Life Macomb

LIFE Macomb

L.I.F.E. (Learning Is ForEver) is an organization dedicated to providing high-quality, low-cost, and enjoyable adult-education experiences. The Macomb L.I.F.E. program is affiliated with the national organization, Road Scholar: Elderhostel Institute Network (EIN). It is independently administered by area residents who develop the courses, select the teachers, establish the fees, and promote the curriculum.

Spring 2023 Registration is open!!!!



BROCHURE EDIT : It has been brought to our attention that a course is listed on Chronologial Page 15 that should have been removed from our listing. It is One Book One Community: Brian's Song. We appologize for the oversight. 

Armchair Traveler  (Enrollment:  24/40)

April 6: Marilyn and Nick Estes travel to Oberammergau, Germany for the performance of the Passion Play that occurs once every 10 years. Then they moved on to Salzburg, Austria, the birthplace of Mozart, and backdrop for “The Sound of Music.” They then boarded a Viking long ship in Passau, Germany to cruise the Danube through northern Austria to Budapest, Hungary.

April 13: Join Sandy Shearer and David Leath as they take us to Morocco. “The Land of Sunset,” and the “Gateway to Africa” are apt descriptions of Morocco. In 15 days they saw seven amazing sites. They will share Morocco’s deep history, unique atmosphere and welcoming people. Be ready to go to palaces, ancient Roman ruins, a cooking class, Kasbahs, and even to sleep in the Sahara Desert.

April 20: Larry and Melanie Rawlins share their perceptions and feelings about traveling in all seven continents. They’ve selected some of their favorite photos from each continent to share with you. They hope participants also will contribute their experiences as we meander together

April 27: Steve Hopper will take participants on a Viking Star cruise beginning in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and concluding in Panama City, Panama. Numerous excursions along the Central America coast will be shared. This journey culminates with a trip through the Panama Canal.

Coordinator: Steve Hopper
Class Sessions: Thursdays, April 6, 13, 20 and 27
Time: 1:30 - 3 p.m.
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 40  Cost: $15

Astrophotography Through a Telescope (Enrollment: 8/25)

Our universe is full of beautiful and interesting objects to image and view. Discover how we amateurs can create magnificent images of our solar system and even distant galaxies millions of light years away. Each year I travel to dark sites across the country, imaging space gems that most people never get to see. The course will cover telescopic and camera equipment I use in photography, along with computer software used to stack and process multiple photos into one beautiful image. You do not need to own a telescope to benefit from this class. You only need a passing interest in astronomy and a desire to explore the wonders space has to offer. Come and enjoy my images of our sun, moon, eclipses, star clusters, nebulas and galaxies.

Instructor: Larry Knicl, amateur astronomer
Class Session: Wednesday, March 22
Time: 9 - 11 a.m.
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 25      Cost: $5

Baba Ganoush with Muruvett (Enrollment: 15/15 FULL REGISTRATION CLOSED)

Baba ganoush is a vegetarian Mediterranean dip made of eggplant and tahini. It also uses roasted vegetables and is a great enhancer of either pita bread or raw vegetables. Join local Turkish cook, Muruvett Tasdan, to learn how to create this healthy and delicious dish. Cost includes cost of ingredients.

Instructor: Muruvett Tasdan
Class Session: Thursday, April 20
Time: 5 – 7 p.m.
Place: First Christian Church, 120 N. McArthur St.
Parking: Parking on the west side of the church. Please enter through the elevator entrance
on the west side of the church.
Maximum Enrollment: 15      Cost: $10

Bird Names and Bird Brains (Enrollment: 0/10)

In this class we will look at how you came by your name and how birds came by their names. Special guest presenter Bill Davenport will also talk about bird brains and suggest books on how birds think and act – and why.

Instructors: Alice and Bill Davenport
Class Sessions: Mondays, Feb. 13, 20 and 27
Time: 10 - 11:15 a.m.
Place: Wesley United Methodist Church, Lounge Parlor, 1212 W. Calhoun St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 10      Cost: $10

Bone and Joint Health (Enrollment: 24/24 FULL REGISTRATION CLOSED)

Do you know what you can do to improve your bone and joint health? Take part in this interactive review of common bone and joint conditions that often occur with the aging process. Learn what therapeutic interventions can be utilized for improving bone strength and joint health. Specific exercises and joint preservation techniques will be included.

