E-News August 2021
Dear Senior College members and friends,
August seems to be flying by and while fall is still a way off there are subtle but distinct changes that remind us to start thinking about the end of this season of sunshine, boating, flowers, gardens, out of town guests and all that the summer months signify.
I still think of August as “getting ready to return to school month,” whether packing for my own trip to college, school shopping for my boys (all hovering on the up or downside of 50), or taking grandchildren to buy a special back-to-school outfit. Today the grandchildren are working young professionals! The youngest is in his junior year in college and wouldn’t let Bebe buy him clothes (send a check, please). Yet still I have that unique feeling that it is time to get ready for classes to resume.
That is one of the reasons I found Senior College so enticing when I moved to Belfast six summers ago. After a long summer hiatus, in September I signed up for two courses on Thursdays and headed back to a challenging and interesting class at the Hutchinson Center. I met new friends and felt that the session flew by far too quickly. Now this September I am looking forward to saying hello to familiar classmates and friends, welcoming new enrollees, and greeting the friendly staff at the Hutch. Now after more than a year of Zoom classes I was particularly excited to return to classes at the Hutchinson Center.
But just as our plans were being finalized, we realized that the Delta Variant of Covid 19 was spreading rapidly across parts of the country and much to our surprise Waldo County was listed as a hotspot. After much discussion and a review of the situation the Senior College Board voted on August 11 to cancel in-person classes at the Hutchinson Center.
The vote was unanimous and we all were disheartened having to do this. We realize that while Zoom can be very effective, many of you are not fond of the concept. However, we will take steps to enhance our Zoom classes this year. We will work to make them appealing and provide time for class chats. We can’t provide cookies and drinks but we can provide a social platform so you can visit with friends. We believe you will find a Zoom course to your liking so plan on giving one a try this fall. In addition, as a member of Belfast Senior College you can enrol in any class taught at any Senior College in Maine (See below to access classes throughout the state).
Jim Owen of the Board expressed our feelings so perfectly that I want to share his words with you:
“I am so sad about going back to zoom, but facing reality and protecting the health of our membership is more important than the warmth and energy of face to face classes and cookies. Thankfully, we know our Senior College can not only survive, but can even be creative and more flexible in some ways, thanks to zooming.”
On Thursday, September 30 at 12:00 noon we will come together for the Annual Meeting. This, too, will be a Zoom meeting and I cannot stress how important it is for you to attend. Together we can weather this latest storm and plan on a future Session back at the Hutch with classes, cookies, and coffee (tea too!).
Remember you must register for the 2021-2022 year in order to cast a vote and be a part of the Annual Meeting. We need each of you to sign up and join us!
Best to you and yours. Please stay safe and healthy,
Our Fall Zoom curriculum will be posted shortly. With Zoom you are not limited to just two classes. There will be additional courses added so check back frequently.
To preview classes at other Maine Senior Colleges Click here.
You can also subscribe to this monthly newsletter which includes class offerings, news of member organizations, and interesting tidbits from around the state.
While we were considering a name change for this publication to reflect the end of the pandemic, given the current status it shall remain Corona Chronicles for the time being.
Please consider sending us something to share, photographs, works of art, essays, book reviews, short stories, poetry, reflections…anything you produce for it will reflect the variety of talent and interests of our incredible membership.