E-News March 2021

Senior College Online

Message from our President

Dear All,

March entered like a roaring lion but the recent sunny days promise that Spring will be appearing this month! I see tiny green shoots protruding through the snow in my front yard and they are a welcome sight indeed. The winter has passed quickly this year and by the official beginning of Spring I will, like many of you, have had my second Covid vaccine! Waldo Hospital did a superlative job arranging and delivering the shots. It was actually a treat for me to be out with real people! I am now looking forward to a bit more activity while still sporting a mask.

Spring also signals a new session at Senior College and Deirdre Good and the hardworking, dedicated members of the Curriculum Committee are pleased to announce that Spring courses are now open for registration! The Committee is expecting to receive a few more courses so make sure you check the web page regularly.

Once again, there is a wide array of offerings from learning about Monarch Butterflies to African American Poetry. Want to plant and grow asparagus? We have you covered. Still worried about Russian meddling in our elections, are you a Jane Austen lover, or is tea your bag (no pun intended)? Make sure you check out these offerings. Marilynn Robinson fans will want to sign up for a class to learn about her latest novel, Jack. If you have missed traveling over the past year there is the perfect course for you and if you have always wanted to learn how to photoshop don’t miss the opportunity this Spring. While I hesitate utilizing a trite expression “there truly is something for everyone.”

The Board has had a busy few months and I am happy to report that several members recently met with Kim Wilson-Raymond to discuss a possible return to face-to-face classes at the Hutchinson Center. The lovely patio area could accommodate up to twelve individuals in an outdoor class and several of the larger classrooms can safely hold up to twenty-five participants. Perhaps we can start planning on a slow return, phased in over several months and by this time next year join in a number of classrooms together.

Kim most graciously offered any member of Senior College Belfast a 20% discount on any of the upcoming classes or seminars. Her letter is below.

We have convened an ad hoc Committee on Technology that will address the ever growing need for technical assistance for Hosts, Instructors, and Participants. The group is working on information and instructions for the three groups in light of what we believe will be a continued demand for virtual learning. The Hutchinson Center may install several classrooms with the equipment that will allow simultaneous experiences, onsite as well as via Zoom.

By the way, the little yellow dog above is my new companion, Bella. Bella is a “Sato” dog of Puerto Rico. Satos are mutts and generally run wild on the island. They are known for big ears, short legs, and long tails as well as sweet dispositions. A number of organizations are working with shelters in the U.S. to place these animals. We got Bella from The Ark in Cherryfield and are thrilled to have her.

Best to all and stay healthy and safe!


Greetings from the Hutchinson Center!

We’re so grateful that Senior College is returning to the Hutchinson Center. Your presence here is part of what makes the Hutchinson Center such a vibrant place and we’ve missed you.

As a token of our appreciation for Senior College at Belfast, we’d like to extend a special offer to you.

We’re offering a special 20% discount to all members of Senior College at Belfast on all of our professional development programs. You can choose whether you’d like to use the discount yourself or gift the discount to someone else.

To use your special discount, just enter SENIOR21 when you’re registering for a professional development program, in the checkout process. Some details: each member of Senior College can only use their code once. The offer is valid through December 31, 2021 and cannot be combined with other special offers. Feel free to reach out to us at um.fhc.pd@maine.edu or 207.338.8002 if you have any questions.

A full list of all of our upcoming professional development programs is here.

All programs below are being offered online unless otherwise noted. Programs are not pre-recorded–they are asynchronous, dynamic, and participatory.

  • Career Transformation Lunch-and-Learn Series
  • Building Your Professional Network (Apr. 9, Noon–1 p.m.)
  • Resume Building Workshop (Apr. 16, Noon–1 p.m.)
  • Improving Your Interview Skills (Apr. 23, Noon–1 p.m.)
  • Grant Writing Essentials (5-part program, May 21, 28, Jun. 4, 11 & 18, 9 a.m.–Noon)
  • Mediation and the Art of Conflict Transformation* ( 5-part program, Jun. 14–18, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.) This is being offered in-person.
  • Past Trauma, Current Relationships: Integrating Nonviolent Communication and Interpersonal Neurobiology (5-part program, May 10-–14, 9–11:30 a.m.)
  • Practical Project Management (5-part program, May 5, 7, 12, 14 & 28, 12:30–4:30 p.m.)
  • Public Speaking & Virtual Presentations (2-part program, Apr. 30 & May 7, 1–4 p.m.)
  • Racial Equity, Implicit Bias and Diversity Training (1-part program, May 26, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.)
  • Summer Restorative Practices (6-part program, Jun. 24, 25, July 23, Aug. 19, 20 & Sep. 24, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.)

Again, we’re so grateful that we’ll be seeing your faces again soon. Until then, stay safe, be well, take care!

Kim Wilson-Raymond and the Hutchinson Center staff


From War Correspondent to Power in Washington

I’ve never been able to resist a pun, good (rare) or bad (the norm). In the title above, the word power is a double entendre — power as influence or clout and Power as the surname of Samantha Power, nominated by President Biden to be Director of the Agency for International Development and a member of the National Security Council.

Ever since my first Senior College course in 2006 “Four Problems from Hell,” based on Power’s 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning book A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, I have followed with interest her career as a writer (her memoir The Education of An Idealist was published in 2019), academic (Professor at Harvard), and government official in the Obama administration (Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the National Security Council and later US Ambassador to the United Nations).

In his recently published memoir A Promised Land Obama makes clear that Power was not just one aide among many. “Samantha was one of my closest friends in the White House…She evoked my own youthful idealism, the part of me still untouched by cynicism, cold calculation, or caution dressed up as wisdom.”

But Obama also makes clear that this closeness came at a price: “It was precisely because she knew that side of me…that at times she drove me nuts…whenever Samantha got time on my calendar, she felt obliged to remind me of every wrong I hadn’t yet righted (So what ideals have we betrayed lately?).”

As of this writing (February 15) it is not entirely clear when Power’s confirmation hearing will be scheduled. Her role as a leading advocate of US military intervention in Libya (which Obama subsequently called the worst mistake of his Presidency) remains controversial. In addition, her testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in October, 2017 has raised questions about the appropriateness of some of her actions during the final months of the Obama administration.

Whatever happens, Power’s proven resilience and passion will make her a force to be reckoned with regardless of which of her three tracks she occupies in the years ahead.

Bob Rackmales