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

2-20-2015 1-20-39 PMYou might not know who Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960) are, but I am sure you have heard the music they created. Most of their music was for movies and theater in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Songs like Oklahoma, State Fair, Carousel, and The King and I were presented on Broadway, in New York, and then, in movies in the 1950s and 1960s. One of my favorite songs of all times was from The King and I. I still hum “Getting to Know You” whenever I go somewhere new.

Some of their work, like Cinderella, was for television. Even young people have heard the songs in commercials and the new Anna and the King from the 1990s. Rodgers and Hammerstein won 34 Tony Awards, 15 Academy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and two Grammy Awards.

On March 5, the Center for Lifelong Learning will host the Athens Community Chorus and the Decatur Civic Chorus as they present a concert of favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein numbers. This presentation includes dinner and a show. Tickets are $25, which helps to fund the Chorus. You can get your tickets by calling 256-233-8260 or you can order tickets on our web site – www.athens.edu/CLL.

I hope I will see you there. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s work is mostly cheery and I know you will be tapping your toes during the concert. Both Chorus groups are filled with excellent singers. And, if you come to the concert, we can all go around humming “Getting to Know You.”

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On another note, the Center will also be sponsoring a Brown Bag Lunch Series called “Caring for Older Adults.” We offered this program about 18 months ago and it was very popular. We have had so many requests, we decided to offer it again. The program has five lectures / discussions. You can attend one lecture, or attend them all.

Beginning Tuesday, February 24th, the classes are held each week from noon to 1:00pm at the Center. There is a $5/person fee for each class attended in order to cover costs. Each session will be led by local experts. You can bring your own lunch or buy a lunch from Square Clock Coffee in our building.

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Advanced Life Planning, presented Limestone Chapel Funeral Home Staff, will be the first class in the series. Learn how to discuss this very sensitive, but very important topic. This class is Tuesday, February 24, from 12:00pm – 1:00pm at the Center for Lifelong Learning Conference Room.

Shelli Waggoner from Reliance Investment Management will discuss the next two topics. Social Security Benefits is Tuesday, March 3. Estate Planning is scheduled Tuesday, March 10.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Facts will be presented by Brandi Medina, Director of Programming and Education at the Alzheimer’s Association. Class is scheduled Tuesday, March 17.

Our final class, Power of Attorney vs. Guardianship, will be on Tuesday, March 24.

We are offering many more classes and trips at the Center for Lifelong Learning. Stop by to talk about what is happening. Every day is a learning day at the CLL.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

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2-6-2015 10-44-52 AMIn March, the Center for Lifelong Learning will be taking a trip to Savannah, Jekyll Island, and Beaufort, South Carolina. The trip is scheduled during the school spring break – March 23-27. The trip includes 8 meals, four nights lodging, transportation costs, and tour fees. We will leave from the Center at 8:00am on Monday and return on Friday. The fee is $455 double occupancy or $555 for single occupancy. This is going to be a great trip.

We will start our journey in Savannah with a guided tour of this beautiful, historic town. There are oak-lined street and several “town squares” with lovely gardens and statues. We will have the opportunity to explore River Street with its 18th Century cotton warehouses that have been turned into unique shops and restaurants.

2-6-2015 10-44-59 AMOn Wednesday, we will take a little trip over to see how the nation’s wealthiest citizens lived and played on Jekyll Island. We will tour the exclusive “Millionaires Club” and stroll among the moss-draped oaks.

Thursday will feature a short drive over to Beaufort, South Carolina. Beaufort has a long history, dating back to the 1500s. Its mansions and landscapes have been used in films such as “Forrest Gump” and “The Big Chill.” We will also visit Parris Island Military Base, where 22000 Marines complete their basic training each year. We will tour the Iwo Jimo Monument, parade field, and Parris Island Museum.

Friday we will be coming home with lots of great pictures and good memories of this exciting area. It is not too late to reserve your space. You can get in on this trip by calling 256-233-8260 to register. The last day to register is February 17th.

Meanwhile, back in Athens, we will be continuing the Our Town Series with an exploration of County Services and Organizations. Even if you have lived in Athens or Limestone County all your life, this series will introduce you to “Our Town.” Forget the pie charts and pie-in-the-sky, get the real rundown on how County Government works and how your officials are working for you. Join us for mouthwatering pie and stimulating conversation as we get to know our city and county better, one piece at a time.

We will kick off County Services with a visit with the President of Athens Limestone Hospital. David Pryor will speak on Tuesday, February 17, from 2:30pm to 3:30pm. Did you know Athens-Limestone Hospital opened its doors on May 28, 1951 and over 3,000 people attended the ribbon cutting ceremony on May 25, 1951? Today, Athens-Limestone Hospital is a 101 bed, high-tech, state-of-the-art hospital providing general medical and surgical care for inpatient, outpatient, and emergency room patients, and so much more.We hope you will come out to discover what more is going on at the hospital.

