Courses 2018 Winter-Spring


  • 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 enrollment fee. Members are free to choose as many courses as they likebut please read the schedule carefully as class schedules often overlap.  
  • Register early, as classes fill up quickly. You will be notified by e-mail that you are enrolled.  You can sign up for a wait list in case a member drops out, so if you find you cannot attend, please let the instructor know so another member can take your place.
  • 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.
  • You can download a PDF of the course descriptions here or browse through them below.
  • Thanks for your interest in the Academy for Lifetime Learning.





BOATING SKILLS: U.S. COAST GUARD COURSE Instructor: Robert Haberman,
This course satisfies the requirements of the Commonwealth of Virginia for a boating license.  Upon completion of the basic course and passing a test, participants will be issued the VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries “Virginia Safe Boating” license.  This Basic Course covers the type of boats, equipment, trailering, highway signs, rules of the nautical road, and boating safety.
Seven Sessions: on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in February: Tuesdays, Feb. 13, 20, and 27, 7:00-9:00 p.m.; Thursdays, Feb. 15 and 22, 7:00-9:00 p.m.; and Saturdays, Feb. 17 and 24, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Materials fee:  $35 for the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Skills and Seamanship training manual.  For those who own the current edition of the training manual there is no fee, but they must bring the book to class.
Location:  Naomi Makemie Presbyterian Church, corner of Market Street and Lee Street, Onancock.
Class size:  Maximum 25, Minimum 5.

There will be at least four different instructors who have over 70 combined years of experience in boating and working with the U.S. Coast Guard.


DUKE’S FAMOUS FUDGE Instructor: D.J. “Duke” Shannahan,
Learn to make the creamiest, most tempting and delicious chocolate fudge.  Duke Shannahan will take you into his own kitchen to show you the secrets and tricks of the trade to make the fudge that has become famous on the Eastern Shore and beyond.  Fudge makes the best gift!
This one-session course will be offered twice. Choose either:

  • Thursday, May 3, 2:00 – 3:30 P.M.
  • Thursday, May 10, 2:00 – 3:30 P.M.

Location: The class will meet at Duke’s home in Onancock. Participants will be contacted by the instructor with directions.
Class limit: 6 each session.

Duke Shannahan and his sons make the best Christmas fudge and pralines on the Shore.


FLOWER ARRANGING ANYONE CAN DO, PART 1 Instructor: Cyndi Serini Downing,
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).   Each of the five sessions will cover a different mechanic, a different arranging technique, and where to find floral resources and supplies.  This will be a make-it take-it style workshop, and you will go home with your arrangement from the session. Participants will also keep supplies used during the sessions to build a flower arranging tool kit. Please bring clippers if you have them. Or, if you are interested in a professional grade pair of clippers (cost  is $37.50), email Cyndi by February 16 to have them for the first session.
Five sessions: Thursdays, March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Location:  Historic Onancock School, 6 College Avenue, Onancock.
Class Limit: Maximum 10, Minimum 5.
Materials Fee: $50, payable to instructor on the first day of class.
Recommended books: (both by Judith Blacklock and available on  A basic level book, Flower Arranging, paperback from the Teach Yourself series; or for a more comprehensive book, hardcover, Flower Arranging, The Complete Guide for Beginners.  Both will be available to review during session one of the class.


A.L.L.–STARS: MORE FUN WITH FLOWERS, PART 2, Instructor: Cyndi Serini Downing,
A.L.L.–Stars is a continuation of Flower Arranging Anyone Can Do, Part 1.  Part 2 is for those participants who have taken Part 1 previously at ALL.  This is a make-it take-it style workshop.  The major focus will be a more advanced use of mechanics while applying the elements and principles of floral design.
Choose one of two time periods:

  • Thursdays, March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, 12:30-2:30 p.m.,
  • Thursdays, March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, 3:00-5:00 p.m.

