Marco Island, Isles of Capri and nearby environs are full of intelligent, inquiring minds that search out opportunities to be more informed and inspired. Let’s face it, we could be watching past seasons of “Game of Thrones” On Demand to make sense of it before the new series starts, but what would that add to our knowledge, our ability to think creatively and critically, and add scintillating conversation to almost any topic?
Luckily, there are an almost infinite number of local sources to send your intellect to the ionosphere and quench your insatiable thirst for knowledge.
This list is not all-inclusive due to word count limits, so I welcome additional sources for a future article.
• Naples Botanical Garden – Courses about bees, birds, bromeliads, photography, tropical fruit, seasonal decorating topics and more (www.naplesgarden.org).
• Marco Island Center for the Arts – Glass blowing, stone sculpting, paper clay, pastels, watercolor, oils, jewelry making, collage, photography, pottery and more (www.marcoislandart.org).
• Iberia Bank on Marco Island – Health topics (breast cancer, cardiac health, strokes) finance, music, active shooter strategies and more (Laura.email@example.com).
• Marco Island Historical Museum – Art shows, lectures, performing arts, music, displays, photography exhibits, candidate forums, historical artifacts and more (www.themihs.com).
• DPI-SIG-Naples Digital Photography Club meets monthly on the second Thursday in Naples at Florida Southwestern State College. This is a very supportive club with classes, internationally-known speakers, field trips, shared expertise, photo exhibits and judged shows, targeted interest groups (i.e. Photoshop), and more (firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dpi-sig.org).
• The Renaissance Academy (RA) of Florida Gulf Coast University has several locations for classes, including these intriguing titles; Operation Underworld, Archaeology and Ancient Israel, Brain Fitness, An Introduction to Voiceovers, Financial Strategies for Estate Planning, Baseball Legends, Nine Presidents Well Forgotten, Cities at the Center of the Ancient Greek World, Defeating ISIS, and many more choices to stretch your mind including travel, film, computers, iPhone/iPad, writing, photography, music, Mah Jongg, Bridge, opera, ecology, field trips, health, wellness and even more. Go to RegisterRA.fgcu.edu to register or to see the catalog (www.fgcu.edu/racademy). If you become a member of the RA, you save 20% or more on classes. Membership is only $20 for October-December.
• Collier County Schools Adult and Community Education is starting its fall schedule. There are art classes, foreign language, finance, dance, technology, photography, writing, G.E.D. and U.S. Citizen classes and more held at local high schools, afternoons and evenings (email@example.com).
• Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, just up the road, is a treasure trove of learning. Explore the unique environment that surrounds us through naturalist-guided tours by kayak or boat, daily 30-minute walking tours on such topics as manatees, sharks, sea turtles, birds of the beach and the challenges they face while living the coastal life. Drawing, painting, photography, Lunch and Learn lectures and a Master Naturalist certification class will be offered this year on site. Check it out at www.rookerybay.org.
Learn, live it up and enjoy life, hopefully being a more educated, dynamic, informed citizen of our wonderful paradise and worlds beyond. Carpe diem!
Jory Westberry has been a dedicated educator for over 40 years, the last 14 as Principal of Tommie Barfield Elementary, where she left her heart. Life is rich with things to learn, ponder and enjoy so let’s get on with the journey together!