Continuing Education

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A Sense of Community at the NSC Art Gallery

On Tuesday, July 18th until August 17th Continuing Education (CE) presents its 3rd Annual Student Art Show located in the North Seattle College Art Gallery. Though the NSC gallery sees a wide range of exhibits, the CE student art show was untraveled ground until a mere three years ago. As public awareness Imageof the show grows so, too, has the creative range and volume of CE student submissions. The success of this annual event is thanks in no small part to the efforts of gallery coordinator, Amanda Knowles—a professional artist whose devotion to administration and education has been of tremendous advantage to the art show’s success.

With a BA in Fine Art from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA in printmaking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Knowles has maintained an expansive career in the arts. “I have worked in galleries, for an art consultant, for an architect, assisting an artist, in an auction house, teaching of all sorts, and more,” she says. “I have been on the board of Seattle Print Arts for many years. I have hung many, many shows and three years ago I was able to bring all of my knowledge of the gallery world to work for me in my job as the gallery director.”

A Conversation about Conversational Japanese I

Conversational Japanese I instructor Risami Nakamura-Lambert shares some insights into how she approaches teaching from the perpectives of language and culture.

Q: Please share with us about your educational background. When did you first discover Imageyou had a fondness for teaching and what inspires you in your work?  

I was tutoring Japanese to the students who were taking Japanese classes when I was in a college. That was the beginning of my teaching career.  After I graduated from University of Hawaii, I taught Japanese and social studies to native Japanese 7th graders, and math to 4th graders in a Japanese school. The teaching program was based upon the Japan's Ministry of Education standards even though the school was in the state of Hawaii. I truly enjoyed teaching enthusiastic younger students. After I moved to Seattle, I had an opportunity to teach in the program called Japanese for Professionals at the University of Washington where I was inspired by professors and lecturers in the program. 

Taking the First Step: Talking About Beginning Ballroom and Swing

The popularity of some courses is centered on the subject matter, others around the personality of the instructor. In the case of Celia Boarman's Beginning Ballroom and Swing, it is most definitely the latter with an emphasis on the former. Raised in a family of ballroom aficionados and regularly immersed in the films of Fred Astaire and Ginger ImageRogers, Boarman was destined to a life in dance. Her first ballroom class in the 8th grade was followed by numerous professional ballroom and swing classes which ultimately led to a stint in competitive dancing. It was all very exciting and fulfilling, and though she loved to dance, Boarman discovered she loved teaching dance even more. It’s a calling she’s devoted herself to for over 25 years.

Though ballroom and swing dance are styles rooted in a bygone era, Boarman’s students run a generational gamut from ages 18 to 75. Her students come alone or in pairs, with a history of dancing or none at all. “I had gone 65 years without ever stepping onto a dance floor except in those instances of extreme duress,” says regular student Nancy Lomneth. “I have always tried to get out of dancing whenever I could.  As an attempt to broaden my horizons and to make my husband happy I signed us both up for Celia's dance class in the winter of 2016 and we have been taking the class every quarter since.” Lomneth clearly succeeded in her attempts as her husband Mark Boyd can attest: “Probably what I enjoy about the class most, besides dancing with my wife, is the positive attitude and good humor of the group,” says Boyd. “We've done the class several times and have enjoyed our fellow learners.”

Changes You Choose: Exploring the Alexander Technique

How do we unlearn physical behaviors detrimental to our comfort and well-being that have become deeply ingrained in our daily lives? For many, one successful means of unlearning Imagestarts with the Alexander Technique.  When Learning in ActionAn Introduction to the Alexander Technique instructor Stacy Gehman first discovered the process in the late 1970s, he found a study that spoke to him on a level akin to his interests in Tai Chi and Zazen. However, he didn’t foresee it being the answer to some of his own discomfort. “I was having very unpleasant backaches,” says Gehman. “I tried various therapies, but without much relief, then a friend gave me a book on the Alexander Technique. I found it very exciting. Somehow the idea that what I needed was not somebody to fix some defect in me. It was fascinating that I might be able to learn what it was I was doing that caused my problem.”

