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Special Edition

A Look Back at Articles From Past Editions of MSCN News


Welcome to this special edition of the MSCN Newsletter. We're taking a look back at a sampling of the articles and photos from Maine's Senior Colleges that have been featured in the monthly e-newsletter. Thank you for submitting them -- we look forward to receiving them each month and encourage you to keep up the great work.


Please note that events, trips and classes noted in the articles have happened in months past. 



Kali Lightfoot

Executive Director

Maine Senior College Network   


Acadia Senior College  Celebrates Another Year

Acadia Senior College members enjoyed a potluck dinner, followed by entertainment by the Dog Mountain Bluegrass Band, as part of the Annual General Meeting and election of officers on June 10th. Anne Cardale, Maine Senior College Director of Operations and Communication, joined Acadia for the evening. About 85 members attended the event.
Acadia Bill Dohmenen

Bill Dohmen, retiring ASC President, shows delight with the gift of an Acadia Senior college fleece jacket.

Dog Mountain Bluegrass Band

The Dog Mountain Bluegrass Band plays a foot-stomping number.

-  submitted by Acadia Senior College from the July 2010 newsletter
Augusta's Hands On Art Class For Beginners and Beyond
Hands on art class students at UMA Senior College

Hands On Art students at work: In front, Helen McKendry; on the left Janet Mather; and on right Jim McKendry.

UMA art class student at work

Louise Marchaldon takes a smile break during Hands On Art class.

Sixteen very enthusiastic
students, seven repeaters and the rest newbies, enjoyed the Hands On Art class this fall at the University of Maine Augusta Senior College (UMASC). They experimented with several media: watercolor, pencil, charcoal, pastel, oil pastel and acrylics. Techique and related topics for each medium was discussed. A lot of ground was covered in eight weeks with great interest and enjoyment of the process.

Student in UMA Sr College art class

Rachel Marsh-Sachs creates a drawing.

As instructor of the course for some 9 years, I find it always interesting. The class mix varies from semester to semester, but the enthusiasm and interest is always high.
I love teaching such devoted students, and my involvement keeps me painting and drawing. I also teach a class on creating portraits which is great fun. Students draw each other, and even students who have never tried their hand at this before create works that resemble their subjects.

- Submitted by Ruth Bookey, University of Maine Augusta Senior College for the January 2011 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 for the May 2011 newsletter


Lakes Region Seniors Warm Up With Bridgton's Winter Series

Snowflakes illustrationThe most popular session at Senior College at Bridgton is Winter Session. A series of eight two-hour classes are planned for Mondays and Tuesdays from January 24 to February 15. These classes are free to members and only $5.00 for nonmembers. Classes begin at 10 a.m. and are preceded by a light continental breakfast. The 10:00 hour gives area seniors time to travel in difficult weather; by this time, Bridgton road crews have cleared town roads, and it is easier for people from other communities to get into town.

The Winter Session is a good time for new teachers to get to know members before they commit to a four- or six-week class. Some teachers enjoy presenting something lighter than they do for longer sessions. For example, Winter Session includes a discussion of Charlie Chaplin's films, another class explores the use of place in the novels of Stephen King, and another will discuss opera and myth. Also, people who are not yet retired are able to teach a single two-hour class when they cannot teach for a longer period. 

Winter Session is also a way for Senior College at Bridgton to introduce the program to the larger community. Often, non-members, instead of paying a per-class fee, will become members - important in a resort area where many people are snowbirds. How wonderful it is to have a place to spend a winter morning - a cup of coffee or tea, a nibble or two, and an interesting subject to explore.

- Submitted by Dee Miller, Senior College at Bridgton, for the January 2011


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
, for the December 2010 newsletter
Alternative Energy and More at Downeast Senior College

Downeast Senior College Field Trip
One of the more exciting and popular courses this spring at
Downeast Senior College in Ellsworth has been "Alternative Energy and More!" The first session on Geothermal Energy, was presented by two engineers from Oak Point Associates, Christine Lyle and Matthew Albert. They did a wonderful presentation on the geothermal heating and cooling system their company is presently building for the new Ellsworth Elementary/Middle School.

