8-7-2015 2-52-23 PMIt is official: Fall catalogs are available at the Center for Lifelong Learning. These catalogs are chock full of lots of activities.

For those who are CAREER minded, we are offering four new online classes – Responsive Web Design, $109, and Understanding the Cloud, $109. Both are available Sept 16, Oct 14, Nov 12, and Dec 10. Conflict Management, $245, and Workplace Ethics & Etiquette, $145, are offered September 8 through October 2. Conflict Management is 24 hours or 2.4 CEUs and Workplace Ethics is 16 hours or 1.6 CEUs. Both courses are approved by HRCI for 16-hour general credit toward recertification through the HR Certification Institute. Look for more information on our website – www.athens.edu/CLL – or call us at 256-233-8260.

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We will begin a new Lunch and Learn Series: Transformational Leadership. Classes will be offered once a month during the lunch hour beginning Thursday, October 8, with Self-Leadership, $25. Those who can attend five sessions and do the homework assignment will earn a Leadership Certificate. ServSafe Training, $175 is scheduled September 14, from 8:00am – 5:00pm. The fee is $175 which includes the textbook, study guide, and exam. You need to register by August 31.

If your LIFE is too busy for classes, you might want to come by The Center for our events. August 14, from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, we will be participating in Friday After Five with Spirit of Athens. There will be lots of activity, discounts, food, and fun on the Square that night. Tour our beautiful facilities, pick up our new fall catalog of classes and events and don’t forget to stop by Square Clock Coffee® for a Fiesta Fruit Smoothie. Grab your family and friends, park your car and enjoy an evening on the Square in downtown Athens.

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It is not too late to register for the Memphis/Tunica trip, September 21-23. Registration has to be in soon, but we still have a few spaces. Come with us to see Elvis’ home (Graceland), shop and eat on Beale Street, and visit the Tunica Museum. The fee is $229 double occupancy, $299 single. Fee includes transportation, hotel, entry fees, and four meals – 2 breakfasts, 2 dinners. Check out the website for more information on trips happening at the Center.

8-7-2015 2-52-44 PMWhen you have some LEISURE time, you might want to check out the Blacksmith classes. We offer Basic Blacksmith, $85, Blacksmith Project, $85, and Intermediate Blacksmith, $95. If Sewing is your thing, we have a class for that. There are also several music classes offered. We offer private lessons in violin, piano, and guitar. You will need to call Wanda Campbell at 256-233-8262 for spaces available. We offer 15-, 30-, 45- and 60-minute lessons. Fees are determined by time.

If you want to learn about rhythm, we are offering a new class – It’s All About the Rhythm, $75. This class is for teens and adults. Join us in forming a rhythm section that will learn to perform, create, improvise and collaborate over a variety of musical genres including pop, jazz, country, rock, blues and classical styles. Barry Kay will lead rehearsals, providing instruction, conducting the group and providing personalized practice tips and arrangements for a few rhythm section tunes based on the instrumentation and the skill level that we have sign up. The 3rd and final session will culminate in a concert for friends and family which will showcase students’ work. Students need to bring their own instruments, however an electronic stage piano will be available for use by the first keyboard student to sign up & request it. Sheet music will be provided. Classes are offered on Tuesdays from 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Center, starting October 13.

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Everything at the Center is too much fun. Stop by to talk with us about what you want to learn. Call us at 256-233-8260 or email us at CLL@athens.edu.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

7-17-2015 1-25-32 PMI am such a baby about hot weather. I whine and moan and groan to my family about how uncomfortable I am and how much I hate to sweat.

Have you noticed it’s hot outside? For the past few weeks, temperatures have been in the high 80s, 90s, and low 100s. As far as I’m concerned, it might as well be 1000 degrees. I thank God everyday that I have an inside job! Of course, I do have to go out in the heat several times each day. Like you, I have to water the plants and run errands. But even the little bit I am in the heat can be a major problem.

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None of us drinks enough water. Most doctors recommend we drink 8 glasses of water a day, in addition to the soda and tea we drink. The primary cause of heat exhaustion is dehydration – not enough water. And you don’t have to be outside very long before you show symptoms of heat exhaustion.

There are two types of heat exhaustion. Water depletion symptoms are excessive thirst, weakness, and headache. When not enough salt is the reason for heat exhaustion, the symptoms include nausea, muscle cramps, and dizziness. Either way, the best solution for these symptoms is to drink plenty of fluids. That does not mean go have a “coke;” it means get a big glass of water. Other things you can do are take off any tight or unnecessary clothing, take a cool shower, or sit in front of a fan for a little while.

