Richland’s Emeritus plus 50 program will offer a number of exciting noncredit classes on fun topics this spring for students 50 and over. Some of the instructors gave short previews of their classes at an event on Nov. 28.
Jann Aldredge-Clanton’s “Live Better and Longer Through Writing” and “Writing and Publishing” classes will be taught February through April.
Aldredge-Clanton said, “It’s important to have a really good idea of what we’re living for. Research studies published on psychological sites and elsewhere demonstrate that people who have purpose and meaning in life live longer.” Her courses include journaling, writing stories, essays, childrens’ books and blogs.
“That doesn’t mean that you have to publish your writing, but writing itself can help you to celebrate your experiences, to put them down in a form that will be long lasting,” she said. The class is open to everyone.
On a more serious note, Jim Bates’s classes, “Active Healthcare and Death Care Planning” will meet in March and April. He said when people are down to the last two or three chapters of their lives, there’s not much information available toward the end. Yet, there is plenty of information available about Medicare and Social Security.
“We begin realizing our mortality is coming up,” Bates said. “There is just not much help out there to find a good place to land, a good place to plan your death,” Bates said. The first part of the classes focus on active health care and the second part concentrates on the funeral industry.
“In the Death Care class, we’ll teach you a new jargon or new vocabulary to deal with the thoughts and feelings of how you are when you’re getting closer to death,” Bates said. It’s not just about buying a casket or cremation, but how to think and talk about it with your family. ‘
Chris Tucker’s classes will take students back through time. He’s teaching “The Sixties: When Everything Went Crazy,” in February and March and “Making Sense of the Seventies” in April and May.
Tucker has been a teacher and journalist most of his life, has written hundreds of book reviews and profiles, was an editor and columnist for D Magazine and a commentator for KERA Radio and Television. He is also a long-time contributor to The Dallas Morning News.
“After the chaotic ‘60s, America did not get to sit on the beach and take a deep breath,” Tucker said. “We went right into Watergate [and were] trying to end the Vietnam War. We’ll spend time with all the presidents: Ford, Carter, Reagan plus the music of that era.”
Don Wolman focuses on higher education in his February and March class, “Hidden Class History of Universities: 1636-2019.” He’ll help students learn about the computers at the Harvard Observatory and the women who were hired to do the calculations. He’ll touch on other Ivy League schools, too, including the University of Pennsylvania and Tuskegee University.
For those who like card games, Mark Dumdei offers “Bridge: Play of the Hand.” He said he wants people to learn his “tricks of the trade” and that it’s “very good for the mind.” He’s also teaching “Who is God and what is He like?” In that class, he’ll cover three major world religions: Judeo Christian, Hinduism and Buddhism.
Herb Hooks, a 10th-degree black belt, will teach “Tae Kwon Do/Karate/Self-Defense,” a class he has taught at Richland for 20 years. Hooks is retired from working in juvenile probation after 27 years. He said he doesn’t want anyone to become “a defenseless victim.” Hooks and his assistant, Robert Elliott, (a 5th-degree black belt), gave a brief demonstration.
“You can’t walk about looking like a victim,” Hooks said. “The last thing they [criminals] want you to do is fight back.”
One thing Hooks stressed is that if anyone tries to grab you and take you somewhere, “Do not go with them. Do not get in their car! You empower them by going with them.” His night classes start in January on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
If you are 65 or older and have lived in Dallas County for 12 months paying taxes, then you can take up to six hours of credit classes per semester and two semesters in the summer for no change. Otherwise, the credit classes are $59 per semester hour.
The Emeritus plus 50 program also offers volunteer opportunities for international students learning English and a mentor program as well as a Spring Enrichment Serires. The Emeritus office is located in Thunderduck Hall, T160 off of Parking Lot A at 12800 Abrams Road in Dallas. Email the office at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for a class, or call Minnie Cornelius, administrative assistant at 972-238-6972 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday.