Tag Archives: Parkland Community Education

5 Reasons You Should Love Carter Family Music

The original Carter Family – A.P. and Sara Carter, and her cousin (and his sister-in-law) Maybelle Carter have been called “the first family of country music.” They recorded hundreds of songs in the 1920s–40s and Maybelle’s innovative style of guitar playing was enormously influential.

If you haven’t heard of them, you’ve almost certainly heard of Johnny Cash, who married Maybelle’s daughter June. Here are some other fun facts about the Carter Family and their music:

  1. Posters promoting Carter Family concerts featured the charming tagline, “the program is morally good.”
  2. Their concerts may indeed have been morally good, but there were plenty of juicy goings-on behind the scenes!
  3. The Carter Family back story includes the almost unbelievable tale of one Dr. Brinkley, purveyor of goat glands to a large and willing audience. No kidding!
  4. Maybelle Carter’s pioneering style, now known as the Carter scratch, changed acoustic guitar playing forever.
  5. Carter family descendants still run the Carter Family Fold in the location of the original homestead, featuring concerts and festivals year-round.

If you have any interest in early country or “hillbilly” music, we’d love to share the music of the Carter Family with you in an upcoming class offered by Parkland College Community Education. We will play and sing lots of their songs, and also talk about their history, why they were so popular, and why their music still endures today.

Mondays, September 14-October 5, 7 to 8:30pm, $45. Sign up by calling Community Education at 217/353-2055.

Feature image: Carter Family, the, Photograph, from Britannica Online for Kids, accessed August 28, 2015, http://kids.britannica.com/comptons/art-107922.

No Panic Necessary for Lack in Computer Skills

You’re a fairly computer savvy thirty-something. The phone rings. It’s your mother, and it’s the same panic again:

“IthoughtIsavedtheletterI’dwrittenbutnowit’sgoneandIcan’tfinditanywhere.WhatdidIdowrong?
Can you help? Please?!”

Can you help her? Yes, you can. You can recommend classes that will make her feel more confident and competent and that will allow her to enjoy working with the computer. Panic controlled.

Parkland College Community Education offers computer courses for skill building at three levels. Jane Bateman, our experienced and patient instructor, leads participants step by step toward an easier connection with the technology and its advantages.

  • Beginner, Beginner Computers starts with the basics. Learn efficient use of the mouse and important terminology.
  • Beginner Computers is for those who have a nodding acquaintance with a computer. Learn skills to increase your comfort level.
  • Intermediate Computers goes beyond computer basics. Learn how to navigate using various computer programs and the benefits of all they can do.
  • Computer File Management shows there are very efficient ways to format and organize computer files. Learn the best practices, and start getting information and documents in order for quick and easy access.
  • You’ve Got Mail: An Introduction to Using Email and the Internet gets you comfortable with the ins and outs of managing email and shows you how to search for information on the Internet and download pictures (intermediate-level computing skills required).

Former students have gained useful information from these classes, and our instructor always gets good grades. In fact, many of our older students rave about Jane’s warm and helpful manner:

“Great instructor.”
“Helpful and willing to work with all levels of ability.”
“…personable and helpful.”
“Keep Jane!”

Perhaps neither age nor experience is the issue; maybe work and life haven’t required a computer or only minimal work with one. Maybe an employer had a system that was new in 1992 and now, with plenty of time on your hands, you would like to upgrade to 2015-2016 and beyond. These classes will boost your skills, too.

Begin at the appropriate level. Figure out what else you need to know, and we can most likely find a way to teach you.

And… after these five classes, you can call your mother, just to chat.

 

[John Eby is program manager for Parkland Community Education.]

Sweet Emotion (or Not-So-Sweet) at Work

Remember the first line from Aerosmith’s Sweet Emotion? “You talk about things that nobody cares…”

Aerosmith

We’ve heard the same sentiments about  Addressing Emotions at Work: “I don’t need to talk about emotions; that’s foo-foo stuff.” “I don’t have feelings, I just go to work and do my job.” At one point, I would have agreed with these statements, but not anymore.

Have you ever met your day with more than one thing not going right? The kids were running late, you hit every red light on the way to work and spilled coffee on your clothes, and at the office, the files you requested from your colleague couldn’t be pulled by your 8:30 a.m. deadline. Now, at this point, you have an (unsweet) emotion: frustration. What do you do with it?

What you are about to do with it, and how you are able to address others’ emotions in the workplace, will lay the foundation for how effectively you and your team function. You can either make a snippy comment to your colleague: “Are you serious? I should have just done it myself.” Or, you can choose to stop, reflect, and decide on what the better reaction could be:  “Thanks, Jane. I appreciate the heads up. How do you think we could still meet the deadline?”

Once strong emotions leave our control, our personal productivity and the productivity of others suffer. Think about how productive your colleague would have been if you chose to snap at her. Those in tune with their emotional reactions and who help others to do the same will have a positive impact on productivity, relationships, and the overall workplace environment.

Emotions are a part of every workplace—and everyone who cares should talk about them!  Addressing Emotions at Work is just one  of many workshops in Parkland College Business Training’s Leadership Certificate Series; sign up for a session today and bring “sweet emotion” to your workplace.

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.

fitness2

A Bee’s Life for Me

bee

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.