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Anacortes Senior College

Our Classes

Bilingual at Any Age


with Melanie Dugan

Calendar Apr 30, 2019 at 3:30 pm

This course is designed to dispel the myth that children learn languages better and faster than adults. The contrary is actually true as long as the adult seeks to learn as a child does. This course will not teach a foreign language, but is designed to help you discover the best ways to learn a language on your own using all the resources available. You will learn how to value your mistakes, and design your own learning that best suits your needs and learning style. We will explore some of the current research in language acquisition, learn the benefits of multiple languages on brain elasticity, and explore what holds most people back. With that knowledge, you will have the power to move forward to acquire a second or third language.

Instructor: Melanie Dugan, M.Ed.

Melanie has a passion for language acquisition. She herself acquired Spanish as a second language as an adult. She knows first-hand the challenges and rewards of learning a new language. She has designed and taught dual language programs in the Monroe and Burlington, Washington school districts. She taught bilingual education in Salt Lake City, Utah. She lived in Ecuador for over a year and has taught English as a Second Language both abroad and here in Washington. She has over 34 years of experience as an educator. She raised a bilingual son, documenting his linguistic development. She has studied Linguistics and Language Learning at Washington State University. She presently works as an artist with her husband in Anacortes and teaches Spanish to adults and children in their studio.

Dances of Political Economy


with Michael Newbrough, Ph.D.

Calendar Apr 11, 2019 at 3:30 pm, runs for 6 weeks

Dances of Political Economy


Policy-making games and how they affect our quasi-market economy. We will examine the structural basics of the U.S. government, various economic systems & policies, relative virtues & weaknesses of a free-market economy, and the different roles of government in our economy. Emphasis will be given to the incentives and actions of interest groups and their “dances” with politicians and bureaucrats, a co-dependence that results from human nature and expansive governmental powers. Lots of current events mixed in, also, as usual….

Instructor:  Michael Newbrough, Ph.D.

Michael holds a BA in French and an MA in Political Science from the Univ. of Nevada, and a PhD in Political Science from the Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, and was a Fulbright Scholar (graduate study in International Relations) at l’Université de Paris. He was a professor in the Dep’t of Economics, History, and Political Science at Palomar College in San Marcos,       CA for 30 years. He has found refuge in Anacortes for the last 15 years.

Dive into Padilla Bay’s Eelgrass


with Susan Wood

Calendar Jul 11, 2019 at 3 pm, runs for 3 weeks

Nestled in the heart of the Salish Sea, Padilla Bay is home to one of the largest eelgrass meadows in the United States. At more than 8,000 acres, this forest of seagrass provides critical habitat for hundreds of species such as herring, Dungeness crab, and juvenile salmon. Waterfowl and marine birds also abound. Join educators from the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve as we explore the wonders of the mudflats and eelgrass meadow, and look at processes that drive this unique and important ecosystem. The class will include a field component suitable for all abilities.

Instructors: Susan Wood & Chandler Colahan

Susan Wood has worked at Padilla Bay teaching people of all ages about estuaries since 1988. She has an M Ed degree from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and a BA in Environmental Studies from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. She loves walking through eelgrass, poking around in the mud, and hiking around the forests and shores near her home on South Fidalgo Island.

Chandler Colahan has taught environmental science in the Pacific Northwest since 1999. She has a BA degree in Ocean Science, Education, and Creative Expression from Western Washington University, Fairhaven College. When she is not exploring the mudflats with students, you can often find Chandler exploring the waters of the Salish Sea looking for wildlife.

All classes are held at the Breazeale Interpretive Center, just north of Bayview. The Breazeale Interpretive Center houses an aquarium, exhibits, theater, and library as part of the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

From the stoplight on Highway 20 (at the Farmhouse Restaurant) take Bay View- Edison Road north about 5 miles. The Breazeale Interpretive Center will be on your right, 1/4 mile past Bay View State Park.

Health Fads — Fact or Fiction


with Patricia Downing

Calendar Apr 9, 2019 at 3:30 pm, runs for 3 weeks

Almost every day the media bombards us with some new astounding scientific, sometimes contradictory, advice about our health. Drink coffee. Don’t drink coffee; Eat chocolate. Don’t eat chocolate; Take a daily aspirin. Don’t take aspirin; Everyone should limit salt. Salt restriction is not necessary. Having trouble deciding what to believe? This course provides current, fact-based information about these and other health topics chosen by the instructor and the class – which fads to believe; which ones to ignore; and how to tell the difference. Spoiler Alert: The news about chocolate is getting sweeter and sweeter!

