Guest Writer: Eric Betts, assistant director, Curtis Coleman Center for Religious Studies and Ethics at Athens State University
Why is it important to resolve conflict? There are absolutely no upsides to ignoring conflict and allowing it to go unaddressed. It is an illusion to believe that the issues will work themselves out eventually. When there is conflict, even the innocent party is sullied in some way. Even though one may feel that he or she is innocent and not the real source of the conflict, it is best to work it out with the one who feels that they have been wronged. Many avoid addressing conflict because it is so unpleasant, emotionally draining, and difficult by its very nature. What is often overlooked is that being shy about the tension that exists, only creates greater tension and explosive situations down the road.

It is said that “full-blown battles use up resources — time, energy, good reputation, motivation. By negotiating, you avoid wasting these resources, and you may actually make new allies and find new resources!”

There are five ways that parties often approach conflict, and only certain ones will solve the issues:

(1) Denial and avoidance appear to be the most peaceable way and the path of least resistance, but that approach will lose every time.
(2) Competing and fighting is another attractive way. This attitude says, “May the smartest, strongest, and the most resourceful win.” The compete and fight approach, while attractive, causes everyone lose to a degree, some more than others.
(3) The smoothing over the problem approach only delays inevitable hostility and negative emotions and actions.
(4) Compromise and negotiation will create a win for both sides, yet they also must be willing to give up or loose in some area in the agreement.
(5) Collaboration takes longer, but eventually is a win/win because it pulls back the skin of the onion and gets to the meat of where the real interests lie. The Collaboration approach continues the dialogue until the compatible interests are discovered, the relationship grows, and both are committed to preserving the interests of both.

Other important aspects of conflict resolution involve being soft on the person and hard on the problems. Attack the problem and not the person. The object is to preserve and build relationships while tackling the problem. One must have the wisdom to separate the problem from the person who one feels is causing the problem. In this approach, the parties work together to eliminate the problems that are hurting the relationship.

How soon should one seek to resolve conflict? As soon as the first signs appear, begin to deal with them. Delay is not an option. There are three main issues that create conflict: (1) Criticizing someone “behind their back.” (This is perhaps at the top of the list.) It is vitally important to go directly to the person that you want to change their behavior. (2) Not being an active listener who makes sure he or she understands exactly what is being stated. This creates the frustrating “I thought you said…No, I didn’t…Yes, you did” situations. (3) Cutting off communication with those with whom you disagree or are seemingly unfriendly. This only adds to the tension and hostility.

The best ways to begin the process is to be respectful, honest, separate the emotions, and don’t assume (things are not always what they appear). If you can preserve the relationship and eliminate the issues, you will have gained a great victory. If the issues remain, keep the communication going and don’t give up. May the wisest and the strongest person take the first step in resolving the conflict.
By: Guest Writer: Eric Betts, assistant director, Curtis Coleman Center for Religious Studies and Ethics at Athens State University

By: Wanda Campbell
Athens State University’s Center for Lifelong Learning is pleased to announce our 3rd Annual Women’s Leadership Symposium on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Dynetics Solutions Complex in Huntsville. The theme for this year’s symposium is “Honoring Women Who Serve.”

Your $85 registration fee will include your admission to the event and access to an amazing panel of speakers, as well as networking breaks, lunch, and interactive discussions. This event is an opportunity for purposeful communication and strategic leadership development. You can register online at or call the Center for Lifelong Learning at 256-233-8260.

Our keynote speaker is Dr. Carolyn McKinstry (author and survivor of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing of 1963). McKinstry is an “Ambassador of Reconciliation” and her passion is community service. She served as Second Vice President and Program Committee Chair for the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute for six years. She has served as the only female Chair of the Board of Trustees for Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, past President of the Hospice Foundation of Jefferson County, and past Vice President and Director of Programs for The Academy of Fine Arts, Inc., Leadership Birmingham and Leadership Alabama and other organizations too numerous to name.

In addition to Dr. McKinstry, this year’s panel also includes Cathy Dickens, Lisa Wiliams, Jackie Warner, Rebekah Davis, and LTC Jenna T. Guerrero.

Ms. Cathy Dickens is Senior VP of Business Management at COLSA Corporation. She serves as the Board Chair for the Athens State University Board of Trustees and is also an advisor to the National Contract Management Association local chapter and a member of the AUSA Civilian Advisory Committee. She is a member of AUSA, NCMA and the Army Aviation Association of America.

