Maine Senior College Network news & updates
March | 2021
Welcome to the March 2021 Issue!

Spring and thank yous are in the air. See the great list of online classes and lectures that are being offered all around the state. Keep your eye on the MSCN "What's Happening?" web page for notifications about classes opening up to all members of the senior college network. Please join me in thanking all the hardworking folk who make all these senior college classes possible. Thank you to staff, volunteers, boards, instructors, and Zoom tech supports!

And a special thank you to Pat Davidson Reef for the book reviews that she sends to me every month. Many readers appreciate how these thoughtful reviews steer them to their next jolly good read!

May you receive your second COVID vaccine soon!

Best wishes,

Program Director

Catch the last of the YCSC Gary Sullivan Lectures!
“Small Town Journalism Today”
Zoom Presentation "Small Town Journalism Today" with Shawn Sullivan

March 17th 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Presenter Shawn Sullivan, York County Coast Star, is a journalist, columnist, author, and podcast host. He will provide a view of small-town journalism. Shawn is the son of Gary Sullivan, whom this lecture series memorializes.

How to register

Send an email to York County Senior College with your name and email address. An email invite link to the program will be sent to you as the respective day approaches. 

USM Lewiston-Auburn Senior College presents :

Should We Be Worried about the Lakes of Maine?

LASC is proud to host Roberta Hill for a Food for Thought program on:

Tuesday, March 23 at 4:00 PM.

How are our lakes affected by climate change?
Roberta is an aquatic ecologist and environmental educator. She has been active in the field of lake protection and community outreach in Maine for over twenty years, leading community-based projects that have ranged from watershed surveys to non-point source remediation, to invasive aquatic plant monitoring. She has also been instrumental in the creation and development of some of Maine’s most successful and long-standing lake education programs. Currently the Invasive Species Program Director for Lake Stewards of Maine, Roberta is the originator and coordinator of LSM’s Invasive Plant Patrol (IPP) program. This program is well known nationally and internationally as a model for citizen-based early detection. Roberta is also the principal author of the Maine Field Guide to Invasive Aquatic Plants and co-author of Citizens’ Guide to Invasive Aquatic Plant Management.

But, over and above the challenge of invasive species, there are many changes in watersheds affecting water quality, species of fish, the presence of algae, etc. that are caused by air and water temperatures change.

Come, listen, and learn!

To sign up for a link to Roberta’s presentation via Zoom send an email to LASC by noon on Monday, March 22. Mention your name and the name of the program you wish to see.

This talk is free and open to the public.

Links to MSCN Spring 2021 Classes!

Acadia SC 

Augusta SC

Belfast SC

Coastal SC

Gold LEAF Institute 

Lewiston-Auburn SC 

Midcoast SC 

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute 

Penobscot Valley SC 


South Coast SC

St. John Valley SC

Sunrise SC

York County SC 

OLLI Presents:
SAGE 2021 Spring Lecture Series

SAGE at USM OLLI is an eight-week lecture series, held each fall and spring, exploring new dimensions in the arts, sciences, history, culture, business, recreation, and current events. Lectures are presented by experts in their fields.

March 16
FIRE — Our Past, Present, and Future — How We Can Adapt and Learn to Live WITH Fire and Smoke

Kelly Martin: Retired Chief of Fire and Aviation for Yosemite National Park and the National Park Service.
Kelly will discuss her up close and personal experiences with forest fires as well as fire behavior, causes, climate change, and steps that should be taken to manage fires.

March 23
ID Theft: How Can We Protect Ourselves?

Ed Myslik, Principal Investigator, Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection
Ed will bring his long experience with ID theft victims right here in Maine to help us be proactive in protecting ourselves and teaching us what we can do if it happens.

March 30
Role of Neurobiology in Creative Decision-making

Richard Bilodeau, Lecturer of Entrepreneurship, USM School of Business
Richard will share research and practices that enhance creativity and learning through the optimization of our neurobiology.

April 6
Shifting Landscapes in the Arctic: Observations About Climate Change from Greenland & Iceland

Dr. Firooza Pavri, Director of Muskie School for Public Service, Professor of Geography, USM
Firooza will discuss recent environmental and societal shifts in Iceland and Greenland as well as the implications of climate trends for the region’s future.

