Issue No. 78
The MSCN Newsletter

Welcome to Your November 2016 Newsletter!
Election Day 1922.
"Country Gentleman" magazine cover, November 1922. The 19th Amendment giving all women the right to vote wasn't ratified until August 1920. 96 years later we are waiting to see if America will elect its first female president. 

Welcome to your November issue of the Maine Senior College Network news! We are on the last lap of the 2016 US presidential election, and I am sharing a comforting essay titled "History as Therapeutic Diversion."  This piece is written by my good friend and mentor Will Callender. 

In addition, I have information about some great events for those of you in the southern part of the state. UMA presents the Don Campbell Band as their November "Concerts at Jewett" offering. LASC host a "Food for Thought" talk titled "Scott, Amundsen, and Shackleton - The Race for the Pole." Online MSCN memoir writing instructor, Elizabeth Peavey will present her successful one-woman show at USM in Portland. An exhibition of the work of Lewiston artist Gail Skudera is on display in USM's Glickman Library.

We have reports from WMSC, LASC, and the Gold LEAF Institute. WMSC provide compassionate insights from their "Dementia Conversations: Breaking the Ice with Empathy and Finesse." LASC acknowledge 40 instructors and describe a visit to the JFK Library and the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston. Our final item is from GLI who tell us about their "Friday Extra" bulletin!

UMA Senior College Present "Concerts at Jewett"

Don Campbell: A Veterans Appreciation Concert

UMA Jewett Auditorium, Sunday, November 6, 2016, 2PM
Maine native singer-songwriter Don Campbell's music is inspired by sources as diverse as the celtic and Canadian Maritimes music of his family to Dan Fogelberg, Vince Gill, the Beatles and novelist Stephen King, and he writes in many musical genres.  This concert will include some of his original songs and is billed as "a Family-Friendly and Non-Political Concert to Celebrate our Heroes."   Don Campbell says "Since 1994 I've decided to try to bring more of an awareness to our Veterans and the sacrifices of their families...I believe that people who live in the sunlight of Freedom should gratefully remember who and how it was earned for them."

Jewett Hall's auditorium has limited space available for wheelchair placement.  It is recommended that individuals who may require such a space contact UMA Senior College, 621-3551, to reserve one.  Wheelchair spaces will be assigned in the order in which reservations are received.

Veterans admitted free.
Tickets are $10 for all other adults, students $5, 12 & under free.
Tickets are available at Pat's Pizza in Augusta, Dave's Appliance in Winthrop and at the door.
Call 621-3551, or email for more information or for mail order tickets. 

The next concert is Sunday, December 18, 2016, 2PM at South Parish Congregational Church in Augusta - A Christmas Concert with the Downeast Brass and Jay Zoller, organist. .

Media contact: Irene Forster 445-5227 

Food for Thought at USM's 
Lewiston-Auburn Senior College Presents: 

"Scott, Amundsen, and Shackleton - The Race for the Pole" with Robert Begin
Thursday, November 10, 2016

Captain Robert F. Scott's party "at the south pole", 1911

Robert Begin, a Lewiston native and Edward Little High School graduate,is the presenter for the Thursday, November 10, 2016, USM Lewiston-AuburnSenior College "Food for Thought" luncheon. The title of his session is "Scott,Amundsen, and Shackleton - The Race for the Pole". Bob will share stories and a slide presentation of these explorers' expeditions to claim the unexplored and hostile territory of Antarctica for Great Britain. All three men were colleagues as well as rivals in their quest to seek fame, glory, and riches to serve King and Country. Scott was able to attain fame and an iconic place in English history, Amundsen never received the level of fame and recognition he believed was his, and Shackleton overcame unbelievable hardships and brought all of his men home safely. In fact, Shackleton's leadership style is still studied today by major corporations and universities more than 100 years after his epic journey.

Robert Begin
Bob grew up in both Lewiston and Auburn. As a young man, he maintained a paper delivery route for the Lewiston Daily Sun and Evening Journal. He also worked at such local landmarks as Goodwin's Dairy Bar, Morin Brick Yard and Clark Shoe Company. Bob is a graduate of Babson College in Massachusetts. He was drafted in 1965 and served 2 years in the Army. Once out of the Army, he settled in Boston, got married and raised two sons. He worked for 35 years as a Logistics Manager in the paper and film industries. His passions include sailing, history, reading, and spending time with his much-loved five grandchildren.
A Goodwin's Dairy Bar "Quality Ice Cream Sandwich" wrapper!

