Education

• • • computers

So you've got your personals profile all set to post online—the Ph.D./world traveler/Manhattan penthouse pitch—but you still haven't figured out how to paste your head onto Tom Cruise's torso. Cooper Union(353-4195; www.cooper.edu) offers "Introduction to Photoshop and Illustrator" (four sessions, Feb 21-Mar 14) for $390. Oh, and I'm sure it'll be useful for a few other things in multimedia design.—Ariston Anderson

• • • cooking

Offering an array of food workshops on international cuisine, light cooking, and wines, the New School(229-5690) caters to most tastes. Classes range from the practical ("Quick Italian Sauces") to the elaborate ("A Hong Kong Feast") to the supersweet ("Great American Pies"). Wine drinkers can enhance their senses with classes like "The Educated Nose," or learn how to answer arcane questions like "Wine and Chocolate: Can It Be Done?"


In addition to advanced cooking degrees, the Institute of Culinary Education(847-0700; www.iceculinary.com/recreational/index.shtml) runs a large, hands-on program for those new to the kitchen. Courses teach you all the steps of cooking, so you hone your knife skills and find out what to do with a salmon steak and (filed under "Do Yourself a Flavor") how to cook with beer. Scavengers, remember your doggie bags: You can take the class leftovers home with you.


There's nothing wrong with eating cheesecake three times a day, but if you want to add some nutrition to your diet while learning to cook at home, the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health(645-5170, ext. 4; www.naturalgourmetschool.com/publicclasses.htm) offers small, easygoing classes like "The Limitless Bean" and "Oodles of Noodles." —Michael Miller

• • • dance

The sweaty chest hair, the Celtic belt, and (oh!) the green velvet capris: If Michael Flatley didn't capture your heart, give Niall O'Leary (former Ireland and world champion) a chance to teach you the history and show you the moves of Irish dancing at the Learning Annex(371-0280) on March 20 ($39).


They coalesce in the open fields of Punjab, celebrating the wheat harvest, increasing their fury as the music steps up, stomping their feet, whirling and clapping. . . .Elsewhere, in New York gyms and basement clubs, the dance appears as Masala Bhangra, the Indian-dance-inspired routine accompanied by dhol drums, flutes, and tablas—synthesized! Lotus Music & Dance(628-8789; www.masaladance.com). Mondays at 8, $11 a class.


Perhaps no other movement best expresses the passion of love than the Argentine tango, a secret danced by two. In this one-day workshop you'll learn the intoxicating steps, how to lead and how to follow, ready to take your new groove out into the city's tango salons. At the New SchoolContinuing Studies (229-5690; www.nsu.newschool.edu), Feb 9. ($75.) —Ariston Anderson

drama

So what if your "To be or not to be" sounds like it's coming from an Alabama preacher? "Acting Shakespeare" aims to take on the Bard with an American approach, while going to the heart of his character relationships. Do the man proud at the Acting Studio(580-6600; www.actingstudio.com)—12 Sundays, beginning Feb 4.


What's Beethoven's favorite fruit? Ba-na-na-na. Is this thing on? But seriously, folks, if you're interested in a stand-up career, Scott Blakeman at the New School(229-5690; www. nsu.newschool.edu) will show you the art of writing and performing comic monologues, as well as give you a rundown of the economic realities of the business. The course ends with you auditioning at one of New York's leading comedy clubs. So don't let me down, hotshot. Six Monday sessions begin Feb. 4. ($205.)


If you can't tell your Brecht from your commedia dell'arte, then it's time you got to the Columbia Acting Lab (www.ce.columbia.edu). Act now and for a limited time you'll get Chekhov featuring theories of Stanislavsky and the politics of naturalism. But that's not all. Call and you'll also get avant-garde, monologue, and scene work perfection via Beckett, Ionesco, and Stein. —Ariston Anderson

• • • fashion

It may not have anything comparable to Paris, but with its fashion schools Manhattan churns out its fair share of aspiring designers. In recent years their grads have been going boldly to fashion's final frontier, where critical acclaim meets commercial success. Want to be one of those who envisions an original design, creates an innovative business model, or expands upon a new idea? Join the Parsons School of Design's workshops (www2.parsons.edu).


Not so long ago one of France's top designers fashioned garments for about 5500 clergymen present at a Catholic-sponsored International Festival of Youth. Well, you may not want to specialize in church fashion, but at the Katharine Gibbs School(973-4954) you can get the skills you'll need to make a splash in any other branch of the fashion industry. The Fashion Design & Merchandising program's topics include fabric printing and print design, sketching for the designer and illustrator, industry-standard pattern drafting, and showroom and retail sales. —Ioana Veleanu

• • • film

The screaming clowns, the eels sliding through a tight shirt, an endless drive through a dark forest. For those too big for the silver screen, it's on to the galleries. With the New School's "Film as Installation and Performance" (www.nsu.newschool.edu) you'll learn ways to break down the uni-image through multiple projectors, colored gels, film loops, mirrors, prisms, and mylar. You'll also get to look at the work of the innovators themselves, such as Barbara Rubin, Stan Vanderbeek, and Kathy Rose, and you'll venture to Millennium Film Workshop and Anthology Film Archives. The New School Continuing Studies, 13 Wed sessions, beginning Feb 6. ($705.)