For the second class, members toured the Ellsworth Dam with Richard Finnelly Jr. who showed them the intricacies of water power. With the recent rain, the turbines were certainly showing off the power they can produce. The group then traveled to Orono and toured the Advanced Structures and Composites Center on the University of Maine campus. Edwin Nagy, structural research engineer, took them on a wonderful tour of the facility, explaining the "Back-Pack Bridge" they have developed as well as many other projects they are working on. The tour was followed by a drive down to Pittsfield where members viewed a completed "back-pack bridge:" the Neal Bridge. At the final class, members will visit a wind mill in Hancock, Maine, and learn about wind power.
- Submitted by Elaine Dow, Downeast Senior College, for the May 2010 newsletter
Alternative Education at
Gold LEAF Institute

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 Insitute at University of Maine at Farmington, for the December 2010 newsletter
L/A Senior College Class
Studied Mark Twain

LA photoJune Spear's Lewiston/Auburn Senior College class on "Mark Twain: The Man and His Work" observed the last class with cake and punch. Left to right are Liette Morin, June Spear, Maureen Tibbetts and Barbara Randall. Claire Knox and John Sutherland taught the Mark Twain course at OLLI and organized a two day trip to the home of Mark Twain in Hartford, CT for 53 members of OLLI, LA Senior College and Midcoast Senior College. Also included in the trip were the Harriet Beecher Stowe House and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. (Photo by Rachel Morin)

- submitted by Lewiston/Auburn Senior College for the July 2010 newsletter.

PVSC Explores Island Life: 

Hardships and Beauty


Penobscot Valley Senior College recently enjoyed a presentation by members of the Island Institute who educated a large audience to the works and worth provided to the 15 year-round populated islands off the coast of Maine. Chris Wolff, the Institute's Community Development Director introduced Lana Cannon, an Island Institute Fellow, presently working on Matinicus Island. Members learned much about the help the Island residents gain in their schools, libraries, historical preservations, and social activities from the service of these "live-in" residents. The Institute has placed almost 70 fellows over the past 10 years.

Island life is one of great isolation. Lana had to reserve space on a small ferry-plane to the mainland and then borrow a car to attend the meeting in Bangor. Planes are available when the weather permits and ferries are available daily if the ocean is not too rough. The  island schools often consist of one or two families offspring,  making the enrollment sometimes as little as three or four pupils in the whole 8 grades. Teachers are rotated so a child might have at least two teacher experiences in 8 years.

Fishing, mostly lobstering, is the main livelihood. Attention was called to the women's plight of loneliness during the long winters as they often see no others for days. The men rise and leave very early and although it's work, there is a sociability among the fishermen and contact with others.  The group enjoyed viewing several films depicting the lifestyle as well as the beauty of the Islands.

- Submitted by Diane Cutler, Penobscot Valley Senior College, for the June 2010 newsletter
St. John Valley Senior College
Fall Term is Well Under Way

Cathie Pelletier at St John Valley ClassThe 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 for the November 2010 newsletter

SAGE UMPI at TV Station

On  March 31, 2010, a group of 35 UMPI SAGE members kicked off their Spring Session with a learning excursion to the WGAM-TV station, NewsSource8, in Presque Isle. WAGM is the primary CBS affiliate and operates the area's FOX affiliate on its digital sub-channel. The SAGE participants got a look at the behind-the-scenes operations, learned some of the history of the station and met the team members who work there.


Shawn Cunningham, News Anchor/Reporter, was the tour guide. As one SAGE member said "She was not only interesting but extremely personable." The staff behind the scenes explained the technicalities of broadcasting and answered many questions. Rene Cloukey, Sports Director, "gave us great sports insight". Meteorologist, Ted Shapiro,"schooled us about the art and actuality of weather." He encouraged those interested in learning more about weather to take his class at UMPI and stressed that anyone over 65 can take classes free. Ted took pictures of the group and showed them before his on-air weather report the next day. He also spoke briefly about SAGE.

The group agreed that "this was two hours well spent," "it was a great learning experience," and "a SAGE trip we will long remember".
- Submitted by Janet Snow, SAGE at University of Maine Presque Isle, for the May 2010 newsletter
Sunrise Senior College Presents Day of the Arts

Sunrise ArtIn July 2010, Sunrise Senior College presented a Day of the Arts at the University of Maine at Machias which featured original pieces by SSC members who have taken classes in a variety of art genres. Artwork ranged from watercolor to Ukrainian-style egg decorating to photography to Pauline Wood's Teddy Bear quilt shown at left.. A Writers' Corner was included during the two-day show for individuals who wanted to read, listen, or discuss a variety of original works created during classes at SSC.

