NEW MSCN HEADER (With border)
Issue No. 43
November 2013
The MSCN Newsletter
Welcome to Your November Newsletter!

Those of you who recognized the tower in this painting by George Ault, may be wondering why we put a building in Provincetown, MA in our Maine newsletter.  If you haven't been to see Provincetown #1 hanging among other works of art from the Lunder Collection at the Alfond-Lunder Pavilion at Colby College, you are in for a treat!  Perhaps a late fall, pre-snow Senior College expedition, or a personal journey, is in order?  Or wait for an early spring treat -- the collection will be on exhibit until June 8.  Read about Gold LEAF's day of art below.

In fact, Senior Colleges had quite a month of art and science.  Read articles about sculpture, biology, history, as well as a lovely tribute to the power of lifelong learning.
Keep those articles coming, folks!



Kali Lightfoot

Executive Director

Maine Senior College Network    


2014 Poet Laureate Contest 

Who Will Be MSCN's Next
Poet Laureate?
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  The poem must be previously unpublished with the exception of having been published in the MSCN e-newsletter.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!

Reimagining Aging in Maine:  Save the Date:  January 17, 2014

Mark Eves, Speaker of the Maine House recently convened a series of four roundtable discussions in Augusta.  Fifty leaders from business, health care, higher education, finance, and philanthropy got together with state officials to address the unique opportunities we face as an aging state along with some very real challenges.  Many of the people who were at these meetings were new to the conversation, and the discussions quite positive and forward-looking -- very little of the gloom and doom we have been seeing in the media lately.  In fact these were some of the best meetings I have been to about aging in Maine.  Each day was a different focus, including:  health care reform and opportunities; building aging friendly communities, and attracting new workers while retaining older workers. 

The immediate result of the roundtables will be a statewide summit to continue the discussions and bring the ideas to a wider audience.  The Summit will be held January 17 in Augusta (I know, it is during snow season, but hey, we're Mainers!)  I am hoping that there will be lots of representatives from as many senior colleges as possible to further the goals of the original conversations.   Come and help take the next steps to create what is needed to ensure that older Mainers are valued;  and are not seen as a drag on the state, but rather as participants in helping all generations thrive in and contribute to their communities! 

More details in the next newsletter.

Submitted by - Kali Lightfoot for Maine Senior College Network
Gold LEAF Tours Colby College Art Museum

In August, we saw the Colby College Art Museum's amazing, new addition that was built to house the Lunder Collection.  This huge donation of artwork required much more space - it is now the largest art museum in Maine. Because our group was large, we were split in half for two docents to lead the way to special art works by Jasper Johns, Georgia O'Keefe, Alexander Calder, etc.  Sculpture, painting and mixed media were incorporated into each gallery, which made it very interesting.  There was time for our members to return to favorite works or explore the older parts of the museum.
Gold LEAF members enjoying tour of new addition at Colby College Art Museum
A buffet-type lunch followed at the cafe. This gave us a chance to discuss what had appealed to various members.  A perfect destination to return to again and again and it is free and very welcoming!! 
submitted by  - Susan Waller for Gold LEAF Senior College

Rabbi Katzir to Discuss Book on Jewish History at L-A

Rabbi Hillel Katzir of Temple Shalom Synagogue will discuss his book "The Evolving Covenant, Jewish History and Why It Matters" at USM's Lewiston-Auburn Senior College on Monday, November 18, at 2-4 pm in Function Room 170.  The public is cordially invited.   


Rabbi Katzir will discuss the relationship of the Jewish people with God.  This relationship can be seen as like that of parent and child - as much as the parent cares for the child, the parent must prepare the child for adulthood by gradually stepping back and allowing the child to take ever greater responsibility.  This overview of Jewish history sees God as preparing the Jewish people in just this way, for partnership with God in the ongoing project of bringing order to a chaotic world in order to complete an unfinished Creation and, by setting an example, to invite all of humanity into that partnership as well. 


submitted by - Rachel Morin for Lewiston-Auburn
Found Objects Part of Terrific Sculpture Class At Sunrise


Ever wonder what Sunrise Senior College is really all about? Well, Sunrise Senior College is all about learning and having fun!  In that spirit, local artist John McMurray offered a sculpture class in the spring semester of 2013.  Indeed, the most fun anyone could ever want to have is to be found in John McMurray's shop.  It is filled with all kinds of metal objects, pieces of wood, plus lost and found treasures.  John's shop has all the necessary equipment to forge these items into an extraordinary 'one of a kind' sculpture. There are welding torches, grinding wheels, soldering tools and hammers and nails beyond your wildest dreams.  


