Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Southern Maine

OLLI Newsletter

November 2022

Read the OLLI Newsletter

In this edition . . .

  • Director's message
  • News from The Advisory Board
  • "My Body, My Story" program information on Nov. 18
  • Join us for this year's Reflections Launch on Nov. 17
  • Time is short to reserve a place on the Greek Trip
  • OLLI PopUp on Nov. 10
  • Trivia for this month
  • Join the Wine Club
  • Watch the Senior Players perform on Nov. 4
  • Take the important Osher NRC survey
  • The Glickman Library is now open to OLLI members
  • Inside Out: Resources for Seniors

The Power of Belonging--

A Message from the OLLI Director

“Belonging is not just fitting in (which means adjusting oneself to fit in); belonging is feeling known and seen, and as if you’ll be missed when you're gone.”

—Anne Cass, after Edward Deci and Richard Ryan.

William Shatner recently recounted his short space flight:

“I saw a cold, dark, black emptiness. It was unlike any blackness you can see or feel on Earth. It was deep, enveloping, all-encompassing. I turned back toward the light of home. I could see the curvature of Earth, the beige of the desert, the white of the clouds and the blue of the sky. It was life. Nurturing, sustaining, life. Mother Earth. Gaia.” Shatner captures a deep spiritual connection to home—a sense of connection and belonging that is so powerful for all of us.

One of the strengths of OLLI is this sense of belonging—indeed, the goal of USM in general is to create a positive culture where everyone feels that they belong and are welcomed. In the list of courses, workshops, programs, pop-ups, and SIGs it’s easy to see this broad menu of choices and activities, but underlying it all is an opportunity to connect through discussion, participation, laughter, and occasionally tears of understanding and compassion. The contact we have both in person and online is powerful and sustaining. In the winter months to come, as cold and darkness grow, we can also turn toward the light of these nurturing social connections at OLLI.

As we near the end of the fall term, we can turn our attention to the winter session. We hope that our winter catalogs will be posted online on Nov. 18, with the mailed copy in your hands by the end of November. I know that there are many intriguing offerings for the winter, all online via Zoom so you do not have to worry about traveling on icy roads or navigating slippery sidewalks. You’ll have some art history, history, a number of film courses, personal development, politics and current events, literature, and writing choices. 

In the meantime, there is a very special seminar offered for OLLI and in collaboration with the Department of English.

Save the date for November 18 for a free OLLI program called "My Body, My Story: Writing Illuminated Memoir" to explore how expressive writing and narrative building can help us to navigate life’s challenges. Details follow below, but this extra-special program includes guest speakers and a guided writing activity. The goal of the program is to help each of us to connect powerfully with our own experience and share it meaningfully with others through writing. 

In gratitude for this fabulous fellowship at OLLI,

Donna Anderson

News from the Advisory Board Chair

I had a thought-provoking conversation with a friend the other day regarding OLLI’s image in the community. The live launch of my husband’s latest book (The Last Altruist) at Longfellow’s Bookstore brought together a familiar group for me—but some were new to each other—and I have a lifelong habit (goal?) of bringing like-minded people together, so this was an apt occasion.

At the event, my neighbor was chatting with one of our friends, and they found themselves discussing iPhone photography, in which our friend has expertise. So, the neighbor suggested that the friend offer a course at OLLI. But here is what surprised me: Our friend’s response was, “I thought OLLI was all intellectuals sharing stuffy subjects.” This is a man I know well and speak with often about my love of OLLI—clearly, I’ve got to hone my message a bit! As a marketing friend says, “It’s not what we say; it’s what they hear.”

This experience made me wonder what the image of OLLI actually is in the community. Fortunately, this is where OLLI’s standing committees come in. I thought I’d share with you the essential nature of each committee, along with the contact person in case your interest is piqued, and you decide to volunteer. Volunteers and at least one Board member comprise all five OLLI committees, and committees are often looking for new members.

If you are interested in volunteering, please email Donna Anderson directly: donna.anderson@maine.edu. If SAGE intrigues you, reach out directly to the chairs listed below:

EXTERNAL RELATIONS: Join Chair Marcia Weston to explore ways to reach into the community and spread the word about OLLI and its offerings.