If you are one of those folks who have to work outside in this heat, you need to watch for heat stroke. It happens quickly. The symptoms of heat stroke are high body temperature, agitation, slurred speech, nausea and vomiting, flushed skin, rapid breathing, racing heart rate, and headache. Remember, the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke is when you have heat stroke you don’t sweat.

7-17-2015 1-26-00 PMIf you are having heat stroke, you should find medical assistance immediately. You need to get indoors or in the shade and sponge off with cool water and wet towels on your head, neck and armpits. The risk of heat-related illness is higher when temperatures are 90 degrees or higher. It is also important to pay attention to the heat indexes and to remember to stay out of direct, full sunshine if you can.

Weather stations report the heat index as well as the temperature nowadays. Heat index is a combination of air temperature and humidity. The human body cools down by sweating (Eww!). When the sweat evaporates, you feel cooler. When the humidity is high, your sweat can’t evaporate and it feels hotter. That is how the heat index works. Information about heat exhaustion and heat stroke is available both on the Internet and from your doctor. When in doubt, always check with your personal physician.

If you are out and about on the Square in Athens and the heat is getting to you, stop by Square Clock Coffee for a smoothie or iced coffee. They have several different smoothies to choose from. The Fiddling Bear has strawberry, pineapple, coconut, and orange juice. The Rocket has pineapple, mango, peach, banana, peach, and orange juice. Berry Belle Mina has strawberry, lemonade, raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry. Strawberry Spirit has strawberry, and milk or jet pep. Hank & Oats has banana, oats, peanut butter, and milk or jet pep. Story Tella has banana, hazelnut, milk or jet pep, and mocha. Get Centered has green tea, pear, spinach, cucumber, avocado, lime juice, apple, and cilantro. Jaffe Java has coffee, coconut, caramel, chocolate, cocoa, and milk or jet pep.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

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7-3-2015 3-58-10 PMIt is hard to believe that half of the year has already flown by. So what is up for the next half of the year?

Spirit of Athens is sponsoring Friday After 5 on Friday, July 10, as the name says – after 5pm. The event is an evening of art, music, shopping, and dining. It is a Friday night for the whole family to enjoy. At the Center for Lifelong Learning, Elvis will be in the building. We will have free popcorn and you can stop by to talk with Elvis or get a root beer float from Square Clock Coffee.

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Our Elvis will be inviting folks to come by his house when we take a trip to Memphis in September. The Memphis trip is scheduled for Monday – Wednesday, September 21-23 and will feature a trip to Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley. If you have never been, it is a great experience. The fee is only $229 per person for double occupancy. We will also be visiting Beale Street and Tunica, Mississippi. You will need to register by August 1. For more information call 256-233-8262 or register online at www.athens.edu/CLL.

Since you are coming down to see Elvis, you might as well check out all the stores that will be staying open until 8pm on Friday. Bennett’s will have drawings for free clothing, gift certificates, and more. Snapdragon Kids will have Snappy the Dragon, face painting, and balloons for the kids. We hope to see you there.

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The next Friday After 5 will be the second Friday in August. The CLL will be hosting dancing in the street as we kick off our Ballroom Dance lessons with a Salsa night. Bring your “blue suede shoes” and kick up your heels with us on August 14 on the Courthouse Square. Our regular ballroom dance classes will be held on Thursdays, beginning August 20th. Call us at 256-233-8262 for more information or watch the web page, www.athens.edu/CLL, for more information.

If you watch our web pages often, you will notice lots of classes being added. We are working hard to finish the fall catalog by August 4. If you are not on our mailing list, you can send us an email with your name, address, and phone number to CLL@athens.edu.

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Some of the classes in the fall include blacksmith classes, new sewing classes, several online classes and the new trips to exciting places. Visit our web site often, or stop by the Center to visit our staff and ask questions. We look forward to meeting you.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

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6-18-2015 4-12-55 PMAn heirloom is a family possession handed down from generation to generation. Sometimes that heirloom is not a possession, but a treasure of memories and experiences.

This past week-end I drove my mother, Sarah McElyea, and my aunts, Jean and Anne Chittam, to Elberta, Alabama to visit mom’s sister, Myrion Babcock (My), who was celebrating her 80th birthday.

