Maine Senior College Network news & updates
August 2021
Happy August 2021

Escape the heat (or rain) and make yourself comfortable and watch two amazing videos in this month's issue! The first is a theatrical production put together by the OLLI Senior Players. Featuring skits and dramatic monologues interspersed with remakes of old ads and jingles!  

The second video is a superb lecture presented by Sunrise SC. They got to watch a live stream bounced via satellite from the ocean floor. James Rawsthorne representing NOAA, provides the absorbing talk.

The newsletter also features two opportunities for anyone interested in learning more about delivering lifelong learning classes. The first is the "OLLI Teaching Forum," designed for people who have pondered teaching a class themselves. Or, perhaps you are an instructor who wants to hone their teaching skills and pick up some presentation tips? 

And, if you are curious to see how a class can be both face-to-face and online, Augusta, SC, is launching a series of "hybrid classes." 

This newsletter has much more for you to read, so take a look at the menu below to see what the network is sharing with you this month!

Program Director
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Maine postcards by Tichnor Brothers
OLLI at USM offers the "OLLI Teaching Forum"

OLLI invites anyone interested in teaching to join this Fall class!
Course Description:

  • OLLI is running a Fall class inviting anyone interested in teaching.

  • Class title: “OLLI Teaching Forum” 3-5 pm, Tuesday afternoons

  • Date: Fall session starts September 13

  • Registration: Opens August 17 register by reaching out to OLLI at USM

  • Topic: “What is teaching really about, tips/tricks to help people get to come forward to teach.”

  • This class is Free!

  • Open to all OLLI and MSCN members!

  • Tell those friends of yours whom you know would be great instructors!

  • Do you have a subject you love? Have you thought of sharing your knowledge with others?

  • Come and find out more!

I am not a teacher but an awakener.
– Robert Frost

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Augusta Senior College:
Introducing a "hybrid class"experience!
Free Summer Lectures
The University of Maine in Augusta Senior College welcomes you to join them! Introducing a "hybrid class" experience!

Members of sister senior colleges are welcome!
No registration is required!
All of the following summer lectures are free!

LESSONS FROM AVIAN HAVEN (Hybrid class: In-Person & Zoom Link)
Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center
A citizen’s guide to helping the birds of Maine
Presenter: Laura Suomi-Lecker • Tuesday, August 10 • 1:00 – 2:30 PM

The presentation will discuss common reasons why birds are admitted to Avian Haven in Freedom and what public citizens can do to help our local birds. We’ll discuss the facilities and recent cases of Avian Haven. So far in 2021, admissions include orphaned and injured eagles, owls, hawks, loons, bitterns, herons, ducks, and many species of songbirds.

NORTHERN IRELAND AT 100 (Hybrid class: In-Person & Zoom Link)
Presenter: Elizabeth Reinsborough • Tuesday, August 17 • 1:00 – 2:30 PM

This small part of the United Kingdom came into existence in 1921. How did that happen, and why? How has it recently been affected by Brexit? The PowerPoint program will also illustrate the beauty and geography of this wee country as well as some traditions.

FAMILY TROUBLE - (Hybrid class: In-Person & Zoom Link)
Presenter: Mike Bell • Tuesday, August 24 • 1:00 – 2:30 PM

When Tennessee farmer Loyd Ford died in 1843, none of his children knew that the reading of his will would eventually necessitate the involvement of the state Supreme Court to get things settled. Antebellum Justice, indeed!

THE MAKING OF A JAZZ STANDARD - (Hybrid class: In-Person & Zoom Link)
Presenter: Frank Johnson • Tuesday, August 31 • 1:00 – 2:30 PM

Jazz musicians have a significant repertoire of songs that have become standards. Many are from the Great American Songbook, while others are original compositions. We will examine several songs that have become jazz standards. We’ll discuss their origins, composers, and what qualities have attracted them to musicians. We’ll listen to several different versions of the songs in both instrumental and vocal forms.

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Network Video:
OLLI at USM Presents:
OLLI Senior Players - Performances on Zoom 2021

The OLLI Senior Players is a Special Interest Group that usually meets on the Portland campus. When the pandemic struck, they found themselves moving to Zoom. Camaraderie plus dedication to polishing their craft overcame all obstacles as they put this show together!

Elizabeth Guest, the group's artistic director, quickly transcended the technology and guided everyone to focus upon their acting and forget the computers and built-in cameras. The director of the OLLI Senior Players, former professional singer Cheryl Squiers, brought her warm encouragement and fantastic singing voice.

The OLLI Senior players benefited from having Richard Welsh in their troupe. Rich, comfortable with the technical aspects, assisted everyone in mastering Zoom over the ensuing months. The troupe's director, Cheryl Squiers, says of Rich, "Actually, there are times I believe he reached sainthood with all of us with our senior minds just not getting it, but we did learn it!" Rich also managed the recordings featured in this video. 

"Performances on Zoom 2021" is 1 hour 38 minutes in length. 

Warning: This video is unsuitable for children: *There is one emotionally intense scene depicting a homeless woman. Some performances contain strong language, and there is one drug reference.

Order of Performances plus all the OLLI Senior Players who participated in this project.