Willis opened the classifieds with a sigh. He had just moved back to the city, and didn't realize how hard it was to get a job. He scanned the positions: Been there, done that. "Enough!" he proclaimed, throwing the paper down. "I'm going to become a director." And with that he picked up his Super 8 and went to register for "How to Shoot Your Own Adult Video" at the Learning Annex(Jan 25 or Mar 15). Because in the city that never sleeps, dreams really do come true.


OK—so will I owe Michael Jackson a million dollars if I use the Beatles' "Revolution" in my Nike sweatshop documentary? Is it possible to find a composer without having the soundtrack sound like the mixer on an electronic keyboard? "Music for Film and Television" explains all, exploring the history of film music and composers, how a score is created, how composers and directors interact, budgeting, recording, dubbing, copyrights, you name it. At NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies (998-7080; www.scps.nyu.edu). Feb 4-May 6. ($685.) —Ariston Anderson

• • • finance

The New School's "Introduction to Business Management" (www. nsu.newschool.edu) is a skill-building course for people whose job responsibilities or career interests require knowledge of basic management principles. The 12-session class studies concepts of business organization, communication, decision making, planning, motivating, controlling, group dynamics, leadership, and change. Examples of common day-to-day management and supervisory problems provide realistic case studies. ($410.)


Whether you're building a career in a brick-and-mortar environment or a virtual one, the Internet is guaranteed to be a big part of your marketing, selling, sourcing, communicating, and image-building efforts. The Fashion Institute of Technology's "eLaw: Business, the Internet, and the Law" (217-7250) will provide you with the legal information you need to set up online, understand the contractual relationships involved in electronic commerce, and avoid legal pitfalls. ($225.) —Ioana Veleanu

• • • international study

The majority of consumers from Cuba to France will not accept genetically modified foods. World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (www.wwoof.org) allows you to travel virtually anywhere to learn firsthand the art of organic growing. In exchange for your volunteer services you'll get room and board on the farm. So get out of the city—and pick up that plow.


The Center for Study Abroad(www.centerforstudyabroad.com) offers affordable adult programs. For $1395 you can study at Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City. Over seven weeks this spring you'll study in Vietnam's "rice basket," as well as take a trip north to Hanoi.


SUNY(www.studyabroad.com/ suny/) boasts nearly 300 overseas programs. Go Moroccan at Al Akhawayan University in Ifrane with an eight-week intensive Arabic language and culture program. Weekend excursions will take you to Fez, Casablanca, Marrakech, and Rabat. Or how about Maori studies at the University of Bergen in New Zealand? Go on, take your studies to the North Island. —Ariston Anderson

• • • language

Cervantes's most famous adventurer reads all the wrong books and winds up mistaking windmills for monsters. The Cervantes Institute(661-6011; www.institutocervantes.org), on the other hand, prepares students to use their Spanish out in the world without sounding like fools. Classes are supplemented by lectures on Spanish culture and films.


In addition to its high-quality lectures and readings, the 92nd Street Y(415-5500; www.92ndsty.org/adult/languages.asp) offers courses in ESL, Italian, French, Spanish, Hebrew, and Yiddish. Classes are small, and beginners' classes focus on conversation and the "flair of a foreign culture." For those who find speaking in a new tongue stressful, the atmosphere is relaxed. At $110 for nine sessions, "Beginning Yiddish" isn't exactly bupkes, but classes here are relatively inexpensive.


What does yoga have to do with French? Is it easier to sing a new language than it is to speak it? You can find out at the French Institute Alliance Française(355-6100; www.fiaf.org/school2/), which in addition to traditional classes dealing with film and business, offers "off the beaten trail" courses tailored to suit your interests.—Michael Miller

• • • music

Have you ever thought of making the album that puts you on tape for posterity? The eclectic program offered by the NYUDepartment of Music and Performing Arts Professions (998-5424) will teach you the musical rudiments you need to fulfill your dream. You may follow general composition studies, or specialize in "Electronic and Computer Music Composition," "Composition for Music Theater," or "Composition for Film, Multimedia and TV."


The Dicapo Opera Theatre is a nice enough place to kill an evening with some so-so classical repertoire. But gaining admission to La Scala is among life's more troublesome tasks. So you may want, before getting there, to build on your technical prowess. The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music(718-622-3300; brooklynconservatory.com) develops heads and hearts that can understand and interpret the subtle elements of music—how it sounds, how it feels.


