Does the new year bring with it a desire to learn new skills? Have you considered rebooting your education? Here are five random classes you might enjoy at Western Colorado Community College.

I'm 48 years old and starting to feel a bit stale. My adventures in public education ended 30 years ago. Since then I've attended college a few too many times. At this age, though, I would still like to acquire new skills. I'm not talking about a degree. Rather, a chance to learn fascinating things which could apply to the real world.

Western Colorado Community College recently sent out their Spring 2019 course catalog. You'll find everything from:

  • Financial Planning and Retirement
  • Fly Fishing
  • Fire Management
  • Health Care Career Programs
  • Culinary Arts
  • Digital Filmmaking

There's a long list of classes and courses. Some of these are single sessions, others a few sessions, and some last an entire semester. In my opinion, all are reasonably priced.

For my purposes, I'm looking at the non-credit courses consisting of one to four class meetings. Here's a look at five random courses selected from the Spring 2019 catalog.

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    Retirement Planning Today

    Cost = $49 (Plus One Free Guest)

    How do you go about planning for retirement? I've spent considerable amounts of time pondering this. According to the 2019 catalog, "This class explains time-tested strategies that help you make informed financial decisions."

    Class dates are:

    February 28 and March 7 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.


    March 5 and 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

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    Astronomy - The Citizens Guide to the Universe

    Cost = $99

    An old high school buddy of mine, Jeff Dershem, teaches this one. The catalog describes the course as "The perfect class for anyone who wants to know a little bit more about the universe without all that pesky math."

    Classes meet:

    February 26, March 5,12,19, 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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    Craft Beer Appreciation

    Cost = $39

    Most people I know are perfectly capable of appreciating beer without any help or instruction. This class, however, teaches the student to "Learn about beer styles; the brewing process; beer ingredients and their uses; brief world brewing history; the difference between craft and non-craft beers; aging beer; ales vs. lagers and much more!"

    Classes meet on:

    February 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.


    April 11 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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    Essential Oils as Nature's Medicine Cabinet

    Cost = $49

    I find this topic fascinating. According to the catalog, "From the beginning of recorded time, essential oils have been extracted from aromatic plants and used as effective medicine based on their therapeutic properties. In this class, you will learn about oils that can be used to replace conventional medicines and be empowered in your health for pennies per drop."

    Classes meet on:

    February 11 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.


    April 15 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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    Getty Images

    Beginning Mandolin

    Cost = $129

    My good buddy Joe Quesenberry teaches this one. The class is intended for those who've never even touched a mandolin, let alone played one. The class teaches the basics, and even teaches a tune or two. Students will need to have access to a mandolin in order to participate.

    Classes meet on:

    January 14, 21, 28, February 4, 11, 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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