All posts by Parkland Community Education

Why YOU Should Enroll in Group Fitness

Are you just starting an exercise routine?  Maybe you’ve been working out for years.  Group fitness classes offer more than a room full of sweaty classmates and an overly enthusiastic instructor:

  1. Another human being will miss you if you aren’t there, unlike your TV or maybe even your faithful canine companion.  Even if you aren’t at the top of your motivational game, you’ll feed off the energy of others and the time will pass before you know it.
  2. Proper form. While I appreciate Jillian Michaels, she has never once reached through the screen and corrected my form.  In a group class, your instructor will not only demonstrate, but assist in corrections of form to prevent injury and insure you’re working the right muscle groups.
  3. Push it. It’s easier to keep going when you’re winded and worn out if there are others challenging and cheering you.  Instructors can offer modifications to some routines so you’ll keep moving and build strength and endurance.
  4. Fun! You are more likely to stick with a routine if you’re having fun—and how could you not with great instructors and a variety of classes from dance to toning to meditation?  We offer several classes throughout the day and week.  Won’t you join one? Boot Camp, Turbokick, Interval Conditioning, Functional Training, Fit for Life, Group Cycling, Zumba, 2D Cycling, Cored Conditioning, Zumba Gold, Pilates, Flow Yoga, Water Aerobics, Tai Chi, Nia, Keys to Better Balance…it’s all here for you.

Classes begin in September.  See our complete schedule, the 505.

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7 Fun Facts about Bridge

Bridge is stiil one of the most popular card games in the world, so there must be some FUN to it! Speaking of fun, here are seven fun facts you may not know:

  • The card game of bridge evolved from previous trick-taking games dating back to the 16th century. The worldwide game had a surge in popularity in the United States in the 1930s.
  • Strategic game play keeps memory active, the brain alert, and the body healthier: A study in 2000 at the University of California-Berkeley found strong evidence that an area in the brain used in playing bridge stimulates the immune system.
  • Bridge enhances social life and nurtures partnerships – keys to healthy aging.
  • Bridge. Beats. Boredom. You can play it online, with a few friends at home, or via a club or tournament.
  • The average age of today’s competitive U.S. bridge player is 71.
  • Business magnate, investor, and philanthropist Warren Buffett plays it: “Bridge is such a sensational game that I wouldn’t mind being in jail if I had three cellmates who were decent players and who were willing to keep the game going 24 hours a day.”
  • And… at 96 years old, it’s never too late to be Athlete of the Week.

Learn the game of bridge from scratch or enhance your skills, with FUN classes from Community Education.

Fresh herbs are better, right? 

 

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“Yes, but I’m drowning in basil – HELP!”

Here are some quick tips to get the most flavor out of your culinary herbs in order to enjoy them all year round:

Inside, outside, upside down.  Some herbs are just easier to grow than others.  It’s important to create the most hospitable environment for those finicky herbs on your list.

Timing is everything.  When it’s time to harvest, you want to capture the most optimal flavors.  Some need to be picked early in the morning before the dew dries, while others need to bloom first.

Proceed with caution!  Some herbs have toxic portions.  Make sure you know which ones those are and how to enjoy them safely.

Persevere as you preserve.  You can dry, freeze, or make oils with fresh herbs in order to use later.  The secret is knowing which process to use for each herb.

Does this container make me look flat? Choosing the correct container to store your herbs is essential in preserving the vibrant color and delectable tastes.  Don’t zap the flavor.

Want to learn more about maximizing your herb expertise? Jean Hovde has just the class for you! Sign up now, through Parkland College Community Education.

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A Bee’s Life for Me

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I am a beekeeper, but the truth is that beekeeping did not come naturally. When someone gifted me with a hive about seven years ago, I spent the first year being terrified every time I opened it.  Honey bees pick up very quickly on a beekeeper’s fear, so I knew I had to get over it.

When I started talking to my bees, I started to relax.  Then I started to listen. They were talking back through their buzzing.  Over the course of many conversations, my bees wrapped their tiny legs around my heart.  Today I talk to them every chance I get.

Being a beekeeper brings you into direct contact with nature.  You start looking at the world like a bee, seeing flowering plants and insects like you’ve never seen them before.  The weather becomes super important.  You know just by looking at the sky if it’s a good day to fly.

Beekeeping has also brought me closer to the land.  I maintain about 50 hives, so I need good agricultural landscapes for my bees.  The five farms around Champaign-Urbana where most of my bees reside are organic or natural farms far from conventional corn fields and deadly pesticides.  Like me, the farmers on these farms take pleasure in observing their bustling little charges at work among the flowers.

My company is called Second Nature Honey, and gourmet-infused honey has been my main product.  Chocolate honey is my most popular flavor, followed by honey infused with chamomile or hibiscus flowers.

This year I am partnering with Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch to implement a USDA grant to capture varietal honeys. I work closely with the Curtis beekeeper, Rachel Coventry, to improve pollination.  We use a microscope to examine pollen in honey to determine which plants they prefer to pollinate.

I love to teach beekeeping.  I teach at Parkland and at Common Ground Food Co-op.  Parkland is a great place to connect with beginning beekeepers and help them get started.  My students’ enthusiasm for the bees keeps me going!

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Maggie Wachter is a master beekeeper and a certified honey judge. Her goal is happy, healthy hives all year long. Maggie’s expertise has led her into “Second Nature Honey”, an award-winning local business that specializes in gourmet honeys and mead making. Her beekeeping is based entirely on  sustainable and natural principles.

Check out Maggie Wachter’s bee classes in the 505, Community Education’s summer class listing.

“I wanna rock and roll all night…”

First Gig Rock N’ Roll Camp for Kids is a six-day camp for ages 10–18 years who love music and are ready for the full Rock n’ Roll band experience, including the thrill of performing live in front of an audience.

This summer’s camp at Parkland College will take place July 20–25, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.  Registration information available here.

First Gig was built in Danville in 2012, incorporating talent from central Illinois. While the notion is not original, the formula most definitely is. The resources and connections used here were developed over 20 years in the industry. The camp brings together local and regional artists in the field of music, overseen by members of the Chicago Blackhawks Band (the official band of the the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team). They not only teach students valuable knowledge but also guarantee a fun time for all.

More than 25 area musicians will serve as camp instructors, sharing years of stage experience and teaching children the difference between playing music and performing live in front of an audience. It’s a luxury for us not only to have talented people at our fingertips but to have these people share an appreciation for working with the next generation of musicians.

How it Works
First Gig staff members place all incoming students in a band, then assign each band a professional leader. The band then works as a team to choose a name and pick songs to learn.

Participants spend their time rehearsing as a band and studying individually with guest musicians from some of the area’s most popular bands, who excel in their field. Students develop their skills and talent in guitar, bass, drums, or vocals. They also participate in other hands-on activities, including photo shoots, studio recording, sound production, and merchandising.

Guest speakers from across the music industry will cover various topics of relevance, like management, talent buying, marketing, etc.

The week culminates with a live public performance by the bands.

For more information, visit www.parkland.edu/communityed/firstgig.aspx