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Get Smarter in 2019

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WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR BRAIN POWER THIS YEAR

The new year is a time for starting over, for setting new goals and for resolving to be better humans. Some of us decide to start exercising or to stop smoking. Some resolve to save money. Others decide to sharpen their minds.

Here are a few ideas to get your brain in gear.

TAKE A CLASS AT THE OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE

OLLI is a national membership-led learning community for people age 50 and older. In the Lowcountry, OLLI offers classes in Beaufort and Bluffton and on Hilton Head Island. You won’t earn college credit, but at least there’s no homework or tests.

Andrea Sisino, director of USCB’s OLLI program, said the classes are a great way to connect to the community.

“When people move here, usually from afar, their worlds start to narrow,” she said. “They move into a development, and it’s like they get kind of cut off from community. And what the Osher Lifelong Learning program does is it gets them out into the community, learning about it.”

OLLI offers more than 200 courses each term. Winter/spring classes begin the week of Jan. 28, and registration opens Jan. 15. The membership fee is $40 a year. Members can pay $12 for each course or $120 for unlimited classes.

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For more information, call 843-208-8239 or go to www.olli.uscb.edu.

LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE

The USCB’s Continuing Education programoffers several programs for nontraditional students. A 10-week basic Spanish course begins Jan. 29; classes are 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays at USCB’s Bluffton campus. A 10-week advanced basic Spanish from 6-8 p.m. Thursdays begins Jan. 31. Cost for each course is $225, plus the cost of the books.

To register, call 843-208-8247 or go to www.uscb.edu/lifelong_learning/continuing_education.html.

PICK UP A NEW SKILL

Looking for a new hobby or skill? Try personal enrichment classes at Technical College of the Lowcountry. If you don't see one you like, TCL’s assistant vice president of marketing and public relations Leigh Copeland said classes can be offered on demand.

“For example, classes like computers for beginners, sewing 101, and financial planning for retirees are offered upon enough demand,” Copeland said. “Get a group together, and we can teach you whatever you want to know more about.”

For more information, go to www.tcl.edu/continuing-education

SHARPEN YOUR FOCUS AND BRAIN HEALTH

Memory Matters is a nonprofit organization that encourages early intervention and a healthy lifestyle to tackle memory loss.

The organization’s Brain Boosters program consists of two courses — “101: Introductory” and “201: Advanced.” Each course offers what Memory Matters refers to as a “brain tune-up,” and participants will learn how to sharpen focus, become flexible thinkers and enhance memory. They also will learn about how worry affects the brain, how to improve nutrition and diet, and relaxation techniques.

“Brain Boosters was designed for people who want to keep their brains healthy,” Brain Boosters teacher Karen Doughtie said.

The next Brain Boosters course begins Jan. 9 and is limited to 30 students. The fee is $120 per course. Classes are offered in Bluffton and on Hilton Head. To register, call 843-842-6688.

Or get a free baseline memory screening to determine your risk. Call for an appointment.

Memory Matters will hold a brain health summit from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. March 7 at Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort featuring neurologists, neuroscientists and sleep management specialists. Chef Kim Baretta, a graduate of Leiths School of Food and Wine in London will demonstrate Mediterranean cooking. Cost is $50 and includes lunch. Reservations are required. Call 843-842-6688 or go to mymemorymatters.org.

EXPLORE HISTORY, CULTURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT

 The Coastal Discovery Museum on Hilton Head offers a Discovery Lecture Series on select weekdays through May.

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For example: Learn all about bottlenose dolphins during a lecture at 3 p.m. Jan. 16. Participants will also learn about conservation and captivity issues. Or sign up for the “Reducing Plastic in the Lowcountry” lecture, set for 3 p.m. Jan. 17 and focused on plastic pollution in the Lowcountry and Beaufort County’s ban on single-use plastic bags.

Most programs cost $7. For information, call 843-689-6767, ext. 223 or go to www.coastaldiscovery.org.