2021 Fall Courses

We are still offering some classes online via Zoom for our 2021 fall semester.  If you register for one of these classes and are unfamiliar with how to use Zoom, please let us know. We’ll be glad to provide help.



  • The Academy for Lifetime Learning is an all-volunteer organization of men and women who share their interests and life experiences to provide a rich and varied menu of courses.
  • Sign up for membership by paying the $25 per semester membership fee. This fee entitles members to sign up for as many courses as they likebut please read the schedule carefully as class times often overlap.  
  • Register early, as classes fill up quickly. You will be notified by e-mail that you are enrolled.  If a course that you want to take is full, you can sign up for a wait list.
  • If you register and then find you cannot attend, please notify the Registrar so that the seat can be made available for another member.
  • You can register here or by mail.
  • Any class fees assessed by the instructor are payable directly to the instructor on the first day of class unless other directions are given in the course description.
  • You can browse through the courses below or download a PDF of the course descriptions here.
  • Thanks for your interest in the Academy for Lifetime Learning.












Instructor: Margo Digan, maggie.digan@gmail.com

Students will learn to play Bocce in this class.
Bocce is similar to Lawn Bowling, except there are no pins to knock down. Instead, the player’s objective is to roll a large ball as close as possible to a small target ball. This is how the player earns points for their team. It has strategy, is easy, and lots of fun!

bocce player celebrating a successful ball toss as his teammates look on

Neither age, gender, nor athletic ability is a barrier to participating in bocce—it can be played by anyone who is willing to try.

Four Sessions: Wednesdays, September 15 ,22, 29, and October 6, 10:00 – 11:30 A.M.
Location: Seaside Park, Wachapreague (across from fire station)
Materials to play the game will be provided
Class-size limits: Minimum 6, Maximum 12
Note: Please do not block Firehouse bay doors. Parking is available on High St. at Seaside Park. Bring a lawn chair and wear comfortable clothes.

Margo Digan played Bocce as a child with family and friends. She was lucky enough to play the French version, Petanque, in a small village in France and observe Italians play in Italy.


LEARN ABOUT and PLAY GOLF: Golf 101 and 102
Instructor: Jay Williams, Retired PGA professional

If you ever wanted to learn about the game of golf, here is a very affordable way to get into the game. A series of workshop/clinics, conducted at the Eastern Shore Yacht and Country Club (ESYCC), will cover both classroom and on-course instruction. Golf clubs will be made available for those who do not have their own. ESYCC now has a brand new clubhouse and pro shop.

The course is offered in two phases—Golf 101 and Golf 102. Each comprises six sessions. One can take the two courses in succession, as one follows the other. This approach permits new golfers to decide whether golf is for them before having to commit to more than just the six sessions of Golf 101; it also permits those who may have some golf experience to pick up the game again by just joining the Golf 102 program.


Golf is a great way to spend some time outdoors, alone or with friends. Here on the Shore the weather makes it an activity you can enjoy the majority of the year.


Instruction, in no particular order, will cover: objectives of the game; basic rules and etiquette; equipment; proper club grip; proper set-up over the ball; golf club swings for drives, pitches, and chips. Instruction will go back and forth between the classroom, the driving range, the putting green, and eventually the course itself, and the order of things will depend on weather conditions. For any play on the course, carts will be provided. While using club facilities, participants are asked to observe the same club rules as members. Instruction will be in a relaxed atmosphere, the learning experience will be fun, and hopefully weather conditions will be favorable.

Golf 101: Six Sessions: Tuesdays and Thursdays, Sept.7, 9, 14, 16, 21, and 23 (if needed Sept. 28 will be a make-up day), 10:30 A.M.- Noon
Golf 102: Six Sessions: Tuesdays and Thursdays, Oct. 5, 7, 12, 14, 20, and 22 (if needed Oct. 28 will be a make-up day), 10:30 A.M.-Noon
If the weather is too inclement to hold a session, rain dates will be arranged with the participants. Drinks, some food, and snacks are always available in the pro shop if the restaurant is closed.
Location: Eastern Shore Yacht and Country Club, end of Country Club Road, Melfa
Class-size limits: Minimum 4; Maximum 10
Materials Fee: $89 for Golf 101 or Golf 102, payable at the first class. This includes use of the range for the course itself. Unlimited use of the range during the six-week session is only $20 more.

ESYCC club golf pro Jay Williams. a retired PGA professional, will conduct the program.

KAYAK/CANOE DAY TRIP: Blackwater Paddling on the Pocomoke River and Dividing Creek
Facilitators: Ken and Sandy Schultz, ken@kenschultz.com

Paddlers of novice ability can enjoy a delightful afternoon on the Pocomoke River and Dividing Creek. Learn river paddling; trip planning; paddling techniques; and safe boat handling.