This was the first year SSC utilized this format for its annual art show. In previous years, art tours were conducted in nearby towns featuring local artists from that town. For 2010, the SSC Board decided to feature SSC students who have learned a skill or enhanced a talent by taking classes with SSC. Many of the artists participating have honed their skills and are now successfully selling their work.

- submitted by Sunrise Senior College, University of Maine Machias, for the September 2010 newsletter
Western Maine Senior College:
A Healthy Sense of Play
As the winter snows have finally hit the Western Mountains, the WMSC (Western Mountains Senior College) is rediscovering why it's worth it to bundle up, brave the storm, and join together for intellectual stimulation, creativity, and some good times.
Snowshoeing in Maine woods

Last winter Western Mountains Senior College offered a popular snowshoe outing with Rick Churchill.

And we do know how to have fun! Our fall registration and annual meeting was a picnic around the theme of the good ole days of summer camp. We had it all: a camp-song sing-along, fireside stories, s'mores - and a watermelon seed spitting contest!

Our spring registration tradition has been a soup swap.
All members are welcome, and those who wish, contribute soup for the supper. They may also bring a container for the swap and leave with one (or more) container(s) of a different soup.

A visit to the 40+ sled dogs at Mahoosuc Guide Service has been extremely popular, and this fall people enjoyed the "Morning with Horses" offering. Our fall wine-tasting was so popular that we're repeating it this winter. We're repeating another winter favorite, the Snowshoe Nature Outing with "Dr. Rick" Churchill.  In February we'll stomp our feet at our second annual Square Dance, with WMSC member Walter Brough doing the calling. We have a walking group and a theater lovers' group, and some members will attend the hi-def Metropolitan Opera showing in the spring. For more information about these activities or our winter classes, call 207-824-2780.

- Submitted by Nancy Davis, Western Mountains Senior College, for the January 2011 newsletter

No Shrinking Violette,

This Fleurette

I say age is only a number, and I really live by that philosophy, never allowing that number to influence my decisions. Recently, however, that number turned out to be the big 80, and it did seem to deserve special notice. I felt driven to mark it with a challenge to myself.

Thinking about my extreme fear of heights, I decided that facing that fear head on was an appropriate way to celebrate. I chose to do that by way of a Zip Line Adventure.

For anyone not familiar with this, it involves zipping on cables high in the air hanging from the cable in a harness.

My family, fully aware of my fondness for taking a walk on the wild side, agreed to join me in my escapade in the mountains of New Hampshire.

Fleurette Bannon on platformTo say it was scary does not do it justice. Standing on the platform 60 to 90 feet in the air and being told to step to the edge and then to step off, is not scary; it is terrifying!

After searching for the courage to step off, the ride feels like flying and is worth all that fear.

We did six lines from tree to tree and walked across an even scarier wobbly rope bridge high up there in the crisp New Hampshire air. The highest point was 100 feet and the fastest zip was a drop at 35 miles an hour. WHAT A RUSH!!

Fleurette zipliningSo, age 80, bring it on. I am ready for you. I was terrified, exhilarated, thrilled and had the greatest fun ever on the day you caught up with me. Being 80 is not all bad, especially for a "zip line pilot."

- by Fleurette Bannon, York County Senior College, for the March 2011 newsletter


The Poet's Corner

For this retrospective edition of the MSCN Newsletter, we are publishing the winning poem from the 2010 Poet Laureate competition by Gerald George of Sunrise Senior College.

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!



In This Issue
Acadia Senior College Celebrates Another Year
Augusta's Hands On Art Class
Belfast Senior College Co-sponsored 9th Annual Festival of Arts
Lakes Region Seniors Warm Up With Bridgton's Winter Series
Coastal Senior College Class Visits Local Purveyors
Alternative Energy and More at Downeast Senior College
Alternative Education at Gold LEAF Institute
L/A Senior College Students Studied Mark Twain
PVSC Explores Island Life: Hardships & Beauty
Winter With Western Mountains Senior College
No Shrinkingn Violette, This Fleurette
The Poet's Corner -- 2010 Poet Laureate Gerald George's winning poem
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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