The MSCN Newsletter

 Welcome to Your JANUARY 2020 Issue!
Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Gardening (Spring)

Happy New Year!
I remember my mother would begin planning her English garden in January. She would spend hours peering through seed catalogs contemplating new gardening projects. The postman would arrive in due course bearing packages wrapped in brown paper. It was exciting opening up the parcels and finding little envelopes of seeds, and boxes of bulbs and tubers wrapped in straw. Next, donning her gardening clothes plus a red silk headscarf and wellington boots, my mother was ready. She would head off across the lawn to meet various appointments with recommended planting times. On returning from her garden adventures and making herself a nice pot of tea, she would then catalog her aches and pains. If only Ellen Gibson from Maine AgrAbility had been around in those days! Ellen's "Garden Ergonomics: Help for the Avid Gardener" might have saved my mother from a slipped disc and eased her arthritis. This is a good time of year to plan some limbering-up exercises for the gardeners at your senior college! Read more about Ellen Gibson's work and find out how to contact her in the article below.
Upcoming events
Guest feature

Looking for a great lecturer to visit your senior college? 
Meet Ellen Gibson, from Maine AgrAbility!

Ellen's presentation:
"Garden Ergonomics: Help for the Avid Gardener"
Untitled (farm workers)

The sighs of well-being were audible at the meeting of the Boothbay Region Garden Club as the presenter, Ellen Gibson, from Maine AgrAbility led the group through some simple stretching exercises, all doable from a sitting position. She showed us that there are safer and more comfortable ways to farm, or in our case, garden, even when creaky joints and arthritic aches and pains come a calling.

The Maine AgrAbility Program is a partnership with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Alpha One Center for Independent Living. Funded by the USDA, this is an  outreach program offered to farmers, gardeners, fishermen and forest workers with disabilities or chronic illnesses to ensure that they can continue to work safely and productively even as time and injury take their toll on the body.

Ellen Gibson
As a member of the Maine AgrAbility staff, Gibson provides practical information on  ergonomics that gardeners put into use all throughout the year. She has a Masters degree in rural community planning and training in Holistic Management practices to improve farm
viability and environmental health. She applies these principles to her own work on her family  farm, where she raises Nubian goats, gardens, and cooks.

For the hour-long gardening presentation, Gibson focuses on the two major issues: lower back problems and arthritis. Back problems are brought on and exacerbated by bending and  stooping. Arthritis pain is often the result of years of repetitive stress on the joints.

In addition to demonstrating how to bend and to lift safely, she talks about the difference  between exercise and physical activity. A simple exercise program-even a few minutes-will  help increase flexibility, strength, endurance, balance and range of motion, and help oil the
joints to prepare for the days' activities. This will help avoid pain and injury while engaging in  physical activity such as gardening.

It's easy to become fixated on completing a particular task - if I can just get all these leaves  raked up! It's better to be mindful of how the body is feeling and stop to rest, to breathe, to  stretch, to change tasks, or to call it a day.

More tools in Gibson's ergonomic basket include shovels designed specifically for women,  garden seats, power wheelbarrows, and padded handles. She demonstrates how the principles of work simplification and energy conservation can make a big difference to those who want to continue to farm or garden in spite of some diminished capacity. 

How to invite Ellen to your Senior College
If you or someone you know needs farming or gardening assistance or would like more  information on ergonomic gardening techniques go to the Maine AgrAbility "Presentations and Training Possibilities" web page. Fill out the online form to request Gibson's presentation. 

Thanks to the press corps of the Boothbay Garden Club for their write-up. esg

LASCfood4tghoughtUSM Lewiston-Auburn Senior College

Food for Thought Luncheon Series
January 10, 2020
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

"Retired Fire Fighters / A Marathon Man's Experiences" presented by  Mike Brooks 

USM's senior college is glad to report that we will be continuing our
monthly Food for Thought presentations in 2020 beginning Friday January 10. Our speaker will start the year off with quite a story. Mike Brooks was a 33-year career firefighter for the Auburn Fire Department, but his passion after the age of fifty has been running marathons. Only Mike doesn't just run a marathon once in a while, he set a goal for himself to complete a marathon in every state, which he had done by 2003. Then he went on the tackle The Badwater.

The Badwater
Mike Brooks - Ultramarathon man
The Badwater Ultramarathon describes itself as "the world's toughest foot race." It is a 135-mile course starting at 282 feet below sea level in the Badwater Basin, in California's Death Valley, and ending at an elevation of 8360 feet at Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the continental USA. Mike assisted as part of the crew for friends doing the race and then ran it himself! He raised money at this race and went on the raise even more to benefit Camp Sunshine.

Mike will tell us about his experiences including the Hatfield-McCoy
Marathon and he'll relate how he decided to write a book about his
fascinating career.

