Corona Chronicles: December 19, 2020

Happy Holidays!

We’ll be home at home for Christmas
Covid 19 will keep us in
There won’t be family gatherings
Or the sounds of a merry din.

We will raise a little tree
Decorated with our favorite things.
We’ll deck the halls with greens
And our angels will spread their wings.

It really won’t seem like Christmas
Without all of our family here.
But we will still try and celebrate
And raise a glass of holiday cheer.

Christmas Eve we’ll light the candles
A taper for each family member!
Then the house will shine quite bright
In the midst of a cold December.

As we listen to the carols
And enjoy a small repast
We will pray the threat of Covid
Will be over soon, at last!

For this year of 2020
Will be one we won’t forget.
And we hope that 2021
Shall be the best year yet!

Nancy Perkins


Watercolors by Audrey Deveney


Retreat To Little River
Gerald George

Turn the news off! Nerves keep screaming “stop!”
I beg an hour away in a place that’s safe.

Little River, I take my quest to you:
speak to me of unprecedented peace.

You trickle to the agitated bay,
but the rest lies quietly behind a dam,

making a spacious pond of gentle water,
its surface broken only by skips of wind.

You lie so still as if the nodding trees
that green your shoreline wave the world away

and make me feel relieved. O would that you
could do that now, and for more lives than mine.

Gerald George is a former winner of a poetry prize from the Maine Senior College Network, has published two books of poetry, and authored a play produced in the 2008 Maine Short-Play Festival. He and his wife Carol are retired in Belfast, and, before the covid virus, regularly attended classes in the Belfast Senior College. May that day come again!


Watercolors by Audrey Deveney


The Two Wisemen and One Wise Woman!

Corona Chronicles: August 15, 2020

Until life returns to some semblance of normal, from time to time we will send out the Corona Chronicles. This publication will provide commentary, brief stories, poetry, book and movie suggestions, and ways to make our time at home meaningful and fulfilling. If you have ideas to submit, please contact Nancy Perkins at nanella133@gmail.com.


Yankee Child in Virginia
Leslie Woods

I hold a particular prejudice and this past March I visited North Carolina and examined this feeling. You see, when I hear a white man’s voice with a southern accent, the hackles on the back of my neck prick and my body stiffens as I wait to learn what sort of person he will be. I don’t like this feeling but I do know it lies in these snippets of my past.

Family

My ancestors on both parents’ sides arrived in Maine in the 1630s and all of my family were born and raised in New England. Maybe my mother had always wanted change, but after my father died when I was two, she moved us to Richmond, Virginia. Aunt A, an old friend with four daughters had moved there and Mom had me and my six year old sister so, except for underwear, I never needed new clothes until I was 11.

Every summer my maternal grandmother drove to Virginia to carry my sister and me north. She stopped in New York City to take us to shows and one time Radio City Music Hall had a rerun of Showboat. I adored the dancers but immediately asked her who sang about the river. She said, “That’s Paul Robeson. I have an album of his at the farm.” Years later, after an eye operation, my husband rented movies for me including Showboat. I complained that the video was in black and white and he said it came that way. I said, “That’s not possible. When Paul Robeson sang, that movie was in color.”

Gram owned a small farm in New Hampshire for summers where I helped with the gardens and lambs. We heard family stories like Gram learning to play piano from a woman who traded lessons for medical services from my great grandfather. Opening their door in the morning, my grandmother said they never knew what they’d find—chickens, vegetables or a hod of clams—poor white people paying for the doctor.

Continue reading “Corona Chronicles: August 15, 2020”

Corona Chronicles: August 4, 2020

Until life returns to some semblance of normal, from time to time we will send out the Corona Chronicles. This publication will provide commentary, brief stories, poetry, book and movie suggestions, and ways to make our time at home meaningful and fulfilling. If you have ideas to submit, please contact Nancy Perkins at nanella133@gmail.com.


Synchronicity
Brenda Smith

The orange subway train clattered down the tracks into the station. As the doors slid open, a handful of people quickly exited. I strode into the half empty car and plopped down in one of the unoccupied bench seats just beyond the doorway. I kept my head lowered so not to engage in sight or sound with any of the other commuters already onboard. I did not want to invade their space, nor have them invade mine. Keep the distance. That’s the rule.

