Want to brush up on your Latin? Columbia University's School of Continuing Education (212-854-9666; offers serious, non-credit courses at various levels for popular Romance languages, as well as German, Czech, Russian, and Tibetan. Registration is in April and May for classes beginning in late May and early July, respectively. Cost: $1,200.

For those of you who've already taken three years of fill-in-the-blank in high school, but want to hone the old pronuncia before traveling this fall, NYU's Center for Foreign Languages and Translation (212-998-7030; offers refresher courses in various languages. It also has beginner, accelerated, and three-week intensive classes in numerous tongues. Not sure what level you should register for? You can take a placement test online (

For those looking to polish their conversational English, Language Studies International of New York (212-965-9940; offers ESL courses for students, tourists, and business professionals from all over the world. Group classes of 20 to 30 hours per week are available, as are one-on-one lessons tailored to the individual's needs. Courses last from two weeks to a year, with entry dates every Monday, and are held at the Metropolitan College of New York.

Parlez-vous Français? Non? Well, here's your chance. The French Institute-Alliance Française (212-355-6100; has multilevel courses beginning in late March and mid May. Cost ranges from $150 to $600, depending on length and intensity. [tedra meyer]


Wish you could sing with the wild abandon of a child, but too embarrassed to face even other students? The Lucy Moses School (212-501-3362; is a community arts school specializing in individual and group instruction. The school offers personal attention and nurturing to make the arts a positive experience for everyone. In addition to voice lessons, it offers classes in instruments, music theory, jazz, and chamber music.

If joining the drum circle at Prospect Park is one of your summer goals, check out the Drummers Collective (212-741-0091; for affordable classes first. Don't limit yourself to the conga; maybe the djembe, doundoun, songba, or kenkeni match your groove.

The Third Street Music School Settlement (212-777-3240; is an East Village haven for children and adult music lovers alike. Private voice and instrument lessons as well as informal workshops and recitals are offered for all skill levels. Classes run five weeks beginning June 30. Cost: $150 to $250. [tedra meyer]


Droopy trees got you down? Errant branches make you duck in shame? Caught pruning the plants on the median again? Certified Citizen Pruners to the rescue! The Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Trees New York (718-623-7220; will license your licentiousness and leave you free to believe that the young street trees throughout the city are actually part of your own private arboretum with their "Citizen Pruner Certification" class.

For those of you who prefer your nature at a distance, it's in fact possible to cloister yourself indoors to ponder the meaning of the great outdoors. If modern science is largely concerned with the combining of atomic particles and the splicing of DNA molecules, the New School's "Nature With a Human Face: The Philosophy of Natural Science" (212-229-5690; will allow students to explore and question all that which leads us to such microscopic points.

Whose planning in the 1850s turned a swamp into the largest parcel of open land on this fair island? Whose work affords us the ability to escape the asphalt's call and enter a real jungle of sorts whenever we desire? What allows for the growth and change inherent in such a public space? Who built the lakes and waterfalls and paths and trails and theaters and carousel and, well, splendor, of Central Park? Check out NYU's "A Jewel of a Park" (888-998-7204; and find out. [jennifer snow]


How do you photograph a subject you can't see? Infrared film produces dreamlike images beyond the scope of visible light range, so you'll need to hone your intuitive skills for ICP's "Infrared Photography: Imaging the Invisible" (212-857-0001; You'll get your photos critiqued, study an overview of infrared as an art form, and take field trips to learn exposure techniques. The ethereal adventure begins in August.

The urban landscape glows electric and lights up the night when the sun goes down, sparkling brighter than the stars and giving the moon a run for its money. In ICP's "New York at Night," (212-857-0001; you'll spend four hot July nights shooting away—just you, your camera, and the ferocious beauty of the nocturnal city skyline.

Bookbinding meets box art: Your photographs are brilliant; how about crafting a work of art worthy of displaying them? The New School's "Hand-Made Portfolio Box" class (800-319-4321; teaches you how to use basic bookbinding tools to create a simple cloth-bound box and a portioned folding box, plus you'll pick up the necessary skills to make more elaborate handmade boxes and books. Who cares if you can't get published? [danielle winterton]


Judaism and Christianity go way back, and drawing distinctions between them is an ongoing process, so NYU (212-998-7145; offers a course to relate the religions. The Thursday evening class costs $340 and teaches you theology, stuffs you with scripture, and livens you with liturgy.

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