April 13
Right Principles for Maine Climate Crisis Mitigation Decisions

Anthony W. Buxton, Chair, Energy & Utilities Practice Group, Preti Flaherty
Tony will discuss how a democracy such as the State of Maine might most rapidly and effectively decrease carbon emissions.

April 20
The Benefits of Music Education

Dr. Jean Murachanian, Executive Director, Portland Conservatory of Music
Jean will talk about how Portland Conservatory of Music, now in its 24th season, engages 300+ students of
all ages and abilities.

April 27
The Science of Vaccines: Learning from the Past to Protect our Future

Stephen Pelsue, Science Director, BBI Solutions
Stephen will examine the history of vaccines and the advances that have built the foundation for those currently being used to fight COVID-19.

May 4 |
New Challenges and New Opportunities at the Portland Symphony Orchestra

Carolyn Nishon, Executive Director and
Eckart Preu, Artistic Director, Portland Symphony Orchestra
This presentation will focus on the work that the PSO has done to adapt to COVID-19 challenges and what lies in store for the organization as it looks to its 100th season and beyond.

The cost for each individual lecture is $10.
OLLI Membership is not required for individual lectures; however, you must register four days in advance to receive an access link.

How to sign up for OLLI SAGE lectures:
If you are interested in joining a lecture please send an email message to OLLI.

Landslide by Susan Conley
Published by Alfred Knopf 2021
Pages 263 Price $26.95
Reviewed by Pat Davidson Reef

This new and moving novel, “Landslide” by Maine author, Susan Conley, is an interior dialogue of a woman named Jill who lives on the coast of Maine. The book describes her search for a relationship with her two adolescent sons, Sam and Charlie. Jill’s husband Kit, an independent, rugged individualist type of fisherman, is recovering from an explosion in a tragic accident on his boat off the coast of the Georges Bank near Nova Scotia. As the story opens, her husband is in a hospital in Nova Scotia, five hours from where they live, on a fictional island.

The author paints a picture in words of isolated island life during contemporary times of a woman bringing up two teenagers on a limited budget by herself because her husband is dangerously ill in a hospital far away.

Jill bravely tries to develop a dialogue with the boys, who she secretly inwardly calls “the wolves.” She tries to keep them in school, not smoking pot, and deals with their constant swear words, a minor issue, as a single mother, with an absent husband.

Part One is titled “How to Talk to the Wolves.” Sam is 16 and gangly. He wants to be a basketball player but would settle on being a rock musician. His hair is the color of straw and hangs below his ears. The author says, “Charlie is 17 and our moral police. He is seventeen going on something like thirty-five. He believes sports are a hoax and is more interested in his girlfriend Lucy.” Discussions with her sons in the car during the five-hour drive to visit Kit in the hospital are moving. Tension as well as humor bringing insight emerges.

Kit survives but will never be able to fish for a living again. Adjustments have to be made, not only with the children but with Kit’s injuries and his acceptance of the new limitations in his life after the accident. Another complication arrives with the appearance of a third woman that apparently has become very close to Kit during his illness in the hospital.

The humanity of a woman’s struggle to keep her feet on the ground and protect her young children while allowing them to grow up and be independent yet be accountable for their actions is a struggle all mothers go through, whether on the coast of Maine or anywhere.

The tension and beauty of living on the coast of Maine and the hardships that Jill faces as the wife of an independent fisherman who loves the sea and makes a living from it, versus the big corporate fishing industry now entering Maine is a subtle underlying but important issue which faces Jill and Kit and their family. The realistic dialogue between the boys and the inner thoughts of their mother make this book a masterpiece.

Susan Conley grew up in Maine and is the author of four other books, including a recent one, “Elsy Comes Home.” Her love of Maine is on every page.

Susan Conley’s description of island life can be compared to the classic writing of Ruth Moore over one hundred years ago with its personal glimpse of both the hardships and beauty of selecting to live on an island in Maine. I liked Conley's contemporary view, and the writing reflects the language of 2021. The novel reflects subtle inner humor and a sincere love of Maine despite many hardships. It also addresses the desire of some young people to move out of Maine. In reading the novel, you really get to know the people and the struggles to survive for both young and old. I recommend it highly.

The Maine Senior College Network is a program of the