Maine Senior College Network news & updates
February 2022
Welcome to the February newsletter

The February newsletter has some great information from the network. Read on to see sign-up opportunities for spring offerings across the state. Over the coming days, more colleges will be inviting you to join their classes. Keep an eye on the MSCN "What's Happening?" page for breaking news about courses and upcoming lecture sessions.

This month's newsletter also introduces you to the MSCN Climate Change Conversations. 

We also have a book review from Pat Reiff, who has selected a tribute to Betty White, guaranteed to make you want to watch the Golden Girls again.

Program Director
Wikimedia Image:
Penrhyn Stanlaws

MSCN Climate Change Conversations
The Maine Senior College Network is launching an initiative called Climate Change Conversations. Colleges across the network will be offering talks and classes that touch upon different aspects of climate change. We will look at how it affects us personally, as Mainers, Americans, and world citizens.

The MSCN What's Happening? page on the MSCN website will add the image above to flag offerings that contribute to this ongoing conversation.

The little bird in the graphic is reminiscent of vulnerable birds such as the Piping Plover found on Maine's beaches. And, there is some good news to share regarding this tiny bird with very busy legs. Take a look at Channel 13's short news item for more information "Piping plovers have record year in Maine." (September 15th, 2021)

So, stay tuned for some thoughtful presentations from the colleges. The scale of climate change feels overwhelming, but there are many actions we can take, even if it is only to watch where we are walking on Maine's beautiful beaches.

Spring is coming to Sunrise Senior College and that means new courses for you to attend.
It’s Time to sign up!

The days are getting longer. The Olympics are underway and Sunrise Senior College is launching its Spring course lineup!

We have eight exciting offerings with seven of them being on Zoom. Here is just a sampling:

Note - (Blue links connect you to more information!)
Ever wanted to take a class in Ancient Greek Drama? Why not join Dr. Gerard NeCastro as he explores this fascinating subject.
How about taking a fascinating science class in BIOETHICS II with Dr. Eric Jones?
Why not join the Maine Audubon in a delightful discussion about Maine Shorebird Habitats.

We have two classes on Maine History:
When Maine Went Dry: “THE MAINE TEMPERANCE LAW OF 1852” with Dr. Jim Oberly.

Perhaps explore Ancient Rome with JULIO-CLAUDIANS OF ROME: Keeping It All In The Family” with Dr. Thiela Schnaufer

Explore these and the other wonderful courses being offered this spring at the SSC Website and sign up today!

Unsplash Artwork provided by Birmingham Museums Trust

MSCN Spring 2022 Classes
Information about Spring 2022 classes.

Visit the MSCN website for more information.
The MSCN Course Catalogs page is updated as class information becomes available.

Senior College Class catalogs that are available at the time of posting this newsletter. More catalogs coming soon!

Acadia SC 
Augusta SC 

Gold LEAF Institute 
Midcoast SC 

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)

South Coast


Western Mountains SC

Wikimedia Image:

Acadia SC - Food for Thought

 Climate to Thrive: Working Together to Achieve Energy Independence
March 11, 2022
12:00 Noon
Virtual presentation via Zoom
A Climate to Thrive (ACTT) was founded in 2015 with the goal of bringing together Mount Desert Island residents, businesses, and towns to achieve energy independence by 2030 and make MDI an inspiring epicenter of citizen engagement, sustainability, and economic vitality. Over the past six years, ACTT has realized substantial impact, including a fivefold increase in solar generation on MDI, establishing an electric vehicle (EV) charging corridor throughout Eastern Maine, supporting MDI high school in building rooftop solar to generate all school energy needs, assisting over 70 local hospitality businesses in reducing single-use plastics, and impactful internship and educational programs.

Founding member and current Interim Executive Director Johannah Blackman (photo above) and ACTT intern Alifair Durand McDonnell will speak about ACTT's work and plans for the future while highlighting the specific benefits of community-based, solutions-focused climate action and why that type of action is more important now than ever before.

Johannah Blackman brings together over a decade of experience in nonprofit management, over twelve years of experience in climate action, and a background in education, youth mentorship, and counseling psychology. Johannah’s particular passion is helping anyone and everyone discover their unique contribution to the building climate justice solutions movement. She is an avid writer, explorer, and mother.

This event is free and open to everyone.

You will receive the Zoom link the day before the presentation.

network newsletter
Other News

An invitation from  the University of Southern Maine's Professional Development Programs

Seven free courses in Personal Enrichment 
The following free courses are offered by USM's self-paced learning partner MindEdge.