Senior College, now in its 19th year, presents this monthly luncheon program that is open to the public in Function Room 170 at USM LAC.  Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the program will begin promptly at noon.  The cost, which includes lunch, is $7 with an advance reservation or $8 at the door. To make your advance reservation, call Senior College at 753-6510 by noon on Tuesday, November8. Reservation calls received after this date/time will be considered "at the door".

ElizabethShowEvent Information

"My Mother's Clothes Are Not My Mother"
Wednesday, November 30, 7 p.m.,
Hannaford Hall, USM Portland Campus. 

A hilarious and heartbreaking one-woman show about mourning, sorting and saying goodbye. Written and performed by USM alumna, Elizabeth Peavey. Winner of the Maine Literary Award for Best Drama. A short curtain talk about making a living in the liberal arts will follow the show. 

Tickets, $10 at the door. (Cash only please.)

USM Libraries and the Maine Museum of Photographic Arts (MMPA) present Gail Skudera's latest exhibit, W O V E N

On display on the 5th floor of the Glickman Library now through December 30, 2016.

Conversation with Gail Skudera, Thursday, December 1, 6pm - 8pm, 423/424 Glickman Family Library. Complimentary refreshments.
Gail Skudera, Everychild 2, 2006, Woven mixed media on canvas.

From the Artist's Bio: The Maine Museum of Photographic Arts presents works by Lewiston artist, Gail Skudera. Skudera has an MFA in Fiber Arts and a BFA in Textile Printing and Design from Northern Illinois University. She is the recipient of several grants and fellowships, including a Visual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Grant. She has aggressively exhibited her pieces across the country and internationally. Skudera lives and works in Lewiston, Maine.
A close-up detail of Gail's work

W O V E N is the title of Gail Skudera's 43 piece exhibition at the MMPA gallery/USM Glickman Family Library. The title is apt for when we say that someone wove something into a conversation, it suggests a layering of ideas - often subtexts and motives. Skudera uses a loom to physically weave materials and images that embroider an overlaying of emotions and meanings in her work.

Gail's work was recently reviewed in  Take Magazine

Guest feature:

"History as Therapeutic Diversion" by Will Callender
At the Front by George Cochran Lambdin, 1866

Check out an experience of mine and discover whether you too find it delightfully therapeutic. Sit in for an hour on a Civil War history class with Dr. David Blight of Yale University. It's free. All twenty-seven lectures of a course Blight taught on The Civil War and Reconstruction in 2008 are available on the Internet through YouTube.  W atch lecture one, and if you like it as much as I do watch the other 26 lectures at your leisure. See whether the course informs, educates, delights, and consoles you. I'd be surprised if it doesn't. In fact, I'll be surprised if the course isn't one of the more educational experiences of your life.

Photograph of Lincoln taken on April 17, 1863
Specific concerns and interests brought me to Dr. Blight's classroom and may account somewhat for the therapeutic feeling I get listening to his lectures... Our period in U.S. history seems similar in some ways to the period leading up to The Civil War. Moreover, that war seems still to be lingering today at a lower temperature. So I started reading up on the Civil War again, returning particularly to Abraham Lincoln's speeches. This led to a reading of Adam Goodheart's excellent book, 1861. That resulted in two blog entries examining Lincoln's Independence Day message to Congress on July 4, 1861, the first entitled Lincoln's American People an d the second Lincoln: Pretense to States Rights.

That's my story. You will bring your own context to the invited experience. I'll bet Bright's class attracts you too and brings sustenance and consolation to you during these frustrating and curious times. The course has provided me with a fresh perspective on the country, and a bit of distance from the election. Keep in mind that the vortex of events that resulted in war between the states in 1861 contains the elements that have morphed into the poisonous political environment we experience today. 
The therapeutic feeling that comes over me while experiencing Dr. Blight's lectures is ephemeral and hard to pin down. It may be the characters; we know these people; they remind us of ourselves and people we know. We've been to the places where the war was fought. The conflicts and arguments sound familiar; we hear them today. But who knows? Maybe I'm mesmerizing myself. I'll be interested whether the same or any feeling comes over you. It's like being back in college again with an extraordinarily good professor.

