There are back-to-school options for adults, too

By Joanne Peterson | Aug 08, 2013

By now, Beacon readers know that editor Pat Ratliff has left us to go on to his next adventure—this one in North Dakota. Last week Edmonds Councilmember Diane Buckshnis wrote a letter to the editor in farewell to Pat.

Diane commented, “Pat Ratliff is a man of integrity and dedication.” Further describing him, she used the words “balanced and fair” and “insightful and educational.” Yes. Yes to all that. I’d add that Pat is thoughtful and generous, loyal and resourceful, blessed with common sense and a tremendous work ethic. What a good guy!

I already miss Pat.  We are friends, with a common interest in journalism—and in grandkids.  We’ll keep in touch. As he and his wife Diana leave the Pacific Northwest, I am proud of both of them for taking on a new challenge.  North Dakota? Yes.

When Pat asked Diana what she thought of the job offer (which he had not sought but which offered exciting opportunities for professional growth), she encouraged him to “go for it.” I’m not sure every wife would have been so positive. (There is nothing wrong with North Dakota. It’s just not HERE.)

We’ll all miss Pat’s talent for photography—just one of his gifts. His photos enriched the Beacon on a regular basis.  In addition to Pat’s photography for the Beacon, upon hearing that the Edmonds Community College Creative Retirement Institute needed a photographer for its brochures and publicity, Pat offered to take photos for CRI this next year, at no charge.

Being a believer in CRI, and realizing that hiring a photographer is a stretch for the CRI budget, Pat added that responsibility to his schedule. So Pat’s exit from the community also hits CRI hard.

I don’t know whether anyone else has stepped forward to fill this role for the Creative Retirement Institute, but if you’re a photographer and feel inclined to help out, please call the CRI office, (425) 640-1806.

Speaking of CRI, watch for information about fall classes. It’s going to be another exciting year of educational opportunities. Some of the course titles adults can anticipate through CRI this fall:  Medieval History and Literature: Shards of Light; Four Baroque Capitals: Prague, Rome, Madrid and Paris; How Life Began and Evolved; Sociological Themes Through Literature; Modern Philosophy: Descartes to Sartre; Fire and Brimstone! The Geology of Volcanoes; American Popular Music of the ‘50s and ‘60s; History of Physics: A Layman’s Guide to the Oldest Science, and At Home in the Milky Way Galaxy.

That’s only a sampling of courses. The rest of the list is equally awesome. Now that it’s August, and back-to-school becomes the theme of the month, it’s not too early to remind adults that we, too, have great opportunities for back-to-school excitement. I’ll hope to see you in class.

By the way, take advantage of current sales and buy crayons, notebooks, backpacks and such to donate for kids whose folks can’t afford school supplies.

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