New Life Long Learning classes

San Marcos Parks and Recreation is offering another round of Life Long Learning courses for the greater San Marcos area beginning in January. The classes are primarily for those ages 50 and above, but adults of any age are welcome to register.


If you like birds, this class is for you. Birdwatching, or “birding,” is a hobby that is both fun and rewarding. The course is molded to meet each person’s needs, regardless of level of experience. We will cover how to best select the right viewing equipment (optics), how to use and master the best field guides and audio learning materials. We will explore the biology and ecological interactions of the largest group of vertebrates on the planet. You will learn the essential skills to identify a variety of birds that live in or pass through our area.

Presented by David B. Womer who holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in biology from Stephen F. Austin State University. His studies included all areas of wildlife biology with a focus on ornithology and an extensive study of indigo and painted buntings. Womer’s team has twice won the renowned World Series of Birding competition in New Jersey and enjoys participating in The Great Texas Birding Classic.

The birding class will take place on Wednesdays from 1 to 2:15 p.m. at the San Marcos Activity Center, 501 E. Hopkins St., on Jan. 10, 17, 24, 31 and Feb. 7. The class costs $30 to register.

Drawing with Watercolor and Ink

Develop your expressive voice with watercolor and ink. This experimental drawing class will encourage you to be loose in style, technical in drawing and playful in your designing. We will talk about design and how to come up with interesting compositions. There will be demonstrations on using watercolor, pen and ink techniques and building designs. There will be lots of studio work time to create your work in a setting where you can enjoy feedback and artistic interaction.

The Drawing with Watercolor and Ink will take place on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Cephas House, at 217 MLK Dr., on Jan. 5, 12, 19, 26 and Feb. 2. The class costs $50 to register.

Language of Pen and Ink

Develop dexterity and observational skills while building imagery with optical value. Learn to use a quill pen, micron pen and brush. This exploration of drawing with pen and ink will cultivate your ability to see spatial relationships and develop your eye-hand coordination. The class will cover basic mark-making and hatching techniques with pen and ink as well as brush and ink. We will put these techniques into practice by copying ink work of some of the heroes of inking like the famous Frank Frazetta, Jeff Jones and Gary Gianni. There will be technical demonstrations, digital presentations, critiques and in class studio time.

The Language of Pen and Ink class will be held on Fridays from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the Cephas House on Jan. 5, 12, 19, 26 and Feb. 2. The class costs $50 to register.

Roxana Tuff, a metalsmith and illustrator who holds a BFA in painting and drawing and a MFA in painting, presents the Watercolor and Ink and the Pen and Ink art classes. She has taught in the art studio area at Texas State for 14 years and for Life-Long Learning since its inception.

For a complete list of materials for the two art classes, visit the San Marcos Activity Center and pick up a Life Long Learning Packet or visit the city's website and search LLL for Life Long Learning courses.

Elder Speaks: Native American Tradition in Texas…past, present, future

This course is a unique opportunity to hear from a respected Native American elder and scholar who has stepped forward to reveal sacred knowledge that not only bridges thousands of years of tradition, but also unites us all in the commonality of our human experience. Learn of new and thought provoking information about Native Americans who have populated San Marcos for over 13,000 years. Glimpse into ancient spiritual beliefs, and insights into little known histories and issues of detribalized Texas Indians. Learn the creation story of the local Coahuiltecan people that documents San Marcos as their origination site and how their ancient ceremony is still practiced today. Hear the stories of modern-day indigenous Texas activists who are reclaiming the remains of their ancestors that are being held in cardboard boxes in institutions throughout the country. Discover the truth about the indigenous-Hispanic population in this state and the movement to reclaim their indigeneity.

Presented by Dr. Mario Garza, a member and elder of the Miakan-Garza Band of Coahuiltecan, a state-legislaturerecognized Texas tribe. Dr. Garza is Board of Elders Chair of the Indigenous Cultures Institute, a local nonprofit. He holds a multidisciplinary Doctorate of Philosophy from Michigan State University where he has taught classes as well as at Lansing Community College and Austin Community College. Additionally, he has over 30 years' experience in repatriation and work with Native communities.

The Elder Speaks class will be held on Saturdays from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. at the San Marcos Activity Center or Spring Lake Preserve on Feb. 3, 10, 17, 24, March 3 and 10. The class costs $25 to register.

Historical Quilting

Few activities were more universal among American women of many races and backgrounds than was quilting. In this class, we will explore the art and technique of quilting and textiles as we build on the history of quilting and women's relationship to their quilts. Each student will make a wall hanging or a lap throw based on the nine-patch pattern during the course of the six weeks.

Woven throughout the course, intriguing topics such as quilted items in the ancient and medieval world, whole top quilts, time-span quilts, paper (English method) piecing, textile history, colonial quilting, Baltimore album quilts, political quilts, album quilts, crazy quilts, Overland Trail quilting, dating fabrics, Depression Era quilts, appraising quilts, identifying quilt patterns and the modern quilting movement.

Presented by Jo Snider. Snider has been involved in fabric arts and sewing from childhood. As a teacher of American history, she has married the art of quilting to various aspects of textile and women's history for a unique blend of the academic and the practical.

Participants are asked to bring the following supplies:

One-half a yard each of three 100 percent cotton fabrics that you like together, a rotary cutter, mat and good scissors.

The Historical Quilting class will be held on Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. at the San Marcos Activity Center on Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27, March 6 and 13. The class costs $50 to register.

To register or to find more information on any of the Life Long Learning classes, stop by the Activity Center at 501 E. Hopkins St., the Parks and Recreation main office at 401 E. Hopkins St., call 512-393-8400 or visit the city's website and search LLL for Life Long Learning courses.

San Marcos Daily Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666