Maine Senior College Network news & updates

August 2022

Welcome to the August newsletter

Time for an iced tea and the Maine Senior College Network newsletter!


Anne Cardale

Program Director

Maine Senior College Network

Wikimedia Image:

Summer Day (1911)

By Frank W. Benson

Newsletter Menu

Please scroll down the page to see each article!

A class for Beatles Fans! - The Gold LEAF Institute


OLLI Pop-Up! - August Social Events - Free and open to MSCN members!


Join the Summer Extravaganza! - Penobscot-Valley Senior College Invitation


Fall 2022 Classes


Network Newsletters - Summer 2022


Book Review

by Pat Davidson Reef:

Sparring Partners by John Grisham

Stay up to date!
Want to know more about the senior colleges?
Click on the orange box links below!
What's Happening?
Visit our website
Find a Senior College
Contact MSCN
Join the MSCN website!Download PDF Guide
Subscribe to the MSCN Newsletter

The Gold LEAF Institute

A class for Beatles Fans!

The Beatles in the Studio: The Making of Strawberry Fields Forever

Presenter - Allan Kozinn

August 29, 2022, from 10 am-Noon. Online Class - Cost $6

After they gave up touring, in the summer of 1966, the Beatles decided to focus on recording, which had become the real focus of their creativity over the previous couple of years. Allan will be looking at Strawberry Fields Forever, the first song the group recorded after their 1966 tour. Using a number of unreleased recordings, Allan will show how the song developed, both as a composition and as a recording -- starting from John Lennon's very first demo of the song, which had some of the chords and only a couple of lines of the lyrics, through a series of home recordings in which he tried to capture the feel he wanted using multitracking, to EMI Studios, where he first demonstrated the song by just singing it with an acoustic guitar backing before the Beatles began recording. Even at that stage, their ideas kept changing, and they put down three versions, one with orchestration by George Martin before Lennon chose two and asked Martin to edit them together - despite the fact that they were at different speeds and in different keys. Martin accomplished this, creating the recording we know today.

Allan Kozinn was a classical music critic - and also, in effect, the “Beatles desk” - at the New York Times from 1977 through 2014. He moved to Portland in 2015, and covered classical music for the Portland Press Herald from 2015 to 2020. He has written several books, including "The Guitar - The History, the Players, the Music," "Mischa Elman and the Romantic Style," "The Beatles: From the Cavern to the Rooftop," "Got That Something: How the Beatles' 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' Changed Everything," and "Spoleto USA 40." He is currently at work on a multi-volume biography of Paul McCartney, focusing on McCartney's post-Beatles career, in collaboration with the British author Adrian Sinclair.

The Beatles in the StudioClick here to register!

The Gold LEAF Institute

The Beatles logo Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute presents:

OLLI Pop-Up!

August Social Events

Free and open to MSCN members!

OLLI's August Social Events

Trivia Game Night (Online)

Monday, August 8 | 7:00 p.m. 

Monday, August 22 | 7:00 p.m.

with Star Pelsue and Elizabeth Housewright

Use those fun facts you have stored in your gray matter. Join us for some laughs and interesting questions that will have your brain scanning your mental files for what some may call trivial information.

You provide your own snacks and beverages. We provide the questions! You are one click away from an evening of good company and laughter. Make sure to mark your calendars and register for this fun time.

Location: Zoom

Pictionary Game "Night" (Online)

Thursday, August 11 | 3:30 p.m. 

Thursday, August 25 | 3:30 p.m.

with Star Pelsue

Are you the Picasso of stick figures? Maybe your bear looks more like a mouse. You don't need to be an artist to play this drawing game. Be prepared to laugh and enjoy yourself for the hour. This game not only entertains, but it also teaches you how to use the Zoom Whiteboard feature.  

Location: Zoom

Current Events Podcast: 

A Gun Policy Game-Changer (Online)

Tuesday, August 16 | 7:00 p.m. 

with Star Pelsue

Together, we will listen to the podcast "A Gun Policy Game-Changer" and discuss our thoughts on the topic.

America's gun violence epidemic is a public health crisis. After 24 years of blocked funding, Congress is finally starting to treat it like one. 

Location: Zoom

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

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Song of the dam Poem in color (1915)

by Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso

Penobscot-Valley Senior College Invitation

Join the Summer Extravaganza!

