“First Time I’ve Smiled in Two Weeks”

Woman sitting with hands together

Q & A with Instructor Rebecca Gould

As we move into the deep winter months, it’s a good time to consider how we can best care for ourselves, in both mind and body. Qigong is a mind-body-spirit practice featuring regulation of breath, body movement and posture, and meditation. We checked in with Qigong Instructor Rebecca Gould to find out how her own practice has helped her, and her students, weather these pandemic months.


Music as Meditation

Instructor Michael Wilde on Stage Playing Harmonica

Q & A with Instructor Michael Wilde 

Instructor Michael Wilde has been teaching Harmonica with North’s Continuing Ed program for more than two decades. While those many years of experience may not have prepared him to teach during a pandemic, it gives him a depth of experience that comes through loud and clear, even over Zoom. Teaching his class virtually has allowed him to continue sharing his passion with our community of lifelong learners while also sharing a practice of self-care that has recently become even more important.  


One-Time Wonders

Stage and spotlight

Consider the “One-Hit Wonder.” Can you name one? An artist who never returned to the spotlight although their impact and influence carries on through a single contribution.

It is much the same with our “One-Time Wonder” classes...


Opening the Gifts of Creativity

Acrylic painting by Victoria John titled "Awakening Compassion"

By Victoria John

Teaching a Zoom class is like opening a gift. You never know what to expect. My granddaughters gave me the best gift ever, a handmade glitter globe, with the surprise addition of colorful, miniature pom poms. In stillness the glitter is sediment and barely discernable, with the pom poms floating motionless at the top. Shaking gives the globe momentum, and the glitter comes to life, dazzling, as the soft-edged pom poms morph into star-like forms, spinning and swirling in rhythm with the sparkle of the glitter. Such was my experience with teaching “It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again,” a course designed by Julia Cameron, to reignite creativity in midlife or retirement...


Organizing the New Normal: How an Organizer Brought it Home

Wall of CDs

By Rebecca Ross 

A week or two into March I realized that going into others’ homes to work was no longer safe, and perhaps this would be an opportunity to practice what I preach. Life since then, while a bit surreal, has provided some great opportunities for “composing my own domain.”

This is how spring looked for a person who responds to lack of control with paroxysms of organizing. Brace yourselves.


Meet the Expert! Your Guide to Starting a Home Based Food Business

Box of Macaroons

Q & A with Instructor Jennifer Lewis 

Some entrepreneurs start young, selling lemonade on the sidewalk or negotiating better terms for Halloween candy consumption. Instructor Jennifer Lewis was definitely in that club. As a child spending time in a Northern Michigan fishing community, she was selling worms to the fishermen at 5 a.m. before they went out for the day.

We asked Jennifer about her path from being that entrepreneurial 8-year-old to published author, business coach, and Continuing Education instructor.   


Teaching from the Coast of Cornwall

Cornish Harbour

All of our Continuing Ed instructors are teaching remotely this winter as we continue to offer virtual classes, but Vsevolod (Seva) Rzhondkovsky will be especially remote. He was travelling overseas when lockdowns went into effect and now finds himself in Porthoustock in Cornwall, England. Come January, this may very well be from where he welcomes students into his Zoom classroom for Italian I. But while many of us got a crash course in Zoom calls and online learning in March, Seva has been teaching virtual classes for a few years and made the transition with ease. We checked in with Seva and learned more about the benefits of virtual classes, as well as how he approaches the challenges. 


Working in Clay, Now Online!

Hands working in clay

North Seattle College Ceramics Instructor Liz Duarte has been instrumental in shaping the Continuing Education ceramics program into one of unprecedented popularity. Before COVID sent us all home and shuttered the arts studios, our ceramics classes filled up within minutes of registration opening. While we continue to work and learn from home, our instructors have gotten (extra) creative. Liz is teaching Introduction to Ceramic Sculpture this winter and has taught Ceramics for All and Pit Fire Ceramics, all virtually. We checked in with Liz to find out how it’s been going, as well as to learn more about how she came to love ceramics and why it continues to inspire her.


New Classes for Winter Quarter

Text only: New Classes for Winter

We've added some exciting new classes this winter! And as we continue to offer classes in a real-time, virtual format, our classes are designed to bring new experiences, perspectives, and skills to you, wherever you are. Add new recipes to the rotation, learn the history of Jazz, explore the works of Black film makers, take a mind/body break, get to know the incredible hawks that call this region home, and more! With your continued support and input, we're able to develop new learning opportunities each quarter. Share your class suggestions here


What Students Are Saying About Virtual Classes

Speech Bubbles

Continuing Education students often return, quarter after quarter, to repeat classes they enjoy or further develop skills. If we had offered these students the option of a virtual class a year ago, they may have taken a pass. But our curious, adaptable, and dedicated students continue to take classes and create community while fulfilling their learning objectives. Reading over course evaluations since we moved online, we’re starting to understand why that is!


Celebrating Continuing Ed Artists

Four CE Artists

Many of us are missing in-person classes but our Continuing Education artists are finding ways to continue learning and creating through virtual art classes. We are eager to celebrate their creativity (and adaptability!) so we asked students to share what they’ve been creating. These artists generously responded! We hope that their experience and artwork inspire you to pick up your drawing pencils, paintbrushes, camera, or clay and make some art.