The trip down was filled with laughter, stories, and memories. Before we knew it, we were there. Since we expected 200 guests at My’s party on Sunday, there were errands and set-up to complete. Because most of the food was already cooked, we had plenty of time to talk about family and friends and enjoy each other’s company.

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Anytime you get a bunch of Chittams together, there is a lot of laughter; huge belly laughs that make your stomach muscles ache. My had lots of stories about Mom, Herbert (Jean’s husband) and Paisley (Anne’s husband). Most were happy but some were sad. All of my aunts and uncles were good storytellers. Each one is a treasure to me, heirlooms from my mother.

When you are getting ready to plan your next family gathering, stop by the Center for Lifelong Learning and check out our spaces for rent. Our bright and open 2,500 square foot mezzanine area is designed to accommodate all types of events, both large and small, from 12 to 200 guests. The space is perfect for conferences, receptions, luncheons and dinners, recitals, and wedding rehearsal dinners and receptions. The Loft area, overlooking the Lobby, offers an intimate setting for small groups.

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Schedule your next board meeting, formal training, or business luncheon in our Executive Conference room. The conference room offers comfortable seating for up to 20, and privacy for your event. Our training room will accommodate up to 12. This room may be configured in a number of styles to suit your needs… be that classroom, theater, or boardroom.

A small area of the Center located outside of the conference room may be used as a break out area for seminars/board meetings, receptions, and small group meetings of up to eight people.

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Our lobby area offers a comfortable and casual atmosphere in which to relax while taking advantage of our free WiFi and laptop loan. Enjoy a latte and freshly baked desserts from the Square Clock coffee shop and catch up on some reading, check your email, or just visit with friends. This 415 square foot area is available to host small parties or gatherings up to 75 guests. The lobby may be configured to accommodate 40 to 50 people for more formal presentations.

Catering services may be provided in any room. We have a long list of preferred caterers and can accommodate you dining choices.

Whether you are hosting a formal or informal event, the Center for Lifelong Learning is the place for you.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

6-6-2015 11-26-00 AMMay was a whirlwind of activity at the Center for Lifelong Learning, and it looks like June will be the same. There have been several changes happening.

One is, Athens State University has updated its website and moved things around. The Center for Lifelong Learning has moved from the bottom of the page, to the QUICK LINKS AND SEARCH drop down menu. It is located at the top left of the screen now. We want to be sure you can find us when you are looking for summer camps for your children or grandchildren.

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The other change is that Dr. Diane Sauers has moved to Kentucky. Diane was our director for five years and we will miss her greatly. Her farewell reception was attended by members of the Athens, Decatur, and Madison communities, as well as former students of the Center.

This summer, our most popular camp – SUPER SITTER COURSE, Ages 11 to 15 – will return June 22 – 26, from 9:00 am to noon, Monday – Friday. This course teaches everything you will need to know to be an exceptional babysitter. It includes a trip to the 911 office, arts and crafts, and cupcake decorating. The fee for the program is $75 and students will get a certificate at the end of the program. This program is co-sponsored with Athens Limestone Hospital.

Another popular camp, DRAMA CAMP: THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS, Ages 8-15 – is being offered Jun15-19, from 9:00am to noon, Monday – Friday. Camp will be held at McCandless Hall on the Athens State campus. The fee for the program is $75, and there will be a presentation of the program for parents and friends on Friday, at 11:00am. As always, this is a wonderful opportunity to see talented children shine. Kristi Coughlin will be teaching this camp for the third year.

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We are offering a new music camp – RHYTHM CAMP, Ages 11 through Adult – teaching the basics of guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, percussion, etc. Class is scheduled Tuesdays, starting June 9 and going through August 4. It is scheduled from 5:30pm – 7:00pm at the Center. There is no class on June 23rd. The fee for this program is $175. The instructor is Barry Kay, a local musician who plays regularly in area venues.

Another music offering this summer is DISCOVERING VIOLIN, and there will be two classes held on Thursdays. This seven week program is for students who have little or no experience in violin. Class is limited to five, so that students can get individual attention as well as group experience. DISCOVERING VIOLIN I is from 3:00pm – 3:45pm, and is for students with less than 3 months experience. DISCOVERING VIOLIN II is from 4:00 pm – 4:45 pm and is for students with more than 3 months experience. The fee is $90 for the seven week program. The instructor is Kristi Coughlin.