Lisa Williams has been named to Top 10 Women Entrepreneurs of America. Williams is active on many boards and councils, including the boards of the Tennessee Valley Corridor representing the 5th Congressional District, The Committee 100, Still Serving Veterans, the Huntsville Arts Council and is a board member of SCORE-Counselors to America’s Small Businesses. Ms. Williams was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission. She is very active in mentoring and counsels many small businesses in the state of Alabama.

Jackie Warner is co-owner of “The Bridge” Community Outreach Center. Her areas of expertise are career coaching, performance consultation, curriculum design of workforce and organizational development courses, project management, and community outreach development.

Preserving and sharing the stories that knit together a community is the passion that motivates Rebekah Davis to serve and to lead. Since 2010, Davis, an Athens, Alabama native, has been preserving and providing access to the historic record of her hometown and county as the Archivist at the Limestone County Archives, and serving with community projects that forward that mission.

Lieutenant Colonel Jenna T. Guerrero is currently serving as a member of the active duty military and is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her awards and decorations include two Bronze Star Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, and one Army Achievement Medal.

We would love for you and the members of your team to join us on Wednesday, April 11, at the Dynetics Solutions Complex on Explorer Boulevard in Huntsville. Should you be interested in sponsoring a session or purchasing a table for your employees, please contact Kim Bell, Director of the Center for Lifelong Learning, at 256-233-8261. As a reminder, you may also register at We look forward to seeing you at what promises to be a wonderful networking opportunity!
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

By: Wanda Campbell
“In November, Governor Kay Ivey, announced that the state’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted October unemployment rate is 3.6 percent, down from 3.8 in September, which tied the previous record. A year ago, Alabama’s unemployment rate was 6.1 percent.” (Thornton, William. “What Alabama’s Dropping Unemployment Rate Means.” AL.COM, Nov. 20, 2017)

With the unemployment rate so low, the job market has become much more competitive. How can you stand out?

William Draves, of Learning Resources Network, says professional certifications are becoming more valuable in today’s workplace because employers value the standardized set of skills and qualifications to perform the job – especially in the fields of IT and healthcare. Research from CompTIA found that high school graduates with professional certifications have earnings 22% higher than high school graduates without certifications.

“A certification is more than a gold star. It’s more than a pat on the back or a ‘job well done.’
Obtaining a professional certification is an indication that you’re an expert. It is proof to employers, peers, and even yourself that you speak and think in a specific language.” (Day, Ryan. “18 Certifications Worth Having.”, Feb. 12, 2018)

At Athens State’s Center for Lifelong Learning, we offer many of the “18 Certifications Worth Having,” according to Ryan Day of Global Knowledge. Online courses are a great way to succeed when you can’t find the time to go to class.

We are currently offering two programs in both formats. You can come to class or take the class online. Threats and Vulnerabilities in Cybersecurity is offered on Friday, April 20, from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at the CyberProtex Training Center in Madison. You can also take Cybersecurity for Managers online March 5-30, May 7-June 1, or July 2-27. These courses are an introduction to understanding the basics of threats, vulnerabilities, and attacks. The courses are designed for IT personnel, administrative staff, management, and other professionals.

The other course we are offering in two formats is CompTIA Security+ 5-day Exam Preparation Boot Camp. This course is Monday, March 5-Friday, March 9, from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the CyberProtex Training Center in Madison. This course will prepare you to sit for the exam and includes the workbook, study guide, and access to the online practice tests. Also included in the course is the exam voucher to register and take the exam.

The online course lets you gain hands-on expertise in CompTIA Security+ certification exam by course and performance-based labs. Performance-based labs simulate real-world, hardware, software, and command line interface environments and can be mapped to any textbook, course and training. The class is available on demand and you can access the classroom 24/7.

Another popular online course is the Certificate in Data Analysis, which is a three part program. The first course Introduction to Data Analysis starts April 7-27, Intermediate Data Analysis is May 7-June 1, and Advance Data Analysis is June 4-29.

Project Management Professional is another popular online course. We offer introductory courses and exam prep courses online to meet your needs.

