Adult Education Classes, 2022

Adult Education Classes

     Morning Classes  >  Adult Education Classes, 2022

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.
  • Mini Winis:  One-time, one-hour classes (with rare exceptions).

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.


The classes, 2022

—    Socio-Political    —

Mob Marley: Black People's Reality in the New World – Slavery to the 21st Century  –  Dr. Piper Kendrix Williams

This course will consider race, Black identity, race relations, history and more via Bob Marley songs. Much like my last course at Winni in 2019, I'm interested in how art shapes culture and the ways the close consideration of Black art can teach us so much that formal education has failed to do. Bob Marley’s words and songs offer truth, challenge, perspective and relevance to our current complex times as America deals with the legacy of the Trump presidency. One moment (among so many) stands out in relation to this course. At a White House Conference on the teaching of American history in September 2020, President Trump reacted to the New York Times “1619” project by questioning the need to study slavery and its legacy as well as its centering of Black people’s patriotism. To be a Black person in the United States since 1619 is to be at once the embodiment of white people’s desires, fears, and pathology and simultaneously, if possible, a Black self that is not defined by white people’s limited imaginations. The complicated ideas of race operating in the United States and the notions we hold about the meaning of race can shape Black people’s experiences and how they self-identify. The course will take us through a Black American view of America’s past and present using Bob Marley.

Piper the Chair of African American Studies and Associate Professor of African American Studies and English at The College of New Jersey. She is the co-author of The Toni Morrison Book Club published by the University of Wisconsin Press (2020). She is the co-editor of Re-presenting Segregation: Toward an Aesthetics of Living Jim Crow (SUNY UP, 2012). Her essay “Afrofuturistic Storytelling in Barracoon and Their Eyes Were Watching God” is forthcoming in Routledge Handbook to Alternative Futurism. She is editor of the forthcoming Teaching Toni Morrison in the 21st Century, (Modern Language Association).

Introduction to Compassionate Communication  –  Eze Sanchez

Nonviolent Communication is called "A Language of Life." It is also called Compassionate Communication. It's a way of being, really, which manifests itself in our language. It supports us in focusing our consciousness on empathy, compassion, understanding, and the language reflects it. It cuts through all differences, such that the foundational way of relating is "hey, we're both human, we both have feelings and needs, and we can connect on that.” Nonviolent Communication helps us get in tune with our own feelings and needs, and the feelings and needs of others, in ways that help us navigate conflicts and decisions, and ultimately focus on meeting as many needs as possible. Empathy has been called "psychological air," and the name is fitting because many person-centered practitioners agree that the 2nd greatest need (2nd to physical survival) is psychological survival, or, in other words, the need to be understood. NVC (Nonviolent Communication) helps us to understand others at deeper levels and create heart-centered connections. So, in short, we will get an introductory view of this beautiful art called NVC.

Eze began his studies in Mechanical Engineering. After realizing he was more of a people-person than a thing-person, he began his studies in holistic healing through Reiki, moving into massage therapy, and finally Life Coaching and Communication Facilitation. To get there, he has traveled to the jungles of the Amazon to meet with shamans, backpacked through Central America, and worked extensively on his own healing and growth. Today, Eze's passions are supporting individuals in discovering themselves, their desires and their callings, facilitating Nonviolent Communication trainings, and fruit. Yep, he loves fruit! Through his own painful journey of healing his relationship with himself and cultivating self-love for many years, he's come to learn that what has helped him most is empathy - the ability to understand the internal experience of another. Not only receiving empathy, but also giving it. And so, he's made it his life's mission to share as much empathy as he can.

Tools to Support Social Change in your Community  –  Jen Porcari

Our communities are wrestling with difficult societal challenges. As community members and activists, how can we support inclusive communication? Once you’ve gathered people together, where do you start a productive dialogue? This course will explore organizing strategies and tools for active community engagement including concepts such as Story Circles and World Cafe. Each day will explore a different idea. Come share your experiences and learn new tools!

Jen has worked in the labor movement for more than 30 years, including the last 25 years on the national staff of the American Federation of Teachers, organizing public employees across the country. She is a trainer, organizer and self-proclaimed tax geek who studies public policy to ensure that our democracy can thrive. She is a graduate of the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.

—    Religion and Spirituality    —

The Historical Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls  –  Rev. Jason Wells

Many people hold on to the mental picture of Jesus that they received in childhood church experiences. That picture holds on, often unchallenged in our minds. But if we open our minds to the scholarship, archeology and new ways of seeing the Bible, our faith can grower deeper and broader. This class will talk about the scholarship behind the current "Quest" for the Historical Jesus. Insights will come from reading the Bible afresh in the light of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other recent discoveries.