Instructor: Phyllis McLouth, PT, DPT
Class Session: Wednesday, March 15
Time: 11 a.m. - noon
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 20      Cost: $5

Cannabis as Medicine (Enrollment:  10/20)

At the core of anthropology there is one fundamental lesson: there is no such thing as “right” or “wrong,” only culture. The relationship between humans and the cannabis plant is just another reiteration of this foundational understanding of cross-cultural variation. In our society, cannabis is attracting a great deal of political attention, even though cannabis has been cultivated by people for at least 4,000 years. Thus, it is appropriate to investigate the relationship between humans and cannabis from an anthropological and medical perspective instead of a political one. This three-segment course provides an overview of the history of cannabis and its potential use as medicine for both human and non-human animals. We will take a look at some groundbreaking scientific research on cannabis as medicine and discuss the economic and legal ramifications of living in a state where both recreational and medical cannabis are legal, while this plant remains illegal at the federal level.

Coordinator: Heather McIlvaine-Newsad
Class Sessions: Wednesdays, Feb. 8, 15 and 22
Time: 1 - 3:30 p.m.
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 20      Cost: $15

Chandler Park Trees: Indentification and Coversation (Enrollment: 20/20 FULL REGISTRATION CLOSED, WAITLIST: 1)

Morris Vos and Tim Howe will lead an interactive guided tour of the trees of Chandler Park. As a member of the municipal Tree Board and as the former Macomb City Forester respectively, they will share their knowledge and love of trees with participants through a short stroll through Macomb’s central historic park. The trees, older and newer, are interesting in themselves while many of them serve as memorial trees that recall persons and events key to understanding the story of Macomb. We start our tour at the center point of the park where the sidewalks intersect.

Instructors: Morris Vos and Tim Howe
Class Session: Tuesday, May 23; (Rain date: Tuesday, May 30)
Time: 1:30 - 2:45 p.m.
Place: Chandler Park, 148 E. Carroll St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 15      Cost: $5

Coffee & Corn, Chocolate & Cheese, Tomato, Potato: How Food has
Shaped Our Past (Enrollment: 14/30)

Explore the fascinating stories of the impacts these now-favorite staples have had on people over the centuries. Investigate the origins, global migration, and effects on our cultures of these foods. Where would we be without the lowly potato? Or not-so-lowly chocolate and coffee? Why are there so many different cheeses? Why were corn and tomatoes once considered undesirable in some societies, but not others — and how did they later gain acceptance by all? Come gain a greater appreciation for the stories behind some of the foods you love to eat.

Instructor: Ginny Boynton
Class Session: Wednesday, March 8
Time: 2 - 3:30 p.m.
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 30      Cost: $5

Community, Local Culture, and Belonging (Enrollment: 14/25)

This class will read and discuss a variety of short writings that deal with two crucial, related issues—the problem of fading community in our time and the experience of meaningful belonging—but it will also deepen the relationship of class members to the Macomb area by promoting appreciation for, and connection with, a variety of residents from the local past. The weekly discussions will relate to selected writings from “On Community,” by John Hallwas, the well-published author on Illinois heritage and small- town culture—who will also be teaching the class. Among the readings will be broad essays like, “The Social Dimensions of Our Selfhood,” “Small-Town Culture in America Today,” “Reflections on Time in Community Life” and “The Deeper Meaning of Home,” but also included will be commentaries on a variety of authors (like Virginia Eifert, Edgar Lee Masters, Carl Sandburg, Susan Allen Toth, Mark Twain, and Walt Whitman) as well as articles on local figures who deserve attention, like “Hannah Hemlock: Macomb’s First Female Columnist,” “Thomas Gilmore: Successful Aging and Community Life,” “The Crusading Tunnicliff Sisters,” “John Hannah: The Sheep-Headed Man,” and “The Remarkable Life of Gordana Rezab.” Of course, the personal experience of those who attend will also be welcome in the class discussions, as we reflect on our meaningful sense of place and how relatives, friends and others have influenced our lives. For those who do not have a copy of “On Community,” it is sold at New Copperfield’s Bookstore to people enrolled in this LIFE class for about $9 (50 percent off the usual price).

