ElderCollege Course Descriptors

Those under 50 can register for an additional fee of $20 + GST to attend any class

Gherkin Pickleball for Seniors and Senioras  

Pickleball is not tennis; Pickleball is not badminton; Pickleball is not ping pong. Pickleball is a game of strategy and finesse: it is not simply a game of banging and smashing. In Pickleball, you and your partner try to outsmart your opponents by forcing them out of position so you can place the ball where they are not. In Pickleball, you have to have the patience to let your opponents make the mistake. In Pickleball, you win by controlling the court. Let us help you understand how this fabulous paddle sport can be played. All you need is to show up with a pair of sport shoes and comfortable clothing so you can move freely. Don’t forget your water bottle! We provide all the rest!

Please note: this course is only for people who have NEVER played Pickleball before.

VIU – Powell River would like to thank the Gherkins as they are not only volunteering their hours, but also supplying the nets, paddles and balls to help subsidize the cost in order for us to charge only a nominal $27 fee.

We, the Gherkins, are a group of energetic, enthusiastic picklers who are determined to teach seniors the softer game of Pickleball. The Gherkin Pickleball motto is “Placement Over Power” so that no senior or seniora has to be afraid to play. The Gherkins are also diverse in levels of play, so we understand both what it is like to be a beginner and what it is like to compete in big tournaments. Ultimately, we want to share our love for the game and the fun we have learning and playing it. Pickleball – it really is a big dill!

GAME DAYS – Part of the Course and Starting Week One:

For a small $2 drop-in fee, we will have Game Day each Friday from 10 am to noon for the registered participants to use the skills they have learned in their Wednesday session. These Game Days bring the lessons to life! Please count on Friday Game Days as part of the 6 sessions.

A mini-tournament will take place on the last Wednesday, November 9 as a way to end the course.


ELDP 001 F22R70             Instructors: The Gherkins

6 sessions

Wed, Oct 5-Nov 9; 10 am–12 pm

(Note: a session on Sat, Nov 5 from 1 to 3 pm will make up for the Fri, Nov 11 statutory holiday)

$27 + GST

Seats are limited

Interactive Beginning Spanish and Refresher

This course is an introduction to the basics of the Spanish language. It will provide you with the essential elements at a beginner level. Through a series of fun and dramatized stories and exercises, you will learn vocabulary, the present, past and future tenses, and commonly used idioms. 

Additional Expenses: You must buy Schaum's Outline of Spanish Grammar by Conrad J. Schmitt, Publisher McGraw-Hill Education; 7th edition. It can be purchased from an online book store such as McGraw Hill Canada, Amazon, Indigo/Chapters, etc. List price ranges from $24 to $42 + shipping (price varies by retailer).

ELDP 003 F22R70              Instructor: Miriam Palacios

8 sessions

Wed, Oct 5 – Nov 23; 2-4 pm

Fee: $53 + GST

Those under 50 can register for an additional fee of $20 + GST to attend this class 

Foundations of Writing Practice NEW

Everyone is welcome—from beginners to experienced writers and everyone in between! All you need is a notebook and a pen!

In this seven-week series we follow Natalie Goldberg’s writing practice tradition: We sit. We write. We read. We listen. Together. Natalie Goldberg is a writer, teacher, Zen practitioner, and author of the groundbreaking book Writing Down the Bones (and many other books).

In this course:

  • We sit: Short 2-5 minute sits are woven into every class.
  • We write: We work with topics and timed writings. E.g. Tell me about your favourite outfit when you were a wee one! Go for 10 minutes!
  • We read: Everyone is invited to read what they wrote. You may choose to pass.
  • We listen with open ears and heart. No comments, no feedback.
  • We will study the mind, our own and other writers’, by listening to poems and excerpts from other books which may invoke, inspire, and give you a different angle, or way, to approach a topic.
  • You will learn the simple rules of writing practice.
  • There will be optional reading and writing homework; there will be no grading of said homework!


Writing practice breaks through writer’s block and monkey mind—also known as the inner critic or the editor. It develops discipline and confidence and cuts through discursive thinking. It helps you not feel so alone with your thoughts; we connect with ourselves and others. We get to know our own minds and other writers’ minds. It helps with accountability: we show up for each other; we hold each other accountable. It can help with any style of writing, e.g. memoirs, novels, essays, PhD dissertations. It’s like warming up before going for a run! It keeps your writing bones limber! It is a great antidote for perfectionism. And, it can improve your listening skills.

Anyone can write; it's a practice! Just like running, yoga, soccer, learning guitar, you practice! You just pick up the pen and write. No good. No bad. Just writing!

Recommended reading: Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, a must-have for any writer or would-be writer! (To support your local community you can order it from Pocket Books, which is located in the Ecossentials building.)

Jackie L Hutchings has loved writing since she was a wee one back in her homeland, England. She enjoys writing poetry, memoir, and, of course, whatever comes out of her during writing practice!

“I have studied with Natalie Goldberg for over five years. Writing practice is my home, a refuge in these tumultuous times. I feel alive when I write. This practice has brought me deeper into myself—I know myself deeply! I am excited to share this powerful practice with you.” ~ Jackie.

ELDP 010 F22R70              Instructor: Jackie Hutchings

7 sessions

Thu, Sep 29 – Nov 10; 2-3:30 pm

Fee: $53 + GST

Those under 50 can register for an additional fee of $20 + GST to attend this class 

Chiles Rellenos (Cooking Class) NEW

Join Diana and learn how to prepare chiles rellenos (pronounced chi-leez ruh-lay-nows). This is a dish in Mexican cuisine that originated in the city of Puebla. In 1858 it was described as a green chile pepper stuffed with minced meat or cheese. The most popular pepper used is Puebla’s poblano pepper because it is thick, strong, heart-shaped and wide enough to be stuffed. They are served in a savoury tomato salsa. This hands-on class will be fun and delicious! NOTE: Please bring an apron and plastic containers for leftovers.

ELDP 011 F22X70              Instructor: Diana Rodríguez

1 session

Mon, Nov 7; 2-4 pm

Fee: $17 + $20 lab fee + GST

Those under 50 can register for an additional fee of $20 + GST to attend this class

Location: Iguana’s Mexican Grill Restaurant

Seats are limited

A Taste of Korea NEW

Bibimbap is one of the most well-known Korean dishes. Once you learn how to cook Bibimbap, you can make endless variations to this dish depending on your preference and dietary requirements. The recipe that JungHwa will show you could be considered the “classic” Bibimbap. Bibimbap, which brings together different ingredients in a single bowl, will let you enjoy not only the delicious harmony of different flavors and textures, but also the balance in Korean culture. NOTE: Please bring an apron and plastic containers for leftovers.

JungHwa (Elise) Kim was born in South Korea and moved to Powell River in 2019. Elise has the pleasure of sharing her passion for Korean culture, including cooking. 

ELDP 012 F22X70              Instructor: JungHwa (Elise) Kim

1 session

Sat, Nov 19; 10 am-12 pm

Fee: $17 + $25 lab fee + GST

Those under 50 can register for an additional fee of $20 + GST to attend this class

Location: TBA

Seats are limited