Check our website – — for specific session dates and other available online and classroom format certification programs. If you have questions, please call 256-233-8260. There are over 400 online course offerings available.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

By Wanda Campbell


3rd Annual Women’s Leadership Symposium
On April 11, the Center for Lifelong Learning will host the third annual Women’s Leadership Symposium: Honoring Women Who Serve. The event will be held at the Dynetics Solutions Complex Main Conference Room in Huntsville, from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Lunch is included in the $85 fee. A featured speaker for this program is Dr. Carolyn McKinstry of Birmingham. McKinstry is a survivor and eyewitness to the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in September of 1963 that killed four young girls. Dr. McKinstry is the author of While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement.

Understanding Why People Follow is offered on Thursday, February 8, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the conference room at the Center for Lifelong Learning. The $49 fee includes lunch. This session will introduce a panel of leaders from diverse industry sectors, including government, education, and business, to discuss the evolution of their individual leadership styles, and how they worked to ensure the fulfillment of four essential criteria – trust, compassion, stability, and hope.

Soft Skills for Leaders
The Center for Lifelong Learning welcomes Dr. Yvette Rice, president of LLVE, LLC, to teach the soft skills for leaders. On February 9, she will teach Communication Skills at the Center from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The fee is $69/person. Communication skills are pivotal for leaders to create an engaging workplace environment that promotes teambuilding and teamwork.

Have you always wanted to try yoga? Now is your chance to get started! The Center for Lifelong Learning is offering a Level One Yoga Class connecting postures (asanas) with breath, flowing from one posture to the next. The class includes standing and floor postures while elevating the heart rate to a moderate level. This means you will be breathing moderately but still able to speak. Depending on how you feel about your progress, our instructor will show ways to both increase and extend the pose or keep the pose at a beginner level. Bring your own mat, and wear comfortable clothing. Classes are held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, from 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. The fee is $5 per session or you can get a punch card for five or ten lessons.

Sign Language
American Sign Language is a complex language using hand motions and facial expressions. Using your hands and different facial expressions, you can have a complete conversation with someone who is deaf or hearing impaired. This class will begin with an introduction to the language by learning to sign and fingerspell. Before you know it, you will be signing phrases and expanding to complete sentences. Family rates are available. Beginning Sign Language is offered on Mondays, February 6-March 12, from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

By: Wanda Campbell
It is the 21st Century and we are transitioning from the great Industrial Age to the Age of Knowledge (Nine Shift: Work, Life, and Education in the 21st Century, by William Draves and Julie Coates). Today many are carrying the internet in their pockets and conducting every aspect of their lives on the smart phone. About nine million have had their identity stolen or business networks hacked.

A few weeks ago (Oct 13, 2017) the headline on WHNT-TV “Cyber Security is a booming business and people are needed to fill positions” was posted by Aaron Cantrell. In that posting, Cantrell quoted Carey Pool, ISSA North Alabama Chapter President saying, “There’s a huge gap in the current industry for people who understand computers, how to secure them, how to configure them.” PeopleSec CEO Joshua Crumbaugh said that he thinks everyone should go through a cybersecurity class so they can be better educated on the matter.

At the Center for Lifelong Learning, we will be offering two classes on cybersecurity this semester. The first is an introductory class so that managers and the general public can learn the basics of threats, vulnerabilities, and attacks. Threats and Vulnerabilities in Cyberspace is offered Friday, April 20, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the CyberProtex Training Center in Madison. For more information about this class, call us at 256-233-8262 or go on the website for more information.

The second class covers the essentials of understanding best practices in network security and risk management. This comprehensive exam preparation course will prepare the participant to take the Security+ exam. This is a foundational course and six months to one year of experience is recommended. CompTIA Security + 5-day Exam Prep Boot Camp will be offered Monday, March 5-Friday, March 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the CyberProtex Training Center in Madison.

The learning starts early in this Age of Knowledge. “A study by scientists at the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) shows that a series of play sessions with music improved 9-month-old babies’ brain processing of both music and new speech sounds.” (News release from University of Washington by Molly McElroy, April 15, 2016.)

Molly McElroy quoted lead author of the study Christina Zhao, a post-doctoral researcher at I-Labs, as saying, “Our study is the first in young babies to suggest that experiencing a rhythmic pattern in music can also improve the ability to detect and make predictions about rhythmic patterns in speech.”

The article also quoted co-author Patricia Kuhl as saying, “Infants experience a complex world in which sounds, lights, and sensations vary constantly. The baby’s job is to recognize the patterns of activity and predict what’s going to happen next. Pattern perception is an important cognitive skill, and improving that ability early may have long-lasting effects on learning.”

