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Anacortes Senior College

Our Classes

Creative Writing


with Matthew Sullivan

Calendar Oct 11, 2022 at 4 pm, runs for 6 weeks

In this six-week class, we’ll explore the building blocks of storytelling with the goal of generating new work and sparking our creativity. The tools and patterns that we practice in this class are useful for fiction and narrative nonfiction writers alike, and all levels of writers are welcome. The class will culminate in an optional (but encouraged!) public reading, during which we’ll share something short that we’ve written in the class. Bring a pen and a notebook, or a laptop, if you prefer.

Week to Week, we’ll be looking at the building blocks of narrative, with in-class writing exercises peppered throughout:

1. Plot & Conflict 2. Character Development 3. Setting (Place & Time) 4. Point-of-View 5. Exploring Genres (or catch-up/Q&A if needed) 6. Public reading

Instructor: Matthew Sullivan

Matthew’s best-selling novel, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore (Scribner), won the Colorado Book Award and was an IndieNext pick, A Barnes & Noble Discover pick, and a GoodReads Choice Awards finalist. His short stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Daily Beast, LitHub, The Spokesman Review, Sou’Wester, The Strand, and many other places. He has taught college writing classes in Idaho, Boston, and Poland, and has been teaching in Washington since 2003. His new novel, The TreeTop Oracles, will be in the publishing pipeline soon.

Industries of Anacortes


with Tom Kuhn

Calendar Oct 11, 2022 at 4 pm, runs for 6 weeks

Back by student request, this popular series will again explore six of the many industries & services based in our local economy. The course will include representatives from the Island Health, Transpac Marinas, HF Sinclair, SB Ventures, Sierra Pacific and Lopez Ice Cream.

The following guests from the listed industries will speak and answer questions:

1. Elise Cutter - Island Health CEO

2. David Rytan - Transpac Marinas Owner

3. Speaker to be named - HF Sinclair

4. Kristen Keltz - SB Ventures CEO

5. Lisa Perry - Sierra Pacific Community Relations

6. Alex Thieman - Lopez Island Creamery Owner

Facilitator: Tom Kuhn (past president of Anacortes Senior College)

Memoir Writing


with Teru Lundsten

Calendar Oct 11, 2022 at 4 pm, runs for 6 weeks

Writing about your life can seem like a daunting task. Where to begin? This class will prime the pump, with weekly writing assignments (about 750 words) presented in themes, plus writing tips. Sharing your stories confidentially with others in class will inspire you even more. You'll come to see your life through a different lens, and leave a legacy for your family. (Class size limited to 10 students.)

Instructor: Teru Lundsten

Teru Lundsten has been teaching memoir writing in Skagit County since 2010. She worked as a personal historian, helping people preserve their life stories into books for their families. As a journalist she wrote over 200 profiles of people of all ages and from around the world. She has completed a memoir of her early years.

The Evolution of Life


with Barrie Hughlock, Ph.D.

Calendar Oct 11, 2022 at 4 pm, runs for 6 weeks

This is the third course of a four course science series entitled “The Evolution of Existence” It is intended to provide an appreciation for the accomplishments of science and its never-ending quest to solve the mysteries of existence. No prior science or math background is assumed. The only prerequisite is an open mind. Each course is stand-alone and can be taken out of sequence. “The Evolution of Life” will cover both the origins of life on Earth and its subsequent evolution. The six lectures include: (1) The origin of life from inanimate substances; (2) Genetics and the evolution of cellular life; (3) The eukaryotic cell, the cell type of all organisms that we can actually see; (4) The past 542 million years of multicellular evolution, punctuated by mass extinctions and including amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, and mammals; (5) Human evolution, starting from the "The Golden Age of the Apes", and including the numerous species that evolved over the course of human evolution, and ending with the revolutionary consequences of civilization; (6) A speculative lecture on future purposeful evolution, which covers our global threats, creating a need for genetic engineering of plants and animals, and concluding with a controversial discussion of future human genetic engineering.

Instructor: Barrie Hughlock

I received a BA in physics at UC Berkeley and a PhD in physics at Brown University, with a thesis on neutrino-electron physics. I spent my career in aerospace. First, at Grumman, in the Nuclear Physics Group, where I collaborated with NASA on the calibration of the Energetic Gamma Ray Experiment Telescope, one of the four instruments contained in the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. Finally, at Boeing as an Associate Technical Fellow specializing in space and atmospheric radiation effects on satellite and airplane systems. I have taught physics courses at North Seattle Community College, at Bellevue College’s continuing education department and at the Anacortes Senior College in which courses are designed for the interests of retirees. I take great pleasure in teaching about the wonders and power of science and technology and advocating for science research to address the global needs of society.

