Tuesday, September 25, 2012

First Week of Fall Classes

Fall classes are now in full swing! None of us can be at every class, so here's a quick look at what went on this first week.

Marvin Ouwinga's A History of Classical Architectural Styles began on Monday with an introduction to the basic building blocks of architecture and the pyramids of Egypt. Rosemary McLean says that “Marvin is as usual a fount of knowledge. He rounds out his comments to make architecture understandable, simple, interesting and easy to remember what he's told us.” Marcia Foster-Austin adds, “I took the course because I know very little about architecture. Marvin was using words I'd never seen or heard before, but now I know what they mean.”

The first session of Great Decisions, facilitated by Jim McLean, dealt with the Internet and keeping your computer safe, and led to a discussion of the possibility of all-out cyber-war. Saranne Taylor says, “I find the course quite challenging, and the people in it are terrific.” Dan Johnson was a guest at this session, his first. Dan had this to say, “It was good, and very frightening. It makes me want to consider taking this course.”

Pat Stewart began the first class of Charles Dickens: Mystery and Hard Times by asking students what experience they've have with Dickens. Many had read A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, the ones we had to read in high school, but no one has read Hard Times or The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Jackie Cressy, who is really enjoying the class, says that “Pat is such a great facilitator and asks good questions.” She is sorry that fall is such a busy time and that she may need to miss the next class. Amy Davis compares reading when she was in high school and reading now. She says that back then “it seemed that Dickens just went on and on, and I felt like asking, when are you going to set the plot? When are you going to start the story? But now it's a lot more fascinating.”

It seems that last Thursday some of the students in Suzanne Taylor's Drawing and Painting class were rather too talkative, and Suzanne couldn't hear herself think! But as Jackie VanLeuven says, “The camaraderie of the group is so good. We all seem to relate to one another, and I look forward to our meetings every week.” Sara Wright is “just enjoying the opportunity to work in a medium I'm unfamiliar with – as a writer and a poet this is a new exploration for me.”

Creative Writing, also facilitated by Suzanne Taylor, rounded out the week on Friday. Suzanne had students reach into a bag and pull out a cookie press. They were to write about what they saw. Scott Hynek commented, “The interesting thing to me was that for no particular reason I wrote the first sentence without thinking of what the second sentence would be, and then the second without thinking of the third. The place I was at the end of 20 minutes was not where I thought I'd be at 15 minutes.” Barb Dion, who has been in the Creative Writing class for years, says the class “is lots of fun, and everyone is very non-judgmental. It's interesting to see the different writing styles. Some are very introspective when they write, others are more fun-loving. My style is more the macabre. Everyone is waiting to see who is going to die.”

Our fall term is definitely off to a good start!

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at http://sad44.maineadulted.org/western_mountains_senior_college

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


by Rosabelle Tifft

Western Mountains Senior College opened its 10th anniversary celebration on September 13 with an elegant evening event attended by seventy-five members and guests. Miniature lights strung around the hall and tables decked out with beautiful flower centerpieces created by Ginny Gamble added ambiance to the evening. The delicious social hour refreshments and buffet dinner were provided by the Good Food Store Caterers.

Wall posters depicting members at many activities over the past ten years and recent art work produced in art classes made a hit with everyone.  Entertainment by the Senior College Players had the hall rocking with laughter. Memories of the past years submitted by WMSC members were read between skits. Later, a drawing was held for those who submitted their memories, as well as those who listed memories on the spot.

One of the evening’s highlights was special guest, Kali Lightfoot, executive director, National Resource Center of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Kali was instrumental in the formation of WMSC and gave an interesting talk on the history of senior colleges. She presented WMSC co-chairs with a plaque from the Maine Senior College Network, which congratulated WMSC on its tenth anniversary.

Thanks to Lauren and Peter Gailitis for taking photos.  To see all of Lauren and Peter's photos from the 10th Anniversary Dinner click here:   Lauren and Peter's Photos 

This anniversary event marked the beginning of a year of celebration and was an event especially for current members of the Senior College. Watch for announcements for future events that will involve the wider community.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at http://sad44.maineadulted.org/western_mountains_senior_college