Rappahannock Institute for Lifelong Learning

RILL was designed with you in mind!

Enroll in a course today and explore something new in a stimulating classroom environment where you can share your interests with community members. RILL is an exciting program of the Rappahannock Educational Foundation, Inc. (RCC EFI) that is intended to be a life-enriching learning experience for adults. As RILL students keep their minds active through these thought-provoking classes, they also have the privilege of helping local students in their pursuit of higher education. Each year a scholarship is awarded to an RCC student through net proceeds from RILL class tuition payments.

RILL congratulates Kaleigh Godwin, recipient of this year’s RILL scholarship. Kaleigh is interested in Speech-Language Pathology and working with children with Cerebral Palsy. 

Classes: RILL’s noncredit college-level classes are held in convenient locations within RCC’s service region — Virginia’s Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula and surrounding areas. Some instructors may suggest specific preliminary reading material to prepare students to get the most from the course; this information will be sent to registered students ahead of time. The courses will include neither prerequisites nor tests.

Benefits:  Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury residents enjoy 50% off class tuition. Blue Ridge Bank Golden Advantage members receive 15% off class tuition. RILL thanks our sponsors and partners!

FALL 2021

Some classes will be held virtually using Zoom. If you aren’t sure about Zoom, contact Michele Inderrieden, minderrieden@rappahannock.edu or call (804)333-6824 for a FREE Zoom drop in session. 

Brains and Balance ($35)

Location: RCC Kilmarnock

Instructor: Meg Miller

Dates: Wednesdays, September 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, October 6 from 2 pm to 3 pm

Meg is back! Comprehensive class designed for seniors with the goal of improving strength, flexibility, dexterity, and balance utilizing free weights, bands, and balls. Parts of the class are done while seated in a chair. Emphasis is on exercises and drills to build spatial awareness, improve or restore function, build muscle and assist in activities of daily living. Includes overview of basic muscle anatomy, dance for coordination, and dexterity/endurance challenges, and a lot of fun.

Meg Miller is a certified group fitness instructor who teaches senior fitness classes at the Northumberland YMCA. 

Register and pay here

Shoreline Studies ($35)

Location: Glenns and Zoom

Instructor: Carl “Woody” Hobbs

Dates: Mondays, September 13, 20, 27 from 1 pm to 3 pm

Shoreline Studies considers the character of beaches, dunes, barrier islands, and tidal marshes along with the forces and processes that create and change them. Discover how wind, waves, tides, storms, the characteristics of sediments, and sea-level rise including climate change impact shorelines. While the course concentrates on physical aspects, it includes a brief discussion of marsh plants. Students will gain a better understanding of and appreciation for the major environments of the shore. Choose to attend in person on the Glenns campus or virtually through Zoom. 

Carl Hobbs has a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in geology. He worked for over 40 years at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) specializing in coastal geology and the geology of the Chesapeake Bay region.  Hobbs led projects studying the tidal shoreline of Virginia and the environmental consequences of mining offshore sand.  He is author of The Beach Book.

Register and pay here


Conversations in French ($35)

Location: RCC King George (located in the King George High School)

Instructor: Tom Morgan

Salut! Planning a trip to France? Or just want to practice speaking French? This class is for beginners and intermediate speakers who want to learn or improve their ability to get by in certain situations, including checking into a hotel, taking the train/plane/taxi/bus/metro, ordering in a restaurant, shopping, etc. Review basic verbs and grammar structures and develop a useful vocabulary. Instructor and students will converse in situational and casual interactions to improve fluency and gain confidence. Don’t let that high school French go to waste. J’espère vous voir!

Tom Morgan is a retired French teacher and Navy veteran who spent 11 years residing in French speaking countries. Since 1981 he has taught various courses at community colleges, as well as George Mason University. Most recently Morgan taught high school French for Fairfax County Public Schools. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in French.

The Navy Comes to Dahlgren ($35)

Location: Warsaw and Zoom

Instructor: Dr. Rob Gates

Dates: Tuesdays, September 21, 28, October 5 from 2 pm to 4 pm

This course will provide a brief history of the Navy laboratory system and the establishment of the Naval Proving Ground in Dahlgren. The Navy came to Dahlgren in 1918 but not without some opposition. Nevertheless, the laboratory grew and prospered and now generates more than a billion dollars in business annually. The course will address the beginnings of the Dahlgren laboratory, some of the major developments, and some of the most influential people in Dahlgren history. Choose to attend in person on the Warsaw campus or virtually through Zoom.

Dr. Rob Gates had a long career at the Dahlgren Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) and retired as the technical director of the Indian Head Division of NSWC. He is vice president of the Dahlgren Heritage Foundation and president of the RCC Educational Foundation. Gates was an adjunct professor at the U.S. Naval War College and the University of Mary Washington.

