Friday, August 25, 2017

Quote of the week

A rare human phenomenon. And insight by Lorraine Glowczak

With a few exceptions, almost everyone I spoke to or came in contact with, was excited to witness the amazing celestial event that occurred this past Monday – the solar eclipse. 
Although it is true that those of us, who stayed at home here in Maine, could only see the phenomenon with specialized glasses or specially made solar viewers, it did not prevent our eyes from looking skyward to get a glimpse of the moon passing between the sun and earth, partially covering the sun.

When a rare, natural and stunning opportunity comes around, we shift for a moment away from the terrible injustices and cruelties in the world and come together to celebrate for that moment. We let go of our differences; forgetting we are in competition with one another and dropping the egos’ “I’m right/you’re wrong” perception.

I noticed this “coming together” – a rare human phenomenon, not only in person but on social media as well. For at least a 2 hour time frame, we were almost giddy – kids and adults alike – talking and laughing (or writing Facebook posts) as if there was not care in the world.

It was kind of nice – and ironic. As the moon obstructed the light from the sun, our little “inner lights” remained bright. For just a moment, we carried a carefree attitude. Yes, it is true there were a few Negative Nancys, but on a whole, we all seemed to have fun with one another.

It’s a silly thought, I suppose, but I wish we could have more instances of childhood giddiness. I wonder if that would spark us, as a human race, to exhibit more integrity, justice and kindness.
I don’t know . . . it’s just a thought. I am a hopeful sort.

If you missed the solar eclipse, take a look at some of the events and photographs on page 9.

Laughing is the shortest distance between two people by Jeff “Chief” Urbaniak

There were many occasions during my college superintendent days when I’d walk into my assistant’s office for routine daily business and we’d end up laughing about something. 
The Advice Chief

Not that we didn’t take our roles at the college seriously, we just tried to keep things light and stress free. It didn’t matter how the day was going or what crazy hoop we were trying to jump through, somehow, some way, we’d find something to smile or laugh about.

Having good mood chemistry with my assistant probably helped, but more importantly, either I initiated our interaction with a smile or she did, and from that second on we were in an upbeat mood and instantly understood each other. This happens because positive and cheerful emotions put people in sync with each other faster than anything else. Emotions can spread like a virus.

Have you ever felt energy in a room expanded or deflated by someone else without a single word being uttered? How did it, in turn, affect your mood?

It’s quite evident that a person’s spirit or attitude can rise or fall on surrounding emotions. Positive energy spreads much faster though, and can have a better outcome for people and organizations.

A study at the Yale University School of Management found that among working groups, cheerfulness and warmth spread most easily, creating an atmosphere where upbeat moods boosted cooperation, fairness, and business performance. The study further revealed that upbeat employees more often went the extra mile to please customers and therefore improved the bottom line. In fact, according to research conducted by Lyle Spencer for the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence, there’s actually a logarithm that predicts that relationship:
For every 1 percent improvement in the service climate, there’s a 2 percent increase in revenue.

Laughter, it was found, is most contagious and typically spreads almost instantly. When you hear someone cracking up with laughter, aren’t you immediately tempted to laugh as well, even if you don’t know what they’re laughing about?

In a neurological sense, laughing represents the shortest distance between two people because it instantly interlocks limbic systems. However, there are some conditions when limbic systems don’t naturally interlock. 

According to Robert Provine, author of Laughter: A Scientific Investigation, “It is no surprise that people who relish each other’s company laugh easily and often; those who distrust or dislike each other, or who are otherwise at odds, laugh little together, if at all.” Understanding this, you can see there’s a direct correlation between laughter and group cohesion.

In any work setting, therefore, the sound of laughter signals the group’s emotional temperature, offering one sure sign that people’s hearts as well as their minds are engaging. A good laugh sends a reassuring message: We’re on the same wavelength, we get along. It signals trust, comfort, and a shared sense of the world. As a rhythm in a conversation, laughing signals that all is well for the moment. And if you don’t hear much laughter within a group, well, you can surmise there may be problems or issues below the surface.

So smile and laugh often. Be the upbeat person or leader who is open to good humor on a moment’s notice. In no time, those around you will be and feel the same way. Life is short--get in as many smiles and laughs as you can!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Quote of the week

In the circle: Insight by Lorraine Glowczak

In my “Insights”, I write often about how the members in this community come together and give their time, money and effort to the many causes and individuals who are facing a particularly difficult time.

Relatively new to the Windham and Raymond areas, my role as editor in the past eight months has
exposed me to the incredible individuals who live here. I’m still amazed and in awe of the amount of giving and community collaboration that takes place in this small Maine community. 

Once again, there was a lot happening this weekend – The first annual Windham Trails Day and the Kelli’s 5k this past Saturday, as well as the news of Windham’s Rob Gomez selfless actions at the Beach to Beacon 10k (see sports page for interview).

I think it’s fair to say, we love to give because it makes us feel like we are contributing to something greater than our own needs and, quite honestly, it makes us feel pretty good – and there is nothing wrong about that.
But what about the individuals on the receiving end? Those whose needs we are trying to fulfill. I can’t speak for everyone, but when I am on the receiving end of things, it is not quite as easy – or fun. It puts me in a place of vulnerability and it makes me realize that there are times in life when I may not be as much in control as I believe myself to be.

Part of the reason I may feel this way, is that I buy into the belief that it is better to give than to
receive. But if I want to feel good in giving to others, I need to feel good in receiving as well. In order to keep the circle going, it would behoove me to accept a simple and polite “thank you” as well as a fast and swift hand that grabs me by the jersey when I fall.

I’ll end my insight here with a portion of the lyrics from the Lion King’s “Circle of Life” that seems to say it best.

