Lifelong Learning Classes

Register for these programs: by phone (507-664-3700), in person at FiftyNorth, or by clicking on the title of the class

Please pre-register and check-in for all classes no matter your membership levels. It is also important to check-in at the front desk when you arrive for your class.  We use attendance data for grant applications, insurance reimbursement, space planning and determining whether or not to cancel a class.
Scholarships are available to help defray the cost of classes for those who find the cost a financial hardship.
If you are interested in teaching a Lifelong Learning class or if you have an idea for a new class offering, please contact Patty Ciernia at 664-3709

Sharing Travels: Antarctica, Falkland Islands and South Georgia

Wednesday, September 28
10:30-12:00pm

Mark and Bev Lenci will share their recent National Geographic Antarctic, Falkland Islands, South Georgia Expedition Cruise. Traveling with a team of scientists for three weeks, aboard the National Geographic Resolution, they encounter this otherworldly place close-up, gliding around enormous tabular icebergs by Zodiac or kayak, and walking along beaches peppered with penguins and seals. They traveled alongside a team of biologists, geologists, and undersea specialists who offered insights and presentations throughout the trip. They observed a range of penguin and whale species, as well as seals and seabirds, and photographed them alongside the onboard photo instructor and National Geographic photographer.
They traced the riveting story of Shackleton’s fateful expedition on South Georgia , was immersed in a sea of black and white amid thousands of king penguins, learned about the pioneer outposts of Port Stanley in the Falklands (Islas Malvinas) and the former military base of Port Lockroy in Antarctica.

The presentation will include the viewing of a 35-minute video that was created during their trip by National Geographic photographers which includes their many explorations and live underwater scenes – time for Q&A following.

Presenters: Patty Ciernia, program coordinator at FiftyNorth invited her brother Mark and sister-in-law Bev to share their recent trip while visiting Northfield. Mark is a retired Navy nuclear submarine Captain. He and Bev are avid world travelers.
Capacity:  25
Cost: $9 nonmbr, $7 mbr, $0 platinum
Space:  Room 103

Ukulele for Non-Dummies!

Tuesdays, October 4, 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15, 22
4:00-4:45pm

Have you always wanted to learn to play the ukulele? Then this is the class for you! We will begin by covering basic playing techniques, including tuning, chording, strumming and finger picking patterns. Then we will move on to playing well-known folk, popular, and rock songs. Most people do not realize what lovely music this beautiful Hawaiian instrument is capable of creating. The goal is to give you a foundation to take off and keep learning on your own.
Bring your own ukulele and prepare to wow and amaze your friends!
(8 sessions)

Instructor: Randy Ferguson
Capacity:  max 8, min 6
Cost: $65 nonmbr, $50 mbr, $0 platinum
Space:  Room 103

Introduction (or return) to the Guitar

Tuesdays, October 4, 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15, 22
5:00-5:45pm

If you have always wanted to play the guitar, (or would like to return to it after a few decades), this is for you! By the time this class is finished, you will have become an accomplished folk singer or rock star, (at least in your own mind)! In this introductory class, you will learn basic guitar techniques, including chording in different keys, strumming and finger picking, as well as a few famous lead guitar riffs, (you will be surprised at how simple some of these are). We will also be playing several songs in different styles, such as folk, pop, and rock. In addition, we will discuss several different types of guitars and techniques of playing. The goal is to give you a foundation to take off and keep learning on your own.
Bring your own guitar for a fun filled Fall of music!
(8 sessions)

Instructor: Randy Ferguson
Capacity:  max 8, min 6
Cost: $65 nonmbr, $50 mbr, $0 platinum
Space:  Room 103

Finger Style Ukulele

Tuesdays, October 4, 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15, 22
6:00-6:45pm

The ukulele is a wonderful instrument that can do so much more than play chords and accompany singing. In this class, you will learn how to use finger picking to play solos on the uke, starting with simple melodies, combining them with the chords and ending up with delightful musical
pieces. We will learn several arrangements, including folk songs, blues, (simple, but impressive), as well as Christmas carols for the holiday season! An ability to play several chords is required, (but don’t let that scare you).
Bring your own ukulele and prepare to expand your ukulele horizons!
(8 sessions)

Instructor: Randy Ferguson
Capacity:  max 8, min 6
Cost: $65 nonmbr, $50 mbr, $0 platinum
Space:  Room 103

Date and time change….

