Education classes receive rave reviews:
Professor Constantin Boundas and Professor Emeritus Finn Gallagher have nothing but good things to say about Trent’s continuing education courses. Both men taught a session this fall and were very happy with the level of dialogue that surfaced in their courses.
"We had 33 people registered in the ‘Philosophers Look at Religion’ course," says Prof. Boundas. "There is sometimes an initial reluctance to approach philosophy - some think it is too esoteric. But every time we offer something there’s large interest. In Oshawa our courses are well subscribed and this course we just offered here was also very successful."
Trent’s continuing education program is driven by Lisa Clark, who has organized classes that run the gamut from gardening and Shakespeare to genetics and business development. All of these courses are of the non-credit variety and are aimed at people who want to engage in meaningful study and discussion. A love of life-long learning is the key element, it seems, among participants.
In the seven-week philosophy course facilitated by Prof. Boundas, a majority of students were in their 50s, although there were several participants on the younger, and older, end of that demographic group. A diversity of employment experience, backgrounds and opinions were represented.
"Philosophy raises questions that aren’t always comfortable," smiles Prof. Boundas, "but everyone in the class was very open-minded. They really wanted to hear about what the philosophers we were studying had to say."
Prof. Boundas adds that he feels continuing education is a positive addition to what Trent has to offer the local community: "It helps Trent live up to its motto, to bring town and gown together. It also helps the University fulfill one of its major obligations - to encourage continuing education."
Prof. Gallagher, who taught "Shorts with a Twist: Irish Short Stories (Male Voices)" in the last session, agrees. He retired five years ago, and was thrilled to be back in the classroom. As well, he was pleased with the quality of the students who enrolled in the course.
"It was just a joy and I think this (continuing education) is a splendid idea," says Prof. Gallagher. He adds that the people in his class were very diverse, including doctors, lawyers, teachers and interested community members. "One man, on the first night, told me this was the first time he’s seen a university, except in pictures. He had been at sea most of his life and had some Irish background. He was definitely a full-fledged member of the course and had some good things to contribute," says Prof. Gallagher.
The next session of continuing education classes begins in late January, 2003. Prof. Gallagher will be teaching part two of the Irish short story class, called "More Shorts with a Twist: Irish Stories (Female Voices)." There are dozens of other courses available, as well, and a catalogue can be obtained from the JBC office in Blackburn Hall.
Photo: Philosophy Professor Constantin Boundas was very pleased with the interest recently shown in "Philosophers Look at Religion," a non-credit continuing education course which ran this fall at Trent.
Posted December 5, 2002