NEW MSCN HEADER (With border)
Issue No. 10
December 2010
Welcome To Your
December Newsletter!
Frosty leaves photo

This month's MSCN newsletter features a wrap-up and photos of the MSCN conference at Point Lookout.

As the days have been getting shorter, Maine  Senior College members have been busy attending a wide variety of classes across the state. We received great articles and photos on happenings at Coastal Senior College, Penobscot Valley Senior College, Western Mountains Senior College, Gold LEAF Institute, and poetry from Augusta Senior College. Many thanks to all who take the time to submit information for the newsletter; it's great to share the Senior College offerings with all MSCN members.

We've also included a link to information about a University of Maine Camden Conference for-credit course on "The Challenges of Asia." Scholarships for those 65+ are available; information on applying is included in the linked pdf. You will need Adobe Reader to view the pdf, and you may download it for free if you don't already have it installed on your computer.

Best wishes to all of you for a merry and bright holiday season!

Kali Lightfoot
Executive Director
Maine Senior College Network

Annual MSCN Conference
Held At Beautiful
Point Lookout Resort

The 2010 Maine Senior College Network Conference was held on November 8 and 9 at Point Lookout Resort in Northport. This year's conference included a Leadership Forum and a day of fun Senior Scholar presentations. Members from senior colleges across the state attended.
A breakout group at the MSCN conference
A breakout group at the leadership forum during the MSCN conference.
The conference started with a daylong Leadership Forum. Past, present and future Maine Senior College leaders gathered to talk about their senior colleges and the future of lifelong learning in Maine. To learn more about those discussions go to the Maine Senior College Compass via the MSCN website.

This year's MSCN Poet Laureate, Gerald George, from Sunrise Senior College, joined the group for lunch and read his winning poem.
Kali Lightfoot presents Gerald George with an Amazon Kindle
Kali Lightfoot presents MSCN's newly designated Poet Laureate Gerald George with an Amazon Kindle, the contest prize.
On the second day of the conference, attendees chose from many Senior Scholar presentations.  Instructors from senior colleges presented "mini classes" based on courses they have taught.  Topics included Wildflowers of Maine, Author Muriel Sparks, The Life of Edna Vincent Millay, Geometry, Folk Music of the Caribbean, Brave Men of Maine Lighthouses, Rhythm All Around, Fostering a Muslim and Christian Understanding, How Salt and Chocolate Changed the World, One Idea that Shook the Universe, Tai Chi, Carl Gustav Jung, Monasteries and Cathedrals, and What the Prophets Might Say Today.

Your fellow Maine Senior College members had this to say about the conference:

"I enjoyed the conference very much. I learned so much. The ideas that were shared will help me in my senior college."
The Rhythm All Around Session at the MSCN conference
The "Rhythm All Around" session -- one of many Senior Scholar sessions offered at this year's MSCN conference.
"I would love to have had the opportunity to take even more classes!"

"The presentations were excellent - certainly worth attending."

"A great and rewarding experience. Thank you!"

A slideshow of conference photos is available on the Maine Senior College Compass. Take a look and pick out members from your senior college!
The Maine Senior College Compass: A Way To Share Ideas Across the MSCN

Compass illustrationWouldn't it be great to be able to share ideas, ask questions, gather information, or bounce ideas off other senior college board members? We've developed the "Maine Senior College Compass," an online communication tool that allows you to do just that! Check out the Maine Senior College Compass to see what has already been shared.

If you are a Senior College board member and you would like to contribute to the Maine Senior College Compass, please send your name, email address and the name of your senior college to Anne Cardale at Once your account has been created you can initiate discussions and add your thoughts to ongoing discussions. You will also be able to edit pages and upload documents. If you are not a board member and would like to have something posted on the Compass, please contact a member of your Maine Senior College board to make this request.
"Have Notes Will Travel":
MSCN Instructors Bureau

Illustration of teacher at blackboardThe recent Maine Senior College Network conference identified a wish to develop a "have notes will travel" resource for the network. This would be a list of instructors who are willing to travel around Maine to deliver their courses. If you are an instructor and wish to add your name to the MSCN Instructors Bureau, please send the following information to Kyle Allen at

-   Your name and the name of the senior college at which you've taught.
-   A short description of the course(s) or one-session lecture(s) you have taught at a senior college.
-    Provide a clear sense of the distance you are willing to travel around the state.
-  IMPORTANT! Make sure that you also provide your contact information including: phone, email and physical address.

We will post your name, course description and travel radius on the Maine Senior College Compass. We will not post your personal contact information unless you state that you would like us to do this. We will pass on your contact information when we receive a direct request from a Senior College Board member.
PSVC To Learn Latest On
Sustainability Research

Photo of Kelsey BrookIn a unique partnership, Penobscot Valley Senior College will pair up with Maine's Sustainability Solutions Initiative, a program at the University of Maine, for a two-hour session on cutting-edge sustainability science on December 3 at the University. The idea behind this initiative is to connect research to the community. At the session, offered to Senior College members only, six Ph.D. candidates will discuss their research on such topics as vernal pools, innovative conservation planning, the Sebago Lake watershed, and the emerald ash borer in Maine. The session will take place in Room 3 in the Wells Conference Center at the University of Maine, Orono.

