April 2020 Newsletter
Stimulation - Knowledge - Interaction - Fun
Given the cancellation of our Spring term and events, I thought the newsletter would be quite sparse this month. Boy, was I wrong!

First up is a letter from Linda Dunn, ASC President, followed by several digital class offerings - some by email and others using Zoom video conferencing. If you are a new Zoom user, see below for information and tips on using Zoom. We also have a link to our Hearing Assistance Survey and photos from the Schoodic Getaway. Enjoy and stay in touch - Janice
A Letter from Our President
Dear ASC Community,
We are living in challenging times. We are self isolating at home and ordering groceries online. The movie theaters and restaurants and bars are closed. Fortunately, we have been able to enjoy outdoor recreation albeit with 6 foot distancing. And the Spring semester of wonderful ASC courses, spring events, and our much-loved members' Art Show have been cancelled.
But, the leadership and instructors of ASC have your back. Ben and Dianna Emory have led the way by offering their courses via email for FREE! And Nat Fenton will offer a preview of his Fall semester course via Zoom. Carol Leonard, an ASC instructor and a Maine Master Naturalist, will be offering an online nature course, and Jack Russell will offer a very timely in depth look at the elections of 2016, 2018, and 2020. All of these courses will be also be free. Thank you to all of these ASC heroes and most especially to Janice Kenyon, our indefatigable administrator, who is making all this happen.
This year marks the 20 th Anniversary of Acadia Senior College, conceived and nurtured through its first years by Jim Clunan and many others whom we will celebrate. An anniversary committee has been working on ways to honor our founders and to celebrate our successes. This event has been scheduled for June 3, the date of our annual meeting. At this point the date is in doubt, but we will definitely celebrate at a safe and appropriate time.
So renew your membership and sign up for an online course. Stay home and enjoy!
Online Classes and Presentations
Here are some online or email offerings for our virtual Spring semester:
The Schoodic to Schoodic Ecological Corridor - Ben Emory

Emails will be sent during April
Format: PDF via email

This class, originally scheduled for this spring, will consist of four weekly written “lectures” in PDF format by email. Ben says "It is a fun, interesting topic about which to write, and I hope you will enjoy and learn from reading these missives – hopefully a welcome and enriching distraction during what may be a difficult spring."

NOTE: if you have already signed up for this class you do not need to sign up again.
Surviving THIS: from Medical Crisis to World Turmoil
Five Ways to Enhance Your Life while Helping the Earth and Her Creatures - Dianna Emory

Beginning early April
Format: PDF via email, plus one optional online Zoom session TBD

Dianna Emory is accepting additional students for her free course which has been expanded from Enhancing Senior Health to include her full self-directed course. Those who do not wish to participate in the Zoom session can still sign up to receive the PDF.

The course offers strategies for employing five pillars that enhance wellness: engagement with the natural world, visualization, volunteerism, interaction with others, and fitness of body and mind. As Dianna says "The subject matter is particularly timely, and it includes many opportunities for people to consider their own situations."

NOTE: if you have already signed up for this class you do not need to sign up again.
Civil Rights Presentations - Nat Fenton

Mondays, 10:00 a.m.
April 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4
Format: online class via Zoom

Nat is offering a series of short (one hour or less) presentations based on his Civil Rights class, which he will still offer in the Fall. The sessions will be offered using Zoom video conferencing and will be limited to the first 40 people who sign up. We will also live stream the presentations to Facebook, and record them to make them available for later viewing.

Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis, up to 40 people, and you will receive an email with your registration status.
The Firefly and Mantis World Tour - Carol Leonard

Tuesday, April 14th at 10:00 a.m.
Format: online class via Zoom

Carol Leonard, a 2019/2020 graduate of the Maine Master Naturalist Program will present her nature journal entitled "The Firefly and the Mantis World Tour", which is the result of her year-long commitment to sit in a “delimited site” for a full year observing all that went on in this circumscribed area through all four seasons. "I chose to sit on a rock—a fabulous large glacial erratic in the middle of a beaver flowage actually—once a week for a year. The MMNs call these defined observation areas “delimited sites”, but I prefer to call my perch a “mandala” as adopted by David George Haskell in his wonderful book The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature [2012]."

