Issue No. 65
October 2015
The MSCN Newsletter

Welcome to Your October Newsletter!

There is a great deal of news to share this month! 

Dr. Pat Vampatella from USM's Lewiston-Auburn Senior College will be presenting the "Learning for the Love of It: Senior Colleges" workshop at the " Aging Well, Living Well Expo" in Sunday River this week. I will have a table representing the Maine Senior College Network at the Expo as well. Please come and say hello if you are attending!

A big thank you goes out to the South Coast Senior College for representing the Network at the Maine Senior Guide Expo in Wells recently. Another thank you goes to Midcoast Senior College who will be representing the MSCN in Brunswick on October 20th.

Save the date for the following upcoming events;
Learn more about some of the inspiring classes taking place around the network at the moment;
Last but not least, St John Valley look back on their successful summer expedition to Greenville.

Now, if that is not enough inspiration, click on the following link to access all of the Senior College Network's Fall catalogs. All catalogs gathered together in one place for your reading pleasure!

Augusta Senior College Presents:
Concerts at Jewett
2015 - 2016 Concert Schedule

USM Lewiston-Auburn Senior College Presents: "The Appalachian Trail" with Mike Lecompte 

Photo: Mike Lecompte, 
retired Auburn firefighter, will be the featured speaker at the USM Lewiston- Auburn Senior College Food for Thought luncheon.

After 26 years working for the Auburn Fire Department and retiring as a Lieutenant/EMT working his last 10 years on Engine 5 at the Center Street Fire Station, Mike was looking for a transition to retirement. He decided walking would be beneficial and thought long walks would be good. This walk took him some 2, 200 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine! 

"I began my journey on the Appalachian Trail on April 7, 2014 and finished a thru hike on August 29, 2014. It was an adventure that gave me an opportunity to see some amazing sights and meet some wonderful people, all while challenging me like I have never been challenged before.

Mike continued, "About 2500 people started the Appalachian Trail in 2014 but only 653 people completed the journey. I had the pleasure hiking with people from Germany, Austria and Tasmania, along with people from all over the United States." 

His presentation will include the planning involved with long distance hiking and show the gear he carried for the five-month hike. He will share stories along with a slide presentation of the sights along the Appalachian Trail. 

A graduate of Lewiston High School and the University of Maine at Orono, Mike also completed training in USAF Pararescuemen. He enjoys running, skiing, swimming, cycling and of course, hiking. He and his wife, Ronda, a teacher at Auburn Middle School, live in Lewiston, and have two adult children, Logan, who is in the Navy working as a Master of Arms and Lauren, a first-year student at Saint Joseph's College studying Nursing.

Food for Thought luncheon details:
Friday, October 9 at 11:30. 
Location: The Function Room - 170 USM LAC Campus, 51 Westminster St., Lewiston. 
The public is cordially invited to attend.

The cost, which includes lunch, is $7 with advance reservation or $8 at the door. 

Reservations must be made by noon on Wednesday, October 7, by calling 753-6510. Any late callers will be considered "at the door."

Submitted by - Rachel Morin,  USM Lewiston-Auburn Senior College 
Senior College Week
Oct. 19th to 24th 
Skidompha Second Hand Book Shop

The week of October 19 through 24 has been designated Senior College Week at the Skidompha Second Hand Book Shop in Damariscotta. All members of any Senior College - students, teachers, staff, and volunteers - will be entitled to 50 percent off all purchases. 

To receive the discount, a customer needs only to mention his or her Senior College connection to the volunteer shopkeeper when checking out. 

This is the shop's third Senior College Week. Many Senior College members have taken advantage of the special sale. The book shop is a major fund-raiser for Skidompha Public Library. All items are donated, all staff members are volunteers, and all proceeds go to the library. The shop is located at 115 Elm Street, in the "Red Barn," just up the hill from the library's back door. It's open Monday through Friday, 10 to 4, Saturday 10 to 4.

For more information, please contact the shop at:
Phone 563-7807 or visit its page on the Skidompha Public Library website.

Acadia Senior College 'Science Snoops'

Science Snoops!

Where in the world are Acadia Senior College 'Science Snoops' students snooping in this picture? Does this outing look like summer camp for seniors disguised as a learning experience? Don't be fooled by the gorgeous setting at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Salisbury Cove, where natural beauty has helped to inspire important scientific discoveries for almost a century. Here - under the guidance of Dr. Jane Disney, Director of the Community Environmental Health Laboratory - we learned about projects at CEHL and did phytoplankton monitoring. Students helped filter samples, looked at species under the microscope, collected water and analyzed its dissolved oxygen content, and measured the transparency of the water. The Maine Phytoplankton Monitoring Program is a Maine Department of Marine Resources Initiative. Not only did we absorb a ton of new knowledge, but we volunteered our services for a larger environmental cause!
Library Snoops

This fall, Acadia Senior College revived a course model we call Snoops, where classes visit sites in the Mount Desert Island region and onsite experts tell us what they do. Snooping tends to lead to fascinating and unexpected interactions. For instance, at the Witherle Memorial Library in Castine with Charles Stanhope's Library Snoops class, when we asked about the reason for a large vegetable among some random wires on a table, the Children's Librarian illustrated the importance of experiential learning. Yes, cucumbers do conduct electricity, so one of our students and his young helper began to experiment in creating a circuit that would make music on the computer. Finally, they did manage to create a few notes. So much to learn, so little time!
More Science Snoops!

