Adult Education Classes, 2019

Adult Education Classes

     Morning Classes  >  Adult Education Classes, 2019

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.


The classes, 2019

—    Socio-Political    —

Bridging the Inter-Generational Communication Gap  –  William Foster

If you have ever been a part of a conversation that included the words, "Back in my day..." or "You don't understand what's happening today..." come join us. Be prepared to listen and to be heard. Each class will tackle a different scenario. Teens are welcome. When communicating with someone from another generation (older/younger), particularly when we are dealing with family and subjects that make us feel uncomfortable, we need to center the conversation in an inclusive, respectful place. Ideas, thoughts and feelings and past experiences about child rearing, sexual orientation, racial identity, power, respect, politics, class, religion and family culture involve us on a most personal level. Honest dialogue requires the best of who we are if we are to achieve something meaningful. Each class will begin with a specific scenario taken from class member suggestions. We will also use short passages from relevant books as handouts, and "pair share" about past experiences we found troublesome. This is not about who's right and who's wrong. It's about being respectful and caring.

Bill has been a professor of Communication for over 25 years and a Diversity Consultant and Trainer since 1996. He is presently the Diversity Officer for the Union for all CT Community Colleges.

The Danger of a Single Story”: How Art Creates Culture  –  Dr. Piper Kendrix Williams

This course is a follow-up from last year’s “Understanding White Privilege” in one essential way: it contextualizes how white privilege is only possible from the “single story” of whiteness, created in large part to the “story” created by white supremacist art and culture. The course takes a full look at art’s role in creating a racist “story” of black people and the ways that black people take control of their own stories through art. The course takes its title and structuring concept from the July 2009 Ted Talk “The Danger of a Single Story” by Novelist Chimamanda Adichie. To quote: “Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Adichie tells “the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.” This NNESRE course will explore how the stories told through art create the culture, where for instance, white privilege exists. And then we will explore the ways black people have taken control of their stories, creating art to tell a fuller story of ourselves and America.

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. Her book, Re-presenting Segregation: Toward and Aesthetics of Living Jim Crow, co-edited with Brian Norman, was published by SUNY Press in 2010.

Feeding the World: Inside and Out  –  Lisa Garcia

In a series of interactive sessions - with lots of discussions – we’ll explore the concept of feeding both our inner world and explore topics related to feeding others in our local community as well as those around the world. Each session can stand independently for people who attend only one or two sessions, but those who choose to participate in multiple sessions will see how our inner and outer worlds are linked from the standpoints of nutrition, environmental perspective, and social justice. In sessions 1 thru 3, we’ll explore feeding our inner world. In the past decade, scientists have begun investigating a previously unknown world inhabited by nearly 100 trillion beings. This world isn’t out in the stars...but lives within each of us in our gut microbiome. We’ll explore this world and discuss how the discoveries about our gut microbiome have the potential to significantly impact the future of healthcare and medicine. We’ll also explore both popular and emerging concepts in eating and tie them back to feeding our inner world. In sessions 4 thru 6, we’ll explore feeding our outer world. How and where our food is produced or harvested, as well as how we access it, has enormous implications for our gut microbiome, health, the environment, the economy, and social consequences both locally and worldwide. We’ll explore and discuss these and what may need to change in our personal, local, national and international food system. We’ll also explore what may need to stay the same.

Lisa is a registered dietitian nutritionist who combines her lifelong passion for food with extensive education and experience to help people conquer weight and gut health issues. She also frequently explores the ever-changing worlds of science, nutrition and food policy and their implications on our health and that of our planet. Lisa earned a master’s in nutrition science from the University of St Joseph and completed her dietetic education and internship at the University of New Hampshire. She is a member of numerous professional groups. Information about Lisa and her private practice, Food Coach LLC, can be found at

—    Religion and Spirituality    —

Awakening to the Scriptures in This Day and Time  –  Rev. Marilyn B. Kendrix

Wondering what a text written between 5,000 and 2,000 years ago by some unknown authors or authors whose lives bear no relation to our own might be saying to us living in 21st century America? Wondering what some obscure biblical writings might be saying to you? Tired of hearing sermons and having no opportunity to talk back or at least make a comment or ask a question? This course will explore some biblical texts, Old and New Testament readings that may leave you scratching your head and suspending common scene when read in this time and place. Marilyn will share what these texts are saying to her and will provide you with an opportunity to share how they are informing you or not.