Location: The Historic Onancock School, 6 College Avenue, Onancock
Materials: Bring materials from Part 1.
Materials fee: $50, payable to instructor on the first day of class.
Class Limit: Maximum 10, Minimum 5.

Cyndi Downing retired after 30 years in education. Cyndi 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 design.


FUN WITH FRENCH Instructor: Peggy Swan,

Fun with French
In addition to having fun with the language, members of the Fun with French class also had fun indulging in some genuine French pastries.

Have fun with French poems, songs, tongue-twisters, nursery rhymes, and card games.  Find words that are similar to English and French expressions that we often use in English.  Learn pronunciation rules and phrases that will help when you travel. Eat some French delicacies.  The purpose of the class is to learn to enjoy the French language.

A deep knowledge of French is not necessary, but some previous exposure to French will enhance your ability to participate.
Six sessions: Tuesdays, March 20 and 27, April 3, 10, 17, and 24, 10:00 a.m.-noon.
Location: Peggy Swan’s house near Onancock. Directions will be given to participants.
Class limit: Maximum 15, Minimum 8.

Peggy Swan loves having fun with French.  She studied at the Université de Strasbourg, taught French for 13 years, and made frequent trips to France.


FURNITURE PAINTING Leader: Brenda Smith,
Bring your own small furniture piece and refresh its looks with Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint. The first day participants will prep and apply one coat of paint. The second day they will apply a final finish. Please bring your own small furniture piece such as an end table or chair. Wear painting clothes. All supplies are included. You must attend both days to complete your project.
Two Sessions: Saturdays, April 21 and 28, 10:00 a.m.-noon.
Class size 2.
Materials fee: $20, payable to the instructor on the first day of your class.
Location: Local Color Studio, 23396 Front Street, Accomac.

Brenda Smith taught Family and Consumer Science for 25 years. She loves upcycling just about anything. She loves color and believes that any room can sparkle with a small addition of the right painted piece.


LEARN ABOUT and PLAY GOLF: 101 and 102 Instructor: Alan Moore, 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. Although the golf club recently suffered the major loss of its clubhouse, all golfing activities are available and will continue.

The course is offered in two phases, Golf 101 and Golf 102. Each comprises six sessions. Participants can take the two courses in succession as one follows the other. This approach permits new golfers to decide whether the game is for them before committing 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 just the Golf 102 program.

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 among the classroom, the driving range, the putting green, and eventually the course itself, and the order of things will partly 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, April 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, and 26, 10:30 a.m.-noon.
Golf 102: Six sessions: Tuesdays and Thursdays, May 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, and 24, , 10:30 a.m.-noon.
If the weather is too inclement to hold a session, rain dates will be arranged with the participants. Lunch service will be available at ESYCC following each session.
Location: Eastern Shore Yacht and Country Club, end of Country Club Road, Melfa, VA.
Class size: Maximum 10, Minimum 4.
Cost: $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 range during the six-week session is only $20 more.

ESYCC Personnel: Alan Moore is a certified Class A PGA instructor and will conduct the program. James Jones, Manager of Golf Operations, will support the program. Dan Meisenhelder, the club’s Chairman for Golf Activities, will oversee the program.


INSECTS IN YOUR BACKYARD Instructor: Tony Picardi,
After a slide show that will help to identify some of the most common insect families, participants will learn to capure insects. Using the provided equipment, they will stalk the surrounding fields, wildflower meadows, and gardens to capture specimens for identification and viewing under hand lenses and the stereoscope. A variety of field guides will be provided.
One session: Wednesday, May 2, 9:00 a.m.-noon. Rain date: May 9.
Location: Tony Picardi’s house in Belle Haven. Directions will be sent before class.
Special equipment: Wear closed-toe shoes. Bring close-focusing binoculars (6 feet) if you have them.
Class size: Maximum 8, Minimum 2.

Tony Picardi is a Master Naturalist. For the past 12 years, he has led nature-study trips and seminars on the Eastern Shore focusing on butterflies, insects, mushrooms, native-plant gardens and meadows, environmental services, global warming, and national parks.


