May 10, 2017 | Feature |
By Nick Bray, Contributing Writer
In front of an overflowing room, Associate Professor of Special Education, Dr. Rick Dale concluded the 19th annual Michael D. Wilson Symposium by giving his last lecture. In its fifth year, the last lecture is a yearly event at symposium, sponsored by Alpha Lambda Delta, which gives one retiring professor an opportunity to reflect and share life lessons with the community.
Titled “My Teachers,” Dale’s evening talk reflected on the authors, people and experiences which he has learned from throughout his life. Unlike most of the presentations given during the day of student talks, there were no audiovisual aids. “No powerpoint tonight,” Dale said. “Going old school, I do powerpoint way too much.”
Dale, a quiet and soft-spoken person, first shared that he has a tattoo. There was a feeling of surprise that lingered in the audience after Dale made that statement. He has a tattoo of the word “foghlaim,” which is a Gaelic word meaning both teach and learn. Dale’s talk emphasized that one can be a lifelong learner, and that it is important to reflect on the teachers which have shaped one’s life.
Among the authors Dale discussed was Fred Rogers, at which time he shared excerpts from a short piece Rogers wrote called, “What Comes First in Learning.”
“If you care about your students and you care about what you are teaching, everything else is a technical matter,” Dale said.
Another author Dale mentioned during his talk was Jack Kerouac, who taught him about the importance of spontaneity and passion. Dale could be considered an expert on the writings of Kerouac and the beat generation. He has written a book, “The Beat Handbook” and maintains a blog, “The Daily Beat” on the philosophies of the beat generation. For several years Dale has also taught a first year seminar course on Jack Kerouac.
One of his former students and secretary of Alpha Lambda Delta, Sarah Jenkins, introduced Dale before his lecture. She took his First Year Seminar and became inspired to travel out west. Jenkins made the trip earlier this year when she drove across country and visited Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. “I lived out of my car and wrote poems about the sights I saw,” Jenkins said. “I felt like a modern day Jack Kerouac.” Although she doesn’t give full credit for her trip to Dale, Jenkins says she never had an interest in going west before taking his class.
Included among the eight people Dale identified as teachers in his speech, was one of his supervisors from when Dale worked as director of special education for a regional service agency in Pennsylvania. His supervisor, only referred to as Ed, taught Dale to not allow people to put their problems on him. “Don’t let them do it, make sure they leave with their monkey,” Dale said, quoting his supervisor. At this time Dale was responsible for 400 staff and thousands of students. Dale made sure that staff presented three solutions to the problem they came to him with. This cut down on the number of issues Dale had to solve. “They often solved their own problem,” Dale said.
Of the experiences Dale learned from, living in a hotel was the most interesting. His father was the manager of a four-story hotel and his family lived in a first-floor suite. While living there, Dale learned the importance of spending time alone. He was constantly around people, employees and guests of the hotel. In one of the many light hearted moments of his talk, Dale shared a story about jumping down the laundry chute into the basement of the hotel. Don’t ask me about the hygiene issues associated with cavorting in guests’ dirty laundry,” Dale said. “You don’t think about such things when you’re 10.”
Along with the scores of students Dale has impacted over his 11 years at UMF, he also developed strong relationships with his colleagues. Dr. Lance Neeper, professor of special education has an office next door to Dr. Dale’s. In an email Neeper explained that he and Dale share many interests, including travel and music. Neeper keeps a box of things Dale has shared with him over the years. “Rick is always there if you need him, willing to listen and offer suggestions and guidance,” Neeper said. “He has an incredible specialization in law and policy an area of focus within special education that is rare and cannot be replaced.”
Upon his retirement, Dale ends a 39 year career in Special Education as a teacher, consultant, and administrator. Dale does not have many immediate plans, but his retirement gives him time to do things he doesn’t have much time for now. He and his partner are planning a trip to Europe in the fall, where they’ll be visiting family in France, making an excursion to Venice, and potentially concluding the trip in Ireland.
After a gap, Dale will likely be involved in education in some capacity. Dale has been a political advocate in the past, and will have more time to attend legislative hearings and speak out on bills concerning the regulation of special education and education in general. Dale may even get back into teaching. “This is going to sound unexpected but I’ve thought about substituting in public schools.” Dale said.
Apr 20, 2017 | Feature |
By Nick Bray, Staff Reporter
Woody Hanstein. (Photo Courtesy of UMF)
There probably isn’t anyone in the state of Maine with a resume quite like Walter “Woody” Hanstein’s. In the fall semester, it isn’t unusual for Hanstein to work a full day at his law practice, then head down to the rugby pitch at Prescott Field to coach the Women’s rugby team, then to a classroom at UMF to teach his weekly law seminar.
