Maine Senior College Network news & updates

July 2022

Welcome to the July newsletter

The Maine Senior College network has some great summer offerings 

to share in this month's newsletter. OLLI, Penobscot Valley, and South Coast have terrific online classes you can still sign up for if you move fast!

The free South Coast class "Be Red Cross Ready for the Unexpected!" is taught by Penny Kern, the President of SAGE in Presque Isle. Penny has been a Red Cross volunteer for over 50 years and brings a lovely sense of humor plus extensive experience to this class.

We have photographs by Thayer Fanazick of an in-person class at Acadia SC, where art meets botany. The course "Printing and Dyeing with Spring Botanicals" was led by Bonnie Chase. If you have in-person classes at your college, don't forget to take some photos and send them to the newsletter!

Sunrise SC has recorded a gripping account of maritime history presented by

Taylor Zajonc, and titled "Finding Connaught" - The Greatest Rescue in Maritime History."

We have an excellent summer book recommendation from our book reviewer Pat Reiff. "The Palace Papers" by Tina brown sounds like a perfect read for a hot summer's day under a leafy tree in New England. (Don't forget to bring a nice glass of iced tea!)

Anne Cardale

Program Director

Maine Senior College Network

Wikimedia Image:

Detail from "Fireworks"

By Henri Pierre Léon Pharamond Blanchard

Newsletter Menu

Please scroll down the page to see each article!

Penobscot-Valley Senior College Invitation

Join our Summer Extravaganza!



Summer Session Workshops


Acadia SC Class Photos:

"Printing and Dyeing with Spring Botanicals" 


Sunrise Senior College presents "Finding Connaught" - The Greatest Rescue in Maritime History." (Recording)



Virtual July Event At OLLI

OLLI Pop-Up!


South Coast SC invites you to join:

Be Red Cross Ready for the Unexpected! with Penny Kern


Book Review

by Pat Davidson Reef:

The Palace Papers

by Tina Brown

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Penobscot-Valley Senior College Invitation

Join our Summer Extravaganza!

Last year's Summer Extravaganza at Penobscot Valley Senior College was a hit, so once again, PVSC is offering you a tremendous opportunity to learn about various topics throughout the summer months, all for the price of a single course!

Most of our presentations will be on Zoom in the late afternoon, but if you happen to be away on a particular day, you can always watch the recorded video; we will email the recording link to registered members after each presentation.  

Please see the list of presenters and topics we have lined up for your summer pleasure. Just click on the link below to open our flyer! Note that we also have a couple of in-person events (if you are in the area) that you can choose to attend, and we ask that you register for these individually.

Download PVSC Summer Extravaganza Flyer (PDF)

Members of Maine's Senior Colleges are welcome to join us!

  • Members of Maine Senior Colleges may email Sheila to confirm their current Senior College membership affiliation. Once PVSC has adjusted its membership fees, you can register online.
  • Alternatively, you can also mail in the $30.00 fee to take the entire course.

Penobscot Valley SC

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Colorful Zebras by Gal Yosef

Osher lifelong learning institute

OLLI Invites you to join their Summer Session Workshops

July 5

The Films of John Ford — Part 3 (The 50s)

Dewayn Marzagalli

Zoom Workshop.

TUE, 7/5 • 9:30 – 11:30 A.M. • $15

Description: In Part 3 of this 4-part series, we will watch excerpts of the films of John Ford, arguably, one of the best directors ever. We will review and discuss his incredible filmmaking genius. Part 3 will be devoted to his fourth and final academy award for best director: The Quiet Man. We will also watch excerpts from other movies from the 50s such as The Last Hurrah, The Horse Soldiers, and The Searchers. Workshop format will include online discussion and film.

Instructor: DeWayn Marzagalli was born in New York City; he married his childhood sweetheart; served in the U.S. Navy and was employed as a Federal Agent for over 25 years. Retired, he devotes his time to volunteering for his church, at the Maine Medical Center, and with OLLI.


July 5

Tax Planning in Retirement

Derek Tharp 

Zoom Workshop.

TUE, 7/5 • 9:30 – 11:30 A.M. • $15

Description: This workshop will cover key considerations for planning for taxes in retirement. We will cover topics such as how various types of income are taxed in retirement, how to avoid Social Security and Medicare tax traps, how to take distributions from retirement accounts in a tax-efficient manner, and charitable giving in retirement. We will consider tax planning strategies from the perspectives of both those who are already in retirement and those who are still working toward retirement. Repeat workshop. Workshop format will include online lectures.


July 12

Retirement Income Planning

Derek Tharp 

Zoom Workshop.

TUE, 7/12 • 9:30 – 11:30 A.M. • $15

Description: This workshop will cover key considerations for generating a sustainable income in retirement. We will cover topics such as how to coordinate Social Security with other retirement income sources, how to coordinate distributions from different types of retirement accounts in a tax-efficient manner, why navigating the 10 years before and after retirement are so crucial to retirement income planning, and how to put together your own dynamic retirement spending strategy. Repeat workshop. Workshop format will include online lectures.


