27 Ways to Better Yourself This Summer in NYC

[Summer 2014 Education Supplement]

27 Ways to Better Yourself This Summer in NYC
Photo Credit: mpclemens via Compfight cc
#27: NYU's "Summer Intensive in Creative Writing" promises to pack a semester's worth of writing instruction into just two weeks.

Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park, called it "a democratic development of the highest significance." But it has its aesthetic points, too, and you can learn how best to exploit them at "Beginners Learn to Draw: Drawing Class in Central Park," hosted by Art Studio NY. The two-hour class promises to cover "shading, composition, and personal expression." If it rains, expect soggier subject matter. theartstudiony.com

Like the TARDIS, the Met seems bigger on the inside. Luckily, NYU's School of Continuing Education and Professional Studies promises to push you beyond the usual Egyptian temples and impressionist landscapes. With "Hidden Treasures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art," you'll spend six Friday evenings discovering the likes of French period rooms, the Cypriot Corridor, and Southeast Asian sculptures. scps.nyu.edu

Many of us use our computers for little more than word processing, video streaming, Google searching, and stalking the occasional ex on Facebook. For those who need their Macs and PCs to perform more sophisticated tasks, the American Graphics Institute in midtown can help. Specializing in design, publishing, and marketing software, they offer classes in Dreamweaver, Photoshop, After Effects, InDesign, and Adobe Flash, Acrobat, and Illustrator. agitraining.com

Have you tried turning it off and on again? How about hitting control-alt-delete? Maybe giving the keyboard a good whack? It might work, but if you're looking for a more sophisticated approach to computer diagnostics and overhaul, consider the "PC Repair Technician Program" at the Bronx Community College. And once your machine is up and running, they also offer courses designed to equip you for IT jobs, such as Linux+. bcc.cuny.edu

If you've ever said to yourself, Hey, a glass paperweight will really pull this room together, you can make your own after Brooklyn Glass's "One-Day Paperweight" course. The 4,000-square-foot Gowanus studio, which boasts two giant furnaces, also offers classes in flame-working, glassblowing, neon-bending, and one-day workshops in marble- and bead-making. brooklynglass.com

Diamonds are a girl's best friend. So isn't it time you taught yourself to associate with a better class of chum? During the Jewelry Arts Institute's summer semester, you can learn to craft your own trinkets and baubles. In this eight-session class in midtown, you'll be tutored in jewelry design as well as such techniques as "soldering, stone-setting, and fusing." Precious gems not included. jewelryartsinstitute.com

How should you spend your weekend nights? You could sip cocktails at some secret speakeasy, swap small plates at a new eatery, brave the throb and sweat and crowds at a nightclub. Or you could sew. On Friday nights, Chelsea's City Quilter invites you to booze it up while you baste and tack at "Sip 'n' Sew." And if you want to get tipsy on the foot treadle again, there's "Saturday Night Sewing," too. cityquilter.com

The Oscars red carpet is a fashion-lover's dream — the sweeping gowns, the statement tuxes, the occasional swan outfit. But the Fashion Institute of Technology insists that the more interesting clothes are preserved on celluloid. In "Fashion in Film and Media" you can learn about the cinematic outfits that have had the most influence on popular culture, with a focus on "wardrobe design, selection, and depiction." fitnyc.edu

Billy Wilder believed that a movie director must be "a policeman, a midwife, a psychoanalyst, a sycophant, and a bastard." If you'd like to begin your multiple careers, start with "Camera Fundamentals," a two-day workshop at DCTV. You'll learn such video basics as "focus, exposure, white balance, and composition." Plus, the workshop includes a one-year DCTV membership, offering access to equipment rentals and post-production facilities. dctvny.org

"If it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed," said Stanley Kubrick. Which is all well and good unless you've never moved beyond the title page of your teleplay. Happily, Columbia University offers a six-week "Television Writing Intensive." You'll choose between a half-hour-sitcom track and an hour-drama track focused on police and medical procedurals, with coursework supplemented with presentations by industry professionals. ce.columbia.edu

Food and Drink
It's a culinary truism that you probably don't want to know what goes into your sausage. But if you're curious and strong-stomached, Dickson's Farmstand Meats in Chelsea Market hosts "Sausage Making 101" on April 7. After a brief lecture, students mix, season, stuff, and link their very own links. It's the wurst! If that isn't sufficiently carnivorous, the next week Dickson offers the make-your-own-jerky course "Jerkin' Around with Ted." dicksonfarmstand.com

To make a cake, you'll need to sift flour, soften butter, and separate eggs. Or not. In consideration of dietary allergies and antipathies, the Natural Gourmet Institute in the Flatiron District offers "Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free Cakes." Lest you think that will also make them free of pleasure, joy, and taste, the menu for April includes luscious lemon cake, orange cardamom cake, and maple apple walnut cake, as well as several varieties of boozy frosting. naturalgourmetinstitute.com

In wine there is truth. And also many grapes. If you'd like to learn more about what's in your glass, attend spring classes at the Upper East Side's Vino-Versity. Learn the essentials with "Wine Basics," then graduate to "Chips, Dips, and Sips" or "Pairing Wine and Cheeses: Rind, Brined, and Wined!" Once you're an alcohol aficionado, you can try "Destination Wine Tasting," which features 20 to 24 wines from a particular region with geographically appropriate snacks. vinoversity.com

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