THE eighth renewal of classes offered through the Partners in Education (PIE) program is not particularly advantageous for anyone seeking to bolster college credits. None are offered.
The value of the latest series of 41 lectures rests simply in the knowledge that can be acquired and, in some cases, the skills that can be developed. For the most part, there is little distinction between the students and lecturers. Most will be local residents.
The subjects cover a wide variety of topics, some of them not found on any college curriculum. There will be a session on how to make pizza on a wood-fired oven, a primer on long-term care insurance and how to get started playing chess.
There will be topics more weighted to traditional classroom topics, including a review of the Battle of Antietam during the Civil War and an interactive multimedia session on the War of 1812.
Real-life situations are explored in such offerings as “Forgiveness, a Gift We Give Ourselves” or the “Upscale of Aging.”
Topics dealing with the appreciation of art abound throughout the schedule. They include a book study on “East of Eden,” “The Business of Songwriting” and the “Inspiration of Poetry.”
Unique to this particular program is a schedule of lectures on local topics, such as:
n “The Power of Interior Visual Space in Architecture” using First Christian Church as a learning tool.
n “Distinctive Art in Columbus’ Distinctive Churches,” in which students are transported to four local churches to see firsthand the role art plays in local worship.
n “A Walk Through Time: Three Centuries of Downtown Architecture” through which participants can see and learn about the unique structures of all ages in downtown Columbus.
n “The Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans: Personalizing Those Who Sacrificed Their Lives.” The program explores the origins and purposes of this downtown landmark and offers insights into some of those whose names are inscribed on the monument in recognition of the ultimate sacrifice they made.
The program — sponsored by Mill Race Center, the Bartholomew County Purdue Extension Service, Columbus Area Arts Council, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Columbus Parks and Recreation Department, Columbus Regional Health, IUPUC and Ivy Tech Community College-Columbus/Franklin — is focused in part on those people 50 and older but is open to anyone of any age.
Its primary benefit is simple knowledge.