Awakening the Soul: Rebecca Clio Gould Talks about Seated Qigong and Meditation

When Awakening the Soul – Seated Qigong and Meditation instructor Rebecca Clio Gould dropped out of law school in 2005, she couldn’t foresee teaching qigong and meditationImage becoming her life’s calling. “In 2006 I enrolled in the Asian Healing Arts and Healing with Whole Foods program at the Heartwood Institute in Garberville, California,” Gould recalls.  “I didn’t know much about qigong, but tai chi was part of the program I was in. One of the teachers offered a sort of extra credit field trip to a qigong workshop one weekend. I decided to go.”  Though unfamiliar the myriad types of qigong, Gould found herself drawn to the art. “I had an image in my head of qigong being a lot of statically held postures and thought it would be boring and uncomfortable. I couldn’t have been more wrong!”

An Early Summer Reading List for the Lifelong Learner

Each quarter Continuing Education offers courses proven as tried and true favorites in addition to several bold new offerings—all designed to expand personal and community perspectives while celebrating a love of learning. You Imagemay not realize it right off, but when you take a course with Continuing Education you enter into a tremendous immersive opportunity. What better way to satisfy that urge to dive deep into a subject than to do a little recreational reading?

Below you’ll find a reading list relating to a handful of new CE summer courses. Hopefully these titles will both enhance and inspire your summer reading and learning enjoyment.

The Road You Take: How to Start a Small Food Business

Upon entering college How to Start a Small Food Business instructor Jennifer Lewis took a look down the road ahead Imageand didn’t see herself as a successful and published culinary entrepreneur. “While I was enrolled as an undergraduate student at Boston University I realized that I loved cooking but, thanks to a swimming scholarship that was funding my education, I opted to finish up my undergraduate degree before enrolling in culinary school where I focused on pastry arts,” she recalls. “I then worked in several restaurants and bakeries before ending up as a pastry chef for a luxury hotel in Vail, Colorado for several years.  I loved the work (and the skiing!).”

Ultimately, Lewis opted to return to school to study business and it was while getting her MBA at Northwestern she became inspired by the possibility of starting her own food business. “(I)…spent my second year of business school developing the business plan and testing the concept,” she says. “I initially sent samples of the product to several retailers and after Neiman Marcus got back to me saying that they wanted to carry the product, I felt confident to move ahead.”

Written in Stone: Geology Adventuring in the Puget Sound Region

Geology Adventuring in the Puget Sound Region instructor Tom Braziunas traces his love of rock and Imagefossils to classic adventure tales like Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World and Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Land that Time for Forgot. Fantasy eventually gave way to fact when his parents gave him more scientifically accurate publications from the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History for his 13th birthday. Anyone familiar with the painstakingly detailed dinosaur paintings of Charles Knight found in those texts can appreciate how they might ignite a young person’s imagination for a lifetime.

Outside the Classroom: Discussing Intermediate ESL Workshop – Speaking and Listening

Strong instruction frequently inspires strong instructors. Intermediate ESL WorkshopSpeaking and Listening and Listening instructor Mariana Markova is just such a Imageperson. “I had an excellent English teacher when I was in high school - he was probably the best teacher in a city of one-million residents.  At that time I was thinking about my future profession and he was definitely a big influence on me. So I applied to a teacher-training university and got my BA.”

Teaching can be more than rookie instructors bargain on and Markova found herself bracing for some unforeseen bumps in the road of her teaching career. “I wanted to be a friend and I couldn't discipline students” she recalls. “But I learned fast and from then on I knew how to deal with difficult students and everyone loved my classes. I experimented a lot.”

Lesson Plan: Peter Marx Talks About Home Remodeling 101

Peter Marx is a seasoned contractor who’s been improving the homes of other people for more than three decades and helping people pre-plan and resource their home repair and remodeling needs for Imagenearly as long. Unlike the many experience-based classes in Marx’s repertoire, Home Remodeling 101 is more about information and preparation. In this class Marx seeks to help the student put their home remodeling hopes, dreams and strategies into action with the assistance of a competent contractor.

Marx is as hands-on a contractor as he is an instructor. Many of his classes have a tactile component, what he calls his “props.” If he’s demonstrating how to install a switch plate in your home, each student is presented with their own plate, screws and tools to explore the process individually during his tutorials. Though Home Remodeling 101 is about looking at bigger pictures and bigger plans, Marx still insists on having his “props.” In this case, he starts off his class by showing students what a house plan looks like and how to use it.  

