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

Listed below you will see some of the activities taking place at Maine's senior colleges this month plus invitations to join them all! Senior college events are time-sensitive, so note the dates and prepare to register! 

You will also find a fascinating research report. This AARP report examines what motivates lifelong learners. (Thought-provoking reading for senior college board members.)

And don't miss the USM Digital Commons virtual exhibition "We Exist: The Black Church, Maine’s Black residents, and the wider community." The exhibit centers on Black families and individuals in Maine and seeks to tell their stories. 

View the newsletter menu below to see all of this month's offerings!

Program Director
Wikimedia Image:

Lewiston-Auburn Senior College presents

Food for Thought
So, what is “Healthy Living for ME”?
Wednesday, May 18 at 10:00 am
We all aspire to healthy living, but many need some help to get there. Katherine Mills, the Program Coordinator for Healthy Living for ME, is the next Lewiston Auburn Senior College Food for Thought speaker. She will explain how this agency provides programs to help adults manage chronic health conditions, prevent falls, and foster well-being. If you are coping with high blood pressure, heart disease, COPD, arthritis, diabetes, or other chronic conditions, Healthy Living for ME can support your efforts to live life as fully and independently as possible.

Katherine grew up in an aging rural community with health disparities, so she has always been motivated to help others improve their quality of life and provide underserved areas with access to health services. Her love for community involvement stems from her experience opening and managing a local business at16. She has a BA in Public Health with a focus on community health. That training led to a professional career working with the non-profit Girls Inc. She has also worked in pediatric outpatient care, all of which have helped her uncover a passion for working with vulnerable populations.

Join us Wednesday, May 18 at 10:00 a.m. for a free and fascinating Zoom presentation!

To attend, send an email to Lewiston-Auburn SC by noon on May 17. Mention "Healthy Living for ME!"

Artwork by Judy Hierstein

Acadia Senior College

Coffee Clash at Acadia - Open to all!
Acadia Coffee Clash
May 13 - 9:00 a.m.
Online discussion

Former State Senator and current State Senate Candidate Brian Langley will share his commitments as a Republican candidate. Brian will also offer his perspectives on the desirable future of our state and county and the Republican party he believes we need to help realize those futures.

Brian Langley is a long-term resident of Ellsworth. He is the owner of the Union River Lobster Pot Restaurant in Ellsworth. For many years he was a teacher of Culinary Arts at the Hancock County Technical Center. He has served as the Treasurer of the American Culinary Federation Downeast Chapter.

From 2009 to 2011, Brian represented Ellsworth and Trenton (District 132) in the Maine House of Representatives. From 2011 to 2019, Brian represented most of Hancock County in the Maine Senate, Seat 7 to which he was elected four times.
In his State Senate service, Langley was a member of the:
  • Education and Cultural Affairs Committee (Chairman)
  • Marine Resources Committee
  • Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee
  • Taxation Committee
Brian has been nominated as the Republican candidate to stand in the June 14th Special Election for Maine State Senate Seat 7, now open following the resignation of Democrat Louie Luchini.

This event is free and open to everyone.


Wikimedia image"
York County Senior College celebrates its first
in-person activities (Fall 2021)
YCSC Beans of Egypt Maine - class participants

Above Left
YCSC Beginning Watercolor Class Fall 2021

Above Right
YCSC Open Art Group Fall 2021

Bottom Right
YCSC Open Art Group Al Pollard Fall 2021
Fall 2021 - YCSC ventures back to face-to-face classes. All participants had received their "booster" shots. Masks were removed for quick photos!
SAGE at the University of Maine in Presque Isle

Lunch & Learn
SAGE Lunch & Learn Sessions.
(The fee is $5)

Jayne Farrin has lined up presenters on various topics that will either educate, entertain, or both. Grab your lunch and sit down at your computer and join her in this amazing collection of presentations. Attend the weeks you are interested in or join us for all of them. For a list of speakers and dates, they will be presenting, see below.  

May 10        
Acadian Culture
Lise Pelletier

May 17        
Kajak! An Exhibit at Bowdoin College’s Peary -MacMillan Arctic Museum
Curator Genevieve LeMoine

May 24        
Top Ten Science Stories for 2021
Video by Curiosity Stream

SAGE/Maine Senior College membership is REQUIRED to enroll in the class for the fee of $5.
OLLI at USM May 2022 Social Events
Invites you to join their new OLLI Pop UPs!

Together, we will listen to a podcast and discuss our thoughts on the topic.
Podcast Perspectives: Invisible Women
Tue, May 17, 7:00 p.m.

Men are often the default subjects of design, which can have a significant impact on big and critical aspects of everyday life. Caroline Criado Perez is the author of Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, a book about how data from women is ignored and how this bakes in bias and discrimination in the things we design.

