Issue No. 111
The MSCN Newsletter

 Welcome to Your August 2019 Newsletter!

Monhegan Island, Maine (1913) by George Wesley Bellows

Summer is a busy time for Senior College boards. Dedicated volunteers are preparing new curriculums, and planning for their next academic year. Annual meetings are being held, and new officers are being elected. Without the hard work of these volunteers, we would not have seventeen Senior Colleges in Maine. On behalf of all the Senior College members who sign up for the rich and varied class offerings, I thank all the board members and volunteers of the Senior College Network!

NewsletterMENUThis Month's  Newsletter Menu

Join Us Offerings!
Calling all birders, gardeners, and lovers of warmth and sunshine! - Read about  OLLI at USM's International Trip. MSCN members across the state are invited to join in the adventure.

USM Lewiston-Auburn Senior College (LASC) is offering Two September Online Courses using Zoom! MSCN members are invited to sign up and join these classes.

LASC member Mary Jane Beardsley, and SAGE at the University of Maine in Presque Isle (UMPI) member Nancy Roe invite MSCN members to join their Online Book Club! The club will be reading books with a Maine connection. 

Summer Reading
Midcoast Senior College presents an essay about John Shenandoah written by historian Robert C. Williams.

SAGE at UMPI present " Old Age Ain't for Sissies" by Nancy Roe of the MSCN Online Storytellers Group

Fall Catalogs
Senior Colleges are summoning their members to sign up for Fall Classes. Take a look at the different classes being offered around the state. (Keep coming back to see new catalogs as they become available.) 

Finally, a Request for Board Lists!
Please send me your updated board contact lists so that we can all stay in touch with each other!

CostaRicaUSMOLLI at USM International Trip Invitation

Calling all birders, gardeners, and lovers of warmth and sunshine!

OLLI at USM is planning a new travel adventure that is open to its members and reciprocal members in the Maine Senior College Network.  The trip is an eco-tour to Costa Rica, running from February 28 through March 8, 2020.  The trip is also open to multiple generations-this is a chance to bring a son or daughter, a teenaged grandchild (13 and above), or a friend to accompany you (one person in your group must be an OLLI/MSCN member).  While winter rages in Maine, you can escape to a beautiful, sunny paradise and see how ecotourism has transformed Costa Rica into a conservation refuge and exemplar of healthy environmental living and exploration. This trip will take you from the Atlantic-east coast to the western volcanic and cloud forest region and the heart of Costa Rica.

The cost of the trip is $3,349, including the cost of the tour, roundtrip airfare via Copa Air, roundtrip transfers from South Portland, travel insurance, pre-tour and post-tour accommodations in San Jose, and gratuities.  A limited number of singles is available, for a supplemental cost of $719. Almost all meals for the trip are included, including a few immersive meals prepared by host families, plus three very special excursions-a city tour of San Jose including the Gold Museum and architectural tour, a cloud forest nature preserve, and a working farm with coffee, orange, and banana groves. The tour does involve some hikes of up to 4 to 5 miles. 

The tour is organized by AAA South Portland and Trafalgar tours. Registration for the trip begins on September 17, 2019.  

For more information, please contact Donna Anderson, director of OLLI.  We hope you can join us!

Submitted by Donna Anderson, The osher lifelong Learning Institute

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USM Lewiston-Auburn Senior College

Attention All MSCN Members!

The USM Lewiston-Auburn Senior College
Invites Other Senior College Members To Join Them
September Offering:
Two Online Courses 

LASC Online Class 1
Image: A quack selling medicines. Oil painting. Iconographic Collections

Avocado Toast And Other Health Claims  

The Internet is filled with a variety of health claims. What to believe is the big question. This class looks at just how to judge the validity of health information for those not in the medical profession. 

Instructor Martin Gagnon is a former journalist and current Head of Adult Services at the Auburn Public Library. The library was awarded a national grant in 2017; Gagnon plus a team from the Auburn Public Library and Sun Journal Editor Judith Myers traveled to Chicago to participate in a media literacy initiative. Last year Gagnon taught two Senior College semesters on the rise of fake news.

