“Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life.”
—Henry L. Doherty
As an adult, most likely you’re managing a full-time job, a family, and a home. Your life may be so busy you have no time for anything but routine. Some days, as you measure your life out in coffee spoons, you think, “I am a robot.” What better way to liven up your life than with a class, a hobby, or a skill? Though you may try to create as many excuses as possible for not taking the time to challenge yourself or learn something new—“I’m too busy,” “I’m too tired,” or the classic “I’m too old”—the reasons why you should pursue learning as an adult are countless. What you get involved in can provide you the opportunity to make new friends, challenge you physically, help you advance professionally, serve your community, satisfy an inquiring mind, quell your “I’ve always wanted to do that but [insert excuse here]” statements, conquer fears, and, at the very least, provide a break from routine. No matter where you live in the region, there are places geared toward educating adults.
It’s time to get out, and get learning.
Channeling your inner Emeril
With the plethora of reality cooking programs on TV, knowing how to cook has become almost as much a competition as a means of providing sustenance. If you desire to expand your kitchen skills beyond your current repertoire and impress your friends at dinner parties, feel lucky to live so close to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. You can take your cooking to the next level by registering in one of their culinary Boot Camp programs. There is a program for nearly every cuisine—French, American regional, flavors of Asia, Italian-American, seafood, and even the tastes of the Hudson Valley. Depending upon which program you choose, your boot camp training can take two, four, or five days and includes cooking, lectures, as well as meals at the campus restaurants. (800) 888-7850; www.ciachef.edu.
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming . . .
Knowing how to swim is a valuable life skill. But if you’ve never learned how, what better time than summer? Total Immersion in New Paltz will help you not only quell what fears you may have about the water, but also transform you from a doggy paddler to a flying fish. Total Immersion claims to have a foolproof approach to teaching that brings results faster than conventional methods and can help any student, no matter what their age or fitness level. Whether you’re looking to fine-tune your techniques for an anticipated competition or you’re learning to swim for the first time, programs are customized for you to work towards personal goals. The facilities include two Endless resistance pools that can be adjusted to a stroke speed up to three miles per hour, and contain underwater mirrors and video cameras for constant visual feedback. (845) 256-9770; www.totalimmersion.net.
Transforming the self
If you’re seeking a more holistic approach to your lifestyle, the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck will provide you with the means to do so through self-exploring education that will nurture the spirit, body, and mind. Since its founding in 1977, the Omega Institute has been offering its students opportunities for personal growth and wellness through classes, workshops, and conferences held all over the country. Over 16,000 people come to the 195-acre campus annually, “to be rejuvenated and gain life skills or just have a happier life,” explains Christina Pullicino, media relations associate. Workshops range from chanting, emotional healing, drum song, couples massage, African dance and drumming, and a “Crazy Sexy Cancer Boot Camp” led by Kris Carr to replace the fear that comes with a cancer diagnosis with a sense of strength and freedom. Omega also offers professional training to earn continuing education credits, and “learning vacations” in Costa Rica and the Virgin Islands. (877) 944-2002; www.eomega.org.
Everything, including how to fix the kitchen sink
Want to know how to mix a mojito? Or how to go about publishing your first novel? A community college is an ideal starting place for anyone who is interested in learning a new skill or garnering a new hobby but doesn’t know where to center their interests, or want to break the bank doing it. SUNY Ulster—with campuses in Stone Ridge and Kingston—offers an extensive catalog of noncredit classes for vocations, computer training, health and safety instruction, dancing and exercise, arts and crafts, home enhancement, languages, travel and recreation, writing and publishing, and more. Many classes are offered online. (845) 339-2025;
It’s a bird! It’s a plane!