Instructor: Patricia Downing, BSN, MN, R.N.

Patricia Downing is a clinical nurse specialist, and nurse educator with extensive experience in clinical nursing, nursing research, and health education inside and outside of the United States. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Wayne State University and a Master’s degree in Adult Nursing from the University of Washington. Her informal teaching method encourages the active participation of her audience, and makes complex health issues easy to understand.

Full Course

Investing in Stocks and Bonds


with Bill Short

Calendar Apr 11, 2019 at 3:30 pm, runs for 3 weeks

In this course, we will explore the nature of different kinds of investments – cash, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, limited partnerships, etc., examining the characteristics of each. How to develop an Investment Portfolio will also be covered, as will Estate Planning.

Instructor: Bill Short

Bill’s career included experience as a design engineer, aircraft administrator, college instructor in business and economics, restaurant owner, and finally as an independent stockbroker of his own firm for 18 years. Retiring to Anacortes in 1997, Mr. Short enjoys sailing and is active in the Kiwanis Thrift Store. He is serving his fourth term as Anacortes Port Commissioner.

Memorable Forest Insects


with Robert Gara

Calendar Apr 11, 2019 at 3:30 pm, runs for 6 weeks

Of all known types of animals on our planet, 75% are insects—over a million species! First, we will be introduced to the insects and learn how to identify four insect orders. We will examine insect anatomy, forms and functions, and see how insect anatomy is unique. Insects evolved to fit the ecological roles they play, e.g., as beneficial pollinators, predators, herbivores, parasitoides, etc.

We will also discover how forest insects produce severe changes to our forests and we’ll be introduced to specific species that change forest ecosystems.  During our discussions on specific forest insects, we’ll understand how they drastically affect forest management and explore ways to manage pest outbreaks. We will also discover how insects interact and compete with us for food and fiber as well as how they degrade our health and our standard of living.

Instructor: Robert Gara, Ph.D. [Professor Emeritus, Univ. of Washington]

Dr. Gara earned a BS in Forest Management at Utah State University and later worked in East Texas as a forest manager. His M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Entomology are from Oregon State University. He directed a research lab for the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research in Texas, taught forest entomology at the State College of Forestry at Syracuse University and came to the College of Forest Resources, UW, in 1968. He served as a Fulbright Scholar in Chile, Venezuela & Ecuador, consulted as an entomologist for the UN in Vietnam and was the entomologist for an NSF biological expedition to the Kuril Islands. He retired to Anacortes in 2006.

NW Washington Logging – The Past in Picture and Stories


with Eric Erickson

Calendar Apr 9, 2019 at 3:30 pm, runs for 3 weeks

This class will delve into the details of logging from the past: loggers, transportation, and lumber mills in Washington. Highlighted will be the unique all-wheel drive locomotives used for transportation to and from logging camps, the lives of a logger – tools/clothes/camps, and various types of mills (saw, shingle, hoop and shake). Eric will share his vast collection of old photos, historic implements, and stories related to the early twentieth century of logging in the Pacific Northwest.

Instructor: Eric Erickson (and Judy Hakins assisting)

Eric is the author of more than eight logging and sawmill history books and has had 30 years of extensive railroad travel in northwestern America. The retired Manager of Engineering Services for the Seattle Water Dept., he has served as a board member of several history organizations and museums and has presented countless interactive slide shows on logging, sawmilling, and railroad histories in northwestern Washington.

Physiology of Exercise


with Bob Weathers

Calendar Apr 30, 2019 at 3:30 pm, runs for 3 weeks

Human motion imposes demands on all of the body’s systems. This course examines the responses of these systems during acute bouts of physical activity as well as the effects of habitual activity on the functions of these systems. Special emphasis is given to the nervous, endocrine, skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems.

Instructor: Bob Weathers, Ed.D.

After getting a B.A. in art from John Brown University, Bob earned a master’s in physical education from the Univ. of Arkansas, and his doctorate in Exercise Science from Brigham Young University. He then completed a post-doctoral program in the Univ. of Minnesota’s Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene before taking a position at Seattle Pacific University in 1978. During the following 32 years at SPU, Bob led the exercise program and taught a variety of courses – primarily Exercise Physiology and Wellness.

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