Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Instructors Wanted: "Green" Courses

When your friends need advice on green living, do they come to you for help? If so, the IUPUI Community Learning Network may have a job for you. The network is seeking instructors for a new series of classes on green living; you can even design your own class from scratch.

For more information or to apply, contact Nancy Ciskowski, director of continuing education programming, at

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Upcoming: Cooking Classes in August

Whenever I check my blog statistics, I notice that the most popular posts are the ones dealing with cooking classes. So, let's whet your appetite for learning with a quick look at cooking classes scheduled for August.
  • Frasier's Gourmet Foods is offering a "Wine Staycation" class with Brad Sullivan on Aug. 19 ($20). On Aug. 13, catch Brad Kline for a class on Indiana tomatoes; recipes will include gazpacho, sandwiches and soups ($35). And, on Aug. 25, chef Erin Kem of R Bistro will repeat her July class on Thai food ($35).
  • To the Last Drop in Zionsville also has a class on Thai food, this one scheduled for Aug. 20 ($50). Or, drop in for the sushi-making class on Aug. 27 ($60).
  • Kiss Z Cook has a full schedule in August. The eight-week Foundation Series begins Aug. 5 with a class on knife skills and continues through September ($480). If you're looking for a good date idea, try one of the Friday-evening couples' classes; themes include the foods of Paris (Aug. 14) and a rustic Montana picnic (Aug. 28) ($125/couple). On Aug. 17, Kiss Z Cook is launching an eight-week series of classes for stay-at-home parents, with classes offered at 10 a.m. Mondays ($480). And then there are the random one-off classes, like an Aug. 4 class on cooking with berries and an Aug. 20 class on 30-minute entrees ($75).
I'm still waiting on August schedules for Clark Appliances and the Chef's Academy. More info to come!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Upcoming Class: Learn to Meditate in Half a Day

Stressed out by the economy? Worried about your job? I can't give you job security, but I can tell you how to deal with the stress: by learning to relax.

On Saturday, Aug. 22, the Dromtonpa Buddhist Center is offering a three-hour meditation crash course (which seems a bit ironic, if you ask me). Taught by a Buddhist nun, the workshop will feature guided meditation, an information session and an opportunity for Q&A.

At $20, the course fits nicely into a recession-conscious budget. For more info, visit the center's Web site.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Schedule Posted: IUPUI Community Learning Network

The IUPUI Community Learning Network has posted its fall calendar. I've taken a quick glance, and the network seems to be continuing its emphasis on employment. There are several classes each in both the Career Decisions and Job Search categories, including a new online "Setting Your Career Direction" course.

There are also several new classes on the business of motor sports, including "Race Team Management." And, as usual, there are plenty of professional development courses in computers, medical and life sciences, massage therapy, business and the like.

Now, don't get me wrong. Times are tough, and job seekers need all the help they can get. But for me, continuing education has always been a fun sort of escape. Sure, I could improve my networking skills, but I'd rather arrange flowers or string beads.

So, my focus is the Language, Arts & Culture and Life Skills categories. Here I find a plethora of language courses; the floral design, photography and interior design certificate programs; and lots of random, fun classes, like belly-dancing and blues harmonica.

If you need the job-search classes, by all means, take them. Otherwise, take a break from the economic gloom with a heart-pounding zumba class.

Monday, July 20, 2009

This Week's Classes

We've talked about education vacations, but what about education staycations? Here are a few class options if you're staying close to home this week:
  • Tuesday and Wednesday, 6-9 p.m. -- Visit Boca Loca Beads in Fountain Square for a two-night course on precious metal clay. This material has the consistency of clay but turns into pure silver when fired in a kiln. It's a perfect medium for jewelry making. ($110)
  • Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. -- Stop by Frasier's Gourmet Foods to explore two varietals of wine: pinot and chardonnay. The instructor is Brad Sullivan, from the Carroll Company. ($20)
  • Wednesday, 6:30-8:30 p.m. -- Learn the art of sandwich making at Kiss Z Cook. The class, taught by Dwight Simmons, will take you beyond deli meat and sliced cheese. ($75)
  • Friday, 6-8 p.m. -- Learn the techniques for buying, handling and grilling seafood at the Barbecue Maestro course at Clark's Appliances. ($55/person or $100/couple)
  • Friday, 7-8 p.m. -- Attend the Indianapolis Art Center's glass-making workshop and make your own glass flower. There are only a few spots left, so register soon. If you can't make it Friday, the class repeats 4-5 p.m., Aug. 1. ($26)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Schedule Posted: Indianapolis Art Center

One of my favorite things about college was registering for classes: the thrill of possibility, the challenge of arranging the best schedule. Yes, I'm just that cool.

So, I got a little thrill this morning when I noticed that the Indianapolis Art Center had posted its fall schedule. Early-bird registration begins July 29.

What's new this season? Try the "Make Your Own Cutting Board" workshop or the Day of the Dead workshops ("Masks and Margaritas" or "Sugar Skulls"). For an alternative to the weekend bar scene, try the series of Friday evening "Clay and Cocktails" pottery workshops.

The wackiness award definitely goes to "Exotic Animal Portraiture," which involves a series of field trips to the Indianapolis Zoo.

Also new this season: Many of the courses are marked with a friendly "beginner" symbol, so it's easier than ever to spot a class that's appropriate to your skill level.

Aside from that, you'll find the usual mix of classes at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels in painting, drawing, glass, fiber, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, printmaking and more. As always, there are a few sampler classes, if you're not ready to commit to a full class.

My big decision is whether to enhance an existing skill (like precious metal clay) or do something completely new (like steel sculpture). At least I still have a few weeks to decide.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Upcoming: Indianapolis Art Center

The Indianapolis Art Center does such a good job of communicating with its students. This week, I received a flier highlighting a few important dates:
  • July 29: Early bird registration for fall classes begins. (Renew your membership at the same time to get a discount.)
  • Aug. 19: Regular registration for fall classes begins.
  • Aug. 31: Fall classes begin.
The IAC is always the first continuing-education venue to release its seasonal class schedule. That means we have a few more weeks to wait until the fall schedules start rolling in. But after a quiet summer, I'm eager to get back in the swing of things!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Upcoming: Roller Derby Workshops

Indianapolis is known as a haven for amateur sports, and the reputation is well deserved. Case in point: the outpouring of support for the Naptown Roller Girls, our local women's roller derby team. The team members have been featured in Indianapolis Monthly and pretty much every other local publication, and the matches often draw sold-out crowds of enthusiastic spectators.

But, what if you want to do more than sit on the sidelines? Here's your chance. The Naptown gals are offering a series of workshops on the basics of the sport. The classes are meant to prepare skaters for the team try-outs in August, but you can go just for fun or to vary your fitness routine.

Classes meet 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in July. The cost is $20, but you'll also need to invest in some safety equipment (quad skates, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, a mouth guard and a helmet). And, you might consider reviewing your health insurance, too.