Sunday, October 26, 2014

Senior College Players Update

by Rosabelle Tifft

Senior College Players are gearing up for their annual performances to take place on Friday and Saturday, November 21 and 22, at the Gould Academy Trustees Auditorium beginning at 7 pm. This year’s performance is entitled: “We Hope We Passed The Audition!”
One of three comic plays to be performed is entitled, “Identity Crisis.” This play involves a tabloid reporter who stages an elaborate scam so she can write the story of the century, but her plan backfires when employees at the airline’s Lost and Found unravel her scheme. The cast includes Tineke Ouwinga as the reporter; Norman Milliard, Carole Timberlake, and Jack Kuchta as airline personnel. Jim McLean and Rosabelle Tifft also check in and out looking for their lost luggage.
Watch for summaries of the remaining plays, “Out the Window” and “A Mad Breakfast” in future editions of the blog.
Tineke Ouwinga, Carole Timberlake, Norman Milliard and Jack Kuchta    photo Lorrie Hoeh

Jim McLean, Rosabelle Tifft and Carole Timberlake  photo Lorrie Hoeh

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

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Opera Talk: "Carmen" Wednesday, October 29

Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

On Saturday, November 1, the Metropolitan Opera will broadcast Bizet's Carmen live in HD. Patricia Boyle-Wight will introduce us to this favorite opera on Wednesday, October 29, 10:30 am at the West Parish Congregational Church. Patricia will lead us to a fuller appreciation of the historical and musical elements of this great opera, which features one beloved and instantly recognizable melody after another. Come even if you can't attend the opera on November 1. If attending, please RSVP to Patricia at or 824-8453. The opera talk is free and open to the public, so bring a friend!

For tickets to the November 1 Metropolitan Opera HD broadcast contact or call the box office at 207-935-9232 (Mon-Fri, 9:00-1:00). Opera goers may choose to “ride-share.”

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

Monday, October 13, 2014

Large Group Attends Session on Alzheimer's Disease

Jan Stowell and Mark Pechenik   photo Rosabelle Tifft
by Kathleen DeVore

Fifty-four people attended last week's To Your Health presentation, “Know the Ten Signs of Alzheimer's.” Mark Pechenik from the Maine Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association spoke of the following ten signs which suggest dementia.

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life: forgetting recently learned information; asking for the same information over and over; increasingly needing to rely on memory aids or family members for things formerly handled independently.

2. Challenges in planning or solving problems: changes in ability to develop and follow a plan; keeping track of monthly bills; following a familiar recipe.

3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure: trouble driving to a familiar location; managing a budget; remembering the rules of a favorite game.

4. Confusion with time or place: losing track of dates, seasons; forgetting where one is or how they got there.

5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships: difficulty reading, judging distance, determining color or contrast.

6. New problems with words in speaking or writing: difficulty following or joining a conversation; finding the right word; calling things by the wrong name.

7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps: putting things in unusual places; losing things and being unable to find them again.

8. Decreased or poor judgment: difficulty dealing with money; decreased attention to grooming.

9. Withdrawal from work or social activities: difficulty remembering how to complete a favorite hobby; avoiding being social because of these changes.

10. Changes in mood and personality: becoming confused, suspicious, fearful or anxious, especially when out of one's comfort zone.

If you notice these signs in yourself or a loved one, see a doctor. The dementia could be due to coronary disease or another life-threatening problem with blood flow. If it is Alzheimer's, while there is not yet a cure, there are medications which can slow the progression. The Alzheimer's Association offers many types of support to the person living with Alzheimer's and to their friends and family.

A follow-up program, “The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease,” will be held on Thursday, November 6, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm at the West Parish Congregational Church. For more information, contact Rosabelle Tifft at 824-2053. 

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

WMSC Drawing and Painting Class Takes a Field Trip to Andover

On Thursday, October 2, WMSC's art class met at Pam Berry's house in Andover.  Everyone had a wonderful time drawing and painting from nature.  Here are a few photos that Wendy Hutchins sent to us.

Elly Dufault, painting a scene in Pam Berry's back yard.
Denise Hurd and Suzanne Taylor enjoy the front yard.
Bonnie Pooley and Pam Berry
Sisters Freda Davis and Roma Wilson, painting in Pam's studio.
Geri Kelley, Lee Smith and Bonnie Pooley. The whole group
 shared a "potluck" lunch before returning home.
 photos by Wendy Hutchins

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

Brown Bag Lunch Discussions

by Nancy Davis

Have you participated in one of our Brown Bag Lunch discussion sessions? Last spring’s was facilitated by Marvin Ouwinga, on Islam. The second, facilitated by Bonnie Pooley, was held recently, on “The Resilient Community in the 21st Century: how can elders shape the legacy we leave our children and grandchildren?” Twenty-two people participated in a lively discussion around questions of what makes our own community special, what might some of the downsides of a small rural community be, and what we can do to improve and define our community for the future. For more of the discussion, see the upcoming edition of the Bethel Citizen.

WMSC will be continuing these Brown Bag Lunch discussions as part of our inclusion of the public in sharing ideas and information. Our intent is that our ongoing Down Home Maine series will invite interesting Maine citizens with particular talents or expertise to share their experiences with us. In contrast, the Brown Bag Lunch is an opportunity for a facilitator to help participants to grapple with ideas, swapping a variety of perspectives on an issue. Nancy Davis is managing the program and welcomes ideas for future topics. Brown Bag topics may be issues-oriented, of local interest, related to learnings from a particular WMSC class – or any other topic that lends itself to spirited discussion. You may send ideas to Nancy at 381-1110 or Be watching for the next Brown Bag Lunch in January.

From the October 1 Brown Bag Lunch discussion.  photo Amy Chapman

The library at the Bethel Inn provides a friendly, welcoming setting.  photo Amy Chapman
For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Monday, October 6, 2014

Energy Medicine for Your Health: An Introduction to Polarity Therapy

Emily Ecker, LCWS and Polarity Therapist
Woodstock resident Emily Ecker, LCSW and Polarity Therapist, introduces us to Polarity Therapy at this Down Home Maine offering on Wednesday, October 22, 4:30-6:00 pm at the West Parish Congregational Church in Bethel.

Eastern cultures have long recognized that the body’s energies are the key to health, vitality and well-being. “Energy medicines” such as Polarity Therapy are now being studied and utilized in Western medicine and are beginning to transform how we view and empower our health.

Polarity Therapy works to restore balance and wholeness. The Polarity Therapist uses gentle touch to direct the healing energy to specific areas in the body. The benefits are many, including relief of chronic health issues such as arthritis, back pain, depression, headaches and digestive problems; strengthening the immune system; and bringing mental and emotional clarity to a troubling issue.

At this hands-on session Emily will demonstrate what Polarity Therapy is. She will teach us to use Polarity Therapy's Star Pathway on our own for relaxation, balance, and a greater sense of well-being. This presentation is free and open to the public. Contact Emily for further information (207-357-9954).

Health is not merely of the body. It is the natural expression of the body, mind and soul when they are in rhythm with the One Life – Dr. Randolph Stone, Founder of Polarity Therapy, 1952

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