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Gold LEAF Institute Course Catalogue

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Socially Conscious

Limitless Energy and Sustainable Weight Loss With Plant Nutrition and Naturopathy


with Alanna Jordan

Calendar Oct 17, 2023 at 10 am


Note:  This class will be recorded.

You will leave this short masterclass with the 5 top things you could be doing to have more energy and sustainably release weight using plant nutrition.

October 17, 2023

9 am - 10:30 am

Alanna is a naturopath specializing in plant nutrition, phytotherapy, Bach flower elixirs, and massage.  She studied naturopathy at ENA MNC in France and is a certified raw vegan coach. She has been plant-based for 32 years.

Question 3 - Session 1- Pine Tree Power Co. with Tina Riley. Session 2 - Facts on Climate Vote in U.S, 2023 with Seth Berry.


with Tina Riley, session1. Seth Berry, session 2

Calendar Oct 19, 2023 at 10 am


2 sessions

Note: The Gold LEAF Institute does not endorse candidates for office or take positions on citizen initiatives or referenda. However, GLI members do strive to be informed voters. The two sessions listed below, by speakers with differing views on Question 3, will present information about the positive and negative implications of the vote.

In November, voters will decide Question 3, “An Act to Create the Pine Tree Power Company, a Nonprofit, Customer-owned Utility.” This is a citizen’s initiative that would create a nonprofit corporation to take over Maine’s investor-owned electric utilities, CMP and Versant. The accounting, operation, and regulation of an electric utility is astonishingly complicated and most people have very little background in the subject. These presentations will explain what Question 3 is about and answer your questions before election day.

Session 1

Tina Riley

October 19, 2023

10 am-11:30 am

Location:  Education Ctr, room 112

“Pine Tree Power Company” with Tina Riley 

Tina Riley served two terms in the Maine House of Representatives where she served on the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee. She also serves on the Public Advocate's Electric Ratepayers Advisory Council (ERAC) as the representative for CMP customers. Her work on this issue is in no way connected to ERAC.


Session 2

Seth Berry

October 24, 2023

10 am-11:30 am

Location:  Education Ctr, room 112

Seth Berry is a Maine-based business, education, and policy leader. A proud progressive, Seth ran seven times for state legislature – winning each time in a district that also voted twice for both Trump and LePage. During his service, Seth was elected House Majority Leader by his peers, won numerous awards, and chaired several top legislative committees. In 2020, Seth co-founded Our Power, a Maine-based movement to replace the state’s two large investor-owned electric utilities with a not-for-profit, consumer-owned utility that will focus on the state’s climate goals, cutting costs, and improving reliability. Seth holds a BA from Brown and an MA from Columbia University. 

Views on the News - fall/winter term


with Paul Mullin

Calendar Oct 20, 2023 at 10 am


This is a discussion group held on the first and third Fridays of each month covering local, national, and world news. The discussion provides an opportunity to share your observations and opinions on the news and to learn from other participants. Articles of interest are distributed among the group by email in the week prior to each meeting, and topics to discuss are selected by the group at the beginning of each meeting.

Paul Mullin is the facilitator for this discussion group.

Starts at 10 am.

October 20

November 3, 17

December 1, 15

January 5, 19

February 2 

Solar Photovoltaic Presentation


with John Daly

Calendar Oct 25, 2023 at 1 pm


This is an introduction to residential solar energy.

October 25th 

1:00 pm

Location: Education Center, room 110

John is a retired High School and Community College teacher.


Becoming a Worker for Civil Rights


with John Rosenwald

Calendar Nov 9, 2023 at 10 am


One might have suspected that John Rosenwald, as a privileged white male growing up during the 1950s in a comfortable Chicago suburb, would not have headed in the direction of becoming a civil rights worker. What he will share in this session is the background that led him to become and remain a political activist: an integrated high school, employment in a multi-racial restaurant, the coming of the 60s on late-night radio, the decision to attend the University of Illinois instead of Williams College, life in a multi-cultural residence hall, the war in Viet-Nam, the opportunity to live and study in Germany, graduate school in North Carolina as Martin Luther King, Jr., is killed, the aftermath of that murder, and all the changes both personally and culturally that made him the person he became. His intent is to discuss civil rights, how he as one person became involved, and to initiate conversation, public and/or private, about what that commitment still means today both for himself and for others.

