By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
The fact is, every piece of technology out there has a little manual to go with it. Computer Technology workshop instructor Henry Toromoreno of the Lighthouse Learning Center (718-846-9768) has done the reading so you won't have to. Forget the confined, boring, textbook-filled classrooms. He offers one-on-one hands-on basic training of "Windows, MS Word, Excel, Desktop Publishing, and the Internet." Call to schedule private classes or small groups (three people max).
Gain Basic Macintosh knowledge at The Learning Annex (371-0280). With "Intro to the Mac" you will learn how to create folders, documents, shortcuts, navigational skills and most importantly learn how to store it all. This three-hour one-day workshop will take place August 6 at 10 a.m. Cost is $95 for non-members, $85 for members. Seating is limited.
The Career Center (684-5151) knows that Windows 98 is the new standard operating system. Learn what changed from Windows 95, the new features and benefits, and, most importantly, become familiar with the new Internet Explorer. Classes are limited, therefore a deposit is required to reserve your seat. Class will be held August 13, 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at a cost of $79.
How would you like to go to the NBA, WNBA, or NCAA finals for free? Take the six-week course offered by the Sports United Boro-Wide Officials Association and become a licensed basketball referee. Learn the rules and the floor mechanics of the game you love. SUBOA has branches throughout the five boroughs, with classes beginning in mid September. Write to: Sports United Boro-Wide Officials Association, Brooklyn Board, P.O. Box 471412, Brooklyn, NY 11247.
Get experience climbing the corporate ladder, breaking that glass ceiling, and being the first to reach heaven, all by visiting the New York City Extra Vertical facility (586-5382). Throw away your fear of heights by scaling a 50-foot wall. It will not get you the key to the executive bathroom, but it will test your will, physical strength, and mental commitment. A beginning lesson is $9.
Looking for new ways to achieve greater intimacy with your partner? How do you feel about body oils, candles, romantic music, and hands-on anatomy lessons? At The Learning Annex (371-0280), Bob Yoder will enlighten you on how to achieve a greater sensual connection with your mate during his "Massage for Couples" workshop. Saturday, August 21, from 1 to 4 p.m. The cost is $59, though members get a $10 discount.
If Tae-Bo has you all jabbed out, your work is a drag, the kids are driving you crazy, or all the trendy Starbucks coffee has you on a constant caffeine-flavored high, you need to get centered. The Long Island City YMCA (718-392-7932) will be offering eight-week yoga classes, starting in September.
Here's a great two-in-one special for your palate. The New School (229-5600) has a "Fresh From the Farmers Market: Shopping Tour and Cooking Class." This one-day session will teach you how to use all of your senses when picking out choice ingredients. From there you will take the healthy foods back inside to learn to cook them. Wine will be served with the meal. Class will meet August 27 at Union Square West right in front of McDonald's. The cost is $75.
Are you moving out of Mom's house? Are you wondering "How To Cook (If You've Never Done It Before)"? Well, the Peter Kump New York Cooking School (847-0700) will teach you about basic equipment and simple preparation of foods. You will practice sautéing, grilling, and other forms of cooking. These Sunday classes will be held August 15, 22, and 29. The cost is $250 with a $125 deposit in advance.
If you love raw fish as much as I do, then I know I will see you at The Learning Annex (371-0280), where you will "Learn How To Make Sushi." Professional chef J.Y. Li will instruct the class in the basic techniques, ingredients, supplies, and garnishes. You are required to bring your own knife. Class will be held August 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The fee for materials is $15 and the course fee is $39 ($34 for Annex members).
Since its inception in 1991, Gowanus Arts Exchange (718-832-0018) has become known for its excellence in children's programming. Located in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Gowanus is now a cultural oasis for children and adults in the community, offering classes such as "Tots on the Move," "Creative Movement," modern, and ballet. Children's classes run on a 12-week semester and range from $114 to $138. Classes start Tuesday, September 21. So hurry and enroll your child, and watch him or her become a member of a community where adults and children alike share an understanding of the importance of the arts.
Dedicated to nurturing experimentation in dance education, Movement Research (539-2611) offers classes and workshops in techniques central to postmodern dance, such as contact improvisation, release, improvisational performance, and other movement ideas for both trained and nontrained dancers. They also offer free "Gentle Movement/Release Classes" for people struggling with health issues, as well as for their partners and caregivers. Classes run weekday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon, and most workshops are held on weekends. Teachers in the fall lineup include Rebecca Hilton, Lisa Race, and Andrea Mills. Workshop teachers include Joan Skinner, Koosil-Ja Hwang, and Sally Silvers. Classes are $10 and a 10-class card is $80. Workshops cost between $40 and $150.
