Classes start October 15 on the island.
Start studying, folks.
The Longboat Key Education Center is now accepting members for its fall session of classes, and nonmembers can sign up for classes starting Sept. 1. In its 34th year, the Center expects 500 memberships this year and classes are already filling up, said executive director Susan Goldfarb.
“This is gonna be a good year,” Goldfarb said.
About two-thirds of the classes are new every year, said Goldfarb, so past students always have a reason to come back. Movie discussions are ever-changing, and the Supreme Court discussion class may have a new case to talk about. Popular teachers often come back to change up a course or talk about something new in their area of expertise, said Goldfarb. Of course, the Education Center always loves having new folks come in, so even if you’re reading about the place for the first time, you’re already welcome.
“I try to give everybody a tour if they’re brand new,” Goldfarb said. “Fall is a wonderful time to come find out about us because I have the time to give a little tour and inform you about anything you want to be educated about.”
For the most immediate session, expect perennial staples including watercolor painting, movie discussion, yoga, bridge and all the iPad and iPhone tips and tricks you can absorb.
“Fall is light pickings because people aren’t really back yet fully and I don't want to do anything that’s brand new and exciting and have people miss it,” Goldfarb said.
However, in a typical season there can be about 5,500 registrations over 175 programs. In the heavy season, from January to March, there may be as many as 800 classes, said Goldfarb. After that, though the island may still be busy, it’s calm in school as visitors pour in and the beaches fill up.
One perk of the slower fall session (for both Goldfarb and students) is that Goldfarb finds the time to cook more, feeding the Brown Bag Bijou class with lunch and a movie. Goldfarb, a former personal chef who must take any opportunity she has to cook, presents students with a full luncheon buffet. Then, stomachs full, they watch a movie and discuss it afterwards.
“That’s always exciting and I look forward to it,” Goldfarb said. “We have a popcorn machine too so we make our own popcorn. And it doesn’t cost $7 a bag!”
Though classes haven’t even started again, Goldfarb can’t wait until they do.
“Any class I walk into, I feel such a feeling of joy and happiness,” Goldfarb said. “To know that there’s a place for this continuing of mind body spirit and the camaraderie — it's my passion.”
Class is in session on Monday, Oct. 14, so keep signing up for classes. Annual memberships are available for $60 individually or $85 per couple and run from June to June.
“I am so invested and committed to every one of the courses I bring to this school and my teachers,” Goldfarb said. “We are really excited by the subject matters. I don't hire people who are gonna offer something our student base isn’t gonna be interested in. I really know the typical Longboat Key student.”
For information on classes or signing up, visit LBKeducationcenter.org or call 941-383-8811. The Education Center is located in the Centre Shops, 5370 Gulf of Mexico Drive.