Elder College offers 19 courses for spring semester

Spring is just around the corner, and so is the upcoming semester of Cariboo-Chilcotin Elder College.

By Christie Mayall

Spring is just around the corner, and so is the upcoming semester of Cariboo-Chilcotin Elder College.

The spring semester offers 19 courses.

There are many longtime favourites and several new courses as well.

The main registration will take place Jan. 20 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at St. Andrew’s United Church on Huckvale Place.

A second registration will be Jan. 27 at the Seniors Activity Centre from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.  Courses will be filled on a first come/first served basis.

Most courses are open only to members of the Elder College.

Membership is $10 and lasts for the calendar year.

Interested seniors (50 or better) may join at either of the registration dates, or in advance on Jan. 13 at the Seniors Activity Centre between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m.

Most courses cost about $30, although a few cost a little more or less.

Community service courses are free of charge and are open to everyone.

There will be four computer courses to choose from this semester.

For those who are brand new to the computer, Lindae Fletcher will offer ‘An Introduction to Computers.’

We all have to start somewhere, and this course will help you get started.    Computers can help to make staying in touch with distant friends and family surprisingly easy!

Computers – The Next Steps with Ken Mitchell is for those who are comfortable with the Windows 7 operating system.

This class is intended to expand your computer knowledge and will be based on the interests of the participants.

Topics may include word processing, computer security, burning images and data to CD’s and DVD’s, and troubleshooting.

Introduction to the iPAD and iPAD2 – The Next Level will be taught by Monica McGarrigle.

We are very fortunate to have Monica with us this semester, as she is very experienced with the iPAD and currently teaches iPAD classes in Cordova Bay.

Bruce Mack will be facilitating the Philospher’s Cafe this semester.

Topics for discussion are selected by the group and may include current and timeless political, social, and philosophical issues.

It might be euthanasia one week and electoral reform the next.

A new course this semester is Human Rights and You with Jane Birkbeck.

Jane taught social work and law for many years in Kamloops.

Topics will include human rights in Canada, the Charter, and how Canadian and British human rights laws work.

In another completely new course, learn how to make a beautiful Button Blanket Wall Hanging with Carly Klassen.

Materials will be provided and you will complete a button blanket wall hanging in the tradition of the First Nations coastal peoples.

Perk up your taste buds with Dishes from around the World with renowned local chef Walter Brunner.

Brunner will demonstrate six Italian dishes, six East Indian dishes, and six Thai dishes.

Walter trained as a chef in Switzerland and owned several restaurants and catering businesses in Williams Lake over many years.

In June, the majority of the breeding birds are back in the Williams Lake River Valley.  Take a walk with experienced birder, Phil Ranson, to look for warblers, flycatchers, vireos, orioles, thrushes, and several other species.

Pat Teti is back to help you find your way Beyond the Basics of Digital Photography.  Some possible topics are: using your flash, photoshop, custom calendars, macrophotography, and composition.

It is recommended that you have a camera with manual shutter speed and focus controls, and that you have a version of Photoshop to use.

Pat’s stunning and unusual photography can be seen at the Station House.

Remember that nice little piece of furniture down in the basement that you’ve been meaning to refinish for the last umpteen years.

Well here’s your chance. Take Furniture Refinishing with Tony Savile and learn how to strip, clean, stain and refinish a piece of wooden furniture.

Just in time for the upcoming planting season, Gardening Tips for the Cariboo will be presented by legendary local organic farmer Rob Borsato, of Mackin Creek carrot fame.

Topics might include garden planning, compatible plants, pests and how to control them, and pruning.

If the class wishes, there may be a garden tour in late May.

In Improv Theatre, Ken Grieve, will encourage you to let go of your inhibitions, laugh, have fun, and take part in spontaneous unscripted acting.

In Watercolours and More with Wally Chernoff and Audrey Dye, you will learn basic watercolour painting concepts and techniques and develop your creative ability to record your impressions of the world around you.

Dennis Tupman is back to teach another course in Music Appreciation.

This year he will take a look at Canadian Folk Music – its roots, its influences, and how it reflects a uniquely Canadian society.

I took this course for the first time last year and was amazed at Dennis’ ability to engage all 40 or 50 of us, make us think about the music and its historical contexts, and help us to listen in new ways.

There will be four community service courses, with no cost to participants.

Joe Amaral and Karen Alphonse will teach A Look at Alternative Medicines.

Joe will look at how to restore balance in your body.

Alphonse will cover Iridology, colon hydrotherapy, homeopathy, hot and cold stone massage, Swedish massage, and nutrition and herbs.

Andrea Hughes will teach an Introduction to the Serger, for those who have serger sewing machines and would like to learn more about them.  Hughes is currently owner of Ibea’s Quilting and Crafts.

And, last but not least, there are two essential subjects that we often put off until too late.

“Speak Up: Start the Conversation about Advanced Care Planning” will help your loved ones by clarifying your desires regarding end of life care and writing them down.

This course will be presented by Kate McDonough and Christie Mayall.

Financial Planning for Seniors with Jim Tanis will cover three broad topics:  your retirement paycheque, assuring your retirement, and leaving a legacy.

So please join us for a course or two.

It pays to keep those gray cells active.  As they say…. use ’em or lose ’em.