KAYAKING ADVENTURE Leaders: Ken and Sandy Schultz,
Paddlers of novice ability can enjoy a delightful day on Nassawango Creek and the Pocomoke River. Learn river paddling; planning, shuttle and transport issues; paddling techniques; safe boat handling; and nature observation in a black water cypress-flanked river.

We will be paddling on high tide or with the tide almost the entire way. There will be no whitewater or rapids, and half of the paddling will be done within the very sheltered confines of Nassawango Creek. The pace will be leisurely, and we expect to be on the water for three to four hours.

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

The highlight will be paddling through the scenic Nassawango bald cypress-black gum swamp. Nassawango is home to an abundant array of wildlife and native plants, including many species of orchids and warblers. This tannin-stained waterway is steeped in early American history and is a most beautiful and tranquil place.
One session: Wednesday, May 9, 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; rain date, May 10. Participants will be notified if there is an adjustment to the schedule.
Location: Class will meet at Shad Landing in Pocomoke River State Park at 11:00 a.m. (3.5 miles south of Snow Hill, MD, off Route 113). We will shuttle to the put-in spot on Nassawango Creek. We’ll be on the water as close to noon as possible and will paddle one way back to Shad Landing. Afterward, those who wish can gather at Mallard’s on the River in Pocomoke City (formerly the Riverside Grill).
* Trail is 5-6 miles. Please discuss concerns with leaders in advance.
* Bring a kayak, borrow one from Ken and Sandy, or rent one in Snow Hill from Pocomoke River Canoe Company (
* Participants must wear a life jacket (PFD) while paddling.
* Wear appropriate outdoor clothing.
* Bring insect repellent, sunscreen, snacks, and water.
* If you’d like to fish while paddling, check with Ken for license and/or FIN registry details. See Maryland State Parks website:
Class fees: The class is free to A.L.L. students. Kayak and canoe rental is extra.
Class size: Maximum 20.

Ken and Sandy will coordinate meeting locations, carpooling, post-paddling activities, and paddling equipment needs, and will contact participants by email once the class list is confirmed. This will be their sixth A.L.L. kayaking trip, and they’ve led 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.


KNOW THE SHORE Facilitator: Betty Martin,

Know the Shore at CBBT
Members of the Know the Shore class not only got to tour all the interior workings of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel during their class outing, they also got to go out onto the catwalk in the tunnel itself.

Plan to uncover hidden treasures of the Eastern Shore every Thursday in March. Trips begin at the Eastern Shore Community College. Participants will receive detailed information after registration.
Five sessions: Thursdays, March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, usually 9:00 a.m. until early afternoon. (NOTE: Class times and duration will vary over the sessions.)
Class Size: Maximum 20, Minimum 6.

Betty Martin is a long-time Shore resident who keeps finding more to learn about her chosen home.


This class uncovers strategies for increasing joy and balance, methods to help identify negative thoughts, ways to keep depression and anxiety from pervading your life, and simple changes that improve your marriage without even talking about it with your mate. This class is not therapy! Students may contribute personal disclosures, but there is no requirement to do so.
Four sessions: Mondays, March 5, 12, 19, and 26, 10:00 a.m.-noon.
Location: Peggy’s home in Onancock. Directions will be given to participants.
Class size: Maximum 15, Minimum 8.

Peggy Swan is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been practicing since 1990.


SEWING MACHINE BASICS Instructor: Brenda Smith,
Does your sewing machine gather dust?  This class will start with the basics of threading and progress to complicated dials and buttons.  Students will complete a small project and learn to sew with confidence. Sewing machines will be available, or you may bring your own.  If you are bringing your own machine, please email Brenda a few days before the class so that she can make space for your machine.
This one-class course will be offered twice. Choose either

  • Thursday, March 15, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.,
  • Thursday, March 29, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Class limit: Maximum 2.
Location: Local Color Studio, 23396 Front Street, Accomac.