If you are looking for a program to encourage learning in your babies or toddlers, the Center will be offering MusikGarten classes starting March 7. Family Music for Babies and Toddlers is scheduled for eight weeks on Wednesdays, March 7-April 4. Class is scheduled from 9:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m. at the Center. Suncatchers for 3-5 years olds is scheduled Wednesday, March 7-April 4 from 10:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Call us at 256-233-8262 or check out all of our classes on the website –
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

By: Wanda Campbell
The motto of Athens State’s Center for Lifelong Learning is Never Stop Learning. There is a Jewish Proverb that says, “An educated man can never be poor.” Lots of commentary, reports, and articles have said that continuing your education enhances your self-image, improves your marketability, increases your job skills, and furthers your career. The great thing about our classes at the Center for Lifelong Learning is you don’t have to take tests (unless you want to) and don’t have homework. You can start right out of high school or after you retire, and anywhere in between.

We offer Certificate courses and Certification courses and personal interest courses to spark you interest or continue your interest in a particular subject. You can find a listing of all of our courses at

What is the difference between Certificate courses and Certification courses? Most classes for career development will provide a certificate at the end of the class. This is your verification that you attended the program. Sometimes a job will require a certain number of certificates to renew a license or earn a promotion.

Some classes are skill driven and require testing to prove you have mastered the skill. These courses are Certification courses. Sometimes you are required to earn a certification before you can get a job, and sometimes you have to have a certification for promotion to the next level.

On January 9, we will begin the Yoga classes. Classes are Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday from 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. You can attend one day a week, two days a week, or attend all week. Classes are $5 each and you can pay at the door, or get a punch card and attend when you can.

January 22, we will provide ServSafe Training for food service managers in restaurants, nursing homes, and daycares. This class is at the Alabama Center for the Arts in Decatur, located at 133 Second Ave, NE. Class is from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and includes the test for your certification. The fee is $175/person.

January 29, we will begin the Freezer Meals Cooking Class at Food Fite on the main Athens State Campus. Classes are in the Sandridge Student Union Building from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. The cost is $155 and includes all supplies.

The month of February will bring Sign Language classes, Dance classes, Photography classes, Communication classes, and so much more. Details about all of our classes are available on our website – To request a catalog, give us a call at 256-233-8260.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

By Eric Betts,
Curtis Coleman Center for Religious Studies and Ethics,
Athens State University.

I remember many years ago while living on the West Coast, I made a trip from Nevada to Alabama. I had a layover in Atlanta, but had it fixed in my mind that when we arrived in Alabama, I would be in the Central time zone. However, after arriving in Atlanta, somehow I kept thinking about the Central time zone, unmindful that Atlanta was East Coast time. The second flight from Atlanta to Alabama was missed by an hour because of my miscalculation of time zones. Is it possible that those who are reading this article could be missing opportunities in life because of miscalculations?

One of the chief miscalculations for missed opportunity in the lives of so many is that of second guessing of oneself. Many question their own abilities or giftedness. They convince themselves that they are not as good as the last person who seized their opportunity and found success. Opportunity is not an advantage that belongs only to those who have the most resources or the best connections. There may be those who reason within themselves that opportunities will never come because they are not well known in the community. Brian Vaszily said it best, “Opportunity is always knocking. The problem is that most people have the self-doubt station in their head turned up way too loud to hear it.” Once you begin to shake off the self-doubt, you will be in a better position to recognize opportunity when it comes and to seize it.

A second miscalculation that causes so many to miss the flight into the land of opportunity is that of hard work. Some calculate that the opportunity that lies before them will take too many years to work on. Others declare that it is too mentally draining to do it, or that they will have to sacrifice too many enjoyable activities in order to pursue it. None of these are reasonable excuses for missing opportunities. Thomas Edison understood this best. Edison said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Sometimes, going on a trip takes hard work and planning; packing, dragging luggage, walking through airports and the discomfort of the plane are often considered well worth it when considering the enjoyment which is to come at the destination.