In addition, at noon on December 3, Senior College members are invited to attend a public lecture given by Dr. Robert Kates, a world renowned geographer, on "Sustainable development: Can it be done in this or any century?" Dr. Kates' lecture will take place  in the Bangor Room of the Memorial Union at UMaine.

- Submitted by Christina Diebold, Penobscot Valley Senior College
Coastal Senior College Class
Visits Local Purveyors

Coastal Senior College recently concluded a fall course offering, "Our Food Purveyors." The 14 adventurous participants visited six food-related businesses in Lincoln County and five in Knox County. As one participant stated, "It was a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes to see how things were done."

At Safe Harbor Confections in Waldoboro, owner Martha Kallina offered the class an opportunity to assist in making some of her specialty chocolates. They learned that Kallina, a former animal shelter manager, donates some of her profits to animal welfare groups. Hers is a strictly wholesale operation, and the distribution area is extensive in Maine as well as other areas of the country.

Photo of CSC members visiting Coastal ME Popcorn Co.

At the Coastal Maine Popcorn Co. in Boothbay the class sampled flavored popcorn, including the biggest seller (salt and vinegar) as well as some very unusual ones: Southwest cheddar, Buffalo wings, Maine maple, and apple pie. Owner Paul Roberts explained that he and his wife develop new flavors in their home kitchen, basing their choices on things that they enjoy eating. Although their Boothbay retail store is closed for the season, their production facility there remains open. Another store on Exchange Street in Portland stays open year 'round.

One week, participants traveled the back roads of Lincoln County ending up at the Sheepscot Valley Brewing Company in Whitefield. Everyone was surprised that no one got lost finding brewer Steve Gorrill's place, although it was best described as "off the beaten track." Students were amazed that his is a one-man operation, especially since one of the products, Pemaquid Ale, is extremely popular and served in many local restaurants. Keeping up with the demand is challenging when going it alone. That is why, he said, the retail operation at his brewery is only open Fridays from 4 to 6 p.m. Even with those limited hours, he cautioned everyone to call ahead to make sure he was around.

Continuing their travels in Whitefield, the students ventured to Bailey's Orchard where the Baileys conducted an extensive tour of their orchard and included instruction in cider-making. Class members asked numerous questions as to how apple-grafting was done and how the orchard had developed over 60 varieties of apples and pears. They saw why the "Sheep's Nose" apple got its name, and learned that the Baileys use a very sophisticated light beam to ensure the safety of their cider, a process that's an alternative to pasteurization.

Who wouldn't want to tour and then taste samples from Round Top Ice Cream? Owner Gary Woodcock obliged by offering both. Discussing the history of Round Top, he noted that the business had been around since 1927. Several old photos hanging on the walls of the shop date back to those times. Downstairs he demonstrated how intense the preparation of the ice cream is, something he did for many summers when he had vacations from his Wiscasset math teaching job. Buying the business in the late '80's, he managed to both teach and run the business until his retirement in 2007.

Photo of CSC members visiting Oyster Creek Mushroom Co.

The Oyster Creek Mushroom Company was the last Lincoln County business visited. One participant commented, "Who could believe that a company in Damariscotta does big business with Japan?" Indeed, owner Candy Heydon confirmed that she drives to Boston twice each week delivering her maitake mushrooms to a broker, who then ships them to Japan. Within two or three days, the Japanese are eating mushrooms from here. A simple look at their website or a visit to the business (on Standpipe Road) confirms what the group found: an astonishing array of mushrooms and related products.

All of the businesses visited had good websites and the ability to order directly through the Internet. The Knox County visits included:  Port Clyde Fresh Catch, Maine Gold (Rockland), Sweetgrass Farm Winery (Union), Spruce Mountain Blueberries (Rockport) and Rock City Coffee Roasters (Rockland).

The course facilitators, Emily MacKenzie and Betty Welt, commented that these visits left all the participants "with a deep respect for the 24/7 work ethic and pride in product" displayed by the food purveyors. MacKenzie chairs the Coastal Senior College curriculum committee and Welt serves on the board and is a founding member of the college.

- by Emily MacKenzie, Coastal Senior College
Arts, Arts, Arts At WMSC

The arts are alive and well at the Western Mountains Senior College, where members may take advantage of a wide variety of cultural options. Recently, the Senior College Players, in their fifth year of existence, entertained full crowds in the McLaughlin Auditorium at Gould Academy in Bethel. During two Saturday/Sunday performances, the 18-member troupe presented a total of 13 short plays. From the beginning the program has operated on the premise that Players need not memorize scripts, but Director Lynn Arizzi explains that Players have improved and matured to the point that many now work from memory.

