Life Macomb

LIFE Macomb

L.I.F.E. (Learning Is ForEver) is an organization dedicated to providing high-quality, low-cost, and enjoyable adult-education experiences. The Macomb L.I.F.E. program is affiliated with the national organization, Road Scholar: Elderhostel Institute Network (EIN). It is independently administered by area residents who develop the courses, select the teachers, establish the fees, and promote the curriculum.

Registration coming soon for the Spring 2021 semester!

The LIFE program will once again be offering courses via Zoom for the 2021 spring semester. As well as host a few courses outside later in the semester as the weather allows. 

We are excited to say that the spring semester will just about double in class offerings from last fall.   Hopefully you will still find something that interests you.

As mentioned, courses for the upcoming semester will all be offered via Zoom and outside as noted in the course description. If you know of a regular LIFE participant that is not online, please feel free to share our upcoming offerings with them. They may choose to find a way to register and participate. As always, thank you for your support of the LIFE program. Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have via email at sa-adams2@wiu.edu.

Spring 2021 Course Offerings


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The Armchair Traveler

Class Coordinator: Steve Hopper

Thursdays, 1:30-3:30 pm

March 4 (Tom Stites-A Tour of Macomb, IL Downtown and City Buildings 1962-1968)

Tom’s presentation, from his 15-year old self’s program “Macomb On the Move,” will give you a glimpse of what the downtown square looked like in that era.

March 11 (Ranessa Cooper-From Galapagos Endemics to a Pandemic)

Dr. Cooper, Chair of WIU’s Department of Biological Sciences, taught Tropical Ecology during the Spring 2020 semester.  As part of this course, she led the university’s first group of eight students to the Galapagos and returned safely right before the coronavirus pandemic escalated.  An extraordinary academic experience happened, and she will share the highlights in her presentation.

March 18 (Steve Hopper-Romantic Danube)

Steve Hopper will describe a beautiful ten-day cruise up the Danube River from Budapest, Hungary to Nuremberg, Germany. Side excursions include Vienna, Gottweig Abbey, Salzburg and Munich. Following the cruise he traveled to Hamburg, Germany to a Rotary Convention. He’ll share a few Hamburg pictures too.

Each course session will contain different content. Register for whichever session(s) interests you.

Attracting Birds in Spring and Summer

Ed Franks

Wednesday, April 7, 10 - 11 a.m.

This class will discuss methods to attract colorful birds to your yard in the spring and summer, including foods favored by finches, hummingbirds and orioles, and appropriate bird houses that may bring in wrens, martins, and bluebirds. Unfortunately, bird foods and housing can also attract unwanted pests like ants, bees, wasps, and raccoons, so tips to discourage these visitors will be included.

Only one session available.

Befriend your Body

Dawn Piper

Cost : $5

Chandler Park, Tuesday, May 4(Rain Date: May 11) 11:30 - 12:15 p.m.

Get ready to nourish yourself with a mat-based yoga class that is beginner-friendly and for all levels. No yoga experience needed, but able to come to the ground and back up without assistance. Bring a blanket or yoga mat. Learn how to move so that your body can be its best-without pain, strain or tension. Breathe better, practice balance and have fun. Dawn will take you through a warmup, gentle movements, glutes/abs strength work, balance work and stretches. She is a highly experienced and Registered Yoga Teacher, Internationally Certified Yoga Therapist, and owner of Free Range Yoga and Community Wellness Center.

We Need to Talk-Book Club

Connie LaRue

The We Need to Talk Book Club will give us a chance to join in conversation and connect with others.  The book selections will center on three works of fiction that remind us of our current issues.  Our discussions will perhaps allow us to see these contemporary issues in a different light, give us a new perspective, or awaken us to another reality.  They may also spark an opportunity for us.

Tuesdays, 1-2:30 p.m.


The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett: This novel is the story of identical twins growing up in a southern black community. One sister stays in the community and one sister leaves and choses to pass for white. “Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.”

Mar. 16

The BeeKeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri: A peaceful life is shattered. The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a story of the Syrian war, the arduous journey to escape to a better place, and the difficulties of life as an immigrant. It’s one of many stories of refugees and immigrants. As we discuss this novel, we can also share our thoughts about other books we may have read with these themes, such as Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi, American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins, The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantu, Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga, Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castill, and many, many more.

Apr. 20

The Love Story of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey: The publisher calls this “a life-affirming, deeply moving “coming-of-old” story, a celebration of how ordinary days are made extraordinary through friendship, family, and the power of forgiving yourself–at any age.” The author examines themes of loneliness, isolation, regrets of the past, and the power of companionship and love.

Clay Pinching Basics: Make Two Bowls!

Natalie Shelly

Zoom Course Thursday, March 4 6:30 - 7:30 p.m..

Cost $10

Are you searching for a little creative therapy and looking for a fun introduction to clay? This relaxing course will focus on the basic skills needed to pinch two small and simple clay bowls. No previous skills in clay are necessary, but a willingness to get a little messy at home is highly encouraged! Join us and create a few sweet treasures for your home! Course includes clay, bisque, and glaze kiln firings, and two participant made bowls that will be ready for pickup around four weeks after drop-off at the studio. We can’t wait to create with you!