A third reason why so many miss the trip into the land of opportunity is because they have failed so many times before. Remember that Michael Jordan, arguably the best professional basketball player ever, was cut from his high school basketball team when he first tried out. His coach did not see the value in his abilities the first time around. He went on to win a championship for his team at the University of North Carolina, and six championships for the NBA’s Chicago Bulls. What if he had given up the first time he did not succeed? Henry Ford, one of the great inventors of automobile manufacturing, understood that failure is not a barrier to future opportunity. Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” Failure simply educates those who are making the attempt on what they should do or not do the next time opportunity comes.

Interestingly, many miss their opportunities because they do not seek them out and do not go where they are. One of the greatest mistakes that people make when in this area is that they wait for opportunity to come to them. Delay is a major hindrance to opportunity. I saw a marquee on a church sign which said, “If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.” Live your life ever seeking for opportunities to grow and improve. Do all that is within your power to fulfill your goals and dreams. Think of small things that will move you closer to your goals and act on them. The comedian Milton Berle said something similar when he stated, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

One way of building doors to opportunity is community engagement and involvement. The more engaged you are, the more opportunities will appear. Every day opportunities come your way. Opportunities are often viewed as a new job or a promotion. What are you doing when it comes to the often unnoticed opportunities? These may involve good deeds, reconciling differences, spending time with your children, visiting the elderly, making a phone call and checking up on someone, encouraging someone, volunteering for the homeless, visiting the sick, and showing hospitality. It may also include sending a thank you card to show your appreciation, sending a care package to a college student, or listening to someone’s story. When smaller opportunities are taken, this creates room for more open doors of greater opportunity.

Most of all, rather than complain about the difficulties of life, understand that with every difficulty there are opportunities. The words of Winston Churchill are timeless, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
By Eric Betts,
Curtis Coleman Center for Religious Studies and Ethics,
Athens State University.

By: Wanda Campbell
It is not often that I get to sit in a room full of relatives while they tell stories about my parents. This Thanksgiving, it was particularly nice to have my Aunt My, Mom’s younger sister, visiting from Florida. She remembers all the good stories about growing up with my mother.

Like most young kids, Mom was special for kissing my boo-boos and making fudge. And, like most teen-agers, I felt that Mom just did not understand. It is only as an adult that we can come to respect all that our parents do for us growing up, and if you are lucky enough to have an Aunt My, you can see your parents as individuals.

Marshall P. Duke wrote an article in the New York Times called “This Life: The Stories that Bind Us” in March 2017. He and Robyn Fisvush conducted research asking 20 questions about family history. They used their particular questions because respondents could not have learned the family history first-hand, they had to learn the information another way. He said “higher scores on the scale were associated with higher levels of self-esteem, an internal locus of control (a belief in one’s own capacity to control what happens to him or her), better family functioning, lower levels of anxiety, fewer behavioral problems, and better chances for good outcomes if a child faces educational or emotional/behavioral difficulties.”

He also said that the family history was relevant because “some people have to talk and some have to listen. The stories need to be told over and over, and the times of sitting together need to occur over many years to get the best results.”

One of my most treasured possessions is a recording of Mom’s brothers and sisters telling stories about their childhood. We were lucky to have a family member who could video tape the group telling the stories. We also had another person who added old photos of the person who was talking. It is quite the treasure.

If the technology scares you off, you can always write your family history. To begin, you can interview and record family members talking. To make the stories interesting, look for world events that happened at the time of your story. You can produce an entire book using Word. To get your family history published, you could contact some of the self-publishing services. No matter what you write, your family will appreciate your book, even if you copy it into a notebook.

Learning about family is like learning about history. Never stop learning.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

By: Wanda Campbell
The Center for Lifelong Learning is starting a Travel Club. To be a member you are required to attend at least two meetings a year and to keep your contact information up-to-date as long as you are a member. There is no fee for membership.

The Travel Club will meet three times a year to plan trips. You do not have to go on a trip; we will have a slide show of the tours at the next meeting. Travel Club members will get $10 off every local trip scheduled.

The first meeting of the Travel Club will be Monday, December 4, from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Center for Lifelong Learning. The meeting will be in the mezzanine upstairs. Refreshments are available.

Travel Club membership is from January-December 2018. Plan to attend and bring your friend.

Don’t forget the deadline for going to the Gaylord’s Opryland Resort Trip on Friday, December 1 is November 20. You still have time to sign up; there are four spaces left. The fee ($75/person) includes transportation, lunch and a ride through the 12 days of Christmas.