Register and pay here

Choosing the Least Worst Death ($25)

Location: Zoom

Instructor: Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Battin

Date: Thursday, September 23 from 2 pm to 4 pm

Philosopher and bioethicist Peggy Battin has worked for decades to defend the right of terminally ill individuals to have greater control over the timing and manner of their deaths. Her academic work tackles issues around end-of-life care, suicide, euthanasia, and religion. In 2008, her personal and professional worlds collided when her husband Brooke Hopkins broke his neck in a bicycle accident, becoming quadriplegic. When he eventually decided to die after years of struggling with his condition, Peggy found she was the one dragging her feet the most as he sought to have his ventilator and other life-prolonging technologies disconnected. Her personal experience made her re-examine her beliefs around an individual’s right to autonomy, as he sought to achieve the death he believed “least worst” for him, views reflected in her continuing support for medical aid in dying.

Peggy Battin is a distinguished professor of philosophy and adjunct professor of internal medicine at the University of Utah. She has a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Bryn Mawr College, an MFA in fiction writing and PhD in philosophy from the University of California, Irvine.

Register and pay here

Class is full.

Using Windows 10 (and your computer) More Effectively ($35)

Location: RCC Warsaw

Instructor: Martin Bailey

Dates: Mondays, October 4, 11, 18 from 2 pm to 4 pm

“Covered materials I needed to learn!”

This course is designed for those who are not confident using technology. It will begin with basic computer operating fundamentals for both hardware and software, and will provide an overview of Windows 7 OS and Windows 10 OS. Students will develop competency in file and folder organization and management, Internet and email usage, and management of various file formats. Brief discussion of the Microsoft Office Suite, reviewing the main features of each of its primary applications. Computers will be available however feel free to bring your own laptop. Class is limited to 12 students for maximum one-on-one instruction.

Martin Bailey holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from The College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in computer science from Virginia Tech. Before his retirement from the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, he was involved in many aspects of computer work, including programming, algorithm development, database management systems, and computer security. Bailey is also an adjunct professor at Rappahannock Community College.

Call for waiting list.

Penelope Fitzgerald: A Contemporary English Writer of Quiet Genius ($35)

Location: Deltaville Branch, Middlesex County Public Library

Instructor: Gail Wilson Kenna

Dates: Tuesdays, October 5, 12, 19, 26 from 1 pm to 3 pm


Location: RCC Kilmarnock

Dates: Thursdays, October 7, 14, 21, 28 from 1 pm to 3 pm

In this discussion-based course, students will read Hermione Lee’s brilliant biography of Penelope Fitzgerald, and three of her novels Offshore, The Blue Flower, and The BookshopOffshore won the 1979 Booker Prize in the U.K.  The Blue Flower received the U.S. National Critics Circle Award in 1997. More recently, an early Fitzgerald novel, The Bookshop, was made into a movie. Unique to this masterful British writer is her literary history. Fitzgerald only began publishing books at age sixty. Yet by the age of 80 she was famous, just four years before her death in 2000.

“Gail is a fabulous teacher. She is well prepared, engages her students and makes us think.”

Gail Wilson Kenna taught college and university classes for decades in foreign countries and the United States. A published author, Kenna most recently won second place in the National League of Pen Women Vinnie Ream competition. She is also a 2012 Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference scholarship winner and the Creative Nonfiction judge for the Soul Keats literary competition in San Francisco. Since moving to the Northern Neck in 2004, she has taught numerous writing and literature courses for RILL.

Register and pay here

Antiques 101: The Art of Collecting ($35)

Location: RCC Kilmarnock

Instructor: Paula Greenwood and HW Scott

Dates: Tuesdays, October 12, 19, 26 from 1 pm to 3 pm

Buying and selling antiques and collectibles can be a fun hobby and a source of income. In this class you will learn how to identify and evaluate items using online and written sources. You’ll also get an overview of buying and selling collectibles, including factors to consider such as condition, scarcity, the market, and regional appeal. Participants will have the opportunity to bring one item for appraisal.

Paula Greenwood has a Masters Degree from Florida State University and spent over 20 years managing small, special libraries in Florida and Virginia. For the past several years she has had part-time bookkeeping jobs. She has been buying and selling antiques for about 25 years, including decorating her house with oak, maple, and rattan furniture and small collectibles from the past 100 years.

H.W. Scott is a lifelong collector who has operated an antiques shop, conducted estate sales and appraisals. He was an adjunct professor at University of Virginia and Virginia Western Community College. Scott has a Bachelor’s degree from Roanoke College, Master’s in education from University of Virginia and completed advanced graduate studies in decorative arts at Hollins University.