Jason serves St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Goffstown, NH. Prior to this role, he served for four years as the executive director of the New Hampshire Council of Churches, organizing ministries among nine diverse Christian denominations. Jason has served many Episcopal congregations after his ordination in 2004. Jason received a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and also holds bachelor’s degrees in computer science and mathematics from Southern Methodist University.

Beautiful Basics: Yoga for Beginners & Others  –  Jennifer Brosious

If you are new to yoga - this is definitely the place to start! If you have some experience, but know that it is always helpful to get reminders on the basics – also a great place to be! And if you are feeling that you just want to take a class that moves at a gentle, mindful pace – also, right up your alley! When you have a beginner’s mind the world is full of possibilities, there is no pressure to know it already or to do it right, and curiosity comes out to play and lead the way.

Jennifer , a life-long member of the Winni community, first experienced yoga at Winni in her teens while taking a class taught by George Blackman. Decades later, after delving deeply into yoga, she taught her first classes as a newly minted yoga teacher at Winni. Her teaching style promotes a calm, centered, and peaceful atmosphere with an emphasis on integrating breath with movement and finding balance between strength and mobility in the body. She is thankful for the loving and inspiring teachers who have illumined her life and seeks in turn to pass on this gift of Yoga to others.

Learning How to Grow Spiritually After a Pandemic  –  Rev. Bob Fellows

This course will include a discussion of how our personal and community spiritual practices have changed in the last three years. We will learn about maintaining a sense of community, remaining spiritually close to those who are physically distant, hybrid worship, worship in nature, and digital ministry. What has the pandemic taught us that we can use in our personal lives and relationships going forward? What did the pandemic expose about social justice? We live with change, and the course will reflect where we are in August 2022 and the direction that the class wants to take.

Bob is a United Church of Christ pastor who is now called to short-term ministries between settled pastors, Bob has helped several churches navigate the effects of the pandemic. He has led virtual worship, arranged creative visitation, and has worked with a wide range of views on the pandemic within these churches. He is looking forward to the opportunity to create an environment where we can really listen to each other and share our newfound spiritual and family practices.

—    Personal Development    —

Collage  –  Julie Siftar and Dan Nicholson

Julie and Dan will lead an adventure in the art of collage. We will use cut and torn paper, magazines and photographs as a medium for developing unique, expressive imagery. Collaborative as well as individual work will be welcomed. Both the process and the product will celebrated.

Julie and Dan - We have been teaching art professionally for over 50 years combined, and together we have over 70 years of Winni experience. We live in Stow, Massachusetts with our two teenaged daughters and two cats. We look forward to creating with you!

Help Your Hoot  –  Trevor Davis and Tre Henry Davis III

What was your favorite Hoot act? What made it so great? Could you help someone develop their first performance in front of the overflowing Hoot crowd? Are you thinking about performing a song, skit or something else at the Hoot (or the Coffee House), but need a backup band and other folks to help you develop your idea? Have you ever felt you could be a better director than performer, and help someone develop and refine their act or skit? Are you tired of giving up your beach and tanning time to practice your act? Then this class is for you.

Bring your favorite instrument and/or your encouragement, imagination and creativity. This class is for performers and directors of all experience levels who want to develop and practice their ideas. Join us and our talented backup players and get ready for your performance on the big Hoot stage.

We hope to have a wide variety of talent, so bring us your challenge! We will have instruments and musicians in the Chapel during the two periods to perfect your act for the Hoot on Wednesday night or the Coffee House on Thursday night.

Trevor Jr. is a professional drummer, producer and promoter. Tré eclipsed his father’s talent when he was 6 years old and started playing piano. He is an accomplished photographer, videographer and musician.

Vocal Music Potpourri!  –  Joanne Hammil

From rounds to choral pieces, 2-part to 8-part singing, with a heart full of beauty, a smattering of silliness, a good dose of poignancy, and a dash of fun musical activities, we’ll hopefully be actually singing together in community once again! Ability to read music will be helpful but not necessary.

Joanne is a composer, music educator, choral director and performer. Her passions for singing in harmony and creating community through music infuse her composing and teaching. She directed the Greater Boston Intergenerational Chorus for 20 years, The Choral Connection for 30 years, and has presented concerts and workshops throughout the country. Her songs have been performed and recorded by many artists, have been widely published, and her rounds have become exciting standards in songbooks, harmony circles and choir repertoires.

—    Winni Minis    —

The Math Behind the Music  –  Jennifer Leaf

Do you love music? Even if you hate math, this is the class for all you music-lovers. In this demonstrative, number-light class, we will explore and answer questions such as: How does math explain the notes on a piano, the circle of fifths, and the chords on a guitar? How do tone and harmony relate to frequency, wavelength, and simple harmonic motion? Bring your experience, your questions, and come find out about the cool side of math that we enjoy every day!

