Q: I think it's great that you live in an area where everyone seems to
be doing some kind of learning for enrichment and not "just" career
advancement. I'm all for the latter, but I regret that during the past 20
years, adult ed has moved away from liberal learning and personal enrichment.
I remember comparing older and newer editions of both the New School and NYU
continuing ed bulletins, and seeing for myself how their content had evolved
away from the arts, current events, etc., and more towards career development &
skills. No doubt this is a function of student demand, and I certainly can't
fault anyone for wanting to better their lot in life, but I think that the
personal enrichment courses are a good partial response to the Yuppie midlife
lament of "Is that all there is?"
A:our college offers some of the career-enhancement continuing ed classes, too, but far more fun stuff. You see, the BUSINESS here in Los Alamos is SCIENCE, and there is a serious degree bias. Continuing ed classes don't apply to any degree requirements, so why bother with anything career related? OTOH, by the time people get here they have already spent 4, 6, 8 and more years in college, and that is how they seem to have always met people and filled their time. They move to Los Alamos, find out the town rolls up its sidewalks at sunset, so they sign up for a class to meet people. Monster Muffins is a good one, taught by the owner of a local B&B. Historic Horse Trails is fun, too, for weekend outdoorsmen. Since a major factor in people taking these classes is the social contact, I agree that DL just isn't the right medium for much of continuing ed. In our case the continuing education that is going on is social skills education. Science geeks are notoriously socially inept