NEW MSCN HEADER (With border)
Issue No. 50
June 2014
The MSCN Newsletter
Welcome to Your June Newsletter!

Eagle Island, Maine - The Gardens at Admiral Peary's House
Another successful Senior College semester is over for most of you and some are looking forward to summer term classes.  Being in Maine also means the advent of summer visitors, and the annual frenzy of trying to do everything outdoors that you thought about during the long winter months!  Consider sending us photos and reports on your summer adventures with your Senior College friends!  Meanwhile, enjoy this month's collection of reports from downeast, western, and coastal Maine. 


Kali Lightfoot

Executive Director

Maine Senior College Network    


Coastal Loses Oldest Member

Gertrude Meade Allen at Coastal's 2013 annual luncheon with Coastal President Byron Stuhlman and speaker Colin Woodard.


Gertrude Meade Allen was looking forward to her 101st birthday when she attended our Spring luncheon last May. She definitely enjoyed the lunch, the many members who spoke to her, and meeting the speaker, author Colin Woodward. I know this because I had the privilege of driving her to and from Damariscotta on that bright spring day. This year there was a celebration of her life, on May 17 at Second Congregational Church in Newcastle. She died on April 1 and I hope we will remember her at our luncheon as an amazing life-long learner.


I first met Gertrude at a class at the Waldoboro VFW on the history of Islam followed by another on three ancient explorers. She was 90, driving a younger but less able classmate to and from her home in Edgecomb... in a car that was at least 15 years old! We took other classes together, especially the history classes taught by Charmarie Blaisdell at Skidompha Library. Gertrude had an almost permanent front row seat where she could park her walker, take notes and participate in discussions. A resident of nearby Hodgdon Green, she had much to offer at last year's spring class "The American Century: Part I." We miss her valuable insight at the current Part II sessions. During the ride to the Samoset I learned that Gertrude and I were fellow alumni of Boston University where we both earned degrees in journalism. She graduated the year my wife, Sylvia, was born!


An amazing lady, Gertrude drove an ambulance for the Red Cross for 10 years, and when her husband died in 1971 she became a law librarian, earning her certificate from Massachusetts in 1979. A voracious reader, she kept a journal, took landscape painting lessons a few years ago, enjoyed the live opera performances via satellite at the Lincoln Theatre. You can read more by looking for her obituary at Her life here in Maine is a reminder of the statement reportedly made by Rabbi Sky when he was asking to use vacant classrooms to begin our first senior college: "Our bodies may be worn, but our brains still need to be kept active."  


submitted by - David Bailey, Coastal

Sunrise Reaches Out to Community


Sunrise Senior College (SSC) is working hard to encourage more Washington County residents to take part in the exciting and diverse workshops offered year-round.  Over the past year, we have increased the number of places our course brochures are available, we have increased the number of press releases about our programs, and we have increased the number of presentations that are free and open to the public.  We have also initiated a monthly SSC column in the Machias Valley News Observer. 


Informal discussions with members over the past several months have led us to believe that many members of the community may not know about SSC or that many may have misconceptions about what the organization is about.  In an effort to learn just what members of the community do know about us and to remove any barriers that may keep community members from taking courses, signing up for workshops, or attending meetings and social events, we designed a short survey.  To encourage people to participate in the survey, respondents' names will be entered into a drawing for a Hannaford Gift Card.The survey can be filled out online on the SSC website or can be printed and mailed back to us. Copies are available in in libraries, post offices, and bank branches throughout the county.  Or, community members may call the SSC office and request a copy be mailed to their homes. 


The survey will not meet research standards but we are hopeful that we will gain a better understanding of ways to entice more people to join us. 

submitted by - Jackie Lowe, Sunrise
Gold LEAF Members Learn 
about Travel in India