Learn from the very best at the illustrious Trisha Brown Company (582-0040) with the most intelligent and articulate dancers in the business. Most teachers are alumni (Wil Swanson, Eva Karczag, and Shelly Senter), or thinkers and movers like Wendy Perron and Carolyn Lucas. Ten-dollar weekday morning classes in postmodern and Klein technique start September 13. Workshops in Advanced Repertory, contact improvisation, and composition are usually on weekday evenings and weekends; they range from $60 to $100 per workshop.
Sylvia Leigh and her colleagues at the Showcase Theatre Dramatic School (265-0538) have been perfecting her teaching techniques for over 20 years. She bases her curriculum on Stanislavsky, but don't confuse her method with the "Method." She has no patience for sense-memory exercises or endless improvisations. She will, however, school you in all aspects of acting and speech for film, television, and the stage. Group classes are limited to 12 students and cost $250 for 10 weeks. Private coaching is also available. An interview is required for all classes, though an audition is not.
The School for Film and Television (645-0030) may function primarily as a conservatory, but it also delivers an extensive program for part-time students of all levels. The school offers all standard training, but it focuses on giving stage-trained actors the on-camera skills they need to succeed in television and film. Many of the school's courses are transferable as college credit. Registration for the fall semester begins August 1. Classes run eight to 12 weeks and cost between $295 and $595.
Whether you're an established professional actor or a would-be star entirely new to the business, the odds are good that the Penny Templeton Studio (643-2614) has a class that will benefit you. The studio offers beginning on-camera classes (six weeks at $350), advanced on-camera classes (eight weeks at $450), ongoing technique courses, master classes, and individual coaching. Registration is ongoing. Beginner classes require no audition, while acceptance to intermediate and advanced classes are filled by invitation.
The Roger Hendricks Simon Studio (704-0488), celebrating its 20th year, offers instruction in scene study, monologue, audition techniques, speech, movement, stage combat, and more, both on-camera and for the stage. Additionally, it has a production company that employs students in undertakings from scene nights to Off-Broadway plays. One of the plays to emerge from the studio's playwriting lab won the Samuel French one-act festival this year. Might yours be next? Classes last from five to 10 weeks, and costs range from $275 to $695. Interview and/or audition required for actors, directors, and playwrights of all levels.
Do you see yourself as the creative or executive type? At the Fashion Institute of Technology (217-7999), you can be both. The Fashion Design program will teach you how to conceive, develop, and create your own designs. The Fashion Merchandising Management program will familiarize you with areas such as advertising and marketing, publicity and promotions, and business and economics.
From fashion's roots in history to the latest trends, the essential tools for developing a garment from an idea to reality are available at Parsons School of Design (229-8900). Courses include design sketching, sewing, draping, pattern making, and intimate apparel.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Film Video Arts (673-9361) has long been a training ground for aspiring filmmakers. The fall semester features courses in directing, AVID editing, and even Web design. The cost per course ranges from $50 to $700. Those intrigued should attend the open house on September 8.
Can't wait to become a director? Motion Picture Pro (691-7791) offers would-be Cassavetes the opportunity to shoot and edit a short film with a professional cast and crew. This intensive three-week program costs $4995 and runs monthly. But don't delay in signing up; space is limited to 10 people.
Condense four years of film school to four, eight, or 12 weeks at the New York Film Academy (674-4300). The total-immersion curriculum trains students in all areas of film production, including writing, cinematography, and editing. Tuition runs from $3500 to $4000, but expect to spend an additional $1000 on processing and equipment.
Which movie would you rather make: Tarzan or Eyes Wide Shut? Study both animation and live-action production in small, professionally taught classes at the School of Visual Arts (592-2050). The price tag of a one- semester course is between $500 and $600. Classes begin the week of September 13.
Let's say you're like me and the last investment you made was on a long shot in the fifth race. Time to enroll in NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies (790-1319). Take "Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning" or "Fundamentals of Individual Investing." Each class costs $395. Now, let's see who's running in the sixth race.