Fall Reading Recommendations

Stack of books surrounded by fall leaves

As you’re building your fall and winter reading list, we wanted to share recommendations from a few of our Continuing Education instructors. These books are sure to get you thinking, reflecting, and planning your next project!


Leadership in the face of COVID

Professional woman holding laptop

By Gayle Johnson

COVID has changed the face of leadership. Why? Because COVID has heightened the need for leaders to be emotionally intelligent. At this moment in time, it’s imperative for leaders to understand their emotions, how to manage them, and then how to show up in a supportive way for their staff. Here is what that looks like:


Cloud Computing Basics with AWS Cloud Foundations

Persons hands holding cloud image

By Robert Bunge

Cloud computing is the new normal for information technology. Years ago, when PCs were emerging for the first time, schools used to teach computer literacy courses to explain then-novel skills like how to click on a mouse or how to save a file to a disk. Introductory cloud computing courses like AWS Cloud Foundations play a similar role for the 2020s.


Backyard Birding

Bird in birdbath

Q & A with Instructor Penny Rose

Next time you stop to watch a bird in the yard or listen to its song, take a minute to notice how you feel. Research has shown that interacting with nature can have a relaxing, stress-reducing effect on the body. And while we continue with social distancing, it might be an especially good time to take a moment to notice, welcome, and learn from the birds around us. We asked Backyard Birding Instructor Penny Rose about how she came to be so deeply involved with and committed to birding and what she hopes to share with her students.


Finding New Revenue Streams as a Musician with Ed Hartman

Instructor Ed Hartman

Today, songwriters, composers, and bands are navigating their careers through a very challenging musical and economic landscapes. Because of streaming and the virtual elimination of physical media (CDs), it has become tremendously challenging to make a living as a recording artist. Most performers make more money selling merchandise that selling tickets. As bad as all of that sounds, there is one part of the music industry that is thriving, and the entry point is open to anyone.  


The Philosophy of Yoga: Beyond the Poses

Buddhist statue with flowers

Q & A with Yoga Instructor Tara Bernstein

Many of us have taken a yoga class or at least googled “yoga for a stiff back.” What else is there to know? Turns out, a lot! The physical poses of yoga are just one aspect, or “limb,” of yoga. We asked instructor Tara Bernstein about her path to becoming a yoga teacher and how yoga philosophy informs her practice.


Astrology for Personal Growth

Woman holding astrology mug

Q & A with Instructor Amanda Moreno

You may think you know what Astrology is all about from reading your weekly horoscope. But Instructor Amanda Moreno is ready to introduce astrology as a tool that can provide a broad perspective on the events in our lives and the world in Astrology for Personal Growth Part 1. 


Capturing the City in Creative Writing: City Fiction

Silhouette of figure on city street at dusk

By Nels Challinor

I am thrilled to be teaching Creative Writing: City Fiction at North Seattle College in the Fall. This course will focus on how identities and communities are shaped by the urban landscape and vice versa. My identity as a writer blossomed in this landscape. I began writing seriously while an undergraduate student at Boston University and eventually earned my Master’s in Creative Writing at the University of Westminster in London.


Film Making for Fun with Instructor Mark Weber

Seated person being filmed speaking

Have you ever heard a compelling story and thought someone should turn it into a film? Or thought an important issue should be highlighted through a short documentary? Film is an incredibly powerful way to tell a story. But there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes of a captivating film.


What to Read Next: Recommendation

Person selecting book from shelf.

By Christina Chang

For me books are about ideas that lead me to other books of ideas, which then inform, develop and amplify the ideas of the original book, and so on and so forth--it's a rabbit hole in the best sense of that term! In this uneasy and extended reality, a rabbit hole I happily dive down, head first, and what has kept me seeing straight and maintaining perspective. So diving down...

What book do you recommend and why? 


2020 Student Art Exhibition People's Choice Award Winner

Greigel with charcoal art work

Joseph Géigel's charcoal piece, “Fuego Bajo Luna”, inspired many admiring comments and even more votes for the People’s Choice Award in the North Seattle College Continuing Education 2020 Student Art Exhibition. 


Better Together: Getting Strong with Partner Workouts

Sit-up and leg pedals with a partner
For many of us, staying healthy during quarantine has required creativity and ingenuity. Cans of soup turned into weights, fitness apps abounded, and some people even made treadmills out of soap and water. Those of us who live with a partner or roommate have yet another fitness opportunity: partner workouts—but not the kind you normally see. We spoke to Carolyn Brenith about the benefits of working out together, in preparation for her class Stronger Together: A Partners Workout.

Journaling for Health

smiley after writing in journal

By Leslie J. Hall

Lately, we've all spent a lot of days at home. Some of us have extra time on our hands, others are learning to work with their children, pets, and/or spouses nearby. We are living through an unprecedented time, often filled with fear, anger, skepticism, and questions about our economic future; a great deal of burden on us, pressure in the face of uncertainty.

One way to process experiences and feelings is to write about them. Even if you aren't a writer, keeping a journal gives you a safe place to rant, cry, question, and investigate your experiences.


Four Beautiful Reasons to Celebrate

Exhibition Opening Slide

Students in North Seattle College's Continuing Education program were invited to submit artwork to be included in the 6th Annual Student Art Exhibition. We received well over 100 terrific works that had been produced in a North Seattle College Continuing Education art class. After many hours of deliberation, our jurors selected three Jurors' Choice winners and one Honorable Mention. Allow us to introduce you to these talented artists, their experiences, and inspiration.