Tuesday, August 2, 2022, 4:00 PM EDT (Zoom)

Gregory Gaines - Scandinavian Immigration to New England

We will learn the specifics of Scandinavian immigration to New England. While the Mid-West is famously full of Scandinavian-Americans, New England also had a large Scandinavian, particularly Swedish, population in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. From Aroostook County all the way down to coastal Connecticut, Scandinavians had a significant cultural impact on New England.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022, 4:00 PM EDT (Zoom)

Phil Nadeau - Presidential Immigration Authority: The Trump and Biden Administrations

This will be a presentation and discussion about how presidential authority in the Trump and Biden administrations has impacted the lives of many migrants and asylum seekers who are pursuing safety, freedom, and opportunity in the U.S.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022, 4:00 PM EDT (Zoom)

Angela Okafor - Unboxing Oneself from the Societal Box

In this presentation, we will learn of the struggles, determination, and perseverance that Angela has experienced in her journey that has helped her in confronting cultural and societal limitations through innovative thinking and acting on her own best traits.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022, 4:00 PM EDT (Zoom)

Thomas Garrity, M.S. - Arson and Fire Investigation

If you were to ask a firefighter why their fire department investigates fires, they would tell you, “It is required by law.” Few firefighters understand the important role of fire investigation in community risk reduction. And few fire chiefs utilize fire investigation to reduce or prevent fires. In this class you will learn how Philadelphia used data from fire investigations to develop and implement fire prevention programs to reduce fire injuries and deaths.

Thursday, August 25, 2022, 4:00 PM EDT (Zoom)

Meg Gray - Bangor Public Library 101: We Have That!

Join Meg Gray, Head of Reference at Bangor Public Library, for an overview of the many services, programs, and resources available at the library. We’ll start with an introduction to in-person services including reader’s advisory, reference services, genealogy research, and technology instruction, followed by a summary of the e-resources available to patrons, such as Cloud Library, consumer reports, and Great Courses. Finally, we’ll review the non-book items that patrons have access to, including a telescope, theatre passes, Wi-Fi hotspots, and more.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022, 4:00 PM EDT (Zoom)

Joan Ellis and Sheila Krautkremer - PVSC Virtual Trivia 

PVSC has been offering courses using Zoom since COVID forced us to stop meeting in person. In January 2022, we thought we could have a bit of fun and invited members to enjoy a game of trivia, hosted by our own Joan Ellis and Sheila Krautkremer. We all had fun and wanted to do it again, so here we go. Join us on Zoom for another game of PVSC Trivia. We’ll play in teams and laugh with each other. The rules will be explained when we gather online. There’ll be a ”room winner” but no prizes will be awarded other than bragging rights!


Tuesday, September 6, 2022, 4:00 PM EDT (Zoom)

Phil Chin - Spot a Scam, Stop a Scam

We are targeted daily by an army of people who perpetrate scams on the Internet, the phones, and by snail mail. Americans of all ages lose billions of dollars each year. Phil will discuss the tactics and schemes used by these con artists and how to stop them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022, 4:00 PM EDT (Zoom)

Karen Tilberg - Bringing Permanent Conservation to Maine's North Woods

Forest Society of Maine (FSM) was created in 1984 to serve as the land trust for Maine’s twelve million-acre North Woods, the largest block of intact forestland remaining east of the Mississippi. The mission of FSM is to sustain the ecological, recreational, and cultural values of Maine’s North Woods while supporting economic vitality and protecting important natural areas. In this presentation, we will learn how the members of FSM work to preserve Maine’s forests for recreational, environmental, and economic purposes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022, 4:00 PM EDT (Zoom)

Julie Kimball - Bangor School Department Mentoring Program

According to the Bangor School Department’s program overview, a mentor is someone who helps to “guide, advise, share knowledge, encourage, teach, motivate, share a common interest, listen and promote success”. In this presentation, we will learn more about how the program works, who can be a mentor, and the positive impact it aims to create for students from Pre-K to grade 12 in the Bangor School System.

Members of Maine's Senior Colleges are welcome to join Penobscot Valley's Extravaganza!

  • 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


Fall 2020 Classes

More classes are on the way!

At the time of preparing this newsletter, the following senior colleges have posted class schedules for the fall.