Brenda Smith taught Family and Consumer Science for 25 years.  She has found enjoyment in sewing for many years and is thrilled to help others pursue this creative and practical skill.


The North Street Playhouse will produce three very different plays during spring 2018—a small musical, a one actor play, and a contemporary family comedy. Students will have the opportunity to learn about various creative and technical aspects of the productions from some of the participants—actors, directors, designers, and others—as well as see two of the productions. Previous classes have focused on readers’ theatre. This class will also incorporate activities involving readers’ theatre using several of the scripts being produced. The goal is for students to gain a fuller appreciation of the whole theatre experience beyond the one they now enjoy.
Eight sessions: Wednesdays, March 7, 14, 21, and 28, April 4, 11, 18, and 25. 3:30-5:00 p.m.
Location: The North Street Playhouse, 34 Market Street, Onancock.
Materials: Materials will be provided.
Class size: Maximum 10, Minimum 5.

Terry Bliss is the founder and has been the artistic director of the North Street Playhouse since 1986. She is an actor, director, and producer. Terry Bliss has taught previous theatre courses through A.L.L. and the Eastern Shore Community College.


Take a three-mile walk around the Wildlife Loop to enjoy and identify plants, trees, and flowers as well as birds, insects, and reptiles.

Remember to dress for the season; wear closed-toe walking shoes; bring notebooks, cameras, and binoculars (for birding), bug spray and sunscreen, as well as your drink and snack. For those who have trouble walking, a motorized wheelchair or scooter may be used on the asphalt road.
One session: Wednesday, June 6, 10:00 a.m.-noon.
Location: Chincoteague Refuge Wildlife Loop
Class size: Maximum 12, Minimum 5.

Matt Cormons has a master’s degree in ethology (animal behavior), is a certified Virginia Master Naturalist, and a nature photographer interested in every plant and animal he sees as he roams. He loves to share what he knows—and knows how much there is to learn.


WINE TASTING: A Class in Appreciation of and Education About Wine Instructor: Mary Ann McDevitt, maryann.mcdevitt@countyvintner
This class is a joint effort of the Academy for Lifetime Learning (A.L.L.), the Historic Onancock School (HOS), and the North Street Market of Onancock. The registrants of A.L.L. will be given priority for registration for this class. Unfilled seats one week prior to March 1 may be filled by the HOS or the North Street Market without registration with A.L.L., but at an increased cost per class.
Four sessions: Thursdays, March 1 and 15, and April 5 and 19, 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
The four classes will cover the following subject areas with multiple wines available for tasting and experiencing the differences between wines:
March 1—Wine basics: How wine is made and how to identify wine flavors and its nuances.
March 15—Old World vs. New World Wines
April 5—French Wines
April 19—Italian Wines: Northern Italy and Tuscany
Location: Historic Onancock School, 6 College Street, Onancock.
Class size: Maximum 25, Minimum 20.
Fee: A check for $60 made payable to Historic Onancock School must be received no later than February 22.
Mail checks to: Historic Onancock School, P.O. Box 467, Onancock, VA 23417.

Mary Ann McDevitt is a representative of Country Vintner Wine Distributors for the Eastern Shore. She is knowledgeable and schooled in the world of wine.




(Classes at ESCC are limited to 25 participants unless otherwise noted.)



islands trip
One of the highlights of the Barrier Islands class is the field trip out to see the islands “up close and personal.”

Learn the lore and the history of the people who lived on the barrier islands of the Eastern Shore. Understand the culture of the island residents, how it shaped the Shore, and how it influences ecotourism today. Students are encouraged to bring their own stories and artifacts from the barrier islands.
Six Sessions: Fridays, February 16, 23, March 2, 9, 16, and 23, 3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Rick Kellam is a fifth-generation Hog Islander. His career has always been connected to the water; he has been a waterman, a marine policeman, and a staff member at The Nature Conservancy. He is the only Certified Waterman’s Heritage Tour Guide on the Shore and the author of two books and many articles. He owns Broadwater Bay Ecotours.