If you like to travel overseas, I hope you will join me for a trip to Iceland’s Magical Northern Lights, October 13-19, 2018. The “land of fire and ice” is a place of many wonders, including the rare opportunity to see the spectacular aurora borealis – or northern lights. Travel to the “Golden Circle,” home to many of Iceland’s most renowned natural wonders. We will spend time seeing glaciers, volcanoes, Folk Art Museum, turf built homes, and floating icebergs. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Call Trish DiLullo at 256-233-8184 for more information.

The Center for Lifelong Learning is also looking for volunteers who might be interested in developing a Lifelong Learning Institute. The institute would include members, ages 50 and up, who are interested in continuing their learning and perhaps teaching a course based on their hobby or special interest. Those who might be interested should call me at 256-233-8262. If we can get enough volunteers, we can get the institute started.

We will have many new classes for 2018 that you might consider. If you are interested in what is happening in the world, you will enjoy Dessert and Discussion – Great Decisions. The discussion group will talk about several different topics – The Future of Europe; Trades, Jobs, and Politics; Conflict in the South China Sea; and Nuclear Security: The Enduring Challenge of Nuclear Weapons. Watch for more about that in our catalog.

We will also be bringing back a favorite – Caring for Older Adults Series. This time the classes will focus on Dementia/Alzheimer’s; Social Security, Estate Planning, and Medicare Rules. Watch for more about Caring for Older Adults in our catalog.

If you are not on our catalog list, you can always LIKE us on Facebook – Center for Lifelong Learning at Athens State University. We announce all our courses on this platform regularly. We are also on Instagram and Twitter and you can follow us at #CLL@ASU. Our winter/spring courses will start showing up on our website – – by December 1. You can check out the courses and register at the same time.

If you don’t like doing web registration, you can always call us. Call us at 256-233-8260, Monday – Friday, from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Never Stop Learning.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

By: Wanda Campbell
Every fall, the Center for Lifelong Learning engages in a flurry of activity. From the end of September to near the end of November we are busy with community events, class activities, and planning future classes, events, and activities.

Community Activities

Starting the last weekend in September this year, we hosted the Grease Festival. The next weekend was the Ol’ Time Fiddlers Convention. Starting on October 26, the Athens Storytelling Festival comes to town. And just three weeks after Storytelling, we are geared up for Christmas Open House. If you have not had the opportunity to participate in the community activities, I invite you to come on down. Although the Grease Festival and Fiddlers Convention have already passed, you still have time to attend the Athens Storytelling Festival and Christmas Open House.

The Athens Storytelling Festiva
l is jam-packed with great stories, nationally recognized storytellers, and lots of opportunity to mingle and buy author recordings and books. Donald Davis, Bill Lepp, Bill Harley, Geraldine Buckley, and The Dill Pickers are the featured artists. Get “the Whole Schebang” to come and go as you please throughout the entire festival, including Tuesday’s 5th Annual Dan Williams Local Tellers Competition. Or you can pick and choose what days you’d like to come. Tickets are available online.

The Christmas Open House event is sponsored by the Greater Limestone Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Athens. With activities scattered around the Courthouse, everyone enjoys the sounds and smells of Christmas. Carolers will be singing many of your favorite Christmas carols as they stroll through downtown. Santa will arrive in style at the Center for Lifelong Learning Center and will take toy requests. During the Christmas Open House, we will host Merry Market in the Mezzanine of our building. Merry Market gives home-based businesses an opportunity to sell on the Courthouse Square. Call Jennifer Williamson at 256-232-2600 for more information about fees and spaces.

Upcoming Classes
It is not too early to mark your calendar for the 3rd Annual Women’s Leadership Conference, April 11. The 2018 theme is Women Who Serve and the line-up of speakers is just fabulous. We are trying something new and offering three Dessert and Discussion Series. The first is a series on Caring For Older Adults. The four-week series will focus on Dementia, Social Security, and more. The second series will focus on Foreign Affairs. The topics for that discussion include Trade, Jobs, and Treaties, Crisis in the South China Sea and more. Our third series will focus on Our Town. Topics include Streets and People and so much more. We hope you will come out and discussion our topics while enjoying a dessert.

Like the iceberg that floats in the sea, what I have mentioned is just the beginning. There is so much more in the planning stages. We have trips, professional development courses, leisure fun, and so much more coming up.

Wait for more here, on our website – or stop by to see us at 121 South Marion Street. We would love to talk with you.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262