MSCN Newsletter
August 2010
NEW MSCN HEADER (With border)
Welcome to your August newsletter!

We have been sending out the MSCN Newsletter for 6 months now!  We are so pleased with the positive comments and all the articles, stories, photos, etc. that senior colleges have sent to us to be shared with the whole network.  Senior college members from around the state are enjoying learning about what other senior colleges are up to.  Keep those submissions coming from your senior college.  We are looking for more poetry for the newsletter and more submissions for the MSCN Poet Laureate Contest - see the Poets Corner for more info.

In this month's newsletter we have two haikus from members at Coastal and SAGE.  Augusta Senior College held a balance workshop where students earned certificates of completion, they are introducing an 8 week series to residents at a local senior living center this  fall and had a book group meeting attended by author Kate Braestrup.  Gold LEAF developed a series of "green" courses that were offered this summer.  The president of the Dana-Faber Institute is scheduled to speak as part of a series that Acadia has put together and  Coastal Senior College submitted a teacher profile for the newsletter this month.

Some submissions have been converted into pdfs to save space. These articles are high quality and well worth reading. Please download Adobe Reader if you are having trouble opening our attachments.

Kali Lightfoot
Executive Director  

Poets Corner and Poet Laureate Contest

A Haiku

My poem grows legs
and limps blindly down the road,
sadly unfinished.

Marilyn Muth from Coastal Senior College

Winter Haiku
Plodding belly-deep, a doe,
Walls of snow against her flanks,
Dreams grass, moss, lichen. 
Lean and gaunt, a wolf
Noses the disturbed air then
Soundlessly moves on.
Dark pine boughs heavy
laden, sigh as the wind weaves
Through them.  The doe leaps. 
A hunter's bow pierces
The wolf's chest, blood flows, light fades,
Night falls breathlessly.

Ginny White from SAGE

 ~~Looking for our Poet Laureate! ~~

This contest is open to all members of the Maine Senior College Network.  For more information, please select the link below.
MSCN Poet Laureate Competition Submission (pdf)

Don't forget the prize for the crowned Poet Laureate is a Kindle! Not sure what a Kindle is? Please take a look at the following links:

Amazon Kindle
President of Dana-Faber Institute to Speak during "Big Idea" Series

Dr. Edward J. Benz, Jr. will speak on "Cancer Care and Research in the Era of Genomics: In Pursuit of Personalized Medicine for Cancer Patients," on Friday, August 13, 2010, 4:30 P.M. at the Maren Auditorium, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Salisbury Cove.
Dr. Edward Benz will speak about cancer care and research at the Nount Desert Isalnd Biological Laboratory on August 13th
Dr. Benz

Dr. Benz is President of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Vice
President of the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory. He is a Professor of Pediatrics, the Richard and Susan Smith Professor of Medicine and a Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School. His research focuses on medical oncology and hematology.

This talk is part of the ongoing Susan Lerner and Steven Katona Big Ideas Series. The 'Big Ideas' series was named after the retired College of the Atlantic President and First Lady, Steve Katona and Susan Lerner. Our definition of a 'big idea' is one that fundamentally changes the way we think about our world.  The talk is free, open to the public and requires no reservations.

Submitted by Judith "Jude" Lamb, Acadia Senior College

Gold LEAF Goes Green(er)

A tour of Kibby Mountain Wind Project, a visit to a recycling center, a basic course on using GPS navigation devices in the woods, a hike to one of the huts on the Maine Huts and Trails path, a field trip to an Alpaca Farm, an Old Town canoe demonstration on Abbot Pond - it's a summer of green at Gold LEAF.

Situated as Gold LEAF is on the edge of the western mountains, the urge to get out and about in summer is nearly irresistible, and members are taking the opportunity to explore the outdoors. But they're doing it with a twist, emphasizing the fragile relationship with the planet and how we can enjoy it in responsible ways.

In one fashion or another, all these classes (others are offered during the summer as well) are connected to the environment and our outdoor heritage. Through such encounters Gold LEAF members connect with such folks as Maine Trail Finder (, or Maine Huts and Trails (, the latter a major effort to create hiking and skiing paths and lodge-like accommodations along their length.