You've spent the summer cutting corners by sharing a studio apartment with a dude from Utah, his girlfriend, and his boyfriend. Use the money you've saved and take "How To Become a Proactive Investor" at the Seminar Center (655-0077). If this fails, they also offer "How To Get Out of Debt Fast." Either one costs $38.
Other than the Voice, what's free in New York? For over 35 years Open Housing Center Inc. (231-7080) has been a free resource for first-time minority home buyers and offers a HUD- and FHA-approved education and learning program. Four-session workshops are available for a $25 registration fee, but two people can get a break for $30.
Offering "an adventure in service," Global Volunteers (800-487-1074) provides the opportunity of a lifetime for people of all ages to travel the world and help the less fortunate. Programs, which run from one to three weeks and span 20 countries, cost $350 to $1995 (airfare not included). College credit is also available.
Catering to college students as well as adult professionals, People to People International (816-531-4701 or www.ptpi.org) will help you create a two-month-long unpaid internship while sharpening your professional or academic skills along the way. Two-to five-week courses are also available.
For 35 years, the School for International Training (800-336-1616 or www.sit.edu) has helped eager college students to immerse themselves in international culture. With a variety of semester-long programs in 50 countries, the institute admits applicants on a rolling basis.
Want to spend a semester navigating the globe with 650 college students and adults? Consider shipping off for the upcoming fall or spring terms with Semester at Sea. Ranging in price from $13,250 to $18,150, the floating college allows those enrolled to obtain a full semester of credits. For more information, visit www.semesteratsea.com.
You assimilated into Anglo culture. You happily graduated from Spanglish to English. But now, the only Spanish you have left is in your surname. Looking to reidentify with your roots? Take "Spanish for Spanish Speakers" at the Instituto Cervantes and burn that English-to-Spanish dictionary. Classes begin September 27 and are available once a week at night, for $350, and in the evening, for $380. Call 689-4232 for details.
Looking for a new way to make it to quitting time? Learn Spanish, German, or business English from the confines of your cubicle through the Language Connect Institute, which offers personalized courses using software, e-mail, and the Net that will help beef up your résumé or allow you to impress your neighbors. For more information, visit www.languageconnect.com.
Meet Barry Farber. He's the dazzling dinner party guest who can bounce between Russian, Dutch, Cantonese, Italian, Japanese, and Swedish all in the blink of an eye. Be at the Learning Annex on September 16 at 7:30, when the secret to learning any language will be revealed. The cost is $49. For more information, call 371-0280.
Aim to be different. Beginning September 22, New York University (998-7030) will offer a colorful collection of language courses that run the gamut from Arabic to Vietnamese. Whether you're planning an exotic trip or just want to browse Korea Town's restaurants with confidence, there's probably something for you. Basic and advanced classes are available and cost $460.
Are bass players merely frustrated guitarists? Not the ones at Bass Collective (741-0091), where, starting September 13, they'll get you up to speed on jazz, rock, funk, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and fusion stylings. A week of full-time training costs $600, with five- and 10-week programs available as well.
Mannes College of Music (580-0210) has everything the world's got to offer a potential virtuoso. Although the ultracompetitive classical division is already closed, the extension division still beckons, from September 21 on, at $9000 for a full year of instruction. This is serious stuff, so be prepared to audition.
You go there to listen to music; why not play it there, too? The 92nd Street Y School of Music (415-5580) offers classes in theory as well as private training on everything from brass to percussion. The fall semester starts in October, with a free open house on September 16. Prices vary.
Coney Island High is not in Coney Island, East Broadway has nothing to do with Broadway, and the Third Street Music School Settlement calls 11th Street home. It does, however, run a wide variety of vocal and instrumental courses, which cost $856 for 32 weeks. Classes begin September 13. For more information, call 777-3240.
Since its opening in June, entrance tickets to the Bronx Zoo's (718-367-1010) Congo Gorilla Forest have been very hard to come by. During a special "Breakfast in the Congo," though, patrons will get to absorb the sights and sounds of the re- created African rain forest before the exhibit opens for the day to the public. On October 9, 16, 17, and 24 from 8:30 to10:30. The cost is $45 for members, $50 for nonmembers.
Eager to go "Peach Pickin" in Port Murray, New Jersey? A tour of the town's orchards will be sponsored by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (718-623-7200) on August 7. Participants will receive three pounds of peaches and a baked chicken lunch and an afternoon tea party during which they'll learn various flower-drying methods. Transportation, entrance, food, and tour charges are included in the fee. The cost is $55 for members, $61 for nonmembers.
