Issue No. 72
The MSCN Newsletter

Welcome to Your May 2016 Newsletter!
Spring - Harald Slott-Møller (1896)

This month's newsletter features the painting "Spring" by the Danish artist Harald Slott-Møller. The image shows a thoughtful young girl surrounded by little birds. Birds, especially blackbirds, are considered to be an animal totem that assists in the quest for higher knowledge. Clearly, a suitable image for the Maine Senior College Network in the month of May! I think the photograph below, taken by Rachel Morin, echoes Slott-Møller's painting. Rachel has captured a moment showing LASC members fully absorbed in their reading during a break in Marguerite Stapleton's Spirituality Class.  
LASC students seeking higher knowledge

May's newsletter theme certainly seems to be concerned with reading and writing and glorious books in general. We have the proud achievement of Sunrise SC member Sherry Christie who has published a new novel about ancient Rome. LASC's "Food for Thought" (May 13) presents a talk by Frank Connors who has assembled "101 Essays" in his book "Speaking Frankly." And, the MSCN office is announcing an experimental online class that addresses the art of memoir writing with Elizabeth Peavey. For those within reach of the USM Portland Campus who are in search of additional summer reading please consider visiting OLLI's book sale (May 7).

In addition, the newsletter presents Midcoast Senior College's excellent Summer Wisdom Series at the Curtis Memorial library in Brunswick in June. And, with an eye on safety awareness we have two items of interest. The AARP are running their Fraud Network Watch Scam Jam in Bangor (June 1st) and The Gold LEAF Institute have sent in a report about a self defense class for seniors.

Finally, I want to thank Bridgton Senior College for a delightful visit on Thursday, April 28th. I had the opportunity to join a thought provoking class on Toni Morrison's book "Beloved" lead by Ken Gibbs. The class took place in the Tannery Pub replete with leather chairs, wall tapestries, knight's armor and shields! My thanks to Board Chair Homer Pence and the Board of Bridgton SC for your warm welcome.

Sunrise Senior College Member Pens, Polishes, Publishes Book 'At Last' 

They say Rome wasn't built in a day. Nor was "Roma Amor, " an intensively researched new novel whose setting is the reign of the infamous Caligula.  

Author Sherry Christie was a college student when she began the story about a son struggling to escape his father's shadow. Awarded a Phi Beta Kappa Prize for the early draft, she continued to develop the manuscript while working as an advertising agency executive, living on a boat with a Maine sailor who became her husband, and authoring four books on money psychology with a nationally known psychotherapist.

Since 1991, she has run a freelance copywriting business in Jonesport, Maine, with clients as diverse as the Independent Community Bankers of America and the Maine Credit Union League. She is a member of Sunrise Senior College.  

Photo: The author beams at the first copy of her newly published book!
The manuscript revisions ("many, many revisions," Christie says) were aided by her library of 100-plus books on Roman civilization, and travel that helped the author put herself in her characters' sandals. Finally ready for prime time, "Roma Amor" has been published as a trade paperback in April 2016. 

The novel takes place in 37 AD. Headstrong young Marcus Carinna, the main character, longs to prove his courage by leading legions against Rome's enemies. Instead, his ambitious father orders him to serve the man who was his brother's closest friend. But Marcus can't forget how his brother died, accused of treason, or that the friend who didn't try to save him was Caligula Caesar, now master of Rome. 

"Roma Amor, " published by Bexley House Books, is now available for purchase through major booksellers. An ebook version will be released later in 2016.

Submitted by Sherry Christie, Sunrise Senior College

USM Lewiston-Auburn presents "Food for Thought" Luncheon:

"Speaking Frankly" with Frank Connors
11:30 luncheon on Friday, May 13.

Frank Connors will be the presenter at the USM Lewiston-Auburn Senior College "Food for Thought" 11:30 luncheon on Friday, May 13. He will talk about his book, "Speaking Frankly" a book of 101 essays, full of nostalgia and family stories. With a Foreword by Senator Angus King and artwork by John Gable, the book is loaded with humorous tales and endearing memories. The public is cordially invited.

Frank Connors
A Maine native and a life-long resident of the Bowdoinham-Brunswick area, the author describes himself as a 'point man' for the baby-boomer generation. A former newspaper reporter-photographer, town manager, home designer and truck driver; he says he's not really sure what he wants to be when he has to grow up!

Now retired, the author still busies himself as a cemetery sexton/grave digger, local historian, gardener, and canoe paddler when he's not hanging out at People Plus, the senior citizen organization for the Brunswick area. He loves to talk and tell stories and continues to work on his listening skills. Connors' "official title" is Member Services Director at People Plus. He edits the monthly paper, moves chairs, cooks meals, assists with programming and does what needs to be done to make things run smoothly. The book will be available for sale $16.95 or 2 for $15 with all proceeds benefiting People Plus.

Connors is passionate about his hometown of Bowdoinham; his grandsons Jadon, Silas and Zander; his military service in Vietnam; and most everything else he finds himself doing on any given day.