It's all part of getting on board with the growing awareness that we all can help - from the group's signing on to sound environmental practices (no Styrofoam cups at Gold LEAF meetings, for instance) to learning more about wind power. Such classes also offer more proof - if any is needed - that learning needn't be a sedentary practice.

Submitted by Richard Matthews, Gold LEAF at Farmington

Coastal Senior College Highlights Teacher in their Newsletter

The backbone of Coastal Senior College is its teachers.  All are volunteers. None receive much publicity or recognition.  All share a passion for their subject matter and a love of teaching.  Now it is time to shed some light on these dedicated faculty members.

The spotlight this semester is on Jean Scott Creighton ("Scott"), our most veteran teacher.  She has taught every Fall and Spring semester since CSC began in the spring of 2002. Her courses have been astonishingly varied.  Some of the fifteen she has taught include:  "Maine Writers on Writing," "Memories of World War II," "Shakespeare: The Tempest and Sonnets," "The Short Story,"  "The Two Lives of Cleopatra: William Shakespeare & George Bernard Shaw," "Two Southern Voices: William Faulkner & Eudora Welty."

We caught up with Scott on the final day of her spring offering, "Contemporary Drama."  She was about to show a DVD of the play, The Dining Room, one of the works students studied for the class.  Typically, she had managed to find the one copy of this DVD that was available in Maine.

Jean Scott Creighton  (front row, center) enjoys time spent with senior college students

Scott insisted that this article should be about the students.  However, upon being interviewed, the students could only talk about their teacher. They confirmed that she does not teach as a "lecturer."  Students sit around a table and discuss. "She makes the course come alive with the electric sense of learning," said one.  Many had taken multiple courses to the point where they call themselves "the Creighton crew." They come from Friendship, Cushing, Rockport, Damariscotta, Waldoboro and just about every other town within Lincoln and Knox counties.  Several commented on the poetry courses she has presented.  Those classes yielded two printed collections of the students' poetry, put together by Scott.    One student noted that in addition to her teaching talents, she is a very accomplished player of the recorder, who plays and performs with a local group.

What did she do in the years before volunteering for CSC?  A teaching fellow at SUNY Buffalo and a lecturer at Indiana University, Scott taught all the various genres within English Literature. She completed her doctoral work ABD (all but dissertation) in 19th century literature.  In addition, she taught English and held workshops at middle and high schools in Maine.  When asked about the difference between teaching CSC students and others, Scott was quick to point out that seniors often have numerous things going on in their lives:  vacations, visitors, appointments.  She confirmed what we have often told our instructors.  Student class absence should not be seen as a reflection of the student's interest level!  She commented that one of her recent students stated at the first class:  "I do not do homework!"

CSC is beholden to Scott for her many years of teaching. She has brought inspiration and enlightenment to scores of CSC members.   If you have not yet experienced a class with Scott, we encourage you to enroll in one. We look forward to many more Creighton courses in the Fall and Spring semesters to come.

Submitted by Emily MacKenzie, Midcoast Senior College
Author, Kate Braestrup, Participates in Book Group

Maine author, Kate Braestrup, visited the Book Group of the University of Maine at Augusta Senior College on June 21, 2010.  Author of the very popular Here If  You Need Me,  Kate's most recent title Marriage and Other Acts of Charity was the group's selection for the month of June.

In Here If You Need Me the reader learns of the accidental death of her state trooper husband and how she became the Chaplain for the Maine Warden Service after his death.  She describes her role as Chaplain, and reports on some of her experiences.
From left to right: Kate Braestrup of Lincolnville, Irene Forster of Vassalboro, and Heide Munro of Augusta
Kate Braestrup

Marriage and Other Acts of Charity finds Kate remarried, and is a very personal account of the hard way she has learned difficult lessons about the marriage relationship from her two experiences of marriage at very different stages of her life.  She married as a young woman, and had four children with her first husband.  When she remarries after the death of her first husband, she is an ordained minister, has learned the importance of unconditional love, and her new husband has two children of his own.  The counseling that she does with couples before marriage, and also with couples having difficulties in their relationships, gives her additional insight.  Kate has a new book on prayer due out in November.

