Bend in the River

Winding river

Welcome to Bend in the River at Tunxis Community College. Bend in the River, a non-credit program of short courses and workshops, is for people who love to learn and experience new challenges. There are no exams to take or grades to worry about. Our courses are designed for intellectual stimulation and enrichment. They are taught by members of the Tunxis faculty and other experts in their fields. For more information and to register, please call 860.314.4700.

The name, Tunxis, is loosely translated from the Native American Indian word meaning “the point where the river bends.” We hope that our program will inspire you to follow the river’s bend to new opportunities to learn and grow.


Poetry Reading and Writing

Gain confidence in analyzing poetry, writing a poem, and presenting your work under the guidance of acclaimed poet and teacher John Stanizzi. This day-long workshop will explore several poems ranging from classic to contemporary. Through creative prompts, small group discussion and one-on-one coaching, you will have the opportunity to create your own draft of a potential poem or two and share it with the class.

April 18 (S); 9:30 AM-2:30 PM
(Please bring your lunch.)

Fee: $45

Room: TBD

Instructor: John L. Stanizzi has delighted readers and listeners throughout New England and beyond. A guest on Garrison Keillor’s “The Writer’s Almanac,” Stanizzi is the author of “Ecstasy Among Ghosts,” now in its fourth printing, “Sleepwalking,” “Windows,”Dance Against the Wall,” and “After the Bell.” Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, in 1998 Stanizzi was named The New England Poet of the Year by The New England Association of Teachers of English. He teaches English at Manchester Community College and Bacon Academy.


Academy Award Winners: Best Foreign Films







Join film professor Bob Kagan for an exploration of three European films that received Academy Awards in the best foreign film category. Each class features background material on the evening’s film, a look at how the director uses cinematography, sound and editing to tell a story, insights into the cultural context of the film and a lively post-film discussion.

The class will screen the 1997 classic “Annie Hall,” starring Woody Allen and Diane Keaton. Many critics consider this to be Allen’s best movie; “Million Dollar Baby” (2004), which Clint Eastwood directed and starred in and which features Hilary Swank as an amateur boxer determined to go professional; and “Crash” (2005) which explores racial and ethnic stereotypes in contemporary America and features and ensemble cast that includes Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle and Ryan Phillippe.

March 6, 13, 20 (F); 2-5PM

Fee: $25 for all three films, or, $10 per movie

Instructor: Bob Kagan is a professor of communication at Manchester Community College and Central Connecticut State University. He is the director of the International Film Series at Manchester Community College and also leads film discussions at The Wadsworth Atheneum and Real Art Ways in Hartford.



You must have a LinkedIn account or visit to set up an account prior to taking these classes.

Beginning LinkedIn

Social media is not just for kids; it is playing a key role in job searches. LinkedIn is one of the more popular networking sites with millions of users. Being an active LinkedIn user is a vital part of doing business fro professionals, entrepreneurs and small business owners. Instructor Carol Mon will teach you how to create a LinkedIn profile, search and make connections, and join groups and follow companies of interest.

March 16 (M); 5 – 7 PM

Room: TBA

Fee: $25


Learning to Live The Four Agreements

Are you living the life you were meant to live or do you allow fear, doubt and self-criticism to hold you back?

Learning to Live The Four Agreements is a day-long exploration based on the bestselling book by Don Miguel Ruiz. This workshop will show you how to bring The Four Agreements into your life and overcome the fears and beliefs that stand in your way. The Four Agreements are: Be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best.

March 21 (S); 9 AM – 2:30 PM

Fee: $35

 Instructor: Lisa Crofton, a student of Don Miguel Ruiz, is also a teacher, coach and Reiki master with more than 25 years of instructional/facilitation experience. She is a published columnist, inspirational writer and motivational speaker.


An Invitation to Mindfulness


“The quality of care you give to others is related to the quality of care you give yourself.”—Sharon Gutterman

You have the inner capacity to deal with the stresses that life brings along your path. You also have the capacity to savor life’s joys. Learn how to practice mindfulness so that you can live a calmer, more satisfying life. This workshop will cover: present moment awareness, mindful meditation, stress management, body scan, mindful communication, mindful eating, and handling strong emotions.

March 7 (S); 9 AM– 2:30 PM

Room: 6 – 127

Fee: $45

Instructor: Sharon Gutterman, Ph.D., teaches mindfulness practices to people from all walks of life in the United States and internationally. She trained in the highly successful Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program developed and taught by Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli.


Facebook for Fun

You’ve put it off long enough! This class will help you get your Facebook profile started, connect to friends and learn how posts work. Carol Mon will teach you how to spend your time productively on social media. You don’t have to have a Facebook profile to take this class. If you do have a profile you may bring a profile picture to class on a flash drive to help complete your profile. Be sure to bring your log-on information.

March 23 (M); 5 – 7PM


Fee: $25

Instructor: Carol Mon


How to Understand the Art of Painting

Join painter and educator Edith Skiba LaMonica on a journey to discover how painters including Rembrandt, Vermeer, Monet, Van Gogh and Matisse used light and color to convey their unique visions. You will be able to apply these insights to your favorite artists of the past and present. This two-part series is aimed at enhancing your enjoyment of museum and community art exhibits

April 17, 24 (F) 2 – 4PM

Location: Room 6-170

Fee: $35

Instructor: Edith Skiba LaMonica is a painter and educator and a featured artist at galleries throughout the Northeast. Represented by the ARTWORKS Gallery of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, her paintings are part of several collections including the University of Pennsylvania Hospital and UCONN Health Center. LaMonica is a member of the UCONN Art Advisory Committee and Gallery on the Green in Canton, CT.


Passages and Pathways

Each stage of life presents us with challenges and choices. We can’t always anticipate our life passage or have a clear sense of direction over what path to take. This interactive workshop will provide ideas and tools to navigate the journey.
Topics will include:
Overview of Life Stages
Emotions and Finances
Learning and growing through the Process of Change

April 25,(S) 9AM – 12:30 PM

Location: Room 6-170

Fee: $45

Instructor: Susan Levine, MA, LPC provides counseling services to people facing major life transitions related to career, retirement, aging, bereavement, separation and divorce and recovery issues. Levine spent more than 30 years in synagogue clergy and 18 years as a pastoral counselor before devoting herself full-time to her counseling practice.