Grand Junction hasn't seen much of a winter, but the short days and long nights, along with cooler temperatures, get to you after a while. Why not break the winter blues by learning something new? Classes are starting up soon, and here are five you might consider.

You probably received Western Colorado Community College's catalog in the mail. Mine arrived close to a month ago. In there, you'll find dozens of fascinating classes, many starting this weekend.

Here are five I found interesting.

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    Plant Based Cooking Adventure Part 1

    January 27, February 3, 10, 9am-12pm

    I've been seriously considering adopting a vegetarian lifestyle. I'm fairly close already. Perhaps this course will get me on track.

    According to the catalog, students in this class will "explore three cuisines that are tasty, healthy, and easy to prepare that are also plant-centered. We will do Mexican, Indian, and American cuisine. After a morning of cooking, we will sit down to a wonderful meal and a fascinating Q & A session" Sounds tempting, doesn't it?

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    Beginning Mandolin

    January 22, 29, February 5, 12, 26, March 5 , 6-8pm

    Have you ever thought about taking up the Mandolin? A good friend of mine teaches this class.

    According to the literature, this class is for "those who have never played mandolin, or who have been frustrated trying to learn. Learn the basics of mandolin, concentrating on rhythm and learning a few simple songs. We will cover topics including relaxing, holding a pick and pick direction, tuning, finger-friendly chords, rhythm and playing in time, how to listen and what to listen for, left and righthand technique and coordination, a simple song or two, how to practice, and playing with other musicians. Students should have access to a mandolin to use in class and for practice, 3-ring binder and an electronic tuner. A music stand is not required, but can come in handy."

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    Colorado Concealed Carry Weapon Permit Training

    January 27, 7am-5pm

    Have you considered getting your permit? This is a one day class.

    If enrolled in this program, you'll "fulfill the Colorado Concealed Carry training requirements for your CCW permit and includes 4 hours of basic pistol safety, operation and shooting fundamentals and 4 hours of on-range coached shooting. The course teaches the basic knowledge, skills, and attitude for owning and operating a pistol safely. We include classroom and range time for improving skills to shoot revolvers and semi-automatic pistols."

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    How to Write the Perfect Essay

    January 29, February 5, 12, 7-8:30pm

    Are you looking to sharpen your writing skills? The catalog states "Effective writing is a challenging process. Many struggled with creating the content needed for the essay, logically organizing their thoughts and fully developing their points. This course is designed to help the writer from the initial process of organizing their information through prewriting to creating a logical and powerful progression of ideas, to giving their fully developed essay structure and purpose."

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    Adobe Illustrator Basic

    January 22, 24, 29, 31, 6:30-8:30pm

    This one caught my eye. I use computers all day, every day, but rarely have fun with programs.

    The WCCC catalog says this course is "a hands-on introduction to the basic tools that make Adobe Illustrator one of the most unique and powerful graphics programs today. Exercises will be taught in a step-by-step format and mirror real-world projects such as logo design, fliers and aspects of computer art. The class will utilize Adobe Illustrator CC."