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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Sunday, July 21

Gapers Block

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Andrew / May 16, 2007 11:00 AM

Question suggested by Brandy.

To be clear, we're not asking which college you're attending. This is about classes at places like Old Town School or the Newberry Library.

Thurston / May 16, 2007 11:06 AM

I take Spanish courses at Instituto Cervantes and Portuguese classes at the Centro Cultural do Brasil.

Carrie / May 16, 2007 11:27 AM

I took a class at the Field Museum last year. It was about the first Americans and boy, theories have changed since I've been in school. It was pretty great to hear about what's gone on in the field in the past 5 years or so. The teacher was pretty good, it was just the old ladies who have read every book and would present their readings as fact to the teacher that annoyed me. Seriously every week one of them would talk over the teacher and say "well, I read this book and this is what it says" or "I read an article in National Geographic back in 1970..." (no lie) The lady who fell asleep every week was pretty entertaining though.
This reminds me that I want to look into another class there.

n / May 16, 2007 11:27 AM

I take yoga at yogacircle (does that count?) and have been looking for good, relatively cheap photography classes - has anyone tried out Truman College's Adult Ed stuff?

kate / May 16, 2007 11:42 AM

I've taken ceramics classes in the past and I usually sign up for a "live & learn" at Latin School about once a year.

taJ / May 16, 2007 11:51 AM

just taken continuing ed class at the art insititute. loved it.
made me realize i should have done it sooner.
hear lil street is pretty good.

Craig / May 16, 2007 12:16 PM


Can I just say Dan K's comparison of the Va Tech tragedy to the 27 deaths in the CPS system is pretty insensitive as well as completely pointless? ("Boiling the Frog") That's like comparing the number of deaths in the WTC tragedy to that of the number of car accident-deaths in Chicago-- just to prove a point about how unsafe cars are and how the media ignores it. That's just shitty journalism. As a VT alumni and a long-time GB reader, I think it really sucks.

Sarah / May 16, 2007 12:20 PM

I take graphic design and web programming classes at Digital Bootcamp -- they've been great. I also take performance workshops and writing classes at Links Hall. I would love to someday be able to take letterpress classes at the Columbia Book and Paper Arts Center.

Blagg the Axman / May 16, 2007 12:21 PM

I strive to view every entry to the battlefield as an opportunity to further my knowledge of the fighting sciences, though in my experience I more often tend to become the teacher—usually to a class of poorly prepared remedial students. Most fail, although some slip out of the schoolhouse before my lesson is finished. Also, I have yet to receive an apple.

Mikey / May 16, 2007 12:29 PM

A couple of summers ago, I took a drawing class at Lill Street Art Center and a knife skills class at The Chopping Block...

When I can afford to, I'd like to take glass blowing classes at Chicago Hot Glass (it's not the cost of the class so much as how prohibitively expensive the studio time costs once you are finished and would like to hone your craft)...

I would also like to take some photography classes at the Chicago Photography Center on Lincoln Ave., which is reasonably priced, but still out of my price range at the moment...

peta / May 16, 2007 12:56 PM

Facets Film School.

Jill / May 16, 2007 2:21 PM

Oh, classes! I've done:

--Japanese at the Japan-American Society (very good, lovely teacher. pricey, but you get your money's worth)

--First-time painting at Lill Street (also excellent and a great deal)

--3 at The Chopping Block (knife skills, spices, bread 101--all great and now I totally cook more often)

--Improv Olympic (wasn't so good with these)

--Screenwriting at the Screenwriters Group (ditto)

--and after years of mocking the Discovery Center for their cheesy catalog covers and oddball classes, I took fencing, and promptly met The Boy. I stopped fencing after the class.

I'd like to do some at Paper Source or the bookbinding ones at Columbia too, just not much time.

Dave! / May 16, 2007 2:34 PM

My wife and I take classes at the Graham School (UC - Gleacher Center).

spook / May 16, 2007 2:34 PM

Chang’s Tae Kwon Do School

Where hold the longest duration of being a purple belt record, which I'm not proud of

d. / May 16, 2007 3:06 PM

oh man. maybe i should take a screenwriting class too -- always wanted that.

i'm not taking any cool classes, but aside from the screenwriting it'd be great to take cooking classes. anybody got any idea where i can do that?

bucky / May 16, 2007 4:27 PM

'paper mending' at newberry library a few years back. and 'care and conservation of old photos,' also at the newberry.

a / May 16, 2007 4:30 PM

I take the Teachers as Scholars programs at the Newberry Library. They are the best professional development classes for teachers because I feel like I'm a nerdy high school student all over again and get so excited about school. I've taken classes that range from Harry Potter in Literature to 20th Cent. Mexican Culture to the Lewis and Clark journey.
Additionally, I'm signed up to take some classes at the Chopping Block, I took ukulele lessons at Old Town last year, and I'm taking a beginning quilting class at Quiltology this summer.

skafiend / May 16, 2007 4:37 PM

Took two years of classes at Second City. Think I did pretty good. Left when I realized you couldn't write for the big stage unless you were a writer AND a performer and I didn't want to be a performer.