Some of those dreams were far beyond the everyday objects one might find in nature.  Attendees used the serendipity collection in John's workshop to create beautiful objects that mirrored nature or made it yet more beautiful.  

Some of the fantastic sculpture born out of Sunrise's sculpture class taught by local artist, John McMurray

Just walking into the workshop we suddenly found our senses were on overload.  John began the class by teaching us how to construct a mobile. (There are so many fascinating parts and pieces to put together.)  How about using a satellite dish to create your own "Roboman? "  Or lovely copper wire to create a cradle for some polished rocks?  A chicken was hatched from an old teapot and other metal objects.  A lovely fish was turned out, too.  Stones from the beach became my metaphor for a family, my creation suspended on a flexible wire that swayed in the breeze. 


After all was done, John's spring sculpture class had a reunion to display their completed projects and help christen two which were firmly installed in the ground.  So many of the Sunrise Senior College courses are meant to unleash the fun of learning and provide the opportunity to do something new; perhaps something that you never had time to pursue as a youngster? Now is the time to be older and wiser by participating in Sunrise Senior College activities of all sorts. 


submitted by - Gail Peters for Sunrise
Coastal to Participate in Senior Appreciation Day

Coastal Senior College, serving Knox and Lincoln counties, participated in the Annual Lincoln County TRIAD Senior Appreciation Day and information fair held in Boothbay Harbor, Oct. 19. TRIAD is a national network of law enforcement personnel, community services, and local citizens dedicated to preventing fraud and abuse of seniors and promoting ways of keeping them safe, both in the home and the community.   

Pictured are ,on the left, CSC board member Alayne McLeod and CSC member and volunteer Carol Murtaugh

Coastal Senior College is pleased to have participated in this fair as a way of bringing its programs to the attention of senior living in our service area. We had a table, staffed by CSC volunteers, who offered information about CSC and answer questions. For those who signed up to receive our catalog, there will be a raffle of two annual memberships and one admission to one course for each membership.


submitted by -  Paul Somoza for Coastal 

Returning to My Senior College 


This past spring, encouraged by the positive experience of a friend who was taking history classes, I re-joined OLLI at USM after a long absence.  


Pat Walsh returns to her senior college 

As I sat in the first class (Elizabeth Chapman's "Origins of Creativity") I kept thinking I was in the wrong place; that perhaps I'd inadvertently joined a class in the USM curriculum.  "Where did they find this instructor?" I wondered, and "How did they ever get her to volunteer to teach?"  I was delighted as the weeks went by and Elizabeth encouraged participation while keeping people on track with their comments, maintaining relevance while introducing new ways of understanding creativity from its inception and evidence in early man to present day artists, musicians, dancers and writers.  The material was challenging and complex, and I was rewarded with intellectual stimulation and many new concepts.  


This summer I took Tim Baehr's "Practical Zen" class and found the lectures, discussion and reading thought-provoking and mind-expanding. I also enjoyed a one-session workshop given by John Tewhey on "The Geological History of Maine." He provide a fascinating journey through time, clearly explaining how Earth's continents were formed, the formation of our State and the various stages of geological development to what exists nearby today that is of geological interest. These experiences more than satisfied my continuing quest for learning, providing the much-needed mental stimulation of focusing on new ideas and applying them to my own life. It was a pleasure meeting new people in my age group who enjoy learning. I found sufficient opportunity before and after class and during breaks to socialize a bit. 


Lifelong learning isn't just a nice idea, it's a necessary component of a well-balanced senior life. I'm grateful to the volunteer teachers who share their knowledge and expertise so generously, and to the Board members, the people who serve on the committees and the many other volunteers who support OLLI, making it possible for us to continue learning and having our lives enriched by being part of the OLLI community.       


submitted by - Pat Walsh for OLLI
Western Mountains Presents Fall "To Your Health" Program

On October 3, Western Mountains presented its first "To Your Health" program for the fall session - "Is This Just a Mole or Could it be More?"  Dr. Alyssa Paetau, MD, from Western Maine Surgery recommended a thorough skin examination as part of regular annual physical exams for people over the age of forty.  She stressed the importance of checking the skin regularly for any changes, explaining how normal cells can become cancerous, and mentioned the two non-melanoma skin cancers, squamous cell and basal cell, the most common type of cancer.  