July 19

Social Security Planning

Derek Tharp 

Zoom Workshop.

TUE, 7/19 • 9:30 – 11:30 A.M. • $15

Description: This workshop will cover key considerations for how to get the most from your Social Security benefit. We will cover topics such as the long-term health of the Social Security program, how to figure out how much you can expect to receive in retirement, when you should apply for Social Security benefits, how to coordinate claiming strategies with a spouse, ways to minimize taxes on Social Security benefits, and other important considerations for maximizing your Social Security benefit. Repeat workshop. Workshop format will include online lectures.

Instructor: Derek Tharp, PhD, CFP,® CLU,® RICP,® is a finance professor at USM. Derek is the founder of Conscious Capital, Inc, a Maine-registered investment advisor. He blogs regularly at the Wall Street Journal’s Experts Blog, and he has been quoted in publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.


July 19

As, Bs, Cs, and Ds of Medicare

Barbara Hopkins

Zoom Workshop.

TUE, 7/19 • 9:30 A.M – 3:30 P.M. • $25

Description: Medicare is the US Health program begun in 1965 to cover people beginning at age 65. This workshop helps people understand enrollment timetables, enrollment procedures, Medicare Products, the Part D prescription drug program, and strategies needed to choose an appropriate plan. Students are encouraged to ask questions throughout class. Repeat workshop. Workshop format will include online lectures and discussions.

Instructor: Barbara Hopkins has over 28 years of experience in the health insurance field and has been a licensed agent since 2006. She has taught people about Medicare since 2007 for Adult Education programs throughout Maine. She holds a master’s degree in Communication Management and Professional Certificate in Instructional Design.


(3 Sessions) July 5, 12, and 19

Civic Education on Trump and the American Presidency

Paul Macek

Zoom Workshop.

TUE, 7/5, 7/12, & 7/19 • 9:30 – 11:30 A.M. • $25

Description: With misinformation at an Orwellian high, we have reached a time in the life of our nation when certain historic ideas have to be clarified. This workshop attempts clarify and explore the most important questions in American society in the context of the Trump presidency. What is the future of the electoral process in American democracy? Is it possible to have “freedom of conscience, of education, of speech, of assembly,” if you have no freedom of the press? Other topics include education, immigration, income inequality, racism, women’s rights, and guns. The instructor welcomes a diversity of political thought. Workshop format will include online lectures and discussions.

SUGGESTED BOOK: The Fall of the House of Trump, Paul Macek, ISBN 9780967047348

Instructor: Paul Macek has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in history and English. He taught US History and American Literature at the high school level for over 25 years and worked as a proofreader and copyeditor for 30 years. He is the author of seven books, most recently, The Fall of the House of Trump.

To Register

Please complete our Registration Form and email it to the OLLI office.

Be sure to:

  • Mention the name of the senior college you are associated with.
  • Select alternate courses and/or workshops as we cannot guarantee your desired course will have open seats when MSCN registration begins.

Email the OLLI office or call 207-780-4406 if you have any questions


Acadia SC Class Photos:

"Printing and Dyeing with Spring Botanicals" 

Class Instructor Bonnie Chase 

Photos by Thayer Fanazick

Acadia Senior College

Sunrise Senior College presents:

"Finding Connaught" - The Greatest Rescue in Maritime History." 

 Watch this fascinating recording!

Join maritime historian, Taylor Zajonc, as he tells the exciting story of the SS Connaught and its recent discovery.

Click here to go to the recording!

Sunrise Senior College

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute presents:

OLLI Pop-Up!


Free and open to MSCN members!

- Upcoming Zoom Event! -

Together, we will listen to the podcast "Less Incarceration, Less Crime" and then discuss our thoughts on the topic.

States are finding new ways to get smart on crime and, in the process, changing how America views crime and punishment. After decades of rising prison populations, reforms in 33 states have helped cut the national incarceration rate by 13 percent since 2007. That data point drives this episode's conversation about the new approaches, informed by research-based sentencing and corrections policies, that are slowing prison growth and helping communities become safer.

Online Event | FREE | Registration closes July 17th.

OLLI Pop-Up Registration

Sign in first, then browse.

  1. When you are ready to register, sign in, then look for "Special Events."
  2. Click the date, not the title.
  3. When you find the pop-up you want to register for, click on the date below the title (not on the title itself).
  4. Now scroll down to find the "Add to the Cart" button.

Contact OLLI if you need assistance.

  • OLLI Office Hours: Monday - Friday. 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Phone: 207-780-4406.  
  • E-mail: OLLI at USM
  • Provide the following information:
  • Name of your senior college
  • Name of the virtual event you want to attend.

