Jump into college class and get more out of life

Arizona Republic

Aug. 26, 2005 12:00 AM


The kids are back in school or off to college. Summer vacation is fading to a stack of photos and credit-card bills.

Now what?

You go to work, sit in the same office or work the same register or hammer nails into the same style house frame as last week. Dead-end or boring jobs abound, and your mind sort of whispers, "I want more."

So get it.

It's not too late to jump into a college class. Late registration continues this week at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. South Mountain Community College classes at the Guadalupe Center don't start until Sept. 6. Its Ahwatukee Center has courses beginning at staggered times during the semester.

Community college classes are two years of core subjects that transfer to four-year university degrees. In Guadalupe, there also are classes on Yaqui or Navajo languages and Yaqui history, as well as American Indian government and history courses.

But the class listings also cover a spectrum of interests wider than the Arizona horizon.

"Ahwatukee has a lot of what they call lifelong learning classes and they are a blast," said Louise Gacioch, marketing director for South Mountain Community College. Courses such as belly dancing, tai chi, Pilates, physical boot camp, photography, interior design, German, French and Spanish are just a sampling of the array. And, of course, all the colleges offer classes in computers, math, English and humanities.

For those who have a hankering to start that college career, don't let age get in the way. The diversity of students on campus is not just an ethnic thing; they range in age from 18 to well into retirement years. There is no reason for anyone to worry about fitting in.

In addition to community colleges, the cities and towns offer adult learning opportunities.

Maybe you don't want to take actual classes; maybe something fun to use your brain is more what you're after. Health and fitness, gardening, foreign languages, martial arts, music, photography, computers and more are offered through city recreation departments.

And for those who have little ones at home, there are courses designed for parent-child participation. Classes such as "mommy and me ballet," "parent-tot art," "kool kids & parents fun fitness" are a fun way to enjoy your child while expanding your own interests.

If you need something to lift your head up from the computer at the end of the day, or if you're looking to escape the lure of mindless television shows, a class could be just the ticket.

Life has much to offer, but you need to take the first step.

Come on, get up and play.