The train lurched forward heading for the next stop a couple of minutes away. I settled in and checked my cellphone for new messages. At the far end of the car a falling backpack thudded on the floor disrupting the silence. I shot a quick glance in that direction. I didn’t see any out of place backpacks, but my eyes caught the bright blue eyes of a young man staring intensely, directly at me. Startled by this unexpected connection, in the same instant we looked away from each other.

Since it was early afternoon, I speculated he might be a graduate student. He was comfortably attired in tan khakis and a navy blue polo shirt. His hair was a wavy light brown, not too long and a bit tousled. I tried to recall other features of his face, but the brilliance of those blues eyes dominated my memory.

Continue reading “Corona Chronicles: August 4, 2020”

Corona Chronicles: July 25, 2020

Until life returns to some semblance of normal, from time to time we will send out the Corona Chronicles. This publication will provide commentary, brief stories, poetry, book and movie suggestions, and ways to make our time at home meaningful and fulfilling. If you have ideas to submit, please contact Nancy Perkins at nanella133@gmail.com.


Remembrances
Nancy Perkins

Sitting at my desk I occasionally look up to see the beauty of the July garden. Peonies dominate the green backdrop of trees and nature looks elegantly decked out in summer splendor. But I am not thinking of my garden or the many chores waiting, rather I am remembering countless past summers spent in my home state of Virginia, the Old Dominion. For years I would spend summers in Richmond with my grandparents. Richmond in the 1950’s was a sleepy, Southern capital dominated by tobacco companies, state bank headquarters, and government. Gracious, tree-lined avenues lined with crepe Myrtle trees and grand oaks dominated the residential west end, home to the descendants of FFV’s (First Families of Virginia). Magnificent Monument Avenue stretched five miles from the downtown of the city to Henrico County. Five statues graced this avenue, dedicated during the Jim Crow era honoring the heroes of the Confederacy (Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Jeb Stuart, Stonewall Jackson, and Matthew Fontaine Maury). A sixth statue, erected in 1996, is dedicated to native son, tennis great, Arthur Ashe. The Battle Abbey, the White House of the Confederacy, and the Valentine museum all paid homage to the mythical Lost Cause of the Confederate defeat. These monuments and museums loom large in my memory as part of my summer vacations.

Continue reading “Corona Chronicles: July 25, 2020”

Corona Chronicles: July 2, 2020

Until life returns to some semblance of normal, from time to time we will send out the Corona Chronicles. This publication will provide commentary, brief stories, poetry, book and movie suggestions, and ways to make our time at home meaningful and fulfilling. If you have ideas to submit, please contact Nancy Perkins at nanella133@gmail.com.


Barbara Klie’s photograph from Jim Kosinski’s photography class

Wicked Good Maine
The Misunderstood Dandelion

For a narrow window of less than 2 weeks each spring the fields of rural Maine turn a bright cheerful yellow with millions of dandelion blossoms. Renowned American naturalist John Burroughs described the phenomena by writing, “The dandelion copies in gold upon the green expanse, the stars of the midnight sky.”

Continue reading “Corona Chronicles: July 2, 2020”

Corona Chronicles: June 21, 2020

Until life returns to some semblance of normal, from time to time we will send out the Corona Chronicles. This publication will provide commentary, brief stories, poetry, book and movie suggestions, and ways to make our time at home meaningful and fulfilling. If you have ideas to submit, please contact Nancy Perkins at nanella133@gmail.com.

Protests, plague, and presidential politics pretty much dominate the airwaves as the summer season begins. It has been a tumultuous spring and as a young Black friend wrote “sometimes I just start crying from nowhere.” I understand what she says for the events in this country have brought many of us to tears. Yet we have learned to seek solace from books, film, cooking, sailing, gardening, and other pursuits that transport our minds to better places. I have deeply appreciated the ideas, thoughts, poetry, and art that transport us in these uncertain times that so many of you have shared. I look forward to receiving more items for the Chronicle. Email your contribution to me at nanella133@gmail.com. Thank you and stay safe.

Nancy Perkins

It goes without saying that any statements made are those of the author and are not attributable to Senior College Belfast.