BITE-SIZE BOOK CLUB Instructor: Sherry Burns,

WS-2018 Text
Can you figure out “who done it?” before the end of the story? Participants in the 2018 Winter-Spring course will be testing their deductive powers against some of the best mystery short stories published in 2016.

Join in the camaraderie of a book club with manageable reading goals. Read and discuss a variety of short stories each week. This semester the book is Best American Mystery Stories 2016 (edited by Elizabeth George).  It is available at the Book Bin at a 15% discount for class members.
Six sessions: Fridays, February 16, 23, March 2, 9, 16, and 23, 11:00 a.m-12:30 p.m.

Sherry Burns is an avid reader, sometimes writer, and a grateful Eastern Shore retiree.


BUILDING A BUTTERFLY HOUSE Instructor: Laurice Hohlt,
Learn to hatch butterflies from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to glorious butterfly. Laurice Hohlt will demonstrate how to build a butterfly hatching house and all the steps to hatching your own Monarch and Black Swallowtail butterflies.
One session: Friday, April 27, 9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

Laurice Hohlt was taught to hatch butterflies by a friend who teaches elementary school, so you know that this is a great beginners’ project.


EASTERN SHORE HISTORY Instructor: Dennis Custis,
Each lecture will cover a century of Eastern Shore history up to the 20th century. Mr. Custis will focus on the people and customs of the Shore as well as the architecture and artifacts. Students who have taken Mr. Custis’ class before may take it again, as he will present new material.
Four sessions: March 2, 9, 16, 23, 9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

Dennis Custis is an Eastern Shore native with a unique perspective on local history. He has taught in the Accomack School system and given numerous lectures on local history.


The class will explain various components of retirement planning including Social Security strategies, pensions, annuities, and managing investments and withdrawals from different types of investment accounts, including Roth and Traditional IRAs. The instructor will provide key financial checkpoints to help make sure you have considered other key safety factors.
One Session: Friday, May 4, 9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

John Fiege is a NAPFA-registered, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™.


DIVERSITY OF FISHES Instructor: Edward O. Murdy,
The class will study the evolution and adaptation of the most diverse vertebrate group, fishes. Lectures will cover taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, biogeography, ecology, and behavior of fish, especially in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Three Sessions: Fridays, February 16, 23, and March 2, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Materials: A curious mind!

Ed Murdy holds a B.S and M.S. in biology from ODU and a PhD in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M. He has published four books including two on the fishes of the Chesapeake Bay. He lives in Onancock.


GARDENS UNDER GLASS: Creating Terrariums Instructor: Beth Temple,

Instructor Beth Temple discusses a completed terrarium before students start work on constructing their own “Gardens Under Glass.”

Students will learn simple techniques to make a terrarium of their own to take home. The instructor will tell the history of gardens under glass and their place in English botanical history.
One Session: Friday, May 4, 10:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Class size: Maximum 6.
Materials Fee: $10, payable to the instructor on the first day of class.

Beth Temple has always enjoyed houseplants. Several years ago, she fell in love with gardens under glass when her grandchildren presented her with a large and beautiful terrarium. She continues to make terrariums for her house and for gifts.


The instructor will project photos indoors for discussion, including how close to get, depth of field, exposure, camera speed, lighting, moving subjects, etc. Following that, the class will go outside to practice, so bring your cameras (film or digital) and the lens that brings you as close to the subject as possible, if you have one. If not, and you enjoy the concept of macro photography, you will probably want to invest in one. If time permits, we can go back to the room to discuss the photos taken, or we will arrange a second class to do that for those who are interested.
One session: Thursday, May 10, 10:00 a.m.-noon.
Class size: Maximum 12.

Matt Cormons has a master’s degree in ethology (animal behavior), is a certified Virginia Master Naturalist, and a nature photographer interested in every plant and animal he sees as he roams. He loves to share what he knows—and knows how much there is to learn.