Instructor: John Hallwas
Class Sessions: Wednesdays, May 3, 10, 17 and 24
Time: 10 - 11:30 a.m.
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 25      Cost: $15

Confronting Climate Change (Enrollment: 15/20)

How about a positive yet realistic approach to the challenges of climate change? How do we break through the current gridlock, so our great-grandchildren will inherit a livable planet? Scientist Daniel Cohan argues that the interrelated keys are diplomacy, technology and policy. Let’s read and discuss his proposals for how these can be brought together to avert the doomsdays otherwise impending for our posterity. His recent book is, “Confronting Climate Gridlock: How Diplomacy, Technology, and Policy Can Unlock a Clean Energy Future” (Yale U Press, 2022, available in several formats). Please read the preface and first three chapters before the first session. In our final session we will focus on some local issues, as well as recent federal legislation and the 2022 UN conference on climate.

Instructor: Bill Davenport
Class Sessions: Tuesdays, Feb. 7, 14, 21 and 28
Time: 4 - 5 p.m.
Place: Wesley United Methodist Church, Lounge Parlor, 1212 E. Calhoun St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 20      Cost: $10

Cooking with Harold (Enrollment 3/23: 9/10, Enrollment 4/13: 6/10)

This class is a combination of observation and participation with gourmet cook Harold Schmalfeld. The topic for this class will be both savory and sweet muffins. Come help make the muffins and then enjoy eating them afterward. The same class will be held twice to allow more people to attend, so choose one of the dates below. Fee includes cost of

Instructors: Harold Schmalfeld
Class Sessions: Thursday, March 23 OR April 13 – choose only one date
Time: 5 - 7 p.m.
Place: First Christian Church, 120 N. McArthur St.
Parking: Parking on the west side of the church. Please enter through the elevator entrance
on the west side of the church.
Maximum Enrollment: 10      Cost: $10

Create a Sketchbook Journal (Enrollment: 6/10)

Anyone can create a sketchbook journal. It can be filled with notes and sketches from a vacation or from ordinary days. It can be doodles, garden flower sketches, or a place to try out new art supplies. You can fill it with poetry or impressions of the day. Since it’s your journal you can use it any way you want to. Session One will be an introduction to sketchbook journaling and will include examples of sketchbooks, various methods of creating a journal, online resources, discussion of supplies, and time for questions and answers. Sessions two and three will be opportunities to sketch at locations in Macomb. Supplies that participants need to bring after session one: sketchbook, pencil, pens, colored pencils, watercolor, gouache, or any other preferred medium that can be used on paper. If using watercolor or gouache, bring water, a small container for water, paper towels or a sponge, one or two brushes, and a palette with paint in it. Session one will include examples of these supplies.

Instructor: Maria Montalvo
Class Sessions: Wednesdays, March 29, April 5 and 12
Time: 1 - 3 p.m.
Place: Session one: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.;
Session two: Western Illinois Museum, 201 S. Lafayette St.; Session three: TBD
Parking: At the site
Maximum enrollment: 10      Cost: $15

Diabetes: Know Your Risks (Enrollment:  7/20)

According to the American Diabetes Association, 34.2 million Americans are living with diabetes and another 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed every year. The numbers are astounding and diabetes can quickly become overwhelming to those living with it. Come learn helpful tips on ways to: reduce your risk, create healthy habits to prevent diabetes, treat prediabetes and manage already existing diabetes.

Instructor: Torie Kreps, RN, Diabetes Educator
Class Session: Thursday, May 11
Time: 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 20      Cost: $5

Dogs, A Love Story between a Neuroscientist and His Pet Dog (Enrollment:  7/25)

This course is based on the informal and humorous book “How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain,” by Dr. Gregory Berns. Dr. Berns is a neuroscientist who studies the brain activity of people while they are engaged in various activities. He is one of the research scientists who use the technique of Functional Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (fMRI). In the early 1990’s it was found that changes in brain activity, reflected as changes in blood flow volumes, could be detected by changes in the MRI images of the people’s brains. He is a true dog lover (as is the course instructor). In fact, Dr. Berns and his family observe Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, and include their family dogs who have died. We will explore Berns’ findings after he turned his attention to studying how dogs experience emotions. As people engage in different activities and experience different emotions and strengths of emotions, patterns of blood flow to different parts of the brain predictably and reproducibly change. However, measuring and observing these changes in blood flow requires the person to hold their head perfectly still during the time of the scan. In order to apply these kinds of studies to dogs the dogs had to be trained to hold their heads perfectly still for the duration of the scan time. How Dr. Berns accomplished this training is recounted in a very human and humorous style. He and colleagues trained two dogs (one, his own Treeing Feist breed and the other a Border Collie) to be perfectly still in the MRI as images were obtained while the two dogs received various stimuli. Class members need a copy of the book that is available in various forms, and can be ordered through Copperfield’s Bookstore.

