Going to school never tasted this good

Whitney Scott in front of a recent class on Mixology held at Franke Tobey Jones Senior University.

Crayons and pencils, paper and erasers.  Stores are abuzz and kids are aghast because it’s back to school time.  If you are retired or semi-retired, you might be wondering why you should even bother thinking about school.  After all when we are children, school is the ladder we have to climb to get good jobs or careers.  So what’s the point of going to school, when you are 60 or 70 or even better?

The benefits can be pretty impressive.   Spending time learning can help your mind build new pathways, allowing it to stay sharp for a longer period of time.  A classroom setting encourages social interaction, opportunities to mingle with people of varying view points and a chance to pursue a hobby or even a new career.

There are as many ways to continue school as there are to begin schooling.  Universities have programs as do senior centers, libraries and the list goes on and on.  In the Tacoma area, one of the easiest ways to slide back into education is by attending Senior University at Franke Tobey Jones.  Classes cover the gamut from educational or cultural to health and finance.   Senior University classes offer community members the opportunity to dip their toes into the waters of additional education by providing free classes in a no pressure, relaxed environment.   In July, community members had the opportunity to learn about summer cocktails and wines or hear from best-selling author and healthy life style expert, Joe Piscatella about current medical information on nutrition and eating.  They spoke with and listened to Democratic Senatorial opponents Jeannie Darnielle and Jack Connelly or boned up on their genealogy.  Instructors come from local universities and businesses and include community members, musicians, entertainers,  and artists.

Whitney Scott, a certified Mixologist and a staff member at Franke Tobey Jones recently taught a summer cocktail class.  Scott and her mom attended a bartending school together.  The school didn’t teach Scott a lot about how to mix specific drinks but concentrated on information on the various components and their history, which she found interesting like the fact that Ernest Hemingway is known to have favored Mojitos but the original drink was for medicinal purposes.  It wasn’t until the use of rum that the drink became recreational.  She showed the class how to mix Sangria, Mojitos, Margaritas, and Daiquiris, which all shared three characteristics: they tasted great, were simple and fast to make.  Scott talked to everyone about methods to make the drinks “pretty” including salting the glass rims for drinks and to try flavors outside their normal repertoire such as making mango daiquiris rather than sticking to always using strawberries.