Registration is now open for the Spring Term of community education classes from Oregon Coast Community College, starting on March 30 and covering everything from car care to classes on mythology’s most powerful goddesses.

These noncredit classes, designed more for entertainment and personal enrichment than anything else, are open to anyone in the county — taught by local residents excited to share their skills and passions in an eclectic variety of disciplines.

Some of the classes in the Spring lineup are old favorites — “Acoustic Guitar” with Richard Paris, “Zen Meditation” with Joe Armenio and “Birding on the Oregon Coast” with Laura Doyle and Caren Willoughby.

Scattered throughout the new edition of “Catch the Wave,” the noncredit course schedule being mailed to all county residences, are a number of brand-new courses and workshops, along with some newly revamped classes freshened up for Spring 2020. Among these changes is the college’s popular astronomy series, which helps people with dusty old telescopes hidden away in closets learn to reassemble them and put them to use. The series will be offered at the college’s South County Center in Waldport for the first time this spring, as instructor Sifan Kahale heads south for everything from the very basics to showing off some amazing telescope automation and astrophotography skills that anyone willing to invest in some new equipment can take advantage of.

A bountiful harvest of optionsNew drivers — and, let’s be honest, 95 percent of the rest of us — should take “Basic Car Care for Roadside Emergencies,” offered on May 15 in Lincoln City, a course designed to quickly teach participants how to change a flat when they’re out of cell range, how to install chains, check fluids and tire pressure, identify various parts under the hood, and much more.

There are plenty of places you can find yourself out of cell range in our spectacular surroundings, which includes many roads and trails throughout the UNESCO Cascade Head Biosphere Reserve. What’s that, you ask? Well, depending on where you’re reading this, you might be in it right now. Comprised of Cascade Head, the Salmon River, the Cascade Head Marine Reserve, Otis and most of Lincoln City, the UNESCO Cascade Head Biosphere Reserve is a special place to live and work. This free workshop on April 7 in Lincoln City offers an introductory look at Oregon’s only biosphere reserve — and how it can enrich your business and your life.

The Biosphere workshop is led by Paul Robertson, who is pulling double duty this spring, as he brings back his popular mussel harvesting class. Held on the beach in Lincoln City on April 13, the class teaches participants how to safely and responsibly collect mussels from the local tide pools. Best of all, the class includes not only harvesting, but right-there-on-the-beach preparation of a fresh batch of sautéed mussels, making this by far the tastiest course in the Spring lineup. Participants must have a valid Oregon Shellfish License — easily available at Eleanor’s Undertow, Bi-Mart, Fred Meyer, Englund Marine and many other locations in the county.

If you’d rather flex your muscles than harvest mussels, there’s a large lineup of fitness and aqua-fitness courses featured in the “Catch the Wave” publication, offered in conjunction with the Parks and Recreation departments in Newport and Lincoln City. Register and pay for these courses at their respective locations.

From terrorism to mythological treasuresSener Otrugman, who first came to Lincoln County as a high school exchange student from Turkey, has made a life here on the Oregon Coast. The veteran community ed instructor has taught Turkish Culture courses as well as fly fishing (which he’s also offering this term). However, this spring he’s tackling a weighty topic from his own unique perspective, leading a course called “Terrorism: Past and Present” running from April 21 through June 9 in Lincoln City. He plans to lead discussions in the group to explore terrorism — its roots, causes, purposes and meaning.

Meanwhile, art instructor Katia Kyte is back by popular demand, offering a new “Create Your Own Mandala” course on May 21 in Lincoln City. Kyte’s course seems a perfect counterbalance to Otrugman’s series on terrorism, as she writes her workshop will “help you relax, bring a sense of calm into your life and lower your anxiety level. Mandala is a great tool to use for emotional expression, self-healing and self-exploration.”

Another way to reduce anxiety and stress? Get your financial house in order.

That’s where Wendy Ludwig comes in, with yet another new course for spring — “Mind Over Money” running from April 21 through May 12 in Newport.

Are you tired of living paycheck to paycheck? Good money habits can be the difference between barely making ends meet and building real financial security. Ludwig’s series offers an excellent foundation for young adults but is meant to be useful for anyone, at any stage of life. This class will help participants understand how to take control of their money, step by step, including how to create and use a monthly budget, how to master smart spending (and saving), and how to manage debt and build credit worthiness.

With your financial woes addressed, you’ll be free to lose yourself in ancient tales of powerful women, in the latest new class led by Sharon Beardsley. “Gallery of Goddesses,” running from March 30 through April 27 in Newport, will feature readings and discussions about powerful female figures in mythology. Beginning with the mysterious prehistoric European Mother Goddess in many of her incarnations, the class will embark on a cross-cultural survey of female deities, some obscure, others known and treasured, especially by ancient history buffs, as well as fans of trivia and crossword puzzles. There will be no homework, no exams — just an opportunity to stimulate inquiring minds and enjoy a celebration of real Girl Power.

A watershed momentThis spring marks a watershed moment for Oregon Coast Community College Community Education efforts, in terms of its enhanced partnerships with local and regional partners. The local Parks and Recreation courses cited above are one example of this, as is a brand-new series presented by the college in cooperation with the Salmon Drift Creek Watershed Council and the Oregon State University Extension.

The series is dubbed “Watersheds, Water Quality & Salmon” and tackles all three topics with a series of lectures from experts as well as a watershed tour field trip. From April 9 to 25 in Lincoln City, participants will learn about the interplay between streams, forests and other landscapes, and how those interactions affect water quality and life below the surface. The course is aimed at newcomers and everyone interested in learning more about our local ecology and the needs and efforts to protect it. No prior scientific experience necessary.

Registration for any of these courses — and the many more not listed here that are also on offer this Spring at Oregon Coast Community College — is available online at oregoncoastcc.org/communityed. Or, call Tonia Anderson or Shirley Hill at college’s North County Center in Lincoln City, 541-996-6222.

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