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Personal, professional enrichment possible through continuing education courses

Craig Chamberlain, Education Editor
(217) 333-2894;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Asian cooking, Vietnam movies, Russian museums É and seafood, architecture, opera, writing, Lincoln and the Amish.

These are among the subjects being explored this spring semester through personal and professional enrichment programs offered by the Office of Continuing Education at the University of Illinois.

The programs, open to the general public in Champaign-Urbana and the surrounding community, are offered in three categories: general noncredit courses, open to all adults ages 18 and over; and Elderhostel and Senior Scholars programs, intended for those over 55.

All of the courses and programs are presented in a noncompetitive, informal atmosphere, with no exams or grades. Instructors are selected primarily from the university faculty. Classes meet at locations on the UI campus or in the Central Illinois area. Prospective students are encouraged to enroll at the earliest opportunity since some classes may fill quickly. Fees range between $35 and $150.

Among the general noncredit courses being offered:

"Quick and Simple Asian Meals," a one-evening class on dishes that require 20 minutes or less to prepare, such as "instant" Peking chicken, spicy pork with tofu, beef and broccoli in oyster sauce, vegetable stir fry mix with chicken stock, Asian salad and fried rice. Wednesday, Feb.28.

"Seafood Basics," a one-evening class on the basics of selecting, preparing and storing seafood: fish, mussels, lobsters, shrimps and scallops. Included will be lessons on making seafood appetizers, as well as tips on seafood shopping in Champaign-Urbana. Wednesday, March 7.

"Asian Eateries in Champaign," a one-day excursion to discover some of the "hidden" Asian eateries and groceries in Champaign-Urbana. Participants are urged to come hungry. Saturday, March 24, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

"ChicagoÕs Best Unexplored Asian Restaurants," a one-day excursion to Chicago to check out some of the cityÕs unexplored Asian eating establishments. Saturday, March 31, or Saturday, May 5, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. each day.

"Vietnam at the Movies," a five-week exploration of HollywoodÕs portrayal of the Vietnam War, led by a professor of political science who is also a Navy veteran of the conflict. The course will draw on popular movies about the war, among them "The Green Berets," "Apocalypse Now," "Good Morning Vietnam," and "Born on the Fourth of July," as well as the personal stories of veterans. Monday evenings starting March 19.

"Experiencing Architecture: Your Life and Our Built Environment," a six-week series that looks beyond the bricks, mortar, wood, steel and glass to explore how architecture affects us emotionally, socially and intellectually. Participants will look at how buildings meet their usersÕ needs and impact their sense of privacy, security, social interaction, choices, image and efficiency. Thursday evenings starting March 22.

"Successful Magazine Writing," a half-day seminar on how to write for magazines and get published. The seminar will offer practical advice, along with real-life examples and suggestions for jumpstarting a magazine-writing career. Saturday, April 7, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

"Get Started! How to Launch or Expand Your Free-lance Writing Business," a half-day sequel to "Successful Magazine Writing," this seminar will deal with how to create a successful writing career, from someone whoÕs been there and done it. Saturday, April 28, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

"Enhancing the Enjoyment of Classic ChildrenÕs Literature," a half-day workshop exploring how to spark a love of classic literature in children. Saturday, April 21, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Among the courses being offered under the Elderhostel and Senior Scholars programs, for adults 55 and older:

"The State Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg, Russia," a mini-Elderhostel program intended for those who have never attended an Elderhostel program. Participants will get an insiderÕs view of the art of the State Hermitage Museum from several of the museumÕs scholars, artists and educators. March 25 to 28.

"Illinois and Lincoln Through the Eyes of Carl Sandburg and Edgar Lee Masters," a program exploring the life and works of Sandburg and Masters, with emphasis on Illinois and Abraham Lincoln. The program will make use of the UIÕs collection of Sandburg materials, the largest of its kind, and will feature an overnight trip that will look at the life, times and legacy of these great authors. April 29 to May 5.

"People of the Prairie -- The Illinois Amish," an up-close view of a simpler lifestyle that has stood the test of time, with an emphasis on the Amish in Central Illinois, the fourth largest Old Order Amish community in the nation. The program will look at their history, religion, work, economy and family life, and will include field trips to a farm, home and business, including a meal in an Amish home. May 20 to 25.

"An American Opera: Street Scene," a three-week program exploring an American opera by composer Kurt Weill, who wrote notable songs such as "September Song," "Speak Low" and "Mack the Knife." The program also will include a tour of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Wednesday afternoons starting April 11, along with an evening performance of the opera on April 20.

For more information, or to sign up for a course or program, contact the Continuing Education office, either by phone, at (217) 333-7369, or e-mail, at