Rend Lake College’s Institute for Learning in Retirement has a new slate of offerings in the coming months, running the gamut from computers and movies to kung fu and biblical poetry.
“Computer Basics for Seniors 1” is designed for those with little or no computer experience, including those who have never used a computer before. The course covers the basics of the Windows XP operating system. Skills learned will include mouse techniques, moving and resizing windows, proper use of the taskbar, the Start menu and an introduction to the Windows file system (Windows Explorer), menus and icons. Participants need not have a home computer. Maximum enrollment is eight.
The class will be held from 1-4 p.m. on three consecutive Thursdays, Feb. 3 through Feb. 17, in Room 207 of the Academic Building on the Ina campus. The course will be offered again from 9 a.m. to noon on three consecutive Tuesdays, May 17 through May 31, in the same room. Course cost is $25.
“Computer Basics for Seniors” is a two-session course to be held Monday, Feb. 7, and Monday, Feb. 14, and will cover material similar to “Computer Basics for Seniors 1.” The class meets from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Wayne City Community Building. This course will be offered again in another two-session format on Tuesday, April 5, and Wednesday, April 6, at Subway in Sesser. Course cost is $25.
It’s time to settle back with more than the average cup of joe with “Coffee Tasting,” to be held from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, at the Rend Lake College Coffee Shop, located at the RLC MarketPlace in Mt. Vernon. Participants will learn the basics of coffee bean roasting and selection, as well as brewing and specialty coffee drinks. The group will create and sample espressos, cappuccinos, lattes, mochas and breves in this delicious and informative class. Course cost is $9.
Methamphetamine has been a hot topic in recent years. It is a problem not just for those personally involved but also menaces communities. “Methamphetamine: A Community Epidemic,” is set for 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, in Science Building Room 110. The class costs $10.
In 1998, two meth labs were identified in Illinois. More than 500 were identified last year, with one-third of those in Southern Illinois. Using visual aids, a retired state trooper will give the group a better understanding of what this drug is and why it is so dangerous.
“Computer Basics for Seniors 2” is a continuation of “Computer Basics for Seniors 1,” in which participants will cover the control panel, Microsoft Word, installing and uninstalling software and general computer maintenance.
“Computer Basics for Seniors 2” will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. in three Thursday sessions, March 3 through March 17, in Academic Building Room 207. It will be offered again from 9 a.m. to noon in three Tuesday sessions, June 7 through June 21, in the same location. Course cost is $25 and maximum enrollment is eight. Participants are not required to have a home computer, although it is recommended.
Return to the RLC Coffee Shop in Mt. Vernon for “Tea Tasting” from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 1. This class will expose participants to the world of tea and features a selection of products from The Republic of Tea in Nashville, Ill. The group will learn about the brewing process, cup selection and brewing tricks and tips as they sample teas from around the world. Savor the pace of this beverage and discover a stress release for your most hectic day. Course cost is $9.
“Taoist Kung Fu for the Golden Age and Beyond” will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Monday, March 7, in the lobby of the Jimmy J. Fulks Aquatics Center on campus. The class costs just $5. This community wellness program will teach the benefits of kung fu, a combination of exercise and self-discovery. This activity can be done while sitting or standing and is great for arthritis, hypertension, gastrointestinal disorders, insomnia and stress relief. This introduction course is not a rehabilitation program. It is designed for active people 40 to 90 years of age.
Examine the Hebrew poetry of the Bible, particularly the Book of Psalms, with “Poetry of the Bible,” a two-session class set for 1 to 3 p.m. Monday, March 7, and Wednesday, March 9, in Academic Building Room 205. While many people have at least one favorite psalm, most do not really understand the type of poetry represented in that psalm.
The group will hear psalms read aloud in English and in Hebrew and will compare the Bible version of favorite psalms with versions in contemporary hymnals. Course cost is $15.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with “Beignet Tasting,” to be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, at the Rend Lake College Coffee Shop at the MarketPlace. The course costs $9. Beignets (pronounced “ben-YAYS) are the rectangular doughnuts served hot and fresh at the Coffee Shop, dusted with powdered sugar and accompanied with piping-hot coffee. Join the group and discover what this new craze is all about.
For those who have taken an Institute for Learning in Retirement course in 2004 or 2005, Rend Lake College is saying “thank you” with the ILR Participant Appreciation Day, set for 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, at the RLC Theatre. This event is free to participants. The group will be introduced to the college, the ILR and some of the people who make these educational experiences possible. Lunch will be provided by the Rend Lake College Foundation. Reservations are required.