Please send an email to OLLI at USM
Provide the name of your senior college
Request a link for "Podcast Perspectives: Invisible Women"
Podcast Perspectives: The Loss of Local News—News Deserts
Tue, May 24, 7:00 p.m. 

Stat: 2000: More than 2,000 of the 3,143 counties in the United States have no daily local newspaper. Listen to an interview expert Penny Abernathy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who has documented the spread of news deserts across the United States.

Please send an email to OLLI at USM
Provide the name of your senior college
Request a link for "Podcast Perspectives: The Loss of Local News—News Deserts."

Downeast Institute's founder and Director of Research, Dr. Brian Beal, describes building the easternmost marine research institute and shellfish hatchery in the US and what our field research tells us about the future of the shellfish in the Gulf of Maine.

This presentation was an offering by Sunrise Senior College at the University of Maine at Machias.

Other News
AARP Research - Lifelong Learning Among 45+ Adults
A Resource for Senior College Boards!

Take a look at this fascinating AARP research project and its insights into lifelong learning for people aged 45+. The executive summary is reproduced below. For more information, click on the links after the summary. (Please note the caveats provided by the researchers regarding this study.)

Lifelong Learning: Executive summary

Lifelong learning is an estimated $5.6 billion market.
  • 75 million Americans (55%) age 45-plus are currently engaged in lifelong learning. Lifelong learners spend $75, on average, per year.

Learning is driven by a desire for personal growth, self-betterment, and a sense of control.
  • Learning allows older adults to control the narrative of their lifelong journey, often to correct their paths, get back on track, or break out of societal expectations of what their journeys “should” look like.
  • In particular, learning provides older adults a sense of control over their well-being (e.g., staying mentally sharp) and a type of symbolic power (capital) that can then be exchanged for economic and/or social benefits.

Learning is personally important.
  • 64% of adults 45-plus consider lifelong learning to be personally important.
  • 42% identify themselves personally as a lifelong learner.

Cognitive health is a key driver of engaging in lifelong learning.
  • 83% agree that it is vitally important to keep your brain active.
  • 54% are motivated by staying mentally sharp and/or promoting brain health.

Cost, lack of time, and ageism are primary barriers to lifelong learning.
  • Cost (26%), a lack of time (17%), and fear of ageism (16%) are top barriers.
  • According to experts, ageism is often internalized, resulting in a negative self-view (“I’m getting old”), which impacts attitudes to learning.

Self-directed and experiential learning are most desired.
  • 76% learn best by reading on their own.
  • The majority (71%) choose to read or gather information by themselves and then find opportunities to apply what they have learned in real life.
  • The majority go online (particularly on YouTube) to acquire new knowledge (72%), learn a new technology (66%), and develop new skills (63%).
  • The topics of most interest are history, food and drink, mental health, basic technology, and diet and nutrition.

Learners show high engagement with learning about technology and passion projects.
  • 24% are currently learning to use new technology, while 24% are pursuing “something I am passionate about.”
  • Learning a new technology is the top area of interest for those who are not actively learning something as 32% plan to learn a new technology in the future. 

Research Caveats
  • Online: Research was conducted online; thus, sampling does not represent those with Internet accessibility issues.
  • Acculturated: Since the survey was conducted in English, the Hispanic/Latino group reflects acculturated only.
  • COVID-19: This research was conducted amid the Covid-19 pandemic; thus, findings reflect the recent online behaviors (e.g., remote working/learning, growth of video conferencing/meeting).

For more information, please see:

Lifelong learning Among 45+ Adults (Excellent PDF showing research summary)
University of Southern Maine Libraries
Invites you to the following USM Digital Commons Exhibition:

"We Exist - The Black Church Maine's Black Residents and The Wider Community."
Join the USM African American Collection for this digital exhibition hosted by the USM Digital Commons.

"We Exist: The Black Church, Maine’s Black residents and the wider community" 
This is the third of a six-part digital exhibit series. For the purpose of this series, activism is described as any individual or community effort to bring awareness to issues that can promote changes in the political, economic, and social lives of African American people, as well as actions taken by those who are seeking fair treatment and equitable access to resources. The exhibit is comprised of photos, written transcripts, and audio interview clips from the Gerald E. Talbot and African American Collections. The exhibit centers on Black families and individuals in the state of Maine and seeks to tell their stories of how they engaged in various Civil Rights moments.
Lance Gibbs, Ph.D
Lance Gibbs, Ph.D., is the curator of “We Exist.” Dr. Gibbs is a lecturer in Race and Ethnic Studies and is currently the Race and Ethnics Studies program director at the University of Southern Maine. Dr. Gibbs is also the Talbot Fellow for the Gerald E. Talbot and African American Collections. Dr. Gibbs’ research interests focus broadly on the family, particularly in father involvement/fathering/fatherhood among immigrant fathers from the African Diaspora.