Art and the Brain


with George Conesa

Calendar Oct 12, 2022 at 1:30 pm, runs for 6 weeks

Art is definitional of what it is to be human. Our ability to appreciate or make art hinges on personal characteristics and cultural preferences. This course explores some important perceptual and cognitive foundations that give rise to aesthetic preferences. For example, are there any differences in: crafting compositions in left- versus right handers; how do children of various ages represent “reality”; or what does each cerebral hemisphere “see” and “feel”?

  • Loop (T - Telecoil) hearing assistance is available.

Instructor: George Conesa

George Conesa’s research, writing, and teaching interests lie in the areas of cognition and art. He has been a teacher/researcher since 1992 (college, universities, lifelong learning centers). He taught in WA state for over a decade.

Are You Ready? A Guide to Citizen Preparedness


with Rick Wallace

Calendar Oct 13, 2022 at 4 pm, runs for 6 weeks

Over the six weeks Rick and other instructors will present, discuss and have activities related to helping you be aware of, prepare for, and respond to disasters and other hazards that could impact you and your family.

Subject areas will include:

1. Preparing for Disaster: Not if but when

2. Know your Risks: Actions to Protect Yourself and Others

3. Make a Plan for Home, Away and Communications

4. Take Action: Protect Yourself, Your Property and Manage Risks

5. Recovering from Disaster: Building Individual and Community Resilience

6. Additional areas that will be discussed are digital security, financial first aid, insurance, and community action.

At each session you will be given tasks for the upcoming week that will help you take those initial steps toward a broader awareness and state of preparedness.

Instructor: Rick Wallace and others

Rick worked as a firefighter/paramedic for 35 years. The last 28 were with the City of Everett Fire Department. He was one of the first Community Emergency Response Team instructors when Everett Fire began teaching the CERT program in 1999 and taught CERT there until his retirement in 2010. Since then he has been teaching and coordinating CERT courses throughout Skagit County. Rick’s passion is helping to create a mindset of community resilience in Skagit County.

Beyond the Far Side!


with Karen Eichler M.Ed., NBPTS

Calendar Oct 13, 2022 at 4 pm, runs for 3 weeks

Take a jaunt to the world of cartooning from a bit of history, doodling developments, giggles, to purposeful messaging. The Italian word caricare, meaning to exaggerate, gives us the word “caricature”. By exaggerating the most striking features of a subject, the artist can convey irony or a certain message in everyday life, advertising, current social and political topics, caricature, and of course, make us laugh at the absurd. Cartoonists create the story boards for graphic novels, animated films and video games, but we all grew up with comic books and the Sunday comics. This course will focus on the creator of the murals we enjoy in downtown Anacortes-Bill Mitchell, the artist from Orcas Island, Gary Larson, and a range of examples from history to graphic art.

Instructor: Karen Eichler MEd., NBPTS

Karen’s teaching career ranges from elementary and middle school classrooms, to university work developing and teaching courses for pre-and in-service teachers. Karen has served on the Anacortes Senior College Board for six years. She’s quick to admit she cannot draw, but has worked as a free-lance journalist, and enjoys sharing stories from history, the arts and literature, and glimpses of life beyond the Far Side.

Dances of Political Economy


with Michael Newbrough, Ph.D.

Calendar Oct 13, 2022 at 4 pm, runs for 6 weeks

Policy-making games and how they affect our quasi-market economy. We will examine the structural basics of the U.S. government, various economic systems & policies, relative virtues & weaknesses of a free-market economy, and the different roles of government in our economy. Emphasis will be given to the incentives and actions of interest groups and their “dances” with politicians and bureaucrats, a co-dependence that results from human nature and expansive governmental powers. Lots of current events mixed in, also, as usual….

Instructor: Michael Newbrough, Ph.D.

Michael holds a BA in French and an MA in Political Science from the Univ. of Nevada, and a PhD in Political Science from the Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, and was a Fulbright Scholar (graduate study in International Relations) at l’Université de Paris. He was a professor in the Department of Economics, History, and Political Science at Palomar College in San Marcos, CA for 30 years. He has found refuge in Anacortes for the last 20 years.

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