I decided during the course to reacquaint myself with Abraham Lincoln's speech at Cooper Union in 1860 that brought him fame in New York, following his debates with Stephen A. Douglas in Illinois, the "west," and brought him later that year to the presidency. I was delighted to discover that a reenactment of the Cooper Union speech is available on Youtube, with Sam Waterston, of Law and Order fame, doing the reenactment. I recommend that experience for inclusion in your course of studies. What's the equivalent of "bon app├ętit" for a viewing experience? Well, never mind. Best wishes for a productive learning experience.

Be sure to bring a notepad to your computer screen along with the popcorn and beer. Enjoy!

Will Callender, Jr. 

Will Callender, Jr.
Will is the author of  "Abdication - God Steps Down for Good.

Will Callender, Jr. is a graduate of Somerville, Mass High School (1954), Bates College (1958) and the University of Connecticut (Masters, 1960), (Doctorate 1967). He is Professor Emeritus of Adult Learning at the University of Southern Maine. Will also taught Sociology at Clark University (1966-1970) and at the University of Maine at Machias (1970-1972). Will worked as a Senior Researcher for 10 years (1972-1982) at what is today the Muskie School of Public Policy at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. 

The above article has been edited. To read the original article in full please visit "History as Therapeutic Diversion." 
Dementia Conversations: Breaking the Ice with Empathy and Finesse

On October 7, 2016, Western Mountains Senior College's "To Your Health" offered the third in its series on dementia. Open to the public and held at the West Parish Congregational Church, the program's presenter was Mark Pechenik, Director of Community Outreach and Engagement for the Maine Alzheimer's Association.

Sensitive Issues addressed:
1. When is it time to stop driving? (Everyone's fear)
2. The need to see a physician for a firm diagnosis.
3. Reviewing and perhaps relinquishing control of financial and legal matters.

Strategies and Approaches:
Pechenik focused his presentation on methods used to overcome the most common hurdles faced by caregivers. He prefaced these suggestions with the caution that, first and foremost, planning - detailed planning - should be worked on sooner rather than later. "Don't wait for a crisis. Have the conversation early and involve family whenever possible. Be specific, honest, and patient."

Listen closely and respond:
Remember that loss of independence, isolation, and not wanting to burden family are early-stage worries. Appeal to the patient's sense of responsibility to family and community when suggesting the need for often drastic changes.

Don't become an adversary. Go with the flow. Keep notes and be specific. Reach out to family, friends, community and utilize the many dementia-related resources available. Pechenik ended his presentation with a description of many initiatives taking place in Maine, and his Association's hope for a cure by 2025. He added that Alzheimer's and all dementias must be "brought out of the shadows."

The Western Mountain Senior College To Your Health presentations are a community service offered in collaboration with the Bethel Family Health Center and MSAD#44/Continuing Education.

Written by Mary Haberman, Western Mountains Senior College
LAC Senior College Visits JFK Library and Holocaust Memorial

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

On Saturday, September 24, a group from LAC Senior College traveled by Custom Coach to Boston. First stop was the   John F. Kennedy Memorial Library and Museum, which is the nation's official memorial to John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States and is dedicated to "all those who through the art of politics seek a new and better world".  
Chris Leavitt, Joan Leavitt and Martha Sirois at the JFK Memorial and Library
I. M. Pei was the architect of the Library, which has breathtaking views of the ocean that JFK so loved. The LAC Senior College participants viewed a movie narrated by President Kennedy that followed him from the time he decided to enter politics through the National Convention when he ran for President. Everyone agreed that for those of us who were young during the Kennedy years it was fun to hear his famous speeches and view scenes that we all remember. By the end of our time in the Library, it was clear that much more time could be dedicated to touring the unlimited documents and pictures.

 Barbara Jabaut at the New England Holocaust Memorial
The group then visited the New England Holocaust Memorial. The outdoor Memorial is made up of six glass towers that light up at night. Each tower is 54 feet tall and contains random, 7-digit numbers etched in the glass evoking the numbers tattooed on the arms of the concentration camp prisoners. In total, there is 6 million numbers representing the number of Jews exterminated in the Nazi camps.  The Memorial also contains six pits each named after a death camp.  The pits are lined with black cement, contain fires, and are grated so visitors may walk over them and "feel the heat". The Memorial was built to "foster reflection on the impact of bigotry and the outcomes of evil during WWII and to this day".  Everyone agreed that the experience of walking through the Memorial was very moving.