There are two art camps this summer. ART EXPLORERS, Ages 8-12, is an enrichment program designed to provide an exploration of a variety of mediums. Valerie Alexander does a great job engaging students in this exploration of art. Enrollment is limited, so register early. Camp is scheduled Monday-Friday, June 15-19, from 9:00am to noon, at the Center. The fee is $69 for the week.

PAINTING FUN, Ages 8-12 is scheduled Monday – Thursday, July 13-16, from 9:00am – noon at the Center. Students will take home four paintings using acrylic paints. All supplies are included in the fee. The fee is $69 per person.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

5-15-2015 2-33-53 PMToday’s article is a hodgepodge. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a hodgepodge is “a mixture of things.” At the Center for Lifelong Learning, this month is a mixture of lots of things.

On Monday, May 11, the music program hosted its spring recital. The music was varied and the students were great. This summer, the Center will continue music lessons with two programs. The first is a violin and beginner piano program taught by Kristi Coughlin. Lessons will be June 15-July 30 and are offered Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 3:00 to 6:00pm. There are two group lessons for beginners on Thursdays – Discovering Violin I for inexperienced beginner (less than six months practice) and Discovering Violin II for beginners. Call Wanda Campbell at 256-233-8260 for more information.

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The second music program is a Rhythm Camp taught by Barry Kay. Barry will teach the basics of guitar, bass, percussion, and keyboard, as well as how these instruments work together to make rhythm and lay the foundation for music. Class will be held on Tuesdays, from 5:30 to 7:00pm, June 9 – August 4. There is no class scheduled June 22. Call 256-233-8260 to register or for more information.

Since we are talking about camps, there are more camps on our website. We have a couple of art camps–Art Explorers Camp uses a variety of mediums, and Painting Fun is a different painting every day. We also have a Drama Camp–Wind in the Willows for 8 to 15 year olds. We will also be offering the Super Sitter Course again for ages 11-15, who are looking to become exceptional babysitters.

I am sure you have noticed that the weather is getting hot. At Square Clock Coffee they are selling smoothies for the summer, along with iced teas and lemonade. They have also just begun to serve cakes and cupcakes. Their salad menus are light and filling, and just the thing for a nice summer lunch. They also have sandwiches and soups for hearty appetites. Remember, we have free Wi-Fi and laptops are available for use.

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For those of you who want to go to the Tennessee Aquarium with us, the deadline for registering is June 1. That is just a few days away. The trip is scheduled for Tuesday, June 16. We will leave the Center at 8:00am and return about 6:00pm. This trip includes registration fees, lunch, and transportation. There is an option for a back stage pass for those who might like to see what happens behind the scenes at the Aquarium. The base fee is $85. The backstage pass is $15. Call us at 256-233-8260 for more information or to register.

On Tuesday, May 26, the Center will host a farewell reception for Dr. Diane Sauers, director of the Center. The reception is scheduled from 2:00 to 4:00pm and will be held in the Center, located at 121 South Marion Street. Dr. Sauers has been with the Center since it opened in 2011. As director, she has worked with many community groups in our area, including the Decatur Civic Chorus. Stop by to tell her how much she will be missed.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

5-1-2015 12-59-15 PMIt is hard to believe that it has been four years since the Center for Lifelong Learning opened our doors. It seems like just yesterday we were getting ready for the grand opening, which was held April 26, 2011. It was a rainy day and we just knew the rain would keep everyone away. We were fortunate to have over 100 people attend the event.

Just two years ago, we started the Academic Travel Program with a trip to Chickamauga. This summer, we will be offering two trips. The first is a trip to the Tennessee Aquarium. Bring your kids or grandkids with you as we travel to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. Come see for yourself why visitors rate the Tennessee Aquarium the best aquarium in America. Enjoy a remarkable journey from the mountains to the sea as you explore above and below the surface in the Aquarium’s two buildings. Bring your sense of adventure as you discover cool creatures around every corner.

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Put yourself in the boots of the Aquarium’s animal caretakers during a 45-minute backstage experience. Reservations for backstage pass are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

We are leaving the Center for Lifelong Learning at promptly 8:00am, Tuesday, June 16, 2015.
The fee for the excursion is $85, which includes transportation, entry fees, and lunch. There is an additional fee of $15/per person for the backstage pass. There are only 15 spaces for the backstage pass so register early.Make your reservation by June 1. You can register online at our webpage – www.athens.edu/cll – or call us at 256-233-8260.

