Essential Writing Tips: Balancing Complexity with Clarity

Person Writing at Laptop

Remember the last time you were reading about a new subject or unfamiliar concept and felt frustrated? Maybe the author assumed you know more than you do. Or chose to use jargon that made getting through a paragraph feel futile. 


Capture the Moment: Photography Basics with Robert Stahl

Persian Carpet, Photo by Bob Stahl

The best camera is the one you have with you, right? Not always. If you’ve ever tried to capture the beauty of a sunset, that bird you spotted on a hike, or your child’s winning soccer goal with a camera phone, the results may have lacked the magic that inspired you in the first place. But with a little practice, you can capture the moment in all it’s clarity and depth with your digital DLSR or mirrorless camera.


Following a Lead: Getting Started in Audiobook Narration

Home Recording

By Rebecca Lee

I’ve always been fascinated by the magic of voice-over. But while living in Los Angeles, working on a career in comedic acting and writing, I always heard that a few people in Hollywood did the majority of the work. Fast forward seven years and I’m not only recording audiobooks, but publishing them as well. How did I get here?


6 Fundamental Investment Rules

Miles Goodwin

By Miles Goodwin

One of the experts that we study in class teaches us that everything you need to know to be a successful investor, you’ve learned by the 6th grade. Wall Street likes to mystify what it does so that you feel the need to ask them for advice. But the fact of the matter is that the rules are simple, easily understood, and you learn all of them in my class. Let’s start with the basics...


Sculpting a New Perspective

CJ Carter Working on Sculpture

CJ Carter Reflects on International Artist Residency 

Experiencing a change in scenery, even just a short break from regular routines and responsibilities, can inspire new ideas, perspectives, and motivation. Ceramics Instructor CJ Carter made just such a leap, taking a position as the Young Artist-in-Residence at Guldagergaard - International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark. As this summer residency is coming to a close, we checked in with CJ to find out more about this transformative experience and how it will inform their teaching. 


Poetry and Pets: Teaching During COVID

Cat Walking Across Laptop

By Graham Isaac 

There are seven open zoom windows, including my own. A student, in the middle of a poem about returning home after being absent a long time, darts her head and glares at something out of frame. In a second, a grey-black blur whizzes by.


New Classes for Spring!

New Classes for Spring text

We've added twenty-one new classes for spring! That’s a number to rival a pre-pandemic quarter. But our students continue to come back to us for virtual classes and we have responded, offering new experiences, perspectives, and skill-building opportunities. Learn what it takes to get started in audiobook narration, rewrite 2020 with a comedic twist, dive into fiction by and about women, or add new recipes to the rotation. And that's just the beginning! With your continued support and input, we're able to develop new learning opportunities each quarter.


ctcLink and Continuing Education: FAQ

ctcLink logo

Over the last few years, the Washington State Community and Technical College system has been migrating to ctcLink to allow the 34 colleges to better serve students across the state. Although the impact to students taking only Continuing Education classes is minimal, we want to help answer questions you may have about the new system. Starting on February 22, 2021 North Seattle College will convert to the new ctcLink system. Because we are moving into a completely new environment, registration for spring has been delayed until the beginning of March. 


Short Term Commitment, Long Term Benefit

Man Smiling at Laptop

Short term skill building opportunities are one of our specialties. These classes combine the structure, and accountability of a class learning environment with the quality of a trusted community partner.


11 Biggest Remodeling Mistakes and Expert Tips for a Successful Fix

Contractor

By Peter Marx

Some homeowners get so excited about remodeling jobs that they don’t think through the process. Focused on the end result, they jump into the project and make major mistakes like choosing a contractor simply because they’re the cheapest, hiring someone who doesn’t specialize in the work they’re having done, or overseeing the job themselves in an effort to save money.


Awakening the Soul: Rebecca Clio Gould talks about Seated Qigong and Meditation

Seated qigong posture

When Awakening the Soul – Seated Qigong and Meditation instructor Rebecca Clio Gould dropped out of law school in 2005, she couldn’t foresee teaching qigong and meditation becoming her life’s calling. “In 2006 I enrolled in the Asian Healing Arts and Healing with Whole Foods program at the Heartwood Institute in Garberville, California,” Gould recalls. “I didn’t know much about qigong, but tai chi was part of the program I was in. One of the teachers offered a sort of extra credit field trip to a qigong workshop one weekend. I decided to go.” Though unfamiliar with the myriad types of qigong, Gould found herself drawn to the art. “I had an image in my head of qigong being a lot of statically held postures and thought it would be boring and uncomfortable. I couldn’t have been more wrong!”


“First Time I’ve Smiled in Two Weeks”

Woman sitting with hands together

Q & A with Instructor Rebecca Gould

As we move into the deep winter months, it’s a good time to consider how we can best care for ourselves, in both mind and body. Qigong is a mind-body-spirit practice featuring regulation of breath, body movement and posture, and meditation. We checked in with Qigong Instructor Rebecca Gould to find out how her own practice has helped her, and her students, weather these pandemic months.


Music as Meditation

Instructor Michael Wilde on Stage Playing Harmonica

Q & A with Instructor Michael Wilde 

Instructor Michael Wilde has been teaching Harmonica with North’s Continuing Ed program for more than two decades. While those many years of experience may not have prepared him to teach during a pandemic, it gives him a depth of experience that comes through loud and clear, even over Zoom. Teaching his class virtually has allowed him to continue sharing his passion with our community of lifelong learners while also sharing a practice of self-care that has recently become even more important.  


