Maine Senior College Network news & updates

January 2024

Wonderful classes ahead!

Welcome to the January 2024 issue of the MSCN newsletter.

Best wishes for the New Year to you all. This newsletter provides links to classes all around the state. You will see that several senior colleges have opted to deliver many, if not all, of their courses on Zoom. So, you can enjoy your classes from home, sipping hot chocolate and watching the overdue snowflakes swirling around outside. 

Some posted catalogs show that their courses are already up and running. But there are still openings! And some classes start later than others. Remember that as a member of one senior college, you can take classes at other colleges without paying to be a member of that college; you only pay the class fee. Please keep in mind that each college will prioritize its members first, and then if they have any empty seats, they will open these up to the network and invite others to join them. If you are okay with doing a little research, you will be rewarded by finding some great classes as an MSCN Zoom Class Surfer!

Anne Cardale

Program Director

Maine Senior College Network

Wikimedia Image:

The Popular Magazine-Oct 1921

Cover (Edited)

Newsletter Menu

Please scroll down the page to see each article!

Senior College Network

Winter Classes

(Links to catalogs)


York County Senior College

presents the

Gary Sullivan Lecture Series


Belfast Senior College

Two Zoom Classes


Midcoast Senior College presents

Winter Wisdom 2024


Book Review by Pat Davidson Reef:
Oath and Honor; A Memoir and Warning by Liz Cheney

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For the latest Winter course catalogs from the network.

Maine Senior College Network

Winter Classes

Many courses are available on Zoom this winter, so no need for a sleigh ride to class!

Sleigh Ride by Winslow Homer

Many senior colleges are offering Zoom classes this winter. This means you won't have to deal with snow day cancellations or concerns about negotiating ice patches in the car park. The Winter Class list of links below is based on information available at the time of publishing the January 2024 newsletter.

Maine Senior College Network - Membership Benefit

  • MSCN members may take courses at another Maine Senior College simply by paying the course fees. 
  • Please note that for any courses or presentations that have defined maximum participants, the first choice is given to the members of the college hosting that class. 

Check the individual college's website for registration information

  • Most colleges will ask you to email or call them with the course title, your name, mailing address, email address, phone number, and the name of your Senior College.

Acadia SC 

Winter 2024 Semester

18 Classes: 5 Zoom, 3 Hybrid

Augusta SC 

2024 Winter Lecture Series

8 Classes - All Zoom

Belfast SC

Winterim Semester 2024

12 Classes: 2 Zoom

Lake Region Lifelong Learning

(Formerly Bridgton SC)

2024 Winter Classes

6 Classes: All In-Person

Coastal SC

2024 Winter Classes

13 Classes: 12 Zoom

Gold LEAF Institute 

2024 Winter Classes

5 Classes: 1 Zoom

Lewiston-Auburn SC 

2024 Winter Classes

14 Classes: 12 Zoom

Midcoast SC 

Winter Intersession—January 2024

7 Classes: 1 Zoom


Winter Wisdom Lecture Series

6 Talks: All In-Person

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)

2024 Winter Classes

39 Classes: All Zoom

Penobscot Valley Senior College 

2024 Winter Classes - ALL ZOOM 

4 Classes: All Zoom


Winter 2024 Semester

6 Classes - All Zoom

Southcoast SC

Winter 2024 Classes

5 Classes - All Zoom

Sunrise SC 

Winter 2024 Semester

10 Classes - 9 Hybrid

York County Senior College 

Gary Sullivan Lecture Series - Winter 2024

All lectures on Zoom

Wikimedia Image

Sleigh Ride by Winslow Homer

York County Senior College

presents the

Gary Sullivan Lecture Series

Winter 2024

Shenna Lee Bellows will be the guest speaker on March 13. She will be discussing Elections in Maine as part of the Gary Sullivan Lecture Series

The Gary Sullivan Lecture Series 2024 is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, January 10, via ZOOM. Seven lectures covering eight eclectic topics will be available in January, February, and March at varying times of day.

The registration fee is $25 for the entire series!

