Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Welcome new readers!

Welcome to readers of Carmel Magazine! This month's issue includes my article about adult continuing education opportunities in Carmel. I profiled five Carmel women who took classes at the following venues:

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

Fall Schedule: Lawrence Township Community Education

Lawrence Township Community Education has posted its fall schedule. Some of you will be disappointed that tarot is not on the schedule this semester, but there are still plenty of interesting classes to consider.

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.

Review: "Summer Fruits" Cooking Class at Frasier's

After attending Thursday's "Summer Fruits" cooking class at Frasier's Gourmet Foods, I have to confess a few things.

First, I have a tiny crush on pastry chef Joseph Allford. How could I not? The former Peterson's pastry chef prepared three yummy dishes: blackberry fool, peach cobbler and blueberry jam. His ingredients were fresh from the farmers' market, the finished desserts were outstanding, and his commentary was fascinating.

The key: Allford went beyond recipe demonstration, sharing useful information about the ingredients and preparation methods. We discussed why vanilla beans are so expensive, learned how to whip cream without getting tired, examined the difference between factory and farm-fresh eggs, and even learned how to use different types of flour and sugar. I've never taken so many notes in a class.

Here's another confession: I have been hard on the cooking classes at Frasier's, but it seems they have potential after all. I might still argue that they should be called demonstrations, because there's no opportunity for hands-on learning. On the other hand, I learned quite a bit, so it's probably okay to call it a class.

Final confession: This review may be biased by the leftover peach cobbler I'm devouring right now. Wow, this stuff is yummy. Now, whether I can make it myself is another story ...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Update: Fall Classes

I just got an e-mail from the IUPUI Community Learning Network telling me to sign up for fall classes, and especially for its many new "green" classes. Some have been added since I checked last week, so here's a quick overview:
  • 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

Fall Cooking Classes at Frasier's

Frasier's has released its fall class schedule, and it's chock-full of potentially fabulous classes. (I say "potentially" because, well, you know how I feel about these classes.) The fall offerings are taught either by Joseph Allford (former pastry chef at Peterson's) or Erin Kem (sous chef at R Bistro).

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

Fall Classes at Conner Prairie

As you map out your fall class schedule, remember to consider the classes at Conner Prairie. The pioneer living history museum offers classes in blacksmithing, weaving, pottery and other old-fashioned skills. The introductory weaving class I took there inspired me to take a whole series of weaving classes.

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

Update: Educational Vacations

Here's one more educational opportunity to add to your list. The TraveLearn company offers guided tours accompanied by educational opportunities. You can choose the budget or first-class options. Would someone please loan me $2,000 for a trip to Egypt?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Update: Acting Classes

Still thinking about those acting classes? The Civic Theatre is accepting registrations for its basic acting class, with meets Monday evenings from Sept. 10 to Nov. 12. Cost is $150.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Educational Vacations

As excited as I am about the new fall class schedules, I must admit I'm not quite ready for summer to be over. Before I pack away my flip-flops, I'm pondering a last-minute vacation (with, of course, an educational component).

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

Upcoming Classes at the IMA

One more quick post about the IMA. In addition to the lectures and programs we've already discussed, there are a few upcoming classes:
  • 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).

Review: Egyptian Lecture at IMA

I'm always impressed when someone can teach me something I don't know about ancient Egyptian culture, and that's exactly what happened at yesterday's lecture at the IMA. The sold-out lecture coincided with the opening of the IMA's new temporary exhibit, "To Live Forever."

The focus of the lecture was on the common man in ancient Egypt. How did he afford the numerous trappings of an ancient Egyptian burial? It turns out that some "recycled" old burial items, while others found clever ways to make fakes or repaired broken cast-offs from the wealthy. With so much focus on the treasures of royal burials, it was nice to see a different perspective.

"To Live Forever" is at the IMA through Sept. 7 (admission $12), and there are several other upcoming programs associated with the exhibit. There's a "Deciphering Egyptian Art" lecture Aug. 28 and a class on making your own Egyptian reliquary Aug. 7.

And, here's something clever: On Aug. 16 and 23, the IMA is offering a bus tour of Indianapolis focusing on Egyptian architectural influences. Highlights include the Murat's Egyptian Room and the Madame Walker Theater (cost: $60). Registration required.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Things You Didn't Know You Wanted to Know

I think I need a new title for this category, because TYDKYWTK is a completely unpronounceable acronym. Any suggestions?

In the meantime, our featured class this week is today's Birch Bark Picture Framing Workshop at the Eiteljorg. It's taught by birch bark artist David Bridges (who knew there was such a thing?), and participants will learn about Passamaquoddy culture while they create their frames. Cost is $40; registration is required.

A few other upcoming Eiteljorg classes also fit this category. Take, for example, the Birch Bark Etching Workshop (July 23; same instructor) and the Drum-Making Workshop (Aug. 2).

There's also a community drumming circle from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. every Saturday this summer. It's billed as a good way to "find your path" and relieve stress. Hey, I'll buy that. Banging on something and making lots of noise seems like a good stress reliever to me.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Film Screening at Lockerbie Central UMC

Here's a tip from Meghan and Renee at Green Piece Indy: This Saturday, Lockerbie Central UMC will offer a screening of "FLOW: For Love of Water," a look at the condition of our world's water supply. The film was screened at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and won awards at several other international film festivals.

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

Fall Classes at IUPUI Community Learning Network

The education gods are smiling on me this week! The IUPUI Community Learning Network has announced its fall class schedule. I've already secured my seat in the floral centerpieces class, but there are plenty of other great options to consider.

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).
Happy enrolling!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Lectures at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

If you've been paying attention, you know where to find me this coming Sunday afternoon: the Indianapolis Museum of Art's "Living Forever in Ancient Egypt" lecture. (Tickets for the lecture are free, but registration is required.) As the fall lecture season gets underway, that's not the only IMA event that looks intriguing.

Here's a quick look at the lectures the IMA has announced so far for its fall calendar.
  • 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.

Fall Classes at the Art Center

Let planning for the fall class season begin! The Indianapolis Art Center has released its fall schedule, and registration begins July 23. Hooray!

It's impossible to list everything the Center will offer this fall. There are more than a dozen categories of classes, and 24 classes in the ceramics category alone. And that's not counting the 45 weekend workshops offered throughout the season. So, suffice it to say that there are basic, intermediate and advanced classes available in just about every art form you can think of.

Instead, let's take a look at what's new on the calendar this semester:
  • 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.

Not willing to make an expensive commitment to an unfamiliar art form? The Art Center offers "sampler" classes in printmaking, fiber and glass; for $30, you get two hours to try a project and decide whether you're interested in learning more.

Or, invest in a weekend workshop instead. It's more expensive than a sampler class, but you get a great overview of an art form for a manageable time commitment. Some of the more intriguing workshops coming up include:
  • 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

Greetings from the Beach

Yes, I know, long time, no post. That's because I'm at the beach! But don't worry. I'm not abandoning my educational quest just because I'm on vacation. In fact, downtime can be the best time to learn something new.

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.