NEW MSCN HEADER (With border)
Issue No. 42
October 2013
The MSCN Newsletter
Welcome to Your October Newsletter!
Photo of Eagle Lake in Acadia National Park
 in the fall
It seems like the leaves are changing extraordinarily fast this year, but I hope to catch some good foliage viewing in Bethel this Friday while at the Aging Well, Living Well conference at Sunday River.  I hope to meet lots of potential Senior College members and get them excited about joining your groups.

I had a good time presenting the past, present and future of Senior Colleges at the LAC Senior College Lunch and Learn in early September.  It was an enthusiastic audience, with many new members in attendance.

Speaking of new members, the advertising campaign seems to be working, we get calls every day from people who want to learn more about your programs.

And from the looks of what you have sent us for this newsletter there are lots of great activities to learn about.  Senior College in Maine is definitely the place to be!



Kali Lightfoot

Executive Director

Maine Senior College Network    


2014 Poet Laureate Contest 

Who Will Be MSCN's Next
Poet Laureate?
poetry hands

Do you write poetry or would you like to give it a try? Are you a member of a Maine Senior College? If so, you could become the next MSCN Poet Laureate! It's easy to enter -- simply  email a poem you have written to Fran Myers at the MSCN office. Or mail a printout of your poem to:

Fran Myers
Maine Senior College Network
University of Southern Maine
P.O. Box 9300
Portland, ME 04104

Be sure to include:
1. Your name
2. Address
3. Telephone number
4. Email address
5 Name of your senior college

Each Maine Senior College member may enter one poem.  The poem must be previously unpublished with the exception of having been published in the MSCN e-newsletter.
The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2013. The winning poem will be published in the MSCN e-newsletter, and the new MSCN Poet Laureate will receive an Amazon Kindle e-book reader. We're looking forward to reading poetry from members across the state!

Grosse Tetes Class at St. John a "Big" Hit

Bill Loder, Vice President of Saint John Valley Senior College, poses with a grosse tete.

On September 19th some SJVSC members enjoyed a class on Grosse Tetes (big heads) given by Nicole Plourde & Brenda Dube. At their workshop in Madawaska we saw a collection of Grosse Tetes and observed artisans creating their own works.
The Grosse Tetes represent the vitality, traditions and culture of the Acadian people.  They will be worn and displayed during the 2014 World Acadian Congress Aug.8 -24. The committee is expecting over 50,000 people to visit this region during these 3 weeks. To learn more visit .

-submitted by Bern Albert for St. John
The Senior College That Keeps Going and Going

The Sunrise Senior College is able to offer programming year round through its "Summer Shorts" and "Winter Warm-ups", which supplement the regular fall and spring course offerings.  The supplemental programs are typically one day events, with several being open to the community and many having a strong emphasis on having fun.  Most of the programs are free.


Summer Shorts and Winter Warm-ups serve several purposes, including maintaining connections during long, cold, dark winters and during prime vacation time.  A large number of SSC members are part-time residents so opportunities to get together with other members is especially important.  The events also highlight natural features of the area and explore local businesses.  The events that are open to the public represent  SSC's commitment to contributing to the larger community, as well as increasing awareness of its regular course offerings.

Sunrise Senior College just completed this year's Summer Shorts program.  To read more about these programs click here!


-submitted by Jackie Lowe for Sunrise 

Local Documentary Focuses on French-Canadian Immigrants to Franklin County

Free and Open to the Community

The Gold LEAF Institute will be showing the film Down by The River's Edge as part of the 150th anniversary celebration events at UMF this fall. The film will be shown at 3:45 p.m. on October 10th in Thomas Auditorium, UMF.  Donations will be accepted.  The film was written and produced by local Farmington resident, Susan Gagnon.
1916 Main Street, Chisolm: The Otis Mill drew thousands of immigrants from Canada, Italy, Eastern Europe and Ireland. (Photo courtesy of Susan Gagnon)
Set against the backdrop of the history of the local paper industry beginning in the 1890's, the film documents the riveting stories of paper makers who worked at the landmark Otis Mill in Chisholm, Maine and includes the devastation closing of the historic Otis Mill.

-submitted by Eileen Kreutz for Gold LEAF
SAGE Surprises Their Administrator,  Mary Lawrence

At the SAGE kick-off  in Presque Isle on Friday 20th, the SAGE Steering Committee surprised Mary Lawrence with a poem and gifts in appreciation for all she does and has done for SAGE in its sixteen years. Mary is the Coordinator of Conferences & Special Programs, University of Maine at Presque Isle and the administrator of the SAGE program.
The Committee recognized the fact that SAGE is only one of Mary's responsibilities, yet she still finds the time to take care of the myriad of details that such a program requires.
Alice Bolstridge reads the poem she wrote to thank Mary Lawrence for all her efforts on behalf of SAGE. (Photo by Dick Harrison)
The poem, read to Mary by the author, was written by Alice Bolstridge, SAGE member and Senior College Poet Laureate, with help from members of the Committee. She was presented with a wood print, created by Carolyn Wadman, a member of the Committee. She also received a "Dear Mary" book in which members had written memoirs, notes of appreciation, anecdotes about Mary and SAGE.

-submitted by Nancy Roe for SAGE

PVSC starts its 12th year


Penobscot Valley Senior College officially launched its 12th year with a free lunch and program for members on September 20th. It was a time of change and continuity, with a new president (Judy Hanscom) and new Curriculum Committee chair (Skip Howard) being welcomed, and with praise and appreciation extended to Diane Cutler, who served on the founding committee and has been active ever since, on the board and as chair of the One-Day Events Committee. Over 90 attended the event. 