We’ll be paddling with the tide the entire way. While there will be no whitewater or rapids, there could be some wind on the river. Half of the paddling will be done within the sheltered confines of Dividing Creek, a tributary to the Pocomoke River. The pace will be leisurely, and we expect to be on the water for three to four hours, returning to our starting point at the Winter Quarters boat launch (a 5-6 mile-long round trip).

The highlight is paddling through a scenic bald cypress-black gum swamp. These beautiful and tranquil tannin-stained waterways are home to an abundant array of wildlife and native plants, including many species of orchids and warblers.


A peaceful afternoon spent kayaking is one of the more pleasant ways to enjoy the natural beauty of the Eastern Shore.


One Session: Thursday, September 16, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to approximately 2:00 p.m. (Rain date Friday, September 17 at 11:00 a.m.)
NOTE: WE SUGGEST STOPPING FOR A RESTROOM BREAK BEFORE ARRIVING at the Winter Quarters Landing. One possibility is the Maryland Welcome Center at the state line.
Location: Winter Quarters Boat Ramp, Pocomoke, MD. The ramp is accessed off Winter Quarters Drive (first right on northbound Rt. 13 after Lowes). We will unload boats and gear to be on the water as close to 11:00 a.m. as possible. We will launch and paddle up the Pocomoke River with the tide and then continue up Dividing Creek. When we get to the bridge, we can take a snack break (bring snacks!) and then after the tide turns, we’ll paddle back to the Winter Quarters ramp. Afterward, those who wish can gather locally for refreshments.
Information about the day trip:
*The distance to be paddled is approximately 5-6 miles. While this is not a difficult outing for most individuals, if you have health issues, you should discuss your concerns with the trip leaders. A general liability waiver form must be signed to participate.
*Bring a kayak or canoe or borrow a kayak from Ken and Sandy. Arrangements to transport your kayak can also be made.
*Participants must wear a life jacket (PFD) while paddling.
*Wear appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear.
*Bring insect repellent, sunscreen, snacks, and water, and perhaps a camera and binoculars.
*Ken and Sandy will coordinate meeting locations, car pooling, post-paddling activities, and paddling equipment needs, and will contact participants by email once the class list is confirmed.
Class Size: Maximum 20

This will be Ken and Sandy’s ninth ALL kayaking trip, and they’ve lead many paddling adventures locally as well as in New York and Pennsylvania. Sandy is a co-creator and coordinator of The Delaware River Sojourn, an 80-100 person week-long paddling/camping journey now in its 26th running.



Instructor: Sue Thatcher, suethatcher1@gmail.com

line dancing

Line dancing has been around since the late 1950s. New dances and steps have evolved over the years, but what hasn’t changed is its popularity.



All dances are beginner level. Sue will teach the steps, do a walk through, and then the group will dance to the music. The pattern is repeated as the direction changes.

Six Sessions: You can sign up for one or both of the following:
Sect. 1: September 13, 20, 27, October 4, 11, and 18, 1:00 – 2:30 P.M..
Sect. 2: October 25, November 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, 1:00 – 2:30 P.M.
Location: Historic Onancock School, College St., Onancock
Class-size limits: Minimum 10, Maximum 20
Note: Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that slide.

Sue Thatcher and her team (aka The Boot Scootin’ Belles) love to line dance and have enjoyed sharing their expertise with others at various locations. Line dancing is a great way to exercise both your body and mind – and it’s fun too.



Instructors: Dick and Jean Freeman, janddfreeman@aol.com

New to pickleball playing? You will learn most everything you will need to know to get out on the courts and play the game.

pickleball player

Growing in popularity and combining many of the elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, pickleball is easy for beginners to learn.



Four Sessions: Tuesdays, September 14, 21, 28, and October 5, 5:30- 6:30 P.M.

You will learn how to play and keep score. The best way to learn to play pickleball is to play, and we will be doing that from the beginning after you have learned a few basic rules.

Location: Eastern Shore Yacht and Country Club, Country Club Dr., Melfa
Fee: $40, payable at the first class
Materials provided: paddle, ball, court
Note: Students must wear sneakers.
Class-size limits: Minimum 8, Maximum 16

Dick and Jean Freeman have been playing pickleball for 5 years. They learned their skills from knowledgeable instructors and from playing frequently.



Instructor: Mike Varricchio, mike@thebaywood.com.com

tennis player

Game. Set. Match. Come learn the basics of playing tennis, a sport that can be enjoyed throughout your life.



In this 6-week class you will learn the fundamentals and rules of the game of tennis. Tennis can be a lifelong sport.