Pictured are (l to r) Judy Whitman, Dr. Alyssa Paetau, Jan Stowell and Rosabelle Tifft
Several methods of treating skin cancer, as described by Dr. Paetau, are excising it completely, radiation therapy, and cryotherapy (freezing).  She spoke about the steps we can take to help prevent skin cancer: limiting UV light exposure, avoiding tanning beds, using sunscreen, and having annual skin checks.  


The next To Your Health presentation, "How to Keep the Holidays Happy - Managing the Holiday Blues," will be held on Thursday, November 7 at 4:30 pm in the West Parish Congregational Church.  These programs are open to the public and free of charge.


submitted by - Barb Dion for Western Mountains 
Penobscot Valley Visits Biologoical Lab

On October 16, twenty-eight PVSC members traveled to Salisbury Cove to visit the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL). 


Their interest was piqued when they heard about research conducted by Aric Rogers, Ph.D. using zebra fish to study regeneration capacity in humans.  He also uses the roundworm C. elegans to study genes and their impact on the extension of life span providing implications for delaying the onset of age related diseases.   

Twenty-eight Penobscot Valley members tour the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratories

Karen James, Ph.D. discussed her research on DNA barcoding.  The "Bio Trails" program brought citizen scientists and DNA barcoding together to help monitor the effect of environmental change on plant and animal populations in the park and Frenchman Bay.  This program began during summer 2013.


PVSC members toured the campus of MDIBL and visited the labs used by Dr. Rogers and Dr. James.  The campus, situated on Frenchman Bay, has buildings to support MDIBL's research and education focus.  While nicely landscaped, the campus was also decorated with artwork from Maine artists and with images by MDIBL scientists.  


Our visit to MDIBL introduced many of us to this jewel of a facility.  After our visit we had an appreciation of the institution, its work and contributions to complex human and environmental health problems through research and education.  


submitted by - Helen Genco for Penobscot Valley
L-A Food for Thought Features Bigelow Lab Scientist

Senior Research Scientist Dr. Jose Antonio Fernandez-Robledo of the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay will be the presenter at the USM Lewiston-Auburn Senior College "Food for Thought" 11:30 luncheon on Friday, November 8.  Dr. Fernandez-Robledo is an Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. His topic is ""The Oyster Parasite Perkinsus Marinus: An Unexpected Link Between Oysters and Malaria".  

Jose Antonio Fernandez-Robledo Ph.D will speak at L-A Senior College's November "Food for Thought"
 Dr. Fernandez-Robledo's current research focuses on two fronts; one is the study of "Dermo" disease, caused by the parasite Perkinsus Marinus, which has devastated natural and farmed oyster populations in the United States, significantly affecting the shellfish industry and the estuarine environment. The second aspect of his research is focused on the genetic study between the Dermo disease parasite and its common ancestor found in the parasites of human and veterinary relevance (e.g. Malaria, Toxoplasmosis). 

Dr. Fernandez-Robledo's research methodology involves the use of a combination of molecular tools to address a range of questions about host-parasite interactions, identification of new drug targets for intervention against the oyster disease, and the applications of marine protozoan to biomedicine and biotechnology.  Dr. Fernandez-Robledo will also touch on other aspects of the Laboratory's overall mission, which is the advancement of society's understanding of the interactions between marine ecosystems and the environment, through research and education.  


Senior College, now in its 15th year, presents the monthly 11:30 luncheon program in the Function Room 170 at USM LAC. The cost, which includes lunch, is $7 with advance reservation or $8 at the door. Reservations must be made by noon on November 7 by calling 753-6510. Any late callers will be considered "at the door." 


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

The Haiku


It begins to rain,

Like stinging needles, it falls

Plunk, plunk, plunk, plunk, plunk


I watch it go slowly

It stretches to eternity

The sunset and love


Holding up her arms,

She comes to me, gleefully,

The final grandchild


by Megan Antonucci, Augusta 
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By gnuckx (Flickr: Roma Italy - Creative Commons by gnuckx) [Public domain or CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
In This Issue
2014 Poet Laureate Contest
Reimagining Aging in Maine
Gold LEAF Tours Colby College Art Museum
Rabbi Katzir to Discuss Book on Jewish History
Sculpture Class at Sunrise
Coastal to Participate in Senior Appreciation Day
Returning to My Senior College
Western Mountains Presents Fall "To Your Health" Program
Penobscot Valley Visits Biologoical Lab
L-A Food for Thought Features Bigelow Lab Scientist.
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

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