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

Autumn leaves

The frost is on the pumpkins and fields,  but there is still time to register for the November 8th and 9th Maine Senior College Network Annual Conference.  You may participate in an exciting forum for the networks' past, present and future leaders on day one, and sample some of the networks' classes on day two. The conference location is the spectacular Point Lookout in Northport, Maine, which offers beautiful modern cottages for your overnight stay. Information about registration and overnight accommodations is on the Maine Senior College Network web site or phone Kyle at 207-780-4128.
In this month's newsletter we're pleased to announce the winner of the Maine Senior College Network's Poet Laureate Contest. He will be presented with his award, an Amazon Kindle, at the conference on November 8th. In addition there are reports about Gold LEAF, Western Mountains Senior College, St. John Valley Senior College, and York County Senior College happenings.
Many thanks to the senior colleges that submitted articles for this month's MSCN Newsletter. We'd love to share photos or stories about fall classes, events, or day trips as well as profiles of Senior College students, teachers or volunteers in the December issue. Please be sure to submit articles and photos for the December edition no later than November 19.

The staff of the Maine Senior College Network looks forward to seeing you soon at Point Lookout!

Kali Lightfoot
Executive Director

There's Still Time to Register to Attend the
November 8th-9th MSCN Conference

View from the Pt Lookout Conference Center, Northport, MERegistration is still open for this year's Maine Senior College Network Conference to be held on November 8th and 9th, 2010, at Point Lookout in Northport, Maine.

November 8th will be a forum offered to Maine Senior College past, present and future leaders. All Maine senior college members are welcome to participate.

November 9th is open to all members of all senior colleges.  This will be a fun day of Senior Scholar mini classes and will highlight some of the best classes from each senior college in the state.

Programming and registration information is available through your senior college and on the MSCN web site or call Kyle at 207-780-4128.

For additional information or questions, please contact Fran Myers, Director of Conferences, Maine Senior College Network Office at 228-8256 or

And the Winner is . . . .

Gerald GeorgeWe are pleased to announce that Gerald George of Sunrise Senior College has been named the Maine Senior College Network's Poet Laureate. Gerald's poem, "Hymn to Hope and Jolly Liberation," was selected as the winning entry by judges Tamarah Smith and Jonathan Wilson, poetry editors of Words and Images, the annual journal  of the literary and visual arts published by the University of Southern Maine.

When Gerald and his wife moved to East Machias from the Washington, D.C. area, he learned of Sunrise Senior College and enrolled in the late M. Kelly Lombardi's poetry class. Gerald said Ms. Lombardi was a wonderful teacher and "a great help to other poets," and so inspired her students that they kept the class going after she passed away in 2008. Gerald's delight in the poetry class led him to discover and enroll in Dr. Herbert Greenberg's Shakespeare classes at Sunrise Senior College. Dr. Greenberg is a retired university professor and Gerald reports he is a "brilliant teacher." Gerald says he "felt he owed something" to both teachers, and his winning poem is dedicated to them.

We will be celebrating George's achievement and presenting him with his prize of an Amazon Kindle at the noon lunch break on November 8 at the Maine Senior College Network conference. Please join us to give a round of applause to Gerald George!

Hymn to Hope and Jolly Liberation

"Fresh kings have come to Troy."
-Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida

For Dr. Herbert Greenberg, teacher of Shakespeare, and the late M. Kelly Lombardi, teacher of poetry, at the Sunrise Senior College, University of Maine, Machias.

Oh, joy, the earth shakes!
Crack the gates-they come!
Break out the bells, let their dings and dongs
float melodiously over the city.
(They must be somewhere, the bells;
has it been so long since we had fresh kings?)
Ring the rust off the old gongs,
ring off the corrosion, the green disease,
let the cumbrous metal swing and sing:
fresh kings are come!

Jolly fresh kings,
athletic and larksome and pranksome
as laughing surf bursting over the beach,
yet manly, substantial, brawny, and brave
as the swaggering waves far out in the sea.
Thick men, with straight noses and clean, bright teeth,
and ruddy cheeks and fine eyes-Oh,
have we not dreamed of smiling fresh kings,
capacious and confident like these; and see-
they are come!