Took a class earlier this year at Learning Center for Photoshop and digital photography (suggestion from boss at work). Realized I knew as much if not more than the teacher. Spent most of the class listening to my predominately senior-aged female classmates "oohh" and "ahh" whenever they clicked on something and something happened.

Shylo / May 16, 2007 5:04 PM

I've taken a class at the Graham School and I'm currently taking printmaking at the Hyde Park Art Center -- and I love, love, love it.

fluffy / May 16, 2007 6:32 PM

If Studs Terkel taught a class, I'd take it. I wish he was my dad or uncle or grandpa.

I drop in on open studios, where there's a live model- you pay $10 or $15 and you can stay for hours. I just draw - most of my paintings are abstracts. I've taken all the metalsmithing classes at Lill Street - I can't afford to go there anymore
I'd like to take Japanese and French classes. I practice German with a friend.
I took a knitting class from some hippie chick - can't remember her name.

Spook- I know you read RedEye daily- did you see the cat harnesses? I don't know whether I like them or not....I do know Mr. M would NOT wear one. One does not need a harness where there is a human-feline bond that transcends them all. Mr. M and I look out the window and laugh at all of you......well, most of you.

Leelah / May 16, 2007 7:47 PM

Teachers as Scholars at the Newberry. Fantastic!

Olive / May 16, 2007 9:23 PM

After grad school, I will be a teacher, so I am glad to know Teachers as Scholars at the Newberry is highly recommended. Thanks for the head's up, folks!

Several years ago, when I was working and had a little extra money, I took The Design of English class (grammar) at the Feltre School - loved it. I am a grammar nerd, and it covered a lot of grammatical intricacies.
Also, took a Mambo class at Old Town School - great instructor, also learned good basics that could transfer to other kinds of latin dancing.

When I start working and have my summer breaks (yea!), I would love to take basic photography ceramics, Newberry class, a guitar class at Old Town School, and some computer class cuz I am so technologically behind - for web design, adobe, stuff like that.

mike-ts / May 16, 2007 10:37 PM

Back when photography was a passion, I took darkroom classes, as well as model shoots. Though I no longer have my own darkroom, there still is no magic like taking an 8x10 piece of paper I just exposed and putting it in the developer, then swishing the tray and watching the image appear. I know the science behind it; still, there is nothing like it to make me feel as if I am performing alchemy to make gold.

Paying for model shoots was a good way to get accustomed to posing people, and learning proper lighting. Sitting your sweetie in the back yard and saying "ok, pose" is no way to learn - you have to direct every detail, while keeping them interested, and while watching your setup. Model shoots are perfect for this, since they usually hire wanna-be models who want to be photographed, and the pro will explain the setup, so you can try to reproduce it. Art Ketchum has great workshops - an artist who is also a calm, thorough teacher. Calumet Photographic also has great seminars.

jj / May 16, 2007 11:22 PM

I took a photography class at Triton College (the north and west suburbs' community college system) which was great, not to mention cheap. I also took several of the weekend "gifted" classes there as a kid which I was amused to see actually transferred for full credit when I was an actual undergraduate ten years later.

For you parental types, Triton's kids program was really great then, and I hear it's even better now. Also for parents or teens, my sister and I did Columbia College and the Art Institute's high school summer programs, both of which I highly recommend. They are not as cheap as the community colleges, but the credits will transfer towards your degree later on, and sometimes you get extra points on scholarship applications with both schools.

p / May 17, 2007 12:19 AM

mac classes @ the apple store on mich. ave.

i'm not getting enough practice keeping up spanish- where are there good conversational classes?

also- i want to learn the bagpipes. any recommendations on a good place to rent them or get a good set of used ones and take lessons?

i also want to learn "lock-bumping."

and i've forgotten how to make a ring out of a dollar bill- quick tutorial anyone? i'm still ok at tight-rolling pants so u can use that as a reference.

and i want to learn how to make a design on my computer. what software is used to create and submit to for instance?

i purchased a pair of levi's yesterday that you by 2 sizes bigger than you are, then you sit in the bathtub for a half hour wearing, then let dry on you for a custom fit, then beat up wearing for like a month without washing. this will be a new education, which i'm sure will involve laughing at myself but possibly maybe also fresh levis. i havent begun yet tho out of lack of time to stand around letting my pants dry on my person but also a fear that they'll shrink up to emo status and will be rendered unusable.