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Our next trip will be an overnight trip to Memphis. The trip is scheduled for two nights, and three days, September 21-23. Monday and Wednesday will be travel days. We will be staying two nights at a Tunica, Mississippi area Casino Resort. On Tuesday, we will have free time on Beale Street, a guided tour of Memphis area, and a visit to Graceland. Two breakfasts and two dinners are included in this package. Our motor coach is equipped with restroom and video capabilities.

5-1-2015 1-00-22 PMIn case you don’t know about our tour sites, Beale Street is a street in downtown Memphis, which runs from the Mississippi River to East Street. It is a significant location in the city’s history, as well as in the history of the Blues.Today, the Blues clubs and restaurants that line Beale Street are major tourist attractions in Memphis.

Even if you are not a fan of Elvis Presley, Graceland is a must see in Memphis. It is the former home of Elvis and is the one of the most visited homes in America. Although Elvis had homes in Los Angeles as well, Graceland was considered his home base. Today, Graceland is a museum.

The fee for this three-day trip is $229, double occupancy. Be sure to make your reservation for this trip by August 7. At this price, I expect to fill up fast, so don’t wait too long. You can register online at the website – www.athens.edu/CLL or call us at 256-233-8260.

Whether you are sticking around town, or traveling with the Center for Lifelong Learning, it is always fun to learn something new.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

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4-17-2015 9-55-43 AMIt’s been said that if it weren’t for deadlines, nothing would get done. I’m supposed to write these articles every other week, but it seems like life finds a way for me to do other things. The sad thing is, it’s not always worthwhile things I end up doing instead of writing my article.

Sometimes, I put together a couple of online jigsaw puzzles before I get started. I’ll play some spider solitaire. I might even watch an episode of Bones or (heavens!) do the dishes or fold laundry. It’s amazing what things can get in the way of doing what I should be doing first.

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There have been scores of books written on the subject of procrastination. As I look it up, there seem to be countless magazine articles and essays too. This is going to take a while to get through, and I’m going to need a glass of tea before I hunker down to write. Wouldn’t you know it, there’s no tea made.

I don’t do the instant tea thing. As far as I’m concerned, any self-respecting Southerner will steep it, mix in some sugar (probably too much), and drink it cold, and this process takes time to do properly.

After going through the rigmarole of making tea, I poured a tall glass, ready to tackle this article. I recently purchased a new set of glasses and they look wonderful. When you think about a photo of a glass of iced tea in a magazine, these would be the glasses. They are simple, with just a slight flair in their shape, but not overly elaborate. Best of all they are easy to clean. Speaking of which, did anyone do the dishes after dinner? No time for that, I have an article to write!

I went online and searched Google for relevant information about procrastination. Of course, I got the standard wiki articles, but I want to write something unique. Maybe a new and artistic take on the subject. The idea of procrastination has been around for ages. It has inspired artists and poets. I managed to find the work of one of these talented individuals in the form of a slightly abstract video. It wasn’t long, about five minutes.

The film was a study into the art of putting things off (graduation film from the Royal College of Art, 2007). In the video, they said procrastination was a cup of tea (I swear I did not even plan that!) or smoking a cigarette. Procrastination was doing eight things at once and not getting any of them done. It was starting something and not finishing it. It is not knowing when to finish something or not knowing HOW to finish something.

That reminded me I was in the middle (really the beginning) of writing my article. As I stared at the wall contemplating my mental thesaurus to find the most perfect prose, I couldn’t keep a thought from creeping into my head. Can I finish this later?

Oh, before I go, I wanted to remind you we will be celebrating our birthday Wednesday, April 29 at lunch.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

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3-20-2015 10-33-56 AMOn March 14, the Center for Lifelong Learning held our third “Basic Blacksmith” class at Travis Fleming’s workshop. Seven students learned the basic steps to blacksmithing and made coat racks for their hands-on project. That does not sound like much, but it is pretty impressive because it is just the beginning.

A blacksmith works with metal to create objects from wrought iron or steel by shaping the metal, using tools to hammer, bend, and cut. Blacksmiths produce objects like gates, grilles, railings, light fixtures, furniture, sculpture, tools, agricultural implements, decorative and religious items, cooking utensils and weapons. A blacksmith should not be confused with a farrier. A farrier is a specialist in equine hoof care.

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Our Blacksmith instructors are Travis Fleming, from Artist Anvil, and Al Stephens, from Pequea Valley Forge. Both of our instructors are very talented and have a lot of experience with this craft. Fleming has been making iron leaves for more than two decades. He is a member of the Athens Blacksmiths, a chapter of the Alabama Forge Council. Stephens does custom ironwork in his workshop behind his home. His handcrafted products are sold in 41 states.

