Wine making and adult literacy are two of the continuing education courses offered in Tiperon University-Blacktip’s new adult education program. (photo illustration by Clete Horn/BT staff)
In its continuing effort to serve the Blacktip Island community, Tiperon University-Blacktip officials announced Thursday the university will offer free adult education courses for island residents.
“We take a lot of heat for being hoity-toity ivory tower,” TU-B chancellor Donna Requin said. “This program’s aimed at showing TU-B is relevant to everyone. The university’s donating the space and our instructors are donating their time to make this happen. We’re not some elitist bastion. We’re here for the hoi polloi, too.
“We pulled out the stops to offer something for everyone,” Requin said. “We have courses in driftwood arranging, flotsam bottle collecting, basic literacy I and II, wine making, arithmancy and intro to psychological self-therapy.”
Many residents praised the new program.
“Anything that gives people something to do after work besides sitting around and drinking is great,” Rusty Goby said. “Theses courses are a great way to grow personally, regardless of your background.
“I covered the bases by signing up for wine making and self-therapy,” Goby said. “I figure if one doesn’t work out, the other one will.”
Not all residents agreed.
“Slap in the face is what it is,” Dermott Bottoms said. “Donna and them’re still looking down their noses at everybody. Saying I should better myself? That’s saying something’s wrong with me.
“They’re dissing us all, and I won’t stand for it,” Bottoms said. “Got half a mind to go to a class, then just sit there and not learn anything. Or teach my own class, maybe, in the parking lot. Or at the Ballyhoo.”
Some TU-B faculty also were critical of the new program.
“If by ‘donating time’ you mean ‘working extra hours without pay so the university doesn’t lose government funding and grant money,’ then sure,” archeology professor Catalina Luxfer said. “Put all the lipstick on it you want, this pig’s still just a revenue ploy. At the faculty’s expense. Like I know anything about collecting washed-up bottles.”
Others pointed out the program’s long-term benefits.
“You really can’t get more egalitarian than free university,” TU-B engineering chair and arithmancy instructor Sally Port said. “These are accredited university courses. They count toward a degree in Island Liberal Arts.
“It’s a plus for everyone,” Port said. “Whoever wants a class can have one, and the university can keep its doors open. A rising tide lifts all boats.”