Six Sessions: Tuesdays, September 14, 21, 28, and October 5, 12, and 19, 1:00 – 2:30 P.M. (Any session that has to be cancelled because of weather will be rescheduled.)
Location: Eastern Shore Yacht and Country Club, Country Club Dr., Melfa
Materials: A tennis racquet, comfortable clothing, and tennis shoes
Fee: $75 for the 6-week class
Class-size limits: Minimum: 4, Maximum: 10

Mike has a teaching degree with a bachelor’s degree in health, physical education, and recreation with a minor in communications, arts, and science. He has coached soccer, tennis, swimming, and field hockey for more than 35 years. He loves to coach and believes tennis can be a lifelong sport.



Instructor: Carol Barylski, BRYLFAM@gmail.com

Chair yoga is a gentle practice in which postures are performed while seated and/or with the aid of a chair. Chair yoga classes are perfect for those who find a typical yoga session too challenging. It is also a great form of yoga for beginners or anyone who wants to focus on a gentle practice.

Just like a regular yoga practice, chair yoga increases flexibility, strength, and body awareness. When standing poses are included in a chair yoga class, the chair is used to help with and improve balance. Chair yoga may also include pranayama breathing techniques and meditation to promote focus, mental clarity, and relaxation.

Chair Yoga Pose

Chair yoga is great for anyone, but it’s especially good for people with conditions that would otherwise make practicing yoga difficult.



Just about any standard yoga pose can be modified for chair yoga, including backbends, twists, hip openers, and forward folds. For example, in the chair version of mountain pose, the yogi sits with the feet flat on the floor and the knees at a 90-degree angle. The arms are then raised to the sky with the palms facing. The gaze is between the palms. Forward foldanother basic yoga posecan be performed seated in the chair or standing with the hands grasping the back of the chair for support.

All you have to do is to sit in a chair and do the yoga poses to the best of your ability. If you continue to do chair yoga regularly, you will be able to notice a big difference in how well you can move.

Four Sessions: October 5, 12, 19, and 26 1:00 – 2:30 P.M.
Location: Historic Onancock School, College Street, Onancock
Materials: Bring a yoga mat and two yoga blocks (available at WalMart).
Class-size limits: Minimum 5, Maximum 15

Carol Barylski has been practicing yoga for over 30 years. After Carol retired as an art educator, she obtained her 200-hour Yoga Teaching Certificate at Lourdes Hospital in New Jersey. Carol credits yoga for bringing healing, peace, and flexibility into her life.




Instructor: Edward Murdy, eomurdy@yahoo.com

Study of relationships between plants/animals and the physical-chemical-biological factors of the marine environment, from open-ocean to coastal and estuarine ecosystems. Special consideration will be given to the biota of the Chesapeake Bay.

oyster undersea

Let Ed Murdy be your guide as you explore some of the complex relationships between organisms and the marine environment from open-ocean to coastal and estuarine ecosystems.




In the four classes this fall, we will be using PowerPoint to discuss: ocean realms; earth structures; plate tectonics; seawater properties; atmospheric and oceanic circulation; waves and tides; biological concepts; plankton; nekton (fishes & cephalopods); nekton (birds, reptiles, mammals); factors in plankton abundance; seaweeds, seagrasses, and benthic microorganisms; benthic invertebrates (sponges – tunicates); benthic life habits; intertidal communities; seagrass communities; coral reefs; the deep sea.

Four Sessions at ESCC: September 17, 24 and October 1 and 8 – 12:30 – 2:00 P.M.
Class-size limits: Minimum 12, Maximum 24

Ed Murdy received a B.S. and a M.S. in Biology from Old Dominion University and a Ph.D. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University. He has approximately 50 scientific publications including four books, two of which deal with fishes of the Chesapeake Bay. He taught Marine Biology at George Washington University from 2009-2016.



Instructor: Peggy Swan, peggyswan@verizon.net

woman struggling to cope with stress

All of us have times when negative thoughts affect us…well, negatively. Learn to recognize and cope with common distorted thought patterns. Since this is a Peggy Swan class, you know it will be fun as well as educational.



Since this is a Peggy Swan class, you know it will be fun as well as educational.

Students will learn to identify and modify automatic negative thoughts, using cognitive behavioral strategies. Students will learn how common distorted thought patterns (like assuming the worst or focusing on minor details) affect emotions and, in turn, affect behavior. The course may help students have more positive and productive thought patterns. The class is informal and fun. It includes participation and discussion.

Four Sessions: Tuesdays, October 5, 12, 19, and 26, 10:00 – Noon.
Location: Peggy Swan’s home near Onancock. If weather is nice, class will meet outside.
Class-size limit:: Maximum 12

Peggy Swan is a licensed professional counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist who has been practicing since 1990. She has been teaching and attending ALL classes for many years.



