SOLON & BEYOND: Organizing a teacher-less class

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Here it is the last of April, time certainly flies! And this year Lief and I will be hurrying around delivering The Town Line papers in quite a few stores in Somerset County. This week’s column is an old one that starts out, From PERCY and me….. Good morning my friends, Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” So many of you have been asking me how many years I have been doing the teacher-less project at the Skowhegan Adult Ed classes. I really don’t know for sure but I found some information on a poster I had made about that club. It was an article I had written for The Town Line back on April 13, 2006, about this, with a picture they had taken of club members at that time. (That was a meeting when we were going to come up with a name for this club, so it had been going on for some time before that.

These are the words I used in the newspaper article); “For the past few years I have been taking the painting classes at Skowhegan Adult Education and enjoying them immensely. Peggy Riley was the teacher and I had learned many new techniques through her instruction, and had made many new friends. Peggy decided that she wouldn’t be teaching when the January sessions started up again, and when I saw that the classes weren’t going to be offered for that semester I was disappointed. (the article was too long to get in this column so this is a shorter version of the one that was printed.) I came up with the crazy idea of having a teacher-less painting club. I went to the administrator’s office and asked them if they would let me do this with a teacher-less person running it Was very, very happy and pleased when they gave me their permission.

When I arrived the first night I was given the attendance folder with M. Rogers, instructor, on the cover. The word “Instructor” went to my head a little, and one night when one of the members was misbehaving, I gave him a push and he nearly fell over, bending his glasses in the near fall. Since then I don’t rule with an iron hand!

Some people would not agree with that statement, I’m pretty sure! I have stressed, (without any violence) that I would prefer that there wouldn’t be any discussions on two topics, politics and religion while we are there so that those who love peace while they paint, can enjoy their stay there! Have had a fear that is probably against “Freedom of Speech”, but I do know it can get pretty rowdy and loud with some discussions!

And now back to the writing about this teacher-less painting class! Members at that meeting were Suzanne Currier, Shirley Foxwell, Linda Sullivan, Gerda Pilz, Betty Dow, Dana Hall, Linwood Turcotte, Peter Foxwell, and me.

The column ended with these words: We meet every week for three hours of relaxation in a pleasant atmosphere and I know I look forward to our Monday night sessions, I’m pretty sure the other nine members feel the same way. I am so happy the Skowhegan Adult Education had enough faith in us to try this experiment with a teacher-less club, and my thanks go out to them.”

The above was taken from The Town Line paper back on April 13, 2006. Wow, things change a lot in 15 years!

Back when the pandemic started, after much thinking of yes or no against trying to continue with this teacher-less club, I finally decided not to ask for the spot at Skowhegan Adult Ed. I miss all the many wonderful painters, many besides the ones mentioned in this column very much! It was a wonderful group of friends to get together with each week and enjoy painting with! I miss it, and think of you often, Hope I didn’t scare any of you away with my wild ways.

In my organizing lately, I came across a small clipping with the words, Chronicle, October 20, 1988: Solon News: Facts & Frivolity From Solon, “The Friendliest Town In The State”. by Marilyn Rogers. Good morning my friends!

Had to learn the ropes of waitressing all over again last week and have definitely decided that I do have to learn another language – French! Two French men came in the other noon and in the hard process (for me) of trying to understand what they were ordering one of them called me “stupid” he knew that much English! I am many things but I am not stupid; and do you remember how I said some people were predicting I would be black and blue from pinches? Well, haven’t had to worry about that at all but my tongue is mince meat! Have clamped down on it so many times, made up my mind before I ever started that everyone was going to get service with a smile, but usually at least once a day I repeat to myself the saying that I have on my living room wall, “As others touch our lives so do we touch theirs – Be gentle even when they are not “!

Now for Percy’s memoir entitled: Influence: Drop a pebble in the water; And its ripples reach out far; And the sunbeams dancing on them may refect them to a star. Give a smile to someone passing, Thereby making his morning glad; It may greet you in the evening When your own heart may be sad, Do a deed of simple kindness; Though its end you may not see, It may reach , like widening ripples, Down a long eternity. (from Salesian Missions).


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