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Adult Learners Institute announces classes for winter/spring

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Joan Gaughan for the information in this story.)

The holiday decorations have been put away. The kids’ toys have either been abandoned or broken or both. And, your diet went south a long time ago, but you didn’t.

So what’s next?

Winter Adult Learners Institute (ALI) classes, of course.

Beginning Feb. 24, veteran instructors as well as exciting newcomers are waiting for the chance to stimulate your curiosity, expand your intellectual horizons and assist you in coping with another Michigan winter.

And there are no crowded malls, no cards to send, no stale fruit cake to throw away, no canned music.

But wait…there is music. And, it isn’t canned. A class in Russian ballet (think Diaghilev) and another joyful four-part course in  musical theater will prepare you for an explosion — 22,000 bulbs in David Mastie’s locally famous garden or inspire you to take a virtual nature walk in early May.

If a discussion of Jane Austen’s novels doesn’t make you sit up straight and proper, a good dose of ancient Mesopotamian mythology should do the trick. However, Mesopotamia isn’t the only place we visit. There is also an excursion into Brazil’s history and culture, one to our national parks, another into the history of modern India and still another into five key Great Lakes islands.

A visit to northwest Alaska provides an intriguing look at the impact of the oil industry on a village of Inupiaq Eskimos. Closer to our own roads and highways is an examination of how we have traveled in Washtenaw County as we examine everything from stagecoaches to gas stations and car dealerships. That’s right— car dealerships.

The most fascinating continent we can ever visit is, of course, our own inner selves. ALI offers a way to understand how our senses and feed information to our brains. What we do with that information is another story, of course, but the class on evolution helps us answer some of the most interesting and puzzling questions we ever ask: How did we get like this?  Why do we behave this way?  And not that way?

And why are we sometimes nasty to one another?  That question might lead one to investigate the class on religion and violence.

ALI offers two classes designed to calm the savage beast that Christmas stress may have left behind. Practical meditation techniques are offered in the class on Mindfulness, Meditation and Movement, and the Mood Lifters will be useful in curing the winter blahs.  

The body needs food, too, and ALI offers a class in cooking with herbs and without salt, which will go hand in hand with a class in discovering uses for the herbs you can grow in your own garden. (A hint: yes, the smell of rosemary can improve your memory.)

The role of Chinese food, including the surprising and humorous story of General Tso’s chicken and discovering where fortune cookies were invented will perhaps then induce you to savor the class on desserts … old ones … from the 1920s.

Classes meet once a week from Feb. 24 until mid-May at sites in the Chelsea-Dexter area and are generally for a one to three- or four-week span. Bulletins with more complete descriptions of the Winter/Spring classes can be found at the Manchester District Library and the CRC as well as at several other locations in the area.

Registration is by mail only and the forms can be found within the bulletins as well as online at

You may also call us to request a catalog at (734) 292-5540.

Tuition fees range from $10 to $30 depending on the number of meetings and there is a $10 registration fee which is accepted throughout the semester as long as space is available.

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