Monday, December 22, 2008
For Mom, try a gift certificate to Kiss Z Cook or Frasier's Gourmet Foods. You get bonus points if you attend the class with her.
For Dad, consider Conner Prairie, which offers classes on wood-working, blacksmithing, arms-making and more.
For the fitness buff in your life, consider Brick House Fitness, recently recognized by Indianapolis Monthly as the city's best venue for fitness classes.
For the loved one who has some creative flair, stop by Boca Loca Beads or the Indianapolis Art Center.
Need a gift for someone who lives out of town? Order a gift certificate from The Teaching Company, which offers a staggering selection of college-level audio courses.
And for the loved one who already has everything, order a gift certificate for the IUPUI Community Learning Network. The wide variety of classes -- from business training to flower arranging -- means there's truly something for everyone.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
If you're interested in this topic, you can also enroll in the certificate program at the Indianapolis Art Center, or take classes via the IUPUI Community Learning Network.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Best class - The Summer Fruits cooking class at Frasier's Gourmet Foods. Taught by pastry chef Joseph Allford, this was the most educational -- and tasty -- two hours of my year. I still use several of the recipes Allford demonstrated, and I now know everything there is to know about vanilla harvesting.
Best continuing education venue - This was a close one, but the award goes to the IUPUI Community Learning Network for its tremendous variety of engaging, relevant classes (including the spectacular flower-arranging classes). Runner-up: The Indianapolis Art Center, which truly offers something for everyone.
Best instructor - I've taken several classes with floral designer Sara Thompson, and they are always a delight. Thompson is well prepared, attentive to her students, and skilled at fostering class camaraderie. My only disappointment: I've already taken every class she offers.
Best educational museum experience - No question about it: The winner here is the Follow the North Star program at Conner Prairie. The experience, which puts you in the shoes of a runaway slave, is memorable and powerful. It's not fun, but it's like nothing else you'll ever experience. Runner-up: Conner Prairie's delightful Conner Prairie by Candlelight holiday event.
Strangest class topic - We saw some bizarre classes this year: how to make your own canoe; how to build a dulcimer. But the wackiest of our Things You Didn't Know You Wanted to Know feature was the series of birch bark art workshops at the Eiteljorg Museum, including how to make birch bark picture frames and how to do birch bark etching. To each his own.
Finally, thank you to the hundreds of readers who have made the first year of this blog so successful. It's been fun to share my learning experiences with you and build this community of like-minded people. I'm looking forward to an educational new year!
Friday, December 19, 2008
This is truly my favorite local holiday event. Wrapped in several layers to keep warm, my husband and I followed the candle-lit path through Conner Prairie's 1836 Prairie Town. At each house in town, we warmed up by the fire and heard an actor describe how his or her "family" celebrates the holidays. We learned about traditions from several religions and cultures, all in a magically authentic historical setting.
When we were finished, we explored the museum's gingerbread house exhibit. The gift shop is also open, and you can tack on a dinner at the museum restaurant, too.
If you go next year, remember to sign up early; the later time slots sell out quickly. And be sure to wear warm clothes and comfortable walking shoes. I spotted one woman in a short skirt and heels, and I'm sure she was miserable.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
All of the fantastic usual classes are there, but here's a quick look at what's new this season:
- Light on Great Brightness: Arts of the Ming Dynasty, Then and Now
- Modern Chinese Cinema and Chinese Culture
- At Sarah's Table: A Lincoln Dining Experience
- So You Want to Write a Book?
- Waking Up to Spiritual Enlightenment
- Decorating Kitchens and Baths
- Nepal Himalaya: Trekking, Mountaineering and Culture of Nepal
Friday, December 5, 2008
Submit your nominations now in the following categories:
- Best class
- Best continuing education venue
- Best instructor
- Best educational museum experience
- Best spot for cooking classes
- Best spot for art/craft classes
- Strangest class topic
Want to see a different category included? Just let me know!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Last year, the series brought us Michael Pollan, and the lecture topics never fail to intrigue me: the psychology of cognitive dissonance, the nature of dark matter, the forensics of evolution.
Last night's lecture didn't disappoint, either. Adrienne Mayor, a folklorist and historian of ancient science, discussed how early fossil finds influenced Greek mythology. After all, what were those ancient Greek farmers supposed to think when they plowed up gigantic bones? The largest animal they'd ever seen was a horse, so they naturally assumed the bones belonged to mythical gods and monsters.
