The WILL course offerings for 2019 promise to be as exciting and intriguing as ever. This spring, we're expanding our reach beyond the four walls of the Wasch Center classroom to include more field study, for the first time, a daytime pottery class. Science and literature, poetry and theater, sports and film study are all part of the spring curriculum.

Plans are also underway to have certain themes run through into the fall term: our birding expert will be returning to expand your understanding of our natural world; this semester's classes on the macabre stories of Edgar Allen Poe and horror films will continue with an exploration of parallel themes in 19th century Gothic literature. An October day-long will examine slavery in colonial Connecticut, while another autumn course will explore models of government through ages.

Whether it's Nordic folklore, or improving your golf swing, this term's WILL program invites you to be part of our adult learning experience. We're saving a seat for you.

Please note, the Frick Collection course is now full, and closed to further registrations

**There is one additional spot available in the Your Turn at the Wheel course, but the course has been removed from the online registration page, please call the WILL office to register**

Archive of Past Courses


Spring 2019

  • Buried Alive, The Poetry, Prose, and Essays of Edgar Allan Poe
  • Stem Cells, From Bench to Bedside
  • Lights, Camera, Action, There's a Monster in the House
  • The Frick Collection, An American Industrialists Money Meets European Masters
  • Henrik Ibsen and the Theater of Modernism
  • Your Turn at the Wheel, Introduction to the Ceramic Arts
  • At Play in the Fields of the Lord
  • Njals Saga, Life, Love and Feuds in Medieval Icelandic Society
  • The Sound of Music, Birding by Ear
  • Romancing the Throne

  • Fall 2018

  • Birds of a Feather
  • The play’s the thing, Drama and Psychological Depth
  • Civil Rights, Civil Wrongs, Minorities and the American Dream, 1935-1968)
  • Shooting From The Heart, Finding Passion and Purpose in Your Life and Relationships
  • Are you an aspiring oenophile
  • A Tour of the Universe and How We Got Here
  • Waka, Haiku, and Tanka, Japanese Aesthetics through Poetry
  • When the Story is Yours, Reading and Writing the Memoir Essay

  • Spring 2018

  • Maybe it's My Imagination: Writing Memoir and Fiction
  • Once Upon a Time: Short Stories in Pairs
  • Meet me at Les Deux Magots: The Lost Generation in 1920's Paris
  • Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales
  • Romantic Landscapes of Constable and Turner: Common Goals, Contrasting Outcomes
  • Masterminds and Martyrs: Women in Ancient Greek Drama
  • A Shakespearean Romance, The Winter's Tale
  • Russian Theater on the Eve of Revolution
  • Be Amused by the Muse of Classic American Humor

  • Fall 2017

  • Inside the Criminal Justice System, Law and Order and Your Constitutional Rights
  • Ukulele Workshop with Jumpin' Jim Beloff
  • Exploring the Experience of Commoners through the Lens of Woodblock Prints in the Edo Period of Japan
  • Understanding Islam, Introduction to a Misunderstood Faith
  • From Saint Domingue to Haiti, The Revolution that Shook the Atlantic World, 1791 to 1804
  • American Material Culture
  • New York City in the 1940's
  • Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and Edsel Ford: Two Communists and a Titan of Capitalism Confront the Realities of the Modern Industrial Workplace and Make Great Art
  • Rise of the Right

  • Spring 2017

  • A Tour of the Universe and How We Got Here
  • Three Places in New England
  • Dante: Commedia
  • Mythmaker: The Poetry of William Butler Yeats
  • How Did Base Ball Become Baseball?
  • The Clown and the Camera
  • Odysseus, the Trickster Hero
  • Passing by the Dragon II
  • Connecticut House

  • Fall 2016

  • Emily Dickinson and the Poetry of Presence
  • The Enduring Book: From Medieval Manuscripts to Artists’ Books
  • Ode on an Oyster: A Cultural Odyssey
  • Revolutionaries in 19th-Century Paris: Manet, Monet, and the Impressionists
  • Connecticut Civil War Soldiers Tell Their Stories
  • In the Belly of the Whale and Other True Stories: A Writers’ Workshop
  • Murder with Malice in Mind
  • The Science and Art of Meditation
  • The Great War to End all Wars

  • Spring 2016

  • Geologic Resources and the Evolution of Societies in Western Europe
  • Birth of the Modern: Paris, New York and the Age of Abstraction (1848-1948)
  • Three Great Myths: Oedipus, Persephone, and Dionysus
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • From Freud to Facebook: 100 Years of Psychotherapy in America
  • Thomas Jefferson: Integrity in the Individual Life adn the Meaning of "Greatness"
  • Knowing and Enjoying the Connecticut River

