OPEN UNIVERSITY OF WELLFLEET
Open University of Wellfleet is a forum for learning more about Wellfleet's cultural history. Conceived by retired Brown University professor Rhoda Flaxman, the Open University will launch five four-week courses beginning in April. All courses will have in common a Wellfleet or Outer Cape connection, with an emphasis on our local history and culture.
These courses are envisioned as directed discussions, otherwise known as collaborative learning. Readings will be assigned, and instructors will offer mini-lectures to spur focused interchanges and facilitate learning. Classes will be held once a week for two hours from April 9 to May 2 at Wellfleet Preservation Hall or the Wellfleet Library. Consult course descriptions above for date, time, and place. Courses will run with a minimum of ten and a maximum of seventeen participants. Tuition is $48.00 per course.
“Outer Cape Lit,” with Rhoda Flaxman REGISTER HERE
5-7 p.m beginning on Thursday April 11. Thursdays at the Big Room, Wellfleet Library (alternate location TBA on April 25)
Our Outer Cape landscape has been the inspiration for many excellent writers from our earliest history to the present. For our first exploration of this theme, we’ll read contemporary writers who both live on and write about the Outer Cape. Sampling works in four genres, we will read and discuss: Annie Dillard’s novel, “The Maytrees;” Sinan Unel’s screenplay, “Race Point;” poetry by Mary Oliver and Marge Piercy; and selected essays by Robert Finch and others.
Professor Flaxman retired (2007) from teaching Victorian literature and art history, and directing Brown University ’s writing-across-the curriculum program at Brown University for twenty years. Since then she has established an educational consulting firm (WriteConsulting) , and teaches community seminars in literature in Providence and Wellfleet.
“The Meaning of Life, or What’s It All About,” with Brent Harold REGISTER HERE
5-7 p.m. beginning on Tuesday April 9. Tuesdays at Preservation Hall
This course will tackle what is probably the most important question of all: Why do we bother? What gets us out of bed in the morning? What do you say to someone contemplating suicide?
Starting with the question, “What does ‘meaning’ mean?” we will consider the concept in relation to theism and atheism, work and play, pleasure, gender, family, depression, creativity, politics, community and relate these issues to our own lives. This course is for anyone looking to get in touch with the meaning of his or her own life—those struggling to “find themselves” early in life, those going through midlife crisis or contemplating a second career, and those confronting issues of retirement, aging and dying.
Brent Harold, a former English professor, is a longtime op- ed columnist for the Cape Cod Times, and author of several books. He blogs at brentharoldjournal.com. (Note: Brent is not a psychotherapist.)
”Governing, Cape Cod Style,” with Seth Rolbein REGISTER HERE
6-8 p.m. beginning on Wednesday April 10. Wednesdays at Preservation Hall
If all politics is local, as House Speaker –and sometime Harwich resident—Thomas P. O’Neill famously said, then an appreciation of the strengths and success of local politics is key to understanding why the national version too often veers into dysfunction. This course will reach back to the Mayflower Compact, signed off our shores in 1620, to see if it is indeed the nation’s seminal document outlining our relationship with our government or not. From the egalitarianism and foibles of open town meeting, to the rationale of a recent change in the structure of Cape Cod Boards of Selectmen, ending with the question of why our towns are ‘strong’ but our county ‘weak,’ we’ll examine how structure can either inhibit or propel progress. Special guests will be invited.
Seth Rolbein is former editor of The Cape Codder, Founding Editor and Publisher of The Cape Cod Voice, and presently Senior Adviser to Cape and Islands Senator Dan Wolf.
”Creating a Wellfleet Historical ‘Map App,’ “ Jeff Tash REGISTER HERE
Thursdays, 2-5 p.m. beginning on Thursday April 11, in the Big Room of the Wellfleet Library
Wellfleet's history is America's history. Pilgrims visited our shores even before they settled Plymouth. This Open University course is a "lab" where students will conduct "history research" culminating in a Wellfleet Historical Society web app built using Google map technology. Students will pinpoint places of historical interest along with corresponding images and write-ups accessible via mouse clicks or pointing gestures on laptops, tablets or smartphones.
Jeff Tash was CEO and president of both computer software and information technology consultancy firms. He received industry recognition as an IT visionary and technology leader who consulted to scores of clients around the world. In retirement Jeff has channeled his passions for Wellfleet and computing into a popular website called WELLFLEETian.com.
“Perspectives on the Provincetown Art Colony,” Deborah Forman REGISTER HERE
2-4p.m. beginning on Wednesday April 10. Wednesdays at Wellfleet Preservation Hall
Join Deborah Forman on a journey through the history of the Provincetown art colony, which can be viewed as a microcosm of 20th-century American art. The course will open with the launching of the colony when Charles Hawthorne opened his school in 1899.
It will look at the early conflicts between the traditionalists and modernists, the impact of the Hans Hofmann School, and the golden years of the late ‘40s,‘50s, and ‘60s when the Abstract Expressionists were in town and New York galleries had satellite locations in Provincetown. When the art colony began to languish in the late ‘60s, the effort to revitalize it with the founding of the Fine Arts Work Center and the impact of Long Point Gallery will attest to the determination to maintain the town’s cultural integrity.
Deborah graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia with a degree in journalism, and also studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art. She was the features editor of the Cape Cod Times and editor in chief of Cape Cod VIEW magazine before she began writing Perspectives on the Provincetown Art Colony (Schiffer Publishing 2011), a history of the art colony, based on interviews with dozens of artists and writers. She wrote the script and helped film Art In Its Soul, an award-winning documentary of the history of the Provincetown art colony, which was aired on public television stations nationwide and will be shown as introduction to the course .