Environmental Awareness Campaign

Tuesday, October 4
2:30-3:30pm

In 2016, I was walking along an oceanfront beach when I saw a tree being strangled by plastic—literally choked by discarded bags and bottles. The sight of it changed my life. The vast majority of plastic trash that wasn’t caught in the trees had already blown into the ocean.
Beyond my obvious disgust, I found this sight an ironic symbol of the plastic phenomenon that has evolved over the course of my own lifetime of convenience. Single-use plastics entered the consumer scene in the mid-1960s as a modern convenience. Since that time, plastic bags, bottles, packaging, cups, containers, wrappers, and Styrofoam have infiltrated every facet of our daily existence, while 63% of modern clothing is made from plastic.
Despite their convenience, these items ultimately break down into micro pellets. Microplastic is found in every marine species down to the tiniest plankton in the deepest ocean trenches and on top of Mt. Everest. In recent months, microplastics have been found in human blood and lungs.
Overwhelmed by my paradoxical life of convenience, I try to eliminate plastic consumption wherever possible. But with the trash that continues to creep into my home I decided to create artwork as a therapeutic way to delay the inevitable.
My decades of experience as a fashion designer made textiles/gowns seem like an obvious medium to experiment with, however the emotional challenge is palpable. Each piece is both satisfying and depressing. It is my hope that this exhibit inspires humans to demand ore for our world.

Presenter: Dina Fesler
Capacity: 25
Cost: $9 nonmbr, $7 mbr, $0 platinum
Space:  Room 103
Dina Fesler is a fashion designer and environmental activist who lives in the Northfield area.

Northfield Public Broadcasting

Monday, October 10
1:30-2:30pm

Come learn about your local public television station! Sam Temple, Station Manager for Northfield Public Broadcasting, will be showcasing NPB’s current programming and explaining their production process. He will also share the community submission policy and how anyone can watch NPB videos. Join us! Learn how you can enjoy and support your local public television station.

Presenters: Sam Temple, Station Manager at NPB
Capacity:  25
Cost: FREE
Space:  Room 103

Medicare 101

Monday, October 17
1:00-3:30pm

Learn about Medicare Parts A, B, C and D and additional insurance options. We’ll help you understand the enrollment process and options that affect personal costs. This class presented by Jerry Roberts from the Southeast Minnesota Area Agency on Aging/Senior Linkage Line (SEMAAA/SLL), will help you understand more about this program, how to get the most from your Medicare benefits, and the how to make choices for supplement parts C and D.

Pre-registration is required.
Instructor:  Jerry Roberts
Capacity:  24 max, 10 min.
Cost: Free

Lin Bruce Motivational Talk: “Engaging While Ageing”

Friday, October 21
10:00-11:00am

Avid cyclist Lin Bruce has cycled across America coast to coast, and has ventured to other countries to carry on her love for cycling.  Using stories of the cross-country bicycle adventures she began at age 60, Lin inspires and encourages people to reach beyond their perceived limitations. She will share her unfolding awareness with change and challenge as she continues her personal stretch with biking.

Lin will boost your moral, encourage your inner self, and build your confidence as she uses her own trials and tribulations that she has overcome in her life.

Presenter:  Lin Bruce
Capacity:  30
Cost:  Free
Space: Room 103

CPR and First Aid

Tuesday, November 1
9:00am-12:00pm

Students will receive expert training in First Aid and Basic Life Support CPR (adult) including Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). This 3-hour class includes instruction, demonstrations and hands-on activities and culminates in the students earning an American Heart Card. It is appropriate training for Certified Nurse Assistants, healthcare workers, childcare workers, teachers, instructors, and volunteers. Many health care facilities require this training of their employees.

Instructor:  Jon Bolster
Capacity:  10
Cost:  $72 nonmbr, $65 mbr, $0 platinum

WWII Iconic & Women of War presentations Pencil drawings

Thursday, November 10
1:00-3:00pm

Al Smith features his “The Vietnam Experience” collection of poster sized pencil drawings with a table top display and power-point presentation.
Smith drew soldiers and captured vivid aspects of their life in the face of war. His drawings reflect deep emotions like fear, doubt, anxiety, fatigue and dread. He created his collection of 35 poster-sized drawings in a 3-month period and had the opportunity to display and present his drawings across southern Minnesota at History Centers, Schools, Churches, Art Centers, Libraries, Veterans Round-Table programs, Assisi Heights, Exchange Clubs, Rotary Clubs, etc.
Since completing his “Vietnam Experience” program, Smith has also created over 150 other poster sized drawings and created “WAR HEROES”, “WOW-Women of War” and “WW2/iconic” and “The Seals” programs. He has been invited back by popular demand on several occasions for presentations of these new programs.
Smith considers it an honor and a privilege to show his drawings and it is one way he honors all veterans.
After retiring from the advertising business, he and his wife moved to Owatonna. Al has been very active since and is a columnist for the Owatonna Peoples Press.

Presenter: Al Smith
Capacity: 30
Cost: $9 nonmbr, $7 mbr, $0 platinum