The Third Age offerings plentiful all year long

by Jim Boyle


What does The Kensington Rune Stone, maps of ancient Rome and 18th century America, antiques and attempts by Germans and non-Germans alike to resist the Nazi regime have in common?

They are among the topics that will help launch District 728 Community Education’s The Third Age series that will run through all four seasons.

Among the presenters will be published authors, collegiate professors, music conductors and the last person to work inside the Split Rock Lighthouse before it was shut down by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Each session will cost $39 per person or $75 a couple. But the best deal of all will be for those who pay $179 for a membership or $330 a year that covers the cost of the entire series. That means up to 11 courses per quarter, or more than 40 courses a year. Each course is two sessions. Some are during the day at Handke and others are in the evening at Hassan Elementary School.

“We hope it takes off,” said Jay Grammond, the program manager of District 728 Community Education.

For more information, call 763-241-3520.

Here’s a run-down of what will be offered this fall. More classes will be established for winter, spring and summer sessions.

Maps, mapmakers in The Age Of Discovery

Explore the exciting world of maps from ancient Rome to 18th-century America. You’ll take a tour through history using facsimiles and images of maps from the 15th–18th centuries in the James Ford Bell collection. You’ll learn how ideas about the world changed over time — not just on maps — but in the imagination as well.

Dr. Marguerite Ragnow, curator of the James Ford Bell Library, earned her Ph.D. in medieval and early modern history at the University of Minnesota. Her most recent publication, “Religious Conflict and Conflict in the Early Modern World,” co-edited with William D. Phillips Jr., will appear on bookshelves this fall. A member of the graduate faculty in history at the University of Minnesota, she also is managing editor of Terrae Incognitae, the journal of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

10 a.m. to noon on Fridays, Oct. 7 and 21 at the Handke Family Center


The Hooked X:       Key To The Secret  History of North America

Scott’s book is the culmination of a seven-year odyssey to understand the origin of a mysterious symbol that first appeared on a century-old artifact called the Kensington Rune Stone. The discovery of the meaning of the Hooked X is stunning, as is the secret behind it. We’ll also look at unpublished discoveries that provide additional support for the authenticity of the Kensington Rune Stone.

Scott Wolter, author of “The Kensington Rune Stone: Compelling New Evidence and The Hooked X: Key to the Secret History of North America,” will present the story of his continued research and resulting discoveries made over the last nine years, including his ongoing quest to uncover the mysteries of the enigmatic Kensington Rune Stone.

6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Tuesdays, Oct. 11 and Oct. 25 at Hassan Elementary School


Art and Antiques    Home Show

Talk about and share antiques you know and love, then put them into a broader context in lively discussion. We will focus on paintings, prints, small antiques, Native American items, and objets d’art with interesting stories.

Catherine Vesley has academic degrees in art history and anthropology. After 28 years of college teaching, Catherine left to pursue other interests such as antiques and painting restoration. Currently she is part of a small group that runs a shop, and she has an active restoration studio. Over the years Catherine’s personal collections have included a wide range of objects, and she has spent endless hours at museums and historical societies around the world. All this has given her a broad knowledge of antiques and the things people choose to collect.

10 a.m. to noon, Saturdays, Oct. 29 and Nov. 12, Handke Center


The Holocaust:       Resistance, Rescue

Examine the attempts by Germans and non-Germans to resist the Nazi regime and rescue its victims. After discussing what we mean by such terms as resistance and rescue, we will look at a different case study each night and examine how it fits into a larger historical context.

Edward Snyder is currently completing his Ph.D. in history. His teaching and research interests include the history of Germany before 1945, the history of the Holocaust, and the history of European colonialism. This fall he will be teaching modern history at North Hennepin Community College.

6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursdays, Nov. 3 and 17, Hassan Elementary


Last Keeper at        Split Rock Lighthouse

In 1969, Mike Roberts turned off the light at Split Rock Lighthouse for the final time. Mike will share stories about his years working for the U.S. Coast Guard, life at Split Rock, of Lake Superior and of making ends meet on the North Shore. Nov. 10 is the anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Mike Roberts, retired U.S. Coast Guard, lighthouse keeper and author, enlisted in the Coast Guard in April 1966 and was sent to boot camp in Cape May, N.J. for training. He was transferred to the Duluth Lifeboat Station and served on Search and Rescue & Aids to Navigation while there. He went to Split Rock Lighthouse in December of 1966 and was stationed there until it was permanently closed in January 1969. Mike was the last keeper at the Split Rock Lighthouse.

10 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Nov. 10, and  Tuesday,  Nov. 15, Handke Center


Mozart’s Requiem:    

A Conductor’s Perspective

One of the greatest examples of sacred music for chorus, soloists and orchestra ever composed will be examined and discussed. Listen to portions of each section as the conductor discusses its controversial history. The course will culminate in a live performance by the Anoka-Ramsey Concert Choir, Chorale, and Chamber Singers, along with a professional orchestra and soloists.

Melissa Bergstrom, choir director and music history; instructor, received her M.M. in choral conducting from the     University of Minnesota and her B.M. in voice performance from Augsburg College. She frequently performs throughout the metro area as a conductor, soprano, flutist, pianist, organist and her choral compositions have won several national competitions.

6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 28 at Handke Center and Dec. 5 at Anoka-Ramsey Community College


If I had a               

Remembrance Book

Writing a memoir and personal or family history has different challenges and joys than many other types of writing. We will work on creating the story, crafting the narrative and deciding what to include. We will also discuss using photos and artwork to complete your work.

Seal Dwyer is the North Star Press publisher, author, teacher and has held pretty much every other job in the book industry. She loves books and educating people about books and literacy are top priorities in her life. Seal lives in St. Cloud with her husband and three cats.

10 a.m. to noon, Wednesdays, Nov. 30 and Dec 14, Handke Center


Film Appreciation

In this series of discussion-based classes, you’ll gain a greater appreciation and enjoyment of films by exploring setting, lighting, editing, special effects, acting, directing, theme, visual design, cinematography, color, sound effects, dialogue, music and genre. Films from the 20th and 21st centuries will be used to illustrate class concepts.

Catherine Bean has been a professor of English and humanities at Anoka-Ramsey Community College since 1997. Her areas of academic interest include contemporary American literature, film studies, popular culture, and the  influence of technology on the brain and learning.

10 a.m. to noon, Tuesdays, Dec. 6 and Dec. 20, Handke Center


Music And The Brain

Has a piece of music ever moved you to tears? For centuries, people have recognized the power of music to enrich our lives, connect with our emotions and even help us heal. We will explore the reasons music effects the brain and body, including its potential to help people with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, strokes, and chronic pain.

Jenzi Silverman holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota, and an associate’s diploma in recorder recital from the distance-learning program of Trinity Guildhall College, London. She teaches courses on music and health for the University of Minnesota Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Learning Life Program, and in other Community Education programs throughout the metro area.

11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursdays, Dec. 8 and Dec. 22, Handke Center