Date and Time: 
Avocado Toast And Other Health Claims 
Class Begins: Sept. 26, 2019 and runs for 4 Thursdays from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Course Limit: 25. This course is  online only using ZOOM. The Online Course Fee for MSCN members is $25. 

LASC Online Class 2
Image :Peter McArdle, A Small Crowd Gathered

Religious Debate: The Big Issues, Are People Good Or Bad?  

Religious people are found on both sides of the answer. Which you believe leads to a perspective on the world with a set of doctrines, actions, and political positions. Each week we will discuss important topics such as: immigration, poverty, sexuality, abortion, economics, and war and peace. We will strive to provide a balanced perspective on both sides of the issues. 

Instructor: Rev. Stephen Carnahan is Pastor of the High Street Congregational Church in Auburn. A graduate of the Nazarene Theological Seminary, he has served previously in Pennsylvania, New York and Portland, Maine. 

Date and Time: 
Religious Debate: The Big Issues, Are People Good Or Bad? Sept. 25, 2019 and runs for six Wednesdays from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Course Limit: 20 (ZOOM from the classroom). $25 Course Fee for MSCN members.

Registration begins
Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. 

How to Register

Registration for USM Lewiston-Auburn Senior College Members
LASC members  visit your LASC website:  You can access registration from the homepage or from Courses, Registration and Scholarships on the left. Follow the instructions. Credit or debit cards are the only form of payment accepted for online registration. Once you pay for your courses, you will receive an email confirmation and another with online instructions.

Registration for MSCN Members 
Those who are not members of LASC

1. Make sure your own Senior College membership is up-to-date! 
2. Call USM Conference Services at 780-5960 
3. State that you are a member of (provide the name) of your Senior College. 
4. Then ask to register (using a credit or debit card) for a Lewiston Auburn online course. 
5.  After registration, you will receive an email with instructions for joining the class online.

USM Lewiston-Auburn Senior College Present:

The Online Book Club
Books With A Maine Connection 
Image: Sunset Near Bar Harbor, Maine, ca. 1862 - Frederic Edwin Church

 To Current Maine Senior College Members!

This online only book club will meet monthly, the first time on Thursday,September 26 from 10 AM to 12 PM. Regular meetings will be the fourth Thursday of each month at 10 AM.(No class in December.) We will focus on books that have something to do with Maine, both fiction and nonfiction, titles may be new or vintage, by authors living in Maine or those who just like to write about it.

The first book will be: The Funeral Makers by Cathie Pelletier.

Meet the residents of Mattagash, Maine, a dull backwater town rocked by scandal, seduction, mayhem, blackmail and the only recorded case of beriberi on the entire North American continent. The funeral makers is " a crazy rollicking whoop of a book, written with a poet's sensibility and a deeply wacky down home sense of humor." - Lee Smith, author of The Last Girls

Cathie Pelletier was born in Allagash, Maine in 1953. She received a BA from the University of Maine in 1976. She has written books under her own name and the pseudonym K. C. McKinnon. 

The Book Club is Free to Current MSCN Members

Sign Up!
To sign up (email preferred), contact either: Mary Jane Beardsley or Nancy Roe

Email:  Mary Jane Beardsley 
Phone: 207-777-1838 
Email:  Nancy Ro
Phone: 207-768-7271 

Please join us and make new Senior College friends across this great state of Maine.

We meet online via Zoom. 

MidcoastESSAYMidcoast Senior College

Essay by Robert C. Williams

John Shenandoah (1706-1816)

The word shenandoah in Algonquian is a native American term for spruce stream, great plains or beautiful daughter of the stars. It is still used as a girl's name but is quite rare.We sang the well-known folk song (actually a sea chanty) by that name in our continuing Midcoast Senior College class on choral music taught by Stuart Gillespie.

