Old people need to learn new things. And, at your age, all your mentors are dead. The problem is finding someone to teach you and having the guts to go and learn something. It is an uphill battle to admit at 78 that you are ignorant and don’t know everything. Old people are afraid of being wrong, stupid or foolish.
I suggest that if you want to learn something new that you start with a “Dummies” book. There are hundred of them and they cover everything from Dating after Age 50 to Beekeeping. Some of them are 20 years old, but most basic knowledge is also old and you can use a Dummies book as a starting point.
At least you won’t feel quite as foolish after you have looked through a “Dummies” book.
Note that there are a number of Dummies Books directed at Seniors, or of topics of interest to seniors; even topics that you might not want anyone to know you are interested in, such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia for Dummies, which you can order on Amazon.com. Get the Kindle edition, as you don’t want to leave it laying around, and it is cheaper.
When you are ready to buy, go to Amazon, which sells hundreds of “Dummies” books. Just search “Dummies + topic” and see what you get; or do the same thing at your local library.
Amazon should be your starting point. It is better than a card catalog, or the electronic equivalent. Then check your library; or if on vacation, the library in the town you are visiting. They usually have a good supply and it is free. Besides, going to the library is interesting anyway as they have numerous magazines, programs, cafes, etc. They also are frequently the location for the local genealogy society, and other interest groups.
For example, we go to Indian Rocks Beach, Florida each year. Except for White Sands, New Mexico has a shortage of beaches. We like the Largo Public Library in Largo, Florida which provides us with a book store, a cafe, genealogy courses, genealogy library and dozens of magazines in addition to a huge number of books for “Dummies.”
Some of the Dummies Books I found at the Largo Public Library of interest to old people, deal with laptops, tablets and smart phones, Facebook, fit over 40, social security, estate planning, genealogy, personal finance, dating after 50, and dementia.
Of special interest to those of you who are downsizing, maybe in anticipation of a move to “The Home” is: e-Bay for Dummies. Or, you might just want to buy a copy for your kids. Time to sell off all that junk, which no one in your family really wants.
You might be interested in:
And, of course, if you are an old blogger, there is always:
At my age, nothing could be more interesting than the 4th Edition of Beekeeping for Dummies.
One of the best things about our cruise on the Holland America, MS Veendam from Monteal to Boston was the cooking class. It was held three times with a professional chef from Cook’s Magazine cooking in a professional kitchen with seating for about 100.
The only downside is that we didn’t get to taste what the chef prepared. But, we did get recipes and an entertaining and educational 45 minutes on three different occasions.
This was our first cruise; and worth it just for the cooking class.
Apparently all of the Holland America Lines ships have these cooking classes.
Learning something new is one of the most rewarding aspects of aging. (It may be the only one.) There are opportunities everywhere; near and far. You can learn anything and it can be much cheaper than learning as a kid. It is frequently free and usually you don’t have to sweat grades, tests or degrees. You are learning for the sake of learning; to keep your mind active, and to meet new people.
One of the most important things you need to learn is how to work your computer. (Remember, when I graduated from college, we all walked around with slide rules hanging off our belts.) Computer classes are available close to home; in my case the computer room at the North Valley Senior Center in Albuquerque, NM.
Using your computer, search for a class on-line, close to you, or in a place that you are about to visit. Click on any highlighted words to see some of my learning experiences, then adapt the search for what you are interested in.
1. Cooking School. Any time you are on vacation, consider a cooking school. My granddaughter and I learned to make Macarons in Paris. (The highlight of the trip.) I recently attended three cooking lessons on a Holland American cruise, and have taken cooking classes in Paris, New Orleans and San Francisco.
2. Meetup. This is Tampa, but you can search most any city. I attend one in Albuquerque on WordPress.
3. Habitat for Humanity. We have volunteered, after age 60, in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Albuquerque and Macedonia. You learn about construction and about people. The people you are building for help on the job.
4. College. Most colleges have discounts for seniors. Google one near you. The University of New Mexico lets you take a class for $5 per credit hour if you are over 65, taking fewer than 6 hours and register. Parking is a pain, so get a senior bus pass.
5. Genealogy. Most towns have genealogy societies with free advice, lectures and access to computers and on-line genealogy services. Try Largo, Florida and Albuquerque, New Mexico; or just google your town plus genealogy. Take a road trip to discover your ancestors.
6. Community Colleges are always a good learning source for senior citizens. The are cheap, have interesting classes and you are around young people with different ideas. Central New Mexico Community College offers $5 per credit hour tuition if you are over 62. Again, learn how to use your computer and Google. A number of years ago, my 90 year-old father and I took early morning computer classes at CNM and then had breakfast together.