Instructor: Dennis Custis, denniscustis@gmail.com

collage of historical photos

Dennis Custis’ extensive knowledge of the Shore’s history is enriched by his personal connection to one of the most prominent families in the region’s early history.


The class will focus on history of the Shore. Topics will include stories about the Wise, Bayly, and Custis Families.

One Session at ESCC: September 10, 10:45 A.M. – 12:15 P.M.
Class-size limit:: Maximum 25

Dennis Custis was a history teacher and principal in Accomack County Schools. He has a lifelong interest in the history of the Eastern Shore.



Instructor: Connie Morrison, editor@easternshorepost.com

Students will learn both the mechanics of publishing the weekly Eastern Shore Post, and the editorial decisions about what makes the cut to appear in each week’s edition.
Newspapers will be distributed to illustrate points.

collage of Eastern Shore Post pages

Ever wondered what goes into getting your local newspaper published and distributed each week? Now’s your chance to find out from the paper’s editor and co-owner, Connie Morrison.


One Session at ESCC: October 15, 12:30 – 2:00 P.M.
Class-size limit:: Maximum 25

Connie Morrison is co-owner and editor of the Eastern Shore Post and a Virginia Press Association award-winning reporter.


Moderator: Keith “Kim” Miles, kmmiles@gmail.com

Rodin's sculpture The Thinker

What would you do if…? Life is full of difficult and perplexing choices.



This is not a course, but a discussion of some of the real and hypothetical issues that may perplex us today. Participants will be teachers as well as learners as we wade through why we think and feel the way we do about thorny problems. Different views encouraged. Not for closed minds or those who already have the answers. No spitting or fisticuffs allowed.

Two Zoom Sessions: Fridays, October 1 and 8, expanded as desired, 9:00-10:30 A.M.
Class-size limits: Minimum 6, Maximum 16

Kim Miles is a self-described ethical genius…a veritable paragon of virtue, who by example alone will imbue the workshop takers with amazing ethical discrimination and powers to resist temptation to cheat, lie, or skirt moral standards. (Wait! No…no, that was Ghandi! Kim is just an average guy who likes to think about ethical problems and welcomes discussion of same. Join him for a hoot.)



Instructor: Betty Martin, bmartin40@verizon.net

Students will learn about various places in the community and enjoy lunch (dutch) at a different restaurant each week.

Collage of photos from Lunch and Learn

The lunch part of this class is an official addition to the former and extremely popular “Know the Shore” class. The Saxis Museum and the launch pad at NASA Wallops were just two of the many interesting trips the former incarnation of this class took, and we know that Betty has some more fascinating destinations and culinary delights planned for the group’s reincarnation.



Four Sessions: Tuesday Sept. 7, 14, 21, and 28, 9:00 A.M. – early afternoon. Class will assemble beginning at 9:00 A.M. at Eastern Shore Community College.
Fee: Dutch lunch
Class-size limits: Minimum 10, Maximum 20
Note: It would be helpful to know whether participants can climb stairs or whether there are other disabilities that need to be addressed.

Betty Martin has an insatiable curiosity and love of people/laughter. Participants enjoyed her previous Know the Shore class offered through ALL.



Instructor: Jan Andrejco, rjandrejco@gmail.com

Participants will leave class with a better understanding of Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans. They will know what Medicare covers and the best way to shop for a policy.
Each participant will look at their own employer’s health insurance plans offered at the age of 65 and compare the benefits and costs to Medicare.

medicare card

Nothing as huge as the Medicare program can be truly simple. Jan Andrejco’s knowledge of the system has been hard won through personal experience. Let her give you a head start in finding your own way through the maze of regulations and options.



The first class will be educational. The second class is set up for individual assistance with a Medicare supplement or Part D (prescription) coverage.
This class is not sponsored by any insurance company. It is purely an educational class.

Two Zoom Sessions: October 29, 12:30-2:00, and November 5 by appointment arranged individually with the instructor.
Class-size limits: Minimum 2, Maximum 15

Jan Andrejco is NOT an insurance agent. After working to help people understand Medicare for the past 3 years through ALL classes, she has learned that people should also take a closer look at any employer offered health insurance and compare it to Medicare. Understanding the confusing jargon and locating the best resources to use when considering health insurance at 65 is critical to empower a person.



Instructor: George Budd, buddgc1@gmail.com

The goal of the class is to learn the fundamentals of several forms of nature photography: landscape, bird and wildlife, and close-up photography. The workshop will present camera techniques and artistic concepts, including composition, light, and color. Presentations will be made in PowerPoint. Recorded versions of the presentation will also be made available for use by participants.

flock of birds on pond, winter scene on creek, close-up of insect on flower

A field trip gives class members a chance to practice the skills they’ve learned in the classroom portion of Nature Photography Workshop.