Stephens is the designer of our new Intermediate Project, an adjustable candlestick. Students need to take the Basic Blacksmith or a Blacksmith Project class before they take the Intermediate class. We are offering the Blacksmith Project class on Saturday, April 18, from 8:00am to 3:00pm. Class is held in the blacksmith workshop located at 208 Commercial Dr, Athens. The fee is $79. You can register online or by calling 256-233-8262.

3-20-2015 10-34-17 AMThe Intermediate Project will be offered Saturday, May 2, from 8:00am to 4:00pm, at the same location. The fee for the Intermediate Project will be $89. All materials are included in our classes.

Blacksmith activities can be inherently dangerous due to hot metal, sparks, sharp objects, welding and grinding operations, as well as other activities. Students should wear long sleeves and bring leather gloves to protect their hands.

On Monday, March 23, I will be taking a group of 38 to Savannah, GA, Jekyll Island, and Beaufort, SC. We will travel together for five days and I know we will have a great time. Expect lots of pictures in the next article.

Our next trip is a one-day trip to Cullman for the Bloomin’ Festival on April 18. The Annual Bloomin’ Festival is a two day juried arts festival attracting thousands of visitors to the beautiful campus of St. Bernard Abbey and Prep School. This trip includes a visit to the world famous Ave Maria Grotto (Little Jerusalem). The picturesque landscape of stone cut buildings on the grounds of Alabama’s only Abbey provides a backdrop for the out-of-doors show. More than 140 booths are filled with artists demonstrating and exhibiting their work.

We will depart the Center for Lifelong Learning at 9:00am for the event. The fee for this tour is $55 and includes transportation, entry tickets to festival and grotto. Lunch is on your own. Call 256-233-8260 for more information.

Won’t you join us as we learn more every day?
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262
By: Wanda Campbell

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3-5-2015 2-50-31 PMYou know you are getting old when grandchildren have no idea what you are talking about. There is so much history to learn that the history you have lived or learned did not make the talking points in today’s lesson at school.

This discovery started off with, “My favorite thing to do when I was twelve (and older) was to read the biographies of cowboys and Indians. No, I was not living during the 1800s, Grandson. But I read a lot about the Pony Express, the train robbers, and the Indians during that time period.”

“What is the Pony Express?” he asked. “It was like the mail carriers in the 1800s,” I explained to him.
“Train robbers might be interesting,” he replied.

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Checking Google – I liked the stories about the robbers like Jesse James (September 5, 1847 – April 3, 1882) and Frank James (January 10, 1843 – February 18, 1915), cowboy outlaws from Missouri who robbed banks and trains. I also read about Butch Cassidy (Robert Leroy Parker – April 13, 1866 – November 7, 1908), and the Sundance Kid (Harry Alonzo Longabaugh – 1867 – November 7, 1908), who were part of the Wild Bunch that robbed trains and banks. Richard Zanuck and 20th Century Fox made a very popular movie about them called “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman in 1969.

“Did you see the movie?” I asked. “I was born in 1993,” he replied. “It is on Netflix,” I told him.

Checking Google – How about Roy Rogers? Roy Rogers (Leonard Franklin Slye – November 5, 1911 – July 6, 1998) was a very popular cowboy actor and singer. I watched all the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans shows as a kid. Trigger, Roy’s horse, was the best part.

“Nope,” he said.

Checking Google – I read all the Indian biographies too. People like Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce. “I Will Fight No More Forever” is the name given to the speech made by Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce on October 5, 1877, when the Nez Perce were forced to surrender to Colonel Nelson Miles and General O. O. Howard after the Battle of the Bear Paw Mountains. The battle strategies used by Chief Joseph and Geronimo are taught in military classrooms today.

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“Surely, you know who Geronimo was!” I said. “Nope,” he replied.

Checking Google – Geronimo (Goyathlay – “one who yawns”) of the Chiricahua Apache, was born in 1829 in what is today western New Mexico, but was then still Mexican territory. Geronimo was the leader of the last American Indian fighting force formally to capitulate to the United States. Because he fought against such overwhelming odds and held out the longest, he became the most famous Apache of all.

“Don’t you learn this in school?” I asked him. “There is too much history so we only learn the new stuff – like Vietnam,” he told me. “Okay,” I said. “You know you can read this stuff on your own.” “I’ll just let you tell me about,” he said.

Kids these days!
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262