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Davis Adult School spring classes start Monday

Teacher Jock Hamilton works with Melissa Draper, a student in his digital photography class at the Davis Adult School. The spring quarter begins Monday. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

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March 22, 2011 | Leave Comment

Spring quarter classes begin Monday at the Davis Adult School, and there’s still time to sign up for courses in subjects ranging from digital photography to yoga.

Teacher Jock Hamilton’s digital photography course, which meets in a computer lab at Davis High School, covers the basics of digital imaging and camera use — but also aims to help students maximize all that the digital camera can deliver.

Dan Wettstein took Hamilton’s course during winter quarter.

“I was a film photographer for years, it was a hobby,” Wettstein said. “I made the transition to digital around 2004. I took the course, as much as anything, because I was curious to learn how much I could do with the new technology.”

Nicole Shankarappa said she enrolled because “my husband bought me a nice digital camera, and also got me Photoshop software. I’ve tried to use it, I’ve gotten four different Photoshop books … and then I decided to take the class.

“Now I can really use my camera, in different modes, and adjust the photos with Photoshop,” she said, adding, “I may take the class again.”

How does Shankarappa use her camera? She flashed a big smile. “I like to take pictures of my kids Rowan, age 5 1/2, and Dane, age 2 1/2,” she said.

Carolyn and Don Anctil are a retired couple who enrolled in Hamilton’s digital photography course after they moved to the University Retirement Community in Davis about a year ago.

“We had traveled extensively, all over the world,” Carolyn Anctil said. “We had all these pictures on discs. We purchased Photoshop, but we didn’t really know how to use it.”

She added, “Jock has an amazing knowledge of photography — how to use the digital camera, and the production of the pictures. He taught us many concepts in this brief course, and the science behind those concepts.

“There are an amazing number of variables that go with a digital camera. The possibilities are almost infinite.”

Don Anctil began the next sentence, saying, “In time, we’ll catch onto things …” and Carolyn finished the thought, saying ” … If we’re patient, and learn.”

Hamilton said that he’s had students of all ages in his class, as young as high school students, “but the majority … are older.”

Also popular are teacher Nora Oldwin’s classes in yoga, which meet at Korematsu Elementary School.

“We have a lot of fun,” Oldwin said. “We do a lot of movment, we do a lot of work with the breath — understanding the mechanism of breathing, focusing in on moving with the breath, so that we are really concentrating as a movement meditation, which is what yoga can be.

“I have a huge range of students,” Oldwin added. “From 20 up to 70, and beyond 70. The first class is Beginning Yoga, so we progress over 10 weeks. The second class is more challenging, for people who have had some yoga. They know their bodies, and I can give them a range of options.”

What are the benefits of yoga?

“You find you have more time for everything,” Oldwin said. “You develop more physical strength and flexibility. And with the breath movement integration, you stop rushing. You’re more aware of the time you have. And you develop a greater ability to face whatever challenges come your way in a more integrated manner. You become more mindful of everything.”

Other popular Davis Adult School fitness courses include Tai Chi, choreographed meditation using the human body; Qigong, a Chinese form of exercise that synchronizes breath, visualization and gentle-flowing movement; Pilates, which helps students gain strength in abdominal muscles and increase their flexibility; and Zumba, promoting aerobic fitness using Latin music and dance moves.

There are also language courses in Arabic, French, German, Italian and Spanish. There are actually two courses in Italian, a language not offered at Davis High School. The Italian courses are aimed at adults who want to develop greater a greater perspective on Italy’s culinary tradition, interior design and fashion industries, and long history as a country producing great music, paintings and sculpture.

Italy also has opened up its economy recently to more American companies, and so there is a growing demand for employees who speak both English and Italian.

The Davis Adult School also offers a course in nutrition and life skills for adults with developmental disabilities. Students learn to prepare and eat a full meal, and then help clean up. This class meets for 2 1/2 hours on five consecutive Mondays.

Other classes focus on topics like auto mechanics, bike repair, knitting, drawing, creative mosaic, painting, software packages like Access and Adobe InDesign, and more.

For information about Davis Adult School courses, visit http://www.djusd.k12.ca.us/adultschool, call (530) 757-5380 or drop by the school office at Oak Avenue and 14th Street, on the southwest corner of the Davis High School campus.

Spring quarter courses begin Monday and run through June 9. There are fees for most courses. The Davis Adults School is part of the Davis school district.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8055.

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