NEW MSCN HEADER (With border)
Issue No. 15
May 2011
The MSCN Newsletter

Welcome to your May newsletter! 

drawing of bird on cherry blossom branch

April's showers have, indeed, brought May flowers. Indicators of spring are all around us: blooming flowers, trees and shrubs sprouting leaves, and a multitude of birds back from their winter vacations. A string of sunny days would be a welcome addition! 


This month Gold LEAF Institute shares information about an upcoming three-day excursion to Mt. Desert Island and Senior College at Hutchinson Center, University of Maine, invites you to the 9th Annual Arts Festival in Belfast. Sunrise Senior College reports on a Matter of Balance class that has blossomed into an ongoing fun-filled walking group.   


With a nod to Mother's Day, we've included a poem by Natalie Murray from the OLLI at USM, entitled, "Her Hands Were Always Busy."


If you are a member of a Maine Senior College, we encourage you to enter the 2011 MSCN Poet Laureate contest and/or the Photo contest. Details about how to enter are below.


We look forward to receiving your articles, photos, and poetry as well as learning about the varied happenings at senior colleges across Maine. 




Kali Lightfoot

Executive Director

Maine Senior College Network  

The 2011 Search Is On:
Who Will Be The Next MSCN Poet Laureate?

quill pen & scroll illustrationDo you write poetry? Are you a member of a Maine senior college? Then you could be the 2011 MSCN Poet Laureate! It's easy to enter -- just submit a piece of your work (one poem per person, please) to: MSCN, Attention: Kyle Allen, P.O. Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104, or email your poem to Kyle at Be sure to include your name, contact information, and note which Maine Senior College you belong to.
The deadline for submissions is November 1, 2011. The winner will be announced and their poem will be included in the December MSCN Newsletter, and the 2011 MSCN Poet Laureate will receive an Amazon Kindle e-book reader. We are looking forward to reading some fine poetry!

Nature, Nurture, and Just drawing of car packed for travelPlain Fun  

Road trips at Gold LEAF in Farmington are perennial favorites, especially in the spring, but they're seldom as ambitious as the one coming up on May 23-25. While most Gold LEAF trips are single-day affairs, on those dates Gold LEAF members will make a three-day outing to Mount Desert Island.

The itinerary is ambitious: two nights at a hotel or B&B of choice; several ranger-led hikes in Acadia National Park; a tour of Jackson Laboratory, a cancer research facility and provider of genetically unique lab mice for researchers worldwide; a visit to the Abbe Museum, which is devoted to Maine's Native American heritage; and a generous bite of free time to explore Bar Harbor's attractions, shops, and restaurants.

Several options are available for trail hikes, with trekkers exploring the Ocean-front Trail, Jordan Pond, the famous Rockefeller Carriage Road, the Sieur de Monts Spring Area, and the Dorr Mountain Trail. Participants will make choices as to when and where to walk, depending on their interests, energy, or inclinations.

So far enlistment is running high for the trip, but spaces are still available. If anyone from another Senior College wants to join Gold LEAF, they may inquire by calling the Gold LEAF office at 207-778-7063 or check out

- Submitted for Gold LEAF Institute in Farmington by Richard Matthews
You Are Invited to Enter the
MSCN Photo Contest

illustration of photographerThe beautiful days of summer are right around the corner. We hope you will enjoy sunny skies and capture the beauty of summer in Maine with your digital camera. MSCN is having its first photography contest; the theme of the contest is "Outdoor Maine": photos taken of the natural world in our beautiful state. If you are a member of a Maine Senior College you are eligible to enter. One entry per person; photos must be submitted in digital format. Please email your entry as an attachment to Kyle Allen at Be sure to include your name, where your photo was taken, and tell us which Maine Senior College you belong to. Deadline for entries is November 1, 2011. The photographer of the image judged the top pick will receive a digital photo frame, and the winner will be announced in the December MSCN newsletter.
Senior College in Belfast Co-sponsors 9th Annual Festival of Arts
Acadia Painting

"Acadia," an oil on canvas painting by Rainy Brooks, will be featured at the Festival of Arts, May 12-15, in Belfast.

Senior College at the Hutchinson Center, University of Maine, Belfast, announces the 9th annual Festival of Arts beginning Thursday, May 12th, with a  public reception from 6-8 p.m., and continuing through Sunday, the 15th.

