Two participants in the new Lifelong Learning class at the Harker Heights Recreation Center watch a DVD presentation Jan. 14 about inventions that changed the world.

Senior citizens gathered Jan. 14 for the first class of the year in the Life Long Learning series.

Heights Resident Nancy Rakel has been attending the Life Long Learning classes for the last three years.

“I’m not only impressed by the inventions, but the history behind them,” she said about the class topic “How Inventions Changed the World.” “I love history and will be back for every class.”

Professor W. Bernard Carlson of the University of Virginia is leading the 36-lesson series produced on DVD.

“The purpose of the classes is to keep our minds active and looking around at what’s going on in the world in addition to offering us an opportunity to see things from a totally different point of view,” said Joyce Mayer, coordinator of senior activities for the Harker Heights Parks and Recreation Department.

Topics in the series will include beer, wine and distilled spirits; coins and the alphabet; paper and printing; electric, light and power; pagodas and cathedrals; surgery and the operating room; and the Internet. The lectures are 30 minutes in length. Two lessons will be covered each week.

“These classes are about hands-on knowledge, not just about inventions,” Carlson said.

Before beginning the new class, Mayer surveyed several people about what had changed their lives. She said the answers varied including innovations like the Internet, cell phones and TV.

The discussion then turned to more basic modern marvels such as indoor plumbing and electricity.

“We don’t think about indoor plumbing or electricity at all, which is why this class is going to be so interesting,” she said.

The Heights Senior Recreation Program provides 20 different fun, educational and active opportunities to choose from for Heights citizens age 55 and older.

The Lifelong Learning class meets from 11 to 12:15 a.m. every Tuesday at the Recreation Center, 300 Miller’s Crossing.

For more information, call 254-953-5657 or go to

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