Monday, April 6, 2009

My Club Ed Day

by Phil Houseal as published in the Kerrville TX Community Journal, Apr 1, 2009

In 1986 there was a movie called Ferris Bueller's Day Off. In it, Matthew Broderick took the day off from school. The movie details his adventures eluding authorities and avoiding responsibilities.

Not long ago, I took a day on to school.

This day started at 5 a.m., when I rolled out of bed and headed to the Fredericksburg High School gymnasium. For an hour, I joined a group of marginally-in-shape yet enthusiastic men in our morning basketball game. That activity is community education - part of Fredericksburg ISD's program.

I showered and drove on to the Kerrville ISD Club Ed office. During lunchtime, I sat in on a new Conversational Spanish course. Monica Happ led our band of merry men and women through an hour of brushing up on our Spanish speaking skills. Esta es community education.

That afternoon, 30 dedicated dulcimer players descended on the Auld Center for their weekly jam session. For two hours, they practiced in preparation for a performance at one of our Kerrville ISD elementary schools. Of course, I had to tune up my mandolin and strum along on a few numbers. That is community education.

After work, I had just enough time to get across town and grab a chair in our adult beginner Take-A-Bow orchestra rehearsal. It is one of the many lifelong learning opportunities the United Methodist Church offers. Yes, that is community education.

At 6:30, it was time to zoom over to the dance studio, where I waltzed in and changed shoes for my adult tap and ballet classes. You guessed it - that is community education.


I was describing my day to Emily Cale, who many of you meet as she takes your registrations and plans your courses for Club Ed. As I finished, she said, "Write that down. That is community education!"

For 20 years I have tried to come up with a 25-word description of community education. The concept is so all-encompassing and ever-changing that I have never succeeded (the other day I answered the phone and someone asked, "Is this the department of other things?"). But after my "Club Ed day," I realized Emily was right. What I did that day is community education.

Look around at how you spend your time when you are doing something you don't have to do. I'll bet you will be surprised at how many activities involve learning something new or stretching yourself beyond that stuffy comfort zone.

What's that? You're not doing those things? Well I happen to know a place where you can get started.

Unlike Ferris Bueller, we'll see you in class.


Plan your "day on" with our Spring 2009 Club Ed catalog! Visit to sign up, or call 830-895-4386.

Club Ed is the Community Education program of the Kerrville Independent School District. Each year, we offer more than 400 classes throughout the Texas Hill Country, along with online courses, business and individual training, and after-school and summer camps. Comment online at

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