Edmonton Lifelong Learners expand learning options

By Deborah Forst

Harry Wagner is Chair of Program Development at ELLA. 

(Edmonton) – Harry Wagner, a retired teacher, has always been interested in learning.  When his cousin recommended that Edmonton Lifelong Learners Association (ELLA) had some interesting courses, he registered for his first spring session.  That was 10 years ago, and what he liked about it then, he still likes about it now: the diversity of courses available.

“I took Tai Chi, a class on the oil sands, social media, and photography… and just loved it” claims Harry.  “You can follow your heart and take courses in areas that interest you, or delve into subjects that you have no background or experience in, just to find out more. Last year I took a course on insects, and I have no science background.”

Now Harry is the Chair of the Program Development Committee that determines the courses offered during the winter online and upcoming spring session at the University of Alberta. “I think what sets ELLA apart is it’s entirely a volunteer-driven organization. Our committees look at suggestions from our members to identify topics that might be possible. The speakers are people in our community who have interesting things to say.”

New to the ELLA’s spring session is a class on Archeology in Alberta, plus Introduction to Cults, and Inuit Literature and Arts. Returning favourites are What’s Behind the Barn Door?:  issues in animal agriculture in Alberta complete with field trips, and Wonders of the Night Sky for people curious about the stars above. There are nearly 40 courses available covering intellectual, artistic, and physical-activity realms.

Harry acknowledges it’s a bit of a commitment to travel to the University to take classes, but the payoff is the positive social aspect. “It’s a chance to socialize with people who have similar interests. And we’ve responded to people’s needs. Maybe you can’t commit to a full day, but the morning is available. Now you can register for 2, 3 or 4 courses – whatever works for you.”

What works for Harry is the continuing opportunity to learn. “It’s so important for all of us to remain curious and engage in lifelong learning. At least it is for me.”

The Edmonton Lifelong Learners Association (ELLA) Spring Session runs weekdays from April 29 to May 17 at the University of Alberta campus. To register, and for more information, visit my-ella.com.


Be the first to comment on "Edmonton Lifelong Learners expand learning options"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.