Adult Education in the Abingtons Enjoying a good book with friends

First Posted: 7/14/2014

As a child I devoured books; I don’t know about you, but if I wasn’t outside, you could always find me in a big old stuffed chair reading a book.

I read “Charlotte’s Web” probably 10 times. Anything about horses – I loved all the Marguerite Henry stories with their wonderful illustrations, and the “Black Stallion” series (“Island Stallion” not so much).

I liked Judy Bolton mysteries, Nancy Drew not so much. “The Buckboard Stranger” by Stephen Meader entranced me. I raided my mother and father’s bookshelf in middle school and got a swift education reading O’Neill’s play “Mourning becomes Electra,” although I’m still not sure what it was all about.

Books were anchors for me as a teenager, and I learned about life and history as I read “Ramona, My Antonia,” and “Gone with the Wind.”

As an adult, my book club became a welcome connection to other women and ideas, and we often revisited the classics we had read in college, along with the current (good) fiction and non-fiction. These women are still my friends and several are part of the Abington Area Community Classroom. Unwittingly, books turned out to be a wonderful avenue to great new adventures.

Speaking of new adventures , did you know the AACC facilitates a Book Club on the third Tuesday of each month- even in the summer. We meet at Everything Natural (thank you, Barry Kaplan) at noon, and you may bring a lunch to eat while we talk books.

What I love about this group is the free-wheeling discussions of not only the selected book, but of others members have read and want to recommend to the group. Books are passed out for future recommendations and review. One of our favorites recently was “Between Oceans.” This month’s selection is “Plain Song” by Kent Haruf. Come and share your thoughts.

Speaking of books brings me to the topic of storytelling. All poems, essays, novels, plays are in the end just stories. Would you like to tell one of yours?

Then we have a class for you.

Dennis Boyne, the winner of last spring’s Story Slam in the Summit will return to Clarks Summit in the fall to teach an AACC class on storytelling. The class will be five-weeks long and will end with a performance at Duffy’s.

“A story well told can make us laugh, cry, or swell with pride,” said instructor Dennis Boyne. “Explore the different aspects of storytelling and learn to tell your story as a confident and engaging speaker.”

We hope that all the budding story-slammers out there will show up for this amazing chance to tell your story.

This fall, we’re planning to run classes that will help you sort out the intricacies of Medicare. The lessons will be taught by APRISE staff from Voluntary Action Center and will be free to the public. “An Improved Quality of Life though Meditation” is the title of Kevin Creegan’s class about stress management and improving mental focus – something we all could benefit from in these often frenzied times we live in.

Cooking classes are shaping up and we know that two of them will address healthier eating styles: “Gluten-free Cooking” with Laura Waskovich and “Healthy Cooking from around the World” taught by Janet Dunn-Davenport. These classes are always informative, and tasting is part of the fun.

AACC will try to get you out and about with Warren Watkins Graveyard Tour (at Clarks Green Cemetery) sometime before Halloween. There will be a Trolley Trail Nature Walk in September.

Kicking off our fall semester, Jill and Gehred Wetzel’s Ballroom Dance Classes begin Sept. 8 with a five-week series on Advanced Hustle, Intermediate Foxtrot and Swing Part 1, and Beginner Hustle. These are our earliest classes; they start a little before anyone is thinking about anything but going back to school, so we’re giving everyone a little heads up to register in August so you don’t miss out in the flurry of Labor Day and first day of school activities.

The AACC can not exist without volunteers, here are a few of the newest members who help us out considerably:

* Lindsey Hardy types and formats the brochure, and gets it to the printer so we can mail and distribute by August.

* Judy Griggs joined us in time to help with all the preparations for the Story Slam and has offered to take charge of distribution of the brochures, as well as, coordinate the spring bus trip with Anne Armezzani.

* Tracey Khalife assumed the position of secretary, and keeps track of all the ideas flying around during our organizational meetings, which is a large order and we thank her for that.

Until August, think about all the possibilities for enriching your life and building community that AACC tries to provide. See you in the fall!

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