Image of Pune, India
Our children can lead us through many adventures, challenges and journeys in our lifetime! Christine Merchant and Wayne Davis, guest speakers for Gold LEAF Institute on May 1st, shared their experiences traveling to India on numerous occasions as a result of their two daughters meeting and marrying into Indian families there. 
The video they shared of Christine's daughter Ana's wedding and reception in Pune, India was delightful. Many questions ensued from Gold LEAF members on the costumes, food, and traditional customs of this fascinating, diverse land. Conversation focusing on the religion of Hinduism, the caste system and the geographical differences of urban and rural India made for a truly educational evening. Displayed about the room were many stunning, artistically-crafted samples of Indian craftsmanship. The entire evening was a small peek into the world of a fascinating people and land.
Wayne and Christine also explained the government states and union territories (28 states and 7 union territories), Wayne gave several examples of the challenges of assimilating in another culture, such as always ending up at the end of a line, unaware of how local residents would move to the front of a line (at the market, for instance) directly from the back of the line! Quite the opposite system from what our protocol is in this country.
Another class this past spring focused on Cultural Intelligence and Customs of the World. Participants also learned how best to prepare for travel to distant places. 

The Summer catalog of programs will be out shortly and Gold LEAF members can look forward to more "cultural intelligence" and knowledge of the wider world in the upcoming offerings. 
submitted by - Christine Ringer, Gold LEAF
Coastal's Wind Over Wings Event
"Wind Over Wings" founder, Hope Douglas of Dresden
 is shown holding a Golden Eagle on her wrist. The bird is so heavy that she is using a padded stick to support her forearm.


On Tuesday, May 20th about thirty bird enthusiasts filled U-Rock's room #405 to overflowing and enjoyed Wind Over Wings' presentation of four birds.  Since one of the birds was a mature golden eagle with a seven-foot wing span (occasional visitors to Maine) and another a diminutive Northern Saw Whet Owl (year-round Maine natives), the program covered the entire raptor size range!  A Red-Tail Hawk and a Raven were also shown and discussed.


Wind Over Wings (WOW) takes on birds unable to survive in their natural environment because of injuries, even after extensive medical care and physical therapy.  After the bird arrives, it is introduced first to its own enclosure and then, gradually, to its caretakers (because it may take up to a year before the bird finally becomes comfortable in its unnatural surroundings).   In addition the bird is given the training it needs for it to feel comfortable participating in educational programs given to school children as well as those in any age group (including ours!).  WOW is fully licensed by the State and Federal Governments, though funded by neither.  More information, as well as photos of some of their birds, may be found on the web site   


Each bird arrived in its own custom-built crate which was placed on a table in front of the room before the presentation began.  Each bird in turn was then attached to a leash, allowed to climb onto a gloved hand, removed from its crate and displayed at the front of the room by a handler for about ten or fifteen minutes, while some of its more important features and habits were described and audience questions answered.  Each bird was an impressive individual, and did not seem fazed in the least by the room packed with people.  The audience was very impressed by the birds themselves, by their presenters, and by the outstanding presentation.  Those unable to attend missed a treat!


submitted by - Jack Farlow, Coastal

News From Here and There
Fundy Audubon will be hosting Chris Schadler who will be talking about her life with wolves and coyotes on Tuesday, June 15 at 7:00 PM.  She leads an annual winter wolf tracking trip in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario and will show photos of past trips as well as educating us about the secret lives of coyotes in New England. This event will take place at Cobscook Community Learning Center, in Trescott. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Is 65 the New 45?: Summer Book Club on The New Ageism

How are we aged by culture as well as by biology? What is the "new ageism" and how does it affect everyone at every age?

Is aging the new fate worse than death? Let's talk about reimagining the master narrative of aging-as-decline. Join us for a summer evening of book-talk and refreshments on Tuesday, June 17th at 7:00 PM in the UMaine Memorial Union Cafe and Pub- 2nd Floor. We'd love to discuss the work of age critic and theorist Margaret Morganroth Gullette with others interested in aging and aging research. We invite you to join a conversation about Gullette's two books, Aged by Culture and Agewise: The New Ageism in America. For more information contact: or 

Like MSCN on Facebook

Facebook logo Now 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. We'll also post links to articles about lifelong learning and other topics relevant to senior college members.


Flower image, Eagle Island, Maine Admiral Perry's House By gailf548 [CC-B(], via Wikimedia Commons.
Pune India Image -0By Sunder Iyer (originally posted to Flickr as floating fields...) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons 
In This Issue
Coastal Loses Oldest Member
Sunrise Reaches Out to Community
Gold LEAF Members Learn about Travel in India
Coastal's Wind Over Wings Event
News From Here and There
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
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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