Instructor: Tom Alton
Class Sessions: Thursdays, Feb. 16, 23, March 2, 9 and 16
Time: 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Place: Wesley United Methodist Church, Lodge Parlor, 1212 W. Calhoun St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 25      Cost: $15

e-Reader and Tablet Pros and Cons (Enrollment:  6/20)

Reading on an e-Reader or tablet has several benefits: You can easily enlarge the font size and style, change the lighting, double tap on a word to get a dictionary definition, make annotations on many models, and instantly share what you’re reading with friends and family. You can even check out books from your local library. While the technologies for reading e-books may look the same, the devices have a few major differences. Those looking to purchase one for themselves or a loved one should understand these distinctions to avoid buyer’s remorse. We will discuss costs, types of devices and ease of use.

Instructor: Brenda Allison
Class Session: Monday, March 13
Time: 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 20      Cost: $5

Fall Prevention: A Balancing Act (Enrollment: 20/20 FULL REGISTRATION CLOSED, Waitlist:  4)

Falls and balance problems are increasingly common as we age, especially in people 65 years old and older. These problems can limit your independence and result in serious injury or harm. In this course we will discuss the causes, treatment and prevention strategies to prevent a fall and to improve your safety.

Instructor: Kaity Kipling, PT, DPT
Class Session: Thursday, Feb. 23
Time: 11 a.m. - noon
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 20      Cost: $5

From DNA to GPS: Women Scientists Who Have Changed Our World (Enrollment: 15/25)

Who first captured an image of DNA’s double helix structure, developed the first laser device to remove cataracts, discovered the first effective leukemia drugs, developed the first test (still used) to assess the health of newborns, first explained eclipses, first discovered the composition of stars, first calculated the exact shape of the earth (the foundation for GPS)? For centuries, female scientists have been making discoveries like these and many others that enrich our understanding of our world and universe. These discoveries have also made our lives more comfortable and productive, extending and enhancing our lifespans, and so much more. In this class we will explore the lives and scientific contributions of a number of these women — from different centuries, nations, backgrounds, and scientific disciplines — while acknowledging the diverse accomplishments of many other women of science around the globe.

Instructor: Ginny Boynton
Class Sessions: Wednesdays, April 19 and 26
Time: 2 - 3:30 p.m.
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 25      Cost: $10

Good Ears, Bad Ears, Our Ears (Enrollment: 12/30)

What parts and processes are involved in normal hearing? What happens to cause hearing loss? Can anything be done? This two-session course aims to provide an overview of the normal auditory system and common causes and treatments of hearing impairment, and answer questions you have about your hearing and the ears of those you love.

Instructor: Sandy McFadden
Class Sessions: Mondays, March 13 and 20
Time: 5 - 6 p.m.
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 30      Cost: $5

The Greatest Flood Disasters in U.S. History: Two Films (Enrollment:   12/20)

In addition to screening the following two highly regarded films together, I will provide some historical background and a suggested reading list for each film’s subject matter. I will also compare and contrast the role music plays in each film. The first film, “The Great Flood,” a 2013 film by Bill Morrison, covers the 1927 Mississippi River flood, the most destructive river flood in U.S. history. The river broke out of its banks in 145 places, inundated 27,000 square miles to a depth of up to 30-feet, caused over 500 fatalities and displaced over 200,000 African Americans. The film uses no dialogue, minimal text, archival photographs and a haunting score by Bill Frisell, to create a powerful portrait of a seminal moment in American history. The second film, “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts,” is a 2006 documentary by Spike Lee about the devastation of New Orleans following the failure of the levees during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The disaster led to over 1,800 fatalities and caused over $125 billion in damages. The film, which features an original score by Terence Blanchard, focuses on the changed lives of New Orleans residents after the hurricane hit, and shows residents in the midst of the disaster dealing with death, devastation and disease.