One-Time Wonders

Stage and spotlight

Consider the “One-Hit Wonder.” Can you name one? An artist who never returned to the spotlight although their impact and influence carries on through a single contribution.

It is much the same with our “One-Time Wonder” classes...


Opening the Gifts of Creativity

Acrylic painting by Victoria John titled "Awakening Compassion"

By Victoria John

Teaching a Zoom class is like opening a gift. You never know what to expect. My granddaughters gave me the best gift ever, a handmade glitter globe, with the surprise addition of colorful, miniature pom poms. In stillness the glitter is sediment and barely discernable, with the pom poms floating motionless at the top. Shaking gives the globe momentum, and the glitter comes to life, dazzling, as the soft-edged pom poms morph into star-like forms, spinning and swirling in rhythm with the sparkle of the glitter. Such was my experience with teaching “It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again,” a course designed by Julia Cameron, to reignite creativity in midlife or retirement...


Organizing the New Normal: How an Organizer Brought it Home

Wall of CDs

By Rebecca Ross 

A week or two into March I realized that going into others’ homes to work was no longer safe, and perhaps this would be an opportunity to practice what I preach. Life since then, while a bit surreal, has provided some great opportunities for “composing my own domain.”

This is how spring looked for a person who responds to lack of control with paroxysms of organizing. Brace yourselves.


Meet the Expert! Your Guide to Starting a Home Based Food Business

Box of Macaroons

Q & A with Instructor Jennifer Lewis 

Some entrepreneurs start young, selling lemonade on the sidewalk or negotiating better terms for Halloween candy consumption. Instructor Jennifer Lewis was definitely in that club. As a child spending time in a Northern Michigan fishing community, she was selling worms to the fishermen at 5 a.m. before they went out for the day.

We asked Jennifer about her path from being that entrepreneurial 8-year-old to published author, business coach, and Continuing Education instructor.   


Teaching from the Coast of Cornwall

Cornish Harbour

All of our Continuing Ed instructors are teaching remotely this winter as we continue to offer virtual classes, but Vsevolod (Seva) Rzhondkovsky will be especially remote. He was travelling overseas when lockdowns went into effect and now finds himself in Porthoustock in Cornwall, England. Come January, this may very well be from where he welcomes students into his Zoom classroom for Italian I. But while many of us got a crash course in Zoom calls and online learning in March, Seva has been teaching virtual classes for a few years and made the transition with ease. We checked in with Seva and learned more about the benefits of virtual classes, as well as how he approaches the challenges. 


Working in Clay, Now Online!

Hands working in clay

North Seattle College Ceramics Instructor Liz Duarte has been instrumental in shaping the Continuing Education ceramics program into one of unprecedented popularity. Before COVID sent us all home and shuttered the arts studios, our ceramics classes filled up within minutes of registration opening. While we continue to work and learn from home, our instructors have gotten (extra) creative. Liz is teaching Introduction to Ceramic Sculpture this winter and has taught Ceramics for All and Pit Fire Ceramics, all virtually. We checked in with Liz to find out how it’s been going, as well as to learn more about how she came to love ceramics and why it continues to inspire her.


New Classes for Winter Quarter

Text only: New Classes for Winter

We've added some exciting new classes this winter! And as we continue to offer classes in a real-time, virtual format, our classes are designed to bring new experiences, perspectives, and skills to you, wherever you are. Add new recipes to the rotation, learn the history of Jazz, explore the works of Black film makers, take a mind/body break, get to know the incredible hawks that call this region home, and more! With your continued support and input, we're able to develop new learning opportunities each quarter. Share your class suggestions here


What Students Are Saying About Virtual Classes

Speech Bubbles

Continuing Education students often return, quarter after quarter, to repeat classes they enjoy or further develop skills. If we had offered these students the option of a virtual class a year ago, they may have taken a pass. But our curious, adaptable, and dedicated students continue to take classes and create community while fulfilling their learning objectives. Reading over course evaluations since we moved online, we’re starting to understand why that is!


Celebrating Continuing Ed Artists

Four CE Artists

Many of us are missing in-person classes but our Continuing Education artists are finding ways to continue learning and creating through virtual art classes. We are eager to celebrate their creativity (and adaptability!) so we asked students to share what they’ve been creating. These artists generously responded! We hope that their experience and artwork inspire you to pick up your drawing pencils, paintbrushes, camera, or clay and make some art.


Fall Reading Recommendations

Stack of books surrounded by fall leaves

As you’re building your fall and winter reading list, we wanted to share recommendations from a few of our Continuing Education instructors. These books are sure to get you thinking, reflecting, and planning your next project!


Leadership in the face of COVID

Professional woman holding laptop

By Gayle Johnson

COVID has changed the face of leadership. Why? Because COVID has heightened the need for leaders to be emotionally intelligent. At this moment in time, it’s imperative for leaders to understand their emotions, how to manage them, and then how to show up in a supportive way for their staff. Here is what that looks like:


Cloud Computing Basics with AWS Cloud Foundations

Persons hands holding cloud image

By Robert Bunge

Cloud computing is the new normal for information technology. Years ago, when PCs were emerging for the first time, schools used to teach computer literacy courses to explain then-novel skills like how to click on a mouse or how to save a file to a disk. Introductory cloud computing courses like AWS Cloud Foundations play a similar role for the 2020s.