Experience Southern Maryland and Beyond by Leaving the Classroom and Hitting the Road with CSM this Spring

April 22, 2022

Experience Southern Maryland and Beyond by Leaving the Classroom and Hitting the Road with CSM this Spring

The richness of Southern Maryland is on display this spring as the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) unveils a number of experience-based Personal Enrichment classes that allows students to encounter the history and culture of our region and beyond.

“People that are looking for new things to do that they may not be able to do on their own,” said CSM Director of Personal Enrichment Shaunda Holt. “We are making it easy for them to experience amazing things,”

The experiences stretch the limits of what most people imagine when they register for a class: Students won’t be passively listening to lectures and completing assignments. Instead, they will be immersed in the subject they are studying, doing everything from spreading sauce on an authentic Italian pizza to climbing to the top of a lighthouse to gaze across the water.

The experiences will also far exceed what community members would be capable of planning on their own.  In several cases, such as the “At Home With History” class, students will be granted access to areas that are normally closed to the public.  And with a qualified instructor guiding participants, the experience will be much richer.

“Everything comes alive when you have someone that is passionate about what they do guiding your experience,” said Holt. “I have found some amazing people who want to share their knowledge with the community to lead these classes,”

For example, a class on the “Lincoln Assassination” offered this June will be led by historian Bob Bowser, who has been a tour guide at the Dr. Samuel A. Mudd House for the past 13 years. The class will include both a classroom component and a visit to the Samuel Mudd House and will trace the role of Southern Maryland in Booth’s plot.

“People don’t realize how deep the history in our area is,” added Holt.

Mike Callahan, a living history interpreter for Friends of Chapman State Park and other historical sites, will also be leading classes that highlight the history of our area. His popular “At Home with History” class, which kicks off on May 12, takes students into private homes in the area to learn about their historical and cultural significance.  He also developed a day trip to visit the area’s lighthouses based on feedback from students, which will be offered later in May.

“This is living history; it’s bringing history alive,” said Callahan. “I have always believed that if you can experience something, you are going to remember it a lot better. I hope people come away from the experiences I am leading with a deeper appreciation and our local history and an understanding of what it takes to be a steward of these properties.”

The experiences will also take students out of the area to explore places they may not have discovered on their own. “Italian Day,” which led by popular instructor Simonetta Baldassari on May 13, will take students to Washington, DC to visit the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center for a guided tour. After the tour, participants will venture to Georgetown for authentic pizza, and even can help prepare it.  CSM has arranged access and transportation to reach each destination, taking the stress out of an ambitious day trip.

Other experiences offered this spring cover everything from introduction to fly fishing, to dog training, and Holt said that new experiences are being planned for future sessions based on instructor and student interest.

“Everybody can find something that interests them when they look at our schedule,” she said. 

Explore the personal enrichment website at https://www.csmd.edu/programs-courses/non-credit/personal-enrichment to find the experience that is right for you.

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