One great example: the legendary griffin, with a lion's body and a bird's beak and wings, was probably inspired by a common dinosaur fossil in the area. Same goes for the Monster of Troy, which was painted in the image of another giant fossil.
What I really love about the Woods lecture series is this: You probably haven't spent much time thinking about ancient fossils, dark matter or cognitive dissonance. But this lecture series manages to make the topic not just interesting but also relevant to the way you view the world. Now, that's really something.
Next up: biologist and deep-sea explorer Edith Widder, who will discuss our methods of observing deep-sea environments (7:30 p.m., March 4).
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Interested in stopping by? Check out the spring class schedule from the Stutz Artists Association. Next season's classes focus on painting, drawing, color mixing, precious metal clay and gelatin plate monoprinting.
Or, check out the silversmithing classes taught by Andre'a Jackson, a resident Stutz artist. I took one of her weekend workshops a few years ago, and I highly recommend it. She managed to cram many different techniques and projects into just one session, and I left with several pieces of wearable jewelry.
Monday, December 1, 2008
But here are a few highlights we haven't discussed much:
- Best free film series: Lockerbie Central United Methodist Church offers left-leaning films about politics, the environment, social justice and other controversial topics. As a bonus, you can pick up a latte or green tea from Indy's only fair-trade, organic coffee shop.
- Best unconventional workout: Confident Woman of Indy helps you get fit with the fine art of pole- and lap-dancing. Don't worry: Classes are for women only and are closed to spectators.
- Best fitness classes: Brick House Fitness offers a huge range of classes, from dance to strength training. Today's schedule alone lists 17 options, running from 5 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Best music lessons: Arthur's Music Store, located in Fountain Square, provides the usual music lessons (guitar, piano) and some unconventional options (bagpipes, hammered dulcimer, mandolin).
- Best welding classes (yes, really): The welding classes at Sutton-Garten are taught by a local metals artist, Chris Foster. The facility is now enrolling for December/January classes, which meet for five Monday evenings. Want to see what you can do with a little welding know-how? Check out Foster's online gallery.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
- What was your childhood home like? Your neighborhood?
- What was your parents' relationship like? To which parent were you closer?
- Growing up, what was the biggest disagreement you had with your parents?
- Outside of your family, who were the most important people in your life?
- What were the happiest times of your childhood? The biggest disappointments?
- Who is the first person you ever kissed? Describe your first serious romance.
- What was your first job, and how did you get it? How did you decide which field to enter?
- What was the most rewarding thing about raising kids? The toughest?
- How would you define love? How has your definition changed over time?
- How are you like your parents? How are you different?
- What is the best trip you ever took? The most amazing place you've seen?
- What are five things you couldn't live without?
- What is the bravest thing you've ever done?
- What were the best years of your life?
- What was the hardest decision you've made?
- If you could do anything over in your life, what would it be and what would you do differently?
Coming up in December are two classes of note:
- Felting Featherweight Fashions -- creating wearable art using felt (three Thursday evenings, $70).
- Colorful "Chain Mail" Jewelry -- creating jewelry with plastic and rubber O-rings (three Thursday evenings, $70).
I'm also intrigued by "Museums, Fame and Money," a lecture Dec. 7 about the commercialization of art museums and global competition for high-profile traveling exhibits. The lecturer is Axel Ruger, director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. (If you've ever backpacked through Europe, you'll remember the museum's ubiquitous poster tubes.) The lecture is free, but registration is required.
The museum is hosting Alice Waters, a chef and "eat local" advocate, on Dec. 2, but that lecture sold out long ago. Instead, head over to the newest high-profile exhibit, "Power and Glory: Court Arts of China's Ming Dynasty." It's open through Jan. 11.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
As always, one of the first ones out is the Indianapolis Art Center catalog; registration opens Dec. 3.
This semester, you'll see new weekend workshops on how to make lace, felt hats and gourd art, as well as all the usual suspects. The Center seems to be trying to offer workshops with broader appeal, focusing on topics like interior decorating and closet organization. So, you have options even if you don't feel artistic.
In longer-term classes, you'll find the usual depth of classes in ceramics, photography, drawing, painting, textiles, glass, jewelry, sculpture and woodworking. I can personally recommend the basic ceramics, weaving and PMC jewelry classes, but I'm still trying to work up the nerve for steel sculpture.