All lectures are to be presented via ZOOM

January 10, 2024, at 1:00 PM     

Wabanaki Confederacy – "People of Land of the Dawn"-with Nancy Ponzetti

January 17, 2024, at 4:00 PM

Poetry Readings by Three Contemporary Poets - with Margo Taft Stever, Susana H. Case, and Lily Greenberg

reading their award-winning poetry


January 31, 2024, at 4:00 PM     

Greek Mythology, Connection to the Stars - with Edward Gleason, University of Southern Maine Astronomer and Southworth Planetarium Manager


February 7, 2024, at 4:00 PM 

Music Memories from the Past - with Lorraine Dutile Masure, a former educator who has led numerous senior college courses across four academic venues     


February 28, 2024, at 7:00 PM

Artificial Intelligence – "What is it & Why does it matter?" - with Benjamin Goldsmith, an expert in technology and national security.      

March 13, 2024, at 4:00 PM 

Elections in Maine - with the Honorable Shenna Lee Bellows, Maine's 50th Secretary of State and the first woman to serve in this capacity. 


March 20, 2024, at 4:00 PM     

The Maine Prison Education Program - with Peter J Servidio, Acting Educational Programs Coordinator for the Maine Correctional; Center, and Dan Philbrick, Director of the University of Maine Augusta/Saco Center.


Plus, one In-Person Presentation

March 27, 2024, at 2:00 PM 

Elder Abuse, Domestic Violence, & Financial Scam Awareness - - with Candace Simeone, Kennebunk Police Officer & Administrative Supervisor. *This program is being held in person at the Saco Community Center, 75 Franklin Street, Saco*  

For more details and registration, please see our online CourseStorm catalog.

Download a PDF of the Series

York County Senior College

Two Zoom Classes at Belfast Senior College

Women Photographers Past And Present

Thursday, January 18, to February 08, 2024

4 sessions

Zoom Class – $30.00

Last winter in “Photographers We May Have Missed” we found that about 80% were female, so in this class we will focus on that demographic. (There's no need to have taken the previous class.)

A fairly fast look at photographers from the past, recent times, and currently working to get an overview of who we may have missed or want to revisit. Possibilities: Marcia Bricker Halperin, Graciela Iturbide, Imogen Cunningham, Carrie Mae Weems.

Plenty of web links and some book suggestions were given for each. You can have a cozy winter continuing your explorations, thanks to the internet and our library system.

Additionally, some experimentation analyzing a few individual photos, to both appreciate the motivations of the artist, and to understand what we might use if we take photos ourselves.

Instructor - Paul Sheridan, B.A. art, M.F.A. photography, while for many years on faculty at CUNY, he used the collected history of the medium in teaching basic, intermediate, and advanced B&W chemical/optical photography. In the digital age, he continues that practice here using the internet. Has been taking photographs for more than 55 years. He has taught several Senior College courses: photography, driver safety, and films.

Staying Balanced in an Unbalanced World

Improv Techniques ANYONE can learn and immediately use!

Friday, January 19, to February 09, 2024

4 sessions.

Zoom Class - $30

The skills that make improvisers successful are the same ones that make non-performers successful. Those skills include thinking on your feet, responding quickly and effectively to unexpected events, having fun, using your creativity and expanding your comfort zone.

In this class, you’ll learn an "Improviser's mindset" allowing you relate to others cooperatively, confidently accept reality, learn to act on things you can control and let go of things you cannot control, and enjoy and value working with others. Plus you will have fun!

No one will be forced to volunteer. Participate as much or as little as you feel comfortable doing.

Instructor - Izzy Gesell M.ED, CSP is an “organizational alchemist” who helps people seamlessly navigate their internal logjams. Izzy’s keynotes, coaching and facilitated sessions are imaginative, intuitive, enjoyable & immediately applicable. He is the author of Playing Along: Group Learning Activities Borrowed From Improvisation Theater and 2 Linked In Learning courses.

Link to the class description and registration information

Belfast Senior College

Midcoast Senior College


sponsored by The Highlands

Wednesdays from 1:00—2:15 p.m.

Curtis Memorial Library & UUCB, Brunswick


All events are in-person.

For more information on the following presentations, please visit Midcoast SC's Winter Wisdom webpage. 

