NEW MSCN HEADER (With border)
Issue No. 22
December 2011
The MSCN Newsletter

Welcome to your December newsletter!

Illustration of snowflake quilt blockIn this issue we are pleased to announce the winners of the MSCN Poet Laureate and Photography competitions as well as present the winning entries -- a drum roll, please!


Maine Senior College Network now has a page on Facebook!  If you are a Facebook user, you can "like" us, share info on happenings, and discuss senior college. If you aren't a Facebook user, why not become one and join in the fun!

Our correspondents from St. John Valley Senior College, OLLI at USM, Lewiston-Auburn Senior College, Augusta Senior College, and Western Mountains Senior College have been busy reporting on the happenings at their senior college and have submitted great  reports and photos for this issue. We look forward to hearing from all of you each and every month.

Fran, Anne, Kyle and I extend our best wishes to all of our friends throughout the Maine Senior College Network for a happy holiday season and a wonderful new year! 




Kali Lightfoot

Executive Director

Maine Senior College Network   

And the Winners Are . . .

MSCN 2011 Photo Contest winning photo
Machiasport Sunrise, the winning entry, submitted by
Nancy Jane Smith of Sunrise Senior College.

Sunrise Senior College member Nancy Jane Smith and OLLI at USM member Natalie Murray are, respectively, the winners of the MSCN Photography and Poet Laureate contests. Congratulations to Nancy Jane and Natalie! Nancy Jane has received a Sony digital photo frame, and Natalie has received an Amazon Kindle for their winning entries. Thank you to all the talented folks who entered the competitions.

The staff of the Maine Senior College Network selected the winning photo, and Caroline O'Connor-Thomas, the editor of the University of Southern Maine's annual literature and arts publication, Words & Images, judged the poetry. The entries were presented anonymously to the judges.

Nancy Jane's  photo was selected by the MSCN staff as the best illustration of our Outdoor Maine contest theme of "the natural world in our beautiful state," as well as on the basis of its composition and technical merits.

Nancy credits her current ability in photography to classes she's taken at Sunrise Senior College with instructor Henry Hosley. "He knew how to inspire me. I'd taken photos all my life, but something was lacking. What I learned from Hoz took my photography to another level." Since taking photography classes at Sunrise Senior College, Nancy has also submitted winning entries to the State of Maine's quarterly photo contest and had her photos displayed on the state website photo contest page. She recalls that she'd "never won a photo contest" before studying photography with Hoz.

A native of Bangor, Nancy currently lives in Machiasport  and teaches art two days a week at a small Washington County K-8 school.

MSCN's new Poet Laureate, Natalie Murray, has been a member of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Southern Maine since it was founded as Senior College at Portland. Natalie is a very active OLLI member, and she has studied poetry in OLLI courses with instructors Claire Knox, Pat Budd, and Denney Morton. Natalie and her husband David, who is also an OLLI member, live in Falmouth. Here is Natalie's winning poem:

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.


MSCN is Now On Facebook

Facebook logoNow you can "like" Maine Senior College Network on Facebook. We've created an MSCN page on Facebook, so please visit it to share experiences, ideas, photos, and information about upcoming Maine Senior College happenings.
It's Been a Busy Fall at SJVSC

As these photos attest, members of St. John Valley Senior College in Fort Kent have experienced an active fall full of fun and informative activities:

FT Kent Scarecrow Festival Parade
Members of SJVSC's volunteer board participated in the University of Maine Fort Kent Homecoming / Fort Kent Scarecrow Festival parade in September.

SJVSC trip to Ste. Agathe Historical Preservation Ctr
SJVSC members learned basket weaving in a class led by Lise Sirois as part of a road trip to Ste. Agathe Historical Preservation Center.

SJVSC pumpking painting class
Fort Kent artist Janice Bouchard led a pumpkin painting and fall decorating class for SJVSC.

- submitted by Bern Albert for St. John Valley Senior College.

A Senior College FUN-Raiser

photo collage of OLLI at USM book sale

This was one for the books! On Saturday, November 5, OLLI at USM hosted its first book sale, open to both OLLI members and the general public. A book sale is a fabulous fundraising and community-building activity! For an account of some of the joys, and trials, of our experience, please click here to read the full article. It may inspire other senior colleges in Maine to try the same.

- Submitted by Joan Aldrich (article) and Tim Baehr (photo collage) for the OLLI at the University of Southern Maine.