MEMOIR WRITING   Facilitators: Karen Gravelle,, and Betty Martin,

Peggy as nun
You don’t have to show up in costume to read your memoir to the class, but some students really get into the spirit of reliving a moment from their past.

Write and share experiences with other class members.  Preserve your memories for future generations.  Students will be guided through a series of topics to consider, and they will share their memoirs with the class in an informal environment.
Five Sessions: Fridays, February 16 and 23, and March 2, 9, and 16, 9:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.

Karen Gravelle is an award-winning author who has published over 20 children’s books, two of which have been translated into 15 languages. She believes that everyone’s life story should be cherished and remembered.

Betty Martin has gathered bits and pieces and loose leaf tidbits to weave into memoirs for her family.



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

This course is for students who are taking Nature Photography for the first time. The class will focus on landscape and wildlife images in nature photography. Students will learn how to set up their cameras for nature images and learn how to look and visualize their photographs.   Learning to look is the skill that transforms photography from merely capturing images to the exploration that leads to art.
Four classroom sessions at ESCC: Fridays, March 2, 9, 16, and 23, 9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
One field trip: Monday, March 26, time TBA.
Materials: Bring a camera and the camera manual (if available).
Class size: Maximum 5.



Nature Photography Refresher
In the refresher section of Nature Photography, students expand their skills to include editing photos and setting up for printing.

This class is offered only to those who have taken George Budd’s class, Nature Photography Workshop, in previous semesters. The class will review the material that was presented in the earlier class and will add some additional topics on photo editing and setting up for printing.
One classroom session at ESCC: Friday, March 23, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
One field trip: Monday, April 2, time TBA.
Materials: Bring a camera and the camera manual (if available).
Class size: Maximum 5.

George Budd is locally well known for presentations on bird photography; also, he sells his photographs and greeting cards.  George enjoys the process of teaching photographers to see nature in a new way.


PRACTICAL DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY Instructors: John Shire and Charlie Ross

Students in the Digital Photography class get ready to view the images they submitted for the session and discuss how they fulfill the requirements of the assignment.

Bring your digital camera and learn to control the photographic process, the use of light and shadow, and the art of composing a photograph.  Students email their photographs to the instructors and discuss them in class.
The first session is mandatory for new participants.
Six sessions: Fridays, March 23, April 6, 13, 20, and 27, and May 4, 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Class size: Maximum 12, Minimum 6.

Charles Ross has been a photographer for more than 50 years. His work is exhibited on the Eastern Shore and on his web site,

John Shire has shown photographs in New York and Connecticut galleries as well as on his web site,

Charles Ross and John Shire have their work on display at the new Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital.


Participants will practice deep listening and dialogue to examine diverse views of race, class, and gender using contemporary media and written works as catalysts to learn, reflect, and share. The intent of the class is to extend our knowledge base and capacity for dialogue across a diversity of opinions, life experiences, political experiences, etc.
Six sessions: Fridays, March 2, 9, 16, and 23, April 6 and 27, and May 4, 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Class size: Maximum 15.

Karen Hatch identifies as a Healing Justice Advocate. She is a registered nurse, former youth pastor, and is a Certified Interplay Leader. She is committed to racial justice. Karen has lived on the Eastern Shore since 1997 and has worked with diverse groups of all ages to deepen relationships and build community.


UNDERSTANDING RUSSIANS Instructor: Orest Pelech,
Winston Churchill famously opined in 1938: “Russia is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” Russians have baffled Europeans and Americans. We shall focus on the following relationships: nation and state; nation and the Orthodox Church; and attitudes toward a variety of foreigners, including Americans. This course will attempt to unravel the Russian Mystery.
Three sessions: Fridays, April 6, 13, and 20, 9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Class size: Maximum 15.

Orest Pelech holds a PhD in Russian History from Princeton and was a Fulbright Scholar in Leningrad. He had a thirty-year career building Slavic collections for the Princeton and Duke University libraries.


