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We all saw the special: Mariah's stylist spouting, "I'm going to need to take 12 of these." I'm going to need?! Well, I'm going to need to take "Fashionspeak: How to Get What You Want When You Need It" at the Fashion Institute of Technology (217-7999; www.fitnyc.edu). Once, a salesgirl asked me if I was interested in signing up for their credit card. I told her I didn't need one. She replied, complete with arms swinging scale-style, "Need? Want? Need? Want?" Perhaps if I had taken this class I wouldn't have had to slap her.


"I like big butts and I cannot lie," and while this won't help me much with my dream of styling the music videos of today, it may serve as indication that I am in dire need of a music business fashion primer à la F.I.T.'s "Fashion Styling and Consulting: Music Groups and Stars" (217-7999; www.fitnyc.edu). —Jennifer Snow

••film

The 92nd Street Y/Makor's "Screenwriting Workshop" (415-5500) lets students develop an idea into the first draft of a screenplay. The six-session course begins March 4 at the Steinhardt Building (35 West 67th Street between Central Park West and Columbus). Cost: $120.


NYU's "Behind the Silver Screen" workshop (998-7200) probes the success and failure of current movies, exploring the strategies involved in making profitable films. The course runs February 9-23, meeting on Sundays from 2-3:30. Cost: $95.


The New School's "Introduction to Cinema Studies" (229-5690) provides an analysis of the methods that filmmakers use to transmit information to viewers. The class meets on Thursdays from 5:50-7:35, starting February 6. —Ben Kenigsberg

••finance

"Get Free Money From the Government" instructor Matthew Lesko—the guy with those frantic TV ads—doesn't need exposure here, but his $49 seminar on January 22 at the Learning Annex (www.learningannex.com) might condense the time you'd otherwise spend perusing his book; the course is certainly topical, and you can inquire about his super-villain outfit.


With unemployment holding steady, maybe it's time for that "Starting Your Own Business" class at La Guardia Community College (718-482-5315; www.lagcc.cuny.edu) in Queens; for $45 plus a $10 registration fee, you'll learn the rough essentials in one six-hour stint: "legal structures, licenses and permits, insurance," and the IRS. The next session is February 8.


The "Managing Money Mindfully" business course at the New School (229-5600; www.nsu.newschool.edu) doesn't presume enrollees are uniformly enthusiastic about serving Mammon; instead, it addresses "underlying psychological, emotional, and spiritual issues" of personal financial planning. The healing begins March 31 and runs $50 for two Monday evenings. —E. McMurtrie

••international study

While a typical university-level international-studies course can set you back thousands of dollars, the New School (229-5488; www.nsu.newschool.edu/02_special.htm) offers some less pricey alternatives. For example, "Cuban Culture Today: Inside and Outside Cuba" examines the island's soul through its art, architecture, and politics in seven sessions for $200; a single session is $35.


Aspiring global jet-setters should consider Berkeley College's International Business program (986-4343; www.berkeleycollege.edu), where those pursuing associate's or bachelor's degrees—or even just auditing one class—can complete much of their coursework online. Berkeley also employs smart business sense by protecting its continuously enrolled full-time students from tuition increases.


The Asia Society offers regular lectures, concerts, and exhibitions by prominent Asian personalities. In February, Mallika Sarabhai, an Indian dancer, actress, CEO, and activist, lectures on the role of art in social change. Check the Web site for more options: www.asiasociety.org. —Danial Adkison

••language

Wir tanzen im 4-eck!Deutsches Haus at NYU (998-8660; www.nyu.edu/deutscheshaus/index.shtml) provides, in conjunction with the Goethe-Institut New York, a comprehensive German language program for all learning levels. Courses are non-credit and cost $450. Private instruction is also available.


Japan Society (715-1256, www.japansociety.org) offers 12 levels of Japanese courses, all taught by native Japanese speakers. The hiragana and katakana syllabaries are introduced at the beginning level, and basic kanji instruction starts at the intermediate level. Three intensive kanji courses and two advanced reading courses are also provided. (Fee: $210 or $430)


A private, nonprofit organization, Parliamo Italiano (744-4793; www.parliamo.com) is the largest Italian language school in New York City. Classes are small and conducted only in Italian, using the Lally method developed by Director Franca Pironti Lally. Rates vary from $275-$465. The school also prepares students for Italian-proficiency exams. —Mary Jacobi

••music

Looking to score a film? The 92nd Street Y's "Music for Film" course (415-5500; www.92ndsty.org) surveys scoring theory and its practical applications by providing you with computers, synthesizers, and slick software so you can create musical moods appropriate to the silver screen. Know what I mean? The 12 evening sessions begin February 5. Cost: $395.


New Yorkers new to jazz have plenty of options—clubs, classes, festivals, and more. Evening courses at the Kaufman Center's Lucy Moses School (501-3362; www.ekcc.org) cover harmonic progressions, improvisational theory, stage presence, and everything except soul—which you have anyway, right? The 12-week courses cost $265. The soul? Priceless.


Ever wonder why Third Street Music School (777-3240; www.thirdstreetmusicschool.org) is located on East 11th? Ask that question, among others, during any of the school's sizzling spring classes, which range from clarinet for chitlins to trumpet for teens, and harpsichord for hippies to recorder for rambunctious 70-year-old rock-star wannabes. (The catalog prefers different language.) —Daniel King

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