Click on the links below to go directly to the MindEdge enrollment website

Courtesy of Wikimedia

Betty White: 100 Remarkable Moments in an Extraordinary Life by Ray Richmond
Published by Quarto Publishing Group 2021
Pages 256
Price $35.00

Reviewed by Pat Davidson Reef

A star who made the world a little brighter for us all died 17 days before her 100 birthday. The new large photography book with excellent and extensive research titled "Betty White:100 Remarkable Moments in an Extraordinary Life", by Ray Richmond, an award-winning journalist, with a foreword by Gaven McLead. The book covers an Age; a historical period of creativity in the entertainment world in America. Betty White was a comedian and actress who starred in many films and was a featured guest on a variety of game shows. She was a great comedian who also starred in several serious dramas. Her most memorable role was Rose Nyland in the T.V. sitcom "The Golden Girls."

Many of you might still see "The Golden Girls" on late night T.V. in reruns, and laugh at the simple but sharp humor in the dialogue. The four colorful women (all senior citizens) are living together, solving everyday problems with wisdom, sarcasm, and humor. Their shared humanity touches us all today in 2022, even though the series was written in the 1980s.

Betty White, who died at 99, on December 31, 2021, was once asked at 88 how did you survive professionally in the entertainment world over so many years? White said, "Funny never gets old. People need to laugh." That statement had truth, wisdom, and a dash of humility in it. Not all jokes are timeless, but Betty White's humor was timeless because she knew how to wait for a laugh and deliver a punch line.

  Before she hit her teens, she was writing, directing, and starring in her own productions at Horace Mann Beverly High School. Someone saw her at her high school graduation and invited her to perform on a test program involving the first explorations of popular television. Betty said," yes," and never betrayed a shred of anxiety despite never having performed professionally on T.V. She was unafraid of the unknown.

Betty was two years out of high school when Japan bombed Pearl harbor in 1941. She enlisted immediately in the Women's Voluntary Services, known as the AWVS, drove a truck, sold war bonds, and delivered messages. Struggling to get into show business, she took many bit parts and worked at a local T.V. station in Los Angeles during the 1950s. In 1954 Betty White created a daytime interview program. She became a good reporter, asked good questions, and always had intelligent, tactful, and quick-witted responses. She once was voted the Honorary Mayor of Hollywood (an unpaid position), reflecting goodwill, diplomacy, and talent. Other recipients included Art Linkletter and Steve Allen.

White had a small but significant part in the 1962 film titled "Advise and Consent." She portrayed a woman senator who dared to stand alone and question McCarthy for facts rather than opinions. This role showed that she was a capable actress and could perform a serious part. It was a small but important role because there was only one woman in the Senate at that time, and she stood alone against McCarthyism.

After several failed marriages, Betty married Allen Ludden in 1963, a handsome television Game host in Las Vegas. He was the great love of her life, and they were happily married for 18 years until he died of cancer in 1981.

Betty won many Emmy Awards and was honored in 1976 as a trailblazer for women in the media. She made the part of Sue Ann in the Mary Tyler Moore series a memorable event. Yet it was in the 1980s that Betty won her greatest recognition playing a woman of innocence and naiveté who chats endlessly in a sitcom titled "The Golden Girls." Here she portrayed a woman with humor who eventually became aware of the truth about life, with a smile and wisdom.

White said, "As an actor, you get so many bad scripts, but when I read the pilot script for "The Golden Girls," I got up and took notice. It was different from anything I had gotten, and it was all because of the wonderful writing."

The success of "The Golden Girls" series is due to the excellent writing and fast dialogue. Yet, the acting is outstanding with Betty White, Beatrice Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty. All the characters in "The Golden Girls "are believable and reflect strong personalities. I like to remember Betty White as a "Golden Girl," a senior citizen who always remained young in spirit because of her flexibility, tremendous curiosity, and outstanding sense of humor. 

In conclusion, the book has an extensive chronological filmography in the back listing all her television programs, awards and game shows that she was invited to participate in over the years. At 88 she hosted the "Saturday Night Live" T.V. program. Betty White was a timeless wonder and a national treasure who loved animals. Many people honored Betty White by donating to animal shelters across the nation in her memory on January 17 (which would have been her 100th birthday.) The full-page photographs in the book are outstanding, both of her professional life and personal life. The quality of paper and large print and the sturdy library binding cover with the photograph of Betty White smiling make this book a masterpiece combining research and creativity. I recommend it highly.

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