Married for more than 45 years, Connors declares "Jane is my wife and my life, 'nough said!" He and Jane are restoring their delightful saltwater farm in Brunswick, where Jane grew up all those years ago.

Senior College, now in its 18th year, presents the monthly 11:30 luncheon program in the Function Room 170 at USM LAC, 51 Westminster St., Lewiston. The cost, which includes lunch, is $7 with advance reservation or $8 at the door. Reservations must be made by noon on Wednesday, May 11, by calling 753-6510. Any late callers will be considered "at the door."

Submitted by Rachel Morin. USM Lewiston-Auburn Senior College
Come And Share Your Life Stories In A Friendly And Nurturing Online Environment!

Senior Story Share facilitator Elizabeth Peavey

The Maine Senior College Network is pleased to announce a special online program coming this fall that will give you a chance to share some of your history with fellow writers, as well as preserve your stories for your loved ones. 

This course offering is a response to the requests for online classes from those who for one reason or another cannot easily reach their nearest Senior College. If you know someone who you think would enjoy this Maine Senior College experience, please let them know about this unique opportunity! 

Senior Story Share is a 10-week program that will run every two weeks from September to November in which you will produce five writing assignments over the course of the seminar. The course fee is $80 for MSCN members and $100 for non-members. (Scholarships are available.)

The group will be lead by facilitator Elizabeth Peavey, who will provide taped lectures, writing instruction, weekly assignments, and written feedback. Enrollees will be broken into several small online groups and take turns reading and commenting on each other's work. (Participants will receive constructive and supportive critiquing techniques.) You will have one week from the assignment to complete your essay. That will be followed by an additional week. During this time, you will have your essay peer reviewed, and you will be responsible for reviewing the work of a member of your group. Each assignment, one essay from each group will be spotlighted by the instructor and given a full markup, for group participants to review and discuss. 

The goal is for each participant to create five stories or essays that can then be collected and given out to friends and family members around the holidays. 

NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY! It doesn't matter if you've never written more than a grocery list. We all tell stories. The point of this program is to share and preserve them - and to maybe get to know some other like-minded writers around the state a little better.

Space is limited and is offered on a first-come, first serve basis. Don't miss this chance for a fun and engaging program. You'll be happy you joined - and so will the people you'll share your stories with in this unique class.

Elizabeth Peavey is a Portland-based writer, performer and educator. Her one-woman show, My Mother's Clothes Are Not My Mother, has played to sold-out houses since 2011 and won the Maine Literary Award for Best Drama. She is the author of three books, including Glorious Slow Going: Maine Stories of Art, Adventure and Friendship, which was a Maine Literary Awards finalist. She has written a humor column for 20 years, and her writing has been featured in Down East magazine since 1993. She taught public speaking at the University of Southern Maine for 20 years and now independently teaches and coaches writing groups across the state.

If you are interested in the class, or you simply have questions, please contact Anne Cardale at the MSCN office for more information.

The Gold LEAF Institute
Self-Defense:  Take Only As Needed

Have you ever taken a senior college course which taught you things you hope never to have to use? A large group of Gold LEAF members recently did just that, as they completed a spring term class titled "Self Defense for Seniors."

Here is a glimpse of what we addressed in the class: What is considered a "real" threat?  When is a defensive response appropriate?  How much force is reasonable? What are you willing to do to protect yourself, your loved ones, or a total stranger? These questions are just a small sample of the tough issues tackled (literally, but whilst wearing protective gear....RAD suits, etc.)

The seven-week course began with situational awareness and continued through to the aftermath of being attacked and responding to it.  The presenters were Tai Chi Instructor Drew Holston and Officer Darin Gilbert of the Farmington Police Force.  Proper protective outfits were worn as each individual practiced the various responses to attack.

We looked at possible scenarios and practiced how to avoid or respond to them.  There were over ten strategies/techniques presented each week by Drew Holston.   Next, a particular defensive strategy was selected and demonstrated, and with the assistance of Officer Gilbert, volunteers from the class tried it out. 

Along with practical applications for personal safety, martial arts theory was taught.  Officer Gilbert also explained the legal implications of the various actions.  Every week offered something new that could prove to be important for our own or another's safety.

Finally, here is a quote one of the participants:  "The Self Defense for Seniors course is the most valuable class I have taken so far.  I would recommend it for everyone!  The course involves so much information on several different levels.  There is definitely something for everyone.  I hope I never have to utilize the information I learned during this course.  Although if a situation arises I know I am prepared to respond to it."
If your Senior College curriculum committee is interested in offering a  "Self Defense for Seniors" class, the best place to start is by reaching out to your local police force. They will be able to offer a range of approaches and considerations regarding personal self-defense.