Register and pay here

Writing Your Memoir ($35)

Location: RCC Kilmarnock

Instructor: Ann Eichenmuller

Dates: Mondays, November 1, 8, 15 from 1 pm to 3 pm

Rich with memories, yours is a story worth sharing. Your unique experiences and life lessons can teach and inspire others or serve as a gift to be handed down for generations to come. In this course, Ann Eichenmuller will introduce you to popular memoir formats, cover the problems involved with writing about difficult topics, and provide you with techniques to turn your memories into vivid and compelling stories. No writing experience is necessary. Whether you’d like to record a single personal anecdote or compose a full-length book, this course will help you meet your goal.

Ann Eichenmuller is an educator, journalist, and the author of The Writing Rx as well as four nautical mystery novels. She holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Humanities and is a recipient of the Washington Post Agnes Meyer Award for Excellence in Education.

Register and pay here

Arranging Autumn’s Bounty ($45 includes some materials)

Location: RCC Warsaw

Instructor: Laura Anne Brooks

Dates: Wednesday, November 3 from 1 pm to 3 pm

Please call to register.

This hands-on class will focus on arrangements created from the autumn yard and garden using flowers, fruits, vegetables, berries, gourds. After an hour of instruction and an hour of hands-on arranging, participants will leave class with a professional arrangement. Class is limited to 11 participants. This class may be full. Please call 804-333-6824.

Laura Anne Brooks is an accomplished Japanese Ikebana designer and has studied French and English art and decoration as well as floral design in the European manner. Brooks is a floral designer at instructor at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond. Her design studio in King William, VA, is Designs from Dunluce, and her work is often featured in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.


Some classes will be held virtually using Zoom. If you aren’t sure about Zoom, contact Michele Inderrieden, minderrieden@rappahannock.edu or call (804)333-6824 for a FREE Zoom drop in session. 

Using Windows 10 More Effectively ($35)

Location: Zoom

Instructor: Martin Bailey

Dates: Thursdays, July 15, 22, and 29 from 1 pm to 3 pm

Windows 10 is Microsoft’s latest operating system for personal computers and continues to mature as each new release introduces many enhancements. This course will cover often missed or unknown features of Windows 10 and help you maximize efficiency. Students must have a working knowledge of their computer and basic knowledge of Windows 10.

“Martin gave me confidence to get to know my computer; I’ve already used things he taught us. He listened to us.”

Martin Bailey holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from The College of William and Mary and Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Virginia Tech. He is retired from the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren and is an adjunct professor with RCC.

Register and pay here

Classes may be rescheduled, moved to Zoom, or cancelled based on changing COVID-19 guidelines.
For more information, please contact Michele Inderrieden at (804)333-6824 or email minderrieden@rappahannock.edu.



RILL On Demand Library

Did you miss these RILL classes? Now you can access courses on your on time. We’re offering the recordings and handouts of these RILL classes.

The Invention and Evolution of Slavery

Instructor: Rev. Robert Prichard

When the first Africans arrived at Jamestown in 1619, there was no provision in English law for perpetual servitude.  It would take most of a century to create the legal structures to support slavery. When those provisions were finally in place, the institution was not static; it continued to change. By the same token, emancipation was not brought about by a single proclamation or victory in battle; it was the result of a struggle that was already under way before the American Revolution began.  This class will trace the rise and fall of American Slavery in a series three lectures. 

Robert W. Prichard taught history for thirty-six years at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria and is now a Professor Emeritus at that institution.  He graduated from Princeton (B.A.), Yale (Master of Divinity), and Emory (Ph.D.) and is an ordained minister in the Episcopal Church.  He has served in five different churches in Virginia, including a Spanish language congregation and an historically Black church. He is the author or editor of ten books, including A History of the Episcopal Church.  He and his wife live in Middlesex County. 

Register and pay

Winning the War Against Paper Clutter ($20)

Instructor: Debbie Bowie

Paper is unrelenting. It just keeps pouring in, cluttering our homes and offices, and can shut down even the best organizers. In this class you will learn what makes paper management challenging, steps for clearing paper clutter and daily paper management, what to keep and what to trash. You’ll leave with strategies to help prevent future paper clutter nightmares.

Debbie Bowie holds a Master’s degree in Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University She is a professional organizer of 23 years specializing in ADHD.

Register and pay

Navigating the Virginia General Assembly ($35)

Instructor: Dr. Matt Brent

Learn more about Virginia’s governing body, including its history, constitutions, relationship to the Governor and the courts, structure, leadership, and more. You’ll also discover who your representatives are and how to contact them.