November 9, 2023

10 am - 11:30 am

Ed Ctr, Rm 107

John Rosenwald lives in Farmington, Maine. Until his retirement in 2010, he was Professor of English for 34 years at Beloit College in Wisconsin. He served as senior editor of the Beloit Poetry Journal and president of the Beloit Poetry Journal Foundation. As a Fulbright Professor of American Culture and Literature, he has taught in China at Fudan, Nankai, and Zhejiang Universities; from 2012 to 2014 he was invited with his wife, Ann Arbor, to create at Hangzhou Normal University a pilot program in Transdisciplinary Education. Other recent work involves the organization of exhibitions of Chinese peasant artists and collaborative translation of contemporary Chinese poets. Harvest, his selected poems, and a novel, The Feast of Steven, appeared in 2016. His translation of Rilke’s The Sonnets to Orpheus appeared in 2022, the centenary year of the poems’ creation; it won the 2023 Maine Writers & Publishers Award for Excellence in Publication. With his wife, he has been a frequent participant since its creation in 1975 at Robert Bly's Annual Conference on the Great Mother and the New Father, for which he was commissioned by the University of Minnesota Library to write the history. Other honors include the 1996 Underkofler Outstanding Teacher Award, the 2003 Zhejiang Province West Lake Friendship Award, and an Honorary Doctorate in 2009 from the University of Maine Farmington. He was a civil rights worker in the South in the 1960s and remains a political activist, involved in many ways within his local and state communities.

Will run

We are AI: Taking Control of Technology Learning Circle


with Michelle Navarre & Chip Cleary

Calendar Jan 16, 2024 at 10 am


Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) refers to a growing world of sophisticated computer programs that “learn” from data in order to make decisions. Many of these AI systems are invisible to the public, yet the results of the decisions they make (or help humans make) have a huge impact on modern life.

"For many of us, AI primarily impacts the way we do things online: it controls whose updates we read on Facebook, which products we select on Amazon, and which movies we watch on Netflix. However, AI is increasingly being used to make decisions in more serious areas of life like hiring (E.g., deciding whose resume gets reviewed by a human and whose gets skipped), education (E.g., assigning grades based on past performance), and even law enforcement (E.g., helping a judge decide who gets bail).

Because of how important AI is in our lives, we should understand how it works so that we can control it together! The goal of this 5-week learning circle course is to introduce the basics of AI, discuss some of the social and ethical dimensions of the use of AI in modern life, and empower individuals to engage with how AI is used and governed." This learning circle was developed by the Center for Responsible AI (R/AI) at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU), and the Queens Public Library (QPL).

Tuesdays,  January 16, 23, 30,  February 6, 20

Michelle and Chip are a retired couple living in New Vineyard. Before retiring, Michelle was a professor and academic administrator who focused on transforming higher education institutions to better serve adult learners. She has worked with Peer-to-Peer University to develop credit-bearing learning circles for those considering a return to higher education. After earning an MBA and a Ph.D. in Computer Science, Chip combined technology with learning sciences to build training and development systems.

Engaging with Vietnam: My Return


with Doug Rawlings

Calendar Jan 17, 2024 at 10 am


In August 2023, Doug returned to Vietnam after a 53-year absence, to attend a conference (14th annual "Engaging With Vietnam"). He was part of a panel discussing the G.I. resistance to the war and also read his poems. Doug's son traveled with him. After the conference, they traveled by car to the DMZ, to Khe Sanh, to Danang, and to Dong Ha.  Their journey took them to the VFP programs RENEW (designed to remove unexploded ordnance from villages) and the Friendship Village (designed to assist Vietnamese families impacted by Agent Orange).  Doug's talk will recount this journey.

10 am - 12 pm

January 17, 2023

North Dining Hall West End A

Doug is a Co-founder of Veterans For Peace. Drafted in 1968 and sent to Vietnam from July 1969 to August 1970. Much of his poetry is political in nature and much of it comes from his experience as a soldier and veteran.

Samantha Smith: America's Youngest Ambasador


with Doug Rawlings

Calendar Jan 24, 2024 at 10 am



January 24, 2024

10 am-12 pm

North Dining Hall West End A

As a member of Veterans For Peace, Doug was involved in the June 2023 dedication of a South Portland Highway in Samantha Smith's honor. During that process, he became aware of the power of Samantha's words and short life. This book is written from the perspective of one of Samantha Smith's peers -- she was a fourth grader in 1985 when Samantha died. She was a resident of the Soviet Union. She has dedicated much of her life to re-creating Samantha's message of peace activism.


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