MEMBERSHIP AND NOMINATIONS: Join Chair Pamela Delphenich to focus on ways to attract new members as well as new Advisory Board members.

SAGE: Join Co-Chairs Claire Smith (forclaire@hotmail.com) and Steve Abramson (steve8354@aol.com) to brainstorm topics and speakers for the 2023 SAGE seasons.

SOCIAL RELATIONS: Join Co-Chairs Elizabeth Housewright and Chuck Remmel to capitalize on your network and support social activities and publications at OLLI.

TEACHING AND LEARNING: Join Co-Chairs Louise Sullivan and Gail Worster to explore possibilities for courses and teachers and to support the Teacher Forum.

I am wishing you a peaceful and healthy Thanksgiving holiday, and hoping you are as excited as I am about the OLLI winter catalog offerings! As always, I can be reached at anne.cass@maine.edu.


Anne Cass, Board Chair

“My Body,

My Story:  

Writing Illuminated Memoir”


Join OLLI for this very special program on Friday, November 18, 9 AM to 1PM.  We will be introduced to Maine Digital Collaborative (MDC), a digital public humanities forum for writers to share their perspectives on important contemporary issues—including Health and Wellness. MDC is a project of USM Digital Humanities.

The program will explore health and wellness as a holistic experience, involving body, mind, and spirit. Dr. Misty Krueger, from the Department of English at the University of Maine at Farmington, will be the keynote speaker. In "From Blonde to Blue and Beyond: My Chemo Hair Journey" Professor Krueger reflects on her experience of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment through writing as an act of self-expression and exploration. She will discuss how multimodal writing helped her confront her vulnerability, gave her the space to reflect on the relationships cultivated during her treatment, and provided an avenue for cleansing and healing. 

We will also have a guided writing session led by Dr. Lisa Hibl, Director, Russell Scholars Program, who specializes in writing and the environmental arts. This will be a great opportunity to enhance your narrative writing skills.

The program is being offered at no cost; we can accommodate up to 40 in-person attendees and we will offer a hybrid Zoom option as well.  The program is co-sponsored by USM’s Digital Humanities initiative and 


To register click on this link:


Reflections Is Here!

The 2022 edition of Reflections has been published, in both print and electronic formats. You can pick up a print copy at OLLI on Friday, Nov. 4. It will launch officially with a Zoom session on November 17, at 11 AM. The launch will include readings by a few of the authors, along with presentations by some of the artists. Watch your email for a link!

Reflections has been around for almost as long as OLLI, starting when we were a Senior College, before we became the first OLLI.

Contributions to Reflections are “blind,” that is, nobody on the selections committee knows who submitted any of the submissions—even those by people connected with the project.

A call for submissions to Reflections 2023 will go out early next year, with a March deadline. (Please don’t send anything in until the announcement—your submission could wander away into the big inbox in

the sky.)

—The Reflections Team

The cost of OLLI's May 2023 trip to Greece may go up after Nov. 7 so be sure to sign up now!  For more information contact AAA agent Dwayne Kent at 603-436-8610

ext. 1977126

Join Us for the OLLI PopUps

Sandy Oliver has been New England’s pre-eminent food historian since she founded the open-hearth cooking program at the Mystic Seaport Museum in 1971. Her research into period recipes blossomed into magazine articles, historical society talks and Food History News, which she published for decades. She is the author of three cookbooks: Food in Colonial and Federal America, Saltwater Foodways, and Maine Home Cooking as well as an ongoing weekly food column—“Taste Buds”—for the Bangor Daily News.

Sandy lives on Islesboro where she ran a successful catering business and gave cooking classes. She is thought to be the original researcher on truly local Maine food. She can still whip up a batch of hardtack and has recipes for quince marmalade, which she says used to be quite common in our state.

Join the free OLLI Foodie PopUp on Thursday, November 10, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m., when she will be a part of the discussion about both your favorite, and unique, Thanksgiving dishes. Yes, there is cranberry sauce, but what did Maine’s Colonials really serve?

