SUMMERSIDE – Over cups of coffee, Wanda Noonan and Wendell Cameron discuss their recent class at the Seniors College of P.E.I.
Noonan has been taking courses at the college for about 10 years, while Cameron has been attending the past three years.
“I went to the college kicking and screaming. My partner had a stroke and wanted to go to the legacy project so I went to help. I’ve been going ever since.”
The legacy project, is a writing class where people can write their life stories.
Noonan enjoys going to Seniors College because of the environment and learning opportunities.
“It provides a chance to learn new things with no pressure, exams or studying. You get to meet new people and share conversations. You can even learn new perspectives on old topics.”
In 2018 the Seniors College will celebrate its 20th birthday.
The college began operating in 1998 and started with a curriculum of three courses. Now it features about 100.
“Learning is a life-long process. You’re never too old to learn. Being a part of it has made me realize I like to learn more now than I ever did as a teenager,” said Noonan.
Cameron added, “Just because you turn 65 doesn’t mean your life stops. We all want things to do and most of us always have a desire to learn.”
One thing that encourages the two to return year after year are the knowledgeable facilitators who teach the courses.
“It’s night and day, compared to regular schooling. Everyone has a little bit of knowledge about all kinds of things and those teaching us can answer our questions and want us to engage in the class with them,” said Noonan.
Georgina Clow, president of the college, says the facility is a treasured resource because it allows seniors to stay socially connected and allows a way for them to be socially, physically and mentally active.
“Our facilitators are also a fountain of knowledge. They share information from their field of experience but there is a level of respect they have for participants in the class. People aren’t expected to come in, sit down and be quiet; they are invited to participate and share as well.”
Each year about 30 per cent of the courses are cycled through and new courses come in while steadfast favourites remain.
“We have strictly academic courses to yoga to how to use an iPad. There is something for everyone.”