Music and Self-Esteem: Improvising With Confidence

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Instructor: Keith Bush
Date: Wednesdays, March 12, 19, 26, 5-6 PM (3 sessions)
Location: Band Room, Whitcomb High School, Bethel, VT
Requirements: An instrument, basic understanding of reading music, and being able to play at least one song well. Only one piano student allowed. Commitment to playing at home in between classes.


Learn to make mistakes with confidence.  Explore the ideas behind improvisation and self-expression.  Bring your instruments and we will learn one song in which improvisation will be a part.  Also learn how to have the basic nuts and bolts needed to create your own melodies. Children and adults 10 and up. Some music experience.  That means a basic understanding of reading music and being able to play at least one song well on your instrument.  Bring your instruments and any books that you have been using to learn.  Because of limited time I will only be teaching one student on the piano.  You will need to be committed to playing at home on the material assigned to you.

Instructor Bio:
Keith Bush has been playing and teaching music in the Upper Valley for 12 years.  He has studied music for 32 years and has trained in music all through high school and college.  He did not finish college but have enough experience to teach this class.

Smoke Your Own BBQ!

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Instructor: Dan Prestridge, Manager at Applebees’ Bar & Grill
Date: Tuesday, March 18, 7-8:30 PM (1 session)
Location: 228 River Street, Bethel, VT
Requirements: Participants must sign a general liability release.

In this course you will learn techniques for smoking pork and beef. Dan will also talk about flavor, moisture, smoke rings, tenderness, and meat selection and cut. You’ll also get to sample some great BBQ!

Instructor Bio:
Dan has been in the restaurant industry for over twenty years. While living in Memphis, he teamed up with BBQ teams to compete in several Memphis Barbeque Network and Kansas City Barbeque Society competitions. Dan is a down-to-earth guy who loves to grill and smoke meat. He is originally from Texas, and lived in Florida and West Tennessee for many years. He is familiar with Memphis BBQ, Kansas City BBQ, and Carolina BBQ flavors and techniques.


Art! For Kids, By Kids

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Instructor: Marie Herow and Ellie Prestridge
Date: Saturday, March 15, 10-11:30 AM (1 session) (rescheduled from March 22)
Location: Whitcomb High School (art classroom), Bethel, VT
Requirements: Ages 6-10


Kids age 6-10 can join Ms. Herow and Ellie Prestridge for a time of inspiration. Come join them for a fun art session!

Instructor Bio:
Ellie and Ms. Herow love art! Ms. Herow teaches art at Bethel Elementary/Whitcomb High School. Ellie is a student volunteer.

The Art of Powerful Non-Defensive Communication

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takingwar_Instructor: Hilary Mullins and Vanessa Brown
Date: Mondays, March 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31, 6:30-8 PM (5 sessions)
Location: Bethel Public Library, Bethel, VT
Requirements: This course will use the book, Taking the War Out of Our WordsUp to 10 copies of the book will be purchase and provided to students for free.


If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to heal conflict, enhance self-esteem, become more open and spontaneous, strengthen your relationships, transform an organization, or guide the way toward a more peaceful global community, this course is for you!  The course is designed around the book, Taking the War Out of Our Words –a revolutionary process for eliminating defensiveness, liberating honesty, building integrity, and inspiring compassion–at home, at work, and in the community.

Instructor Bio:
Hilary Mullins is an essayist, college public speaking instructor, and window cleaner living in Bethel, Vermont.  She has studied and practiced the art of powerful non-defensive communication for many years and is excited to finally design and teach a course on the subject.  Vanessa Brown is a lawyer and peace activist who practices the principles of powerful non-defensive communication in her daily life.

Lost in Schizophrenia

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Instructor: Van Audley Bennett, Schizophrenic
Date: Saturday, March 8, 5-6 PM (1 session; offered twice)
OR Saturday, March 15, 5-6 PM
Location: Bethel Town Hall (March 8) or Episcopal Parish House (March 15), Bethel, VT


I offer a brief introduction to what “”schizophrenia’ really is and how it occurs.  Through anecdotes, I also offer my experience of the illness and how to better manage symptoms along with advice to family on how to help their loved ones. I offer the spiritual insight and advice into how I have been able to transform my suffering into compassion, not only for myself, but for those who suffered with me on this long, long journey.  This course or lecture would also be a good introduction to those who know little or nothing of mental illness and just want to know more about it. Disclaimer: This course is not intended to take the place of medical or psychiatric treatment.