Jennifer has attended Winni most years since 1980. “Growing up” at Winni has been one of the most special experiences of my life and has contributed greatly to who I am today. In my ‘real life’ I have always had an affinity for mathematics, and went back to college again as an adult to earn a B.S. and an M.S. in Mathematics. For the past 15 years I have been teaching mathematics to high school and college students. My favorite part is seeing people get excited about how math works; I feel especially fulfilled when I see people boosting their own confidence in understanding, using, and appreciating the math in everyday life.

Solution Focused Theory, Thinking, n' Therapy  –  Bill Milford

This is a brief introduction to the concept of Solution Focused Theory. This theory is based on the idea that exploring problems leads to more problems and worse, problematic language and feelings that are roadblocks to progress. SFT has a singular focus toward achieving goals and strategies built around language, techniques, and processes toward achieving them. Obstacles toward achieving goals are overcome by using strengths, experience, and experiments. While the success rate for SFT is similar to processes such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - client and therapist satisfaction with the overall process is much higher. Come listen, learn and experiment!

Bill is an Assistant Professor and the Field Director for the Social Work Program at Thomas University where he has taught the clinical practice classes for 19 years. He enjoys philosophical banter, theological musings, and mostly humor with regard to this life we are living. However, he is deeply committed to the mission of social work and especially the proliferation of folk music.

Hold Onto Your Kids  –  Bobbie Cecere

I invite you to attend an introduction to an essential book for parents of children and teens, Hold onto Your Kids by Gabor Mate and Gordon Neufeld. As a family therapist I have observed how kids are increasingly bonding to peers. For the first time in history, kids are turning to peers instead of mothers, fathers, teachers, etc.; no longer taking cues from adults but each other. The authors refer to this as Peer Orientation. Teens can’t be oriented to both adults and peers simultaneously when in conflict and it is not normal that children have become the dominant influence on one another’s development. Children are generating their own culture, distinct from their parents and instead of being passed down vertically; it is being passed horizontally with little empirical experience. What’s missing for teens is the unconditional love and acceptance, desire to nurture and the ability to be there for others that parents provide. Please come for an hour of lively conversation on this topic where I will share and learn with all of you.

Bobbie has been a Winni camper since 1992. She has been a commercial real estate broker and business owner and is now enjoying an encore career as a licensed professional counselor, practicing in Glastonbury, Connecticut.

Good Grief: Looking at the science, spirituality, and ritual of moving through grief  –  Kathy Pike

From the beginning of time, humans have experienced grief and loss, and religions around the world have developed rituals to address the grief. We'll look at ancient rituals from Irish, to Hindu, to Jewish traditions, as well as tried and true spiritual practices that have lasted the test of time. Learn how science supports these rituals and traditions, and try some of them out in class. Can these practices help me be healthier and happier? Note that grief, here, is for any loss, not just grief from death, but from pandemic disappointment, loss of a relationship, job, etc...loss of any kind.

Kathy is a hospice social worker in Massachusetts, and has been practicing yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and other traditions/rituals for years.

The Art of Storytelling  –  Mark Brady

Anybody can tell a story, and mostly everybody does. There are formulas for telling a good one. They can make you laugh, cry, think, or all the above. They also illustrate lessons in life sometimes. We’ve all heard stories that were exciting, or too short, or too long or boring. Many stories are true, and experienced by the teller, and some if they aren’t true, ought to be. Let’s explore what makes a good story and how they impact our audiences. You will be an even better storyteller after this course!

Mark is a storyteller by nature, by experience and by training. With teachers like Dottie Siftar and Tom Weakley at Winni, and as a member of the Association of Biblical Storytellers, he has been sharpening these skills for over 50 years. Mark is a self-employed kitchen and bath designer and contractor and now the Pastor of the North Canaan CT Congregational Church after 40 years of substitute preaching at a dozen churches.

Introduction to Energy Medicine  –  Sandy Bushmich

Have you heard people talk about energy medicine, but had no idea what they meant? Most indigenous cultures have traditional energy medicine practices passed down through generations. Some of those more familiar to us in modern American society include Reiki (Japanese), Acupuncture (Chinese) and various forms of meditation. This mini course will introduce you to an energy medicine tradition practiced by Incan shamanic healers who view all of the inhabitants of the world as part of one universal energy. Sound familiar? We will end the session with a relaxing "journey" (similar to a healing guided meditation).

Sandy is a veterinarian and has been a faculty/administrator at the University of Connecticut for over 30 years. She has been studying traditional energy medicine practices and mind-body healing for over 10 years, and is a graduate of the Light Body School of the Four Winds Society.