Looking for ways to banish the winter blahs? ENCORE may have the answers. Starting in January, participants can have fun with the English language, learn about the Islamic religion, or explore the Internet. Other classes will examine choices for sustainable living, continue the study of "Crowds & Power" or explore areas of scientific interest. Members can sign up for any or all of these classes, and nonmembers are welcome to attend one free session of any class.

ENCORE (Exploring New Concepts of Retirement Education) is an association of retirement-age people who share a love of learning and the desire to meet new friends.

Winter classes, beginning in January, include:

• History of Islam. Discuss the history of Islam as a faith, a way of life and a political system. Discuss similarities and differences between Judaism, Christianity and Islamic thought as evident in our politics and attitude towards the rest of the world. Helen McDaniel is the leader. Classes are Mondays, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Jan. 10 to 31.

• The English Language. Erhard Gross brings his unique abilities to another edition of this popular class. Learn about the English language - its sources, its nature, position among world languages, its peculiarities, and how to have fun with it. "Inadvertently," says Erhard, "we'll have to touch on grammar, syntax, diction, punctuation, pronunciation, etc." Class meets Tuesdays from 1 to 3 p.m., Jan. 18 to Feb. 15.

• Introduction to the Internet. Participants will learn how to successfully and safely search the Internet for personal and educational use. Focus will be on topics of interest to seniors, using effective search tools, pitfalls to avoid and safety of personal information. Leader is Rose Alsbury. The class will meet Thursdays, 1 to 3 p.m., Feb. 3 through 17.

• Choices for Sustainable Living. Back by popular demand, this discussion course is based on the book compiled by the Northwest Earth Institute. The class discusses steps toward ecologically, socially and economically sustainable lifestyles. May include field trips. Leader is Judith Culver. The class meets Thursdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Jan. 20 to March 17.

• Book Discussion. This class continues the discussion of "Crowds & Power," a work of meditations on humanity, by Nobel Prize winner Elias Canetti. New members are welcome. Published in 1960, it is totally relevant today, said leader Fay Brill. Class meets Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Jan. 18 to March 29.

• Science Series. This is a participatory discussion class. Sessions will be led by class participants with a special interest in the subject they are presenting. Sample topics include meteorites, Native American cultures, evolution - the missing link and the politics of science. Leaders are Anne Phillips and Jackie Branch. Class meets Wednesdays from 10 a.m to noon Jan. 19 to March 9.

Sponsored by Clatsop Community College and affiliated with the Elderhostel Institute Network, ENCORE is open to adults 50 and older. Members come from Oregon's North Coast and the south Washington coast. Dues ($50) are paid annually in September and entitle members to enroll in any or all of the group's course offerings during the year. For more information, call the CCC Continuing Education office, (503) 338-2408, or visit the ENCORE Web page at (www.clatsopcc.edu/programs/encore). Washington residents can call (866) 252-8767.

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