By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
By Alison Flowers
By Albert Samaha
By Jesse Jarnow
By Eric Tsetsi
By Raillan Brooks
Living vicariously through movies like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Romancing the Stone, or Crocodile Dundee? Well here's a chance for you to get up off your ass and have the adventure of a lifetime. The Costa Rica Rainforest Outward Bound School (800-676-2018) provides 10 to 85 day trips. College credit can be attained. Tuition ranges from $1695 to $7400, depending on length of stay. Applications are taken over the phone or through the Web at www.centralamerica.com/cr/crrobs. Remember, you too can become an alligator slayer. Adamma Ince
France is more than cheese and wine. Put aside your stereotypes and dig into the real thing at your own pace. The Independent Language Learning Center of the French Institute (355-6100) is the right destination. Tools such as computer and video stations, dictionaries, vocabulary and grammar books, and a specially trained tutor are available to you. Packages are available for $20 an hour, $80 for five hours, or $150 for 10 hours.
At the Embassy CES (Center for English Studies, 620-0760) you can perfect your English by supplementing a general-language program with private lessons, group speaking and listening classes, or through a professional setting related to your field of interest by completing a four-to-eight-week unpaid internship with an American company or organization. Ioana Veleanu
Learn indelible American catchphrases and idioms like "Dancing cheek-to-cheek" and "May I have this dance?" in the morning, then do just that all afternoon! Rennert Bilingual (867-8700), in collaboration with Dance Forum, offers a progressive four-week dance/English program of individualized lessons in all levels of American, English, and dance classes at your choice of one of New York's most prestigious dance schools. Tuition costs about $1128 for the dance section and $760 for the English program. Soo-Min Oh
Work out the kinks in your performance and writing in a nurturing, nonjudgmental atmosphere. At Downwriters' open-mike night (Thursdays from 5 to 7:30 p.m) at Downtime (695-2747, 251 W. 30th St.), musicians of all skill levels take the stage to perform original songs. Equipment is available and participation is free. See Melissa Cross.
Home-recording equipment and MIDI systems provide musicians with a reasonable alternative to the high cost of professional studios. For $390, the New School's (229-5873) "Producing Demos at Home" explains multitrack recorders (reel-to-reel and cassette), mixers, signal processors (reverbs, compressors, gates, etc.), digital recorders, MIDI sequencers, and multitimbral synthesizers. Tina Whelski
The New York Botanical Garden (718-817-8700) workshop "Bonsai for Beginners" will teach you an ancient art that's been practiced for centuries in China and Japan. May 8, 1 to 4 p.m. Cost is $69 for nonmembers and $65 for members.
Discover the real meaning of Mother Nature at the Prospect Park Wildlife Center (718-399-7339). This Mother's Day take your little one(s) to a sleepover at the zoo. Learn how animals care for their young. Then awaken and experience all the hard work that goes into preparing the zoo before it opens. May 8 and 9 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 a.m. Cost is $60. Kids should be between 6 and 11years of age. Call to register and hurry because there's a limit of 20 adults and 20 children.
Go fishing in Central Park (860-1370). The Charles A. Dana Discovery Center offers "Catch-and-Release Fishing" at the Harlem Meer. The season kicks off April 17 and is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free fishing poles and bait will be provided with valid photo ID. Jazell Andujar
Peek over the shoulder of Earl Miller, Penthouse magazine's most published photographer, as he transforms housewives into centerfolds. Through the New York Institute of Photography's five-videotape "Glamour Photography" home course (867-8260), you too can learn how to produce the look that Earl describes as "Creating a fantasy that doesn't really exist." Pay $99 plus $5.50 shipping and handling.
There are 7.4 million people in New York. Get to know some of them this summer though classes at the International Center for Photography (860-1776, ext. 156). Take "Photographing People" and do just that. Misanthropes should take "The Expressive Landscape." Registration begins May 12. Prices vary.
What's important to you and how can you prove it? Try taking "Photography on Assignment: Witness to Our Times," offered at the School of Visual Arts (592-2050). Students will produce a photo essay composed of strong visual images of what they find important in today's warp-speed world. Classes begin June 1 and cost $525. Karen Mahabir
Dr. Pepsi ToGar, author of Born To Dream, is conducting a class at The Seminar Center (655-0077). "The Healing Power of Dreams" can help you understand the hidden messages in your dreams. April 27 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The cost is $27 for members and $38 for nonmembers.
The Tarot School (800-804-2184) offers continuing study in basic and advanced tarot through regular classes and a correspondence course. Degrees, workshops, and retreats are also available. Preregistration is not required for the ongoing series of three-hour classes that meet every Monday at 6 p.m. Tuition is $22 per class.
The Learning Annex (371-0280) will teach you "How To Create Magical Spells and Powerful Potions." The class will be lead by modern-day witch Lexa RoséHan. She will teach you how to use everyday household items in creating the concoctions that can help change your life. April 28 at 6:30 p.m. The course fee is $29 for nonmembers and $24 for members.