homepage logo

Lifelong Learning program celebrates beginning of eighth year

By Staff | Mar 8, 2019

Mark Kohut shares a few words about the Lifelong Learning course he will teach this semester on the '60s. Toni Milbourne

SHEPHERDSTOWN — The Shepherd University Lifelong Learning program is about to embark on its eighth year. As a precursor to the March 11 start of the popular program, a reception was held on Feb. 28, to introduce topics of classes for the coming spring semester.

Karen Rice, director of the Lifelong Learning program, welcomed all who joined to hear brief descriptions from course facilitators, as well as to simply learn a bit about the program.

“It’s good to have new offerings in the catalog each semester,” Rice said. “The program is growing and that’s so exciting.”

Several of the classes this term came about because of requests from individuals seeking additional content. Among the new courses are Operas of Giuseppe Verdi, Trends in French Cinema, Art History, Songwriting 101, Intro to Monsoon Asia, Understanding Twitter and The ’60s.

The program also continues to offer many choices in literature, including those focusing on the impacts of poetry and short stories, Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed. In addition, two popular courses return, The Bible through Darwin’s Eyes, facilitated by retired pastor Randy Tremba, and The Contemporary American Theater Festival 2019 Season in Context, featuring Ed Herendeen and Peggy McKowen.

Grant Smith, who will teach a course called Great Decisions, was on hand at the reception to share a few words about the class.

“I look forward to people who know more about these topics than I do coming,” Smith said, referring to such topics as “Refugees and Global Migration,” “The Middle East: Regional Disorder” and “The Rice of Populism in Europe.”

Denis Woods concurred as he spoke about his course, Political Ethics.

“I want to see what the people who sign up want to talk about. I’ll make up the curriculum as we go each week,” he said, after sharing he will give introduction to what political ethics involve.

The ’60s promises to be an interesting course taught by Mark Kohut. The course outline calls for exploration of the historical and cultural touchstones in depth – the Beatles, Vietnam, The Feminine Mystique, assassinations and more.

“If you came of age in the ’60s you don’t remember the ’60s and you need to come to this class,” Kohut laughed, as he introduced the course at Thursday’s reception. “It’s all about movies, music and opinions of the times.”

For those looking for some courses giving instruction, Jim Bowen will offer a class on developing PowerPoint presentations for those who might wish to give presentations.

Bobbi Blok’s Mortality-Soulful Courage — Exit Laughing promises to explore the key to living and giving.

“We need to embrace life, prior to when we exit laughing,” Blok said. “Being in peace before we rest in peace is what is really key for the course.”

There will be several self-improvement courses offered, including retirement planning, Medicare and de-cluttering the home. Science-focused courses include psychology for today, studies of wielding power and understanding drones. Popular hands-on workshops in the FASTEnER Lab will include digital fabrication, metalworking, 3D printing, MIG welding, wax casting, 3D self-portrait, glass fusing, making paper, woodworking, constructing Nantucket baskets and constructing nesting Shaker boxes.

Day and overnight trips offer a wide range of cultural and historical experiences along the eastern seaboard and beyond. Trips offered this semester include the Lorton Workhouse, Glenstone Museum, Great Falls Canal Boat, West Virginia Mine Wars, Chicago Art, Architecture and Theater, as well as Old Quebec and tours to Australia and New Zealand, Iceland, San Antonio and a Danube River Cruise.

The Lifelong Learning program consists of six-week courses and one-time Brown Bag Lectures, although the length of some classes varies in duration. While some items are free, attendance generally requires an annual membership, starting at $85 annually plus class fees, including discounts for day excursions and free Brown Bag Lectures.

For additional information and to register, go to www.shepherd.edu/lifelonglearning or contact Karen Rice at krice@shepherd.edu or 304-876-5135.