Instructor: Bill Maakestad
Class Sessions: Mondays, Feb. 27, March 6, 13, 20 and 27
Time: 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 20      Cost: $20

Heart Healthy Eating (Enrollment: 11/12)

Join your Macomb Hy-Vee dietitian, Andrea Thompson, as she discusses heart healthy foods and the importance of knowing your heart health numbers. There will be an opportunity to sample foods, receive a few heart healthy recipes, sign up for a biometric screening and more.

Instructor: Andrea Thompson
Class Session: Tuesday, March 21
Time: 10 - 11 a.m.
Place: Hy-Vee grocery store, 1600 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 12      Cost: $10

Immigration Today: An Update (Enrollment: 10/30)

This course will give a brief overview of the immigration system and its history in the
United States. It will also review the current situation of certain groups of immigrants,
including DACA recipients, Afghans, Ukrainians, Venezuelans and others.

Instructor: Julia Albarracin
Class Session: Wednesday, March 8
Time: 6 - 7:30 p.m.                                                         

Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 30      Cost: $5

iNaturalist and Seek by iNaturalist Learning Walk at Lakeview
Nature Area (Enrollment:  10/12)

Become a citizen scientist and learn to observe and study nature via iNaturalist and Seek by iNaturalist, two free mobile apps and an online platform. In this course, we will begin with a gentle introduction into how to use both apps and then we will venture out into the prairie to document the plants and animals that call the Nature Area home. Additional intermediate level tips for the iNaturalist app will also be demonstrated outdoors. Learn the basics of these apps and get a head start on your journey of observing, documenting, and sharing your encounters with biodiversity. Please remember to install the iNaturalist and Seek by iNaturalist apps on your smartphone and create a free account for iNaturalist prior to the start of the course. Smartphones with a built-in high quality camera will more easily help identify observations in nature, but photos can also be submitted with a digital camera via your computer for the iNaturalist app. Wear comfortable walking shoes and weather appropriate clothing for this course. We can’t wait to see you in the prairie this spring!

Instructor: Natalie Shelly
Class Session: Friday, May 5; (Rain date: Friday, May 19)
Time: 9 - 10:30 a.m.
Place: Lakeview Nature Area and Center, 10050 N. 1500th Rd.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 12      Cost: $5

Intermediate Bridge: Improving Your Bidding and Playing (Enrollment:  4/8 minimum)

Success and enjoyment in playing bridge is closely linked to playing often and growing into a better player over time. This course is for the player who understands the basics, but wants to improve their game. There will also be a review of the basics while stressing why the rules for bidding and playing make sense. Nuances of the game will be described. Many of the most useful conventions will be demonstrated. Plenty of time will be set aside for playing and discussing hands.

Instructors: Chuck Wrenn and Greg Wrenn
Class Sessions: Wednesdays, March 22, 29 & April 5, 12
Time: 5 - 7 p.m.
Place: Maple Avenue Christian Church, 1300 Maple Ave.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: Need at least eight, no maximum  Cost: $20

Introduction to Astronomy (Enrollment: 12/25)

How did our solar system form, why is Pluto no longer a planet, and what are those beautiful objects we love to admire in Hubble Space Telescope and James Webb Space Telescope images? Learn about our solar system, deep space objects, constellations, and telescopes in this two-part session. Explore our universe through photos, animations, and video. Also, go on a virtual tour of the Miami Astronomical Society’s Winter Star Party in the Florida Keys.

Instructor: Larry Knicl, amateur astronomer
Class Sessions: Tuesday, March 14 and Thursday, March 16
Time: 9 - 10:30 a.m.
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 25      Cost: $10

Introduction to Quadcopter Camera Drones (Enrollment: 12/20)

In this course you will get to see up close one of the latest quadcopter camera drones on the market. Learn about the advanced capabilities drones offer for high quality photo and video imaging. We will discuss the basics of flying a drone and the rules of safe flying practices. You will have an opportunity to see the drone fly in person and discover many of the maneuvers camera drones are capable of.

Instructor: Larry Knicl
Class Session: Tuesday, March 28
Time: 9 - 10:30 a.m.
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 20      Cost: $5

Is Your Home a Smart Home? Smart Video Doorbells and Virtual
Assistants (Enrollment:  15/15 FULL REGISTRATION CLOSED)

A smart doorbell camera allows you to see who’s on the other side of your door—even when you aren’t home. We will discuss issues such as security and privacy, along with types of smart doorbell cameras and virtual assistants like Alexa and Google Home. We will review the things to consider before purchasing a smart doorbell camera such as storage options, video quality, power sources, and specific alerts.