I'll be keeping a close eye on the rest of the local catalog releases, so sit tight!
Monday, November 17, 2008
- Frasier's Gourmet Foods has a "Soup & Bread" class series coming up. Taught by chef Joseph Allford, the classes meet on Monday evenings in January and are likely to sell out.
- Clark Appliance is offering a class called "Culinary Foundations: Soups and Stews." The class takes place Friday, Dec. 5, and costs $35. Recipes include basic stocks, wonton soup and Guinness stew.
- The Chef's Academy is offering "Winter Comfort Foods" this coming Saturday, Nov. 22. Cost is $75.
- Looking for something less traditional? Warm up despite the cold weather with a Brazilian cuisine "date night" at Kiss Z Cook this Friday. Cost is $125 per couple.
- Do your comfort foods usually involve chocolate? Sign up for the "Chocolate Centerpieces" class through Lawrence Township Community Education. It meets the evening of Dec. 11 and costs $85.
Of course, if you need some serious cooking instruction -- like how to tell a parsnip from a rutabaga -- you have a few options. One is the "Have Fun Cooking" class, offered by the IUPUI Community Learning Network. Another is the Foundations series at Kiss Z Cook, which focuses on knife skills, soups, starches, meats and other food types. Frasier's also has a great Cooking 101 class series, but no dates are scheduled at the moment.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Here's the schedule:
10 a.m. -- Glass blowing
1 p.m. -- Fiber arts
3 p.m. -- Print-making
The $28 cost includes all materials. Registration is required.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Local fashion designers will present runway-worthy fashions made from cast-off, secondhand clothing. Categories include children's, teens', men's and women's fashions. (As Renee and Meghan point out, can't you just hear Tim Gunn saying "Make it work!"?)
The event takes place at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 14, at Epworth United Methodist Church, 6450 Allisonville Road. See you there!
Monday, November 10, 2008
- Honor Moore, author of "The Bishop's Daughter," is speaking at 7:30 tonight at Butler.
- We're about halfway through this year's Spirit and Place Festival, a project of the Polis Center. Still upcoming: "The Gospel According to Kurt Vonnegut," "The Problem of Religious Illiteracy in America," "Does God 'Swing'?" and more.
- The IUPUI Community Learning Network has posted some of its late winter/early spring classes. A few to consider: "Mindfulness Meditation" and a literary discussion group focused on Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series. (I've already read those books about 2,000 times each, so I think I can skip the discussion group. Speaking of reasons I haven't been blogging ...)
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Unfortunately, Americans have their own sad story from that war: Japanese-American internment camps. We don't hear much about them, but they were a very real prison for thousands of innocent Americans during that time.
If you'd like to learn more, attend the upcoming lecture at the Indiana Historical Society. The lecture is titled "World War II Experiences: Life in a Japanese-American Internment Camp," and takes place at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 5.
Not the most cheerful topic for a lunch break, I know, but worth hearing nonetheless.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Here's the event description:
"World-class chef, 'eat local' advocate, and food educator Alice Waters visits the IMA to ignite a conversation about learning, creative living, health and sustainability. As the founder of the Edible Schoolyard garden project in which students grow and prepare their own food, Waters shares her vision for 'a revolution in public education…When sustainability becomes the lens through which they see the world.' Savor Alice’s message of the pleasure, beauty and power of food. Before and after the talk, browse informational booths and enjoy tastes of local food provided by the students of Ivy Tech Community College."
The lecture takes place at 6:30 p.m., Dec. 2. Tickets are $10 for museum members and $15 for non-members. For tickets, visit the IMA Web site or call (317) 955-2339.
Monday, October 20, 2008
First up: From Oct. 29 to Nov. 20, the JCC is hosting its annual Katz Festival of Books, with a number of guest speakers and authors. Highlights include David Matthews, Robin Gerber, Jennifer 8. Lee and Louis M. Profeta.
Also coming up: "A Cultural History of Colonial Mexico," with Professor Mel Bloom. He'll discuss music, plastic and visual arts, dance and politics. It's a two-part lecture, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on both Oct. 23 and 30.
I've also added the JCC events calendar to my list of calendars to check regularly, so look for regular updates from this point on.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
"Deepak Chopra will address the deeper meaning of our existence, including:
What is our true nature?