John Shenandoah, or Skenandoah as the colonists knew him, was the legendary "pine tree chief" of the Oneida tribe of the six-nation Iroquois Confederacy in upstate New York. He was a friend of George Washington and played a significant role in supporting the American colonists against the British during the American revolutionary war (1775-1783). Washington may have named the Shenandoah Valley and/or the Shenandoah River of Virginia after his friend. The river rises in the mountains of Virginia and drains into the Potomac at Harper's Ferry, as seen below:

Adopted as a child into the Oneida tribe, Shenandoah by 1770 had risen to become the "pine tree chief" of the clan living around Oneida Castle, New York. During the American Revolution, he supported the colonists and helped save Washington's troops at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-8 by having Polly Cooper deliver more than seven hundred bushels of corn to freezing soldiers. Oneida warriors allegedly taught Washington's troops how to play the game of lacrosse. 
Photo: Statue of George Washington, Polly Cooper and John Shenandoah  at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC.

Shenandoah also led an Oneida troop in support of Washington at the battles of Oriskany and Saratoga. In consequence, the British considered the Oneida their enemies and systematically destroyed their villages, crops and orchards. The American colonists valued their services. In 1794, John Shenandoah negotiated and signed the Treaty of Canandaigua that established the sovereignty, land rights and freedom from taxation for the Oneida nation. The U.S. government and the State of New York ultimately violated or ignored these treaty rights, plied the Oneida with liquor and removed them from their lands.  

Shenandoah became a close friend and convert of Rev. Samuel Kirkland (1741-1808), a Presbyterian missionary to the Iroquois from Norwich, CT (Princeton, 1765) and a co-founder of Hamilton-Oneida Academy (1793), later (1812) Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where both men are buried side by side. The Oneida took what they wanted from Kirkland's Christianity and mixed it with their own beliefs. Fortunately, neither man lived to see the 1823 Indian removal by Andrew Jackson of many of the Oneida nation to Wisconsin and Ontario, where the Oneidas exist today. Shenandoah was well over one hundred when he penned his last words:

I am an aged hemlock. The winds of a hundred winters have whistled through my branches. I am dead at the top. The generation to which I belong has run away and left me. Why I live, the great good spirit only knows.
Charles Deas, The Trapper and his Family (1845).

The famous folk song "Shenandoah" began as the story of a Canadian fur trapper, or voyageur, who plied his trade in canoes along the Missouri River and fell in love with one of John Shenandoah's daughters. In fact, many trappers did marry Native American women. The story then became a song or flatboatmen's river chanty (then a sailor's capstan "long" chanty for raising anchor at sea). "Shanadore" was popular along the Mississippi River, then moved out to sea via New Orleans and was sung around the world. The song provides a sustained and steady rolling rhythm that suited the pulling and hauling of workmen on a vessel, first on a river flatboat, then ships at sea where sailors sang chantys as they worked. 

The Oneida singing tradition persists. Joanne Shenandoah (b. 1955) is a well-known singer of Oneida and Iroquois songs whose mother was Wolf Clan Mother and a direct (matrilineal) descendent of our John Shenandoah. Her father John was also a direct descendent. She lives in the Syracuse, New York, area and received an honorary degree from Syracuse University. "Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter..."

Thus, the Shenandoah of our song is not so much a "rolling river" in Virginia, as a venerated Oneida chief from upstate New York who played a significant role in support of George Washington and the colonists against the British during the American Revolution. It is not a song of westward expansion. Washington may well have named the Virginia river after the New York chief, and it is not clear in the many variant song lyrics whether the "rolling river" is the Missouri, the Mississippi or even the Shenandoah. (Some claim the river had its Algonquian name before Washington was born.) But Shenandoah is definitely a riverboat song of Native American and French origins about paddling the upper Missouri River that evolved into a beloved sea chanty sung around the globe. And it celebrates a true native American patriot, John Shenandoah, who helped save the Continental Army at Valley Forge, and perhaps the American Revolution.

Robert C. Williams is a member of the board of directors of Midcoast Senior College and editor of its newsletter, The Inquirer. A retired Russian historian, he has taught at Bates, Davidson and Williams colleges and at Washington University in St. Louis. 

 Sources: W.B.Whall, Ships, Sea Songs and Shanties (Glasgow,1910); Joseph Glathaar and James Martin, Forgotten Allies. The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution (2007); Karim Tiro, The People of the Standing Stone. The Oneida Nation through the Era of Removal (2011).

