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No More Pencils, No More Books

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Last Updated: 08/13/2013 3:43 pm
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“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;
www.sunyulster.edu.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane!

Who hasn’t wished for the ability to fly? If you’re still secretly aching to live out your Superman fantasy, or seeking another way to stay in shape that’s more interesting than hoofing it on the treadmill, sign-up for a two-hour introductory trapeze class at the Trapeze Club at the Center for Symbolic Studies 
in New Paltz. Daring, physically able first-timers can expect to do a swinging knee hang with a flip by the end of the class. Classes contain no more than 10 students with assistance from two to four instructors, and are offered from May through October to everyone age 4 and up. “We just had a 79-year-old woman do this for the first time,” said instructor Megan Dwyer. (845) 658-8540; www.trapezeclub.org.

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?

If you have intentions of visiting Paris, how do you expect to seduce someone in the city of romance if you don’t know how to approach them? The Language Immersion Institute could be your saving grace. The institute offers intensive weekend courses—16 hours’ worth of class time acquired Friday through Sunday—with an emphasis on the development of conversational skills. From Arabic to Yiddish, 20 languages are taught to students seeking to expand their knowledge of foreign tongues. All languages and levels are offered at each session, and classes usually contain five to 10 students. (845) 257-3500; www.newpaltz.edu/lii.

Paint your palate blue and gray

We all have to admit that at least once in our lives, we have been so moved by a piece of artwork that we have thought to ourselves, “I wish I could do that.” The Hudson Valley is teeming with locations to bolster your artistic talent. Whatever your artistic medium of choice—painting, drawing, sculpting, printmaking, airbrushing, music, drama, folk arts—classes exist for it in the Hudson Valley, so you too can begin to incite jealousy with your own artistic creations. Work with charcoal, ink, and pastel at the Mill Street Loft in Poughkeepsie. Try your hand at water-based media as you paint the streams, rivers, and waterfalls of the the Catskills at the Woodstock School of Art. Create a painted rug of your own design for your home at the Walkill River School in Montgomery. Learn to fire pottery at the Unison Arts and Learning Center in New Paltz, or learn the basics of printmaking at the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale. www.millstreetloft.org; www.woodstockschoolofart.org; www.wallkillriverschool.com;
www.unisonarts.org; www.wsworkshop.org.



Put on your red shoes and dance

It has been said that there is no freer form of expression than dance—almost everyone can do it, and you can do it practically anywhere. As Matt dances his way across the world (for the few who may not know who Matt is, amuse yourself at www.wherethehellismatt.com), you can channel your inner Gene Kelly or Ginger Rogers with a dance course in the Hudson Valley. The Barefoot Dance Center in West Park emphasizes alignment—healthy placement of joints and bones—and every student choreographs as well as dances with control from the muscles in their bare feet. Or you can opt for the more traditional dance styles at Strictly Ballroom in Newburgh, learning the “graceful, free flowing movement of the waltz, the strong dramatic moves of the tango, or the expressive and sensuous sounds of the Latin rhythm.” But if you’re looking to do some time traveling in your dancing, you can learn the Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, or how to swing with Got2Lindy, which teaches in dance studios in Kingston, Highland, and Gardiner. Got2Lindy sponsors free student-run practice nights at the Muddy Cup in Kingston every Thursday. The Got2Lindy dance studios also offers ballroom classes in cha cha, the foxtrot, and waltz. (845) 384-6146, www.barefootdancecenter.com; (845) 569-0530, www.strictlyballroomdance.com. www.got2lindy.com.

Lecturing Instructor Stephen Eglinski (left) consults over an orange and cranberry scone dough prepared by Culinary Institute of America Boot Camp students Linda Jochem and Pam Burt. - JENNIFER MAY
  • Jennifer May
  • Lecturing Instructor Stephen Eglinski (left) consults over an orange and cranberry scone dough prepared by Culinary Institute of America Boot Camp students Linda Jochem and Pam Burt.
Lecturing Instructor Stephen Eglinski (left) consults over an orange and cranberry scone dough prepared by Culinary Institute of America Boot Camp students Linda Jochem and Pam Burt. - TONY  FIORINI
  • Tony Fiorini
  • Lecturing Instructor Stephen Eglinski (left) consults over an orange and cranberry scone dough prepared by Culinary Institute of America Boot Camp students Linda Jochem and Pam Burt.
Lecturing Instructor Stephen Eglinski (left) consults over an orange and cranberry scone dough prepared by Culinary Institute of America Boot Camp students Linda Jochem and Pam Burt. - MEGAN  DWYER
  • Megan Dwyer
  • Lecturing Instructor Stephen Eglinski (left) consults over an orange and cranberry scone dough prepared by Culinary Institute of America Boot Camp students Linda Jochem and Pam Burt.
Claire Woolger doing a Knee hang to Catcher Edwardo Blanco at the trapeze club in New Paltz. - JENNIFER MAY
  • Jennifer May
  • Claire Woolger doing a Knee hang to Catcher Edwardo Blanco at the trapeze club in New Paltz.
Claire Woolger doing a Knee hang to Catcher Edwardo Blanco at the trapeze club in New Paltz. - TONY  FIORINI
  • Tony Fiorini
  • Claire Woolger doing a Knee hang to Catcher Edwardo Blanco at the trapeze club in New Paltz.
Claire Woolger doing a Knee hang to Catcher Edwardo Blanco at the trapeze club in New Paltz. - MEGAN  DWYER
  • Megan Dwyer
  • Claire Woolger doing a Knee hang to Catcher Edwardo Blanco at the trapeze club in New Paltz.
Chester and Linda Freeman of got2lindy teaching dance aboard the cruise ship Explorer. - JENNIFER MAY
  • Jennifer May
  • Chester and Linda Freeman of got2lindy teaching dance aboard the cruise ship Explorer.
Chester and Linda Freeman of got2lindy teaching dance aboard the cruise ship Explorer. - TONY  FIORINI
  • Tony Fiorini
  • Chester and Linda Freeman of got2lindy teaching dance aboard the cruise ship Explorer.
Chester and Linda Freeman of got2lindy teaching dance aboard the cruise ship Explorer. - MEGAN  DWYER
  • Megan Dwyer
  • Chester and Linda Freeman of got2lindy teaching dance aboard the cruise ship Explorer.

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