Hanstein’s law career began in 1979 when he graduated the University of Idaho with a Juris Doctor (JD) degree. Hanstein is a former navy JAG and former assistant district attorney for the state of Maine. He began his own law practice in 1987 in Farmington.
Throughout his time in school and while in the Navy, Hanstein played and coached rugby. In the late 1980’s, Hanstein coached rugby at Colby College. Hanstein approached UMF’s athletic director in the early 1990’s about starting a rugby team. His law partner at the time, Pat Joyce, had a son, Kevin, who was currently attending UMF. “Kevin had played football at Mt. Blue,” Hanstein said. “So he and a few of his friends and myself started the team in 1991.”
The UMF rugby program is known for being successful but they are even more known for their unique green and gold uniforms. “We have almost exclusively played in the colors of green and gold because it was the only set of rugby uniforms available just a few days before our first game,” Hanstein said.
Starting as the coach of the men’s team, Hanstein switched to coaching the women’s team after their coach left and the assistant coach became the men’s head coach. President and Captain of the Women’s rugby team, Emily Gray, has been involved in the team her entire time at UMF. “Woody teaches you a lot about the game,” Gray said. Not just the skills but he wants you to know how the game works and helping to increase players’ rugby knowledge. “
Hanstein has also been teaching law courses at UMF since 2000, drawing on his experiences as a lawyer to educate students about the legal system. Hanstein believes that using real life cases to make points about the legal system makes it easier for students to relate and understand. In addition to playing rugby, Emily Gray has also taken Hanstein’s law class. “Woody always has little anecdotes and they always come up when he’s teaching or coaching,” Gray said. “He coaches a lot like he teaches, by teaching by example”.
Cadi LaCourse is another student who took Hanstein’s course. LaCourse agrees that Hanstein’s teaching style helped her learn more about the legal system. ”It was much more interesting than reading a text book,” LaCourse said. LaCourse believes she learned more because he is a practicing attorney. “A lot of the course was Woody teaching us to think for ourselves, to use the facts and evidence to support our theories and opinions.”
His law and the legal system course provides an overview of the justice system, but also puts an emphasis on civil rights.“It’s a fine line between informing people about their rights, and explaining to them how to get away with breaking the law,” Hanstein said. “I think a course like Law and the Legal System should be mandatory before students finish high school. They should be able to understand their basic legal rights.”
Hanstein says several students who have taken his course have gone on to law school and are now practicing lawyers in Maine. “I recently saw an assistant district attorney in Kennebec county who I had to beg for a plea bargain, and he took my class,” Hanstein said. “I was trying to remember if I had been nice to him.”
In his spare time Hanstein pursues other interests including fiction writing. He is the author of six legal thrillers featuring small town lawyer Pete Morris. In addition, Hanstein serves as a member of the Titcomb Mountain Ski Patrol. He also directs the Smiling Goat Precision Juggling Corps. “I like to say I am the international founder of parade marching juggling,” Hanstein said. “Nobody else would have bothered to try.”
They march in local parades including the Wilton Blueberry Festival and the Chester Greenwood Day parade. To entertain lawyers at the bar association, Hanstein created a youtube video titled “Juggling for Lawyers.” Hanstein’s brief, four minute tutorial was filmed in the historic Franklin County Superior Courthouse.
Hanstein knows he made the right decision in moving to Farmington. “After getting out of the Navy I could have been an ADA in Portland, Machias, or Farmington,” Hanstein said. “My wife and I came to Farmington and we knew right then this was the place for us. We were right.”
Between his involvement in Rugby and his teaching, Hanstein spends more time with people who are significantly younger than he is than people his own age. Hanstein believes this keeps him young. He even takes life lessons from his students. “You take less for granted. When you see someone see something for the first time that you’ve seen forever, you just appreciate it that much more.”
Through his capacity as coach and teacher, Hanstein has had the opportunity to serve as a mentor to many students. “Woody is an adult in my life I look up to,” Gray said. “He is always ready to help anyone on the team, with anything. If I have an issue I’m not afraid to call Woody and talk about it.”
Apr 20, 2017 | News |
By Nick Bray, Staff Reporter
At a recent meeting of the UMF Student Senate general assembly, senators approved the budgets for 38 clubs and organizations for the 2017-2018 school year. The budget, which was set at $215,012.74, is appropriated from funds raised by the student activity fee. This fee is based on the number of credits a student takes, and ranges from $80 to $160 per year.