The show is co-sponsored by the Senior College and U/Maine Hutchinson Center. It features the work of more than 170 artists from around Maine, all of whom are over the age of 50. A poster showing hours and a schedule of events are available on the Belfast Senior College website, at a link at the bottom of the home page. Also included in the show, in a separate area, is artwork from RSU 20 students.

On Friday there will be a watercolor demonstration and panel discussion for artists wishing to market their work. On Saturday a Maine Masters' video on Robert Hamilton will be shown, with a panel discussion following. The panel guests include moderator David Estey, Nancy Hamilton, Suzette McAvoy, Eric Hopkins, George Lloyd, Richard Kane, and William Irvine.

The deadline for submissions was March 31st, so no additional artwork will be accepted. The reception on Thursday evening is open to the public, and light refreshments will be served. Come join the celebration of senior artists from across Maine.

-Submitted for Senior College at the Hutchinson Center, University of Maine, in Belfast, by Debbie Mitchell and Dorothy Alling 

Walking Their Way to Good Health at Sunrise Senior College
Sunrise Group Photo

The MOB + friends take a break from their daily 10,000 steps for a photo op.

The efforts of senior college are good news all the way around. In the fall semester of 2010, Sunrise Senior College was fortunate enough to have two trained instructors for the Matter of Balance course that has been offered throughout the state. Thank you, Ruta Jordan and Gretchen Cherry! It is a great program for seniors to help improve balance and gain the confidence to live a full life. The course helps students get up out of their chairs and look at the word "fall" as just another season of the year.

The Matter of Balance course was a great class with weekly exercises and worksheets to help students improve their physical condition. As with so many senior college courses it also formed a supportive group that wanted to continue physical fitness efforts. Lucky for them, instructor Gretchen Cherry agreed to offer a walking class in the spring semester.

Twice a week the members of the Matter of Balance class, affectionately known as the MOB, and others who joined the craze meet in the gym at UMM. They stretch. They laugh. They check up on each other. Then, it's around the gym to the sounds of dance music. The cost of the course covered the purchase of a very sophisticated pedometer. Each participant received one and has been challenged to get in their daily 10,000 steps.

Seeing some peppy seniors rocking around the gym to big band music has naturally attracted the attentions of others in the gym. The class has had some observers join in. Some have been disabled individuals with their caregivers. Others who have observed the class are members of TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly). TOPS members were very interested in the class and asked for someone to come to their meeting and tell them about Sunrise Senior College. This kind of advertising is priceless and healthy, too. 

Sunrise is a senior college where many members are up and walking their way to good health, great friendships and a determination to improve the quality of life for all those in their part of Washington County.

- Submitted for Sunrise Senior College in Machias by Gail Peters

The Poet's Corner

Illustration of hands and hearts

Her Hands Were Always Busy


Her hands were always busy.
Unadorned, save the slender silver ring,
Third finger, left hand, that changed her name,
Defined her as wife.

Suds to elbows, those hands lifted sheets to


Icy fingers pried frozen towels from the line.
Laundry was no push-button chore.

With clicking needles she knit
Precious little white mittens
With dear pink angora bunnies on the backs
For the delicate-boned, red-haired girl cousin.
There were sturdy sliding, snowball making
Mittens for the four boy cousins.
Babies and toddlers got colorful felt slippers
And feather-stitched flannel petticoats against

winter's chill.

She could cane a chair, paint and paper, make

Christmas wreaths.

Also wrote the village news for our local weeklies.
On Saturday afternoons she listened to radio


As she scrubbed the big kitchen floor.

What were her thoughts as she planted, weeded,
Hoed, picked, canned, whipped, stewed,
Arranged a home grown birthday bouquet for her


While his angel food cake baked golden in the


Family and friends, expected or not,
Always had a place at her table.

I never saw my mother twiddle her thumbs.

- by Natalie Murray, OLLI at the University of Southern Maine
In This Issue
Who Will Be The 2011 MSCN Poet Laureate?
Nature, Nurture, and Just Plain Fun: Road trips at Gold LEAF
Enter the MSCN Photography Contest!
Senior College in Belfast Co-sponsors 9th Annual Festival of Arts
Walking Their Way to Good Health at Sunrise Senior College
The Poet's Corner
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)780-4317 (fax)
Kali Lightfoot
Executive Director
Anne Cardale
Director of Communication 
Director of Conferences

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