“More to do than can ever be done/There's far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found/But the sun rolling high
Through the sapphire sky/Keeps great and small on the endless round
It's the circle of life/And it moves us all
Through despair and hope/Through faith and love
Till we find our place/On the path unwinding
In the circle/The circle of life.”

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

The Windham High School Project Graduation 2018 Committee has been hard at work for several months, planning events and raising funds for a fun, safe and chemical-free celebration for our 2018 graduates next June. With a current class size of 248 students and an estimated event cost of $150 per graduate, our fundraising goal is a very lofty one and will continue throughout the school year.  

As a member of two previous committees, I very much appreciate the importance of parental involvement and the level of community support that a Project Grad endeavor entails. We are so fortunate to live in a community where the safety and well-being of our children is paramount, and where support for programs like Project Grad is offered from many factions. It’s only through the enthusiasm and commitment of dedicated community members that we can provide our graduates with one last night together, free of charge.

The Committee invites the entire Windham/Raymond community to help promote the purpose of Project Graduation by becoming involved and supporting our fundraisers. On Sunday, September 24, at beautiful Point Sebago, our annual Golf Tournament (and largest fundraiser) will be held. We welcome players of all levels to join the fun and register for this event, and encourage local businesses to show their support in the form of a tournament sponsorship or other donation. For more information on the tournament and how to register to play or provide some other form of support, please contact the committee at

We thank all for their support of WHS Project Graduation 2018 and look forward to continuing to partner with the community to promote the well-being of and celebrate our upcoming graduates.

Elaine Herzig
Project Grad 2018 Chair

Friday, August 11, 2017

Quote of the week

A radical embrace. An inisight by Lorraine Glowczak

Many who know me are not surprised when I tell them that I have been accused of being a tree hugger. It is true that I adore nature, respect the environment and everything in it, but I see myself as a middle of the road kind of gal. Yes, I have my passionate opinions about environmental issues but I have never been radical in my approach. Until, well - maybe now.

Being a small town Midwestern girl who moved to Maine in her early 30s, I was and still am in awe by the natural beauty of this state; and at times, I often still find that my breath can be easily taken away at the sight of an ocean wave or the forest landscape. 

I feel very lucky to call this unsoiled environment my home and I hope I never take it for granted.  

But, often, when we are exposed to such magnificence continuously, we can become complacent. Whether we love to ski, snowmobile, ride an ATV through the wooded trails, hike the mountains, enjoy a book at the beach, plant a garden or other outdoor adventures; it would serve us best if  we remained aware enough about our natural surroundings to sustain what we all love the most.

If we do fall into complacency we risk creating a situation that is destructive not only to the environment, but to ourselves as well.

As a reminder, to keep our way of life here in Maine a clean and sustainable one, I hope you take a moment and read “The Love Canal” by Michelle Libby (who is not a tree hugger, by the way) on page Her insights and reflections on a spontaneous side trip to the Love Canal in Niagara Falls, NY help to remind us to thank our lucky Perseids Meteor Shower stars that we have what we do. (Be sure to see the article, Raymond Village Library assists in hosting an “Evening Star Party at Hacker’s Hill”

I admit it. My accusers are right. I have hugged a tree from time to time. However, this is about as radical as this girl from the Heartland gets . . . at least for now.

Letter to the Editor

Dear Windham Eagle Editor,

During a recent annual ladies weekend on Thomas Pond, our group was invited to take a free class at World Class Taekwondo, 795 Roosevelt Trail, Windham. 

Our host for the weekend is a student there. We first observed the class before ours and were impressed to see the cooperative way in which students at all levels learned together and demonstrated achievements for each other. 

Many of the adult students were kind enough to stay and assist with our class. The director, Master Park, was so generous with his encouragement and he made us feel comfortable trying something we had never done before. 

The studio is spacious, well-organized, and clean. All ten of us thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
I highly recommend World Class Taekwondo to anyone in your community who wants to learn a new form of physical activity in a warm and supportive atmosphere.

Thank you.
Susan Williams
Maynard, MA

Friday, August 4, 2017

Quote of the week

Box? What box? Insight by Lorraine Glowczak

We’ve all heard the term, “think outside the box.” What does that really mean? Yes, it’s true that the conventional definition to that statement is to think unconventionally; to shift one’s perspective beyond the status quo to create solutions to difficult problems – but that explanation seems, well, like the inside of a box.

We are all presented with challenges and problems on a daily basis in which it is required to put on our thinking caps and find a creative solution. But sometimes, there are those challenges that land in our lap that catapults us into a new territory where shapes as we know them do not exist.

Those sorts of challenges rarely come in a nice rectangular package tied with a neatly secured bow
where innovative thought solves the problem. Nope – these difficulties usually come in the form of malleable blobs that one can’t seem to get a steady grasp. And once you think you do – it begins to shift shape again and your creative problem solving goes into overdrive. There is no box to think outside of.

In many of this week’s articles, I have discovered this happening more than once – individuals who have been challenged beyond “convention”, whose experiences come with unimaginable pain and hardships. They not only survived, but rose above and profoundly moved forward with pure genius. I stand in awe of those individuals who blew the concept of a box to pieces.

I also bow to those who give their time, money and energy to support those very individuals and the causes that steady the shaky grounds. My hat goes off to people like Susan and Raymond Dupuis and groups like St. Ann’s Episcopal Church for their true creative brilliance. (See front page articles, “A local couple uses their passion for dance to give back to the community” and “Seventh annual Kelli’s 5K to donate funds to RSU14 and local boy battling cancer.”)

Sometimes, in this crazy journey called life where things are rarely straightforward and there are no sharp defining edges that even form a shape of a box, there are those who somehow take “thinking outside the box” to a whole new level – where even the notion of a box holds no barrier to living in a creative, innovative manner with strength, grace and wisdom.