Four Sessions plus a Field Trip:
One in-person class at ESCC: Friday, October 22, 10:45 A.M.–12:15 P.M.,
Three Zoom Sessions: Thursdays, October 28, November 4 and 12, 10:00 A.M. – Noon
Field Trip: TBA
Class-size limits: Minimum 3, Maximum 12

George Budd has been teaching nature photography at ALL for several years. He is highly regarded for his photography on the Eastern Shore.



Instructors: Helen Putre, hputre2@gmail.com, and Suzy Quigley, susanpeden@charter.net

menu on digital camera rear screen

Beginning photographers can find themselves bewildered by the array of buttons, dials, and menu items on a new camera, whether it’s a basic point-and-shoot model or something more complex. But once you learn a few basics, you can take great photos with even the simplest camera. It’s all in learning to take advantage of whatever features your camera has.


You just set your digital camera to Auto, and usually you’re satisfied with the results. But sometimes the picture you get isn’t quite what you wanted or expected. Is that a description of the relationship between you and your digital camera?

This course will teach you how to take control of the photographic process. You’ll learn to use the controls on your camera to put <e,>you, not the camera, in charge of the results.

Four Zoom Sessions plus a field trip: Fridays September 10, 17, 24, and October 1, 2:00-3:30 P.M.
Materials needed: Digital camera. (Please note:(This course is intended to teach you how to use your digital camera; it will not cover cell phone or film photography.)
Class-size limits: Minimum 5, Maximum 10

Helen Putre has been fooling around with cameras since she was a teenager, but she really began to be serious about photography several years ago when she inherited a fancy DSLR and didn’t know how to use it. She doesn’t claim to be an expert, but she enjoys sharing what she’s learned and helping others to expand their own photographic horizons.

Suzy Quigley was a public-school art teacher in Connecticut and has been taking pictures for more than thirty years, with some formal photographic education and lots of practical experience. She loves to share and help with the technical and the art portions of photography.



Instructors: Helen Putre, hputre2@gmail.com, and Suzy Quigley, susanpeden@charter.net
Students will learn how to do basic image editing. Content will include, but not necessarily be limited to, techniques for edits such as cropping, resizing, straightening, adjusting exposure and color, dealing with highlights and shadows, sharpening, reducing noise/graininess, removing unwanted elements, inserting new elements, and removing dust spots. The instructors will supply images on which they will demonstrate the techniques using Adobe Photoshop Elements 2021, as well as supplying copies of the images for students to practice on.


photos showing stages of processing

With processing software, some effort, and a little practice, you can transform what looked like a hopeless shot into an acceptable photograph.

Three Zoom sessions: Wednesdays, Oct. 13, 20, and 27, 2:00-3:30 P.M.
Materials: Students will need a copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements 2021 installed on their PC or Mac before the first class since that is the editing software on which the instructors will be doing demonstrations. We recommend that rather than purchasing a copy of the software, you download and install a free 30-day trial copy from the Adobe website a couple of days before the course begins. If you wish to purchase your own copy later, the instructors can supply you with the documentation needed to purchase a copy at the discounted rate Adobe provides to students and teachers.
Class-size limits: Minimum 2, Maximum 10

Helen Putre picked up her photo editing skills informally through attending demonstrations and a lot of practice and experimenting.

Suzy Quigley’s background includes some formal training with editing software in addition to years of experience in the field.



beekeepers examining a frame of honeycomb

Have you ever thought about keeping bees? Learn about these fascinating and useful members of our ecology from a veteran beekeeper.


Instructor: Jim Crunk, jimcrunk@verizon.net

The course will provide information on the origin of honeybees, castes of honey bees, their natural duties, and current day challenges. Information will be provided through a PowerPoint presentation.

One Zoom Session: Thursday, September 9, 10:00 – 11:00 A.M.
Class-size limits: Minimum 5, Maximum 20

Jim Crunk has been a beekeeper for more than 60 years and at one time had more than 40 hives.



COMPOSTING FOR YOUR GARDEN: History, Benefits, Techniques
Instructor: Larry Breech, larrybbreech@gmail.com

backyard compost bin

It’s a win-win. In addition to providing benefits for your own garden, home gardening composting benefits the environment by helping to reduce harmful methane emissions in our landfills..

In this course students will learn:
1.Historical background and key composting innovators
2.Benefits of home gardening composting: Improving soil quality, increasing plant health and vitality, achieving conservation benefits, enriching garden produce quality, gaining knowledge of a natural cycling process.