Continue reading “Corona Chronicles: June 21, 2020”

Corona Chronicles: June 5, 2020

We began the Corona Chronicles to keep the membership of Senior College connected and it has been gratifying to discover that it has connected us during this period of physical and social distancing. The Chronicles is brought to you by SC member Janet Williams, who for years has published the monthly Senior College newsletter. Janet dubbed this addenda to the newsletter the Corona Chronicles and prepares and distributes it. Thank you Janet Williams!

We continue to receive interesting comments and stories from so many members. Pam Chase wrote: I met up with a friend to walk down by the boathouse recently, maintaining social distancing between ourselves and others. As we parted I said “Let’s do what I do when I talk with a grandchild on the phone. Put your right hand on your left shoulder. Put your left hand on your right shoulder. Now squeeze. That is a hug from me to you.” We were smiling at that. We have to do what we’re able to stay connected.

Suzie Williams has enjoyed a number of movies while physically and socially distancing, including Harriet, Ford vs Ferrari, A Dog’s Journey, Blinded by the Light, Rocketman, Bohemian Rhapsody, and many others.

Patricia Keogh writes: An author that I did not read in my lifetime was Anthony Trollope. One year ago I read my first novel by this author. I fell in love! So I decided to do a little project while being isolated and away from my friends and family. I learned about this guy and his life. I got a list of novels that he wrote and started to go down the list to read them. Right now I am on The Warden (1855), one of his earliest novels. I have The Duke’s Children waiting in my queue. I love this English period from the early 1800’s up to the end of Queen Victoria’s reign in 1901. The inequities in society, the unjust and unfair life experience of the poor contrasted with the rich and the landed gentry plus those to the manor born creates a tension that makes his books so interesting. Anthony Trollope is my Covid 19 buddy and I am delighted to have made his acquaintance!

From poetry, paintings, essays, and just brief jottings we have managed to reach out and touch one another during this continued period of isolation. If you have something to share please email me at Nanella133@gmail.com

Nancy Perkins


Continue reading “Corona Chronicles: June 5, 2020”

Corona Chronicles: May 30, 2020

Until life returns to some semblance of normal, from time to time we will send out the Corona Chronicles. This publication will provide commentary, brief stories, poetry, book and movie suggestions, and ways to make our time at home meaningful and fulfilling. If you have ideas to submit, please contact Nancy Perkins at nanella133@gmail.com.

There is a part of me that has found the past few months to be a period of reflection and a time to organize not only closets, photographs, and books but my thoughts and perceptions about the life I have led. I have spent many hours remembering childhood playmates, high school and college friends, the great group of neighbors we had with growing children, and now the new friends I have made since relocating to Belfast. I am so very gratified that Senior College has provided me with a feeling of fellowship and community and nowhere is this more evident than in the articles, essays, poems, reviews, and ideas generated in this newsletter. Please keep sharing for we are all finding pleasure in one another’s thoughts and writings. We will send issues as we gather content. In the meantime, I hope in the words of the Canadian Prime Minister sent to me by member Tyrone Townsend, “Be Calm. Be Kind. Be Safe!”

Nancy Perkins
Nanella133@gmail.com


Continue reading “Corona Chronicles: May 30, 2020”

Corona Chronicles: May 22, 2020

Until life returns to some semblance of normal, from time to time we will send out the Corona Chronicles. This publication will provide commentary, brief stories, poetry, book and movie suggestions, and ways to make our time at home meaningful and fulfilling. If you have ideas to submit, please contact Nancy Perkins at nanella133@gmail.com.

Finally, Spring has arrived and the long days of sheltering in place are brightened by the return of the green world.

When we sent out the first Corona Chronicles we were pleased with the feedback from many of you saying that you enjoyed receiving it, and hoped we would continue compiling pieces from Senior College members. We are happy to forward the second edition with poems and articles about your life in this strange and unique period. We welcome your observations, suggestions and reviews of books, movies, special online sites, interesting recipes, and ways you have kept busy.

Now sit back and enjoy the contributions of fellow members!

Nancy Perkins


Continue reading “Corona Chronicles: May 22, 2020”

Corona Chronicles: May 4, 2020

Until life returns to some semblance of normal, from time to time we will send out the Corona Chronicles. This publication will provide commentary, brief stories, poetry, book and movie suggestions, and ways to make our time at home meaningful and fulfilling. If you have ideas to submit, please contact Nancy Perkins at nanella133@gmail.com.

