Suburban colleges offer unique courses
There are no grades, no boring lectures, no buttoned-up professor. Meet the noncredit class at suburban community colleges.
Here, students of all ages learn about their interests and hobbies. Into UFO's? There's a class for that. Why not take a day trip? That's offered, too.
The Daily Herald has surfed through the spring semester catalogs and picked a few favorites.
College of DuPage: Suds, suds and more suds. The Glen Ellyn campus has craft beer covered with four classes this spring.
Start with "Introduction to the Craft Beer Industry," a one-day seminar when students will discuss history, trends and, of course, sample beer. $89. 1-5 p.m. Saturday, March 21. Must be 21. Visit myaccess.cod.edu or call (630) 942-2208.
Brew your own 6-pack (you'll actually end up with two) in "Taking it From Seeds to Suds: Beer Making." $220. 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 7; and Thursday, April 16.
Graduate to "Navigating Beer Flights," and learn the profiles of popular ales, lagers and hybrid styles. $89. 1-5 p.m. Saturday, April 18.
Finally, homegrown producers and distributors will be explored in "Breweries of the Western 'Burbs." $89. 1-5 p.m. Saturday, April 25.
Harper College: So you're either a Mulder or a Scully. A believer or a skeptic. Both can appreciate the methodical approach to "Paranormal Investigation I: Introduction to Investigating." Mary Marshall -- alias, Paranormal MD -- will teach students how Western culture classifies hauntings. Then test the gadgets and software used in gathering evidence. "This isn't hocus-pocus, but rather getting proof of the what, where and why in paranormal activity," Marshall told the Daily Herald in 2011. Harper also expects to unveil a new series of paranormal courses in spring 2016, said Mike McCandless, marketing manager for the college's continuing education program. Prerequisite for Paranormal Investigation II: Site Investigation. $139. 7-9 p.m. Mondays from Jan. 12 to March 2. Visit harpercollege.edu/ce or call (847) 925-6300.
College of Lake County: "Seven Ways to Raise a Queen Bee" explains how to nurture a locally-sourced queen from a supply known for weathering the cold and giving tasty honey. $29. 7-9:30 p.m. Monday, March 9. Should know your way around basic beekeeping. Visit clcillinois.edu/admission/become-a-student or call (847) 543-2022.
Oakton Community College: Escape the winter blues with the island sounds of "Hawaiian Ukulele I." If you don't have the four-string instrument on hand, the Des Plaines-based school will provide one for the hourlong class. Another bonus? The chance to perform with Oakton's Hawaiian Music Ensemble. $50. 5:45-6:45 p.m. Thursday, April 2. Oakton.edu/conted or (847) 982-9888.
Waubonsee Community College: The scene is charming. Mingle with guests before an intimate lunch in a historic Grant Park mansion. The meal is served, and gulp! A murder is committed, and the audience has to solve the crime. It's theater meets dining at the Bennett-Curtis House. Join a cast of actors staging the "Murder in the BC Mansion." $99 fee covers transportation, lunch and the play. Depart from the Sugar Grove campus 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15. Waubonsee.edu/register or (630) 466-7900.