BURLEY – You can learn about both computers and color theory by signing up for two College of Southern Idaho (CSI) classes taught by computer whiz and artist Shirley Stauffer.
To begin with, Stauffer plans to teach her computer class called Internet for Seniors (but open to everybody) at 12:15 p.m., every Tuesday for four weeks starting April 1, at the Mini-Cassia CSI Center.
During the class, Stauffer plans to teach Microsoft 2013, Windows, Excel and Power Point. She says it’s vital for seniors to learn these computer programs as their families continually rely on the technology to communicate back and forth.
“You know, the problem is that their families buy them smart phones and computers. They’ll say ‘Grandma, you got an e-mail from us.’ ‘Grandma, get a Facebook, and you can see my pictures.’ The problem is that Grandma doesn’t know how to do it, and then they come see me,” Stauffer said.
Stauffer says her students don’t shy away from technology and are eager to learn.
“I think they really enjoy it. We go at their speed,” she said.
Stauffer notices that seniors especially like working with digital cameras.
“They’re really into photo shopping. We’ll say ‘this is how to take pictures and how to modify them.’ We can fix the wrinkles up with this new 2013 software. We use Photo Gallery that comes with Windows,” she said.
She noted that Microsoft Office 2013 proves a hit.
“Oh my gosh, it is really nice. They have really sharpened it up. They offer lots of new ideas. You have the ability to bring pictures into Word and videos into Word. You never could do that before. Your pictures can come from any resource now (like Facebook),” she said.
Seniors also learn the Excel computer program.
“It’s a lot of lists and spread sheets. I teach them to set up an address book, and I teach them how to do a budget. Other than that, we don’t do too much more with it,” she said.
At 12:15 p.m., Wednesday, April 2, and continuing at the same time every Wednesday through April 22, Stauffer plans to teach her Color Theory class. The classes run for two hours each time.
During the class, Stauffer teaches how to mix colors, how to use the color wheel and how to do tones and values of colors.
“If I teach them color theory, at least they have an idea of why the color is so intense - if they’re hoping for something different,” she said.
Stauffer grew up dabbling in art and took art classes throughout school and college. She’s also taken private lessons and “every art class they they’ve offered at CSI.”
What does she like about all that sketching?
“You know, it gives me freedom. In the digital (computer) world, it’s very precise, and then I have the freedom of the art world. I relax totally when I paint and draw. It’s a stress reliever,” she said.
Stauffer loves art as much as she loves computers and finds technology very creative.
“I am fascinated with digital art and how they did the movie ‘Frozen’,” she said.
While anybody can sign up for Stauffer’s classes, she finds that they’re mainly made of those in their golden years. She often recruits students from other classes designed for senior citizens and from senior citizen centers.
Anymore the golden years are about being active and getting out instead of being stuck at home in the rocking chair, Stauffer said.
“The 60, 70, 80 year olds don’t act 80 anymore. My grandmother stayed in a chair. She would never think about going out and doing yoga and walking,” she said.
Or taking computer and art classes.
“Things have changed,” Stauffer said.
For more information on the classes call CSI at 678-1400,