7. Oasis. this is a national lifelong learning adventure for older adults. A variety of classes that usually last for 2 or 3 hour. You can even teach one if you have some expertise. You can also learn about things that you don’t want anyone to know you are learning about, such as: Advance Planning: Avoiding Guardianship, an Albuquerque classes.
9. Senior Centers are a gold mine. Art, wood-working, book clubs, photography, computer centers, cell phone training, legal help, investment advice ……… In Albuquerque you have the choice of a large number and they have trips; such as a bus trip to the Crown Point Rug Auction, where you can buy hand-woven rugs from Native Americans on the Reservation. (If you go, pass up the meal on the bus and wait until you get to Crown Point and eat the Navajo Fry Bread and the Navajo Tacos that they sell.) Senior centers also offer breakfast for about $1.25 and coffee for 25 cents. Plus, there are free books that people donate.
THINK OLD! or at least think!
Habitat For Humanity in Macedonia!
Meetup is a social networking group based on common interests. You locate a site near you, or near where you will be, by going to meetup.com and inserting your zip code or city. You can then find groups that have the same interest as you. You can sign up, go to the meetings and enjoy what they have to offer.
The Meetup in Albuquerque includes one on blogging using WordPress which I joined. It meets weekly and while it has over 800 members there are usually only 5 – 10 there. The meetings are either “work-a-longs where you can get expert help with your blog for free; or sessions with speakers on various blogging topics; including photography.
The work-a-longs are very good if you are trying to learn something new and need help. I can get quick, knowledgeable help on my blog problems from people who are expert in the field. The meetings last up to two hours and are always useful.
Meetups are not limited to blogging; they are for any thing people are interested in; including, dancing, languages, travel, art, cooking, or you can even start your own. They cost nothing for the participant, and about $10 a month for the sponsor. You could even start one on how to live as an old person.
When traveling, look for Meetups where you will be. Just plug-in the new zip code or name of town and see what you get.
Google: meetup.com +city, state
For example: Since I am going to Huntington, NY:
Google: meetup.com +Huntington, NY
and the result is: a list of Meetups around Huntington, NY, including, hiking, food, photography, sailing, widows and widowers, etc. There is no shortage of Meetups, including 25 on writing; none on blogging and one on WordPress, which costs $6.
You should Google: meetup.com +name of town
They are worth considering.
If you visit Santa Fe, New Mexico, a visit to Tesuque Glass Works will provide an interesting experience; perhaps even better than the tours of the Corning Glass Museum in Corning, New York, since at Tesuque, you are closer to the action.
You can watch expert glass blowers turning out works of art, which are for sale.
If you arrange for it in advance, you can also take classes and blow your own creation. For classes contact:
ADULT EDUCATION is the best part of aging. Whether for pleasure or to understand your daily activities, you need to make use of the sources available to seniors. An added bonus is that most aging studies encourage you to keep your mind active and to be involved. This does not mean TV; this means developing an interest, searching out the sources and gaining expertise,i
This blog was written as part of a University of New Mexico Continuing Education six-week course.
The course is: Blogging Your Way to Writing Success. It met once a week for two hours and was taught by an excellent instructor who is a professional blogger, journalist and writer. The cost is $75 and it meets during the day so you don’t have to worry about driving after dark. Parking is easy. The students are my age or a bit younger. It is a non-threatening course.
What other courses are there for old people? The following list is a list of courses in or near Albuquerque. If you click on the underlined word, you go to the web site for Albuquerque. Use the “search” terms to find classes near you; or make up your own search terms. Every town has classes, even if it is only the Historical Society of Villisca, Iowa. Any town you visit can give you a learning experience.
Either click on the underlined word/s or search the words listed.
- Oasis Search: Oasis.org + your town
- Osher Search: Osher + your town
- UNM Continuing Education – Search: Community colleges or continuing education + your town
- University of New Mexico – Search: College or university + your town
- Coursera – Search: Courser.org
- National Parks New Mexico – Search: National Parks – lectures or classes + name of park
- Albuquerque Public Library – Search: Library + town
- Meet up – Search: Meetup + town
- Groups like genealogy society, camera clubs, historical societies, Friends of the Camino de Santiago etc – Search: key word + your town.
- Senior Classes – Albuquerque – Search: senior classes + your town.
Drop by any senior center for a list of their classes, trips, books, cheap food and information.
This is only a short list. The trick is to search the name of the town and what you are interested in.
This is how you should live and travel.