Twelve field trips in one term? That's six visits to science sites, plus six library visits. By the end of October, our science snoopers will have engaged with scientists and staff members at the MDI Bio Lab's Regenerative Biology & Medicine Program and The Community Environmental Health Laboratory in Salisbury Cove; The Marine & Environmental Research Institute in Blue Hill; The Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research in Franklin; The Lamoine Marine Patrol & Water Quality Lab, and the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor. Our library snoopers will have engaged with staff members at public libraries in Bar Harbor; Castine; Blue Hill; Ellsworth, and Southwest Harbor, plus one academic library at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor. Whew. 

The keywords in our mission statement are STIMULATION! KNOWLEDGE! INTERACTION! and FUN! Snooping involves plenty of each, with an emphasis on interaction. In many cases, the biggest bonus is intergenerational interaction - our wise oldsters sharing the excitement of youthful professionals about their chosen passions and paths. And that's why you never know where in the world a happy band of Acadia Senior College snoopers might turn up next!

Article and photographs by Peggy Forster, Acadia Senior College
Sunrise Senior College Dives Into Foreign Policy Studies

A special winter program is planned for Sunrise Senior College. As part of the Winter Warm-ups series, Sunrise Senior College will offer selected video screenings of the 2015 Camden Conference "Russia Resurgent." SSC Board Chair Joan Miller explains that the "rich diversity of internationally known speakers and the quality of the topics will be of great interest to SSC members and the public who have a keen interest in world events and foreign policy."

Camden Conference has existed for 27 years and is centered on foreign policy. It is held for a weekend every February in Camden. Hundreds of people enroll and high school as well as college students from Maine are active in the conference. Camden Conference topics spark much debate and discussion among attendees and all who attend leave the conference with greater and deeper understanding of the conference topics. 

Sunrise Senior College members will hear the video-taped presentations of experts from Russia, Germany, the U.S. and China who were part of the 2015 "Russia Resurgent" conference. In-depth analysis and deep insight into the Russian economy, its domestic and foreign policies, the crisis in Ukraine, and the role of history and Russian nationalism in Russia's present situation are all in store for SSC members this coming winter. Attendees will also have the opportunity to discuss what they heard and offer their own insights and opinions after the video sessions. 

Videos of the Camden Conference are available on the conference website and are free. Sunrise Senior College will offer at least two of the videos during each program day.
Written by Anne Archie, Sunrise Senior College
An OLLI at USM Course Capitalizes on a University 
The Osher Map Library

OLLI student Jan Baker views an early map of North America
This Fall, 24 OLLI students are having the unique experience of studying the history of maps and map making in the Western Tradition with Ian Fowler, the Director of the Osher Map Library housed in the University of Southern Maine's Glickman Library. The students are reading scholarly articles and discussing this little known history. They also have the opportunity to view first hand, examples from the large collection of world, national and state maps and globes, some dating back to the Middle Ages. 

This course was the brainstorm of former OLLI Advisory Chair, Dick Sturgeon. Having had a long career at USM, he was aware of this university treasure and spoke to the director about the feasibility of offering such a course. Fowler was amazed at the overwhelming interest shown by OLLI students who filled all the class openings within the first hour of registration. 

The Osher Map Library is committed to making its collection open to all students, scholars and visitors. It is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Submitted by Sue Gesing, OLLI at USM
ClasscatalogsMaine Senior College Network
Fall 2015 Class Catalogs
Gold LEAF Institute: 
The Middle East in Down East 
(Walking Tour)

With the guidance of Professor Emeritus Eric Hooglund, a current class is learning about the establishment of one of the largest Middle Eastern ethnic communities in the US prior to the first World War. Defined by the immigration officials as "Syrian," but later defining themselves as Lebanese, this community lived and worked on the banks of the Kennebec River along Front Street. 

The tenement buildings in which the woolen and cotton mill workers lived have been replaced by Head of Falls Park leading down to the Ticonic bridge. Class participants took a great walking tour of the neighborhood and of Main Street Waterville which Eric kindly led, sharing tales from his childhood as the son of a Swedish father and Lebanese mother. The walk was enhanced with a stop for some famous spinach and cheese pies and other ethnic tastetreatswhile Eric continued his talk in the Lebanese cafe' there. 

As a highlight, the tour stopped to view the Lebanese Heritage Wall Mural (see photo) which depicts everything from a map of the Middle East, Lockwood cotton mill spools, grape leaves, to a basketball from the All Syrian Waterville team that claimed the North East H. S. title in 1944. Some amazing history there! And how many of us had missed that mural completely in prior visits to the city! 

The walking tour was wrapped up by two talks given at St. Joseph's Maronite Church, where the distinctions between Roman and Maronite Catholics were explained. Meeting withFefa Deeb and with Abouna Larry Jensen, a detailed history of settlement, millwork, youth groups, and church participation was explored. Eric has put much time, planning and research into this summer offering for Gold LEAF: The Middle East in Down East.

If you are interested in learning more about the Lebanese in Waterville please view "The Lebanese" a Vimeo video by Richard Schwartz.

Submitted by Eileen Kreutz, Gold LEAF Institute

A good reason to study environmental law!
Instructor Bruce Rockwood is currently teaching a class at Coastal Senior College titled, "Environmental Law and Policy Choices Facing Maine". As part of his class preparation, Bruce asked local people in the Rockland area to let him know what specific environmental issues concern them as Mainers. Topics touched on in class will include sea level rise and ocean acidification, bonds for Maine's future, invasive species, the role of land trusts, etc.  The course is an opportunity for people to ask about what concerns them, and "see what we can learn together." 

Bruce (Right) attended a World Science Fiction Convention in Spokane, Washington this summer. While he was there he witnessed the sun turn red as a consequence of the smoke enveloping Washington state from the incredible number of raging forest fires. Bruce suggests that forest fires are another good reason to study environmental law.
The photo (Left) shows how the sun appeared red above the Spokane cityscape as a consequence of the smoke from forest fires. 

Submitted by Kay Liss, Coastal Senior College

St. John Valley Senior College goes to Greenville
St John Valley Senior College members and Greenville Village sign

On the weekend of August 22 the St. John Valley Senior College took its first overnight field trip to Greenville, Maine on the shores of Moosehead Lake

One of our directors, Don Murray, suggested that the Senior College should pursue a program to explore Maine's small town histories through a series of cultural exchanges between the Senior College and the historical societies of chosen communities. As he was a native of Greenville, he suggested that we go there for our first trip. On finding strong support for the trip to Greenville Don developed an itinerary and made the necessary reservations for our lodging, meals, and other activities. 

Our group of 15 people met at 7:00 o'clock Saturday morning to begin the four and one-half hour drive from Fort Kent to Greenville. 

100 year old steamship SS Katahdin

Upon arriving in Greenville our first stop was at the Moosehead Marine Museum where we were able to explore the museum's extensive collection of steamboat memorabilia, logging artifacts and early photographs of the Moosehead area. At 12:30 we boarded the SS Katahdin for a 3-hour cruise on beautiful Moosehead Lake. The captain provided an interesting narration and pointed out many landmarks and historical sights. 

After the cruise, we checked into our motel and then gathered at the motel's lakeside picnic area to plan our evening activities. 

Spectacular sunset over Moosehead Lake

We had an enjoyable dinner at a popular seafood restaurant in town. After dinner, we took a drive up to Blair Hill to see a spectacular sunset. The sun set over the lake, islands and even the SS Katahdin returning from her evening cruise. Before turning in for the night, we returned to our lakeside picnic area for a campfire and to talk about the day's adventures and plan for the next day. 

On Sunday morning, we were given an exclusive tour of the Moosehead Historical Society's Eveleth-Crafts-Sheridan House, a gracious Victorian-era mansion. It was bequeathed to the Historical Society by Julia and Philip Sheridan to commemorate the economic, social, and cultural history of the region. Following the tour,
we had lunch on the patio at the historic Shaw House which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a fine example of Queen Anne architecture. 

After lunch the group began to separate, some had to head home, others went to town to sightsee or shop, and a few went to explore the B52 crash site. Later that afternoon the remaining members met at Don's lakeside campsite. We played some games, had pizza for dinner, and told stories around the campfire. 

This trip was a great success and we are already talking about possible locations for our next adventure.

Submitted by Bill Loder, St John Valley Senior College

The Maine Senior College Network will be represented at the following event:

 Midcoast Senior College will be representing the network at The People Senior Health Expo
October 20, 2015 
9 am -1  pm.
Cook's Corner Mall.

Midcoast Senior College 
The Daponte String Quartet

Newsletter Submissions Deadline Date: 
The 26th of each month!

Please submit your articles and photographs to Anne Cardale at


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In This Issue
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

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
MSCN Promotional Videos

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Contact Information
Maine Senior College Network 
P.O. Box 9300 
Portland, Maine 04104-9300 
(207) 228-4128


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