During the fall term budding artists enjoyed Suzanne Taylor's Painting and Drawing course, designed to offer a range of media choices to all talent levels of participants. Taylor has created a studio atmosphere, where students critique each other's work in a safe environment, which they describe as both stimulating and fun.
Renaissance Art class students examine a book.
Mary Haberman scans an art book during instructor Dr. Marvin Ouwinga's Renaissance Art class at WMSC. Also in the photo, from left: Beth Brough, Marjorie Winsor, Jan Stowell, Mary Stryker.
Also this fall, students in Dr. Marvin Ouwinga's Renaissance Art course learned about the religious and mythological context, as well as the political and economic milieu, in which the Renaissance unfolded, thereby gaining a greater understanding of the painters, sculptors, and architects of the era. Students enjoyed Ouwinga's "exceptional knowledge and resources," and one participant noted his ability to "open my eyes to a treasure of art I had no experience with."

By popular demand, both of these courses will be extended into the winter term. In the spring term, cultural opportunities will include a music/history class co-taught by Dr. Ouwinga and Dan Johnson, our local music expert. Rev. Johnson will also offer a pre-opera lecture and attendance at a Metropolitan Opera production in high definition simulcast.

- Submitted by Nancy Davis, Western Mountains Senior College
Alternative Education

Reach For The Stars written on chalkboardOne of the advantages of reaching an age of maturity is that we have more time to think of ourselves, not in a selfish sense, but in the way of finding time to pursue long-deferred interests. In our later years, life isn't so much a struggle just to keep our heads above water: earning a living, raising children, sending them to college, etc. By the time we reach our 50s, many of us discover we have the leisure to pursue ideas that have so often taken a back seat to more pressing matters. Thus the value of senior colleges like Farmington's Gold LEAF Institute. "Mom," our grown kids say, "you're taking a yoga class? I didn't know you were interested in yoga."Well, kids, how about Qi Gong for the Eyes, or Introduction to Sufism? Or courses on criminal law, home beer brewing, creative writing, Tai Chi, or conversational French?

Such courses can provide any number of experiences: they fill gaps in our educations, help us pursue new interests, lead us in new directions, or just plain satisfy our curiosity. A course in Maine history may bolster our sense of place; a kayaking trip can engage us in a new outdoor activity; a cultural anthropology class can introduce us to an exotic culture. Or perhaps we're just making up for lost time, as when we take a drawing or photography class, or sign up for a course called Learning the Summer Constellations.

An Introduction to Gilbert and Sullivan? A History of Titcomb Mountain? Ecology and the Identification of Trees? A course in Civil War Medicine? Some narrow in their focus, some broad, but all of them appealing to some erstwhile interest long held back - or newly awakened. At Gold LEAF, the curriculum is far reaching, the course offerings all over the board. And that is as it should be, because so are the people who, during at least the first 50 years of their lives, have gone down so many roads. Now, perhaps, we can find the time to explore some of the roads not taken.

- Submitted by Richard Matthews, Gold LEAF at University of Maine at Farmington
Camden Conference Course
Will Examine
The Challenges of Asia

Poster for the Challenges of Asia Course

"The Challenges of Asia," a unique University of Maine course designed around the 2011 Camden Conference on the same theme, will examine the impact of current trends in the international political economy of several countries in Asia. Click here to view a pdf with detailed information about the course. Senior citizens should check with the University of Maine Bursar's office at 581-1521 at 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. regarding tuition and fee waiver requirements.


The Poet's Corner

A Walk
On All Saints Day

Red sweatered old man
Balances on ladder -- cleaning eaves.
Anxious wife waits below
            As if she could break a fall.

Widow's porch crammed with
Bulging trash bags --
Invitation to scurrying mammals.
            Better hers than mine.

Random ribbons of tar
Swirl on edge of paved road.
Black lace
           Trimming the mundane.

- by Joan Wehrman Nicholson, Augusta Senior College
In This Issue
Annual MSCN Conference Held At Beautiful Point Lookout Resort
The Maine Senior College Compass
"Have Notes Will Travel": MSCN Instructors Bureau
PSVC To Learn The Latest On Sustainability Reasearch
Coastal Senior College Class Visits Local Purveyors
Arts, Arts, Arts At WMSC
Alternative Education
Camden Conference Course Will Examine The Challenges Of Asia
The Poet's Corner: Poetry from Augusta Senior College
Don't forget to go to the Maine Senior College Network website to find out what is happening around the state!

Maine Senior College Network 
Maine Senior College Network

Acadia Senior College

Augusta Senior College
Bridgton Senior College

Coastal Senior College

Downeast Senior College

Gold LEAF Institute


Lewiston-Auburn Senior College

Midcoast Senior College

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Penobscot Valley Senior College


Senior College UMaine Hutchinson Center

St. John Valley Senior College

Sunrise Senior College 
Western Mountains Senior College

York County Senior College
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) 780-4128
(207) 780-4317 (fax)

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

Kyle Allen
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Deadline:  Second week of each month for the following month's edition