Submitted by Eileen Kreutz, The Gold LEAF Institute

OLLI Book Sale
Many books, CD's, DVD's, Puzzles!
Annual Book sale to Benefit Scholarships
May 6 & May 7, 2016

Days & Times: 
Friday, May 6, 2-5 pm
For OLLI and USM Campus Members
Saturday, May 7, 9-2pm 
Open to All

Room 102, Wishcamper Center 
USM Portland Campus

Midcoast Senior College Presents:
Summer Wisdom 2016

Curtis Memorial Library - Morrell Room, 7:30 pm
Free and Open to the Public

June 1 
Early Voices on the Kennebec 
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries people from five nations of the world came to the region of Maine and struggled to dominate the area. Using the words of people from diverse cultures, the presenter will share this fascinating, convoluted and terrible story, the results of which still resonate today. Bud Warren grew up in Bath, attended Yale and Tufts Universities, and taught for 25 years in Andover, Honolulu and at the Hyde School. He has been involved in maritime and regional history for many years. He led the effort to build a replica of the 1607 vessel Virginia and is president of the Tide Mill Institute.

June 8  
Translating Dante: Isabella Stewart Gardiner's Museum as "Paradiso"  
This talk will examine the influence of Dante on Isabella Stewart Gardiner's museum in Boston, and will show how she borrowed aesthetic motifs from Dante's Paradiso as exemplified in the Italian poet's ideal of civic virtue.   Linda Docherty is Associate Professor of Art History Emerita at Bowdoin College, where she taught American and nineteenth-century European art. Her research focuses on art and identity, art and spirituality and the relationship between American and European art.

June 15 
An Insider's Experience in the Carter White House 
This presentation will recall a four year stint in the White House by the speaker as Appointments Secretary to First Lady Rosalynn Carter, where she had a birds-eye view of the inner workings of the Carter administration, and travelled extensively while arranging state visits. A veteran of Edmund Muskie's senate staff, Jane Fenderson Cabot received a call in 1976 asking her to join the Carter national presidential campaign as scheduling and advance director for Ms. Carter. After her years in the White House, she became Executive Vice-President of a New York City public relation firm. She currently serves as past co-president of the Maine Women's Giving Tree.

June 22  
Perspectives on Recent Events in North Korea  
This presentation will review the recent internal and external developments in North Korea, put them in historical perspective and discuss implications for future U.S. engagement policies with North Korea.  Bradley Babson is a consultant on Asian affairs with a concentration on North Korea. He worked for the World Bank before retiring in 2000.  He is chair of the DPRK Economic Forum at the US-Korea Institute, and serves on the advisory council of the Korea Economic Institute of America.  He is also president of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.

June 29 
Greece's Current Crisis: A Historian's Reflections 
The dimensions of Greece's current crisis, which began in 2009 as a volatile component of a global economic crisis, captured the world's attention. This presentation will attempt to explain aspects of the situation in historic and cultural terms, and to point out that although many of the root causes of its debt crisis are self-inflicted, the Greeks alone are not totally responsible for it. S. Victor Papacosma is Professor Emeritus of History and Director Emeritus of the Lemnitzer Center for NATO and European Studies at Kent State University. A Bowdoin graduate, he has published extensively on Balkan and Greek issues. He is currently a member of the board of Senior College.

Submitted by Bianca Chambers, Midcoast Senior College
Resource links

"We are helping to build strong communities that support healthy aging through shared learning and collaborative partnerships in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont."

"We are changing the conversation about growing old in Maine.  Join us as we reimagine our communities, workplaces and systems of care so that older Mainers can thrive in their communities!"

SharpBrains - Report Update: 
AARPLinksAARP Event Links

Dr. Bill Thomas "Age of Disruption" Tour Visits Maine - May 20

Dr. Bill Thomas is visiting 30 American cities to ask the question
"What if?"  What if we all lived in a world that saw aging not as a process of decline but as a vivid and enlivening process that presents us with extraordinary risks... and rewards? The Age of Disruption 2016 Tour reaches Portland, Maine on Friday, May 20 and includes two events at Hannaford Hall in the Abramson Center on the University of Southern Maine campus

AARP Fraud Watch Network Scam Jam 
- June 1, 2016
Learn about common scams and fraud as well as steps you can take to avoid them. Featuring informative breakout sessions on imposter scams and cybersecurity. Plus MPBN will broadcast their popular radio call-in program, Maine Calling, live from the event. The keynote speaker will be U.S. Senator Susan Collins.

Check-in: 9:15 AM 
Event: 10:00 AM-2:30 PM 
Location:  Spectacular Events 395 Griffin Road Bangor.

"Enjoy a light breakfast and buffet lunch on us."  

Registration is required for this FREE event. 
RSVP at 1-877-926-8300 or register on AARP's Outsmart con artists web page.


The MSCN newsletter is sent to each Senior College board. The boards then forward the newsletter to their membership. However, if you are not a member of a Senior College or perhaps you are, and you simply want the news "hot off the press" subscribe here! 
Newsletter Submissions Deadline Date: 
The 26th of each month!

Please submit your articles and photographs to Anne Cardale at


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Images Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Spring - Harald Slott-Møller (1896) plus Wikipedia information about the artist

Detail from "The Bookman" advertisement. Illustration by By James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960)

Allegory of Wisdom (Minerva) by Marcello Bacciarelli. (1792-1793)

The Maine Senior College Network is a program of the  

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

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: 

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


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