Instructors: Brenda Allison
Class Session: Monday, March 27
Time: 9:30 - 11 a.m.
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 15      Cost: $5

Knock Out Parkinson’s (Enrollment:  3/20)

This course will review the basics of Parkinson's Disease, including motor and non-motor symptoms. We will discuss techniques and treatments for living well with Parkinson's Disease including discussion about the Rock Steady Boxing Program to reverse, reduce, and even delay symptoms of Parkinson's Disease.

Instructor: Angelica Hoenig, PT, DPT
Class Session: Tuesday, March 7
Time: 11 a.m. - noon
Places: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 20      Cost: $5

Making Maple Syrup in Vermont (Enrollment: 13/16)

Learn the art of making 100 percent pure maple syrup at Oakland Acres Farm. Jack and Barrie have been producing maple syrup for over 30 years. Learn how they tap the trees, collect the sap, and cook it down to become syrup. Participants will be outdoors the entire time with moderate to difficult walking over steep and rough terrain. If the syrup is ready, bottles may be available for sale.

Instructors: Barrie McVey and Jack Wohlstadter
Class Session: Friday, Feb. 17; (Rain date: Friday, Feb. 24)
Time: 10 a.m. - noon
Place: Oakland Acres Farm, 20526 Ferndale Lane, Vermont, IL
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 16      Cost: $5

Mighty Yoga for Strength, Balance and Better Posture (Enrollment:   7/15)

See results as you improve your strength, balance and posture. This yoga class builds strength consistently. Make progress by moving well and paying attention to what your body needs. This class is tailored to give you as much challenge as you want, but you will get stronger without holding your breath or moving in pain. It is functional strength building that will support whatever activities you enjoy. All levels can join this class, but we do use mats on the floor, so being able to get to and from the floor is necessary. Bring a yoga or exercise mat.

Instructor: Dawn Piper
Class Session: Thursday, March 2
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Place: Free Range Yoga South Wing, 118 N. Lafayette St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 15      Cost: $5

Mixed Media Mandala Workshop on the Potter’s Wheel (Enrollment Feb. 28: 3/9, Mar. 10: 6/9)

Join us in the studio this winter and learn how to create meditative mandalas on the potter’s wheel with a variety of art materials. We’ll employ the fast, circular rotations of the wheel to create a radial design full of color and pattern. The creation of these works promises to be meditative, mesmerizing, and joyous. While we will not be using clay in this workshop and no previous art skills are required, participants are encouraged to wear clothes that can get a little bit messy. Join us in the studio and create a series of meditative mandalas you can enjoy in your home. Course includes all the necessary materials. We can’t wait to create with you.

Instructor: Natalie Shelly
Class Session: Thursday, Feb. 28 from 7 - 8 p.m. OR Friday, March 10 from
9 - 10 a.m. Choose one date only.
Time: See above
Place: Macomb Park District Ceramics Studio, 1406 N. Randolph St.
Parking: Located at the site on the west side of the building near the baseball field. The
studio door is also located on the west side of the building.
Maximum Enrollment: 9      Cost: $5

My Heirs Don’t Want My Stuff. What Should I Do With It? (Enrollment:  40/40 FULL, REGISTRATION CLOSED, WAITLIST: 1)

Many of us have been involved in discussions with friends and family about what to do with all the “stuff” we have accumulated over our lifetimes. In some cases, this includes items that we have inherited from our ancestors and now want to pass along. This class will include a discussion of places in the McDonough County area where you can donate or, in some cases, sell on consignment items such as household goods, clothing, furniture, etc. We hope this will be a very practical, but also fun class with lots of ideas shared by participants as well as the instructors.

