“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young,” said businessman Henry Ford.
Hawaii’s children are back in school, already engaged in another year of learning. But “back to school” is not just for students – it’s for all of us.
Maybe there’s a class you wish you had taken in school, or a hobby that you’d like to try. (I started taking ceramics this year at our neighborhood park). You don’t have to sign up for a semester of classes at a college or university. You just have to decide that learning is important to you.
What do you want to learn today? If you’ve paused by the wayside, here are a few ideas to start you back on the path of lifelong learning:
* Adult Education: The Hawaii Department of Education offers low-cost adult education classes in adult literacy, reading and writing English, math, and a high school diploma. In addition, there are classes on photography, computers, drawing, hula, income tax preparation, sign language and more. Check with your local community college or university for more “Continuing Education” programs.
* Art: The Honolulu Museum of Art offers fee-based workshops and classes on painting and drawing, textiles and fiber, glass, printmaking, ceramics, metal and jewelry, flowers and lei, sculpture, and the tea ceremony.
* Boating and seamanship: The Hawaii Sail and Power Squadron offers fee-based boating classes, seminars, and certifications for people interested in boating, seamanship, and navigation.
* Cooking: Kapiolani Community College offers fee-based culinary classes about cooking, baking, local recipes, knife skills, and more, with intriguing classes like “A Splash of Aloha” and “Come to the Casbah” and “Green Holidays.”
* Emergency preparedness: The Hawaii Red Cross offers training in CPR, AED, lifeguarding, swimming, caregiving, and more. There are community classes and online courses.
* Hawaiian language and culture: Kamehameha Schools Distance Learning offers low-cost online classes on the Hawaiian language and Hawaiian culture. Learn about the Kumulipo, Hawaiian names, traditional Hawaiian places, sustainability, Kamehameha I, and Bernice Pauahi Bishop. For educators, there are also online Hawaiian culture courses that are eligible for Hawaii Department of Education Professional Development credit.
* Health and fitness: Many hospitals and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) offer free and low-cost classes about health, fitness, maternity, chronic conditions, and more. Check your health insurance provider for classes near you.
* Hobbies and fitness: Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation offers free and fee classes for all ages. Adults can sign up for everything from aerobics, zumba, aikido, belly dancing, and swimming to ceramics, dance, guitar, hula, ukulele, and yoga. Check the Hawaii County, Kauai, and Maui Parks and Recreation websites for local classes.
Maui: Winston Churchill once said: “I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.” What are you going to learn today?