The group then had free time in Quincy Market to eat lunch, shop, and enjoy the entertainers who perform throughout the day. A few even walked down to the water for great views of the harbor.

If you are interested in joining LAC Senior College, please call us at 753-6510, leave a message and someone will get back to you to answer any questions you may have regarding membership.  The 2016 Membership will still allow you access to free winter classes, information on any upcoming events, and registration information for spring classes.

Submitted by Sue Donar, USM Lewiston-Auburn Senior College

"The Friday Extra" at the Gold LEAF Institute
"A Newspaper Vendor In Paris" by Ilya Repin (1873)

Now that the Gold LEAF office is fully staffed, members are once again receiving a weekly bulletin listing upcoming events.  This email has been renamed "The Friday Extra" (it was originally called "Weekly Opportunites"  or "OPPS" for short.) 

Members love the new name, and the format, and appreciate this connection to the wider community. It takes time and energy to put together all the details and we thank our new office manager Heidi for pulling everything together! GLI members receive information to special "open to the community" forums such as a recent geology survey presentation on campus. 

 The bulletin provides local theater listings and includes upcoming concerts and poetry readings at Farmington's active Arts Institute. Also, we include the "Concerts at Jewett" Series organized by UMA's Senior College. Many GLI members enjoyed and were "Halloween-scared" by the "Wait Until Dark" performances put on in the Alumni Theater, directed by Jayne Decker.

We consider the "hidden benefits" one of the many "hidden benefits" of Gold LEAF Institute membership!

Written by Eileen Kreutz, The Gold LEAF Institute
Dinner to thank the over 40 instructors at LASC

Dick Lee, Chair, LAC Senior College Special Events Committee
On Thursday, October 6, the LAC Senior College Special Events Committee hosted a dinner on the LAC Campus to thank the over 40 instructors, who have taught a class during the past year. 

Dick Lee, Chair of the Special Events Committee, welcomed everyone and introduced Pam Joy, USM LAC Finance Director, who shared college updates as well as a very heartfelt, genuine expression of gratitude for having a Senior College resource in our community that her mother attends and enjoys.  Lucy Bisson, Chair of the LAC Senior College Board, brought a message of thanks from the Senior College Board and expressed the hope that all the instructors would continue to bring such wonderful classes for LA community members, who are 50 years of age and above.  The invocation was given by Sharon McGilvery, table decorations, door prizes, and registration was coordinated by Grace Keene and Donna Sweetser all of whom are Special Event committee members.

Entertainment for the event was provided by Dan Marois, who is also a Senior College Instructor.  Dan facilitated various improvisational scenarios using cast members made up of volunteers from the audience. The scenarios were enjoyable, humorous, and educational and demonstrated the importance and power of listening whether you are in a work, social, or personal setting.

The variety of classes being offered is attributed to the vast experience of the following instructors:  Ann Anctil, David Bernier, George Blouin, Bob Bowyer, Tisha Bremmer, Karen Brooks, Paula Curtis Everett, Pam Davis Green, Rabbi Sruli Dresdner, Alan Elze, Pauline Fortin, Bill Frayer, Marty Gagnon, Bill Hiss, Douglas Hodgkin, Christine Holden, Helen Joie Crockett, Linda DeSantis, Lorraine Giasson, Hugh Keene, Michael Lachance, Chuck Lakin, Cindy Larock, Kirsten Larsson-Turley, Joanne Lebel, Dan Marois, Rachel Morin, Barbara Oliver, Leelaine Picker, Steven Piker, Charles Plummer, Anita Poulin, Jean Potuchek, Joanne Potvin, Lynne Richard, Beverly Robbins, Jean Roy, Andrew Saucier, Mark Silber, June Spear, Alene Staley, Marquerite Stapleton, Dot Tupert, Pat Vampatella, Crystal Ward, Anne Williams, and Ethelind Wright.

To learn more about instructing for LAC Senior College or becoming a member, call 753-6510, leave a message, and someone will get back to you to answer any questions you may have about joining our activities.


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! 
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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
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