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South Coast Senior College

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Legacy Letters


with Jerry Nulton

Calendar Jan 5, 2023 at 10 am, runs for 6 weeks

A Legacy Letter is a message to family or friends. There’s no formula. It can be any of thefollowing:

• An expression of gratitude, a compliment or encouragement

• A wish for their future

• One or more life lesson(s) you’d like to share

• A request for forgiveness or an attempt to make amends

• A tradition you’d like to pass along

• An important memory that means a great deal to you

• To offer comfort and perspective

Your Instructor:

I’ve lived a charmed life. I was taught by my mother to value an education and was taught by my father that hard work was the best path to success. I earned a double major from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, the first is a degree in Philosophy which I loved and the second a degree in Computer Science which I used to earn a living. I’ve worked in sales, marketing and training for most of the past 30 years.  I have trained Partners in the accounting firm of Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) in sales in the UK, Ireland and the US for the past 20 years and am currently helping them negotiate their agreements with their clients.  I’m happily married to my lovely wife of 33 years; I’ve been a resident of Maine for the past 22 and I’m an avid sailor with a J-28 sailboat in Falmouth.


So, how did I get into legacy letters? Though we don’t have children, my wife and I have been saving money for our grand-niece and grand-nephews. But I realized, that giving them money without wisdom is like giving a loaded gun to a toddler. So I looked for a way to put the money into a framework that would help them understand me better and hopefully give them a path to a better life. That’s how I found legacy letters. I can’t possibly hope to match the life experience that any potential participants would have, so I’m hopeful that I can learn from you while I share a tool you can use to influence the lives of your family and friends. 

I anticipate six sessions. The first to put Legacy Letters into context and to lay out the first assignment. The following five sessions would each start by reviewing the letters the participants composed after the prior session, followed by exploring a new type of letter and how it might be used. In the end, you’ll have a minimum of five letters that you use (or not) as you see fit. In any case, by the end, I’ll certainly be wiser than I am today for having listened to you, and I suspect you’ll have had some fun and, in the end, I’m hoping you’ll have developed a number of gifts that you can use to improve the lives of those you love.


Religious Conversion... What is it?


with Steven Piker

Calendar Mar 3, 2023 at 1 pm, runs for 6 weeks

Of what does religious conversion consist? There has been and continues to be alot of conversion in our American world.  We will see conversion as an integral part of the entire life of the convert, a part in which the convert has considerable creative agency.  We will look especially for both changes and continuities in converts’ lives across the conversion itself by consulting detailed case materials, some of them arising from my own research.  We will want to grasp conversion from the convert’s point oƒ view……. how the convert understands and experiences it, what it feels like and tastes like and smells like to the convert.  We will get to know a couple of religious converts real well.  Some lecture, more discussion

SUGGESTED reading .  Shirley Nelson.  THE LAST YEWAR OF THE WAR(new from Amazon at $30, used at $5.27 or less); and an unpublished ms., to be circulated among all class members at no costt.

Your instructor:

Steven Piker is an anthropologist. He has done field work in Thailand and the U.S. His main interests include religion, American Indians and human evolution. He taught for 44 years at Swarthmore College. Four of our Maine senior colleges have provided his popular coiurses.

American Indian Renaissance


with Steven Piker

Calendar Apr 14, 2023 at 1 pm, runs for 6 weeks

The U.S is, arguably, the most plural of all nations.  But…… can our nation's plufralism accommodate Indian identities? At the end of the 19th century, many Indians as well as settlers  thought, no, it cannot; and expected Indian cultures soon to disappear entirely.  From what was then known and knowable, a sensible expectation…….. which, however, has been falsified by a vibrant Indian cultural renaissance during the 20th century…… which is the subject matter of this course.  Course themes include….Indian agency, creatrivity, resilience, self worth, identity……..and cultural syncretism.  And our cast of characters will include settlers as well as Indians…. 

A traditional Navajo felicitation:  "Walk in beauty"

’SUGGESTED Reading:  David Treuer.    THE HEARTBEAT OF WOUNDED KNEE.  NATIVE AMERICA FROM `1890 TO THE PRESENT.($5-$12), and a few articles to be distributed.

Your instructor

Steven Piker is an anthropologistr with field work in Thailand and the U.S. His main interests include religion, American Indians, and human evolution. He taught  for 44 years at Swarthmore College and has presented many popular courses  four of Maine’s senior colleges.

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