OldAgeNot4SissiesSAGE at University of Maine in Presque Isle

Old Age Ain't for Sissies
by Nancy Roe of the MSCN 
Online Storytellers Group

Image: Bette Davis in the movie "Little Foxes"

Bette Davis, star of stage, screen and television said it first. "Old age ain't for sissies." Bette, herself in her 80s, knew the truth of these words. I can't say that I really understood what she meant, until recently. least I didn't take them seriously.

Having survived the month of May with a bad tooth, an appointment with the urologist and the possibility of a hip replacement, I think I begin to understand. Sissies give up.  Sissies run away and hide behind Momma's skirts. We old people just make another appointment, and then make even another appointment. A new doctor here; a new doctor there. We are the champions of resiliency. We handle disappointments and changes because we have to; the alternative is to give up.

Sure, there is plenty to complain about. Aches and pains. Even worse is always talking about aches and pains; we all talk to others about aches and pains. Worse is that some around me are losing their cognitive abilities. I wonder if this is happening to me. How do I know? How will I know?

Strangely, the thing that surprises me the most is that my hair has not turned white. No, not even gray. And, yes, my "hairdresser does know for sure." My younger sister is gray; my oldest daughter is gray. It's really a shame that I cannot bring the subject up with every new acquaintance!

Image: Elizabeth II waves from the palace balcony after the Coronation, 1953

There are some wonderful things about being old. How about actually "having been there." On December 8, 1941, FDR declared war; that same day I was invested in the Girl Scouts. World War II; I helped the war effort by cutting out the coupons in the family's rations for shoes, butter and sugar; by mixing the orange color in the oleomargarine. My brother and I collected newspapers in our wagon. We all purchased savings stamps. In 1953 I watched a young Queen Elizabeth's coronation on TV, the first major international event broadcast live. The TV set was tiny. I stood on the sidewalk in the dusk and watched the ambulance carrying JFK's body drive up Wisconsin Avenue toward the Bethesda Naval Hospital for his autopsy. I was listening on the car radio when man took his first steps on the moon.

And "having been there" a second time is also a good thing. I can watch all three seasons of Broadchurch on Netflix a second time and never remember "who dunnit." I can read Tess Gerritsen's mystery, Time to Die, at least twice without figuring out the ending. I enjoy them both again, quite happily and quite as much as the first time around. 

Image: GE Smart Countertop Microwave Oven (Yes, you can even talk to it!)

Three new "inventions" are a tremendous help which earlier generations lacked but which keep us on our toes.  First, and foremost, of course is the Internet. Without it there would be no Googling, no emailing, no checking the radar for the next snowstorm, and of course, no writing group on Zoom. Second is the microwave oven; I probably would starve without it! When was the last time I made mac'n cheese from scratch? And, third, that wonderful store that has everything without leaving home, Amazon. Amazon has saved my life. Unable to shop locally on my own anymore I count on Amazon to keep me in new gadgets, new clothes, birthday presents and......yes, chocolate. 

I am sitting in the cat bird's seat in the dunking booth. No one yet has thrown the winning ball that will plunk me into the water!

P.S. For those who know me......did you ever wonder about my hair color.....or did you just assume I had it colored?

Nancy Roe, June 2019.
I am 88, born in 1930, hence the article, and a member of SAGE. 

Other members of Storytellers are Mary Jane Beardsley (LA Sr College), Joyce Blossom, Betty Campbell (LA Sr Col), Joan Miller (Sunrise), Bonnie Pooley (Western Mts), Rosabelle Tifft (Western Mts)

FallCoursesMSCN Fall Classes - Links to Course Information

Fall Classes

Fall catalogs Are Now Available at the following Senior Colleges

Catalogs Coming Soon!
Catalogs will be posted online as soon as they are available

Downeast Senior College (information coming soon!)
York County SC (information coming soon!)

University of Southern Maine Aging Initiative

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 end of each month.

Submit your articles and photographs to Anne Cardale at .

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Images Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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Maine Senior College Network

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Penobscot Valley Senior College


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St. John Valley Senior College

Sunrise Senior College 
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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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