Taking a walk on the wild side

Colorado Mountain College offers 190 classes to keep people busy this summer

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School's in for summer, and Colorado Mountain College has put together a variety of classes to tempt summer seekers of knowledge.

The college is offering 190 classes this summer that vary in price depending on whether the participant has in-district, in-state or out-of-state residency. Although several of the classes have started, many begin in early July or later and are open to anyone.

"A real diverse mix of people take the classes," said Carolyn Peters, director of liberal arts for the CMC Alpine Campus. "The activity classes are popular because people are so active in Steamboat. There are classes for artistic people, and the mountaineering type has botany and Alpine ecology classes. There are even classes for kids, such as African dance."

Additionally, the school is offering more standard classes such as business, science, history, math and other courses. Spicing up the traditional disciplines are unconventional classes with titles such as "The Art of Jewelry Making," "Cooking Without Recipes" and "Crouching Taxes, Hidden Profit," which teaches "legitimate strategies that may decrease your taxes up to 50 percent."

One of the outdoors classes offered is the "Wildflower Walk," which runs from mid-July until the end of August. Students travel to Dinosaur Lake, the Flat Tops, Gilpin Lake and Rabbit Ears Pass to learn about wildflowers and "autumn edibles."

Peters also recommends the African dance and drumming class being taught by Fara Tolno, a dancer from Guinea, West Africa.

For those with a bookish bent, the new Literary Sojourn class prepares participants for October's Literary Sojourn, which will bring five nationally renowned authors to speak in Steamboat. In the class, students read one text from each of the five authors and learn about the author's background.

"I started the class because so many people came up to me to tell me how much they love Literary Sojourn," instructor Michelle Dover said. "It's a way to have a more structured, organized experience that enriches the Literary Sojourn event."

For example, students read the work of a Cuban-American author whose stories are set in Cuba and America.

"So we'll also read a little history of Cuba in order to understand the context of the story, the struggle for identity and the divisions between families that occur based on their feelings about Fidel Castro," Dover said.

Students also read another author, Anne-Marie MacDonald, who was an actress before she began writing. Accordingly, the class members watch one of her films in addition to reading her fiction.

The readings, discussion and background learning culminate Oct. 2 at the Literary Sojourn.

"This event is the highlight of my year," Dover said. "You laugh at it, you cry at it. There's this energy that comes when authors get together. They speak all day, but it's almost like they're speaking to each other. They talk about the literary process, the topics they write about, what inspires them and how their characters evolve. It's really a personal and intimate experience with the authors."

The class costs $203, which includes a ticket to Literary Sojourn. People can register for it at the college or Bud Werner Memorial Library, Dover said.

To register for the other courses, people can call 870-4444 or go to Bristol Hall on the campus. Courses that offer credit can be taken by people for no credit, but the price is the same. Per credit hour, it costs $21 for seniors, $41 for in-district residents, $69 for in-state residents and $220 for out-of-state residents. If someone wants to take a class for credit but has not taken a CMC class within 10 months, he or she must fill out an application. Other noncredit courses have varying fees.

-- To reach Kristin Bjornsen, call 879-1502

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