What is the meaning and purpose of our existence?
How can I transform myself?
How can I make a better world?
Deepak explains how the greatest spiritual secrets are tied up in this simple answer. It takes a total shift in perception to realize that you are not in the world, the world is in you."
Friday, October 17, 2008
At Wednesday's Quilts Plus University class, I discovered the joys of the rotary cutter, an improved stencil and better fabric-marking pens. It now takes about half the time to trace and cut out my pieces, which is the most grueling part of the process (so far).
Here's a quick look at my progress. Three squares down, one to go:
And here's my new rotary cutter. Don't quilt without it!
Monday, October 13, 2008
A few nights ago, after tracing and cutting my five millionth quilt square, I thought, "What on earth am I doing in this class?" I do not enjoy cutting out the pieces or sewing them together, and I'm really dreading the actual quilting process -- all of those minute stitches that hold the layers together.
But here's where it gets really strange: I'm still enjoying the process. I think it's because our teacher, Connie, has created a positive, friendly class environment, where it's fun to hang out even when you hate the task at hand. And I'm still hoping that the end result -- that beautiful, hand-made quilt in fabrics I've chosen -- will be worth the effort. I'll report back in three weeks about that.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
The exhibit runs at the museum through Jan. 4. I'm hoping my stress doesn't last until then.
Monday, October 6, 2008
- Boca Loca Beads in Fountain Square has posted its class schedule through December. Of particular interest is the Lampwork Boot Camp class in November.
- The Chef's Academy has posted its class schedule through February. Improve your knife skills, sample winter comfort foods or explore the cuisines of Japan, Australia, Cuba or South Carolina.
- Likewise, Frasier's Gourmet Foods has posted its class schedule through January. Sign up early for Joseph Allford's soup and bread series, which is sure to sell out.
- Conner Prairie's Traditional Arts and Arms Making Workshop takes place next week, so sign up now if you're interested.
All three shows were outstanding, as always, and we had a great time exploring the area, shopping and eating at some of my favorite Stratford restaurants, including Features, Fellini's, Balzac's Coffee, Tango, Bijou, Rundles, Pazzo and the Parlour.
During the next few weeks, the festival's shows will begin to close, but preparations are already underway for the 2009 season. Here's a sampling of what to expect next year:
- Shakespeare: "Macbeth," "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Julius Caesar"
- Musicals: "West Side Story" and "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"
- Other shows I'll be seeing: "Cyrano de Bergerac" and "The Importance of Being Earnest"
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Public tour dates are Oct. 3-4, 10-11 and 24-25. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., the planetarium show ($3) begins at 7:45 p.m., and telescope viewing (free!) is from 8:45 to 10 p.m.
Friday, September 26, 2008
And here's a fun fact for you: The ancient Egyptians were terrible sailors, and they hated having to travel on the Mediterranean Sea. They were spoiled by the easy navigation of the Nile, where they simply had to float downstream or row upstream. So, when they had to go into the Mediterranean, they used the same basic techniques and stuck as close to the shoreline as possible. Funny, huh?
Thursday, September 25, 2008
This Saturday, you can get a first-hand account, with a lecture titled "Six Weeks in Iraq." Indianapolis Star reporter Will Higgins and photographer Robert Scheer will discuss their own recent experiences in Iraq, where they were covering the experiences of Indiana soldiers.
The lecture takes place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, in the fourth-floor auditorium at Ivy Tech's North Meridian campus (Fall Creek and Meridian). It's free, but registration is required; contact Jackie Antis at (317) 921-4924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The lecture is part of the library's Off The Shelf program for people in their 20s and 30s (but I doubt they'll be checking IDs). It's free, but call (317) 844-3362 to register. The lecture begins at 6 p.m.
My first choice would probably be one of the metal sculpture classes at the Indianapolis Art Center, but here's an alternative: Sutton-Garten, which sells welding supplies, also offers a five-week introductory welding class.
The next class meets from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays in October. Here's the course description from Sutton-Garten's Web site:
"Introductory course covering fundamentals of oxy-acetylene, stick, mig, tig and plasma cutting processes. Approximately 10% class time and 90% hands on lab work. Class includes equipment setup, filler metal selection, proper weld techniques, general fabrication and art projects. Classes are small to maximize your time with the instructor."