Following British Footpaths: A Q & A with Instructor Fred Austin


World traveler Fred Austin takes a moment away from his peripatetic sojourning to talk with CE marketing specialist Cole Hornaday about his path to becoming a professional travel writer along with his wife Donna and why their upcoming class, British Footpaths: The Isle of Wight is one of the best routes to take.  

Q: Please give us some background on your history and love of walking in the British Isles.  When did it first become a passion for you and how did these walking guide books and these classes get started?

British Footpaths was started by Richard Hayward nearly 30 years ago. He loved the British footpaths and started teaching people to follow these easy paths crisscrossing the British Isles.  His students requested guide books to help them follow their passion for walking.  I was one of those students, and I returned over and over to his classes to learn of these magical footpaths.  As Richard battled cancer I helped him to the end and inherited the intellectual property rights to British Footpaths and all the guide books.  My wife Donna and I have been walking and upgrading Richard’s guides and have written a couple of new guides ourselves.  There are now twenty-one small guides and we continue to write and upgrade the series.

The New Meaning of Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning.

It’s a phrase we hear a lot, but whose literal application we’ve lost to time and technology. History tells us Spring Cleaning was the traditional practice of thoroughly scouring one’s home after being shuttered through the long winter months, particularly those households foundImage in colder climates. Come the spring, residents would throw wide their doors and windows and sweep all the collected dust and detritus (literally) out the door.

The notion of Spring Cleaning is not particular to a specific culture. In Iran the practice is known as Nowruz and similar efforts are made during Jewish Passover, not to mention the Catholic Church’s practice of Maundy Thursday.

Personalization, Simplification and Abstract Painting

How does an art instructor talk about teaching that’s based on abstract ideas? Clearly, you Imagemust first establish a space where creative thought is welcomed, encouraged and supported. CE Abstract Watercolors and Painting and Abstraction instructor Virginia Paquette has had many years to create, ponder and apply abstract concepts in her classroom and in that time she’s garnered a large circle of enthusiastic, repeat students.

As an artist, Paquette says she is most compelled by a work’s expressiveness. “(I look for) originality—a fresh vision and exciting visual design or an unusual point of view. These are the same things that attract me everywhere in my appreciation of art. Student assignments sometimes are more focused on other things, but good classroom work can be inspired by an open mind and love of the process.”

Beginning Chinese: Learning through Language

Beginning Chinese instructor Craig Shaw has always been a student of history, particularly that of cultures beyond our own. “My parents had lived in rural China during the late 1940s, doing relief work with the American Friends ImageService Committee,” Shaw recalls.  “I grew up hearing their stories.  I was in college in the mid-1970s, which was a very political time, and China was the great unknown, with many idealistic young people projecting their utopian fantasies on Maoist China.  I was curious about what Chinese society was really like, so I took a class in modern Chinese history.  I didn't have to study very long to decide that China was not my idea of a socialist paradise, but I found China fascinating and decided to major in Chinese history.  I ended up writing my senior thesis on Tang and Song dynasty political reforms.”

Valuable Properties: Building a Sturdy Landlord/Tenant Relationship

Landlording 101 instructor Gretchen Bear is a true self-starter. Back when she was a recent newlywed, she and her husband scrimped and saved to buy a house in the Seattle University District intent on turning it into a rental property. “We worked all hours on top of our full time jobs to renovate two Imageadditional apartments in the basement,” says Bear. “We had one month of cash to get them up and rented or we wouldn’t have been able to make the next mortgage payment.”

Learning to landlord from the ground up, she eventually left her full-time corporate job to be a full-time mom and part-time entrepreneur. I started a business called Rental Turnover Services where I offered services such as cleaning, light maintenance and tenant placement services to landlords.  My experience in working with properties of all sizes steered me towards an interest in working with landlords managing small-scale properties as they tend to have more direct contact with their renters.”

Well Practiced: Where Do You Start with Beginning Piano?

As musician and teacher, Beginning Piano instructor Peter Henry admits his career has been all over the map. Where music instruments were concerned, piano was not his initial preference. Though he dabbled in piano in grade school, Imagethe truth of the matter was he was intensely drawn to the cello.  “I fell in love with the cello and played it through college and continued on my own after I moved to Seattle.” He says he came back to piano just for fun, but found it a better companion than the cello when he took up singing. “After a while I became more serious about both piano and singing, and started taking voice and piano lessons, focusing on voice.”