Acadia SC

Fall 2022 Classes

Coastal SC

Fall 2022 Classes

Gold LEAF Institute

Summer & Fall 2022 Classes 

Midcoast SC 

Fall 2022 Classes

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute 

Fall 2022 Classes

South Coast SC

Summer & Fall 2022 Classes

Sunrise SC

Summer & Fall 2022 Classes 

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Winslow Homer - In Autumn Woods (c.1877)

Network Newsletters - Summer 2022

Summer Newsletters

Acadia SC

July 2022 Newsletter

Augusta SC

Summer 2022

Belfast SC

July 2022 Newsletter

Coastal SC

June 2022 Newsletter

Midcoast SC 

Summer 2022 Newsletter

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute 

July & August 2022 Newsletter

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Emile Claus - Summer

Sparring Partners

by John Grisham

Published by Doubleday 2022

Pages 306 Price $28.95

Reviewed by Pat Davidson Reef

"Sparring Partners," the new book by John Grisham, is lightweight and fun to read during the summer. If you are a John Grisham reader, you will enjoy this book and its many adventures.

The book is composed of three novellas: "Homecoming," "Strawberry Moon," and "Sparring Partners.

"Homecoming" deals with Jake Brigance, a well-known character in other books written by Grisham. Jake tries to help a friend, Mark Stafford, a fellow attorney who has abandoned his practice and run away from the community of Ford County. He now owns a grand resort at an isolated location and offers Jake and his wife a vacation as payment to help him go home to Ford county and see his children. Jake agrees to help his friend, but Mark's homecoming is fraught with danger.

"Strawberry Moon," the second novella, deals with an inmate in a prison who has a collection of paperbacks shelved on the walls of his cell.This novella starts with the following quote: "It took a federal law suit to get the shelving for Cody's collection of almost 2000 of them.They covered the walls of the eight by ten cell in near perfect order organized by the author's last name." From this introduction, we learn that Cody is on death row. He has collected the books for twelve years, and his collection will soon overrun his cell. The author states that most men on death row become insane due to the effects of long-term solitary confinement, but Cody's mind is hyper-sharp because of his books. Cody watches T.V. and waits for his execution which will be carried out in 3 hours. It has been 14 years since Cody, now age 29, was sentenced for the robbery and killing of Dorothy and Earl Baker in their rural home during a botched break-in. Cody was only 15 at the time, and his older brother was killed. Cody will be the youngest man ever executed in the state. "Strawberry Moon" addresses the right to take the life of a 15-year-old as punishment for murder and examines the process people go through during the execution period. Though this is fictional work, it is realistic and heartbreaking. In the last minutes before his execution, Cody receives a visitor who is not a lawyer, relative, or chaplain but a little eighty-year-old lady named Miss Iris Vanderkemp. She had sent him paperbacks for 12 years and saved all his letters. Both gain new insights during the surprise visit. This story is fiction, but it will turn you against the death penalty in real life forever, especially for young people. 

The third novella takes the same name as the book's title, "Sparring Partners." This story is more characteristic of John Grisham's writing and deals with two brothers who are lawyers and do not get along. They both work for the family law firm of Malloy & Malloy and are trying to save it following a scandal. Bolton Malloy, patriarch of the family, has served five of his ten-year manslaughter prison sentence for the murder of his wife. In the meantime, the sons are trying to run the firm. Each has his own style. Rusty is a hard-charging trial lawyer who likes splashy verdicts. Kirk, the younger son, is quiet and prefers an office practice with fat fees for estate and tax work. Rusty is a Democrat. Kirk is a Republican. Each has a wing in the Malloy & Malloy building which their father still owns whether he is in jail or not. When their father can finally get out of jail, he will discover that a chunk of offshore money is missing, among many other complications in the plot. Malloy & Malloy will be history and so will the Malloy brothers. If you want to find out what the sons do to save themselves, you will have to read the third novella in this book.

Like some adults who save their favorite food to eat on their plate for the last bite, I think Grisham kept his third novella for the final section as it is his best story. I found I liked "Sparring Partners" the best. The description of the lawyers, the fast dialogue, the challenges of representing different court cases, and the hypocrisy seen in the law make for a good read

Overall this is a fascinating book though it is not of the same quality as other Grisham books such as "The Firm." However, it is an entertaining summer read.

Don't Forget!
Support your local college!
Renew your annual membership
Keep an eye open for exciting lifelong learning opportunities from all across the state!

The Maine Senior College Network is a program of the