Sunday, January 15, 2017

Brown Bag Lunch Discussion on Civil Discourse

Many of us are still reeling from the discord of the recent election. We are dismayed by the current political scene, particularly the competing voices that clamor for our attention. We struggle with questions like:

  • What does “civil discourse” mean for serious-minded citizens who are worried about the directions our nation seems to be taking and the peril of ignoring critical issues like climate change?
  • What are respectful, informed and effective responses to the current crisis?
  • How can we be forces for understanding root causes and finding meaningful solutions?

If these questions trouble you, you may want to join the discussion at the upcoming Brown Bag Lunch sponsored by the Western Mountains Senior College Tuesday, January 24, 12:15-1:30 in the Bethel Inn Library (snow date Wednesday, January 25). With the above questions at the core and under the facilitation of Brendon Bass and Seabury Lyon, we’ll share perspectives and try to inform our individual responses going forward.

Before the discussion date we’ll suggest some helpful readings and audio clips. All the more reason to RSVP early so we can add you to our email list! (Please RSVP, so we can plan for adequate seating.)

You may have helpful material to suggest. If you send it ahead of time, we’ll get it out to all participants. We already have a short list collated after the November Brown Bag Lunch discussion, and we’ll add to it.

This event is free and open to the public. Bring a bag lunch and join the discussion. FMI and to RSVP:; 381-1110.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Change of Date and Time for Pairs and Spares Dinner Out

The winter Pairs and Spares Dinner Out at the new Brian's Restaurant in Bethel will be held on Wednesday, March 1 at 6:15 pm.  This slightly later change of time will accommodate those of us attending the Down Home Maine presentation earlier that afternoon. This is a members-only event; as always, members are invited to bring a guest.  For carpooling arrangements and to RSVP contact Kay Larson (, 207-824-3333) by February 21.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Inclement Weather

A reminder - when MSAD 44 schools are closed because of inclement weather WMSC courses will be canceled as well. Tune in to your local radio or TV station or check their web site for school closing announcements. If a special event (such as Down Home Maine, To Your Health or Brown Bag Lunch) is canceled a notice will be posted here on the WMSC blog.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

January Events

Tuesday, January 24
Brown Bag Lunch Democracy on Trial?

A follow-up from November's Brown Bag Lunch discussion, “Civil Discourse in our Society.” Free and open to the public, not just those who participated in November.
Please RSVP to Nancy Davis:, 381-1110.
Tuesday, January 24; 12:15-1:30; Bethel Inn Library (snow date Wednesday, January 25)

Wednesday, January 25

Down Home Maine Poetry Doesn’t Bite
Explore writing by poets from Maine and the New England area with Sonja Johanson and become familiar with concepts and strategies contemporary poets use to reach their readers. Free and open to the public. FMI: Amy Chapman ( and/or Ellen Marshall (

Wednesday, January 25; 4:30-6:00; McLaughlin Auditorium, Gould Academy

The following events are not sponsored by Western Mountains Senior College, but may be of interest to our members.

Sunday, January 8
Annual Christmas Cantata
"Shout the Good News" by LLoyd Larson will be performed by a Community Choir and instrumentalists. Refreshments following, everyone welcome. Rescheduled from December because of weather.
Sunday, January 8; 4:00 pm; Locke Mills Union Church, Greenwood

Tuesday, January 10
Walking for Seniors Resumes
Come walk with friends in the Bingham Gym and avoid icy sidewalks! Open to all area seniors every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the winter. FMI contact Jackie Cressy ( or 824-0508).
Tuesdays and Thursdays; 1:30-2:30 pm; Gould Academy's Bingham Gym, Bethel

Wednesday, January 11
Soup & Ski Program Begins
A new program especially for Seniors and others who don't like to be on trails alone. Report to the Trails Center at The Bethel Inn at 10:00 am for assistance with trails and such. Ski with companions for two hours and then return to the Inn for a simple soup lunch. Skiers may choose to bring a lunch item to share, but it's not necessary. $12 per session. FMI: 824-6276 or
Wednesdays; 10:00 am; Bethel Inn Trails Center, Bethel

Saturday, January 14
Seed: The Untold Story 
The Gem and the Local Food Connection team up for this special film screening and celebration of local food! 
3:30 - Social Hour: volunteers and movie goers are encouraged to bring an appetizer to share
4:30 - Special screening of Seed: The Untold Story
6:15 - Taggart Siegel—the film’s director—will be available via Skype to answer audience questions. FMI and to buy tickets ($6): SEED

Saturday, January 14; 3:30-7:00 pm; Gem Theater, Bethel

Wednesday, January 18
Mahoosuc Old Growth: the Once and Future Forest 
Presented by Mahoosuc Land Trust, Ken Hotopp will describe the dramatic changes that our region's forests and wildlife passed through following European settlement; unregulated hunting, fishing, and logging; land clearing for agriculture; industrial boom and bust; and ongoing development. FMI contact Jolan Ippolito (207-824-3806 or
Wednesday, January 18; 7:00 pm; McLaughlin Auditorium, Gould Academy 

Wednesday, January 25
Community Supper

Free community supper the last Wednesday of the month. All are welcome.

Wednesday, December 28; 4:30 - 6:00 pm; Bethel Alliance Church, 251 Walkers Mills Road, Bethel

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Monday, January 2, 2017

Registration Begins This Wednesday

Registration for Western Mountains Senior College winter courses begins on Wednesday, January 4.  Bring your completed registration form with payment to the Telstar Adult Education office, or mail it to: WMSC, PO Box 1305, Bethel, ME 04217.  We regret that due to family health issues Witchcraft Crisis 1692 and From Fiber to Fabric have been canceledFor a complete list of course offerings: Courses Winter 2017; to download a membership/registration form: Registration Form.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Monday, December 5, 2016

Walkers in the Bingham Gym

Last week saw the first walkers taking advantage of the new walking program for seniors at Gould Academy's Bingham Gym. This week the gym will be open for walking on Tuesday and Thursday (December 6 and 8) from 1:30 - 2:30 pm. Now that there's snow on the ground come and check it out! Please bring a pair of gym-type shoes to wear - street shoes are not allowed in the gym.