Looking Under the Lid of Fermentation for Flavor and Health

Fermentation for Flavor and Health instructor Kristin Baerg says she was introduced to the many joys and wonders of home fermentation inadvertently back in 2001 while studying Imageherbalism. “I had begun studying with Linda Conroy of Moonwise Herbs as a means of feeling more connected to life,” she recalls. “I took her soda-making class and I was hooked! I ran out and bought a copy of Wild Fermentation by Sandor Elix Katz and thought, ‘This is living!’”

There are numerous forms of fermentation, from bread to beer. However in Baerg’s class students can look forward to learning the finer points of vegetable fermentation or pickling. Lactic acid fermentation is the time-honored process of making delicious dishes like sauerkraut, pickled cucumbers and kimchi. Fermentation of this nature is usually made with salt. Salt encourages the fermentation process by inhibiting the growth of unhealthy microorganisms and support the growth of Lactobacilli. A brine from a previous fermentation process is often used as a starter. Starter, sometimes called the Mother, is essentially a microbial colony and the cook’s fermentation kick starter. As the starter is a collection of living microbes, each colony can be different, and for many cooks and connoisseurs, a starter is something to be developed, prized and nurtured. 

Class Quest: Beginning Bridge—What You Know When You Know It

CE Marketing Specialist Cole Hornaday visits Allan Lazar’s Beginning Bridge class and garners not only an appreciation for the game, but the people devoted to playing it.

Entering the classroom a good 15 minutes early, it’s clear those enrolled in Beginning Bridge are a tight knit group. With their cards fanned out in their hands, the early arrivals look at me expectantly. They immediately ask Imagewho I am, am I a new student and have I ever played bridge? These folks are natural strategists and are already sizing up my worth as a potential teammate...or competitor. I have to disappoint them and say I am merely there to observe.

Contract Bridge or simply Bridge is a cooperative game played by four players, two in partnership. Once the cards are dealt, each player picks up their hand and, beginning with the dealer, makes a call (pass, bid, double or redouble). Each partnership’s aim is to score points by making its bid, or by defeating the opposing partnership's bid. At the end of play, the side with the most points wins. It’s a game for people who people who like rules, order and mastering the details. “It’s a thinking game,” says instructor Allan Lazar. “Learning to play Bridge is like learning a new language. It’s as complicated as chess, maybe even more complicated.” Bridge is a complex game and many in the classroom are either returning students or wayward former players in need of a refresher.

Class Quest: It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)...

CE programming specialist Janet Sekijima spends an evening observing Celia Boarman’s Beginning Ballroom and Swing students do a little stepping out...without stepping on their partners’ toes.

It’s Thursday night and I’m half an hour late to the Beginning Ballroom and Swing class at Magnuson Park. Walking from the dark parking lot into the bright spacious room at The Brig, class is already in full swing and the room’s full of nine couples practicing the waltz. Celia ImageBoarman, the instructor is saying, “dance is a participatory sport,” and glances at me to join in, but the room is crowded and everyone is already paired up so I take a seat and watch from the sidelines.  Celia is a tall, elegantly dressed woman with the poise and carriage of a dancer.  “Everyone looks really good!” she comments, smiling and nodding.  Some couples look totally at ease and appear to be lost turning in their own private dream as the next incarnation of Fred and Ginger.  Others look to be struggling with scrunched up foreheads and ramrod tight posture.  One man stares down at his feet, ignoring his partner who is desperately trying to read his cues.

Class Quest: Beginning Jewelry Fabrication

This week, CE Marketing Specialist Cole Hornaday peeps over the shoulder of Beginning Jewelry Fabrication instructor Robert Graham and his students to get the basics on handcrafting metals and designing your own works of art.

“There’s going to be a lot of stuff to cover tonight, so make sure you take notes,” advised Beginning Jewelry Fabrication instructor Robert Graham. I’m attending the Tuesday night session of this class, the other is on Wednesdays and taught by Peggy Foy. Though I’m only here to observe, I take notes inImage tandem with the students around me. There’s a lot to absorb, and thanks to Graham’s slide show featuring an intriguing array of pendants and settings, there's a great deal to spark a new jeweler’s imagination.