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting for . . . ?

Arlin Larson
Waiting, waiting, waiting – but for what? That is how I have been feeling recently. Senior College starting up was one of the things I was ready for. For the past year I had been re-educating myself about the Mayflower, Pilgrims, and English settlement of North America. It was going to be really fun to teach a class marking the 400th anniversary this year. Then came the pandemic. Maybe we could have a spring session anyway. No. It will have to wait – but until when?

Another expectation was getting back out on the golf course. OK for that to be delayed – the weather isn’t even all that good. Then there was a trip to see our son and family. Same for a trip overseas. When will it be safe? Life is in suspended animation. We might not mind waiting a while for any one thing, but it feels different now that it is everything.

Then beyond waiting, there is worrying. Waiting AND worrying, waiting AND worrying, waiting AND worrying . . . but worrying about what? That feels pretty global too. Getting sick – how sick? Vulnerable friends and family (one member living in a nursing home and another working in one). Where is it safe to go? What precautions? What chances to take? Are family visits OK? People you know well? Businesses and jobs? Financial security? Worries that the waiting only makes worse.

I’m not sure it is a good idea, but I am keeping a mental list of the strikes that are called against me – old, male, conditions similar enough to the ones they call “underlying.” That makes three, and I’m not yet out, but have just learned of a fourth – growing up in a highly polluted city – Los Angeles!

Continue reading “Corona Chronicles: May 4, 2020”

Spring Semester Cancelled

March 12, 2020

Dear Belfast Senior College Member,

It is with great disappointment that we must write to inform you of the cancellation of our Spring Semester. The Covid-19 virus is an extremely serious situation and our membership and faculty consist of an at-risk population. Consequently, we are taking this preemptive step to minimize the potential impact of this virus.

The college will be issuing refunds to everyone who has signed up for a course this Spring. You will soon receive an email or letter explaining how the refunds are to be processed. We ask for your patience and understanding as it is our first time (and hopefully last time!!) issuing refunds on this scale.

This Spring Cancellation is a solution for a very unusual situation. Meanwhile we are in the planning stages of a very active series of summer programs and are already accepting course proposals for the fall. The Board of Directors will be monitoring the situation to find the earliest possible time to reopen classes. As students we are all disappointed, but a special recognition must go to all our instructors. Our instructors put in much time and effort in preparing their courses, and we are working on ways that will allow them to proceed in the near future.

On a related note, we will also have to postpone our UMO Planetarium trip. Stay tuned for when the trip is rescheduled.

We will be keeping you informed as the situation develops. Rest assured your Senior College is still here and will continue to present courses and programs.

Thank you and stay healthy,
Belfast Senior College Board of Directors

Covid-19 Update

Senior College has cancelled its spring and summer terms over Covid-19 concerns. We will keep you informed as the situation develops. Rest assured your Senior College is still here, working behind the scenes, and will present courses and programs as soon as safely possible.

18th Annual Festival Of Art Call For Artists

Glen Cove Tide by Featured Artist Anne Spencer

CALL TO ARTISTS for the annual Senior College Festival of Art (June 4 – 7). Open to Maine artists 50 years of age and up. Registration period is March 1 – 31.

For information sheet for artists (IMPORTANT!): Click here

For registration form (rich text or pdf): Download rich text or Download pdf

This is a non-juried multi-media exhibit for amateurs and professionals, and shows the work of 140-50 artists each year.

Planetarium Trip 2020 is Cancelled

The trip has been cancelled to to COVID-19, and all checks will be returned on Friday.

Bus trip to the Planetarium on the University of Maine campus in Orono Tuesday, April 28, including a show at the Planetarium entitled, “Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe”. The presentation is a visual tour, seemingly flying into space and seeing planets; other events are planned as well.

The bus leaves the Hutchinson Center at 8:30 am and returns about 2:30 pm. Bring a brown bag lunch. Cost: $20 per person, plus an optional $3 per person to tour a lunar habitat module. Registration deadline is April 6. If we do not have enough participants by that date, the trip will be cancelled. If you would like to attend, but can’t afford it, contact Martha Laitin, Special Events Chairperson, 323-2368  

For printable registration forms: click here

For further information: click here

Paper registration forms are available in the Senior College office.