To sign up, it’s as easy as signing up for OLLI classes: Open the OLLI at USM website; register online; click returning members, click on the yellow sign in at the top of the page; select special events in left column; click on the correct date and make the appropriate selection; hit Add to cart and follow those directions all the way through to the Thank you.

Trivia Column

As the weather has gotten cooler and wetter—and sunsets have gotten earlier—it’s easier to be ready to play Trivia by 7:00 p.m. No masks required, and Zoom solves the social distancing issue. We make up answers, sometimes witty, for answers we don’t know, and we have a jolly good time. We invite you to join us!

—Faith Gmeiner

Here are some of our recent favorites:

1. What science fiction author won the 1982 Marconi award for his work in radar and communications?

2. What president worked as a professional model?

3. What author coined the term “banana republic” while living in exile in Honduras after fleeing bank fraud charges in the U.S.?

4. What did people originally use to make jack-o’-lanterns?

5. What popular 1940s band leader developed and promoted the blender?

6. Which have the better chance of running you down, alligators or crocodiles?

Trivia Answers

1. What science fiction author won the 1982 Marconi award for his work in radar and communications?

Arthur C. Clark

The Marconi Society website states that Arthur C. Clark was honored for being the first to specify in detail the potential and technical requirements for the use of geostationary satellites for global communications. In 1945, at King’s College, he published a paper outlining the principles of communication using satellites in geostationary orbits.

2. What president worked as a professional model?

Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford was named vice president in 1973, after the resignation of Spiro Agnew. He succeeded to the presidency on the resignation of Richard Nixon, becoming the only chief executive of the U.S. who had not been elected as either president or vice president.

Gerald Ford helped the University of Michigan Wolverines win national football titles in 1932 and 1933. He turned down offers from the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers to play football professionally. In spring 1938 he was admitted to Yale Law School. He also was promoted to junior varsity head football coach at Yale, and he began working as a model! Ford initially worked with the John Roberts Powell Agency; he continued modeling until 1941.

3. What author coined the term “banana republic” while living in exile in Honduras after fleeing bank fraud charges in the U.S.?

O. Henry

O. Henry, born William Sydney Porter, coined the term in a story published in Ainslee’s Magazine in 1901, and he used it again in his 1904 book Cabbages and Kings. The book described the fictional country of Anchuria in a series of stories inspired by his six months in Honduras. He called Anchuria a banana republic because it had a corrupt, unstable government, and its economy relied on bananas.

4. What did people originally use to make jack-o’-lanterns?


Sparked by a scary legend of the 1600s about Stingy Jack, people in Ireland and Scotland began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by hollowing out and carving scary faces into turnips. They put them near doors and windows to frighten away Stingy Jack and other evil wandering spirits. When they immigrated to the U.S. after the potato famine, they found pumpkins were easier

to carve.

5. What popular 1940s band leader developed and promoted the blender?

Fred Waring

Fred Waring and his chorus entertained audiences throughout the U.S. and the world for almost 70 years. Fred had been interested in gadgets as a child and studied Architectural Engineering at Penn State. As he toured, he created many devices for stage and television. In 1936, Fred Osius brought Fred Waring his prototype for an emulsifying machine, hoping Waring could figure out how to make it work. Waring recommended that it needed sealed ball bearings, a propeller-like blade, and a cloverleaf-shaped jar. He used Pennsylvanians as his guinea pigs for his creations and became the machine’s biggest promoter.

Fun fact: Dr. Jonas Salk used a special model of the Blendor to develop the polio vaccine.

6. Which have the better chance of running you down, alligators or crocodiles?

First, and good to know, all alligators are crocodiles, but not all crocodiles are alligators. They are in the same order (Crocodilia) but not the same family.

An alligator can run up to 35 mph, but only for short distances. Crocodiles aren’t as fast as alligators, but they have a size advantage. Alligators tend to be far less aggressive than crocodiles; they account for 6% of Crocodilian attacks that get reported. So the alligator could run you down most easily, but the crocodile would likely do more damage.

