FARMINGTON — The spring list of courses for the Gold LEAF Senior College at the University of Maine at Farmington is filled with how-to classes, tours and day trips, enrichment learning, and book discussions.

The session’s kickoff event and registration will be from 3 to 5 p.m. on Monday, March 9, at the UMF Olsen Student Center, North Dining Hall, 111 South St. It is free, open to the public, and refreshments are served, according to a press release.

Course descriptions are summarized below. Full details, including a registration form, are listed on the Web at

The spring program includes tours of a wood mill and grist mill; nearby geological formations; local alternative energy projects, the Maine State Museum and State House; the historic Fly Rod Crosby Trail; and a talk with a well-known paddler about area kayaking and canoe trips, according to a news release from UMF.

Among the sessions are workshops on writing life stories, on meditation practices in three world religions, end-of-life-care focusing on family and physician conversations, and learning about the Maine wilderness through readings, with an optional field trip. The course has been developed by the Maine Humanities Council.

Arts and crafts include painting on ceramic, gelatin printmaking, basic hand-smocking and making comfort shawls for people struggling with loss or illness.

Among the other classes are tai chi, facial rejuvenation with acupuncture and “Hidden Treasures of Korean Art and Modern Korea,” with two documentaries, a re-enactment of a traditional wedding ceremony and a meal.

Gold LEAF is aimed at people age 50 or older, and spouses/partners, who are interested in lifelong learning opportunities and socializing with those with similar interests. Registration is now open or can be done at the kickoff, although some classes fill up early. Annual membership is $30 for the year beginning July 1. However, a special introductory rate applies for the spring term when new members can join for $10. Courses have nominal fees ranging from $3 to $20 and some classes are at no cost.

Gold LEAF (Lifelong Education at Farmington) is a nonprofit, member-run organization sponsored by UMF and is one of 17 senior colleges in the state. For information, call 778-7063 or email [email protected] to get a course booklet, registration instructions or general information.

Spring 2015 courses:

1. “Tai Chi: Beginners and Returnees” 9-10 a.m. for new participants, 10-11 a.m. for those returning from a prior term. Wednesdays, March 11 through June 17. Tai chi, in the Yang Style Short Form, is led by Drew Holston. Fee $12.

2. “Facial Rejuvenation with Acupuncture” 10:30 a.m.-noon Wednesday, March 11. This class will demonstrate how to locate and apply acupuncture pressure to some of the facial points that are instrumental in enhancing and rejuvenating the face. Fee $5.50.

3. “French: A Conversation” 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, March 14 through June 13. Brush up on French by building vocabulary and grammar. Fee $12.

4. “Hand Smocking” 10 a.m.-noon Mondays, March 16, 23 and 30. This class will show the four basic stitches used in smocking by hand. A combination of these stitches will be used to create an Easter egg. Fee $7.50.

5. “Comfort Shawls to Make and Give” 1-3 p.m. Tuesday, March 17. This workshop provides information about the history of “comfort” or “prayer” shawls, how they have been used locally, where shawls might be donated and includes patterns. Fee $5.50.

6. “Memory and Imagination: Turning Our Life Stories into Literature” noon-2 p.m. Fridays, March 20 and 27, April 17, May 1. Learn how to write your life story. Fee $8.50.

7. “Painting on Ceramics” 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays, March 24 and 31 Paint a tile, plate, container or object of choice and watch the surprise of color glazed onto a functional ceramic piece. Fee $6.50.

8. “Defining the Wilderness” 10 a.m.-noon Thursdays, March 26, April 23, May 28, July 23 and Aug. 20. This course will use readings developed by the Maine Humanities Council to examine how the concept of wilderness has shaped perceptions and experiences of Maine. Fee $9.50.

9. “Gelatin Printing” 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays, April 7 and 14. Learn how to do gelatin printing for cards, collage and frames. Fee $6.50.

10. “End of Life Care: Family and Physician Conversations” 12:45-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, and 1-2:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 14. Conversations within families, between individuals and with health care providers about end of life care. Free.

11. “Explorations in Meditation” 3-5 p.m. Friday, April 10. An introduction to a range of meditation practices drawn from three traditions: Christianity, Buddhism and Islam. Fee $5.50.

12. “Conscious Creative Language” 3-5 p.m. Wednesdays, May 6, 13 and 20. An experience in Conscious Creative Language through the use of the “Language of Mastery Playbook,” “Conscious Music” and “Whole Brain Technology.” Fee $7.50.

13. “Homemade Convenience Mixes: Saving Time and Money” 11 a.m.-noon Thursday, May 7. Learn how to save money and time by making homemade mixes rather than buying prepared mixes at the grocery store. Fee $5.

14. “Maine Books and Places” 10-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, May 12 and 19. Read about and discuss Frances Perkins, named secretary of labor by Franklin Roosevelt in 1933. Fee $6.

15. “Wood Mill and Grist Mill Tours” 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Friday, May 22. Tour the Wood Mill of Maine in Mercer and the Somerset Grist Mill in Skowhegan. Fee $3.

16. “Geology Tour of Farmington” 11 a.m.-noon Friday, May 29. Explore the rich geologic record within a mile radius of UMF. Fee $3.

17. “State House, Blaine House and Maine State Museum tours” 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday or Friday, June 3, 5, 10 or 12. Tour Maine’s State House complex with Sen. Tom Saviello. Fee $3.

18. “Googling Time in the Electronic Lab” 10 a.m.-noon Thursday, June 4. This class will cover some quick tips and tricks about using Gmail and Google Calendar, and how to use Google Docs and Google Sheets. Fee $5.50.

19. “Hidden Treasures of Korean Art and Modern Korea” 2:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 6. Presented by a New York Korean nonprofit organization dedicated to educating Americans about Korea’s history and culture, this includes two documentary films, a re-enactment of a traditional wedding ceremony and a complimentary traditional Korean meal. Fee $3.

20. “Kayak and Canoe Season Get Ready” 1-2:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 9. Presentation by Registered Maine Guide Doug Dunlap. Fee $5.

21. “Exploring the Fly Rod Crosby Trail” 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, June 11. Explore a part of the trail that goes from Phillips to Rangeley. Fee $3.

22. “Practical Alternative Energy in Operation” 1-3 p.m. Saturday, June 13 and Tuesday, June 16. Visit several examples of cutting edge alternative energy in current use in the Farmington area. Fee $3.

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