Food for Thought will begin promptly at noon in room 170 on the
Lewiston/Auburn campus of USM - LAC, 51 Westminster St; Lewiston.
The lecture is free and open to the public, but we will no longer be offering the option of purchasing lunch. Everyone is invited and welcome to bring a bag lunch. The doors will open at 11:30.

UMAjewettConcertUniversity of Maine Augusta Senior College

UMASC Concerts at Jewett
Katahdin Valley Boys -  Bluegrass Band

Sunday, January 12 * 2-4 pm * Randall Hall
(snow date: January 26)

Featuring tight harmonies and smooth solos, The Katahdin Valley Boys present their audiences with top quality, traditional and contemporary bluegrass as well as bluegrass gospel music. The group has received awards from the Maine Country Music Association and the Maine Academy of Country Music. They were named "Bluegrass Band of the Year" in 2012.

Location: The Fireplace Lounge of the UMA Student Center in Randall Hall
Because of renovations at Jewett Hall, this concert will be held in the Fireplace Lounge of the UMA Student Center in Randall Hall. The Fireplace Lounge has only 125 seats and the concert is expected to sell out. Please arrive early. Because of limited seating, there are no remaining online tickets for sale.

Adult - $10
Student - $5
12 and under free

Tickets will be sold at the door. Please arrive early. Tickets for this concert are no longer available online or by phone reservation. For information call 621-3551.

York County Senior College

York County Senior College
Gary Sullivan Memorial Lecture Series
Winter 2020
Featuring a diverse mix of morning and afternoon talks along with
coffee and pastry registration social (9-9:30) and lunch (11:30-12:30)

January 15, 2020

Gary Sullivan Memorial Lecture - January 15, 2020 - 9:30 - 11:30 am
Mary Morton Cowan will be talking about her new book

9:30-11:30 Mary Morton Cowan
Mary, a Maine resident, is the author of books, articles and stories for young readers. Mary will share the development of her latest biography about the life and dreams of Cyrus Field. "Cyrus Field's Big Dream: the Daring Effort to Lay the First Transatlantic Telegraph Cable". 

Gary Sullivan Memorial Lecture - January 15, 2020 - 12:30-2:30 pm
William Mallio, Ph.D will discuss the formation and changes of the earth over the first 4.6 billion years
(Image above - "Planet Earth" by Leda Luss Luyken)

12:30-2:30 William Mallio, Ph.D.
William is a professional historian in Geology / Geochemistry and Environmental Geology. He is a Licensed Site Professional, studying and managing solutions for hazardous waste sites. He will discuss the formation and changes of the earth over the first 4.6 billion years, as well as our modern environment and our safety in this active solar system and what we are doing to our planet.

Each day's program includes registration with coffee/pastry 9-9:30 AM and lunch 11:30-12:30
Costs for each day's program is $20 for members and $25 for non members, paid at the door by cash or check made payable to York County Shelter Program.

Call (207)282-4030 to reserve your spot. Space is limited!

All lectures will be held at the Denis Hall on the campus of
The Brothers of Christian Instruction
133 Shaker Hill Road, Alfred, ME
(off Route 202, Plenty of free parking)

The lectures are sponsored by York County Senior College and are open to the public.
Membership in Senior College is not required for these lectures.

WinterWisdomMidcoast Senior College

presents WINTER WISDOM 2020 
sponsored by The Highlands 
& Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick
Wednesdays, 12:15-1:45 pm 

FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! For information, contact Midcoast Senior College (207) 725-4900 midcoastseniorcollege.org
Upcoming 2020 Presentations

Tree of Good and Evil, painted steel and bronze sculpture by artist Charles Pilkey

January 15: Good from Evil: The Tuskegee Syphilis Study and Campaign for Patient Rights 
This presentation examines the infamous clinical study of untreated syphilis in African American males conducted between 1932 and 1972 by the U.S. Public Health Service. The historical context of the study and subsequent developments in the ethics of biomedical research provide the framework for this discussion. 
Richard Neiman is a retired physician with a lifelong interest in the history of medicine. He is a graduate of Harvard College, Tufts Medical School, and Professor Emeritus at Indiana University. He has been actively involved in MSC as faculty member, Winter Wisdom presenter, student, and member of the Board of Directors from 2004 to 2018.

January 22: The Obligations of Artists: One Man's Role 
Art can educate, provoke, motivate as well as entertain and sooth the viewer. 
Robert Shetterly is an artist and activist perhaps most well known for his series of portraits: Americans Who Tell the Truth. His art has served as a vehicle for both young students and adults to learn of true history and models of courageous citizenship that have impacted our democracy. He has an A.B. degree from Harvard, and honorary doctorates from USM and UMF, as well as receiving numerous other awards.

January 29: Cyrus Field and Laying of the Transatlantic Cable 
This presentation will describe the fascinating story of Cyrus Field and his journey from penniless paper mill worker to one of the most prominent men in New York City. Through many challenges and missteps, this visionary became a persistent, energetic entrepreneur who went on to accomplish one of the greatest technological feats of the 19th century. 
Mary Morton Cowan is a Maine native and has a B.A. degree from Bates College where she majored in English and Music. She has published four books and nearly 100 articles for young readers.