In this Zoom presentation, Carol will include some anecdotal stories of her findings at her mandala through the year (including insect cannibal sex), and allow time for questions and discussion. Depending on interest, Carol may offer this class again.

Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis, up to 24 people, and you will receive an email with your registration status.
Three Elections: 2016, 2018, 2020 - Jack Russell

Email to be sent in early April
Format: PDF via email

Adapted from his 2020 Visions course, also originally scheduled for this Spring and planned now for the Fall, Jack looks at the 2016 general and 2018 midterm elections, analyzes those results, gives some historical context, and then offers up his fearless predictions for November 2020. The format for this class will be a PDF version of one of his class presentations.

Class Videos on Facebook

Nat Fenton reminded me that there are a number of videos on ASC's Facebook page that might be of interest. The first several are from Nat Fenton and Michael Hasting's Prelude to the 36th America's Cup class given last fall. There is also a wonderful video of Ashley Bryan telling his own story captured during a visit to Islesford last spring.

You do not have to have a Facebook account or log in to Facebook to see them here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/acadiaseniorcollege/videos/.
Want to Offer A Class or Presentation?
Could you or someone you know offer a spring diversion for our members? How about a portion of a previous (or current) class, a slide show or video of interest to others, how-to videos, or perhaps topics from previous Food for Thought presentations, book reviews, poetry readings, art classes?

We're experimenting with this idea so the format is flexible - simply sending out something by email, a class meeting or two using Zoom, or something else (so long as it isn't in person). These Spring "classes" will be offered to ASC members free of charge. 

I am happy to help get the word out and work on any logistics like setting up Zoom sessions. Give this some thought and encourage others!
Hearing Assistance Survey
We need your help!

Acadia Senior College is gathering information on the hearing needs of our members. We are exploring various hearing assistance technologies and want to know whether you would take advantage of these devices, and which would be most useful to you.

Please take a minute to take this online survey - just 7 questions. Thank you.

Call for Fall 2020 Course Proposals
It's time to submit Fall Course Proposals

The deadline to submit course proposals for Fall 2020 is May 6th, 2020.

Zoom Tips
Zoom is a video conferencing program that allows you to meet online and see and hear other participants. It is super easy to use and these days people are using it not only for business meetings and educational purposes, but for virtual get togethers like coffee breaks, happy hours, and activities with grandkids! Here are a few useful tips:

You don't have to have a Zoom account to participate in a class or meeting.

You can participate using your computer, laptop, iPad or other tablet or even a mobile phone. Preferably the device will have a camera and a microphone (most laptops, tablets and cell phones do), but if you don't have one of those you can call in on a regular phone using the number provided, though you won't be able to see us and vice versa.

If you are participating in a meeting or class, you will receive an email with a link to the Zoom meeting. Click the link and follow any instructions.

Once connected to the meeting keep these things in mind:

  • The Mute button on the toolbar (usually at the bottom of the screen, but perhaps at the top if you are on an iPad) allows others to hear you or to mute yourself. It is best to mute yourself unless you are speaking.

  • Hold down the Space bar to temporarily un-mute yourself and talk. Release the Space bar to mute yourself again. This is much like a walkie-talkie.

  • The Camera button, next to the Mute button, turns the video on and off. This controls whether others can see you in the meeting.

  • Pay attention to the lighting and what's in the background so people have a good view of you.

  • Raise you hand to be called on so everyone doesn't talk at once.

If you need more help, call or email me.
Schoodic Getaway 2020
By Ann Caswell

photos by Ann Caswell and Donna Reis

On the 1st day of March, twenty four Acadia Senior College members and friends gathered for two days of “interaction and fun” at Schoodic Education and Research Center. SERC, the site of a former military base, is located at the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula, within the boundaries of Acadia National Park. While there, we were able to learn about the educational programs and scientific research done by Schoodic Institute professionals.

Our first activity, after a lunch of Reuben sandwiches and corn chowder, was... [ Read More]

"I Worried" by Mary Oliver

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.
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