A sad goodbye to the CEP

A week or two ago, I received a letter from Ann Strybis, one of the organisers of the Continuing Education Programme that has been running at the nearby Pinelands High School for 22 years! Isn’t that extraordinary?

For the first three terms of every year, they offered a large variety of courses; some were once-off presentations on a particular topic, while others were a series of lessons. Topics included languages (I recall seeing French, Italian and Xhosa), cooking, exercise (social dancing, yoga and Nia), gardening, house and home related topics, digital photography, and various arts and crafts.

Every term offered at least a handful of courses that sounded intriguing enough to sign up! And you would be sure to meet and soon befriend a couple of locals who shared the same interests as you. An easy camaraderie developed among the participants, particularly in the classes that ran for a couple of sessions.

It was wonderful to get out a bit in the evenings, particularly when you had a rough day at work, to meet like-minded people, to learn something new or to acquire a new skill.  The longer sessions usually had a tea break, during which everyone would rush off to fill their cups at the urn, chattering away among each other like a bunch of excited school children. I loved it!

I/we attended a couple of the classes, some of which I blogged about:

There were others, but I didn’t have time to blog about all of them.

Earlier this year, my friend Kim signed up with me for another digital photography course. We had a fantastic time and learnt sooo much about our cameras and about what makes good photos. We were really looking forward to a follow-up course in the next year. Richard participated in an introductory Yoga class at the beginning of the year, and promptly decided to continue with the Yoga lessons because he enjoyed them so much.

Consequently, we were saddened to hear that the organisers had decided to end the programme. Hopefully someone, somehow, sometime, will re-start it again.

In retrospect, I wish we had attended A LOT MORE of the classes they offered, but we took it for granted that they would always be offered again in the future.

I guess this is a timely reminder not to postpone the things you really want to do.

6 thoughts on “A sad goodbye to the CEP

  1. We used to have a Community School Board here that offered similar types of classes. I used to teach drawing and calligraphy classes with them. They closed their doors several years ago. They made great use of classroom space in the evenings and offered all the benefits that you mentioned. It is a shame that they don’t exist anymore.

    We still have a few classes offered through the Recreation Department but they don’t have a mandate to actually ‘teach’ something to the students.

    • I shall hold thumbs for you that such courses will be offered in your area soon. I guess, though, that organising such continuing education programmes requires a great deal of commitment and dedication, not necessarily with much financial benefit, and that it is more a labour of love than a profitable undertaking.

  2. Dear Reggie & Richard,

    Many thanks for the kind words in your e-mail that I received via the school. It’s nice to know that you enjoyed the courses which were presented over the years.

    It’s a pity that all good things must come to an end sometime but let’s hope that someone else will pick up where I left off.

    It was wonderful meeting so many people, many of whom have become personal friends. I know that when the word gets out that the courses have being discontinued, the “regulars” will be very disappointed. What will they do with themselves in the evenings!

    Regards, Ann

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