Clarity in Vision

I understand the difference between a board and council yet what really matters is whether either match the company message .  It was suggested months ago to assemble an advisory council to help guide the direction of CLC.  Its brilliant and while I do regret not moving on it sooner I am glad for the reason below that I didn’t.

It was at a forum the other day with 12 people I hold in high esteem with their collective knowledge when it hit me that I could be looking at the advisory council.  Then I began to look closer and considered what the message of CLC was and who was at the table.  It became clear that while the knowledge and leadership was impressive it wasn’t consistent with the vision or message of CLC.

Can you Handle the Truth

I have served on and attended council and board meetings thinking I was doing something great.  Then it dawned on me at the forum as I sat quietly and reflected on these meetings I had attended or been a part of where the other members looked just like me.  I was saddened at my lack of insight while at these meetings yet inside at that moment I was busting with excitement that I had a chance to make a difference… NOW!

Walking The Walk

Carolina Learning Connection is a lifelong learning, community education or adult learning platform that embraces the community we live in by encouraging diversity at the advisory level.  We are about inclusion and giving a voice to our student community in how we design our classes!

Does it Matter to YOU?

Now’s your chance to be a part of something special, won’t you join us?

Just click this link: I want to be a part of your advisory council and tell us about yourself

Peace to you friend… Marc


Or was it the Conversation

After settling in to a booth and arranging my stuff I was on the lookout for the person I was to meet.  Rob Burbank walked into the Caribou on East Blvd and I hailed him over.  We talked for a bit to learn how each of us had arrived at this particular place our lives and then got down to “business”.

Rob started telling about his role at Speak-Up Magazine a nonprofit based in Charlotte, NC. He talked about how their purpose is to give a voice to those without one, speak up for the voiceless and educate the public about the marginalized among us.

Our conversation went all over the place and the energy was palpable because there was a shared understanding and appreciation between us of how helping our less fortunate brothers and sisters needs to change.  Admittedly, neither of us are an authority on the topic of the hungry and homeless but we both have participated in outreach programs that while not the “answer” provides comfort.

Speak Up Magazine has mobilized a forgotten but effective way for some of our proud citizens to create their own future.  They get to realize self-worth and a sense of accomplishment once thought to be reserved for someone else.

Speak Up Magazine is endeavoring to change how these unique and special people view themselves through the process of becoming a relevant and necessary part of the fabric of our community.

It’s a unique and worthwhile effort that will change lives.  To learn more click on the link above!

Rob will be at Launching Carolina Learning Connection on Tuesday May 1 at Atherton Market 6:30

A Beautiful Spring Evening Event

Wow, what a ride, I can’t believe we’re here.  When we started putting all this together back in November 2011 there was no way to anticipate all the parts and pieces that needed to be in place to make this work.  There will be time to recognize and thank those that encouraged and cheered us on but for now we have an event to announce.

Launching Carolina Learning Connection

Join us Tuesday, May 1st at 6:30 in the newly renovated Atherton Market in lovely South End.

  • Come and learn about Charlotte’s newest alternative to personal enrichment
  • Meet some of the wonderful teachers
  • Music by the Tsunami Waveriders
  • Enjoy tasty local creations from the dedicated vendors at the Market
  • A chance to win a $75.00 gift certificate
  • Enroll in a class and we’ll waive the $5.00 registration fee
  • Fabulous Prizes

May June Semester Class Highlights

  • Political Conventions: What Every American Should Know.  With the Democratic Convention coming to Charlotte, this will be a fun and entertaining look at this rich slice of American history.
  • Improvisational Theater: Introduction to that zany unpredictable acting and see a side of you unseen before.
  • Considering Selling Your Home? Attend one of our workshops that will give you ideas and examples that you can immediately use to impress potential buyers.

A Couple of Thoughts

Listen, I need to be perfectly upfront here.  Never in my wildest hallucinations did I ever picture myself here.  Not here Charlotte, but here, blogging about a lifelong learning platform that was inspired by another lifelong learning platform.  My wife has been unbelievably supportive, my 8 year old daughter wants to start her own learning platform for kids and has thought up some pretty cool classes.  I’m a builder, I’ve used my hands all my life to make things for other people not a lifelong learning guy.  Maybe that’s why I’ve completely enjoyed going from nothing to this on an idea that the good people of Charlotte would like it.

I’ve taken a vision and put 100% of what I know, which isn’t a lot, into something that if the good Lord see’s fit, will be something special. I may be living in a dream, but it beats the alternative.

So come to our Launch Event and say hello, I’d love to meet you and say “thank you” personally for spending some time with us.

