By Holly Desrosier
Have you ever wanted to learn a new skill or participate in new and exciting experiences? The Adult Enrichment Program (AEP) at Craven Community College (Craven CC) may have exactly what you’re looking for. The AEP is kicking off the spring semester with a mixture of engaging new classes, along with many tried and true favorites.
The AEP is part of the Workforce Development department of Craven CC and provides a diverse array of non-credit, short-term and affordable courses. Topics offered are based on community input and classes are held at the Craven CC campuses in New Bern and Havelock and in community locations.
Megan Johnson, AEP coordinator, looks forward to seeing both new and familiar faces and is eager to see what the new semester will bring. Since taking over the program last May, Johnson has recruited more than a dozen new instructors and helped instate several new classes and events.
“It’s exciting to see the program rebuild following Hurricane Florence,” said Johnson. “It allows people to keep moving forward. If they need to tweak their landscape because it’s been trashed by Florence, our landscaping class starting in February is a good fit. If they’re having to rebuild, there’s an interior design class coming in March—it would be a great time to revamp their style. It’s the phoenix rising, so to speak.”
One upcoming event expected to have a high turnout is “Carmen and the Music of Seduction,” an experience that explores composer George Bizet’s femme fatale opera character, Carmen, an alluring gypsy temptress. This event will take place Jan. 20 at 3 p.m. and will be presented by Dr. Jay Pierson, former voice professor of music at ECU and UNC, as well as Jennifer Sieger, mezzo-soprano and frequent soloist with several groups across the state.
Also on the agenda this month is An Introduction to International Travel, taught by Simon Lock, freelance photographer, writer and editor, and Penny Zibula, freelance travel writer and blogger. Both travel experts will bring their experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to help participants plan and get the most out of trips, taking the first steps toward traveling abroad to become a traveler rather than a tourist.
An Introduction to International Travel provides a wealth of information for the novice traveler, the savvy traveler and anyone who is eager to make the most of their travel time and dollars. Attendees will learn how to plan a trip from the necessary documentation to how to pack like a pro; how to navigate transportation options to health and safety abroad; touring options to culinary exploration. The three-session class will provide numerous tips and resources that will transform tourists into travelers.
Julia McDonald, a retired purchasing agent/manager and member of the Seacoast Spinners and Weavers Guild, will teach two upcoming craft classes. Shibori Indigo Dyeing teaches the basics of Shibori, a Japanese dyeing technique dating back to the 8th Century. The class will be Feb. 9 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. or 12:30-2:30 p.m. She will also lead Hoop Weaving, which teaches the basic principles of rug twining by creating a finished woven mat large enough to use on a chair, a simple project students can take home along with their own hula-hoop loom, which can be used for many more projects. It will run March 3, 10 and 17 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Hand Spinning Wool teaches participants about the properties and preparations of sheep’s wool, the equipment needed and the art of twisting wool into a continuous thread by using a spinning wheel. At the end of the two weeks, participants go home with a two-ply skein of yarn. Instructor Shirley Thobe has been spinning wool for many years. The class will be Feb. 12 and 19 from 2-5 p.m. Equipment will be provided.
Digital Photography teaches students the terminology and philosophy of digital photography, an understanding of their own camera, lenses (wide, standard, and telephoto), properties of light, composition, and a practical application with a four-hour field trip to try their new skills. Instructor Tom McCabe is a member of the Professional Photographers of North Carolina and Professional Photographers of America since 2005. Class will be held every Wednesday, Feb. 6-March 27 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Selling on eBay is a beginner’s course that assists in navigating eBay’s website and teaches participants how to buy and sell items. The instructor of this course is John Lawrence, who has over 13 years of experience buying and selling items on eBay. It will be held every Thursday, Jan. 17-Feb. 21 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Golf, Beginner and Intermediate Swing and Beyond will take place at The Emerald Golf and Country Club in Greenbrier. Professional golfer Phillip Buzzelli will teach both courses each Saturday from March 6-May 11 (no class on April 20). The beginner class will be 9-11 a.m. and the intermediate class will be noon to 2 p.m.
Introduction to Backpacking is a beginner’s course that will introduce participants to the joys of backpacking. Instructors John Burt and Dave Whitlow are both experienced hikers and long-term members of the New Bern Outdoor Adventure Club. This class will be held every Wednesday, Jan. 9-Feb. 13 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Kate Lewis, owner of Stand-Up Outfitters, will teach two paddle-boarding classes. Intro to Winter Stand-up Paddle Boarding will teach the basic skills necessary for enjoying this new sport. On land, participants will learn about the equipment and how to transport the board. On the water, participants will learn the proper techniques for standing, stopping, turning and changing speed. Basic water safety skills and how to paddle in different water and wind variables will also be taught. The class will be held Jan. 26, Feb. 2, Feb. 9, Feb. 23, March 2, March 9, March 16 and March 23 from 10-11 a.m. at 1305 Country Club Road in New Bern. The other class, Stand-up Paddleboard (SUP) Training Camp, is designed for individuals who are 12 years of age and older. This course runs March 30, April 6, April 13 and May 4 from 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Horticulture: Tuesday Topics in the Garden is a two-hour Q&A about seasonally current landscape, urban homestead, beekeeping, permaculture and integrated pest management. The leading coordinating instructors for this course are Mark and Jennifer Knight, owners of a local landscape company and Extension Master Gardeners specializing in urban homesteading and urban wildlife management. The Knights will be joined by Freda Pyron, a horticulturist for the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores and past horticultural director at Tryon Palace, and John Wright, an Extension Master Gardener and retired Army Corps of Engineers biologist. It will be held Jan. 22, Feb. 26 and March 26 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Design and Tweak Your Landscape with NC State Craven Extension is a six-week course that will teach participants strategies for designing their home’s landscape from the ground up and how to tweak the existing landscape. This course will be taught by a team of Craven Extension Service Master Gardeners who have been educated according to the NC State University guidelines for sustainable horticulture practices. It will be held every Tuesday, Feb. 12-March 19 from 2-4 p.m.
Interior Design: Love Where You Live is a six-week course that will help participants define their space and capture the essence life through design. Maggy Costandy, a graduate of East Carolina University with a major in Interior Design and owner of Maggy Costandy Interiors, Inc. will teach this course. This class will be held every Thursday, Jan. 17-Feb 21 from 6-8 p.m. There will be no class Jan. 31.
Bird Watching is designed to teach participants about birding in general, the equipment needed and various techniques for bird identifications. It will also provide the opportunity to visit local areas and practice what is learned in the course. Instructor Al Gamache, a retired professor from the University of Wisconsin, has been birding since the 1970s. The class will run Jan. 22, Feb. 5, Feb. 12, Feb. 26 and March 5 from 9-10:30 a.m. with a day trip on Feb. 7 to Lake Mattamuskeet.
Intro to Boating Skills and Safety provides students with the fundamentals of safe boating and the opportunity to earn the NC Boater Education Certificate, a requirement for boat operators born after January 1, 1988. Trained professional CLSPS instructors Lloyd Moore, Van Rice, and Jim Stevens will teach this course. It will be held March 2 and 9 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (lunch provided) and March 10 from 1-3 p.m.
“Literally every week we’ll be adding new classes,” said Johnson. “There are some cool ones coming up that we don’t have dates for yet, but we will keep everyone updated and post them on the website as soon as we know.”
Upcoming classes include belly dancing and tribal belly dancing, brain health, smartphone classes for Apple and Android, beekeeping, financial investments, oil painting, acrylic painting, Batik, inspirational painting, hiking and much more.
This article was also published in the Sun Journal.