Learning for the joy of it

Going back to school doesn't need to be a full-time commitment

  • Aug. 16, 2012 12:00 p.m.

Jared Nyberg and his wife Miyuki, co-owners of JagaSilk Tea Bar are teaching a new Tea Sommelier Course at Camosun College in the fall. It is open to the public.

Going back to school doesn’t need to be a full-time commitment in Victoria. There are plenty of ways to educate yourself beyond the traditional college or university nine-to-five experience. These courses can improve your on-the-job performance or help you learn something new that will take you places in life you’ve only imagined until now.

Tea Sommelier: Level 1

Let local entrepreneurs Jared and Miyuki Nyberg tea-ch you something about tea in Camosun College’s new continuing education course Tea Sommelier: Level 1, being offered for the first time at a post-secondary institute on the Island.

The Nybergs are owners of JagaSilk Teabar (17A-633 Courtney) and Spiced Water Tea and Coffee House (727 Courtney) and have operated their “Academy of Tea” for more than five years, training baristas and coffee shop managers about the intricacies of maccha (finely milled green tea) and other teas from around the world.

But the bulk of the Nybergs’ business is in wholesale. As one of the few fair-trade tea suppliers, they work intricately with farmers who produce the best single-origin teas from around the world. They mark each package with the harvest date and milling date, a practice that is rare in the industry. Their attention to detail has garnered praise in the New York Times and from respected B.C. foodie Sid Cross.

While the Nybergs offer a laundry-list of courses at their private Academy of Tea (taught out of JagaSilk, jagasilk.com/tea-academy-academic-calendar), this is the first time the couple will be teaching a certified program, backed by a reputable post-secondary institution. The course will feature teas from China, Japan, India, Taiwan and will provide the students with a strong foundation on the preparation of tea in a food service environment.

Students will also learn how to pair food with tea, how to make a tea menu, how to train other people in tea preparation and other useful topics.

“We’re seeing more and more career baristas in town,” says Jared. “It can be so much more than an entry-level job.”

The course is also great for anyone with a brewing interest in tea for their own consumption and enjoyment.

The course convenes each Tuesday for three hours (6:30 -9:30pm) from Oct. 2 to Dec. 18 in the cooking department of Camosun’s Interurban campus. The cost is $567+HST. A special introduction to the Tea Sommelier course is also being offered Tues., Sept. 11 (6:30-9:30pm). $25.

A Glimpse of Victoria in 1862

“Victoria 150” is a year-long celebration of the anniversary of Victoria’s incorporation as a city in 1862. Historian John Adams will take you back to the town as it was in the years leading up to 1862 and look at the people, events and buildings of the time. Find out what the Songhees and other First Nations were doing, learn about the diverse cosmopolitan mix of people, such as Governor James Douglas, first mayor Thomas Harris and many others, plus examine maps and photographs that illustrate the infant city.

At Camosun College from Sept. 26 – Oct. 17 for four Wednesday sessions, 7pm-9pm,  $95+HST .

AMICA at Somerset House Sessions

Explore the world and history from the comfort of Amica at Somerset House (540 Dallas) with courses and lectures being offered through the University of Victoria. You may register for individual sessions or receive a discount for the series registration.

Individual sessions include:

– Ghosts and Legends of Victoria: Historian John Adams moves over to University of Victoria to share some of the ghost stories he’s collected over the last 25 years. Join him as he shares some of the most intriguing stories and explains why Victoria seems to have more than its fair share. His talk will include city history, which will also be interesting to skeptics. Oct. 17 from 1-3pm; $21.

– A Journey through Israel with instructor Paul Chamberlain on Wed., Sept. 19, 1pm to 3pm.

– Glorious 150th: A Look at some of Victoria’s Oldest Residences in celebration of our city’s Sesquicentennial with instuctor Nick Russell on Wed., Sept. 26: 1pm to 3pm.

– An Afternoon in…Machu Picchu with instructor Chris Mundigler  on Wed., Nov. 7, 1pm to 3pm.

– Christmas in Old Victoria with instructor John Adams on Wed., Nov. 28, 1pm to 3pm.

Wisequacks: Medical Myth-information

Doctors Dave Hepburn and Rob Sealey wade through the plethora of medical misinformation that creates a cornucopia of confusion in our high-tech, fast-paced society. They will discuss modern medical myths and confront some of the ideas that are easily formed but firmly held thanks to oodles of Googles and viewers of the popular television series House. Thurs., Oct 18, 6:30-9pm at UVic’s Social Sciences and Math Building, $46.

Enchanted Evenings at the Opera

Whether you’re new to opera or already addicted, this course will help you to appreciate and understand its intoxicating world. With special musical guests, explore the three productions of Pacific Opera’s 2012-13 season. Each class will discuss the background and stories of the operas, listen to and compare great singers in the roles, and discover how each opera has been transformed from the composer’s first musings to a finished spectacle. Tuesday evenings in September, October and February in UVic’s MacLaurin Building. $55.

Novel Writing Boot Camp

Have you always wanted to write a novel, but didn’t know where to start? Join thousands of other writers worldwide for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), to produce a 50,000-word novel draft in just 30 days. Taught by an eight-time winner of NaNoWriMo, this course will help you get your plot, characters, setting and ideas ready for a wild month of literary abandon and help motivate you to see your project through. Eight sessions beginning Oct. 3. Wednesday evenings 7-9pm, Clearihue Building with Alisa Gordaneer. $140.

Camas Books FreeSkool

Will You Go Down On Me? A group discussion intended to help empower your sexy self with a sassy (and much needed) conversation touching on: sexual empowerment; contraception, including emergency contraception (hormonal and non-hormonal, “natural” options); addressing gender roles and patriarchy in a sexual context; open communication with your partner or partners; BDSM; polyamory; expressing your needs and desires; safer sex in both queer and heterosexual encounters; loving yourself and not being ashamed of your sexuality. People of all genders and orientations are welcome; however, the focus will be on sexual empowerment for women and trans people. Sat., Aug. 18, 6:30pm.

Economics as if Theology Mattered

Matthew Cook presents a critique of present economic thinking using ancient and modern Christian resources. The talk will cover such heresies as Gnosticism, “free”-market capitalism, usury, and the corporate person. The goal is to show how present economic thinking is governed by a certain way of seeing the world and that a theological aesthetic can inform an alternative understanding. Tues., Sept. 18, 6:30pm.

The Wayward School

The Wayward School is a learning co-operative focused on thinking, making and doing, offering skillshare workshops, town hall debates, cook-a-longs, lecture series and more.

Town Council: Food Shed: As part of the Victoria Downtown Public Market Society’s Eat Here Now festival Sept. 9, The Wayward School is hosting its first town council around the theme of food. The event will bring together numerous local food sovereignty non-profits to present short soapbox style presentations about their work, purpose and vision.

The event is free and open to the public, and will be taking place  from 11-3pm at Market Square (in the space next to the 509 Pandora entrance). M

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