Vashon College is gearing up for its fall 2008 course

Vashon College gets ready for fall 2008

Vashon College is gearing up for its fall 2008 course offerings. Early bird special tuitions are available until Aug. 17. Following is a list of the college’s highlights:

• Vashon 101, a popular survey course about Vashon’s physical, environmental and social fabric, offered this fall for the fourth time. The course will include 11 sessions held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays, from Sept. 4 to Nov. 20. Early bird tuition is $225; regular tuition is $275.

• A lecture, discussion and “100-mile potluck” with Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon, authors of the book, “Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally.” The event wraps up Vashon Reads 2008 and the sustainability lecture series on local food production. Smith and Mackinnon will visit Vashon from their home in Vancouver, B.C., to discuss their book and recent activities filming four families in a Canadian town that took the challenge to eat within 100 miles for 100 days.

A 100-mile potluck featuring recipes from “Plenty” and those of attendees will precede the lecture and discussion. The potluck will be from 6 to 7 p.m., and the lecture/discussion will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, in the Presbyterian Church Social Hall. A donation is suggested.

• A new course called “Taking Oral and Video Histories” (parts I and II), taught by local historian Bruce Haulman and other guest faculty. The class will include the fundamentals of oral history projects, from research techniques to interviewing methods to practical aspects of using audio and video equipment. Part I — an introduction — takes place over the course of five consecutive Mondays, from 7 to 9 p.m., Sept. 15 to Oct. 13, at the Sheffield Building. Early bird tuition is $125; regular tuition is $150. Partial scholarship assistance is possible. Part II — workshops — take place on four consecutive Mondays, from 7 to 9 p.m., between Nov. 3 and Nov. 24, also at the Sheffield Building. Tuition is $100.

• Next year is the centennial of the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition (AYP), the region’s first world’s fair, which took place on the current University of Washington campus. Vashon was a force in the region 100 years ago and merited two honorary days at the AYP. In the early 1900s, the mosquito fleet steamers transferred people, goods and agricultural products to and from Vashon. The Island was home to prosperous farms and shipbuilding, among other industries. A few Native Americans still lived on Vashon, and Burton was a “college town,” with Vashon College in its heyday. Vashon College even played football against the University of Washington.

What was it really like to live on Vashon 100 years ago? When did autos and electricity arrive? What did people grow, eat, wear and do for fun? What concerned them about living on an island? How self-sustaining was Vashon at that time? What vestiges remain that give clues to our place over time? This course will further articulate the “Vashon Story,” as participants uncover the rural, commercial and lifestyle roots of the Island in time to celebrate Vashon’s place in the AYP centennial.

The goal is to work closely with the Vashon Maury Island Heritage Association and other groups to do original research, publish findings and create opportunities for Vashon to engage in centennial festivities. This study group will be mentored by Bruce Haulman and Joseph Meeker and will have the opportunity to do primary research at locations such as the Heritage Museum, University of Washington and Vashon’s historical sites. Schedule and format is still being determined.

Contact the college at or call Pamn Aspiri at 408-8022 for further information.

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