Well, let us welcome them!
Fellow citizens-rehearse speeches, practice songs,
don clean bandages, polish your crutches and canes,
loose the tubes of old trombones, bruit trumpets,
tumble Cassandra from the crumbling walls.
Has she not seen the fresh kings? Can't she see
how their horses' hooves strike fire in the street dust,
how the sheer movement of their gleaming chariots
seems to clear the air of its murk and stench?
How easy are the reins in these kings' hands!

Clear away, now, clear away!
Get the goats out of the parks and the fountains,
scatter the chickens, scrub the sludge from the squares,
and muzzle those stray, skulking, snarling dogs.
Get regal gowns ready, and the jeweled crowns.
(Oh where are the crowns, has it been so long?
And the jewels gone, too?)
Sweep the town hall's steps for the fresh kings' coming;
and let out all the fools and the dancers;
let there be foolish delights again and amazing dances.

And let us all, then, walk right up to them,
and pledge our energies, and exact pledges.
Yes, let them say they will hear us and act grandly.
Yes, let them say they will honor us and practice justice.
Oh, we must make an end to old whining and disgust;
these kings must fill us up!
Run for your ships, old enemies!
Our blinking eyes swell with wet joy;
our split lips sing
of fresh kings come to Troy!

- Gerald George, Sunrise Senior College

Gold LEAF: A Democracy of Ideas

Illustration of a hand holding a shining starOne of the highlights of Gold LEAF Institute is its general membership meetings, held three times a year. They're functional, of course: folks sign up for classes, announcements are made, information is shared. But they're social as well, on every level.

For one, members get to meet each other outside classroom situations. For another, they meet and talk with the people teaching classes - an important consideration for idea shoppers. Members also share their interests, which include the kinds of classes they'd enjoy seeing in future, or even classes they'd like to offer themselves.

The meetings are well attended with fully a third of the membership showing up for a light buffet, a bit of conversation, and an exchange of ideas. It's how we work, and it's why we work so well.

That last is important, and largely accounts for why the Maine Senior College Network - and Gold LEAF in particular - has thrived. For in the end, Gold LEAF is more than a collection of people looking to get out of the house; it's a community of shared interests, a group looking to tap into the experience of like-minded people and to grow through contact with the knowledge, the expertise and, yes, even the wisdom of others.

In that sense, the senior college network is more than just a school for those over 50 - it's a democracy of ideas. It's curriculum formation at its best, where education evolves from demand and where the students define the direction of an institution that belongs to them.

After all, we all have a lot to share and getting together several times a year is one of the ways we share it.
- Submitted by Gold LEAF's Dick Matthews 

Memoirs of an Amateur Spy and of a
Holocaust Survivor

The Western Mountains Senior College (WMSC) is honored to present the distinguished husband-wife team of Irving "Ike" Isaacson and Judith Magyar Isaacson for the next in its Down Home Maine series on Thursday, November 4, 4:30-6:00 at the Bethel Congregational Church (upstairs).

Irvinig Isaacson photoThe Isaacsons' story began during WWII, when Irving was recruited by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor of the CIA. His assignment was to parachute behind enemy lines with a little printing press strapped to his back, scrounge for paper, and then print propaganda to demoralize German troops. (The plan was scrapped because of the rapid Allied advance after D-Day.)  As chronicled in his autobiography, Memoirs of an Amateur Spy (Stones Point Press, 2002), Irving Isaacson's war and postwar duties then turned to learn-as-you-go intelligence gathering and rudimentary espionage. He smuggled agents and propaganda behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied Europe and became the first OSS spy to gather Soviet intelligence in the emerging Cold War.

Judith Magyar IsaacsonJudith Magyar Isaacson was born in Hungary in 1925. When she was 19, her family was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where her grandmothers and an aunt were gassed upon arrival.  From there, Judith, her mother and her aunt were sent to a slave labor camp. They lost the rest of their family in the Holocaust, including Judith's father, but miraculously, the three women were liberated together by American forces in 1945.  Judith met Irving a month later. They married that year and came to the United States in 1946. 