Producing a Play From Beginning to End

L/A Sr College class at the Lewiston Public Theatre
At a Public Theatre Equity Actors' rehearsal are Rose Keene, Rachel Morin, Jane Linnell; back, Cindy Boyd, June Spear, Bob Greeley.
(Photo by Susan Spellman)
Christopher Schario invited his L/A Senior College class, "Producing a Play: Beginning to End," to attend Equity actors' rehearsals for Around the World in 80 Days as well as a performance of the play at Lewiston's Public Theatre where he is artistic director. Janet Mitchko, Schario's wife and associate artistic director at The Public Theatre, directed the play which received a rave review in the Lewiston Sun Journal newspaper. Schario's class also drew a rave review from his students!

- Submitted by Rachel Morin for Lewiston / Auburn Senior College.


Hands On Art Class a Hit At Augusta Senior College

Student in Augusta Sr College art class
Hands of Art student
Ann Parker
This fall's 8-week Hands On Art class for beginners and beyond held at University of Maine Augusta Senior College had 16 eager students. Many had some previous experience and others did not.

Instructor Ruth Bookey
Student in Augusta Sr College art class
Hands of Art student
John Stewart

reports it was a very enthusiastic and self-motivated group that produced some lovely artwork. The class was a lot of fun for teacher and students alike!

- Submitted by Ruth Bookey for University of Maine Augusta Senior College
Wine Tasting at WMSC

Western Mntns Senior College wine tasting event
Dean and Priscella Walker enjoy a taste of Pinot Noir.
In early November Western Mountains Senior College held a wine tasting event that has become a perennial favorite. Dave Nivus, a connoisseur of wine and owner of  The Good Food Store in Bethel, presented seven different varieties of wine to the group. For Thanksgiving Day dinners Dave recommended white wines that are rich and soft without too much acidity. The recommendations for red wines were those which had less tannin. As we sipped away at the Riesling, Pinot Noir, Beaujolais and others Dave discussed the differences in the grape and in the climate of each region where they were grown.

participant at Western Mntns Sr College wine tasting event
Ruth Barrett sips a Beaujolais.
My favorite was the Tempranillo 2006, Marques de Riscal from Rioja Spain. This was a black cherry colored wine with aromas of ripe dark fruit and fine smoked notes. The wines tasted were moderately priced ranging from $9.00 to $13.00, and Dave extended a special limited time discount to WMSC members. The event was held in the ambiance of  the Mill Hill Inn in Bethel which is a delightful combination of  inn, bistro, bar, and art gallery owned by Woody and Lee Hughes. After the tasting many of us had signed on to stay for a delicious dinner at the Inn where we continued good conversations and finished the opened bottles of wine. Cheers!

-Submitted by Peter Gailitis for Western Mountains Senior College


Introducing Online Maine
Senior Guide

illustration depicting worldwide webSearching the internet for products and services for Maine seniors can be a daunting task. Maine Senior Guide is a comprehensive web resource about all things senior that provides "one stop shopping" for Maine's seniors. From reverse mortgages to transportation, from independent living to volunteer opportunities, Maine Senior Guide covers topics of interest to Maine's older residents and their families. This easily searchable website can be found at


The Poet's Corner

L/A poet
(photo by Rachel Morin)
Lewiston/Auburn Senior College members are fortunate to have poet Pearl Tibbetts Sawyer in their midst as a long-time active senior college member. Pearl has had several poetry books published and her ninth book, A Long String of Pearls, is due out this spring. Below is her poem about the December view she sees from her corner window. 

To a Cardinal on a December Morning

Poems of praise arise
from such as this --
you, sitting solitary on the stark
branches of the little lilac bush,
just sitting, looking,
in your stunning red suit
like an outrageously crimson
bauble, in a courageous attempt
to add a bit of festive gaiety
to your barren, leafless  perch.

- by Pearl Tibbetts Sawyer, Lewiston-Auburn Senior College

In This Issue
And the Winners Are ...
MSCN is Now On Facebook
It's Been a Busy Fall at SJVSC
A Senior College Fun-Raiser
Producing a Play From Beginning to End
Hands of Art Class at Augusta Senior College
Wine Tasting at WMSC
Introducing Online Maine Senior Guide
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.

Maine Senior Guide is a comprehensive web resource about all things senior that provides "one stop shopping" for Maine's seniors at 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
Trouble opening our pdfs?

Adobe Reader Icon

Download Adobe Reader by clicking the button above.
Please submit your articles and photographs to Kyle Allen at

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