Instructor: Paula Wise, Elisa Rasmussen and Sally Vigezzi
Class Session: Saturday, April 1
Time: 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Place: Western Illinois Museum, 201 S. Lafayette St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 40      Cost: $5

Pickleball for Beginners (Enrollment: 12/12 FULL REGISTRATION CLOSED)

Come see what everybody is talking about. Pickleball continues to be increasingly popular, although it has been played at WIU for over 25 years. It is now considered the fastest growing sport in the United States among older adults. It is sort of a cross between tennis and ping pong, played with a paddle and wiffle ball hit over a net on a badminton-size court indoors or outdoors. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY! You will be introduced to the sport and will learn the basic rules, skills, techniques, and basic strategies. Participants will play doubles each session. Learn to play here and be ready to play wherever you travel. All equipment to play will be provided by the YMCA. Wear athletic shoes and comfortable lightweight clothes.

Instructor: Roy Johlfs
Class Session: Tuesday, March 7 and Thursday, March 9
Time: 9 - 10 a.m.
Place: Macomb YMCA gym, 400 E. Calhoun St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 12      Cost: $5

The Rise, Fall and Resurgence of Vinyl Records (Enrollment:  6/33 1/3)

Just about everything you wanted to know about records but were afraid—or too embarrassed—to ask. After being counted for dead after the emergence of CDs and other digital formats, vinyl records have improbably made an explosive recovery and are now the only music media showing sales growth! This casual session will explore such topics as: the history and development of phonograph records; major (and some minor) record companies; the important role that record stores played—and play (including in Macomb); ways of marketing records through the years; changing technology of turntables, speakers, amplifiers, and other sound equipment; the central importance of jazz, blues, country and rock music; how and where to buy and sell records today; and much more. Audience participation will be strongly encouraged. There will be plenty of time for questions, stories and sharing of personal experiences with buying and listening to records.

Instructor: Jim LaPrad and Bill Maakestad
Class Session: Thursday, April 13
Time: 6:30 - 8 p.m.
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 33 1/3      Cost: $5

Take a Stand for Your Feet (Enrollment:  16/20)

During this course we will discuss Peripheral Neuropathy/Neuropathy and its causes, symptoms and complications. We will offer tips for proper foot care such as daily inspection of one’s feet, daily washing and proper footwear (socks, shoes). We will discuss what healthcare services are available at MDH (Wound Care and Diabetes Education), as well as the importance of glucose control and regular check-ups for one’s feet.

Instructor: Jennifer Bollinger, RN, BSN, CWON; Jennifer Henson, CCMA; and Elizabeth Smith, LPN
Class Session: Friday, March 24
Time: 1 - 2 p.m.
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment:      20 Cost: $5

Ten Good Looking Men / Chief Standing Bear’s Legacy (Enrollment:   10/50)

In the process of creating portraits of Native Americans, Rockwell discovered the moving saga of the Ponca Tribe in the mid to late 1800’s. This course is about their story, the first civil rights trial for American Indians, and Rockwell’s art work using mixed media.

Instructor: Jan Rockwell
Class Session: Tuesday, March 7
Time: 10 - 11:30 a.m.
Place: First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ Sanctuary, 120 N. McArthur St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 50      Cost: $5

Understanding at the Brink: The Evolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis (Enrollment:  7/25)

To date, the Cuban Missile Crisis is the closest we have come to global nuclear war. After 60 years, new revelations and research demonstrates how close we came and how historians and the public’s understanding of the crisis evolved. In this course we will examine both the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis and its changing historical understanding.

Instructor: Rich Filipink
Class Session: Tuesday, Feb. 28
Time: 9 - 10:30 a.m.
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 25      Cost: $5

We Need to Talk Book Club (Enrollment: 22/25)

The We Need to Talk Book Club will give us a chance to join in conversation and to connect with others. The book selections will center on two works of fiction that remind us of our current issues. Our discussion will allow us to see these contemporary issues in a different light, to gain a new perspective, and to see another reality. Descriptions of each novel are below.

March 7: - “Foster” by Claire Keegan
Irish writer Claire Keegan’s “Foster” is the story of a little girl whose parents send her to relatives she’s never met. Those of you who have read “Small Things Like These” will recognize the author’s intense style of restraint and the use of a perfect word or phrase. It’s a very short novel but oh, so powerful. NPR's critic Heller McAlpin remarks, "More than most books four times its size, “Foster” does several of the things we ask of great literature: it expands our world, diverting our attention outward, and it opens up our hearts and minds. This is a small book with a miraculously outsized impact."

