Adventures In Learning – Winter 2018



Welcome! Adventures in Learning (AIL) is an intellectually stimulating experience in an atmosphere of friendship. If you are new to the program, we warmly welcome you and appreciate your interest.




  • Sharon Presbyterian Church, 5201 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC 28210
    (located near the intersection of Sharon & Fairview Rd, close to SouthPark. The church is directly across the street from Sharon Towers.)
  • Look for the signs directing you to the campus entrance, parking area, and to the Chapel for AIL programs and classes.

How to Register:

  • Print and complete the registration form and mail it with your check to The Shepherd’s Center, 3115 Providence Rd., Charlotte, NC 28211 by Wednesday, January 17, 2018
  • Make checks payable to The Shepherd’s Center of Charlotte.
  • From January 17 to January 19 at 1:00 PM, you may hand-deliver your registration and check to the  Shepherd’s Center office OR you may enroll on the first day of classes (January 22). Advance registration is preferred.
  • Access the registration page here: AIL Winter 2018


  • Arrive any time after 9:30 to pick up your name tag and enjoy fellowship with others.
  • Check at the registration table for the class list with room assignments and their locations.
  • Classes begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 12:00 pm.


  • If a class on a particular day is cancelled we invite you to visit another class for that day.
  • No refunds are available.

Sponsors The Shepherd’s Center gratefully acknowledges the generous support of businesses in our c

  Adventures in Learning Program Guide -Winter 2018

Mondays, January 22 – February 26, 2018
General Session (10:00-11:00 a.m.)

“I’m Not Too Old for That!”

January 22:   Jack Ponticelli aka Captain Jack is full of hot air…well, his hot air balloon is anyway. Jack will take us along a journey including a history of balloon flight from 1783 to present. How do balloons fly, how many different types of balloons are there, how do you steer a balloon? We will learn a bit about the company he works for and the founder, Tracy Barns, and how their balloons are different from all others. We will enjoy pictures of a typical balloon flight from setup to the post flight party and more. Don’t’ you think it’s time to take a flight?

January 29: Chuck Hammond is a “jumper” – that is, he likes to jump out of planes! He believes you may be too young to skydive but you can never be too old! Chuck started jumping at age 37 and has been enjoying skydiving for 21 years. We will learn a bit about Skydive Carolina and what they offer, from bucket lists to birthday celebrations —there’s nothing like enjoying the sky! He has done 7,300 tandem skydives and has over 8,500 skydives under his belt. He may also bring a friend or two with him. We look forward to a skydiving adventure!

February 5:  Zarifa (Jane Copeland) is retired from a career as a high school science and PE teacher and then a Research Scientist in Transplant Surgery at the University of Minnesota and CMC in Charlotte. Her passion is dance — it’s been a life focus from the age of 5 with Oriental Dance since 1972. Her lecture will be followed by a costume presentation and a dance demonstration. We are NEVER too old to dance!

February 12:  Frank Dominguez will be with us to present a fascinating look into radio station WDAV, Charlotte’s own classical music station. Soon to celebrate its 40th anniversary, WDAV provides listeners with a wide range of programming, from Biscuits and Bach to Pipedreams  to Mozart Café, as well as occasional broadcasts of Charlotte Symphony concerts. Frank will include a video presentation highlighting WDAV’s history, mission, programming philosophy and program schedule. We are never too old to celebrate anniversaries!

February 19: Charlotte’s US National Whitewater Center offers for fun for ALL ages! It’s not just about the whitewater channel; you can zipline, take on the ropes courses, rock  climb or kayak on the Catawba to get your adrenaline pumping. If you would rather just take in the sights, bring your chair and sit out on the lawn and enjoy the live music, have a bite to eat or try one of the 100 beer taps they have available. Our guide will share that there is truly something for everyone!

February 26: Cherie Clark , Ph.D., Charles A. Dana Professor of Psychology at Queens University will wrap up our “I’m Not Too Old for That” general session theme as she provides insight into—I think I can, I think I can. The little engine that could was a classic for many of our kids. We loved that story because it helped us tell our kids that they could do anything by just believing. Research will be presented to show how attitude is everything, including helping us live happier, healthier, and longer. If we think we can, we can do a lot of things we may have given up or stopped envisioning. It’s time to reclaim the little engine who could, for ourselves now!

Morning Classes—11:20 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

The Apocrypha – “Apocrypha” means writings or statements of dubious authenticity. These days it is the name given to a group of writings that some Christian groups see as part of their authoritative list of books accepted as Holy Scripture, while other groups do not. The series will explore some of the Apocrypha. Some of the stories are like fairy tales with dragons, monsters and angels. As with other scripture, the books of the Apocrypha are written to communicate religious or theological points. Instructor: Bob McGarrah

 Bridge—For ACTIVE bridge players. Bidding fundamentals that will improve your game is the session focus. Tips for the Opener, the Responder and the Overcallers, too. Plus tips on taking the tricks for which we bid, including finesses and when to pull trump. This class is limited to 28 students.  Instructor: Wally Marcin

Exploring American History Through Literature —Books are a gateway to so many learning opportunities. Books can take you on an adventure, make you laugh and cry and provide a peek into the lives of others. This class will assist you as you learn what books to utilize as you explore American history through literature. Instructor: Trilby Meeks

 The Reformation—2017 was the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, but it really got going a little later and became a movement that greatly changed the Western world.   Instructor: Dr. Luther Wade

 Yoga— Increase your strength, flexibility, and balance with yoga. This ancient form of exercise links movement, breath, concentration, and relaxation for a meditative experience. Bring a firm yoga mat and water.  No perfume please. Class is limited to 16  students. Instructor: Teresa Dufine

 Afternoon Classes—1:20 p.m. to 2:20 p.m.

Chasing Freedom—Elvira Sterling, an immigrant from Russia escaped from godless USSR and eventually found freedom in America. Her story is a compelling account of her and her husband’s harrowing escape from Soviet tyranny to self-discovery in wartime Israel, then to personal fulfillment in the complicated freedom of America. The story is a fascinating tapestry that weaves together individual and family joys and sorrows, all against the background of the political cultures of three pivotal nations of the 20th century. This class will use her book as the study guide cost is $15; you will pay the instructor for the book.  Instructor: Elvira Sterling

 Creative Writing—We remember more than we think we do. We know more than we think we know. We’re wiser than we think we are. Inside us much waits, vague and wanting expression. There are ways to write that reach deep into our reservoirs of memory and hare-earned wisdom, evoking words, images, reflection and insight. These ways are not only personally enriching, but enhance almost any form of writing. This class experience offers guidance, a safe space for self-expression, support, and all the privacy you want in the company of others. Bring an 8 1/2 x 11  notebook and pen (not pencil). Class runs an additional 20 minutes and is limited to 12 studentsInstructor: Mary Crews

Current Events Discussion—Let’s discuss world events, domestic issues and other timely items. Richard will bring articles of interest to class obtained from sources like the NY Times, Wall St. Journal, Time Magazine and more. Please come and take part in a lively discussion—no tomato throwing allowed!! Instructor: Richard Solar

 Jewelry—Take your old jewelry and make it new or create a brand new piece. Bring old beads or jewelry to the first class or new items purchased from any of the local craft stores. No experience necessary! Instructor: Cris Osborne

 Major Figures of the Italian Renaissance A series of visual presentations of the work of major painters, sculptors, and architects of the Italian Renaissance, including Botticelli, Brunelleschi, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and others with particular attention to the influence of these artists upon Western culture. Instructor: Roy Colquitt

Thanks to all our Volunteer Instructors!



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