share and advance their musical endeavors! The class's final project will be to capture the Coffeehouse performance. We'll pair our videography skills with the existing professional lighting and sound to create a concert video that can be used for Winni's website and promotional materials, and can serve as another anchor to Winni magic for the whole community throughout the year! If you are a musician, photographer, DSLR or smartphone owner, or anyone curious about video and music, come check out "Music and Video: Capturing Winni Magic!."

Will is a freelance videographer based in Philadelphia, specializing in live music videos. He is also the Director/Lead Teacher at an arts-based after school program for middle schoolers.

Advanced Photography  –  Travis Leap

In this course, basic photography concepts from the 2017 course will be briefly reviewed. New concepts, strategies, and methods will be instructed (possibly including but not limited to: HDR, focus stacking, and advanced composition). Works from various photographers, including those from Winni, will be discussed.

Travis is an elementary music teacher by day and a professional photographer by night (or at least evenings and weekends). A few years ago, Travis picked up a camera in hopes of photographing his family. He brings his skill and passion for photography.

Yoga  –  Saskia Bergmans Smith

Saskia’s style of teaching is centering and mindful. With precision and grace she guides her students through class, catering and allowing for modification of the poses wherever necessary. She creates a safe and compassionate environment for her students to explore and discover their own path to yoga. Saskia teaches in the style of the Yogaspirit lineage, a healing-based system of yoga.

Saskia has been a yogi for over 20 years. She is of Dutch nationality, yet grew up in England. She studied and trained with Dona Holleman and Orit Sen-Gupta and has been teaching and studying yoga since 1997.

Rethinking Healthcare  –  Elizabeth St. Louis

What does true health look like? With healthcare costs continually on the rise, what can we do to be our own advocates and champions to live our healthiest lives? We will explore what a more proactive approach to healthcare looks like... and could look like. Exercise, nutrition, and self-care will be addressed, as well as your own thoughts about “health.” We will aim to empower ourselves to be the healthiest version of ourselves, and to take much of our own healthcare into our own hands.

Liz (PharmD from UConn, CHC) is a licensed pharmacist with 14 years experience discussing one's health with patients — focusing on both wellness before illness and wellness with illness. Her work of patient support has led to becoming a Certified Health Coach and evolved into a mission of health coaching with a comprehensive view on wellness and how to attain it.

—    Other    —

Dean’s Drop In: "Live Winni: Be The Change"  –  Bill + Joann Milford

The Dean's Drop In is a casual class of conversation centered around a topic or presentation of the day. This year will focus on transformational moments or experiences that helped to create definition or direction for change. Participants will be encouraged to share Life Stories to give context to the 2018 theme of "Live Winni: Be The Change."

Bill + Joann are the Deans for our week here at Winni, in their 4th and final year. Joann is the Assistant Director of the Florida Multidisciplinary Center at Florida State University. Bill is the Division Chair for Social Work at Thomas University. They live in Tallahassee, Florida and love to talk... and listen — so come and be part of our conversation!