By Rebecca Hargus
“It’s never too late to learn something new,” according to the adage, and here at The Scene, we take these words to heart. We strive to stay active, positive, and curious, and we believe our readers strive to do the same. There are many ways to continue learning long after our formal school days are over, and we’d like to share a short list of ways we have found to keep our curiosity peaked and our thinking caps on tight. In other words, we’ve found 8 activities for the lifelong learner in Abilene.
“Do Your Research”
If you loved history class and found research to be exciting, you may consider joining a historical or genealogical society. The Abilene Preservation League actively researches and documents Abilene’s rich history, while The West Texas Genealogical Society welcomes individuals who are curious about researching their family’s origins.
Abilene Preservation League 325-676-3775
“Get Back to Nature”
The Big Country Master Naturalists fosters ongoing learning for their members as well as the community. A training program and curriculum for new members must be completed that includes both field and classroom instruction. Members advance through different levels before obtaining Texas Master Naturalist certification. Advanced training and volunteer service are required to maintain certification.
Application deadline is August 1, 2017
Training held August 8 – October 26
“Keep Your Eyes to the Skies”
Far from city lights, the Abilene State Park often hosts star gazing parties where experts eagerly share their knowledge of the night sky with those willing to learn. Another excellent resource available to the amateur astronomer is the Abilene ISD Planetarium. Also known as the Morgan Jones Planetarium, the venue offers a variety of educational programs to the public throughout the school year.
Morgan Jones Planetarium 325-671-4637
“Take A Bird’s-eye View”
The Big Country Audubon Society is a group promoting awareness and understanding of birds and other wildlife. Members conduct bird counts and scientific projects, as well as enhance their knowledge of bird habitats and birding practices.
Attend a classical concert and be sure to read the program notes. They tell more about the music being played as well as what was going in society and the composer’s life at the time the piece was written. At some concerts, the conductor will give a short educational presentation surrounding the piece before the concert.
“Write the Book on It”
Improve your writing skills by joining the Abilene Writers Guild. They welcome the beginner and seasoned writer alike. The group’s objectives include studying methods of writing and research, developing their talents as writers, and encouraging their fellow members.
Take advantage of the plethora of knowledge our public libraries’ shelves have to offer, and look into the library’s schedule of educational seminars. Also, hobbies of all varieties extend ample opportunities to educate yourself and hone your skills.
If formal education is more your style, auditing a college class may be an option worth exploring. All three of Abilene’s universities allow auditing of classes for a small fee. At the time of this posting, the cost to audit a class at ACU is $35.00; at Mc Murry $50.00; and the cost at HSU is $50.00 per credit hour. While you won’t get a grade or credit on your transcript, homework and assignments are optional! Contact the Registrar’s office at the university you are interested in for more information.