The approved budgets ranged from $200 for the Student Activists for Gender Equality (SAGE), to $41,693 for the Association for Campus Entertainment (ACE). The average budget approved was for $5,658; 25 clubs had a budget approved below the average. The top five highest budget requests totaled $92,728, which amounted to 43 percent of the entire budget approved.
This meeting was the final step in the annual budget process, which begins with clubs submitting a proposed budget to the senate for review. These clubs then meet with the Annual Budget Committee (ABC) to defend their budget and discuss where potential cuts could be made. According to Dominic Martorano, outgoing Officer for Financial Affairs (OFA), the ABC works with clubs during this meeting to make small cuts to their budgets. “Unfortunately, cuts do have to be made here and there,” Martorano said. “On average about 10 percent is cut from the original request.”
Clubs which were present at the general assembly budget meeting had an opportunity to defend their budget to senators before it was voted on. The budget meeting moved swiftly as senators had little discussion over the majority of proposals, and most club budgets passed unanimously.
However, there were discussions about cutting line items from proposals from three clubs. The senate discussed and eventually failed to pass a motion to cut a $200 trip to Portland from the French Club’s budget.
Another failed motion was to increase the number of athlete registration fees for the Ultimate Disc club from 25 to 30. A few senators argued this would benefit the club if they underestimated participation for the upcoming school year. This would save them from using one of their two additional budget requests if the number of players on the team next year exceeds 25.
The biggest discussion of the night was over the Computer Club’s budget, the only one which was cut during the budget meeting. The computer club requested two new desktop computers, at a cost of $1,300 each. Senators discussed whether they wanted to cut their request from two computers down to one.
The club currently has nine computers in use. Due to the high use of these machines and poor room conditions in their office located in the student center, they have two machines which are slowly becoming unusable for computer gaming. The new machines would also be used to support the growing interest in competitive gaming, more commonly known as eSports.
The computer club needed to upgrade its machines in order to meet the high system requirements of the games played in competition. “We would like the computers to support that, but these machines wouldn’t be used exclusively for that purpose,” said Desiree Anderson, treasurer of the Computer Club.
The senate passed a motion to reduce the budget request for two computer down to one. Senator Sam O’Neal, also the event coordinator for the Computer Club immediately indicated that the club would be appealing the decision and asked about the specifics of the appeal process.
Several student senate-funded clubs did not present budgets during the annual budget process. These clubs include Beta Beta Beta and Writers Guild. They will have the opportunity to present a budget in the fall. “This depends on availability of funding and the discretion of the new executive board,” Martorano said.
Mar 9, 2017 | Feature |
By Nick Bray, Staff Reporter
The lobster tag belonging to Coneth Murray (Photo Courtesy of Caroline Farrell).
A lobster trap tag originating in Southport, Maine was recently found on a beach in Kerry, Ireland. The tag belonged to Coneth Murray, a lifelong lobsterman. Murray is the grandfather of Jess Murray, a senior at UMF.
Facebook has helped create a global lost and found, where objects which drift across the Atlantic ocean can be returned to their rightful owner with ease. The typical beachcomber might discover many artifacts from the fishing industry, and disregard them as they are so ubiquitous.
But Caroline Farrell wasn’t so quick to dismiss the common item when she came across the Mainer’s tag last month. Farrell was walking on Glenbeigh beach in Kerry with her boyfriend when they spotted the tag.
“My boyfriend does beachcombing from time to time,” Farrell said. “He has a keen eye and knows where to look for things on the beach.” Something orange caught Farrell’s eye, she picked it up and her boyfriend explained to her that it was a lobster trap tag. She immediately noticed the name Coneth Murray, printed on the tag. She was intrigued as her grandmother was a Murray and she wondered if there was any relation to this Murray.
Her boyfriend had found these tags in the past and recommended that Farrell post an image of the trap tag on the “Lost at Sea” Facebook group to find out if anyone had a connection to Coneth Murray. “Lost at Sea” is a page where people from across the world post images of things they find washed up on the beach. The group has over 6,000 members posting anything from messages in a bottle, to coins, fishing equipment, and unknown objects that users post in hopes of having the community identify the object.