Dr. Matt Brent is a professor of U.S. History, Virginia History, World History, and Western Civilization at RCC. He also teaches courses on American Politics and Local Politics.

Register and pay

Changing Personal Behavior: What it Means and What it Takes ($35)

Instructor: Dr. Robert Chapman

To change behavior, how you feel or act, you have to change how you think. This course will help you understand the stages of readiness to make changes and steps that can be taken at each of these stages; how to formulate a plan to successfully attempt behavior change; recognizing and overcoming obstacles; and come away with an increased sense of “I can do this.” One of the goals is promoting change through self-discovery.

Dr. Robert Chapman was Associate Clinical Professor and Associate Director of the Behavioral Health Counseling program (retired) at Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions. He is a professional counselor specializing in substance use disorders.

Register and pay

Living with ADHD: Challenges and Solutions ($20)

Instructor: Debbie Bowie

ADHD is a neurobiological disorder that affects the ability to focus, manage time, initiate and sustain action, complete tasks and regulate emotions. This class explores how ADHD shows up, brain challenges underlying ADHD, various clinical models and ways of addressing, understanding, accepting, and managing ADHD. Great informational class for people who have ADHD as well as their family members.

Debbie Bowie holds a Master’s degree in Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University She is a professional organizer of 23 years specializing in ADHD.

Register and pay

Genealogy: Selected Topics ($35)

Instructor: Bessida Cauthorne White

This class will explore answers to some of the questions most frequently raised by budding family historians. Topics include online research: resources and best practices; DNA as a family research tool to supplement traditional research – nuts and bolts of genetic genealogy; Preserving and sharing family history – ways to record, share, exchange, and preserve family stories, particularly in a pandemic age; the opportunity to present challenges for class discussion and analysis.

Bessida Cauthorne White, a genealogist for nearly 40 years, is her church’s historian and historian for eight families. She is a founder of two genealogy societies and currently serves as president of the Middle Peninsula African-American Genealogical Historical Society. White manages the DNA results for 35 persons.                   

Register and pay

Living Large and Leaving a Legacy ($35)

Tom Baker, VP, VCB Financial Group, discusses how the 2020 election and COVID-19 may affect your personal finances and assets, including post-election, non-political prognostications and overview of the CARES Act. Make confident financial decisions before the end of the year.

This three-session class covers: estate planning in plain English; avoiding a real life (post death) “Family Feud”; retirement planning in a low-yield environment; and the joy of charitable giving. Now more than ever, estate and retirement planning, combined with charitable giving is vital to creating a comfortable life in retirement.

Register and pay

Introduction to Feng Shui ($20)

Feeling stuck? Stressed? Cluttered? The arrangement of your living areas and work spaces influences your relationships, health, finances, and more. Certified Professional Organizer Debbie Bowie shows you ways to create balance and harmony in areas you spend most of your time to affect positive changes in your life.

Register and pay

Investing for Income in a COVID World ($20)

Does the volatility of the stock market make you jumpy? Worried about your investments? Clayton James, founder and Managing Director of Jamestowne Investments LLC, talks to you about how to make your investments work for you in an unsettled market

Register and pay

Edna O’Brien Literary Sampler ($35)

In this discussion-based course, Gail Kenna takes students on a literary journey through three novels from the captivating Irish writer, Edna O’Brien whose literary life began in the 1960s and continues today. The works discussed are Country Girls (the trilogy), Light in Evening, and The Little Red Chairs. An optional book will be O’Brien’s memoir, Country Girl.

Access Edna O’Brien

John Keats portraitLocal Lifelong Learners Win Literary Awards

Rappahannock Community College’s Rappahannock Institute for Lifelong Learning (RILL) recently learned that several students were winners in a national literary competition. Ilona Duncan of Heathsville, Sarah Collins Honenberger and Shari Dwyer both of Tappahannock, were named winners in the 2020 Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition in San Francisco.

This outreach program of the National League of American Pen Women (NLAPW) is beginning its third decade of inviting writers everywhere, to address soul-making in innovative ways, based on a quote from John Keats. “Some say the world is a vale of tears, I say it is a place of soul-making.” Each category of the contest has a judge; and each judge has a page on the Soul Keats website which explains that category. Of the 13, two categories are designated exclusively for youth. RILL instructor, Gail Wilson Kenna, has been the judge for Creative Nonfiction since 2017. Kenna says the judging is blind, that only Eileen Malone, the director, knows the identity of hundreds of writers from around the United States and other countries.

See the full press release or check out the contest website.


(Classes may be rescheduled, moved to Zoom, or cancelled based on changing COVID-19 restrictions.)

For more information, please contact Michele Inderrieden at (804)333-6824 or email minderrieden@rappahannock.edu.