Sunday, May 31, 2009

Summer Camps for Adults's travel section has an interesting article today about adult summer camps. Instead of singing "Kum Ba Yah" around the campfire, you can pursue interests such as photography, acting, archaeology and music. (And, you don't have to stay in a tent, either.)

In a few weeks, I'll be heading to a similar experience: Mini University on the IU-Bloomington campus. The program has classes on everything from Shakespeare to sexuality--about three classes per day for a week.

As you might imagine, many of the classes at Mini University are geared toward retirees, who don't have to worry about using up a week of vacation. Thus, there's "Hypertension and Salt Intake" and "Rx for Watching Drug Ads on TV."

But there's plenty to keep younger campers engaged, too. I'm looking forward to "The Literary Hoax: Real Fakes and Inauthentic Others," "The Archaeology of Piracy," "Religion and Sex in America" and "Early Modern Racism (Or Not?) in the Plays of Shakespeare," among others.

Compared to other continuing education programs, IU Mini University is surprisingly affordable: only $250 per person for a full week of classes. You'll pay extra for accommodations and a few optional field trips and meals (unless, like me, you can just crash on your sister's couch).

Unfortunately, this summer's program is sold out (as usual). Registration usually begins in March for the coming summer; when I enrolled toward the middle of March, I snagged one of the last few spots. So, start planning ahead for next year. Meanwhile, look for my dispatches from Bloomington in a few weeks.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Loss in our Educational Family

Last July, I gushed about a cooking class at Frasier's Gourmet Foods, taught by local pastry chef Joseph Allford. Later, I gave that class the 2008 Best of Indy Award for the best class of the year. So, I've been looking forward to taking a few more of Allford's cooking classes (and visiting the new restaurant he said was in the works).

Unfortunately, Allford passed away at his home May 12. I'm still a bit stunned by the unexpected loss. He was a truly wonderful teacher, not just of continuing education classes but also at the Chef's Academy here in Indianapolis. For more information about Allford, visit the always wonderful Feed Me/Drink Me blog.

Meanwhile, classes at Frasier's Gourmet Foods will continue. Erin Kem, the sous chef at R Bistro, is offering classes on Thai food and hors d'oeuvres. And Brad Sullivan, of the Carroll Company, has a series of "Wine Staycation" classes starting next month.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Brief Hiatus

When I was 11 or 12, I read a Reader's Digest article about setting goals. Specifically, the article suggested making a list of 50 things you want to accomplish in your lifetime. I still have the list I made that day (with 28 of the 50 items checked), and now it's time for the next item on the list: going to Egypt.

I've always been fascinated by ancient Egyptian history and culture. Now, I'm going to see the ancient pyramids and temples for myself. Tomorrow, I'm hopping on a plane to Cairo, and I'll be gone through the end of the month.

In the meantime, you can explore summer class schedules (see the links at right), sign up for a class, and even consider submitting a review of your own. I'll be back soon!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Catalog Out Today: IUPUI Community Learning Network

Do you prefer a paper catalog to a digital version? If so, check today's Star for the IUPUI Community Learning Network's summer course catalog. As I said before, it's heavy on career-development options rather than fun stuff, but many of the classes are discounted.

Summer Schedule: Kiss Z Cook

Most educational venues are winding down for a quiet summer schedule. Not Kiss Z Cook. It's May/June calendar is jam-packed with interesting classes, including a new heart-healthy cooking series and a summer grilling series.

Kiss Z Cook is also continuing its popular series of Friday night cooking classes for couples, with topics such as China (May 15), Jamaica (June 5) and Cancun (June 19).

And, it's offering a new Girls' Night Out series, with topics such as Hawaii (June 4) and "Fixing Your Man's Favorites" (May 20).

Here are a few other classes of note:
  • May 4 -- "All About Crusting and Searing"
  • May 6 -- "Delectable Vegetarian"
  • May 27 -- "Now, That's a Wrap!"
  • May 28 -- "Menu Planning: Setting Up a Four-Course Meal"
  • June 3 -- "Dazed and Infused"
  • June 6 -- "Pies and Tarts"
  • June 9 -- "Summer Desserts"
  • June 10 -- "Picnic Pleasures"
Bon appetit!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

IMA Summer Nights Film Series

All right, I'm cheating a little bit, because this isn't technically an educational opportunity. But the IMA Summer Nights Film Series is one of my favorite things about Indianapolis -- a yummy picnic, a great movie, a beautiful setting. What more could you want from a Friday night?

The 2009 schedule is now posted, and it's a good one. The series starts June 5 with "The Bourne Identity" and ends Aug. 28 with "High Fidelity." Other films on the schedule include "Roman Holiday," "Plan 9 from Outer Space," "The Goonies," "Fight Club" and "Dazed and Confused."

Doors open at 6 p.m., and the movies begin at dusk. It's not uncommon for these movies to sell out, so come earlier rather than later. Tickets are $5 for IMA members and $9 for the general public.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Film Screening: Product Design

How does product design influence our behaviors, identities and relationships? That's the question asked by "Objectified," a new documentary coming to the IMA. The film explores the creative process of some of the world's most influential product designers -- including the masterminds behind IKEA furniture and the iPod.

And, on May 14, you can also meet the mastermind behind the documentary itself. After the screening, stay for a Q&A session with the film's director, Gary Hustwit (who also directed "Helvetica," a documentary about the popular typeface).

The event is at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 14, in the IMA's Tobias Theater. Tickets are $9.