Coleman Hawkins, Johnny Hodges, and Sidney Bechet gave jazz its voice. If you want to follow in their footsteps and enter the zone where improvisation reigns, the best place to start is the New School's Blues Ensemble. In 12 sessions beginning Feb 4, you will learn the turnarounds, intros, endings, formats, and soloing skills necessary to play this most essential of American musical forms. Call 229-5873 to arrange an audition. (Cost: $420.) —Ioana Veleanu

• • • nature

Do you love chocolate? Do you know where it comes from? Do you want to feel a little tropical warmth in the middle of winter? Why don't you and your friends do something other than drinking for once? The New York Botanical Gardens (718-817-8700; www.nybg.org) offers you the opportunity to explore the tropical rain forests of the Enid A. Haupt in search of the great cacao tree. On the journey you'll learn about tropical plants and how to use them in everyday life. At the end of the trip, make hot chocolate out of purecacao seeds, and feel, well, warm inside. I guarantee it will be the best two hours of your week! One-hour tours are $12.50 per person. —Camila Gamboa

• • • photography

For those photo fanatics who don't want to indulge in library work or take in exhibitions, photo-seminars.comis the answer. The online campus offers photography workshops and free photo seminars for as little as $29. The tuition is good for one full year from your enrollment date, with unlimited access to the entire site and all future additions. (The "Tips and Tricks" area is restricted to enrolled students.)


Want to learn the basic techniques used to capture exhilarating sports or travel images? The 92nd Street Y's "Photography Without a Darkroom" class (415-5562) provides a short introduction to the art of 35mm photography for those without time for, or access to, a darkroom. In 10 sessions and for only $340, you'll master the tools and art of photography.


Without light there is no photography. The New School's "One-Day Lighting Workshop" (www.nsu. newschool.edu) on Feb 9 introduces a logical theory of photographic lighting and teaches beginning photographers how to get the most from their strobes (camera mounted or studio setup). Through a series of practical exercises you'll overcome the limitations of equipment and film emulsion to achieve creative and professional results. (Cost: $165) —Ioana Veleanu

• • • sports

At New York Kung Fu & Kickboxing Academy(242-2453; nykk.org) they say you'll be able to kick some butt—and lose some—if you take their classes. I don't doubt them, but perhaps the best feature of this martial arts academy is that the first class is free. You see, they want to place you in the proper program, make sure you're getting the fitness plan you want. There's a special beginners' level for all classes, flexible schedules, and a revolutionary kickboxing program. Other classes include Mongolian wrestling, Lama kung fu, and San Shou. Prices range from $85-100 for group classes.


Bo Law Kung Fu(925-3339) promises that you'll achieve confidence, awareness, discipline, and stress reduction with their kung fu classes. Maybe it's time you explore the inner animal in you, learn how to stretch like a tiger, and explore the inner strength of a leopard or the flexibility of the snake. In the first introductory class Master Paul Koh will tell you if you are ready to begin the workout—or he'll suggest a better one. Classes are $150 (twice a week) or $200 (three times a week). Be sure to schedule an appointment for your first visit.


Yes, I know, I know. Who wants to go into the water when it's freezing outside? Do you really want to get your hair wet? Listen, I used to be like you, thinking, Chlorine and winter don't mix. But hey, I was pushed into it and changed my mind. Swimming helps your heart rate, tones all your muscles, and elevates your spirit. A 10-pack of half-hour sessions at Chelsea Piers(www.chelseapiers.com) is only $380. My favorites are "Master's Swim," "Making Waves," and "Hydro Workout." Check out which ones you like. Hey, it's after the holidays—you gotta get rid of the extra pounds. (Kids' classes also available Tue and Thu.) —Camila Gamboa

• • • visual arts

The Educational Alliance Art School(780-2300) at 197 East Broadway is once again becoming the center for traditional studio art classes for adults. There's a full range of classes in drawing, sculpture, and painting. Yes, these sound great, but what about stone carving and ceramics? (Also: a collage class with Thomas Lanigan Schmidt!) Classes start Feb 4; open house Jan 24. Registration includes a free Monday-night figure-drawing workshop. (Cost: $75-310, plus materials fee.)


"Film as Installation and Performance" at the New School(229-5690) explores the possibilities of film as performance or as an installation work in a gallery setting. Students use multiple projectors, slides, and colored gels; installation techniques such as film loops, and optical effects using lenses, water, prisms, and mylar are also taught. At the end of the course each student will create an installation work for presentation at a gallery. Classes are $705 for 13 sessions and begin Feb 6.


At the Mac Learning Center, you'll get all the computer graphic training that you can fathom. Wanna impress your new boyfriend? Wanna create your own coffee-table book? What the hell are you waiting for? Didn't you know Macs are the best for the 21st-century designer? Learn Photoshop manipulation or Macromedia Flash Web animation. I mean, there are millions of courses to take, and so little time. Go to www.applemacintosh.com for schedules and prices, or call 594-2280 for more information. I'm telling you, it's a win-win situation. —Camila Gamboa

• • • writing

It's one of those Sunday afternoons and you and your cats are lounging around the house putting it back together post-party. You tell the felines about your incredible adventure on the subway three days ago. They yawn, thinking, "This one again?" You tell them you don't understand why no one laughed about it last night. Maybe you don't know how to express yourself. Well, you'll show them! Take a course in writing at the New School(229-5630), have it all prepared and thought out before you tell the story, go back to you earliest recollections, and become a celebrity at allthe right parties. I recommend "Fiction Writing: Memory, Imagination, Desires," beginning Feb 7, $465. Or "Accidental Realities: Writing Experimental Fiction," same time and price. —Camila Gamboa

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