Happening on Campus Page

Summer lecture series

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Fall Semester is starting soon

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About our classes:

The annual schedule.

Free but member in fall and spring

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General Information
for Potential
Students and Instructors

(Especially during Covid restrictions, some of this information is occassionally modified.  Always check the specific class, lecture, or activity for current information.)

  • There are two semesters – Spring (begins mid-March) and Fall (begins mid-September) – about 25 to 30 classes per semester.
  • Classes are typically 1.5 – 2 hours long and run 8 weeks.
  • Not including our Concert series, we produce about 25 lecture and forum events per year, in addition to classes.
  • During the winter months of January and February, Brown Bag lectures are held Tuesdays at noon. The topics and lecturers vary. (Suspended and replaced with Zoom due to Covid Restrictins.)
  • The Granite Hill Lecture Series is a regular course lasting for 8 weeks that is taught each semester by 8 different instructors. ((Suspended and replaced with Zoom due to Covid precautions at the Granite Hill Facility.)
  • Classroom facilities include white boards, overhead projectors, computers, etc. You can usually set up a video or PowerPoint presentation on your laptop or thumbdrive, and project it. Some classrooms are Zoom friendly.

Help
The information above describes what we have done historically. Don’t hesitate to ask about something different.  In particular, although we serve retired seniors well, we believe our classes are not easily available to those still working.  We are looking to inaugurate Saturday classes and evening classes. It would help to know if you are interested or have other suggestions.

Blogs intro
We start off our new commentary section with with 4 entries. Kay Fiedler shows us how to make lemondade from zoom, Ann Sullivan begins the story of Augusta Senior College, and 2 new instructors

The articles from Kay and Cheryl originally appeared in the Illuminator, the Senior College Newsletter to see more articles from the current and past editions, click here
We hope you will comment on these articles.
If you would like to contribute an article to the commentary section, simply compose it on your computer and drag the file to this box.

Let’s Get Purr-sonal

On the surface, meeting on Zoom seems much more impersonal than getting together on campus. But that is not always the case. After all, in the past year, we have ventured into our classmates’ living rooms, kitchens, and spare bedrooms.

Read More »

Complexity and Mysticism

“Science does not need mysticism and mysticism does not need science. But man needs both” Fritjof Capra  Although my formal training is in the sciences, I am also interested in topics relating to spirituality. Combining both would be the next

Read More »

Planning a New Class

The most fascinating bedrock outcrops turn out to be those that are at the coast. The coast of Maine has some of the oldest and most complex rocks in the state. I have lost count of the number of sites

Read More »

The All Volunteer Alma Mater
In addition to thanking our sponsors and instructors, it is important to acknowledge the volunteers who banded together to keep Senior college functioning as the pandemic began and grew.
The Spring 2020 Semester was canceled just as the catalogs arrived at the Senior College office from the printer. Refunds were issued by some of those who had volunteered to help with registration. Soon after, the office was locked and the campus was closed.
The group, including Pam St. Peter, the administrative assistant from the university, were all relatively new to the job. Most did not know each other well. Now they could not meet in person. They were all seniors social distancing. The word was that Senior College would be suspended indefinitely. There were no vaccines. They had responded to a call to help with registration for just one week. So none of the individual volunteers knew if any of the others felt an obligation to try to continue facilitating Senior College activities into the future.
They held an initial meeting on Zoom, a new experience for them, where they discovered that they were all willing to commit, agreeing that Senior College would be even more important during the national shut-in period. From that virtual group handshake, many hundreds of volunteer hours ensued.
The group became expert in Zoom so they could assist instructors with their presentations, sitting in classes where needed to handle the issues students encountered so the class would not be interrupted. The members scheduled duty days for themselves, so anyone who called to request help with Zoom or computer use would receive it. Usually, a special private Zoom session was set up for the caller to learn to log in and use the software. This made it possible for board and committee members to meet and for students to attend classes.
To begin, Mike Bell agreed to present his canceled Roosevelt class on Zoom as a test case and learning experience. Next came summer lectures and then full Fall and Spring semesters. In short, the heavens opened up, a light shone through, and Senior College did not suspend it’s classes.
What qualified these people to succeed? Among them they had life experience being at various times unemployed and/or on public assistance, the director of admissions for a Maine college, the art director for a regional magazine, a public school teacher, a manager for a small private company with 20 employees, an environmental specialist for a state Department of Environmental Protection, a self-employed IT consultant, and an electrical engineer for a large international corporation.
The group, however, did not succeed because they had or had not held positions of authority, or because of particular training, or because of or in spite of their age. They were up to the task mostly because of a strong sense of purpose and a commitment to each other to share the burden.
The Office Committee:
Kay Fiedler, Louis Fontaine, Shelly Gerstein, Gale Mettey, Robert O’Halloran, Elizabeth Reinsborough, Pam St. Peter, and Ann Sullivan