Instructor Bio:
Van Bennett was diagnosed by 1993 with schizophrenia.  He has had major battles with the illness and with the publication of his book, Lost in Schizophrenia, he feels he is winning more battles and thus the war.  He has extensive knowledge of the entitlement programs that most mentally ill people rely on which he has worked very hard to get off.


Tennis Basics for Adults and Kids

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Instructor: Ele Griffin
Date: Sunday, March 30, 10 AM-12 PM (1 session)
Location: Bethel Elementary/Whitcomb High School (gym), Bethel, VT
Requirements: Clean, non-marking gym shoes

Students will learn the correct way to hold a tennis racquet, how to hit a tennis ball, and how to score a tennis game.  They will learn how fun tennis can be and that they can easily play with one or three friends.  Students must wear gym shoes. Bring a tennis racquet if you have one, but there are racquets available for those who don’t.

Instructor Bio:
Ele Griffin has been playing tennis since 1968. She was on her college’s tennis team. She plays in two tennis leagues here in Vermont.  In the 1990’s she took USTA sponsored classes in Essex, VT on tennis instruction.


Dancing It Off

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Instructor: Stephanie Russ
Date: Monday, March 10 and Wednesday, March 19, 6:30-7:30 PM (2 sessions; attend one or both)
Location: Bethel Elementary/Whitcomb High (Cafeteria), Bethel, VT
Requirements: Comfortable clothing and clean sneakers

Join us for an exhilarating hour of fun dancing and working out.  I incorporate the newest craze of Zumba with Aerobics into fun dancing routines to help strengthen muscles and lose weight.  Anyone can join and you can go as slowly or as quickly as you are able. I lead from the front so I am always there as a guide.  It’s lots of fun and the hour goes by very quickly.  Please arrive 10 minutes early and wear comfortable clothing and sneakers.

Instructor Bio:
Stephanie Russ is a class of 1998 Whitcomb Alumnus and now an Elementary Teacher at the Bethel Elementary School. She leads an ongoing Dance It Off class at the school.


Introduction to Tarot

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Instructor: Amy Danley-White
Date: Saturdays, March 1, 15, and 29, 10 AM-12 PM (3 sessions)
Location: Bethel Town Hall (conference room) Bethel, VT


This course will cover some of the history of this playing card/ divination system. Students will learn the symbolism of the individual cards and how to perform basic readings for personal insight and inspiration.

Instructor Bio:
Amy Danley-White has been using Tarot cards for over forty years. She has used many types of decks and spreads. She is a former student of Builders of the Adytum, an organization devoted to the study of Tarot symbolism.

I’m Writing!

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Instructor: Janet Burnham
Date: Sundays, March 9 & 16, 2-3:30 PM (2 sessions)
Location: Bethel Public Library, Bethel, VT
Requirements: Bring a pen and paper.


There’s something quite satisfying to put one’s thoughts and ideas on paper.  It is also a neat way to pass on stories of one’s childhood.  Join us to talk about and share our joy for writing.

Instructor Bio:
Janet Burnham has written for the following publications: Vermont Life, Yankee, Instructor, Cricket, Spider, NY Daily News, Boston Globe, and Women’s World. She has also written two romance novels and a biography.  For many years she has led a small writing group that meets at the library twice a month.

Zumba Dance Workout

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Instructor: Lisa Hill
Date: Monday, March 17, 7-8 PM (1 session)
Location: Bethel Town Hall, Bethel, VT
Requirements: Wear comfortable clothing and smooth soled shoes.

One hour of Latin-inspired dance. Cardio workout with extra calorie burn provided by laughter.

Instructor Bio:
Lisa Hill is a licensed Zumba instructor.