E-news December 22, 2016
One blessing of Senior College has been learning that, while it is true I am older, it is also true that I am wiser, at least in certain respects. What I mean is that many of the books and authors I really struggled with in college or as a graduate student now seem pretty straightforward and understandable. Even, maybe especially, things I haven’t paid much attention to for the past thirty or forty years. Where I have learned this most is in preparing to teach Senior College courses, but it happens in courses I have taken too. I find myself refreshing myself on things I once supposedly knew and bringing myself up-to-date on subsequent developments.
Why are the hard or impossible authors now easier to understand? Mostly, I think, because as seniors we bring much more life experience to our learning. We can provide much fuller contexts and see more connections. For me, as I expect for most of us, it is not because of being better versed by more years of study of my specialties, which in my case are more perspectives than subject matters. Earth-shattering discoveries are rare or non-existent in my fields of religion and philosophy. It is more a matter of seeing the interconnection of things.
This discovery has been a most pleasant discovery and one I don’t think I would have made except for Senior College. It also helps that in Senor College we learn just because we want to and don’t have anyone looking over our shoulder or grilling us on the technicalities. We learn a topic as it suits us and connect it in our own way with our personal life-experience. Thank you, Senior College!
My best wishes for the holidays and New Year,
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Meeting of Special Events Committee
The goal of the Special Events Committee is to plan and carry out activities outside the curricular offerings that could be seasonal field trips or special presentations that have an education/cultural component or a recreational interest. The focus of the current group is to plan local excursions members can car-pool to and charge a minimal cost to participate. We are seeking a few additional members and are discussing destination/logistics ideas for activities for the spring of 2017.
Next meeting will be held in the atrium at the Hutchinson Center between classes, at about 11:30 am on Thursday, January 19. The meeting table will be identified by a sign so you won’t miss us!
For more information, email Martha Laitin, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 323-2368 (cell).
Community Service Committee
The Community Service Committee is currently involved in two projects, and each require more volunteers.
Aging Well in Waldo County
The CSC Committee voted in September to support Aging Well in Waldo County. In the past four months this initiative has gone from a grassroots coalition of area agencies and individuals to a funded entity. Aging Well in Waldo County supports seniors, identifies community assets and challenges in Waldo County for people over 50, with a goal of improving life and gaining “Age-Friendly Status” by AARP. Over the summer both Bucksport and Bangor gained this designation joining other designated Maine communities.
To further this work, an assessment will be conducted county-wide. While many seniors will be invited to take this survey online, outside of Belfast and Searsport there is less access to technology. Consequently, Aging Well in Waldo needs:
Research Assistants – These senior individuals will attend a half-day training session where they will learn to administer a paper and pencil assessment survey, then attend a community gathering within Waldo County to conduct a focus group. Applications for this role can be obtained in the Senior College Office or from Wendy C. Kasten, 207-338-0462, email@example.com. Overall, we need about 25 assistants. Training will be held on January 31st, 1:00-3.00 p.m.
Note-takers/Recorders – These senior individuals will attend a short training session where they will learn how to both audio record a focus group with common technologies, and take notes during the discussion. After the focus group, the audio notes and written notes will be submitted to the principal investigator. Applications for this role will be available in the Senior College office or from Wendy C. Kasten, 207-338-0462, firstname.lastname@example.org. Same training session.
Research assistants and their partner note-taker/recorder will go as a team, accompanied by a township host from the community to gatherings in outlying towns, such as a bingo game, a quilting circle, a bridge club, a senior luncheon, etc.
Aging Well in Waldo County is now funded by Maine AARP and has the endorsement of The Waldo County Commissioners and the Belfast City Council. Waldo County Hospital is acting as the fiscal agent for the study and assisting with data entry.
Read Across America
The Community Service Committee is organizing Read Across America in March, dates and times to be determined. Senior College volunteers will read to elementary aged school children in our area schools. We are looking for volunteers.
Below is the list of schools and coordinators for each school. Each school needs 4-7 volunteer readers. Volunteers select a book and read to a class for about 30 minutes. Some volunteers enjoy planning an activity that goes along with the book. Assistance is provided for selecting books and for knowing more about reading aloud to a class. Interested? Email Wendy C. Kasten with your name, phone number, and please let us know if you have experience reading to children ages 5-11. If you have a school preference, you can let us know that, too, email@example.com.
To date, here is the list of schools and coordinators:
Islesboro School: Sue Garrett
Kermit Nickerson Elementary (Swanville): Elsa Chapin
Weymouth Elementary (Morrill): Elsa Chapin
Edna Drinkwater School (Northport): Jewel Rayner
Ames Elememtary (Searsmont): Lila Nation
Captain Albert Stevens (CASS) (Belfast): Cloe Chunn (March 2)
East Belfast School (Belfast): Marje Stickler (March 2)
Monroe Elementary (Monroe): Marge Sheridan (March 2)
Appleton School (Appleton): Elisabeth Goodridge
Searsport Elementary (Searsport): Karen Knox
Morse Elementary (Brooks): Kathleen Kearns and Deb Shepherd (March 3)
Smith School (Winterport): John Economy (March 2)
Lincolnville Central School (Lincolnville): Wendy Kasten (March 2)
Is there a school you think we should also serve? If so, call Wendy C Kasten, 207-338-0462 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.