I don't know what half of that means, but doesn't it sound fun?
Classes are held at 6:30 on Friday evenings and cost $125 per couple (pricey, yes, but not any more costly than a nice meal at R Bistro or L'Ex). Here's the schedule:
- Oct. 3: Oktoberfest.
- Oct. 24: Dracula's Feast.
- Nov. 7: Take a Bite of the Big Apple.
- Nov. 21: Hot Salsa Nights in Brazil.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
In my Monday evening flower-arranging class, we learned a technique called hand weaving, a useful way to create an arrangement that holds together in a vase. (I practiced again later in the week, and it really does work.)
On the other hand, my Thursday evening chocolate confections class through Lawrence Township Community Education was canceled because of low enrollment. Really? It's a class about chocolate!
Oh, well. I no longer care, because on Saturday I attended a stress-relief meditation workshop at the Dromtonpa Buddhist Center in Fountain Square. The center isn't much to look at: You enter via the side door of an old house and climb some narrow stairs to the meeting rooms. To the right is the center's gift shop and reception area, and to the left is the meditation room (fully furnished with chairs, in case you were wondering).
This was my first meditation experience and my first up-close encounter with Buddhism, so I made the mistake of wearing my shoes into the meditation room. But, no worries! As soon as I noticed the many bare feet around me, I slipped out, took off my shoes and came back in -- no harm done (I hope).
The center's resident teacher, Alexis Salaman, started by leading us through a relaxation meditation, which I actually found to be bizarrely uncomfortable. (I'm still working on a theory to explain that.) Afterward, Salaman discussed the cause of stress (our reactions to external events) and the way to avoid stress (changing our reactions). Finally, she led us through a meditation in which we committed to changing our reactions (no physical discomfort this time).
Despite my initial, unexplained reaction to the meditation, I left the center feeling as relaxed as I usually feel after a full-body massage. For several hours, I was committed to being free of stress and generous of spirit. But, you know, that was yesterday.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
- Sept. 16: "Darwinism, Natural Theology and Moral Values," with speaker Robert Richards.
- Sept. 22: Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps and Sound Portraits.
- Sept. 25: "Community-Centered Leadership: Leading from the Heart," with speaker Wilma Mankiller.
- Oct. 21: "Darwinism and Political Thought," with speaker Carson Holloway.
- Oct. 29: Daniel Pink, author of "A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future."
- Nov. 10: "Caring About Our Communities: A Dialogue on Urban Renewal and Social Change in America," with Greg Ballard and several other mayors.
- Nov. 13: Lee Keesler, president and CEO, Arts and Science Council (Charlotte, N.C.)
Here's the schedule for the Visiting Writers Series:
- Sept. 16: Frank Bidart, poet.
- Sept. 29: Sherman Alexie, author of "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian."
- Oct. 8: Thomas Lux, poet.
- Oct. 30: Lan Samantha Chang, author of "Hunger" and "Inheritance."
- Nov. 10: Honor Moore, author of "The Bishop's Daughter."
- Dec. 3: Chris Forhan, poet.
And, finally, here's the schedule for the J. James Woods Lectures in the Sciences and Mathematics:
- Sept. 18: "Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)," with speaker Elliot Aronson, a psychologist best known for his work on cognitive dissonance and cooperative learning. The focus of his talk is his new book, "Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions and Hurtful Acts."
- Sept. 30: "A Naturalist and Other Beasts," with speaker George B. Schaller, a conservationist who will share his stories of trying to preserve endangered species.
- Dec. 3: "Ancient Fossil Hunters: The Grifin and the Monster of Troy," with speaker Adrienne Mayor, a folklorist and historian of ancient science. She will discuss how ancient fossils influenced Greek and Roman myths.
Here's the rest of the info: 7 p.m. Wednesday, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 100 W. 86th St., $20. Call (317) 846-3404 to reserve your spot.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Okay, so maybe you can't commit 27 months of your life to the Peace Corps. But what if you had a couple of weeks? You can get a similar experience through a "voluntourism" trip that combines, you guessed it, volunteering and tourism. Local company Ambassadors for Children offers such trips, as do organizations like Cross-Cultural Solutions, the Global Citizens Network and Globe Aware.