Six Sessions at ESCC: Fridays, September 10, 17, 24, October 1, 8, and 15, 9:00 – 10:30 A.M.
Materials fee: $10.00 for materials/handouts
Class-size limits: Minimum 4, Maximum 12

Larry Breech is a retired farmer experienced in on-farm and garden composting. He has held workshops in Pennsylvania, Iowa, Minnesota, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. He also initiated an EPA 319 Clean Water Project, partnering with Bloomsburg University and NRCS, demonstrating how to eliminate pollution from manure via his composting practices. He has created several informational DVDs that are distributed globally by a Canadian business.


Instructor: Cyndi Downing, cannonpoint@verizon.net
Learn some easy, basic, and fool-proof techniques to arrange flowers like a pro. Arranging flowers is something anyone can do given the right tools. Learn how to make something out of nothing, or use “roadsideinna” (stuff from the side of the road).

floral arrangement made from wildflowers

Need a quick bouquet? Learn how to use what’s growing in your yard or along the roadside to create it.

Four In-Person Sessions. To work mask free, proof of COVID vaccination required or mask up!
Choose One:
Sect. 1: September 2, 9, 16, 23, Noon – 1:30 P.M.
Sect. 2: October 28, 10:00 – 11:30 A.M., November 4, 11, and 18, Noon – 1:30 P.M.
Location: The instructor’s workshop near Onancock
Class-size Limit: Maximum 6
Materials fee: $60. This fee covers all supplies, vases, and most of the flowers. Participants are asked to send the payment to Cyndi Downing, P.O. Box 527, Onancock, VA 23417 by 26 Aug, 2021. Only those who have submitted their fee by this deadline will have supplies purchased for the class. If you miss the deadline, once you’ve enrolled and the fee is paid, supplies will be purchased for you for the classes.

(Cyndi Downing’s biographical information appears follows Flowers Part 3.)



Instructor: Cyndi Downing, cannonpoint@verizon.net

A.L.L.-Stars is a continuation of Flowers Part 1. It is for those participants who have taken Part 1. In this workshop the major focus will be a more advanced use of mechanics while applying the elements and principles of floral design.

floral centerpiece on table

Once you’ve mastered the basics of flower arranging covered in Flowers Part 2, you’re ready to move to more advanced techniques of arrangement.

Four in-person sessions: To work mask free, proof of COVID vaccination required, or mask up!
Choose One:
Sect. 1: September 30, October 14, 21, and 28, Noon – 1:30 P.M.
Sect. 2: September 30, October 14, 21, and 28, 2;00 – 3:30 P.M.
Prerequisite: Flowers Part 1
Location: Instructor’s workshop near Onancock
Class-size limit: Maximum 8
Materials fee: $50. Materials will be a combination of the fresh materials and supplies provided along with participants providing flowers for a particular session. Participants should have on hand their tool kit from Part 1. (NOTE: For those who sign up for Flowers Part 2, A.L.L.-Stars: More Fun with Flowers and Flowers Part 3: Flower Arranging, Asian Influence, materials fee will be $75 for both.)
Optional book purchase: Modern Flower Arranging, $30

(Cyndi Downing’s biographical information follows Flowers Part 3.)



Instructor: Cyndi Downing, cannonpoint@verizon.net

This class is for anyone who would like to learn about the Asian style of design. This study will look at the basic techniques and concepts to infuse an oriental flare in your arrangements.

floral arrangement in the Asian style

Linear design is one of the elements which distinguishes Asian style floral arrangements from Western design style, which is characterized instead by the arrangement of flowers in masses.

Four in-person sessions. To work mask free, proof of COVID vaccination required, or mask up!
Choose One:
Sect. 1: September 2, 9, and 16, 2:00 – 3:30 P.M.
Sect. 2: November 4, 11, and 28, 2:00 – 3:30 P.M.

Location: Instructor’s Workshop near Onancock
Class-size limit: Maximum 6
Materials fee: $50. Materials will be a combination of the fresh materials and supplies provided along with participants providing flowers for a particular session. Participants will be provided with a kenzan and two oriental style containers. Participants are asked to send the payment to Cyndi Downing, P.O. Box 527, Onancock, VA 23417 by 26 Aug, 2021. (NOTES: 1. Only those who have submitted their fee by the Aug. 26 deadline will have supplies purchased for the first class. If you miss the deadline, once you’ve enrolled and the fee is paid, supplies will be purchased for you for the classes. 2. For those who sign up for Flowers Part 2, A.L.L.-Stars: More Fun with Flowers, and Flowers Part 3: Flower Arranging, Asian Influence, materials fee will be $75 for both.)

Cyndi Downing retired after 30 years in education. She is a self-taught flower arranger, learning from many different professional arrangers and local experts. She now enjoys a cottage business called “Simply Fresh: Flowers for Events and Home,” working from referral or commission for special events and weddings creating custom floral designs.



