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Home for the holidays, adrift in the suburbs, relaxing with old friends, playing board games galore, I took out my needles and soft, soft pink yarn. Stunned silence. Uproarious laughter. "Hey Grandma!" they taunted. "Nice afghan!" These ignorant "friends" surely haven't visited New York of late. What's cuter than a chick making her own shawl as she whiles away her time on the W? Their comments on my leg warmers were enough. I'm not sure I'll tell them that I plan to embark on "Beginner's Machine Knitting" at FIT (212-217-7999; fitnyc.edu). The better to knit you with, my dear. [jennifer snow]

FILM

Fade in. Interior coffee shop. A Village Voice reader is flipping through the Education Supplement, looking for a good screenwriting class. He feels he has good ideas—but he just doesn't know how to express them. A small smile appears on his face as he reads of the Gotham Writers Workshop's screenwriting classes (212-974-8377; writingclasses.com). Success. Fade out.


Looking to join the ranks of Woody Allen and Spike Lee? Aspiring New York City filmmakers, check out the New York Film Academy (212-674-4300; nyfa.com) for classes on all aspects of filmmaking—from directing and acting to cinematography and editing. Have your doubts? Just ask F. Murray Abraham's son—he went there. So did Steven Spielberg's son and Pierce Brosnan's son. What more do you need?


If you were wondering about how The Matrix sequels are going to impact the next presidential election, or what sort of social issues Charlie's Angels 2 will reflect, look no further than NYU's "History Via Hollywood" (May 21-July 9), which studies eight films with topics that "range from political assassinations and wars to atheism and feminism." (212-998-7200; scps.nyu.edu). [zack wagman]

FINANCE

"Is it cheap or 'spensive?" I learned to ask at a young age. Before I could read I believed, yet rarely questioned the fact that for some reason almost all gumball machines said "Out of Order" and certain toys were "Not for Sale." The salespeople must have loved my mom, though she did succeed in fueling in me a lifetime obsession with bargains, signage, and sales. But before I start that business I've always dreamed of, I should probably enlist the help of professionals. Hopefully they'll tell me the truth. Sign me up for the New School's "Before You Start That Business" (212-229-5690; nsu.newschool.edu).


I admit: I was one of those kids who studied for my kindergarten entrance exams. I went in knowing all of my colors and animals and relations' names and ages—and occupations. I apparently did not particularly care for my father's job, however, and instead of telling the nice lady that my dad was a "financial analyst," I informed her that "he barbecues." He's forgiven me, and he even helps when I have the inevitable 401(k) question or two. But as I am still wont to block out all things numerical, "An Introduction to Investments" at the New School (212-229-5690; nsu.newschool.edu) would certainly be helpful.


A college roommate was fond of chastising my choice of classes with a hand gesture that made her look like she was flying. And because she thought art classes were airy, I retorted with a "banging on the keyboard until my knuckles bled" gesture that best described her devotion to her big fat business school textbooks. Columbia University's "Business S3001D" (212-854-9699; ce.columbia.edu) sounds much like a class that would be up her alley, but with the subtitle "Introductory Finance," perhaps it should be up mine. [jennifer snow]


For some of us, the information revolution has sparked a queasy feeling of information overload, but luckily the Metropolitan College of New York (212-343-1234, metropolitan.edu) offers an MBA in multimedia industry and e-commerce. In three semesters ($8,398 each), students learn how new technologies have reformed access to services and information, as well as how to administer projects involving multimedia and the Internet.


There's no business like show business, they say, the key word being business. The one-of-a-kind MBA program in media management at the Metropolitan College of New York (212-343-1234, metropolitan.edu) has been featured on CNN and Crain's New York Business for its unique approach to synthesizing industry and entertainment. The one-year, three-semester ($8,398 per semester) program accents managerially oriented academics and prepares its grads to market their own work and earn a living in the showbiz of their choice. [danielle winterton]

INTERNATIONAL STUDIES

Whether it's wartime or not, the global community depends on education, so the Asia Society (212-288-6400; asiasociety.org/events) offers a series of lectures and seminars that range from international security panels to economics discussions. Give your worldview a workout. Classes aren't cheap, but neither is mutually assured destruction.


Nations trade food, oil, automobiles, and other material. But how often do you consider the thought trade? NYU (212-790-1319; nyu.edu) offers an "International Intellectual Property" course for $610. The group examines the Paris Convention, the Madrid Protocol, the Berne Convention, the Trade Related Intellectual Property Standards, and other treaty-ish things.


NATO is a buzzword worth billions, so why not fine-tune your familiarity with the organization? Check out the "The Riddle of NATO: Does It Have Any Role?" on April 24 at the World Policy Institute (212-229-5808, ext. 101, worldpolicy.org). Free lectures like this one extend through the spring. [daniel king]

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