I'd love to take one of Globe Aware's trips to Peru, which combines volunteering in Cuzco with a trek to Machu Picchu. Alas, I've spent all my discretionary income on this fall's slate of local continuing education classes. Well, life is full of choices.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
If you're interested in following in her footsteps, check out the Italian classes through the IUPUI Community Learning Network or the Indy Foreign Language Academy.
In other news, last night I used one of the recipes from my recent Frasier's cooking class: raspberry fool. It's layers of macerated berries and fresh whipped cream, and it's absolutely divine. Who knew I could make such a fabulous dessert? I take back most (but not all) of the bad things I said about cooking classes at Frasier's Gourmet Foods.
Finally, I checked a few blog statistics yesterday, and we're rapidly approaching our 1,000th reader for this blog. Thank you so much for your interest and enthusiasm!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
To learn more, try the "Landscaping with Bulbs" class this Saturday at Smith & Hawken (at Keystone at the Crossing). Topics include blooming times and planting techniques. The class starts at 2 p.m. and is free.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
- Beginning and advanced calligraphy classes.
- A variety of painting and drawing classes.
- Cooking classes, including making candy apples, dipping cookies and making candies.
- Random classes on making wine, playing bridge, tracing your genealogy and de-cluttering your life.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Here's the information: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 6, Holliday Park Nature Center (6363 Spring Mill Road). To register, call (317) 327-7180.
You can also take a backstage tour, explore the costume warehouse, attend lectures and discussion groups, or attend a performance about Shakespeare's life and times. And, if you get tired of learning, you can shop: Stratford is home to dozens of unique shops and boutiques.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
- Chinese Civilization.
- Chinese Cooking.
- Chinese Festivals and Customs.
- Chinese Martial Arts.
- Conversational Chinese.
- Beginning Chinese.
- Chinese Character Writing.
All classes are eight weeks long and are held one evening per week in September and October. Cost is $139 to $185 per class. (The exception is Chinese Character Writing, which is during the day on Thursdays in September and costs $79.)
Monday, August 4, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
- If you prefer paper catalogs to online versions, the IUPUI Community Learning Network's fall calendar is in today's Star.
- This month, Clark Appliances continues its series of cooking classes with topics such as Mexican cooking (vegetarian style), convection cooking, barbecuing ribs and making pizzas.
- The J. Everett Light Career Center has released its fall calendar. It leans heavily toward GED and ESL programs, but there are a few fun classes tucked in there: drawing, painting, working with precious metal clay, languages, fitness and photography.
- Want to learn more about rum? Vine & Table has a "Minister of Rum" class Aug. 13.
- If you're planning to go star-gazing soon, note that the J.I. Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium at Butler is closed until mid-September for maintenance and repairs.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
- Artisan Masterpiece (painting classes).
- Kiss Z Cook (cooking classes).
- Carmel Community Players (acting classes).
- Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation (fitness classes).
- IUPUI Community Learning Network (misc. classes).
Need some inspiration to sign up for a fall class? Check out the article to see how adult continuing education can enrich your life.
Friday, July 25, 2008
In the cooking category, I can personally recommend Sherry Harris's one-night cobbler and biscuit classes. She's also teaching a new class on zucchini bread this semester, which promises to be just as tasty.
In addition, Allison Noa is back with her own series of cooking classes, including "Chocolate Confections for the Beginner," "Chocolate Centerpieces for the Holidays," "Creme Brulee" and "Fabulous Desserts for the Sugar Conscious."
Other categories include personal and professional development, fitness, computer training, music and dance (clogging, anyone?), spiritual development, languages, and arts and crafts. Don't want to spend your evening sitting in a classroom? Try one of the program's many online classes, which you can complete on your own time and at your own pace.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
- Sustainable Business Practices.
- How to Become a Green Elder.
- Creating Your Sustainable Home.
- Kitchen Remodeling: Getting Started and "Green" Options.
- Recycling and Energy and Water Conservation.
- Reducing Your CO2 Footprint.
In other news, I've decided to give the cooking classes at Frasier's another try, so I've signed up for this Thursday's "Summer Fruits I" class. I'll let you know how it goes.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Here's a quick look at the highlights of the season:
- Summer Fruits I (July 24).
- Pasta Pasta Pasta (July 29).
- Summer Fruits II (Aug. 7).
- Pizza Pizza Pizza (Aug. 14).