Snow Cancellation Thursday, January 16

Senior College classes were cancelled January 16 on account of weather. The new schedule is as follows:

  • January 23 – Thursday
  • January 30 – Thursday
  • February 4 – Tuesday
  • February 6 – Thursday

Winterim 2020 Dates

Winterim 2020
Four Thursdays: Jan 16 – Feb 6, 2020
Watch for new course listings here, on this website, on or about December 1, 2019, and in the December E-news!

Behind the scenes in Belfast

Senior College Special Event Committee is presenting a new series of tours dubbed “Behind the Scenes in Belfast” designed to explore the unique institutions and interesting sites that make our town of Belfast a star!

The Series kicks off on October 22​ ​at 10 a.m. with Law and Order: Belfast a tour of both the new Courthouse and Belfast Town Hall. The morning begins at the Waldo County Courthouse, located at Church, Market, and Anderson Streets, which opened in March of this year. Following a tour of this impressive building the tour will continue across the street at Belfast Town Hall where participants will see beyond the front desk of the town offices into the workings of local government. Following the tour there will be a discussion with a representative of Restorative Justice on the topic of their Court Diversion Program.

Additional tours throughout the year may include An Inside Look at Historic Houses of Worship, Upstairs/Downtown featuring unique second story businesses in downtown Belfast, and other topics dealing with Belfast institutions, history, and activities.

For more information on the upcoming tour contact: Karen Gleeson karenglee@earthlink.net. Sign up sheets will be available in the Senior College Office at Hutchinson Center beginning September 5th. Completed forms should be left in the specially marked file on the door to the Office. This tour is limited to 20 individuals.

Download registration form

Spring Classes 2019

The Spring Course Catalog is published and registration will officially open on February 28. We have courses on politics, gardening, Internet technology, music, French, drawing, religion, meditation, literature, and more. Please join us for another challenging and rewarding semester.

Check out the spring class offerings.

17th Annual Festival Of Art Call For Artists

Greetings Maine Artists!

Attached to this post you will find registration materials for the 17th Annual Festival of Art, a special event of Senior College at Belfast. The 2019 Festival of Art Exhibit will be on display for public viewing at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast from May 30 – June 2, 2019.

The attached Information Sheet for Artists provides a detailed overview of Festival requirements, logistics, and events. Please note that the maximum dimensions for hanging work are 40” h x 50” w; maximum weight, 40 pounds. Hanging artwork must have a wire on the back that does not extend above the frame. No saw-tooth hangers!

The Festival is organized and produced by volunteers. All labor is donated. Senior College at Belfast generously covers all outreach and publicity costs. To cover the rental cost of the festival venue, participating artists pay a $15 registration fee.

You may download the attached Registration Form in rich text or PDF format, type or hand write your info in one of those documents, and send your completed form to us by return email or USPS letter mail. If mailing your registration, please enclose a $15 check payable to Senior College Festival of Art for the registration fee. The mailing address appears at the bottom of the Registration Form.

Application deadline: MARCH 31, 2019

Submit by email to: seniorcollegefestivalofart@gmail.com

Or by USPS mail to: Senior College at Belfast Festival of Art
UMaine Hutchinson Center 80 Belmont Ave., Belfast, ME 04915

If you are registering for the Festival electronically you may pay your $15 entry fee when you deliver your artwork to the Hutchinson Center on May 29th.

If you have questions after reading the attached Information Sheet for Artists, please email seniorcollegefestivalofart@gmail.com or call the Senior College at Belfast office and leave a message for the Festival organizers.

We look forward to your participation in the 2019 Festival!

Med or Meds? Mediterranean Cooking For Your Health

Special Events Committee presents:
Med or Meds? Mediterranean Cooking For Your Health

Please register and join us on Friday, April 5 at The Good Table, 68 Main Street, Belfast, for a cooking demonstration of the Mediterranean style of cooking, which features foods like olive oil, vegetables, whole grains, fish and beans.

Husband/wife team of retired chefs Sally Lewis-Lamonica and Charlie Lamonica will demonstrate and students will share the foods prepared. Recipes will be provided.

Enrollment is limited to 20. Sign up in Senior College office, download registration form on website & return to SC office, or email marthalaitin@yahoo.com.

The event is free.

Download registration form