David Treadwell: Midcoast Elder College: A gift for seniors – pressherald.com

18December 2020

Did you understand that a dreadful factory fire in New York City in 1911 led indirectly to the development of the Social Security Administration? Did you understand that the individual behind the enactment of child labor laws spent most of her childhood summers in Damariscotta, Maine? Did you know that 180,000 African-Americans fought for the Union side in the Civil War, representing about ten percent of the total force? Did you know that postcards revealing images of lynchings were typically offered as keepsakes in the early 1900s? These are simply some of the interesting things I found out while taking two fine courses on Zoom this fall used by the Midcoast Elder College.

In “The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins,” we found out about the extraordinary effect of Francis Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor and the very first lady ever to serve in a governmental cabinet. This incredible woman made impressive progress on behalf of average Americans while combating the patriarchal system and getting rid of the resistance of lots of corporate and government leaders. I extremely suggest the main text for the course: “The Woman Behind the New Offer: The Life and Tradition of Frances Perkins– Social Security, Joblessness Insurance Coverage, and the Minimum Wage” by Kirstin Downey.

In “African-Americans: The Civil War and Consequences,” we found out that while the Civil War resolved some problems connected to slavery, it left most problems associated with the role and status of African-Americans unsettled. A series of discussions by different people covered whatever from slavery and emancipation to post-Reconstruction “Jim Crow” practices and the battle for civil liberties during the 20th century. The bypassing message: while we have come a long way considering that the Civil War, we have a long method to go to accomplish real equality for African-Americans in our society. (Note: These lectures can now be seen totally free online. Go to the website revealed at the end of this post.)

Donna Marshall, Executive Director of the Midcoast Elder College together with the Board of Directors of the organization, had to reimagine MSC’s mode of shipment due to the coronavirus pandemic. Every course had to be held remotely up until circumstances allowed in-person classes. “We knew we had to keep offering academic options to fulfill the needs of seniors with curious minds,” she explains. They decided to provide 8 weeks of remote knowing courses in the fall. Enrollment remained strong, in spite of the modification in the mode of delivery. Midcoast Senior citizen College offered 26 courses this fall, representing 561 trainee sign-ups. (Numerous trainees took more than one course.)

Sustained by the success of the Fall Term, MSC has interesting plans for 2021. Winter Wisdom will include a complimentary five-week weekly lecture series in January/early February. These consist of: “Music as a Form of Community in the Time of Covid,” “Universal Basic Income (UBI) in a Post Pandemic World,” “Remembering Topsham,” “The Vikings Raids in Ireland: 790-1000,” and “The Great White Fleet: Black Sailors, Unions and Racism on the Palmer Schooners.”

About eight four-week courses will be used in February, and a combination of four-week and eight-week courses will be provided in the spring. Future conditions will figure out whether and when MSC can start offering in-person classes once again.

By the way, elders can likewise take part at no cost in one of the three unique interest clubs, featuring Shakespeare, writing and existing events. (See web site for details.)

The difficulties of continuing to serve the academic needs of elders throughout the pandemic have actually produced some favorable findings. Driven by the mission for learning, area senior citizens have proven themselves eager to tackle the technical obstacles of enrolling remotely. Additionally, some speakers prefer the opportunity to teach classes from house to needing to travel to a class. In the future, it may be possible for MSC to partner with other senior college companies in Maine, therefore expanding the number of offerings available.

It’s heartening to understand that a lot of elderly people in the midcoast area retain their joy of knowing and discovery. Thanks to the Midcoast Senior College for continuing to offer this invaluable present, course after course, term after term, year after year.

For more info on future Midcoast Elder College offerings, go to www.midcoastseniorcollege.org.

David Treadwell, a Brunswick writer, invites commentary and ideas for future “Just a Little Old” columns. [email secured]

Remarks are not readily available on this story.

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