- Noodles (Aug. 21).
- And More Tomatoes! (Aug. 26).
- Sweet Corn (Sept. 4).
- The Vanilla Bean (Sept. 11).
- Orchard Fruits I (Sept. 18).
- Orchard Fruits II (Sept. 25).
- High Tea (Sept. 30).
- Cookies (Oct. 2).
All classes begin at 6:30 p.m. and cost $35 (including samples of everything!).
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Now's also the time to sign up for the Follow the North Star program, which runs on weekends in November. The program, which puts you in the shoes of a runaway slave, is one of the most powerful ways I can imagine to understand the horrors of the slave trade. (Click here for my April review of the program.)
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
In the mood to get away from it all? Here are a few offbeat options:
Not your typical booze cruise: Semester at Sea, which offers an alternative to traditional study abroad programs for college students, also has adult enrichment programs. It's a cruise and a class in one! Upcoming voyages explore the Panama Canal and the Amazon.
Why drool over the baked goods in the Zingerman's catalog when you can enroll in the legendary deli's Bake-Cation program? Four full days of fantasy baking camp will set you back $1,000, but there are dozens of one-shot classes in the $100-$200 range. Now you just have to drive to Ann Arbor.
The Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, runs through October. In addition to seeing a dozen plays (including five Shakespeare plays), you can listen to lectures, tour the costume warehouses, engage in literary discussions and enjoy a charmingly revitalized Canada town. Yes, it's a whole other country, but it's 10 hours away by car, which is closer than Florida. Go just once, and you'll never miss a season again.
Want to really get away from it all? St. Meinrad, a monastery in southern Indiana, offers both guided and individual spiritual retreats for just $60 a day (including room and board). Hey, soul-searching is educational, too. As an alternative, check out the retreats at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert (New Mexico), where your spiritual retreat goes hardcore with silence and manual labor.
Now, what I'd really like to see is a sleepaway summer camp for grown-ups that features a variety of educational programming. Anybody have any suggestions?
Monday, July 14, 2008
- Introduction to Printmaking (Thursday evenings in September).
- Advanced Digital Photo: World Views (Saturday mornings in September).
- From Idea to Sketchbook to Painting (Thursday evenings in October).
- Beyond Glass and Clay: Introduction to Mosaics (Friday evenings in October).
- Getting Started with Hypertufa (a lightweight material used to simulate natural stone) (Saturday, Oct. 18).
Finally, the next two-hour Art Jolt program focuses on the Beat Generation. Learn about the poetry, art and film of this period ($30, Sept. 13).
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Lockerbie Central UMC is at 237 N. East St. The film begins at 8 p.m. There's a water awareness fair at 7 p.m., if you'd like to go early.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Topics include fitness, home and garden, photography, language, art, personal enrichment and more. Here are a few of the new offerings for fall:
Nutritional Wisdom and Fitness: A double-hitter that includes lectures on whole foods and group exercise activities.
Life Mapping for a Happier Future: This seems to involve creating a poster collage of your hopes and dreams. To each his own.
Creating Your Sustainable Home: How to incorporate eco-friendly materials and activities into your home and lifestyle.
The First 100 Years of Theatre in Indianapolis: A historical overview.In addition to the new classes, many old favorites are back. Here are a few oldies but goodies you might want to consider.
- Sterling Silver Jewelry I and II.
- Beyond Glass and Clay: Introduction to Mosaics.
- Beginning Calligraphy.
- Introduction to Drawing.
- Emotional Intelligence.
- Ballet and Tummy Toning for Beginners.
- Latin Dancing.
- Interior design: Introduction to Decorating; Concepts and Techniques in Interior Decorating; Mantle and Bookcase Decorating; Global Interiors; The Finishing Touch.
- Floral design (beginning, intermediate and wedding flowers).
- Awaken Your Intuition.
- The Fundamentals of Investing.
- Immersion Spanish Institute (Levels 1 and 2).
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
- Thursday, Aug. 28: Deciphering Egyptian Art.
- Friday, Sept. 19: Image as Art/Image as History (with photographer Bill Foley).
- Thursday, Oct. 2: Halston -- Making Fashion.
- Sunday, Oct. 19: The Silent Theater of Edward Hopper.
- Saturday, Oct. 25: Return to Dragon Mountain with Jonathan Spence (a look at life and art in the Ming dynasty).