Because of Gould Academy activities, after this week the walking program will take a break until January 10. For more information contact Jackie Cressy (, 824-0508).

Chorus Line: Laurie Winsor and Judy Whitman are cute enough to be in a chorus line, but they're in a "Walking line" at the Bingham Gym at Gould Academy.   photo Eunice Ruby

John Holliday joined the walkers Thursday. photo Eunice Ruby

The gym is connected to Bingham Hall at Gould, the door to the right.  Rosabelle Tifft found it! photo Eunice Ruby

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Monday, November 28, 2016

Tech-Help Offered at Telstar High School

The Telstar tech-help program has restarted! On Mondays and Tuesdays, from 2:30-4:00, two High School students are available in the Telstar Adult Ed office for drop-in technology help. With or without an appointment, you may bring your device-related problems, and they can probably help you.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

“Walk the Bingham Gym” Exercise Program

As the days shorten and walking outside becomes more difficult, getting enough exercise is hard to do. If you like to walk, here is an opportunity to do it safely and in the company of others.

Thanks to the generosity of Gould Academy, in coordination with the Age-Friendly Community Initiative (AFCI) and the Bethel Recreation Department, the Bingham Gym will be open for walking to all adults aged 55 and over in the greater Bethel area. The gym will be open twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between 1:30 and 2:30 pm. Come on in to walk in the warm, well-lit space of the basketball court (wear gym-type shoes). You do not need to pre-register, but you will need to sign a waiver of liability when you attend the first time.

A member of the AFCI Winter Exercise Task Force will be present at the gym when it is open for our use. If you like to walk to music, we recommend that you bring an iPod/iPhone and earbuds.

While the focus will be on walking at your own pace, there will be guest leaders who will offer exercise tips and instruction in qi gong, walking meditation, and the use of light weights, depending on the interests of participants. Suggestions for other activities are welcome.

The program will begin on Tuesday, November 29. The gym will be open at 1:30 pm on that day and on December 1st, 6th and 8th. Because of Academy activities, we will take a break and begin the Tuesday-Thursday schedule again on January 10th.

No need to become a couch potato because of ice and snow-covered walks! Help yourself stay fit this winter and participate in this new opportunity. For more information contact Jackie Cressy (, 824-0508).

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Monday, November 21, 2016

From the Brown Bag Lunch Discussion on Civil Discourse

by Brendon Bass

Following our country's long and contentious campaign season, November 16th's Brown Bag Lunch discussion focused on civil discourse. The 14 participants shared constructive and creative responses they'd heard or thought over the previous week, noted local community-building opportunities, and shared ideas on what steps could be taken next. They also contributed to a list of online resources to be shared via email. If you missed the program but would like to receive or contribute to this list, please contact Nancy Davis ( or 381-1110). Let her know, also, if you have ideas for related Brown Bag Lunch discussions.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Senior College Players Celebrate 10th Anniversary This Weekend

by Rosabelle Tifft

Ross Timberlake, well-known for his acting and playwriting, wrote and is directing a play in a unique format to highlight and celebrate the tenth anniversary of the players. Jack Kuchta assists as facilitator. The play, “Thank You and Good Night,” introduces you to the Senior College Players as they've never been seen before.

Ross said, “Over the past ten years we’ve appeared as various characters in plays, but we’ve never played ourselves. We not only face the challenge of playing ourselves, but we face another challenge as we get into character in a number of “skits.” These skits, or vignettes, taken from a number of favorite plays, are interwoven throughout the play.

Here are the remaining skits not previously mentioned in previous posts:

“Cornbread and Beans” finds Tineke Ouwinga and Norman Milliard as two very different persons on a blind date.
Tineke Ouwinga & Norman Milliard  photo Bob McCartney

Two ditsy women, played by Carole Timberlake and Tineke Ouwinga, hold up a bank so they can get a date with the bank manager, played by Tim LeConey, in “Creative Dating.” Caught in the confusion are bank teller, Pat McCartney, and customers Mark Antell, Barb Dion and Arita Zitoli.
Carole Timberlake, Tim LeConey,  Tineke Ouwinga in front;  Mark Antell,  Pat McCartney in back.  photo Bob McCartney

“The Trial of Goldilocks” presents a different twist to this traditional story and features Norman Milliard as Goldilocks who steals the show from Mama Bear, Carole Timberlake; Papa Bear, Jack Kuchta; and Baby Bear, Arita Zioli. Tineke Ouwinga plays the narrator.
Carole Timberlake, Arita Zitoli, Jack Kuchta, Tineke Ouwinga and Norman Milliard.  photo Bob McCartney
In the closing scene, the entire cast members are still debating TV live screening versus radio and arrive at an unexpected conclusion.

First row from left:  Carol Timberlake, Jim McLean, Rosabelle Tifft and Tineke Ouwinga.

Standing (from left)  Arita Zitoli, Jack Kuchta, Norman Milliard, Roberta Taylor, Mark Antell, Tim LeConey, Carol Campbell, Pat McCartney, Ross Timberlake, Lorrie Hoeh and Barb Dion.  photo Bob McCartney
Don’t miss the performance, which will be held on Friday and Saturday, November 18 and 19, at the Gould Academy McLaughlin Auditorium beginning at 7 pm.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at