This course provides a traditional approach to language learning, based on solid grammatical foundations, translation skills, and practical vocabulary. The material covers a variety of everyday topics in a simple, concise manner with many examples and explanations to illustrate how the language works and for students to build confidence. Participants will be notified of course textbook prior to class.
Ten Sessions: Thursdays, February 22, March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, and April 5, 12, 19 and 26, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Class limit: Maximum 8, Minimum 5.

Robert Eames served as Latin American Specialist in the U.S. Army for 22 years and then taught Spanish at Northampton High School for nearly two decades until his retirement in 2002.


Travel via a rollicking railroad ride to the greater Yellowstone ecosystem to tour Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and the National Bison Range. Experience fulminating fumaroles, browsing bison, pulchritudinous pronghorn, and the vast vistas that make up the Yellowstone caldera and its surrounding forests, meadows, and lakes. Still and video images will help you understand the geology that underlies the 10,000 hot springs, mud pots, and geysers that unburden pent-up sulfurous steam from underground cavities.
One Session: Friday, April 6, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Special Clothing: Hiking boots and gas masks for those who want to intensify the experience; otherwise, regular going-to-class clothes.

Tony Picardi is a Master Naturalist. For the past 12 years he has led nature study trips and seminars on the Eastern Shore focusing on butterflies, insects, mushrooms, native plant gardens and meadows, environmental services, global warming, and national parks.


Carolyn will show photographs and talk about the long-awaited trip that she and her husband Don took to Washington State, Oregon, and Victoria, BC, including visits to Seattle, Portland, and the Columbia River Gorge. They walked on rocky beaches, visited rain forests, and viewed snow-capped mountains—many times crossing paths with the Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail.
One Session: Friday, April 13, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Carolyn McGavock loves to travel and to record her travels with photographs. She has given previous Travel Talks about New Orleans, Coastal Maine, and Paris. She can now cross off the Pacific Northwest and Buchart Gardens from her bucket list.



Under Susan McGuire’s tutelage, students in the Watercolor for Beginners class produce some amazing artwork.

Overcome your fear of watercolors in this six-week class. You will learn the basic rules of color, value, and composition so you will know which rules to break. Face that blank page and have fun. No experience necessary. This is a beginner’s class, but repeat offenders are welcome!
Six sessions: Fridays, March 30, April, 6, 13, 20, and 27, and May 4-11:00 a.m-1:00 p.m.
Materials fee: $35 for supplies, paid to the instructor on the first day of class.
Class size: Maximum 12.

Susan McGuire studied watercolor under Susan Abbott at the Northern VA Art League. She is a member and president of the Eastern Shore Art League of Virginia and shows her work at the Art League Galleries and at the Historic Onancock School, the Hermitage, and the Accomac Public Library.





YOGA FOR BETTER BALANCE Instructor Linda Lang, 757-442-4064,,

yoga balance
Instructor Linda Lang coaches her yoga students as they practice a pose to improve balance.

Physical and emotional balance are keys to healthy aging. Two classes with homework will reduce the likelihood of falling, lessen anxiety, and increase your peace of mind.
Two sessions: Fridays, March 2 and 9, 10:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m.


MEDITATION FOR CARDIAC HEALTH   Instructor: Linda Lang, 757-442-4064,
Meditation has been recommended in a recent release from the American Heart Association. It is preventative medicine at its best, with potential reversal of physical and psychological symptoms of chronic, debilitating conditions.
Two sessions: Fridays, March 2 and 9, 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.


Lecture and demonstration with group participation and homework.  Emphasis on relieving stress and anxiety, promoting self-compassion, and deep relaxation for deep healing.
Four Sessions: Fridays, April 6, 13, 20, and 27, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Linda Lang designed the Smithsonian Yoga Symposia in 2014 and 2017; she is a member of the Advisory Council for the International Association of Yoga Therapists.