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!