Once registered, the kit will be available for pick-up on February 18, 25, and March 4. The studio is located at the rear of the Macomb Park District Office Building at: 1406 N. Randolph Street. The garage door will be open and ready for you to pick up your kit. If weather is poor or daylight is limited, I will close the garage door and I ask that you pull into the driveway and honk to let me know you’re ready for pick-up. Please remember to practice social distancing, safe mask wearing, and follow the guidelines recommended by the CDC when picking up and dropping off your kit or finished product from the studio.

Healthy Lifestyle Topics for Seniors

Patricia Eathington

Wednesdays March 10th OR 17th 10 - 11 a.m.

This course will review preventative care and safety topics that are recommended for the elderly population. Topics will include immunizations, screenings, community and online resources to give participants the knowledge to manage their own health. Please note that this session is not intended to be medical advice, and it does not replace talking to your doctor or other medical professionals. However, it will give you more knowledge about how to stay healthy.

Both sessions will contain the same content. Register for one session.

Marvelous Monikers and Beyond

Alice Davenport

Thursdays, Feb. 4, 11 & 18, 10-11 a.m.

Word lovers will want to learn more about the origins of ‘things named for people’ – such as the Ferris Wheel… or a Tom Collins.  We got a start last spring (before Covid) on this topic, and will continue doing so in Class l.  For the next two classes we will move on to some Fabulous Fallacies and also some Curious Customs. (courtesy the eponymous books by Tad Tuleja, and additional help from Wiki.)

Each course session will contain different content. Register for whichever session(s) you are able to attend.

Online Fitness: A Guide for the "Aged to Perfection"

Kristin Conrad

Tuesdays, February 9, OR 16, 2-3 p.m.

Have you ever tried to find the perfect online fitness format but close the browser window more confused than you were when you started? In this 2 session class, Kristen Conrad,  owner of Make Fit Happen, will guide you through how to choose an appropriate online class for your fitness level.  There will be a movement portion, so be prepared to learn some moves! This class will also include ONE FREE CHAIR POUND CLASS at Make Fit Happen (in the gym if we're open and on Zoom.

Both sessions will contain the same content. Register for one session.

Prairie Conservation at the Lakeview Nature Area

Kassey Trahanas

Lakeview Nature Center, Saturdays March 13th OR April 10th, 10 - 10:45 a.m.

Join us for a relaxing and educational 45 minute tour through the Lakeview Nature Area. This tour will educate individuals about the prairie and conservation best practices. We're excited to share the beautiful ecosystems and seasonal changes that make this landscape so magical! On your visit, please remember to practice social distancing and safe mask wearing, and please dress for the weather. We can’t wait to see you in the prairie! Location: Lakeview Nature Area, 10050 N 1500th Rd, Macomb, IL.

Both sessions will contain the same content. Register for one session.

Spring lake - Pontoon Ride

Ryan Hansen

Spring Lake, Wednesday, June 2nd 1 p.m. (COURSE SESSION FULL/REGISTRATION CLOSED ) OR 3 p.m.

Cost: $5

Come join Spring Lake Parks manager Ryan Hansen for a one hour tour of the lake. Look for local wildlife, and bring any questions you might have about the facility. Six people outdoors can socially distance on a 24 foot pontoon. 6 people maximum per 1 hour tour.

Both sessions will contain the same content. Register for one session.

Tai Chi for Absolute Beginners

Bill Maakestad

Chandler Park, Monday, May 3rd (Rain Date: May 10) 1:30 - 2:45 p.m.

Cost : $5

Tai Chi is a gentle type of “meditation in motion” that combines slow, graceful movements with deep breathing to promote overall health and well-being. Have fun while learning how Tai Chi can reduce stress, increase energy, improve balance, and heighten concentration. All in the great outdoors! Suitable for all ages and abilities, and all movements are done in a standing position. Bill Maakestad is Tai Chi and Qigong Instructor at Free Range Yoga and Community Health Center.

ZOOM on Zoom

Brenda Allison

Tuesdays, Mar. 9 OR 16, 9-11:30 a.m.

Learn how to get the most out of the popular web conferencing application.  Course includes how to join, host and participate in a Zoom meeting.  You will learn the basics and some advanced features too.

Both sessions will contain the same content. Register for one session.


Due to a change in policy, PayPal will no longer be refunding the transaction fee when course registration fees are refunded due to canellations. However, depending on who makes the cancellation, there will be instances in which the transaction fee will be refunded. When a course is cancelled by the LIFE Organization or Instructor, the PayPal Transaction Fee will be refunded. When a course is cancelled by the LIFE Registrant, even if the cancellation comes within the 30 Day current cancellation policy deadline, the PayPal Transaction Fee will not be refunded.



The LIFE organization is grateful to our sponsor, Western Illinois University's Study Abroad and Outreach Office, and the following community partners and individuals who are committed to providing lifelong learning opportunities for area residents:

Free Range Yoga

Make Fit Happen

Steve Hopper

Ed Franks

Connie LaRue

Macomb Park District 

Patricia Eathington

Lakeview Nature Center

Spring Lake Park

Brenda Allison

Western Illinois University