Widely celebrated for her Seed of Sarah: Memoirs of a Survivor (University of Illinois Press, 1990), Judith Magyar Isaacson is an educator and former Bates College dean, author, champion of equal opportunity for women, and human-rights advocate whose passion was forged by her experiences in the Holocaust.

For more of the fascinating story about these remarkable Auburn residents, visit the Bates College Bookshelf for a profile of Irving Isaacson and the University of Maine at Augusta web site for a profile of Judith Magyar Isaacson.

- Submitted by Nancy Davis,  Western Mountains Senior College
St. John Valley Senior College
Fall Term is Well Under Way
Cathie Pelletier at St John Valley Class
Allagash native and best-selling author, Cathie Pelletier, led a St. John Valley Senior College session on How to Write the Story of Your Life on September 23 on the University of Maine at Fort Kent campus.

The St. John Valley Senior College, a partnership between MSAD #27 Adult and Community Education, the University of Maine at Fort Kent, and the Fort Kent Elderly Social Action Council, got under way on September 21 with an outing to the New Brunswick Botanical Garden in Edmunston, N.B.  Also, on September 23, Allagash native and best-selling author, Cathie Pelletier, delivered a session to nearly 30 participants on How to Write the Story of Your Life.

Other Senior College sessions on tap for this fall's term include: Coping with Change led by Gert Albert; Wonderful Word-Play with Dorothy Hopkins; A Picture and Talking Tour of Jerusalem's History with Erica Nadelhaft; Weather-Wise with Ted Shapiro of WAGM TV 8; A Little Spin Through Time with Debra Durkin; Up in Lights with Chuck Closser and Betty Pecoraro; Enjoying E-Bay with Mike Collins; and Planning an Outing in the Allagash with Gary Pelletier.

- Submitted by Heidi Michaud for St. John Valley Senior College
York County Senior College and
Sweetser Lecture Series
"Cruise" the Atlantic

Rocky seashore photo

A newly-forged collaboration between York County Senior College and the Saco-based Sweetser Lecture Series resulted in a series of speakers this fall who have enthralled audiences with tales that spotlight Maine's kinship with the ocean. Each lecture has had a distinctly seaworthy feel, with three looks at the coastal experience with an interplay of music, art and story.  The last of the series will take place on November 4.

First up, part of the hidden history of Maine was revealed in "The Wreck of the Isidore," as sung and recounted by trouba-
dour Harvey Reid. Fans of local history were transfixed by the gripping story of the Maine-made tall ship that went down on the jagged rocks of York in the fierce gale of 1842, taking with it all 16 on board. The crew's premonitions of disaster, and lingering reports to this day by local fishermen of a ghost ship, made this story a perfect backdrop for understanding a vital period in Maine history. 

October's Sweetser Lecture Series offered renowned artist and author Loretta Krupinski, who brought to life, through word and picture, life as it once was along the waterfronts of Maine in "Blending Art and the Maritime History of the Maine Coast."  Mrs. Krupinski's book, Looking Astern:  An Artist's View of Maine's Historic Working Waterfronts, highlights Maine's waterfront towns in their heyday, when fishing, quarrying, and the cargo trade were the backbone of the coastal economy. Her lecture featured paintings of waterfront scenes and colorful stories of the Maine coast. 

From giant rogue waves to mis-stacked containers, there are countless opportunities for things to go wrong when transporting goods across the seas. On November 4 Chester Hopkins, former Vice-President of Marine and Terminal Operations for French Lines, will present a personal narrative complemented with visual images, of commercial shipping's disasters at sea and in port in "Fragile: Handle With Care - Maritime Mistakes."

Each of these lectures brings attendees closer to their Maine roots, whether natural or adopted, and benefits the Provident Association of Saco.

- Submitted by Fran Brown, York County Senior College

In This Issue
There's Still Time To Register to Attend the MSCN Conference
And the Winner is . . . MSCN's Poet Laureate announced
Gold LEAF: A Democracy of Ideas
Western Mountains Senior College Presents Memoirs of an Amateur Spy and of a Holocaust Survivor
St. John Valley Senior College Fall Term is Well Under Way
"Cruise" the Atlantic With York County Senior College
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

Kyle Allen

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