Everyone loves a classic. Join the ILR for “Reel Opinions: To Kill a Mockingbird.” The class will be held in two sessions, Monday, March 21, and Wednesday, March 23, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Rend Lake College Coffee Shop. Course cost is $21.
Session one begins with movie basics and what makes the film a classic. The first half of the movie will be viewed while enjoying coffee and refreshments. The remainder of the movie will be seen during the second session, followed by an informal discussion and viewer reactions.
Based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book of 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird was made into a film in 1962 and won Oscars for Best Direction, Set Decoration and Best Actor.
“Appreciating Art: Modern Art and Museum Tour” is a class aimed at explaining why modern art can be so difficult to understand and yet so intriguing. The group will receive a wealth of commentary and interesting historical information based on the instructor’s deep love of art and culture.
The class is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Room 330 at the RLC MarketPlace, and some participants can be picked up at 9 a.m. at the Ina campus. The class costs $21 and includes a trip to Mitchell Museum in Mt. Vernon and lunch at Ryan’s.
For those who want to take advantage of the instant communication and information abilities of the World Wide Web, “Internet and E-Mail Basics for Seniors” will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on three consecutive Thursdays, April 7 through 21, in Academic Building Room 207. The course costs $25.
Participants will learn to browse the Internet, will become familiar with the use of on-line services, e-mail and alternative Web browsers and will learn to keep themselves secure on-line. Each participant will create a free Yahoo account as part of the course. Students are not required to have a home computer with Internet access, but it is recommended. Maximum enrollment is 12.
Shake off the winter with “Springtime in New Harmony,” set for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, April 14. This spring tour of New Harmony will highlight the beauty of many gardens, special plants and flowers. The group will visit the New Harmony Atheneum and watch a film of the fascinating history and background of New Harmony. Another interesting stop on the tour will feature the roofless church where the original colony started.
Lunch will be enjoyed at the Red Geranium, followed by a guided walk of the grounds. The group will visit the Labyrinth and see artists in the park for the “Paint Out” festival. Time will be allowed in the afternoon for shopping in the historic area.
This trip will be guided by Roamin’ Ron, who will provide the group with a wonderful educational experience. Participants will meet in the RLC Student Center Dining Room and travel in a chartered bus. A detailed itinerary will be made prior to the trip. The class costs $55.
Take a tour of the Dutch countryside without the hassle of travel with “Armchair Tour: The Netherlands,” set for noon to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, in the Aquatics Center lobby. This slide presentation celebrates the beauty of the country as well as the magnificence of Amsterdam. Learn more about the Dutch school system, their everyday lives and the remarkable adaptability of these resilient people. Lunch will be served prior to the presentation. Class cost is $15.
Join “Financial and Estate Planning” for free advice on both matters. Experts in the field will provide the group with a wealth of information and answers to their questions. The class is set for 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, April 28, in the Executive Board Room on the first floor of the RLC Student Center. The class is free and a complimentary lunch will be provided by the Rend Lake College Foundation.
The “Dining Out” series continues this semester with “Dining Out: Pioneers Cabin and More,” set for Tuesday, May 10. The day begins with a tour of Oxbow Bed and Breakfast in Pinckneyville, followed by lunch at Pioneers Cabin in Percy. The afternoon will be spent shopping at a couple of specialty stores in Pinckneyville.
Maximum enrollment is 14 for the $25 class. The group will leave the RLC Student Center at 9 a.m. and will pick up passengers in Pinckneyville at 9:45 a.m.
“AARP Driver Safety Program” is open to all drivers 50 years of age and older to help improve driving skills and prevent accidents. Age-related physical changes, declining perceptual skills, rules of the road and local driving problems will be covered. State-certified volunteer instructors trained by AARP will lead the course using visual aids, a student manual and group discussion.
Automobile insurance companies doing business in Illinois are required to provide a premium discount to all eligible graduates of this program, which is a state-approved driver improvement course. Students should bring $10 payable to AARP on the first day of class. The two-day course will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Monday, May 16, and Tuesday, May 17, in Learning Resource Center Room 142.
“Computer Research for Seniors” is scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, May 26, in the Reference Department of the Learning Resource Center on the Ina campus. This course will teach participants how to find and evaluate Internet resources, how to search the public access catalog (an automated catalog of books and other materials owned by 60 libraries in Southern Illinois) and how to use the electronic library. Students will learn to use keywords, to search for items of interest and to access and use information found in the electronic library databases. Course cost is $10.
The Institute for Learning in Retirement is an organization of retirement-age people who share a common interest in lifelong learning and cultural enrichment. No grades are given and there is no membership fee. Classes and trips are scheduled based on opinions voiced by senior adults in the community.