A map showing the journey of the lobster tag. (Photo Courtesy of Nick Bray)
It was within hours of Farrell posting the trap tag that Jess Murray found it, and contacted Farrell. Murray’s cousin was a member of the “Lost at Sea” page and noticed Farrell’s post just hours earlier in the day. “I just clicked on her name and messaged her,” Murray said. Murray explained to Farrell that her grandfather stopped lobstering in 2001, and passed away in 2009. That means that the lobster tag was likely lost at sea for at least 16 years, if not longer.
Murray comes from a long line of lobstermen. Both her father and grandfather have been lifelong fisherman. “My grandfather lived and breathed lobstering,” Murray said. Coneth Murray was the captain and owner of the Donna Marie, the lobster boat he named after his wife. Murray’s family were very surprised to hear about this find. “My grandmother cried,” Murray said. Farrell said that she will be mailing the tag out as soon as she could and Murray will be receiving it soon.
Murray’s family is of Irish ancestry, and her parents plan on visiting Ireland this summer. They intend on visiting Glenbeigh beach where the tag was found, 2,700 miles away from Southport. The warm waters of the Gulf Stream current pass along the coast of the eastern United States, and crosses the Atlantic ocean becoming the North Atlantic current, eventually passing along the west coast of Ireland, where Glenbeigh beach is located. The tag likely become detached from Coneth Murray’s trap almost two decades ago, became lost at sea for some time, travelled with the current, resurfaced in Ireland, and is now returning to Maine after a very long journey.
Feb 18, 2017 | News |
By Nick Bray & Andrew Devine, Staff Reporter; Contributing Writer
The UMF Student Senate recently approved a $14,700 amended proposal from the snowsports team to send up to seven athletes to the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) National Championship at Mount Bachelor in Oregon this March. This amount is down from the original proposal, which was $25,000 and would have funded up to 10 athletes and their three coaches.
This proposal passed unanimously through the senate Financial Affairs Committee, where the proposal was then sent to the General Assembly for consideration. During a 90 minute discussion of the proposal, senators expressed their concern with the high price tag for the nationals request. Members of the snowsports team were in the audience to explain why they believe the proposal should be accepted.
The snowsports program consists of Alpine and Nordic ski teams, as well as a combined Freeski and Snowboard team. The team is considered a club sport, with varsity status. All three teams expect to send athletes to the national competition, which is why all three coaches need to travel to Oregon with the athletes. If athletes qualify, this would be the third time UMF has participated in USCSA nationals.
Even following the cost reduction the proposal is one of the largest in the history of the student senate. According to Kirsten Swan, who has been the advisor of student senate for 10 years, she cannot recall ever seeing any single request exceed $15,000. The snowsports proposal includes the cost of airfare, lodging and registration for each athlete who attends nationals. The cost per athlete is $2,100 and the cost per coach is $1,500. The club has fundraised to pay for athlete’s meals.
In addition to the overall cost of the proposal, senate was concerned about having enough funds to cover other expenses for the remainder of the semester. Due to overestimating enrollment, which determines funds raised by the student activity fee, the senate is left with a shortfall. This shortfall was addressed by transferring funds from the senate reserves into the operating account. These funds will be used to pay for the Leadership Banquet, Spring Fling, and proposals from other clubs.
After the tabling discussion of the proposal, senators met with administrators in the athletics to come up with a compromise in order to reduce the total proposal amount. Director of Athletics Julie Davis discovered $4,500 remaining from a grant which the university secured to jump start the ski team, which was reestablished about 10 years ago. “Part of accepting that grant was to find ways for the university to sustain support for the program,” Davis said. “Between the athletics department and the student senate, we have found ways to accomplish this.”
The $4,500 could be used to fund the coaches, with a balance of $21,000 to be funded by the senate. In a compromise, Senator Allison Bernier made a motion to amend the proposal from 10 athletes to seven athletes. This would be at a total cost of $14,700 to the senate. This amended proposal was unanimously approved.
Club Sports Commissioner Joseph Brichetto recognizes the given budget situation, but also doesn’t want to discredit the team’s accomplishments. “They have an opportunity they should take advantage of as they work hard,” Brichetto said. “At some point, you can’t please everybody. I think the resolution we came to will leave everybody slightly displeased but it was definitely the best call.”
After the decision to amend the proposal was finalized at the Senate meeting, Ski Team player Quinn Fogarty responded, “I think if we do qualify for nationals, we have the commitment to the school, the school should commit to us athletes as well.”
Senator Matt Lulofs, also an athlete on the Ski Team remarked, “I’m happy that the Student Senate decided to support us on this because obviously they could have given us no funds for it, we at least got something.”