  • General Introduction – Elizabeth Guest           
  • House of Mirrors - Steve Squiers            
  • O'Connell's Wager – Richard Welsh & Denny Dreher                 
  • Mistress of Ceremonies - Cheryl Squiers       
  • Ads & Jingles
  • We Made It Through- Gary McCready & Susan Pickford  
  • Mortally Fine - Elizabeth Guest              
  • Schitt's Family - Denny Dreher                 
  • Ads & Jingles
  • *Can You Spare a Dime? - Cheryl Squiers              
  • Swim Team - Elizabeth Guest              
  • Charm - Anita, Steve, & Gary       
  • Ads & Jingles
  • Sylvia - Anita Jones & Sidney Lincoln                       
  • Gus's Diner - Gary McCready        
  • Macbeth Murder Mystery – Richard Welsh & Sidney Lincoln       
  • Credits            
  • Closing words and thanks from "Mistress of Ceremonies" - Cheryl Squiers      

Network Video:
Sunrise Senior College Present:
Telepresence in Ocean Exploration - with James Rawsthorne

"Telepresence in Ocean Exploration" with presenter James Rawsthorne takes you deep down below the ocean waves to the seafloor.

James manages the technology that makes it possible to watch a live stream with commentaries from NOAA scientists as they conduct their undersea research while also mapping the seafloor.

This lecture was given at Sunrise Senior College as part of their 2021 Summer Semester Series on Saturday, July 24th – via Zoom.

Additional information is available at the following links:

Fall 2021 Class Schedules

At the time of preparing this newsletter, the following senior colleges have posted class schedules for the fall.
Please click on the (blue) links below:

Note: MSC will present two Fall terms in 2021: Fall Term I (Sept 13 to Nov 5, 2021) and Fall Term II (Nov 8 to Dec 17, 2021).

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Newsletters from the network!

Acadia SC

Augusta SC

Belfast SC

Coastal SC

Midcoast SC 

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute 

Penobscot Valley SC
*Includes inspiration for other colleges: Check out "Have you been keeping Penobscot Valley Senior College a secret? It’s time to share with others!"

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Don't Miss This!
This talk is based on Anne B. Gass' new novel "We Demand: The Suffrage Road Trip." It's based on the true story of an epic cross-country road trip for the suffrage cause that took place in 1915. 

We Demand: The Suffrage Road Trip
Book Talk with Anne Gass
Aug 18th, 2021
Wed from 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Sign Up Now! There are still seats available!

“Choose Me”
by Tess Gerritsen and Gary Braver
Published by Thomas & Mercer
Pages 334 Price hardcover $24.95 Paperback $15.95

Reviewed by Pat Davidson Reef

Tess Gerritsen's new novel “Choose Me,” published July 1, 2021, is riveting. Gerritsen lives in Camden, Maine, and is known nationally for her Rizzoli and Isles mystery books series, adapted into a national T.V. series. She has written 24 novels and is a retired doctor in real life. In fact, in her mysteries, you will find many medical terms. Her style is crisp, clear, and keeps you wondering on every page. Gerritsen's book is a perfect vacation book to take you far away from too much rain this summer in Maine, not to mention other anxieties like the constant reporting of statistics regarding the pandemic, which we are all still struggling with this summer. 

In the book “Choose Me,” Gerritsen and Braver create characters who take place in an academic environment. A married college professor who teaches Greek Tragedy has an affair with a beautiful and brainy student, Taryn Moore. The student will not let go of the relationship. She is found dead below a balcony of her apartment. At first, the police think it was a suicide, but a woman detective, Frankie Loomis, thinks differently.

The search for the killer is the spellbinding journey in the book. It might seem obvious that it must have been the professor who killed her because he had the most to lose in this situation, i.e., his job, marriage, and reputation, but he was not the killer. If you want to see who was responsible for Taryn’s death, you will have to read this terrific book.

This is the sparking book of the summer with unexpected twists and turns on every page by a Maine author. Recently interviewed in the New York Times (7/18/21), Gerritsen said, “I love psychological suspense novels in England, historical novels, and stories where science plays an integral part of the plot. The only subject I avoid is sports. I have no interest in it.” She also said, “I wish there were more books with older heroines; clever, courageous, women in their 60’s and 70’s and beyond. Women that age have collected a lifetimes’ worth of wisdom, but too often, they are treated as invisible and irrelevant in real life as well as in fiction. I want them to be in the center of the stories, not on the periphery.

In a Webinar sponsored by the Portland Public Library on July 15, 2021, Gerritsen said she would not write another story with another author because it took twice as long. Braver, a college professor who has written eight other mysteries on his own (and who helped write this book with her), just smiled as she spoke at the Webinar. 

Gerritsen continued, stating that she was thinking of writing her next mystery novel about the C.I.A. She mentioned that after living in Camden for many years, she discovered many retired C.I.A. members living in the area. 
Gerritsen’s stories are filled with interesting psychological drama, with fast action on every page with unusual twists that you do not expect. I recommend her new book, “Choose Me,” highly for summer reading.

Nominate a Volunteer for the AARP Maine's 2021 Andrus Award!
Last year, OLLI at USM's very own Star Pelsue received this award in recognition of her community service in Portland.

AARP Maine is seeking nominations for its 2021 AARP Andrus Award for Community Service, which honors those individuals who are sharing their experience, talent, and skills to enrich the lives of their community members. The annual award is named after AARP’s founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, who founded AARP in 1958 at the age of 73.

Here is your chance to nominate a Volunteer for this year's AARP Maine Andrus Award! - Deadline for nomination is August 15, 2021. 

The AARP Maine Andrus Award for Community Service is an annual awards program developed to honor individuals whose service is a unique and valuable contribution to society.

Click here for nomination forms and further information. 

AARP Andrus Award for Community Service nominees must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Nominees must be 50 or older, but do not need to be a member of AARP;
  • The achievements, accomplishments, or service on which nominations are based must have been performed on a volunteer basis, without pay;
  • The achievements, accomplishments, or service on which the nominations are based must reflect AARP's vision and mission;
  • Couples or partners who perform service together are eligible; however, teams are not;
  • The recipient must live in the awarding state; and
  • This is not a posthumous award.

The Maine Senior College Network is a program of the