Learn how to cultivate a grove rich in fragrance, beauty, and ghostly mystery at the Horticultural Society of New York's (757-0915) slide presentation "The White Garden: Luminous Bloomers." The one-hour seminar, given by Lois Sheinfeld, will take place on September 29 at 6:30. The cost is $20.
Undo the damage that Jaws has inflicted on you at the New York Aquarium's (718-265-FISH) evening seminar "Shark Tales and Other Myths." Underwater photographer Rick Sammon and his deep-sea colleagues will dispel some of the untruths about the sharp-toothed predators. Proceeds from the event support the aquarium's education and research efforts. On August 7 at 7:30.
With a host of resources to stir the imaginations of image makers, the International Center of Photography offers two one-year certificate programs for intermediate and advanced photographers: "General Studies in Photography" and "Documentary Photography and Photojournalism." The cost is about $10,125, but may go up. For more information on the programs, which begin October 1, call 860-1776, ext. 156.
Want to learn how to get perfect exposures every time, how and when to use particular films, or how to get the most from your strobesmounted on-camera or in studio setup? The New School's "Lighting on Location" workshop, taught by working professionals, covers everything you'll need to know to showcase your art in 35mm slide format. For more information, call 229-5122. It'll cost you $405 to do all this.
Revolutionize your skills at the New York Institute of Photography (867-8260) with their "Digital NYI," a comprehensive course in digital photography. The newly offered class starts with the fundamentals and moves on to some of the technology's more advanced techniques. No prior experience is necessary and you don't need to own a digital camera.
Religion and Spirituality
If you're ready for heavy breathing with a spiritual slant, Qi Jong may be for you. Dating back 5000 years, the Chinese art focuses on breathing techniques as a key to well-being. Master the methods at The Learning Annex (371-0280) on September 16 and begin the journey to heal body and soul. The cost is $29 for members and $49 for nonmembers.
Escape the weight of institutional dogma with "Foundations of the Ageless Wisdom"'s holistic approach to religion. Sponsored by the New York Theosophical Society (753-3835), the free introduction is taught by its president, Ed Abdill. For more information, visit www.Theosophy-ny.org. Classes are held on Tuesday evenings from October 26 to December 7. Preregistration is required. Did I mention it's free?
Inspired by Madonna's new-found inner peace and strength? Then catch yourself a ray of light at The Seminar Center, where Steven Turner will illuminate the mystical Kabbalah. As one of the oldest and most revered of the Jewish traditions, it just might catapult you to spiritual enlightenment and contentment as well. The discussion, on September 22 at 6:30, costs $27 for members and $38 for nonmembers. Looking for additional fulfillment? Those trendy Buddhist prayer beads aside, if you've ever been interested in the religion itself, the center is also offering an "Introduction to Buddhism" in which you'll learn, among other things, the meaning of compassion. The class will be held on October 20 at 6:30. For more information on both events, call 655-0077.
For courses that are accessible to artists of varying experience, the Art Students League (247-4510) is the place to be. Paint under the watchful eye of professionals and take classes from life drawing to sculpture with some of the friendliest teachers around. Registration is $10 and monthly tuition ranges from $52 to $177.
Not only does it house some of the world's greatest masterpieces, but the Metropolitan Museum of Art also offers a variety of more personal services designed to meet the needs of its many visitors. Among its series of programs are "Discoveries," "Signs of Art," and "Touch and See," which introduce viewers with disabilities to the museum experience. For more information, call 879-5500, ext. 3561.
Describing her workshop as "a ride around the block in a Ferrari," Madeleine Beckman offers a comprehensive and critical evaluation of poetry and fiction on an individual basis. A journalist and published poet, she emphasizes writing for publication and also works with professionals to improve their business composition skills. Classes cost $275 to $300 for a five-week commitment and are taught out of Beckman's home. For more information, call 533-2033. Also visit www.echonyc.com/madi.
For those looking for support in mixed poetry-fiction classes, The Writers Studioconducts four separate 10-week workshops that accent their technique-oriented mission; the first begins on September 27 and costs $320. Other offerings include a two-day intensive workshop on August 14 and 15 for $300 and mixed poetry-fiction classes. Students also hold a reading series of their work. For more information, call 255-7075.