OLLI at USM Website

South Coast Senior College invites you to join:

Be Red Cross Ready for the Unexpected!

with Penny Kern

Aug 16, 2022, at 9:30 -11:00 am, runs for 3 weeks


Click here to register!

Be Red Cross Ready for the Unexpected

Emergencies and disasters can strike quickly and without warning and can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or be confined to your home. What would you do if your basic services—water, gas, electricity, or communications— were cut off? Learn how to protect yourself and cope with disaster by planning ahead. Even if you have physical limitations, you can still protect and prepare yourself.

Instructor Penny Kern:

Penny has been a Red Cross volunteer for over 50 years, volunteering in various positions and programs. Currently, she is a Licensed Training Provider offering First Aid/CPR classes and Preparedness programs to the community.

South Coast Senior College

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Cossack fairy tales and folk tales (1902)

The Palace Papers

by Tina Brown

Crown Publishing,New York 2022

Pages 578 Price $35.00

Reviewed by Pat Davidson Reef

The book “The Palace Papers,” by Tina Brown, is a lightning rod into the life of the royal family of England. It is fascinating but extremely sad. However, written with sharp humor, accurate facts, and mature insight, it is a lively view of the contemporary English aristocracy.

Tina Brown is an outstanding editor and writer who revived Vanity Fair magazine and put new life into The New Yorker. She also created “The Daily Beast,” a digital newsletter, and is a respected journalist who has written about the royal family in the past in a book titled “The Diana Chronicles.” 

What makes this book different from other books on the royal family? The writing is well done with crisp English humor, political insight, and compassion for all the characters in this family saga, making you laugh and cry at the same time. There are 31 pages of footnotes in an appendix supporting the author’s statements with quotes, time and place of facts, and more than 20 beautiful color photographs that lift the book with a unique warmth.

This book is not just another gossipy book about the royal family. It is written with compassion and a deep understanding of English life and culture.

Prince Charles and Diana were abandoned (in a sense) in their childhoods; both were brought up by nannies and sent away to private schools, a cultural tradition of the English aristocracy.  

One day, the possibility of being king placed expectations of perfection on Prince Charles. Cruel peers at school bullied him. As an adult, he was pressured into getting married to produce an heir to the throne. The throne was his first responsibility. His personal life came second.

Diana was sweet and fun-loving but too young for Charles, who had Camilla in the wings. Diana did adore Charles but found out about Camilla just before her wedding day. Her sisters pushed her to go through with the wedding because the nation was waiting for a bride, and the country had made massive plans for a national wedding. So Diana hoped Charles would fall in love with her after she had children.

Bit, when they had children, they fought about bringing their children up. Charles had been brought up strictly, and intimate family life was new to him. The complication of having a mistress did not help. However, in reaction to feeling rejected, Diana had affairs too. It was a human circus.

Queen Elizabeth II had her hands full, bringing up her royal family! She did the best she could but was always in the eyes of the public. She was torn between two roles: “The Queen of her country role” and “The Grandmother of her family role.” As Queen, she had responsibilities every day. It was like being a CEO of a major international company with little time to give her family. In her role as grandmother, she gave them forgiveness and unconditional love, but she could not replace what they lost in their youth through nannies and private schools.

Queen Elizabeth did what she could with the children, but the country came first. She had many disappointments but dealt with them in silence.

Her son Andrew bungled into one thing after another. She could not control her son Charles and his ongoing relationship with Camilla while married to Diana. No one could control Diana.

There has always been a double standard for men and women regarding affairs. It still exists to a certain degree, even with the women’s rights movement we see in America. Charles, as a man, seemed to get away with it, but Diana, doing the same thing after feeling rejected, was condemned for it.

The most challenging situation came after the beautiful wedding the crown gave Harry and Meghan; the couple was unhappy. As members of the Monarchy, official responsibilities were required and carefully scheduled with security provisions. A lack of independence and privacy invaded their lives. Their decision to leave was inevitable when they realized they lived in a bubble with strict boundaries and were no longer in charge of their own lives.

The author states, “The Sussexes’ decision to get out of Dodge had much in common with America’s exit from Afghanistan, a necessary end with maximum chaos.” 

Queen Elizabeth, at 96, has kept her dignity and her promise to serve her nation all her life. The author quoted Queen Elizabeth when she said, aged 28, in 1957, in her first televised address to the nation, “I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice, but I can do something else; I can give you my heart and devotion to these old islands and all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations.” 

She deserves deep respect as that is precisely what she has done for 70 years. Tina Brown wrote the book before the Queen’s 96th birthday celebration this June, but it gives excellent insight into the Queen, who has remained a sturdy symbol of strength for her country for seven decades.

Brown brings laughter, dignity, and tears as she writes respectfully of the real-life saga of the British royals. The book is worth reading; I loved it and recommend it highly.

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