January 10: Duo Mundi George & Guli

Immigration and Opportunity: Music Inspired by Elsewhere

January 17: The History and Future of Maine Land Conservation—Tim Glidden

January 24: Maine’s German POW Camps in WWII—David Greenham

January 31: A Scientist and an Artist Met in the Woods—Barbara Snapp

February 7: Maine Civil War History—Heather Moran

February 14: Preserving the Dark Skies of Maine—Rob Burgess

February 21: Longfellow Days February 28: Snow Make-up Day

Wikimedia Image

At the Grand Piano

Edvard Munch

Oath and Honor; A Memoir and Warning
by Liz Cheney
Published by Little Brown and Company 2023
Pages 369 price $32.50

Reviewed by Pat Davidson Reef

Liz Cheney represented Wyoming in the United States House of Representatives as a respected Republican leader from 2017 to 2023. She stood alone, speaking out against the authoritarian style government of Donald Trump. As a new Congresswoman, she was asked to join the "Freedom Caucus," part of a leadership group inside the Republican party led by Kevin McCarthy and Mike Johnson. However, she declined because belonging to the group meant she would have to agree to vote according to their directions. She was totally committed to the Republican party but fiercely independent, resisting being dominated by one faction's decisions. So she remained friendly but independent, making up her own mind on issues.

Two days after the 2020 election, she asked Kevin McCarthy how Trump was doing, and he told her that Trump understood that he had lost the election but needed time to accept it. 

Elizabeth Kubler Ross, an authority on dying, says there are five stages of accepting death. They are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Trump never got past the first two stages of denial and anger. This is especially significant when you consider that losing the election meant accepting the death of his hope to remain in power. He has been denying that he lost the election for four years and has been angry ever since.

This book is a no-nonsense factual account of what happened when Donald Trump lost the election of 2020. It is frightening that one man in the United States could have so much power to mislead a generation of voters.

It is clear that as the highest officer in our nation, Trump manipulated words and ideas, influencing thousands of people while not following the U.S. Constitution and then blatantly moving against it. The book shows that Trump is not really a Republican. He is a Trumpian, an autocratic leader who represents only himself and his own ideas. Liz Cheney has great courage in standing alone and speaking out against a dictator emerging in the American political arena.

She took her "oath" as a Republican Congresswoman in the U.S. House of Representatives seriously and "honored" the United States Constitution's values, as acknowledged in the title of the book.

She disliked conference retreats because they were held in luxurious places and involved extensive training encouraging one point of view, but one of her responsibilities as Conference Chairman was to plan annual retreats where she watched Kevin McCarthy and Mike Johnson encourage the support of Donald Trump. In a retreat in Florida in March 2021, two months after the Jan. 6 insurrection, she could see that the Republican Party was becoming anti-Constitution. Social media dramatizing physical violence was replacing legitimate political discourse. The conservative policies and principles that had once defined the Republican Party were being replaced by complete allegiance to one man, Donald Trump. Any negative discussion against Trump was avoided. She realized this was not the party of Abe Lincoln or Ronald Reagan. It was not the conservative movement in American politics. It was a new movement around one figure inside the Republican Party, Donald Trump, a cult figure who only cared about power and getting it back, not a leader who cared about the United States Constitution and the people living in America who followed it. 

This book is a warning to us all that American democracy is at stake if we do not speak out against easy fixes and autocratic philosophy. The book's strengths are its extensive facts, dates, and quotes from responsible people in Congress as the events that led up to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection in America and the attack against the Capitol building in Washington D.C.

The book's importance lies in its record of history as it happened from the experiences of Liz Cheney, a responsible leader in American politics. She includes such people and opinions of their actions with quotes as: Steve Scalise, Mark Meadow, Rudy Guiliani, Sydney Taylor, John Eastman, Steve Bannon, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and others while focusing on Donald Trump and his irresponsible speeches, actions, and decisions. Her prose is direct and candid in a down-to-earth style, with extensive facts on every page. 

If there is ever a sequel to the book "Profiles of Courage" by John F. Kennedy, Liz Cheney could be one outstanding person to include in it. She remains a loyal Republican but stands alone against an autocratic leader. What can we do to save America? We can vote!!! Vote your own conscience and read this book. I recommend it highly.

Oath and Honor; A Memoir and Warning by Liz Cheney

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