Chasing the dream… Marc

Atherton Mill and Market

We were in search of an Organic Gardening person to teach a workshop through CLC.  It was an unusually warm Saturday in December when my wife and I happened upon Atherton Mill and Market while touring on our motorcycle.

Matt Kokenes,

When I got off the bike and saw Matt’s signage and his raised bed organic garden, it hit me…. This is the guy to teach the class.  When we first discussed it the enthusiasm was palpable between us.  He is highly knowledgeable and passionate about his craft.  Moreover he’s a genuine guy with all the trimmings of a true entrepreneur and the humility of a gardener.

Why take a class?

Fresh Healthy Produce picked at home. If you have an inerest in growing fresh organic produce you will learn how to amend soil to promote healthy growth, appreciate the easy care of a raised bed and how to grow and harvest quality organic produce right from your own backyard, terrace, or rooftop! Have some fun, spend time with friends and family.


We have a class tonight 3/20 at Atherton Mill and Market 7:00pm to 8:30pm registration ends at Noon today.  We also have a class tomorrow, same place, time and registration deadline Noon tomorrow.

We want you to Bring a Buddy for $10.00!  Register here, put “Buddy” in the promotion code box on the registration page and with your paid registration you can add a buddy for $10.00.  We’ll take  care of the rest.


Mary Douglass Kirkley!!

When we set out to create a name for the CLC blog it became clear that maybe we should push this out to the  universe and see what happens.  Overwhelmed with the responses we received it was clear that crowd sourcing lived up to its reputation.  Then by allowing our followers to vote on the entries we received an equally pleasant response.  So with that we have named our blog       The Chalkboard

A little about Mary

Mary is a mother of three with a teenager and has returned to the workforce as a workers compensation adjuster.  When she finds the time she enjoys reading, writing, walking, exercising and of course… cooking!

Here are Mary’s answers to some practical and fun questions we asked.

  • After reading about Carolina Learning Connection, what are some of your thoughts?  alternative to the community college!!!
  • Have you ever been a student in a lifelong learning or community education program? I have recently taken the adjuster licensing courses for insurance, at CPCC.  It was a very long drive at really bad times.
  • Do you brush your teeth more than once a day? ALWAYS.  Got my first cavity when I turned 50!
  • Name three classes you would like to see us offer? I would love for you to offer a test prep class for insurance adjusters.  The exam is difficult, and many do not pass after taking the courses at CPCC.  Yoga.  Dancing (not ballroom) .
  • If you had a pet Iguana what would you name it?  Bogart
  • What recommendation would you make in order for us to improve anything about our website or blog? None at this time!!
We couldn’t be more happy with the new name and we can’t wait to see what Mary has to say on her guest blog!

Good Afternoon!

Man is it a beautiful day in Charlotte.  We have some great news to share with our followers about our new relationship with Carrie Ann Taylor (CAT) and her company Catalyst Unlimited Inc.  She will be providing much-needed support to our teacher and student relations as well as editing our website and maintaining our class management software.

Catalyst Unlimited Inc.
Virtual assistance, event planning, project management, administrative support, marketing/PR, and booking/reservations for organizations, corporations, individuals, and events of all sizes and any industry.
Name the Blog Contest Update – Chalkboard it is

We have a winner and her name is  Mary Douglass Kirkley from Ballantyne.  Mary and I are collaborating now on her blog for us.  Congratulations Mary!

March Classes Enrolling Now – Click on the Class Title for dates, times and locations!
May/June Semester is enrolling as well and we are adding more classes every day.

Scott Pacitti and the Chuckleheads!

I decided to take my 8 years old daughter on a date with Dad to go see the Chuckleheads Improvisational Theater act at the Ballantyne Arts Center last night.  I met Scott about a month ago and his account of how he became involved in Improv was captivating so the next logical question was… What’s Improv all about?  I knew what Improv was in theory because of TV shows that required actors to improvise like “Whose Line is it Anyway” you remember! No?

That all came to life last night for my daughter, me and what I suspect were 30 or 40 others in the audience as the cast would think on their feet and improvise their lines which by itself was hilarious.  The performance escalated with greater degrees of situational factors that an all too willing audience provided.

There was singing, dancing, acting, falling, crying and every bit of it was just ridiculously funny.

Scott and the cast were great, my daughter woke up talking about it so now she wants to become a Chucklehead!

Scott is teaching a class on Improvisational Theater with us so come check it out, learn the secrets and how improvisational theater can help you communicate with a level of confidence you didn’t think possible!

Charlotte Observer Article on Scott Pacitti

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