Expand Horizons At Gila Community College

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If one of your New Year's resolutions is taking a class to learn a new skill or improve yourself in an area that already interests you, Gila Community College might just have a place for you. Several personal enhancement classes are being offered at the college for the spring semester.

There are both multi-session classes and single session classes from which to choose.

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Sue Barton will teach novices to sew and help seamstresses with a little more experience find solutions to their project problems in the upcoming Gila Community College noncredit course, "Learn to Sew."

The multi-session classes and their start dates include:

  • Painting with Pastels, Jan. 7, late registrations will be accepted
  • Creative Writing, Jan. 15
  • Learn to Sew, Jan. 17
  • Study Circle/Deliberate Dialogue, Jan. 19
  • Stretching for Fitness, Jan. 20
  • Word Processing with Word 2002, Jan. 31
  • I Bought a Computer, Now What?, Feb. 8
  • Spreadsheets with Excel 2002, Feb. 15

The single session classes are:

  • Installing and Uninstalling Software, Jan. 14
  • Four Corners Geology, Jan. 23
  • Internet Surfing, Jan. 28
  • Computer Graphics for Fun, Feb. 1
  • Create-A-Project -- Labels and Letterheads, Feb. 11
  • Poetry on the Patio, Feb. 11
  • Create-A-Project -- Mail Merge, Feb. 18
  • Downloading Pictures from Digital Cameras, March 1
  • Create-A-Project -- Make a Calendar, March 4
  • First Aid, March 16

Sue Barton is teaching the "Learn to Sew" class. "It's pretty much an open forum," she said. Students can bring any project they would like to start or any that they might have started and have run into a problem with, she said. Anyone interested in learning to do basic alterations, re-styling clothes and even simple upholstery is welcome as well.

"They ought to sew something they really want," Barton said. "If you're making something you want, you're going to learn how to do it."

While this is Barton's first time to teach a sewing class, it is something she has wanted to do for several years. She first learned to sew in 4-H when she was only 10.

She currently works as a floral artist with Finishing Touch Flowers & Gifts in Payson, but has also served as the manager of the fabrics and crafts department at a Wal-Mart in Lebanon, N.H.

Among the lessons she is planning for participants in the GCC "Learn to Sew" class:

-- How to thread a sewing machine. Participants are encouraged to bring their own machines to the class to learn to operate them property, but there will also be machines to rent for $5.

-- Pattern reading and fitting. "The multiple sizes on patterns today makes sizing easy," she said. "If you need a bigger or smaller top than bottom, the size is already there for you."

-- The best material choices for a given project.

-- The different types of sewing machine needles to use.

She said she will try to answer any questions participants have and help them find solutions to their sewing troubles.

The class is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 17, 24, 31 and Feb. 7. The fee is $30, after Jan. 11. Those interested can sign up through the day of the first class.

Participants need to bring scissors, pins, tape measure, pattern with fabric and thread.

"The main thing to bring is a seam ripper," Barton said. The first thing she made, she had to take apart five times and put it back together before she had it right. Even now, she carries a seam ripper in her purse.

Physical therapist Cindy Kamphaus is teaching the "Stretching for Fitness" class, which begins Jan. 20.

"I'm a very strong believer in the importance of flexibility," Kamphaus said.

She has been doing physical therapy for 34 years and said most lifestyles lead to problems with flexibility. When a person is not as flexible as they should be, that can result in exercise programs failing to meet expectations.

"Pilates and yoga are both wonderful," Kamphaus said. "But they work large muscles groups, not the smaller groups, which can tighten up and cause pain."

She explained that muscles have three states, at rest they are a certain length, they contract and they extend. Posture and lifestyles can limit how much we extend our muscles.

"So much of our discomfort and pain is due to reduced flexibility of both our joints and muscles, or soft tissue," Kamphaus said.

Her "Stretching for Fitness" class is a workshop that will be offered three different times. In each workshop, participants can take what they learn and incorporate it into their lifestyle, she said.

"We'll do a lot of sitting and standing work and some lying down," she said. She will show participants who work at desks for most of the day, stretches they can fit into their schedule.

Participants will get an overview of the muscle system and be given help in the areas where they are having flexibility problems.

She said the two primary culprits for limiting flexibility are the shoulder girdle and the pelvic girdle.

The class is open to anyone 18 and older, even persons in wheelchairs, Kamphaus said.

It is recommended that participants wear loose clothing, if they are interested, they can also bring a blanket or mat for floor work.

"Flexibility doesn't require a lot of strength and endurance, it should not hurt, but you will feel a pull," she said. She will only have class members do one to three repetitions of the moves.

"It helps you feel better. Your muscles are oxygenated better. And you will gain strength and endurance," Kamphaus said.

Kamphaus has lived in the Payson area for six years and up until recently, operated SoloPro Physical Therapy. She has now joined the national firm, Physiotherapy Associates and is opening a new clinic at 127 E. Main St., Suite D, Payson.

The registration deadline for "Stretching for Fitness" is Jan. 13, the fee is $12. Those interested can register after Jan. 13, but the fee will be $15. The class is from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday in the community room of Gila Community College, 202 N. Mud Springs Road, Payson.

There is no limit to the size of either the sewing or stretching class.

For more information, call Sarah Nelson at (928) 468-8039.

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