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Art

Instead of tossing out that ever growing pile of unread magazines, put them to good use. Collages "transcend the specific materials and create a work greater than the sum of its parts." Parson's course in collage (parsons.edu) offers instruction in technique and materials to achieve your goals, whether it's a birthday card, anonymous threatening letters, or that you simply never tire of making posters of Evan Dando. Kosiya Shalita


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    Cooking

    Kant argued that one can only judge food aesthetically once one is already full. If that's the case, it's a good thing you'll have access to unlimited frosting while crafting beautiful desserts at the Institute of Culinary Education's cake and cookie decorating class (212-847-0700, iceculinary.com).

    Take a course at New York City Wine Class and never get caught reading the sommelier's short list upside down again. You'll learn plenty of fancy adjectives while sampling 40 different wines accompanied by some two dozen cheeses in this "Complete Introduction to Wine and Cheese" (212-647-1875, nycwineclass.com). Classes begin September 13.

    Sure, a class in raw-food cooking is an oxymoron, but that doesn't mean it can't be delicious. At Natural Gourmet School (212-645-5170, naturalgourmetschool.com), it's just the thing to keep the kitchen cool this summer. Martin Mulkeen


    Dance

    The Merce Cunningham Studio (212-255-8240, merce.org) offers daily classes that exclusively use the Cunningham technique. It is the space, perched high above quaint Bethune Street, that will first seduce you, but the extensive combinations—emphasizing strength, flexibility, and speed—will keep you coming back. The teachers are amiable and very attentive and always manage to make you feel like a dancer well before you've even begun to sweat.

    Run, leap, and tumble to Dance New Amsterdam (212-625-8369, dancespace.com) this fall. Besides the usual array of ballet, jazz, and modern classes, artists in residence offer a kinesthetic buffet unlike any other. Featuring Stephen Petronio, Luis Lara Malvacias, Ashleigh Leite, Stefanie Nelson, Ellis Wood, and Christopher Williams, this newly constructed studio near City Hall is the perfect place to sample the downtown scene. Addys Gonzalez


    Drama

    You're an insufferable bore! Stoke your funny fires with an improvisation class at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (212-366-9176, ucbtheatre.com). Soon you'll be freestyling "to the top of your intelligence," while making "strong clear character choices."

    Talking to yourself a lot lately? Craft that run-on sentence in your head into a knockout performance piece. Get your soliloquy on with a monologue workshop at the Acting Studio (212-580-6600, actingstudio.com). Topics range from choosing a monologue that's right for you to the big audition. The eight-week class starts September 23.

    If you're like me, your all-purpose funny foreign accent is like a camel race down the silk road: It starts at Mike Myers's Fat Bastard and ends somewhere in Siberia. Sort out your foreign tongues with a dialect class at New York Strasberg Theatre (212-533-5500, newyork-strasberg.com). Fall classes begin September 18. Martin Mulkeen


    Film

    Whether enamored of the split screens of The Thomas Crown Affair or the found-footage freak-outs of Peter Tscherkassky, the invaluable Millennium Film Workshop (212-673-0090, millenniumfilm.org) offers guidance in fucking with the frame. Avant luminaries Jennifer Reeves and Su Friedrich offer "Optical Printing," starting in October.

    If Ida Lupino cracking wise is your idea of bliss (as it is mine), sign up for Columbia's "Topics in American Cinema: Film Noir" (212-854-1754, ce. columbia.edu) Film-crit icon (and Village Voice alum) Andrew Sarris helms this sure-to-be seamy, sweaty, and morally compromised class.

    You've never been the most attractive guy in the room. Sympathetic types tell you to work in radio. NYU (212-998-7171, scps.nyu.edu) has a path to follow. Sign up for "Voiceover Techniques" (begins September 25) and make bank like Morgan Freeman. There are worse careers. R. Emmet Sweeney


    Finance

    Whether you're an Excel spreadsheet devotee or the kind of person who just waits until the ATM says "none left," we all gotta budget somehow. If you're starting a small business or just minding your own, take a budget management course at Baruch College (646-312-5000, baruched.com). Classes are ongoing.

    We can learn very little about death because no one has returned to tell the tale. Taxes, however, are a different story. Take "Individual Federal Income Taxation Planning Techniques" (beginning September 21) at the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies (212-998-7171, scps.nyu.edu) and learn from professionals. If you pay close attention you'll probably learn how to write off the tuition. Martin Mulkeen


    International Studies

    The course catalog description for NYU's "Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution" (212-998-7171, scps.nyu.edu) asks, "How do policymakers resolve major conflicts such as those in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, and Cyprus?" More pertinent might be how to avoid violence every time your roommate places empty containers into the refrigerator instead of tossing them out—or what to do when your friend scrapes her teeth against the fork when taking a bite.

    Following the release of books like Elizabeth Kolbert's Field Notes From aCatastrophe and films like An Inconvenient Truth, many scientists' growing concerns over the environment have been reaching a broader audience. Among these are escalating clashes over resources such as water in the American West, as well as quarrels between farmers and conservationists in the Amazon. "Environmental Conflict: Spats, Disputes, and Wars" at the New School (212-229-5630, newschool.edu) looks at the roles of science and social inequality in understanding these issues. Kosiya Shalita

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