May 2: - “The Sweetness of Water” by Nathan Harris
This 2021 Booker Prize winning novel by Nathan Harris begins when the Civil War is over, but the violence and racial injustice continue. It is a thought-provoking epic with a variety of vivid characters, disturbing and loving events and much sorrow and grief. Harris explores various interpersonal relationships in southern Georgia. “The Sweetness of Water” explores those relationships as a possibility for the community’s diverse population to try to find a common bond together.

Instructor: Connie LaRue
Class Session: Tuesdays, March 7 and May 2
Time: 1 - 2:15 p.m.
Place: Zoom
Parking: Not applicable
Maximum Enrollment: 25      Cost: $10

What is This? Identification of Minerals, Rocks and Fossils (Enrollment: 13/15)

Common minerals, rocks and fossils will be shown and described. Methods of identification of rocks and minerals will be discussed. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring in specimens that they have found to have them identified.

Instructor: Steve Bennett
Class Session: Tuesday, March 28
Time: 5 - 6 p.m.
Place: WIU Tillman Hall, Rm 107
Parking: Lot between Seal Hall and Tillman Hall
Maximum Enrollment: 15      Cost: $5

What’s Happening at MDH? (Enrollment: 19/40)

Brian E. Dietz, president/CEO of McDonough District Hospital, and other hospital administrators, will update participants about current hospital events. Following the presentation, there will be time for a question and answer session.

Instructor: Brian E. Dietz, FACHE president
Class Session: Tuesday, April 18
Time: 2 - 3:15 p.m.
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 40      Cost: $5

Zentangle®, Mindful Drawing for Everyone (Enrollment: 15/20)

Zentangle® is a method of creating complex line drawings for relaxation and improved eye-hand coordination, where the finished product is a side effect, not necessarily the goal. In this introduction to the concept, I will talk a little bit about how allowing one's mind to wander while doing a repetitive task frees concentration from day-to-day tasks for a while, a meditative break that can be rejuvenating for many people who can't get into traditional quiet meditation. Afterwards, I will lead the group in creating a few simple repeating patterns composed of small shapes. Though all will be using the same patterns, no two will be expressed identically. Everyone will leave with their own unique, complex, non-representational drawing. Participants need to bring a fine tip marker pen (such as a Sharpie), a sharp pencil, and several sheets of unlined (clean) white paper.

Instructor: Kimberly Michael
Class Session: Tuesday, April 11
Time: 10 a.m. - noon
Place: Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 E. Jackson St.
Parking: At the site
Maximum Enrollment: 20      Cost: $5


Due to a change in policy, PayPal will no longer be refunding the transaction fee when course registration fees are refunded due to cancellations. However, depending on who makes the cancellation, there will be instances in which the transaction fee will be refunded. When a course is cancelled by the LIFE Organization or Instructor, the PayPal Transaction Fee will be refunded. When a course is cancelled by the LIFE Registrant, even if the cancellation comes within the 30 Day current cancellation policy deadline, the PayPal Transaction Fee will not be refunded.


The LIFE organization is grateful to our sponsor, Western Illinois University's Study Abroad and Outreach Office, and the following community partners and individuals who are committed to providing lifelong learning opportunities for area residents:


Alice Davenport

Andrea Thompson

Angelica Hoenig

Barrie McVey

Bill Davenport

Bill Maakestad

Brenda Allison

Brian Dietz

Chuck Wrenn

Connie LaRue

Dawn Piper

Elisa Rasmussen

Elizabeth Smith

First Christian Church

Free Range Yoga

Ginny Boynton

Greg Wrenn

Harold Schmalfeld

Heather McIlvaine-Newsad


Jack Wohlstadter

Jan Rockwell

Jennifer Bollinger

Jennifer Henson

Jim LaPrad

John Hallwas

Julia Albarracin

Kaity Kipling

Kimberly Michael

Lakeview Nature Area and Center

Larry Knicl

Macomb Park District Ceramics Studio

Macomb YMCA

Maple Avenue Christian Church

Maria Montalvo

McDonough District Hospital

Morris Vos

Muruvett Tasdan

Natalie Shelly

Oakland Acres Farm

Paula Wise

Phyllis McLouth

Rich Filipink

Roy Johlfs

Sally Vigezzi

Sandy McFadden

Spoon River College Community Outreach Center

Steve Bennett

Steve Hopper

Tim Howe

Tom Alton

Torie Kreps

Wesley United Methodist Church

Western Illinois Museum

Western Illinois University