ElderCollege brightens up winter blahs

By Marlene Robertson

I don’t know what it is about February, but it’s always been a ‘down’ month for me.

Perhaps it’s because even with our mild winters, this particular month seems to crawl, dawdle, drag and never end.

I find myself looking at gardening books, planning mini get-a ways, and just generally wanting spring to hurry up and get here with no detours along the way.

I suspect I’m not alone.

Since it’s too early to garden and not quite the mini get-away season what can we do to make ourselves feel better? How about a mid-winter lift and the gift of lifelong learning at Vancouver Island University ElderCollege?

The spring course calendar is full of surprises, but what really caught my eye was the Saturday Speakers Series entitled How Healthy Is Our Health-care System?

This series of six informative presentations covers everything from the international perspective of the Canadian health-care system, to the economics of healthcare, health-care professionals, pharmaceuticals, sustainability and senior’s care.

The program is at the VIU Nanaimo campus and runs Feb. 23 to April 6, 10:30 a.m. until noon. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to educate yourself on the workings of our health-care system.

Some other interesting courses being offered during March include First World War Poetry – Soldier Poets. This course shows how the modern perception of the First World War has been influenced by the work of a few combatant poets and will examine the ‘soldier poet’ phenomenon.

Instructor Elizabeth Marsland makes this part of our history come alive and presents it in a totally captivating way.

Another subject that holds a lot of interest for most of us as we celebrate yet another birthday is health and aging. Various health professionals cover a variety of subjects and answer a lot of questions we may have as we toddle off into the unknown.

Another March course that really piques my interest is living with purpose and passion.

I’m counting on instructor Stephanie Peter to send me in the right direction to achieve just that. We’re all unique and special, and this course will help us discover our personal strengths, hidden abilities and set us on the track to a more fulfilling life.

Chess for beginners is also starting in March. I met the course instructor in passing last year, and based on that one brief meeting, I guarantee not only will participants learn the basics of chess, but have a great time doing it.

So what are you waiting for?

Sign up now, and remember to keep an eye open for the announcement of our May semester short courses, which will offer a different learning experience.

Check the VIU ElderCollege calendar for more course outlines. Or for more information and to register, please call 1-866-734-6252 or e-mail

Know what? I’m beginning to think February might not be so bad after all.

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