Marilyn is a graduate of Yale Divinity School and worked for over 15 years as an Organizational Development Consultant principally at AT&T but also in other profit and not-for-profit settings. Marilyn has also served on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Conference and participated with the Together, As One Conference Planning Team. Marilyn earned her Bachelor’s degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, her Executive MBA from the University of New Haven and an MA in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, also from the University of New Haven. Marilyn currently serves as the Transitional Conference Minister of the Rhode Island Conference United Church of Christ. Marilyn is married to her best friend, Alan and together they have 3 children, 6 grandchildren and two dogs, Bear and Paige.

Love and Leadership across Institutions – the NH Council of Churches and its Witness  –  Rev. Jason Wells

Working together across divisions is more critical now than ever. Our Sunday mornings however are divided across denominational, race, class, theological and political fissures. At the same time, people marry across faith boundaries or change churches and religions far more commonly than even a generation ago. The New Hampshire Council of Churches is one group serving in this new reality for churches to work together in areas as diverse as death penalty repeal, interfaith engagement, the Sanctuary Church movement, the opioid crisis and the Poor People’s Campaign. In a series of presentations and discussions, we will engage one another in on the Biblical, spiritual and personal reasons for inter- church cooperation.

Jason is the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Council of Churches, comprised of ten different denominations in the state. Prior to this role he served Episcopal Church parishes in Manchester and Concord, NH. Jason holds an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and BS degrees in Computer Science and Math from Southern Methodist University.

Opening Your Heart: Meditation Class  –  Jen Truken

The stress and pressures of the world can be overwhelming. Bombarded with negativity, it is easy to unconsciously fall into a way of life filled with fear. But, there are tools to alleviate all of this tension. Jen Truken will teach participants techniques to help them face the world from a place of love and light, rather than the fear and negativity so common today. From the importance of deep breathing, to understanding positive and negative energies and how to harness that positive energy, Jen’s guided meditations and discussions will progress throughout the week, giving participants a “tool box” of techniques to use for life. However, all are welcome to take the class at any time during the series. The goal is to help participants open their hearts to find a deeper love and connection to themselves and the world around them.

Jen teaches meditation at The Light Source Center, a nonprofit school of meditation based in West Hartford, Connecticut. Students from around the world have studied at the Light Source Center, including Jen, who began her meditation studies more than 20 years and has been a trained energy worker for more than 25 years.

—    Personal Development    —

Enneagram Personality Types: Understand Yourself and Enhance Your Relationships  –  Herb Pearce

The Enneagram explains personality differences in a way that is amazingly accurate, with tips to improve any relationship. Learn the 9 core types and develop the higher traits of each type in yourself. Herb acts out the types with unique hats, will clarify your type and how each of the types see the world in a radically different way. We'll explore many Enneagram subtypes and subtleties of personality nuance. No one will feel pigeon-holed or limited. The Enneagram expands your perspective of individuality rather than limits it. The Enneagram provides a map of expanded awareness, psychological knowledge and touches on how to let go of your ego and type. Herb's style of teaching is direct but gentle, clear, open, humorous and compassionate.

Herb is a leading teacher of the Enneagram, having taught over 2000 Enneagram workshops and trainings in the last 30 years. He has worked with hundreds of organizations and companies, is the author of 6 books, 4 on the Enneagram (Enneagram Basics, Enneagram Beyond the Basics, The Caregiver's Enneagram and Presidential Profiles: Washington to Trump — Enneagram and Myers-Briggs Perspectives), as well as Lessons from the River and Herb's Tips for Living. As a psychotherapist with 40 years’ experience who has worked with hundreds of individuals, couples and families using the Enneagram, he specializes as a relationship coach.