Submitted by Irene Forster and Bev Ludden, Augusta Senior College
Happy and Healthy Graduates

Afraid of falling?  A Matter of Balance Program: Managing Concerns about Falls acknowledges the risk of falling with practical coping strategies to reduce those concerns. The program was recently completed by eight individuals enrolled in the spring semester of the University of Maine at Augusta Senior College. The program, which will be offered again in the fall semester, is a cooperative effort between the UMA Senior College and Maine General Health Reach Retired  & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).  Maine Association of Retirees (MAR) members can receive a tuition rebate. Contact the MAR Office for details. Other community groups can make the program available as a benefit to their members.
Matter of Balance
Happy Graduates of  A Matter of Balance display their certificates of completion.  1st row, left to right, Beverly Shaw, Heidi Hartz; 2nd row, Gerald Hartz, Joan Nicholson; 3rd row, Marie Drew, Michael Gosselin, and Jean Lamond.  Patricia Lowther, not pictured, also completed the program offered at UMA Senior College.

A Matter of Balance was developed by the Roybal Center at Boston University and has a proven record of success.  The American Society on Aging recognized it for innovation and quality in healthcare and aging in 2006.  With a grant from the Administration on Aging, the member agencies of MaineHealth's Partnership for Healthy Aging adapted the program for volunteer lay leaders as facilitators.  The Southern Maine Agency on Aging and the Muskie Institute of the University of Southern Maine expanded the nutrition information.
Individuals attend nine sessions, which consist of videos, discussions and six exercise sessions to regain self-confidence in staying active.  Refreshments are served that support the nutrition messages in the program.  Each participant also receives a student handbook with worksheets and instructions for doing the exercises on their own.  For more information or to receive the UMA Senior College Fall Course Catalog, contact UMA Senior College at 621-3551.
Submitted by Suzanne Bazinet and Bev Ludden, Augusta Senior College
Augusta  Senior College Offers Series to Senior Living Center

UMA Senior College introduced a new program to the list of scheduled classes in the Fall of 2009.  Granite Hill Estates, a senior living center, asked Augusta Senior College if they would give a class at Granite Hill. Some of the residents there are unable to travel easily to the UMA campus where most of the classes are held. The Curriculum Committee came up with a series of lectures  which would address a different topic each of the eight weeks of the series. The residents would have preference in applying for the series and then it would be opened up to other members of Senior College. The response was very enthusiastic, and the feedback for the series was very positive. The lecture topics ranged from a short history of medicine to music appreciation, history of Maine lighthouses, Maine painters, humor, as well as history of the trolley in the Augusta area.  This series will start again this Fall. It has been a very successful outreach to the community.

Submitted by Ruth Bookey, Augusta Senior College
Free Online Workshop Available to Maine Residents

Better Choices, Better Health™, the new online version of Stanford's Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is now registering participants in Maine!

This free, six-week, interactive workshop is designed for people with a whole range of health conditions. It can be completed from any computer with an Internet connection including dial-up. 

Rigorously tested by Stanford University, Better Choices, Better Health™ helps people learn how to set their own goals, make step-by-step plans to manage their health and develop the confidence they need to improve their lives.

For more information or to register, click here:

Better Choices, Better Health Sign Up

In This Issue
Poets Corner and Poet Laureate Contest
President of Dana-Faber Institute to Speak during "Big Idea" Series
Gold LEAF Goes Green(er)
Coastal Senior College Highlights Teacher in their Newsletter
Author, Kate Braestrup, Participates in Book Group
Happy and Healthy Graduates
Augusta Senior College Offers Series to Senior Living Center
Free Online Workshop Available to Maine Residents
Maine Senior College Network
Maine Senior College Links
Featured Links
Maine Senior College Network Display Boards
About Us
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Don't forget to go to the Maine Senior College Network 
web site to find out what is happening around the state!
Maine Senior College Network
Featured Links
The Maine Senior College  Network Display Boards
are available to any senior college that would like to borrow them.   For more information, check out the link below.
About Us
Maine Senior College Network
P.O. Box 9300
Portland, Maine 04104-9300
(207)780-4317 (fax)

Kali Lightfoot
Executive Director
Anne Cardale
Director of Operations & Communications
Director of Conferences
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