IN THE KITCHEN: Ethnic Flavor Profiles
Instructor: MaryKay Mulligan, grammarrules@verizon.net

stoppered bottles of colorful spices

Spices can make the difference between a dish that’s bland and one that’s delectable. They are also one of the facets that distinguish the cuisine of one country or region from that of another.

Three in-person, small-group sessions in the instructor’s kitchen will examine the spice profiles of Moroccan and Mexican tastes and the food of a country chosen by the group. Students will learn the common spices used in each country’s food and how to balance their flavors.

Three sessions: October 13, 20, 27, 10:00 A.M. – Noon
Location: Instructor’s home in Onancock
Materials fee: $10 to cover cost of ingredients. Payment to instructor at first class.
Class-size limits: Minimum 3, Maximum 5

MaryKay has enjoyed cooking food from around the world since the late 1960s. She has a wonderful collection of cookbooks and spices.


Instructor: Carrie Jacobson, carrieBjacobson@gmail.com

In this three-hour workshop, we will focus first on basic palette-knife techniques and strokes, and then we will make a floral painting.

photograph of Carrie Jacobson's pallete knife painting title

Carrie Jacobson works with oils and palette knife to create vibrant and emotion filled canvasses like her “Iowa Storm”


One session at ESCC: Friday, November 5, 8:30 A.M.- Noon
Materials: Students should bring their own paints and supports and any palette knives they have. Carrie will bring a variety of her own knives that can be used. Students can bring easels or can sit at tables to paint.
Class-size limits: Minimum 3, Maximum 10
NOTE: Participants must have some painting experience!

Carrie Jacobson has painted with a knife for more than a decade, selling paintings to buyers and collectors across the country, internationally and, happily, here on the Shore. She paints in bold, bright colors, with a heavy impasto and few details, all of which is prime material for knife-painting.



Instructor: Cyndi Downing, cannonpoint@verizon.net

Etching a pumpkin is a fun way to naturally decorate a pumpkin for fall without carving. You will learn how to use the etching tool and practice etching different patterns on a pumpkin. You will keep the tool and receive a packet of patterns.

collage of etched pumpkins

Etching your pumpkin is less messy than carving it, makes it easier to create intricate designs, and has the added advantage of allowing your pumpkin to last longer.

One session: Saturday, October 2, 11:00 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.
Location: Instructor’s workshop near Onancock
Materials fee: $15.00
Materials: Bring a pumpkin (not a gourd).
Class-size limits: Minimum 2, Maximum 10

Cyndi loves pumpkins but hates to ruin them by carving them. She learned how to etch them which preserves the pumpkin to enjoy all Fall.

Instructor: Jan Siglin, janjan92@hotmail.com

watercolor paint kit, brushes, and painting

Of course, even running your model trains on a bare track layout is fun, but using your skills and imagination to set up model towns and landscape for them to run through is even more fun.

This class will cover making scenery for model railroads, dioramas, or miniature realistic display units. It will cover base construction, landscaping using purchased or natural local materials, building structures (model railroad sizes from N scale to G scale or half-scale for miniaturists), and weathering these structures. The class will incorporate your design needs.

Eight sessions: Wednesdays, October 6, 13, 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, and December 1, 10:00 A.M.-12:00 Noon. (This is flexible and can possibly be adjusted to suit your schedule.)
Location: Train Station in Onley
Materials fee: $20 for non-SPOTS members. You can bring your own materials; purchasing kits will be discussed in the first class, as well as where other materials can be found. The cost depends on what you want for your project. Some materials (paint, plaster, foam, etc.) are available at the train station.
Class-size limits: Minimum 2, Maximum 6

Jan Siglin’s work is on display at the Onley Train Station, open on Saturday mornings. She taught art in Accomack County schools for 38 years and holds degrees in Art Education and Fine Arts.


Instructor: Susan McGuire, susan.mcguire1@icloud.com

model train approaching station on scenery layout

With Susan McGuire’s guidance, you’ll create an original watercolor painting and leave class with a piece of art that you’ll be proud to display in your home.

Always wanted to paint with watercolors? It’s easy. This class will get you started with the right materials and the “rules” of watercolor — just waiting to be broken by your hidden (until now) creativity. It’s a fun, no pressure class.

Four Sessions at ESCC: Fridays, September 10, 17, 24, and October 1, 9:00 – 10:30 A.M.
Materials fee: $40 payable to instructor on the first day of class
Class-size limits: Minimum 5, Maximum 10

Susan McGuire has a terrible reputation for helping you see (and paint) things in a whole new way!



Instructor: Barbara J. Hart, 1barbhart@gmail.com

Memories are precious, so it makes sense to keep them in a way that we can celebrate them. In this 2-hour workshop we will explore the art-making process of an assemblage (no experience required). You’ll come away with an assemblage that represents a memory in your own one-of-a-kind memory box.