Masks  –  Julie Siftar and Dan Nicholson

Join us for a creative journey through mask-masking. For nearly 10,000 years, masks have played a variety of roles in human existence. This hands-on course will give you a chance to put yourself on the mask-making timeline. We will guide you in various techniques using paper, wire, plaster and natural materials. We believe that taking time to create is a loving gift that nurtures personal growth. Making a mask can help you go beyond the limits of your regular self. We aim to facilitate a thoughtful, safe learning environment in which the community, as well as the subject matter and materials, inspire you to take creative risks.

Julie & Dan 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!

Yoga  –  Saskia Bergmans Smith

Saskia will be teaching two different styles of yoga – Standing Strong during one class period and Restorative Yoga during another class period.

Standing Strong
Saskia teaches this powerful form-based class from the foundation up, benefiting beginners and seasoned yogis alike. A mindful practice is taught, merging breath, body, movement along with intellect and the hearts true vibration. As we move through the series of poses, we explore the grounding effects of yoga on the mind, body and spirit, looking to anchor these qualities into the workings of our everyday life.

Restorative Yoga
This is your vacation after all! This class is all about coming back into balance. Remembering how to slow down with the use of restorative yoga. I will weave in some breath work to help open up the lung capacity enhancing the ability to breathe and relax deeper.

Saskia has been teaching and studying yoga since 1997. Saskia is Dutch, yet she grew up in England. In Europe she studied with Dona Holleman and Orit Sen-Gupta. In Boston, MA, Saskia completed her 200hr teacher training in 2004 and her 500hr in 2007, with Kim Valeri, Founder and Director of yogaspirit® Studios. Saskia teaches in the style of the yogaspirit®; lineage and is part of the yogaspirit® 200hr teacher training faculty. She ran and operated her own yoga studio, Studio Om, from 2003-2010, in Wakefield, MA. Saskia currently lives in New Haven, CT. She is passionate about her teachings to expectant mothers on the importance of prenatal and postpartum self-care, and in addition she teaches Rusty Hinges, Standing Strong and Restorative Yoga in community classes and as a personal coach. She cultivates learning in her students through her teachings and guides a multi-level class from the physical foundation of the body to the healing components of yoga. Saskia holds a safe and sacred space for her students to regain and build confidence in themselves and their bodies. Saskia a devoted mother to two little girls and continues to develop her teaching and healing skills with each passing year.

Embracing Leadership  –  Hamish Blackman

The conference theme, “Lead with Love,” is wonderfully evocative and thought provoking. And it raises a host of questions that seek answers. Here are just a few to start with:

  • What does “Leading” mean?
  • Leading and Leadership — are these two halves of the same coin — or are they substantively different?
  • What does it mean to “Lead with Love” — and how (and when!) should one do so?

Thoughts on leadership and the qualities of a leader have existed for thousands of years. During this course we will explore leading, leadership, and power - or, perhaps more accurately, leadership powers. We will do our best to determine what leadership is and is not, and we will wrestle with the different powers that imbue and define leaders. Ultimately, we will deepen our understanding about how each of us can embrace not simply the leader that lies within each of us, but the challenge of leadership itself. The course is iterative by design. Sessions will involve group discussion stimulated by readings and video clips, some lecture, exercises, and individual assessments.

Hamish (President, Breakthrough Collaboration, Inc.) works with organizational leaders to enhance their own effectiveness, and provides programs and tools to prepare the next generation of leaders. As a mediator, Hamish works with individuals and groups not simply to resolve the current conflict, but to develop the skills and understanding to effectively manage future challenges. Hamish also consults with organizations on factors impacting productivity and morale, and work dynamics. He has worked with departments and presented programs at more than 60 Colleges and Universities throughout the United States. He has presented keynotes on his work at National and Regional conferences.