June 22, 2018
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Learn for fun at Penobscot Valley Senior College

By Carol Higgins Taylor for the WEEKLY, Special to the BDN

Spring is in the air, or will be soon, so now is the time to venture out of the house and chase away the brain cobwebs that may have settled in for winter. Best way to do this? Take a course at the Penobscot Valley Senior College. Compared to many colleges, PVSC is more about personal growth and fulfillment. Learning for the fun of it is the unofficial motto of the Penobscot Valley Senior College.

Affiliated with the University of Maine Center on Aging, PVSC is one of 15 senior colleges scattered throughout the state. Annual membership is $25 per individual and $40 for two people living at the same address. Senior College membership has many benefits, such as advanced notice of courses, invitations to free one-day programs, a free annual meeting luncheon with a guest speaker and the ability to enroll in other senior colleges’ classes.

There are no entrance exams and no academic requirements and no test at the end of the course. In fact, the only actual requirement is that you are 50 or older. Aging does have its perks.

The spring semester runs Fridays from March 6 to April 10 with the two-hour courses held either mornings or afternoons at the UMaine campus in Orono or University College in Bangor.

So just what will your $30 per course tuition get you? The brochure can answer that question fully, but here is the short version:

• What You Have Always Wanted to Know About the Universe But Were Afraid to Ask with Clair Wood. This class answers many questions such as: How did the universe come to be? What are the odds of life on other planets? How did the solar system form? This class will have you peering at the evening sky with a new appreciation.

• Wabanaki History, Culture and Contemporary Issues with John Bear Mitchell. This class will provide the participant with an overview of the tribes in the Wabanaki Confederacy which includes the Penobscots, Passamaquoddys, Maliseets and Micmacs. Their history, culture, philosophy and creation stories will be shared.

• Come, Grow Old with Me — The Best is Yet to be Discovered with Robert L. Veon. This is a psychology course that will “explore possibilities for the development and fulfillment of the older person, and focus on how a sense of meaning and a positive perspective can add enrichment to the later years of one’s life,” according to the course catalog.

• The Pleasure of Poetry with Christina Diebold. If you write poetry or have a hankering to write poetry, this class is for you. You won’t learn how to publish your work, but you will be writing and reading in an “encouraging atmosphere.” This is the perfect class to get your feet wet in the world of poetry.

• Purpose and Meaning in our Lives: Guided Autobiography with Heidi Crosier and Pamela Gross. Your life story is unique. During this class you will be guided “to new discoveries about the directions your lives have taken with specific questions, handouts and exercises.” You will explore where you’ve been, where you are currently and where you are going in life.

This is a brief sampling of the offerings from PVSC. The other courses are just as interesting, so for more information on senior college and the classes offered, visit www.mainecenteronaging.org and click on Senior College, or call their message phone at 262-7927.

Course attendance is limited, so be prepared with a second choice in case the class of your dreams is full. Senior College is just the thing to pull your brain out of its winter slump.

Carol Higgins Taylor is director of communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging. E-mail Higgins Taylor at chtaylor@eaaa.org. For information on EAAA, call 941-2865, toll-free (800) 432-7812, e-mail info@eaaa.org or log on EAAA.org. TTY 992-0150.

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