“Guide to Home Renovation” is Barbara Hart’s playful take on a sometimes odious undertaking. Whether you are still in the seeking inspiration stage or you’re ready to break ground, this one of a kind assemblage will make you smile.


Using a provided 8”x10” box with a glass front, you will create an assemblage inspired from a special memory, object, or moment in your life. Be inspired, explore your creative spirit, express your personal ideas, and have fun! Bring your own mementos and photographs. All other materials are provided.

One session: Tuesday, Oct. 12, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Location: Barbara’s studio in Onancock
Materials fee: $20
Class-size limits: Minimum 2, Maximum 4

Barbara has a rich and varied life of creative pursuits. She’s been a maker and artist. Before settling into being a painter, Barbara spent many years making handwoven fabrics, and tapestries. She taught weaving and spinning in various venues, and her handmade fiber work was exhibited in Santa Fe.

Always fascinated with process, she moved from weaving to printmaking, and currently she paints and creates assemblages in her Eastern Shore studio. Her artwork has been exhibited throughout the United States and is in many public and private collections.




Instructor: Sherry Burns, gmb47@verizon.net

cover of

This semester the Bite-Size Book Club will be trying not to miss any clues as they read an oldie but goodie, the 2006 edition of “The Best American Mystery Stories.”

Join a book club with manageable goals and a convivial group of fellow readers. From an anthology of contemporary short stories, a few are tackled each week for discussion in class. This semester we are reading Best American Mystery Stories 2006 edition, chosen by guest editor Scott Turow. If you love a mystery, sign up and read along with us.

Six sessions at ESCC: September 17, 24, and October 1, 8, 15, and 22, 10:45 A.M. – 12:15 P.M.
Materials: The book can be purchased locally at The Book Bin and is also available in Kindle format if you prefer.
Class-size limit:: Maximum 25

Sherry Burns is a grateful Shore resident who is an eclectic and voracious reader.

CREATIVE WRITING: Finding Your Own Voice
Instructor: Scott Whitaker, esteph20@gmail.com


If you’ve always enjoyed writing but never taken the time to do it seriously, this is your opportunity to exercise your creative impulses and benefit from the critiques of others.

Students will read poems and short plays, analyzing for content and technique. Students will compose original works. Students will critique each other’s works for content and technique. Prompts will be provided but will not be required. Students are encouraged to go on their nerve with regard to the work they will compose.

Six sessions at ESCC: Thursdays, August 26, September 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30, 4:15-5:45 P.M.
Materials needed: a highlighter, writing utensils, a notebook, and a positive attitude
Class size: Maximum 15

@SScottWhitaker is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and the co-editor of The Broadkill Review. A teaching artist with the Virginia Commission for the Arts, an educator, and a grant writer, Whitaker’s work is forthcoming or has appeared in The Rumpus, The Maine Review, Great River Review, Oxford Poetry, The Best of Helios Quarterly and The Southern Poetry Review Series: Virginia. Mulch, a novel of weird fiction, is forthcoming from Montag Press in 2021.

Instructor: Sarah Hansel, magmakgran1@gmail.com

man writing in journal

Journaling is a fun way to record your memories, think through problems and clarify your thoughts, and even relieve stress.

This on-line class is designed for the beginner to the advanced journalist. We will explore different techniques to make the process of journaling fun and appealing. We will encourage focus on a specific area of your life, such as a hobby or job or relationship. But participants are free to take a more general eclectic approach.

Whether you have never gathered your thoughts in a journal, or if you have done so in the past and are looking for motivation to restart, or if you have journaled regularly for years, please feel welcome to join this very small virtual group to enrich your writing experience.

Four Zoom sessions: Thursdays, October 7, 14, 21, and 28, 2:00 – 4:00 P.M.
Materials: Something to write with and something to write on
Class-size limits: Minimum 2, Maximum 5
Sarah Hansel has taught journaling 5 days a week for 12 years in a hospital-based trauma program.

Facilitator: Karen Gravelle, karengravelle@msn.com
woman costumed as a nun sharing her memoir with a writing class

Coming to class in a costume appropriate for the memoir you’re sharing isn’t mandatory, but it can certainly add visual enhancement to the reading.

The primary purpose of the class is to provide some direction and structure in getting you started (and/or keeping you going) in writing your memoir. At the end of each class you’ll be given a topic to write about which those of you who wish will read to classmates the following week for feedback. In the process, we will discuss how to handle some of the issues that frequently come up in writing about yourself and your experience.

Six sessions at ESCC: Fridays, October 29, November 5, 12, 19, (no class November 26), December 3 and 10, 10:45 A.M. – 12:15 P.M.
Class-size limits: Minimum 5, Maximum 8

Karen Gravelle has written over 20 books, including several award-winning books for middle grade children and adolescents.