A word that’s taking hold in the ever-changing English language is “adulting.” Its meaning is clear enough. “Adulting” is simply the process of being self-responsible and capable in the bigger world. The word is often used in the context of one who is lacking basic skills.
That phenomenon is more common than many realize. From young adults who never learned to change a tire, to elderly folks whose spouse always handled the checkbook, quite a few people have gaps in their social education.
Thanks to Cindy Wilson and Juanita Finger, Roswell is about to have help filling in those gaps.
“Both of us are semi-retired,” Wilson said, “so why not use what we know to benefit others?”
They will offer lessons from three fundamental skill-sets: personal finance, computer use and household necessities. Classes begin Tuesday, March 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. They will be held mostly at the Roswell Adult Center, where registration for the 10-week course is free.
“We ask that everybody register so we know how many will be there,” Wilson said. “And we want them to commit to the 10 weeks.”
“Each series may be different,” Finger said. “Each of the categories can be broken down into a variety of lessons. We’re going to let the student’s needs guide what we teach.”
While both have strong skill-sets, they’re bringing in volunteer instructors to cover a wider variety of lessons.
“We’ll be bringing in instructors,” Finger said. “My partner Ken has agreed to join us via video and to explain how to do household jobs like changing a lock. We have an agreement with Todzilla to do a food demonstration where students will cook. Kerry will teach nutritional education and Todd will teach simple cooking skills.”
Along with volunteer instructors, they’re lining up sponsors and donors.
“The instructors have donated their time,” Finger said. “The Roswell Adult Center has agreed to give us the room and the use of their computers. First American Bank has agreed to allow us to use their kitchen/classroom for our cooking sessions. So far, we’ve gotten a few businesses and people to agree to help us.”
Among the lessons offered will be how to balance a checkbook, how to pay bills, how to prepare for a job interview, how to entertain at home or in a business, how to feed a family with nutritious foods on a limited budget, how to prepare for aptitude tests, how to do basic household repairs, and a variety of other classes depending on the needs of the students.
While it may be hard to see how some of these lessons might serve all students, they illustrated the universality of this type of education.
“My office had sent me to a class with a motivational speaker,” Finger said. “He taught us how to work in a bad situation in the office. Weeks later, my son was doing something that was driving me nuts. I used that speaker’s principle on my son and we resolved the issue right there.
“When my mother passed, I had to step in and take over running the money in my father’s house. I ran his checkbook until he died. Dad didn’t know how to use a computer, either. We taught him how to use the computer and get on the internet. When I tell that story to people, a lot of them have similar stories.
“That’s why we think that some of these things that look like they’re geared toward business can be used in personal situations,” Finger said.
“We would like these classes to not only pick up younger people,” Wilson said, “but some of the seniors who are finding themselves under water in any capacity. Nobody needs to have a huge goal. They can do it just for fun and knowledge.”
Wilson and Finger have impressive résumés with quite different backgrounds.
Wilson graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in business management, and worked more than 20 years in the aerospace industry. She worked her way from entry-level work into executive management. She worked for a city government, taught college classes and gave presentations all over the country about computer skills. Later she worked at Wesst-Corp (Now Wesst), and then she ran the Roswell Refuge.
Finger started by running her father’s business at the age of 17, when her mother became ill. Her aptitude for math was the basis for going into the insurance industry. She started as a key-punch operator on early computer systems. She moved into making $50-million-dollar-insurance-policy decisions, and later led a team of 15 employees who sold insurance to cities and major corporations all over the world. After her retirement, she started beading full time. She will be teaching her final beading class this fall.
They both know they have many good years of life decisions and problem-solving behind them and many good years of sharing their collected wisdom to help others ahead of them. They’re looking forward to helping people from all walks of life in Roswell to make their lives better and build self-confidence.