By Miriam Felton-Dansky
By Lilly Lampe
By R. C. Baker
By Tom Sellar
By Alexis Soloski
By Molly Grogan
By R. C. Baker
With a new season around the corner, take stock of your poorly fitting clothes and transform them into tailored fall styles at NYU (scps.nyu.edu). "Clothing Alterations Workshop" teaches the secrets of wardrobe tailoring and lets you in on the city's best places for buttons and trim. Don't worry, you can afford it with all the money you'll save by remaking your closet!
Wish you could show off that "crazy" photo to more than your Friendster circle? Thankfully the Brooklyn-based Church of Craft (churchofcraft.org/doors) saves the modern day with its "Image Transfer" class on August 3. Learn direct and indirect methods for image to fabric transfer for only $30. Jessie Pascoe
Have you ever wished that sex tape of you shtupping a C-list celebrity whilst Colin Farrell looked on was better lit, didn't use so much rack focus, and didn't pick up so much of Colin's lilting brogue in the background? Me too. Take the Learning Annex's "How to Shoot Your Own Live Adult Video" (212-371-0280, learningannex.com) with porn vets Joe Gallant and Jeff Stella, and you'll be posting skin flicks on the Web in no time! Girl-on girl action (no joke) is included in course fee, subsequent legal fees are not.
So you've perused Truffaut's famous book-length interview, Hitchcock/Truffaut, enough times in Barnes & Noble to know that the young Alfred, "to [his] credit . . . never wanted to be a policeman." Find out what this eccentric Englishman did with his life after ignoring the siren song of law enforcement in NYU's "Hitchcock: Murder, Manhunts, and Mystery" (212-998-7171, scps.nyu.edu). Yes, the suspense is unbearable.
It seems that everybody and their baby mama's sister's cousin is a stress-testing Scientologist these days, but Katie & Co. are but one of thousands of shadowy, secretive groups with planetary domination in mind. Right? Indulge your inner conspiracy theorist at the New School's "Conspiracy and Paranoia in American Film" (212-229-5690, nsu.newschool.edu) and never trust anyone again. Pete L'Official
If you're a business type who thinks Miller-Modigliani Theory is some unholy alliance of disgraced-then-somewhat-admirable journalistic ethics and Italian sculptural technique, then you should probably think about a new profession. Or take Columbia's course in introductory finance (212-854-9699, ce.columbia.edu) and all things economic will be explained.
George Costanza's highly successful import/export company, Vandelay Industries, inspired many a closet importer-exporter's dreams, but few followed through. Well, my friends, the time is now: NYU is offering a course in "Running Your Own Import/Export Business" (212-998-7171, scps.nyu.edu). You'll never have to lie about being an architect again.
Keynesians and Monetarists are the banking world's Hatfields and McCoys, don't you think? (Pause for cigar puff.) Quite right, good sir. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, the New York Institute of Finance (212-641-6616, ftknowledge.com) is offering a course in the "Essentials of Banking," where you will learn about this age-old debate and what makes Alan Greenspan so gosh-darn finicky. You'll get a six-month subscription to the Financial Times to boot. Pete L'Official
The production and distribution of wines around the world has always been influenced by politics and economics. Those interested in the history of what they put on their table should sign up for "In Vino Veritas: The New International Culture and Politics and Wine" at NYU (212-998-7200, scps.nyu.edu). This is the class to take with your tedious friends who become enraged at the mention of the WTO. They can discuss the dangers of globalization, while you sip your wine and nod tranquilly. Kosiya Shalita
For some people, the prospect of speaking in public can be quite nerve-racking, and with good reason: It's terrifying. Fear, nausea, and copious amounts of flop sweat are not fun. The New School provides a chance to overcome all this with "Seven Steps to Fearless Speaking" (212-229-5615, nsu.newschool.edu). Learn techniques to remain confident and relaxed next time you're called upon to address a crowd.
Does anyone really find orange chicken or beef with broccoli that exciting? Discover what lies on the other side of the menu with NYU's "Chinese Characters for Chinese Food Lovers" (212-998-7200, scps.nyu.edu). Learn to identify more adventurous dishes by studying the basics of Chinese characters and radicals. With a Chinese character dictionary in hand, you'll be able to start eating like the family sitting next to you.
Do you know how to listen? I don't mean closing your mouth while someone else talks, but actually listening . It doesn't sound hard, but then, why can't you ever remember people's names at parties? "Authentic Listening" at the New School (212-229-5615, nsu.newschool.edu) can teach you how. So sit down and shut up. Kosiya Shalita
Adept with the Western canon, your knowledge of nontonal musical traditions is limited to some dimly held thoughts on Ravi Shankar and an acid-soaked encounter with Ornette Coleman back in '71 (which you're not sure counts). Fear not, aging hippie. Become as knowledgeable on the topic as you've always pretended to be with "Introduction to the Musics of India and West Asia," a Columbia course that explores these musical styles and their relation to other Asian arts (212-854-9699, ce.columbia.edu). Starts Sept. 6.