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New courses for fall, more coming in spring!

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image Patricia Leyden says she is amazed at the knowledge and experience of her students and wants to know what they wish to learn from her Event Planning course. Penny Fletcher Photo

The courses may be noncredit but the knowledge is vast.


SUN CITY CENTER - The courses may be noncredit but the knowledge is vast.

Sally Erath, academic dean at Community Church College, has been asking people what they want to learn. Then she seeks out people capable of teaching those subjects.

Added to a long list of old favorites like “Writing Memoirs” and “News & Views” for the fall semester which runs Oct. 10 through Nov. 17 are “Finally Write that Family Cookbook,” “Dreams and You,” “Event Planning” and “Interior Design.”
The line-up for spring includes new courses too, including “Using the iPhone,” “Hypnosis!” “The Muslim Religion,” “Bad Girls of the Bible,” and “The Jewish People Today.” 

The people in the new Event Planning class want to learn about both large events and small.

“I want to know what you want to learn in the next five weeks,” said instructor Patricia Leyden, whose long list of credentials includes marketing, sales and catering director for Marriott Hotels and college event planning instructor.

Leyden said she was surprised at the knowledge her students already had of the subject. While most of the people enrolled in her class were serious students planning events for large groups and organizations or businesses, some just wanted to know how to plan intimate dinner parties and other events held at home.

“People always want to know about wedding planning and birthday parties,” Leyden said.

Budgets, venue, rooms, invitations, seating, structure, food, entertainment and more will all be discussed in future classes.     

Meanwhile, in the “Your Dreams and You” class, Carol Oschmann, author of three books about dreams and their interpretation, talked about guidelines for remembering your dreams and what they might represent.

Oschmann discussed a group method of dream interpretation and how people’s belief systems influence the way they interpret their dreams.

In Irene Rich’s “Finally Write that Family Cookbook” class, Rich asked if the people in the room wanted to publish a cookbook, record family recipes for future generations or organize their favorites.

The response was varied, but one stood out. Joan Shalleck said she had 1,445 cookbooks, many from other countries. Shalleck says her love of cooking runs in the family. Her son David is a Master Chef and cookbook author.

Rich has written cooking columns for many magazines and newspapers, but her main work has been editing other author’s cookbooks. Two of the books she edited won national acclaim.

Rich’s scrapbook contains a letter written by Time Inc., publisher of “The Great Tastes of Chinese Cooking,” which she edited. The book won the National Tastemaker Award in 1980 and the letter says it was one of the best edited books ever received by that publisher.

Another book Rich edited won a national competition as part of a New Jersey Press Woman’s national media competition.

Rich brought these books and many magazine and newspaper cooking columns to the class to share as she gave tips for choosing, compiling and printing family cookbooks.

Besides the new classes, many popular favorites return each year and continue to attract new people. Erath said she will continue the classes as long as they continue to be popular.

In its 35th year of life-long (adult) education, Community Church College operates out of the United Community Church, 1501 La Jolla Ave. in Sun City Center, but the classes aren’t restricted to residents of that community. They’re open to anybody, and some may be joined at any time. The college is offering 40 different classes this year.

“Enrollment is down this year for several reasons,” Erath said. “The snowbirds are coming back much later probably because it’s been hotter later this year. The economy’s bad, and of course, we have more competition now with the community college. There are a lot of new people in the area that don’t know about the college. We had 500 homes for sale at one time awhile back. That’s a lot of new people.”

The college has been struggling with fundraising but Erath refuses to raise the tuition.

“It’s hard enough for people in this economy,” she said.

The courses are all still $25 for six weeks.

A spelling bee was held in March as a fundraiser and 200 people attended, Erath said.

Wiley Mangum, a professor emeritus of aging studies at the University of South Florida and teaches at the college and is on its board, was the First Place winner, earning a week in a donated time share in Puerto Rico.

“We have some really great spellers,” Erath said. “A business or individual sponsors each speller at a cost of $100. Contestants must be 55 or older. We’re seeking sponsors now   and people to provide a grand prize and trophies for the next spelling bee.”

Contestants may come from any community.

Nov. 5 the college is holding a craft fair from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church. This is also a fundraiser.

For further information about the college call 813-634-8607, visit www.4lifelearning.org, email tri-c@verizon.net or drop by the college office between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and noon Monday through Thursday through Nov. 17.

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