Kris Reid and Betty Jamison, educators from William Cohen Middle School in Bangor spoke about trips they made to an orpanage in Ghana.

Africa was on the program as two educators from the William Cohen Middle School in Bangor spoke of the six trips they have made to an orphanage in Ghana. Slides showed the children doing their laundry, cutting the grass with cutlasses, carrying buckets of water on their heads, and eating a kind of fermented corn meal. The educators, Betty Jamison and Kris Reid, have raised money for equipment and helped care for a boy who was burned. Despite the poverty and health care challenges, they said, there was a sense of family, and the children are among the happiest people they've seen.  Follow this link to a slide show of their presentation.


-submitted by Christina Diebold for Penobscot
Food for Thought Lunch at Acadia features Retired Army Colonel

At a recent Food for Thought luncheon, Fred Benson presented The Day a War Didn't Happen.
The President of a West African nation requested an appointment with a top pentagon official to purchase military weaponry with which to attack a neighboring country. Instead of tanks and artillery he was offered an invitation to meet with a "few friends" for breakfast the next morning. Seven men gathered around the breakfast table and after three hours of discussion, the President agreed to seek a settlement, not wage war. Thousands of lives were saved that day.

For many good reasons, this event has never been made public. Now that both the president and the Pentagon official are deceased, it is appropriate that this story be told. It is especially important to do so to demonstrate that there are alternatives to conflict, an important message as the United States finds itself seemingly enmeshed in what has become a permanent state of war.

Fred Benson has been engaged in national and international government affairs activities in the White House, the Pentagon, and with Weyerhaeuser Company. He served in the United States Army and retired as a full Colonel having served two tours in combat zones and earning two Distinguished Flying Crosses and the Bronze Star Medal for Valor.

-submitted by Daniel Poteet for Acadia 
Midcoast Opens Fall Semester With New Ideas
The Midcoast Senior College is embarking on a busy and exciting fall semester.  A record twenty-four courses are being offered with an enrollment of 426 students.  The courses cover a wide range of topics and disciplines with titles such as "Music in a Medieval World", "Looking for Epicurus",  "The Mature Mind" and "William Faulkner - The Best or Just the Most Difficult American Novelist?"

MCSC is in the process of exploring and implementing the use of new technology.  In addition to updating our website, we will be posting video clips of the instructors talking about their classes so that students can better decide what courses to select.  The MCSC Board of Directors will be attending a day and a half retreat in November to investigate how the senior college can better serve its constituency in the midcoast area.

On Thursdays, September 12 through November 21 MCSC, in partnership with Curtis Memorial Library on 23 Pleasant Street in Brunswick, will offer a "Current Events Forum" from noon to 1pm.  This will be a moderated discussion of the week's state, national and international news. It is free and open to all.

-Submitted by Linton Studdiford for Midcoast
Madelyn Given to Speak at LA
Madelyn Given, USM's Lewiston/Auburn Senior College's renowned hiker, became a member of an elite group in the world to complete seven marathons, one on each continent.  

Madelyn has written a book on her adventures, having taken extensive notes and photos and had many experiences and met delightful people along the way. In "Outstanding Feats by an Ordinary Woman," Madelyn describes her journey to becoming Maine's first woman in completing seven marathons on seven continents.  Through perseverance and a positive attitude she embarked on a journey that brought her to some of the highest peaks in the world.  Madelyn endured the elements of every continent starting in Antarctica and ending in Vina del Mar, Chile.

L/A Senior College is proud and pleased to host Madelyn's presentation of her just released book for members of Maine's Senior Colleges and it is also
open to the public on Tuesday, October 29, at 6 p.m. in Room 170. 

For more information about Madelyn Given's new book "Outstanding Feats by an Ordinary Woman," visit

-submitted by Rachel Morin for Lewiston-Auburn
The Poet's Corner

A Home Is Not A House


Please do raise the shade, but do not ask again: "How are we feeling today?"

One of us is achy-old; that did not change overnight.

Nor do days change: I mark the hours with pills,

Cobble together cross words and puzzles, catalog ironies.  

I've grown adept at toenail Zen and hopper meditation....

Do you want to hear all this?  

The sunroom runs on reruns.

Up on the screen: vacation videos of churches, faces and beaches;

At the tables: mossy tales with trite morals, hoary jokes.

After coffee I wade into a torrent of images and words,

Pecking out wisdom giblets to forward to folks

To whom this matters; although they hesitate to say so.


 Click here to continue reading Paul's poem


by Paul L. Devore, Acadia  
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Eagle Lake- By JRLibby (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Seasons - collage idea and original combination by Predavatel) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
In This Issue
2014 Poet Laureate Contest
Grosse Tetes Class at St. John a "Big" Hit
The Senior College That Keeps Going and Going
Local Documentary Focuses on French- Canadian Immigrants to Franklin County
SAGE Surprises Their Administrator
PVSC starts its 12th year
Food for Thought Lunch at Acadia
Midcoast Opens Fall Semester
Madelyn Given to Speak at LA
The Poet's Corner
Like MSCN on Facebook!
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
Coastal Senior College

Downeast Senior College

Gold LEAF Institute

South Coast Senior College

Lewiston-Auburn Senior College

Midcoast Senior College

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Penobscot Valley Senior College


Senior College at Belfast

St. John Valley Senior College

Sunrise Senior College 
Western Mountains Senior College

York County Senior College
Featured Article
What action, if any, do you want your members to take? Add a "Find out more" link to additional information that you may have hosted on your website.
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

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