- Thursday, Oct. 30: After Memphis? Design in Europe Since 1990.
- The Center is again offering its master series on precious metal clay (PMC). You can sign up for the entire series or just pick the topics of interest to you. I love this material; it's easy to work with, and it provides almost instant gratification!
- Among the 40+ painting classes on the schedule is "Windows Into Heaven: Icon Painting."
- Among the 20+ photography classes is "Exotic Animal Portraiture," which must come in handy when you run into a lion in your back yard.
- In the special media category, you'll find classes on building guitars, writing Irish script and playing steel drums.
- Gourd Art.
- Flamework: Glass Beads and More.
- Fundamentals of Interior Design.
- Copper Plate Etching.
- Ornaments, Marbles and More (glass-making).
- Furniture Refinishing Made Easy.
- Botanical Illustration.
- Steel Fabrication Sculpture.
I could go on, but you get the idea. Check out the schedule to see what intrigues you. I haven't made up my mind yet. I always love to play with PMC, but it might be time to try something new. My drawing skills could use some work, since the best thing I can draw is a cube. Maybe a snowman. It's a good thing the Center welcomes beginners!
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
You can even learn while you relax in your beach chair or sunbathe by the pool. First, remember that suncreen! Then, try one of these tips for education on the no-go.
- Instead of reading a trashy romance novel, read that book you've always meant to try. "War and Peace" might not be traditional beach reading, but at least you'll have an excuse to stay by the pool for a few more minutes (or days).
- Upload an audio course to your iPod and spend your sunbathing time learning about Greek history, Elizabethan literature, mathematical theories or whatever.
- Instead of eating your meals at the hotel or a national chain, use your trip to educate yourself about the local foods of the region. Ask around and find out where the locals like to dine. (In Hilton Head, it's not the Salty Dog!)
- Do you have a long drive home ahead of you? Buy language instruction CDs and use the long hours to learn the basics of a new language.
- Take a walking tour of the city in which you're staying, or sign up for a boat tour of the area. Or, visit a museum about local history. Knowing more about your vacation destination gives your trip a richer context.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
- What Would Socrates Do? A History of Moral Thoughts and Ethics
- Foundations of Western Thought: Hebrews, Greeks and Romans
- Masters of Enterprise: How the Titans of American Business Shaped the U.S. Economy
- Monsters, Gods and Heroes: The Epic in Literature
- Six Months that Changed the World: The Treaty of Versailles and the Road to World War II
- More than Mozart: Listening to and Appreciating Classical Music
- When Gods Walked the Earth: Myths of Ancient Greece
- Vault of the Heavens: Exploring the Solar System's Place in the Universe
I could go on. The topics are great, and the instructors are top-notch. Imagine passing that long commute without stewing about gas prices! The boxed sets are available online or at any Barnes & Noble location.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Monday, July 14: Seafood selection, storage, prep and cooking (11 a.m. to 1 p.m., $40).
Monday, July 28: Food and Wine Fare tasting event focusing on Spain, Chile and Argentina (6:30-8:30 p.m., $60).
Monday, Aug. 11: Working with Indiana produce (11 a.m. to 1 p.m., $40).
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Unfortunately, we're also in the summer doldrums where classes are concerned. That means it's time to take advantage of the year-round learning opportunities in Indianapolis, such as museums and historical sites.
You already know about the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Eiteljorg and the Indiana State Museum, of course, but here are a few you might not have considered:
- The Morris-Butler House, a historic landmark, offers guided tours on the half hour Wednesday through Saturday ($5). The 1865 home is a window on the life of the upper-middle-class Victorian family who lived there.
- Did you know there's a museum inside the Soldiers and Sailors Monument? The Col. Eli Lilly Civil War Museum highlights the war experiences of Indiana residents.
- The Children's Museum of Indianapolis has several temporary exhibits you might find interesting, including one on the history of animation and one on comic-book heroes. (And I still think the museum is one of the best date spots in the city.)
- Conner Prairie continues its series of one-day and overnight On the Farm Experiences this summer. Tend the garden, feed the livestock, make a meal the old-fashioned way ... in other words: work hard while you learn.
- The President Benjamin Harrison Home showcases the life of Indiana's only president. Tours are available on the hour and half-hour (closed Sunday); cost is $8.
Now, back to work ...