Links to "We Exist" digital exhibitions
Exhibition 1:

Exhibition 2:

Exhibition 3:

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Are You Tick Wise?
How to be Tick Wise

1) Know tick habitat and use caution in areas where ticks may live.

2) Wear light-colored clothing that covers arms and legs.

3) Use an EPA-approved repellent such as: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

4) Perform tick checks on yourself, family members, and pets daily and after any outdoor activity. Take a shower after exposure to a tick habitat to wash off any crawling ticks.

(Image - right) Major Triumph defending himself from ticks. Note Major Triumph covers his arms and legs (unlike some other superheroes we know.)
The University of Maine Center on Aging

National Survey of Individuals 60+ Living Independently!

The University of Maine Center on Aging and its research partner, The Cedars of Portland, Maine are looking for older persons aged 60 or over currently living independently (not in a nursing home or assisted living community). If you or someone you know fits that description, please take this survey about your expectations and preferences about person-centered care should you or a loved one ever need to live in a long-term care setting.

Writers and Lovers
by Lily King
Published by Grove Press, New York 2020
Pages 342 Price $17.00 paperback

Reviewed by Pat Davidson Reef

Lily King paints a portrait in words with anger, humor, and wisdom about a struggling woman writer in her book “Writers and Lovers.” Her candor in expressing the protagonist’s experiences opens another world of insight into fighting for her goals while eliminating the boundaries of conventional thought. 
Casey Peabody’s goal is to be a writer. But it is not that much fun at age 31 riding her bike to work as a waitress in Cambridge, crossing Harvard Square, and running up the stairs to a restaurant called “Iris.” Money is very tight. To help pay her rent, she walks her landlord’s dog every day. In between, she writes and writes and writes. 

Casey is carrying extra psychological baggage while also struggling to keep her balance as an independent, single woman and writer. In the middle of her daily activities, flashbacks appear in her mind of experiences that keep washing over her in unexpected moments of grief for her mother, who has died. She also mourns an ex-lover.

She has just gotten over her affair with a poet who forgot to tell her that he was married. Meeting him at a writing retreat called “Red Barn,” she fell in love with him. The breakup includes being abandoned by him first and then finding out she was also betrayed second. Casey remains emotionally bruised and still grieving.

As she is recovering from the unexpected death of her mother, she struggles to find a job and keep writing. But grief creeps up just when she thinks she is over her loss. She is wiped out emotionally but continues with her writing.

A friend, Muriel, invites her to a book reading where she hears Oscar Kolton, a local dignitary, speak about his new book.

When he comes to the restaurant with his two sons for dinner, she gets a chance to wait on him. They are attracted to each other. He is a widower. He leaves his telephone number, and they start a relationship of sorts. Meanwhile, Casey had been dating a fellow named Silas, a free spirit, who leaves for California unexpectedly on his motorcycle, which solves the problem of seeing two men at the same time.

Casey’s landlord decides to sell his building, and now Casey has nowhere to go. Oscar says, "I am leaving on tour, but you can stay in my house, and I will pay you to take care of the children.” She loves his children and agrees to the arrangement temporarily.

After eleven rejections of her manuscript, Casey’s book is accepted, and she lands a job in a private school teaching English. Out of nowhere, Silas comes back on his motorcycle from California. If you want to find out who Casey ends up with, Oscar or Silas, you will have to read the book!

The story is set in Boston in 1997. It depicts a transitional time in a woman’s life. People change in real life as they grow. In this novel, you can see the characters grow and change. The book’s sharp humor and fast dialogue as Casey talks to herself, revealing her inner thoughts, is very appealing. Another important feature of the book is the impact of grieving and its effect on people long after a loved one has gone. An essential part of the book explores how grief creeps back into people’s lives, way beyond a loved one’s death.

Lily King grew up in Massachusetts and received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her M.A. in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. After graduate school, she took a job as a high school English teacher in Valencia, Spain, and began writing her first novel. She moved to Maine in 2002 and has won many literary awards. In 2005 King won the Maine Fiction Award for “The English Teacher.” In 2010 she won the Maine Fiction Award for “Father of the Rain.” In 2014 she won the New England Book Award for Fiction for “Euphoria.”Her newest book, “Five Tuesdays In Winter,” published in 2021, was a finalist in The Story Book Prize. After living in Maine for 20 years, she is considered a “Maine writer” and is one of the most outstanding novelists in Maine today. I recommend “Writers and Lovers” highly.

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