OLLI Wine Club

The OLLI wine club is one of the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) at OLLI. We invite all members of OLLI to join us as we learn about wines and wine making from around the world. Experienced or novice are welcome to come and taste about 4 different wines and eat a bit of food to go with them. 

Coordinator name and email: Joel Kallich, PhD; joelkallich@gmail.com

Meeting schedule: 3rd Monday of the Month

The next meeting is on Monday, November 21, 2022; from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Meeting location: for the fall and spring: The Clubhouse at Ridgewood Condominiums, 5 Applewood Lane, Falmouth, Maine 04105

Meetings for the winter months (January, February, March): Via Zoom; additional information & link provided in December

Price: This will range from $30 to $35 per person, including the wine and some food to go with it. OLLI membership ($25 per year) is required. Attendees must RSVP one week prior to the Monday required.


1.    Reservation is required, by one week before the meeting, to Joel Kallich via email (address below).

2.    “OLLI at USM Release and Assumption of Risk” must be completed before or at attendance. (For members receiving this notice by email, the form is attached).

3.    Are you up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations?

a.     Generally, you are considered up to date if you have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible.

IF NO, please do so immediately before attendance.

4.    Do you have any of the following symptoms or were exposed to someone with COVID-19?

a.     Fever or chills

b.     Cough

c.     Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

d.     Fatigue

e.     Muscle or body aches

f.      Headache

g.     New loss of taste or smell

IF YES, please take a COVID-19 self-test, and if positive do not attend.

5.     While the CDC recommends that you take a test before an indoor gathering where there will be older adults, we are not requiring this step, just recommending that you consider doing so.

6.    If you have any questions or issues, please contact Joel Kallich at joelkallich@gmail.com.

Come to the Show!

Come join the fun and watch the OLLI Senior Players putting on a show on November 4th at 3:00 p.m., in Room 133. You'll be glad you did!!


We need you to participate in the Osher NRC survey today!

Dear OLLI at University of Southern Maine members,


Periodically we like to take a demographic snapshot of the OLLI community at programs across the country and your Institute at USM has been selected to participate. The information we gather in this survey will help the administration locally and nationally understand who attends our programs and will also help with future planning. You are being invited to take the survey because you have attended programs or events at your local OLLI. Participation is entirely voluntary.


The survey is online and has 26 questions. It will take you about 10 minutes to complete. Your participation is anonymous since we are not asking for any names or identifying information. We do ask that you try to answer all questions, especially those related to demographics as it they are important variables in data analysis.


The person in charge of this research study is Steve Thaxton, the Executive Director of the Osher National Resource Center at Northwestern University. If you have questions about this survey you may contact Steve at 312-503-4049 or email address: 



The link to the survey is https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/USMMembership


Thank you for considering this opportunity. We appreciate your time and contribution,


Steve Thaxton

Executive Director

National Resource Center for Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes

Northwestern University School of Professional Studies

Wieboldt Hall

339 East Chicago Avenue

Chicago, IL 60611

Email: Steve.Thaxton@


Website: www.Osher.net

Phone: 312-503-4049

The Glickman Library is open to OLLI members!

Good news--you may now visit the Glickman Library Monday through Friday 8AM to 4PM. To enter you must have an OLLI ID card--to get one, please contact Rob Hyssong at Robert.hyssong@maine.edu

Inside Out

Looking out from inside OLLI, we can find a multitude of organizations and agencies that focus on serving and informing people like us. I’ve listed below many of these organizations and agencies after an online search. Many of us have no doubt benefited from some of them.

I should note, however, that, the organizations and agencies below are not related to OLLI or USM or sanctioned by them. Though they all seem legitimate, use them with caution. Of course, this caution applies to just about anything we find on line.

Age-Friendly Resource Guide



AARP Maine



City of Portland Elder Services



Maine Senior Citizen Resources



State of Maine Department of Health and Human Services: Area Agencies on Aging



Southern Maine Agency on Aging



Southern Maine Agency on Aging: Resources and Support



Maine Senior Guide



Maine Senior Guide: Portland Area Coalition for Elder Services (PACES)



Senior Planet (from AARP): Live Online Classes for Seniors


Additional Websites


Maine Senior College Network

Learn More
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