It’s the Perfect Time to Learn Something New

Are you looking for a sure-fire way to beat the winter doldrums? Perhaps it’s time to learn something new.

Beginning February 21, the Senior Adult Ministry of Cookeville First United Methodist Church is offering ten different “Adventures in Lifelong Learning” classes, each class one hour long and lasting for a period of five weeks, to members of the community. Though the classes are geared toward persons age 50 and above, all ages are welcome. There are no tests and, in most cases, no homework.

Designed to be informal, non-competitive and intellectually stimulating, the classes cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • BASICS OF MAKING A QUILT taught by Candace Thomas
  • BOARD GAMES: REMOVING THE BOREDOM taught by Beth Allison
  • CUPCAKE AND COOKIES OH MY! taught by Mary Ellen Roberts
  • GETTING YOUR LEGAL HOUSE IN ORDER taught by Marie Ferran, JD
  • HEARBEATS FOR HEALTH: KEEPING YOUR HEART HEALTHY AND HAPPY taught by Debbie Baker and Colleen Childress
  • MAHJONG FOR BEGINNERS taught by Janis Bulow
  • TRAVELS AND STORIES WITH PEGGY taught by Peggy Fragopoulos
  • UKULELE FOR BEGINNERS taught by Marty Hall

Last but not least is a class entitled MINING YOUR MEMORIES WITH ONE-WORD PROMPTS, taught by yours truly. In order to make what you’re now reading a personal column rather than a “Church News” article, I’ll tell about my class. It’s an offshoot of one I led at church for more than a decade. Class members are given a one-word prompt and then spend a few minutes group-brainstorming stories from their own past based on that word. Then they go home and write a story in whatever form and length they wish. The next week, participants have five minutes each to read the “memory” they wrote about. At the end of class, it’s time to group-brainstorm again, using a different one-word prompt. So yeah, this class requires homework. But it’s fun homework.

To learn details about the other classes, including where and when they’ll meet, go to Classes will be held on the campus of First United Methodist Church, located just west of the square in downtown Cookeville. Each course costs $25 and a few require additional fees for supplies or books. Registration and payment in full is required before classes begin. Payment can be made in person at the church office, 165 E. Broad Street, 38501 (phone 931-526-2177) or by mailing a check payable to FUMC (with ALL noted on the memo line) to the same address.

In Lifelong Learning classes from years past, I’ve led a couple and been a student in several. I taught “How to Write Your Own Obituary” and “How to Plan Your Own Funeral.” I learned to play pickleball, a sport I continue to enjoy, in one of the classes. I discovered new ways to use my cell phone. And I learned some handyman basics in a wonderful class entitled “Tool Wise,” in which—among other things—I built a carpenter bee trap and gained a little knowledge of how a toilet works.

Those classes were something I looked forward to attending. They made me use my brain in different ways. They got me away from my desk and out into the world. Most of all, they allowed me to have fun and with old and new friends. If those things sound good to you, why not give Adventures in Lifelong Learning a try?

(Jennie Ivey is a Cookeville writer. Her e-mail address is [email protected])