  • Fall 2015

  • Connecticut Impressionism, Florence Griswold Museum
  • Picasso and Truth
  • Passing by the Dragon: Four Stories by Flannery O’Connor
  • Waka, Haiku, and Tanka: Japan’s Minimalist Poetry, Old and New
  • The Science and Art of Meditation
  • Notes from the Field: A Writer's Workshop
  • The Mystery Novel: A Captivating Read

  • Spring 2015

  • Psyche and Science: Conversations about Parallel Roads to the Mysteries of Life, Time, and the Cosmos
  • Happily Ever After
  • A Perfect Omelet
  • The Sewing Machine and the Typewriter: A Very Short History of Work in America
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Faust, Parts I and II
  • Three Operatic Femmes Fatales: Carmen, Dalila, Salome
  • Inventing America: How Art and Literature Shaped American Identity
  • Due Process of Law
  • All Aboard! The Romance of Trains

  • Fall 2014

  • Epidemics: Past and Present
  • Henri Matisse: From Fauve to Modernist Art
  • Hyphenated Americans: Contemporary Stories of Lives Lived Between Two Cultures
  • Crime and Punishment: A Mystery Tour
  • Exploring the Challenges of Personal Finance
  • "Painting for the People": Lithography in France in the 19th Century
  • Keeping your Nerve: A Fiction-Writing Course
  • All About Food: Healthy Cooking
  • Travel with a Geologist: Hephaestus' Realm, Poseidon's Trench, and Apollo's Temple

  • Spring 2014

  • Clarifying the Mysteries of the Self
  • Parsing Camille, the Heroine Harlot, from Life to Stage, Song and Film
  • Retirement as Reinvention
  • The Poetry of Memory: A Reading and Writing Workshop
  • The Nibelungenlied (Song of the Nibelungs) of Love and Death and Heroes
  • How to Get Into Print and Get the Most Out of It: A Freelancer's Guide to Publishing
  • Return Journeys: Second-Generation Americans Explore "Home" and Identity
  • Exploring the Natural History of the Lower Connecticut River

  • Fall 2013

  • Film Studies at Wesleyan: Definition and Demonstration
  • Science and the Currents of Modernism
  • Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec
  • From Abstraction to Post-Modernism: American Prints, 1950's -1980's
  • The First Amendment
  • Appreciating and Writing Travel Literature
  • All About Food: Ethnic Cuisine
  • Mystery Thursdays: Five Characters in Search of a Culprit
  • The Art and Science of Meditation

  • Spring 2013

  • Middletown's Architectural Heritage
  • The Housatonic Valley
  • Adventures in Opinion Writing
  • The Cycle of Life - A Rite de Passage for the Elder Passage
  • The Issue of Succession: Shakespeare's History Plays-Kingship under Elizabeth I
  • Exploring the Challenges of Personal Finance

  • Fall 2012

  • The Paintings of Paul Cezanne 1839-1906: Classicism Rejected and Renewed
  • Picturing America: Highlights of 20th-Century Photography
  • Positive Psychology
  • All About Food: Enlightened Eating
  • Murder Under the Midnight Sun
  • Taiwan: The Crisis of Identity and Ownership
  • King Lear

  • Spring 2012

  • Germs Are Us
  • Exploring the Challenges of Personal Finance
  • Machiavelli Revisited: Arch Villian, Immoral Politician, Father of Political Science?
  • The Book of Job
  • Legacies in Words: An Introduction to Memoir Writing
  • The Saturday Institute for Lifelong Learning: Rolling on the Connecticut River
  • Happily Ever After

  • Fall 2011

  • I Love a Mystery
  • The Paintings of Vincent van Gogh: Images for Life
  • Dürer, Rembrandt, Picasso: Reconsidering the Masters at the Davison Art Center
  • Shakespeare’s Cleopatra, Egypt’s Harlot Queen?
  • Art and Geology of Old Volcanic Massifs in Connecticut
  • " People don't do such things!"-Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler
  • Civil War Narratives Come Alive

  • Spring 2011

  • Legacies in Words: An Introduction to Memoir Writing
  • Life's Great Transitions and Four Essential Dialogues
  • Exploring the Mysteries of Finance
  • Positive Psychology
  • Life Is But a Dream
  • Germs Are Us
  • Brownstone Stories: Quarries and Dinosaurs

  • Fall 2010

  • Middletown History Day
  • The "Home Front" in Revolutionary Connecticut
  • Geology and Art
  • The Infectious Microbe
  • Food, Culture, and Identity
  • Deciphering Gauguin
  • Hamlet’s Soliloquies: Method and Madness