march  2024


Spring Semester - March 2024


   Image courtesy of Nancy Perkins


We are delighted to be preparing for these seventeen multi-session classes and one lecture in our upcoming Spring Semester.  

  • Exploring the Elements of Music
  • Dublin's Joyce and Joyce's Dublin
  • Photo Forum 1
  • Drawing Through the Ages
  • Illustrating Nature in Redwork
  • How Does Your Garden Grow? Prepping for Maine Spring
  • The Power of Wind and Water in Human Culture
  • Carl Jung, Individuation and the Process of Aging
  • Beginning Computer Programming in Python
  • Directing Your Final Production
  • Love 101
  • Producing Theatre from Script to Stage
  • Poetry Potpourri: Poets of Belfast
  • Not the Odds but the Stakes - How our News Media Fail Democracy
  • The World of Fine Wine
  • Spring Watercolor Workshop - Painting from a Photograph
  • Introduction to Self-Publishing Your Book
  • Women Photographers, Past and Present (Zoom)

We hope there is something of interest to each of you.  Registration is open now and you can read about all the classes here on our website. Classes will start the last week of March. 




Fred Bowers is a naturalist with a PhD in Forest Soils. He spent 28 years working for the New Jersey Dept of Environmental Protection as a geologist and soil and water quality scientist.  In the Spring Semester Fred will be teaching a course on The Power of Wind and Water in Human Culture.

When did you first learn about Belfast Senior College and become involved? 

Soon after we moved here eight ago from New Jersey, my wife took Bob Rackmales class and said it was fun. Then I offered to teach a class about geology in the Midcoast, I spent a lot of time studying the local geology to prepare for teaching it. I learned that this area was covered with a lot more ice than New Jersey and that there are really old rocks around the boat house that contain about 450 million years of geologic history.

What inspired you to submit a course proposal?  How did you determine what you wanted to teach?

When I worked at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection I had to teach a lot of things, so I’ve always been a teacher.  As soon as I think about something, I think about what can I learn

What classes have you taught?  If you’ve taught more than one, do you have a favorite and why.

I’ve taught quite a few classes—including a class on water, ice, pollution; another class on the discovery and exploration of the Andes Mountains, another on landscapes of Waldo County and watersheds of Waldo County. They were all fun.  

What do you like about teaching at Belfast Senior College?

I like to teach because when I learn about a new topic, I get really excited about it and want to share my enthusiasm.  For example, the upcoming class I’m teaching started with a trip my wife and I took to the Netherlands.  I got to do a tour of the inside of a windmill, and I started to learn about the culture associated with windmills and how clever these people were to harness the wind and water which was a terror for them to turn these elements it into something that improved their lives.

What will your next course be? Do you have another course in mind you’d like to teach someday?

I’m not planning another class right now but I have a long list of ideas on the many themes I’d like to learn more about then share what I learn.  They include:  utopia, the Nile River, wisdom tales, existentialism, Latin America,  satire, trickster stories, mindfulness, film and many more!

Other than teaching, what else do you do to keep your synapses firing?

I play my acoustical guitar a couple hours a day, I  like the Beatles, Bob Dylan…

I cook and fix whatever needs fixing around the house.  I look at the recipe, close the book then cook it.  I don’t follow rules real well, which is why cooking is fun.

What are you most curious about?

I like science most of all, but culture also fascinates me.  I like to pay attention to things, to observe and learn and problem solve.  Right now, I’m helping TWIG (Tree Working Group) of Belfast in their efforts to identify all the trees in the city’s right of ways, to determine the condition and species of these tree, so I’m trying to solve the problem of how to find data points for the GIS to locate what trees are there.



Join us on March 14 at the Planetarium on the University of Maine campus in Orono for a presentation in preparation for the total eclipse of the sun to be seen in parts of Maine on April 8, 2024. We will be treated to an immersive experience to see one astrophotographer’s stunning images of both solar and lunar eclipses from locations around the globe.

The event is free but space is limited so you need to register. To do that and to learn more about the visit, including carpooling and lunch plans, go to this page on our website. Registration is open to Senior College members and to the general public.



Last month we asked you to tell us how many calendar years old you are and how old you feel inside. We got a lot of responses (58) and many interesting comments. The upshot: almost all of use feel considerably younger than our biological age.  (Of course we at Senior College know this due to our insatiable curiosity and engagement :-)

The results are graphed below - they are somewhat coarse because we used age ranges but it is easy to see that most of us feel much younger than our calendar age and in the aggregate the difference is about 15 years. Yay!

These are some of the comments we got edited for brevity. (The numbers in parens are how old the commenter feels.)

How did my body get this old????  (41-44)

I'm so different compared to how my grandmothers were at my current age.    (44-49)

I reinvented myself at age 50, leading to my present circumstances which are quite pleasant. (50-54)

I am fortunate to be a very happy healthy person.  (50-54)

Retiring began a new era. Considering the article, I like that I have usefulness left.  (65-69)

"Old age is not for sissies" (in the sense of cowardly!)- Bette Davis (75-79)

Haven't grow old before, it's a new experience,  (75-79)

This past year has had more health issues but is improving    (75-79)

How old do I feel inside? My response: Truthfully, all of the above ages at different times of the day and night!



In the Belfast area we have people from many other states and countries in addition to many who are real Mainers. This adds a lot of interest and strength to our community though there can sometimes be tensions between people from Maine and people 'from away'.  We'd love get an idea where those of you reading this newsletter are from. 

Please click the button below to answer this month's poll questions. Your answers are completely anonymous and you should only fill out the form once.  We will let you know what we found out about you in our next newsletter.




  • We are in early planning for some kind of member/guest gathering to be held in the spring.
  • Check our web page and our future newsletters for more information.

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