My dad taught me how to change a tire, my aunt taught me how to make peanut brittle and my neighbor suffered through giving me trombone lessons. It's amazing to think you can now learn how to do most of these things now, if you want, through the Internet.
I consult YouTube quite a bit. I learned how to sew in a zipper, and I nearly saved my marriage by getting some added instructions for assembling an IKEA couch.
The Internet is becoming more and more an integral part of our learning experience and expectations. Just Google a topic and get what you need to know. In our cyber society, you can watch video tutorials on everything from learning to knit, playing the guitar and even flying a plane.
It begs the question, if I can learn to knit by watching a YouTube video, why would I take a knitting class at Colorado Mountain College?
I've taken a number of continuing education classes myself at CMC, and I plan to continue doing so, even though I might be able to learn or refine the skill online. In some cases, there's just no substitute for the hands-on learning experience in a continuing education class at CMC. Here are just a few from my experiences over the years.
• Massage. You just can't get more "hands-on" than that, and you certainly wouldn't want to miss out on your turn to get practiced on. We're bringing this class back after an absence of a few years. It meets Thursdays evenings in Glenwood Springs starting Jan. 17.
• Telemark skiing. One of my favorites, this class was full of great fun and laughing at one another - full-grown adults taking faceplants in the snow. It was also a chance to form new skill-appropriate ski buddies. Alpine skiing and telemark classes are now offered on Sunday afternoons (previously on Fridays) at Sunlight Mountain Resort.
• Retirement planning. It's a topic you can get a lot of information about online, but it can be confusing and even contradictory. A class gives the opportunity to ask questions and ponder the implications of various scenarios. The two-session seminar meets Wednesday or Thursday evenings in Glenwood Springs this February.
• CPR. Yes, you can watch the YouTube video, and it's probably a great refresher, but the CMC class using mannequins simulates as well as possible what it feels like to make chest compressions, and you can walk away with certification. Several one-day Saturday sessions are offered throughout the semester in both Glenwood Springs and Carbondale.
• Cooking. Cooking shows are very popular now, but you can't exactly reach right in and sample the soup. CMC's major advantage: we've got dinner, and a tasty one at that. Plus, learn the important improvisations as you go. The spring class menu includes the usual basics in soups, sauces and baking, plus Ethiopian, Mexican, Mediterranean and Thai specialties.
Don't forget all the wonderful benefits that come along with learning something new with an eager group of people wanting to do the same.
Registration is now open for all spring classes that begin Jan. 14 and after at Colorado Mountain College. View the complete schedule online at coloradomtn.edu/classes.