February 6: Greece Before the Odyssey: Myth and Realities
In Book 3 of the Odyssey, Homer describes the royal palace of King Nestor at Pylos, in southwestern Greece. This talk will explore the Bronze Age reality behind that epic vision - the earliest Greek history we possess - from the discovery of Nestor's palace in 1939, to current excavations in Iklaina, one of the towns in his kingdom.
Cynthia W. Shelmerdine is Robert M. Armstrong Centennial Professor of Classics, emerita at the University of Texas at Austin, and a Research Associate in Classics at Bowdoin College. Her main research focuses on Aegean Bronze Age archaeology, and the language, history and society of Mycenaean Greece. She was educated at Bryn Mawr College, Cambridge University and Harvard University (Ph.D. 1977).

February 13: Twice A Day Island: The Peterson Canal at New Meadows
Sometimes referred to as the "canal to nowhere," this project was constructed by hand in the 1790's with the expressed purpose of
connecting the New Meadows River with Merrymeeting Bay. Its purpose was to allow the transport of logs cut along the Kennebec
and Androscoggin Rivers to sawmills on the New Meadows River. This talk will review the origins and history of this project and
the people who built it.
Brenda Cummings is a native of Phippsburg, studied philosophy and history at Antioch College, is a Certified Maine Assessor, and is City Assessor of Bath.
Timothy Richter is a native of Bath and received his B.S. in Education/History from UMF. Both serve on boards of Phippsburg Land Trust and Bath Historical Society and lead the annual Peterson Canal walk.

UMASCbrownBagLecturesUniversity of Maine Augusta Senior College

UMASC Brown Bag Lecture Series

January & February - Tuesdays, Noon - 1:30 pm Klahr Center, UMA

UMASC's Brown Bag Series encourages people to attend weekly presentations in January and February at the UMA campus. The series begins the first week of January and runs for 8 weeks.

UMASC members and guests are invited to bring their lunch to each session at 12 noon on Tuesdays, to see and hear a different presentation each week. Lectures are held at the Michael Klahr Center which is connected to UMA's Katz Library, and last for 60-90 minutes.
There is no admission fee.
Money Ball

Presenter: Chet Day
In my Senior College course next semester, a participative workshop of the same title, we learn to be "number crunchers" using 4th grade arithmetic, mostly in our heads. We will pretend that we are financial advisors to "Dick and Jane", the "median family" in the U.S. We identify their five biggest investments over their lives: auto, student loans for education, 529s for their kids' career educations, savings for retirement, and eldercare. We develop a lifetime financial plan and calculate the value of their estate. This Brown Bag will present the course results ... but with minimal math!!!

Presenter: Peter Rosenberg
For the success of a song, which is more important, the composer or the Librettist? I will present two librettists from the Golden Age of Broadway.

JAN 28: OAK GALL INK AND "WE THE PEOPLE" - Presenter: Andrea Ostrofsky
This is the story of what has been called the most important ink in western history. Oak gall ink was used by medieval monks, as well as Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Dickens and crafters of the Declaration of Independence. You will see the ingredients, share recipes and have a chance to write your name with quill and oak gall ink.

A young seminarian from New Hampshire, Jonathan Daniels gave his life for another person at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. It's a moving story that needs to be remembered.

Submitted by  University of Maine Augusta Senior College

UMASCforumONfutureUniversity of Maine Augusta Senior College

Early February Events

University of Maine Augusta Senior College
Forum on the Future
Sunday Afternoons at 2:00 pm 

February 9, 2020
(snow date 2/16)

This series of forums and panel discussions is jointly sponsored by UMA and UMA Senior College. Primarily aimed at senior citizens, the program's goal is to provide a wide variety of topics of interest to the community at large as well. Forum topics range from healthcare to Maine's economy.

Visit UMAS Lectures and Seminars web page for location and additional information

Senior College Winter Courses 2020 

Bridgton  SC

Coastal  SC

Gold LEAF  Institute

Midcoast  SC

Sunrise  SC
Winter Warm-Ups will be held in January and February
Coming soon - visit Sunrise SC's web page for updated information

Winter classes run from January to March
Coming soon - visit WMSC's Courses page for updated information


Plan Ahead - Save the Date! 
Coming in 2020! 

MSCN 2020 Statewide Conference

"2020 Vision for Maine's Senior Colleges"
May 2, 2020.

  • Thanks to the generosity of the University of Maine Hutchinson Center and the Senior College at Belfast we will be holding a statewide conference at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center on May 2, 2020. 

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 
Submit your articles and photographs to Anne Cardale at acardale@maine.edu .
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Image Credits

Images Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Maine Senior College Network is a program of the  

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