Our March talk will feature Rebekah Davis and information about the Limestone County Archives. Rebekah is all about Preserving and Sharing the Legacy of Limestone County. Ever wonder when Limestone County officially purchased The Square, and from whom? Do you know what Our Town looked like in 1924? Have you discovered the in-laws – and outlaws – in your family tree? Learn how to find the answers to these and countless other burning questions at the Limestone County Archives, home to county government documents dating to 1818, more than 15,000 historic local photos, thousands of family and local history files and references, and two dedicated archivists ready to help you discover your story.
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262
By: Wanda Campbell

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1-16-2015 11-15-25 AMOne great thing about the holidays is you get to see so many people you haven’t been able to see all year. So you whip out the camera and start taking pictures.

While everyone else is pointing and clicking with their phone, I have to whip out the old camera and try to get one or two good pictures. My problem is I have big thumbs that show up in at least one or two, and I can’t always remember how I worked the camera last time. I have deleted a lot of these photos.

Fortunately, at the Center for Lifelong Learning, we have a wonderful instructor who can help us take better pictures. Cindy Cummings, owner of Southern Exposure Photography, will be teaching a class – Better Family Pictures – that is open to the public on Saturday, January 31, 10:00am-12:00pm, at the Center for Lifelong Learning. This course will focus on improving your photos, no matter what your skill level or what camera you use. Topics include lighting, posing, perspective and more! The fee for the class is $45.

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Cindy also teaching a private camera class for those who would rather have the one-on-one experience. In that class, you bring your camera and booklet and she will show you everything you always wanted to know about your camera. Classes are scheduled by appointment only, Monday – Friday. The fee is $65 for two hours of personalized training.

You may not know it, but the Center for Lifelong Learning has a whole library of online courses for those who don’t have time to come to class. There are even photography classes available. Discover Digital Photography is a broad overview of the basics of photography including equipment, software, and practical uses.

The Photographing Nature with Your Digital Camera class focuses on the many aspects of outdoor photography as well as your camera controls and features. For the traveler, there is a class called Travel Photography for the Digital Photographer. This class addresses the special needs and techniques digital photographers need to capture scenes from around the world and bring them home.

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When you get your picture home, you will want to store then and get them ready to display. You can take the online Photoshop Elements 11 for the Digital Photographer class. Learn how to use the application to do everything from quick fixes to detailed enhancements that will greatly improve the look of your images.

Our online classes are available every month, last six weeks, and are fun and affordable. You can find more information on our courses at www.athens.edu/CLL.

It is time for a new catalog at the Center for Lifelong Learning. Call our office at 256-233-8260 for more information, or you can look at the courses listed on our webpage – athens.edu/CLL.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

1-3-2015 2-35-55 PMI learned to cook when I was very young. Like most kids, my first recipes were for sweets. My mom had the best recipe for brownies. It was easy to mix, only had six ingredients, and I remember that it seemed to come out great every time. In all this time, I have never found a better recipe for brownies, and I have tried lots of them.

For me, the holidays are a great time to practice baking. In the past, my kids and I would bake together – lots of sugar cookies, peanut butter fudge, and applesauce cakes. Since my kids are all grown now, I don’t have as many opportunities to bake sweets. This Christmas, I missed the baking but got my sweet fix at family gatherings and holiday parties. Thank goodness other people like to bake for the holidays, too.

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One of my favorite holiday recipes is Fantasy Fudge. The recipe used to be on the back of the Kraft Marshmallow Cream jar. It only takes ten minutes to make, is always perfect, and you can adapt the original recipe for your favorite types of fudge. My personal favorite is peanut butter fudge, and I use crunchy peanut butter so I don’t need to add nuts.

Two months ago, the Center for Lifelong Learning started a Cookbook Club. During November and December, the group experimented with recipes for appetizers. This month we will be starting on soups and stews, and I will be contributing my favorite beef stew. Other members will be contributing Friendship Soup, Wedding Soup, Tortellini Soup, a couple of chili recipes and chowder. I am really looking forward to the meeting, which will be held Monday, January 5, from 12:00pm to 1:00pm at the CLL Training Room.

If you would like to join us, bring a sample of your favorite soup or stew, and the recipe card to the meeting. Membership is free, and the meeting is very informal. We are working our way through a meal, and will be compiling the recipes into a cookbook of our own at the end.

The club is a way to experiment with recipes, make your own adaptations, and show off your culinary skills. The group is friendly and welcoming. For more information, you can call me at 256-233-8262.

Our winter/spring catalog of classes will be coming out soon, and I hope you will join us for a class, trip, or event. Here’s that promised fudge recipe, and we’ll see you soon at the Center for Lifelong Living at Athens State University.

Peanut Butter Fudge
3 cups granulated sugar
¾ cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup (5oz can) evaporated milk
½ cup peanut butter (or 12oz package chocolate chips)
1 (7oz) jar marshmallow cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Butter a 9×13 pan. Mix butter, sugar, and milk in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring mixture to a full boil for five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter (or chocolate chips). Beat in marshmallow cream and vanilla. Transfer fudge to pan and let cool before cutting into squares.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

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