oh yeah- and Steppin' classes. Wanted to do this since they used to run Steppin' At Club Seven latenite on channel 7. Coop's records on 87th used to have a sign in the window offering lessons. That is some SMOOTH cuttin' that would serve me well way into my seventies. Any gb steppers? How smooth is that shit? Do you own monochromatic suit, shirt, pocket square, silk socks, crocodile loafers and hat combo outfits?? If so i'm jealous and need to get busy livin' harder.......

kate / May 17, 2007 10:24 AM

p - this is completely off-topic, but I did the opposite with soccer shoes. Half-size too small, into the tub with them on my feetz and voila - perfect fit for zee kicking of balls and running and whatnot.

My feet, for the record, look busted.

Back on topic, I took a knitting class through the park district in one of those suburbs. Loved it! I want to learn how to play bridge but $175 through Latin school seems like way too fucking much. Until that day, it will be spades in the garage with cans o beer. : /

erin / May 17, 2007 10:57 AM

dance classes at old town school of folk music.

i just finished my mba but i still want to take is far better than finance or stats.

Jill / May 17, 2007 10:59 AM

I forgot the big investment in classes: The Boy and I took dance lessons at Arthur Murray for a little over a year. MASSIVELY expensive if you're just looking at the price, but the instructors are absolutely fantastic, and along with your private lessons, you get to go to as many group classes as you want. This helps keep the costs in check, but then you're spending a lot of time at the dance studio.

Still, the private lessons helped us pick up things pretty quickly, and we're not half-bad on the dance floor.

billy / May 17, 2007 11:32 AM

i've been looking for a class where i would have the opportunity to use a color darkroom. unfortunately, i'm looking for a non-digital facility, which are becoming increasingly more rare. i've studied photo, so i'd prefer to not take a beginner's class. has anyone found a good place to take color photography?

i've taken two ceramics classes at lill street and they were amazing. you definitely get your money's worth.

Tobermory / May 17, 2007 11:44 AM

I took belly dancing at Bloom Yoga? They have intro and continuing but I'm stuck in the Intro rut because I think I'm too uncordinated for veil work and zils.

Paula / May 17, 2007 11:50 AM

Sort of off topic, but does anyone know where you can take a welding class? Hy husband wants to learn how.

Andy / May 17, 2007 12:57 PM

@n: I've taken a few photography classes at Truman in the past. The adult ed classes are cheap and they're fine for what you pay for them. Ignacio Alvarez teaches the intro to camera classes, and he's a wellspring of useful information about photography. The school also has a pretty nice black and white darkroom. I've never taken any of their digital classes, but I know they offer some of those now as well.

@billy: Truman used to have a color darkroom. Not sure if they still do, but you should check on their web site and see if they still offer classes. I think they had a credit class.

sol / May 17, 2007 2:25 PM

I've taken French classes at Northwestern's SCS and I loved it. If Digital Bootcamp is as awesome as it looks, I'll be taking some Photoshop classes in the near future.

Looking into accordion classes at Old Town, since I have a friend taking dance classes there that loves it.

ken / May 17, 2007 2:32 PM

I've taken a couple of guitar and bass classes at Old Towne and I can say they are excellent for both beginners and advanced players.
I have also done a couple of the photo workshops at Columbia and through the Nikon School and both were great as refreshers and for learning some new tricks.

After today I will have to find some new places down in Florida....

This is my last day in Chicago, I leave tonight

Bye y'all....

steven / May 17, 2007 3:33 PM

Took an improv class at the Annoyance Theater last year. Had a blast, was better than I thought for a beginner, but I still have a long way to go if I want to be any good. I'm taking a comedy writing class at Second City...starts next week...can't wait.

I've also tried out some French lessons via the iPod...does that count?

Olive / May 17, 2007 4:10 PM

Sort of a side note, but NYT had a really interesting article on how these kinds of classes aren't popular among men because men don't like to admit to being novices at anything. So single women find it really hard to find men in overwhelmingly female classes. But from the comments here, it seems like at least Chicago men are really into taking classes for enrichment.

fluffy / May 17, 2007 7:10 PM

took bass guitar classes at Old Town School of music

Guarana_King / May 17, 2007 10:31 PM

Thurston - Are you talking about the classes that Marcelo J. teaches? I tried both his beginning level class as well as classes at the Spanish Studio, but the group thing didn't work for me. Plus Marcelo, and his ally Maria, seem to have a very narrow view of what Brazil is, which kind of put me off. I decided to get a private instructor instead. Different strokes I guess...

Jennifer / May 21, 2007 1:22 PM

free Vietnamese language classes at the Viet Association of Illinois. Argyle/Broadway

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