I haven’t explored jewelry making since I was a teenager, but what I learned then still holds true; skilled jewelers make it all look very easy. Trust me, it’s not. It takes time and practice and the guidance of an instructor like Graham who has mastered the craft and taught its finer points for quite some time.  

Colorful Interplay: A Q&A with Instructor Barbara Oakley

Continuing Education (CE) instructor Barbara Oakley has a love of language, literature and learning as well as a mind for organizational leadership. This winter she draws together her wide-ranging talents Imageand professional experience with her two classes, Introduction to Quilting and Start Your Own Non-Profit on a Shoestring.  

Q: This quarter you’ll be teaching a two wildly different courses. How did you find yourself translating these diverse interests into teaching opportunities?

I know, they are very different subject areas, aren’t they?  I admit, I have a lot of interests.  I do always want to keep learning new things – and sharing what I know with others.  Teaching is a great way for me to share my knowledge.  I already teach several sewing and quilting classes in the Northgate area and I was looking for additional opportunities to expand that base.  I’ve taken other CE classes at North Seattle College before, so it was an obvious choice for me.

Compressed for Time: Exploring Time Lapse Photography

We all know time lapse photography when we see it.  It’s an artistic and technological feat that allows Imagethe photographer to distill an indeterminate period of time into mere moments. Watching a single seed sprout and blossom into a flower or following the trajectory of celestial bodies across the heavens seldom ceases to amaze, and though we’ve all marveled at the imagery for generations, few have had the opportunity to master the process. This winter, renowned CE photography instructor Steve Kidd explores the art and mechanics of this sped up visual narrative in his new class, Time Lapse Photography.

Time lapse photography is an interesting hybrid art form, nestled somewhere between point and shoot photography and motion picture filmmaking. “I definitely think of it more as filmmaking than a static image,” says Kidd. “When thinking of the rules of composition, the two are pretty much the same, but that’s kind of where the similarities end in my opinion.”

Short-Term Commitment Classes: Brief on Time, Big on Content

At a loss for time in your schedule to enroll in a class that meets more than a time or three, but feel the urge to stretch your creative muscles, expand your horizons and feed your hungry mind? Here are Imagesome Continuing Education classes capacious in content that won’t dominate your schedule.

Cognac and Armagnac
If you’re a whiskey lover, Cognac and Armagnac will open your eyes to a whole new world of barrel-aged spirits. In this experiential class, you will be introduced to the two most famous brandies in the world while exploring the history, production, and grading process to make you a Cognac and Armagnac connoisseur. 1 session, $39

How to Start a Small Food Business
Set a strong foundation for your dream as an experienced food entrepreneur. Be guided through the process of not only starting the business but the cost of products, preparing food-specific business plans and how to obtain health and other required permits. 2 session, $155

Un-Retiring, Re-Careering and the Second Half of Life

Change is inevitable, though most of us do everything in our power to avoid it. We prefer to seek a path of least possible resistance and establish a comfortable, if not predictable flow to our daily lives. Retirement is the one Imagemighty course change many of us anticipate with great joy and trepidation. Thankfully, Continuing Education instructor Mariko Navin has made a career of leading students through those inevitable changes and more in her course, Midlife through Retirement: A Catalyst for Change.

Little intrigues Navin more than helping folks net all the ingredients they need to formulate a successful “Second Half” of life. “I wanted to offer an interactive workshop-style course that could provide structure, resources, and support to help individuals identify for themselves what mattered most at this point in their lives and to start taking action to bring these things to the fore,” says Navin. “Small incremental changes can lead to bigger changes over time, and I wanted to provide an opportunity for people seeking to reexamine their lives and to intentionally create change a place to do so within a community of others.”

Mindfulness in the Classroom: Managing Student and Teacher Self-Care

Of late we hear the term Mindfulness with a growing degree of frequency. It’s a meditation trend that’s become more and more commonplace in the home, workplace and particularly the classroom. ImagePractitioners describe Mindfulness as the ability to be fully present and aware of one’s surroundings while maintaining a meditative distance from outside stimuli.  “Mindfulness is the ability to attend to one’s present experience with self-caring,” says Mindfulness for Teachers – Self-Care and Student Focus instructor Andrea D’Asaro. “This process of checking in with oneself reduces both teacher and student stress.”