There’s something for everyone

Published 10:29 am Thursday, September 10, 2009

Whether it is ghost hunting, resume writing, car maintenance or Internet dating, there is something for everyone with Austin Community Education’s growing selection of courses this fall.

Dozens of classes for all ages are available, beginning Wednesday night with “Little Chef Kids Club” at Hy-Vee.

“BeCentsAble — Shop Smart, Save Money” with Jennifer Jurgenson

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Learn simple techniques to cut grocery, household and personal care item budgets. Learn to save money and time without cutting coupons.

Tuesday, Sept. 29, 6:30-8:30 p.m.


Ellis Middle School, Room 243

“The Family Historian: Writing Your Own Family History” with Dustin Heckman

The Mower County Historical Society will teach research methods, using online resources and writing oral history.

Tuesdays, Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27


Mower County Historical Society Administrative Building, 1303 Sixth Ave. S.W.

“It’s Easy Being Green” with Julie Clinefelter

Learn about recycling, green cleaning, composting and home energy audits.

Tuesday, Oct. 6 and Tuesday, Nov. 3, 6:30-8 p.m.


Ellis Middle School, Room 246

“Know Your Car — Basic Maintenance” with Roger Panzer

Your vehicle owner’s manual doesn’t tell the whole story. What if a light comes on? How do I check tire pressure? How can I improve my fuel economy? This course is taught by a retired Riverland Community College automotive instructor.

Wednesday, Oct. 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m.


Austin High School Annex

“Internet Dating for Women” with Celeste LaMosse

Is it safe and how do you protect yourself when dating online? What are the best and worst Web sites? Learn tips on writing a good profile and what to look for in a profile.

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 7-8 p.m.


Ellis Middle School, Room 243

“Introduction to Infant Sign Language” with Michelle Soukup

Communication between infants and toddlers and the rest of the world can be frustrating. Learn basic introduction to the benefits of using sign language with infants in everyday routines.

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 6 p.m.


Ellis Middle School, Room 236

“Learn Spanish as a Foreign Language (for Adults)” with Beth Fagerlund

Little or no experience is necessary for this relaxing, no pressure class. The last class will even include a trip to a festive location.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, Oct. 20, 22, 27 and 29


Ellis Middle School, Room 374

“Instant Guitar for Hopelessly Busy People” with Dave Reynolds

A few hours is enough time to give you years of musical enjoyment. This crash course will teach basic cords to get your playing along with your favorite songs right away. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Monday, Nov. 2, 6:30-9 p.m.


Ellis Middle School, Room 240

“This fall session we do have more classes than normal,” said Teri Wermager, Community Education coordinator. “We are hoping that maybe people will want to stay closer to home.”

Community Ed is offering classes that may be pertinent to those feeling the effects of the recession, like “Basic Resume Writing,” “Survive and Thrive” and “Selling Your Home in the 2010 Marketplace.”

“Some of the classes we’re offering are trying to gear toward that,” Wermager said.

Other courses are focused on the latest trends or interests, like “Facebook for Beginners,” “It’s Easy Being Green” and planting and home decorating workshops by Berg’s Nursery.

Wermager said she is particularly excited for a new course presented by Dustin Heckman, executive director of the Mower County Historical Society. He will be hosting “The Family Historian: Writing Your Own Family History.”

“He did a history tour of downtown last spring,” Wermager explained.

“It’s a four-class series, and he assigns homework. We know he’s a great instructor and has a great personality to do it.”

In another class, instructor Christian Milaster partners with Austin Utilities for “Because We Can: S.M.A.R.T. Energy Conservation.” Milaster built his own self-sustaining home in Lanesboro, Minn. A free Kill-A-Watt Meter will be given to each person or couple.

“You get an energy auditor to plug into your appliances to see who’s the biggest ‘offender’ in your home,” Wermager said.

Although class registration began Aug. 24, many courses are still open. Community Education is seeking interested instructors as well.

“We’re always looking for new ideas,” Wermager said.

To register, visit the Community Learning Center at 912 First Ave. N.E.; go online to http://austin.revtrak. net; or call 460-1706.