Extra Credit: Summer Courses in Boston

Posted May 2, 2013 by Scott Kearnan in Urban Living
BCAE Cooking Class

Boston is famous for its huge student population. But summer courses in the city are a great way for grownups to reclaim the classrooms as college kids head home for the season. Whether you’re looking to flex your artistic muscles or become a better cook, here are some spots in and around downtown Boston to investigate for extra credit assignments.

Boston Center for Adult Education: Summer courses are food for your brain, which basically makes the BCAE a potluck dinner. Local experts are tapped to bring their unique skills to the table, and the result is a smorgasbord of options — including, naturally, some pretty fantastic cooking classes. Want to increase your wine knowledge? Tempted to learn how to read tarot cards? Buzzing to discover urban beekeeping or try your tongue at a new language? Whatever corner of your head is itching to learn something new, there’s probably somewhere here that’ll help you scratch an “I-should-try” off your list.

Grub Street: Say you love to write, but you haven’t been able to finesse your skills beyond pithy blog posts about cats riding vacuums. Solution: Don’t worry about it! People make careers off that stuff! But, seriously, whether you’re looking to become the next Perez Hilton or Ernest Hemingway—or just want to start composing your grocery lists in iambic pentameter—there’s probably the perfect course available through Grub Street. One of the country’s largest creative writing centers offers summer courses in Boston on everything from poetry to playwriting, children’s literature to nonfiction. Grub Street also hosts special readings and fun literary parties, and if you’re looking to take your work to the next level, you’ll find manuscript consulting and guidance on how to get published. Write on.

New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University: You’re craving a creative outlet. Yeah, I’m talking to you. Whether you’re the young mom who breaks out the acrylic paints after sending the kids to school, or the urban professional who is reevaluating his decision to suffocate a passion for graphic design to slave away in an accounting firm cubicle, this is the place for you. The great thing about the New England School of Art & Design—the centerpiece of Suffolk’s continuing education opportunities—is that it offers a plethora of adult ed options, including summer “exploratory courses” that are designed to let you dabble in new artistic disciplines without feeling obliged to make any sudden career U-turns. Want to learn more about interior design? Drawing? Creating the snazziest website that your home-based beeswax candle company ever did see? Pencil some time in your schedule.

Emerson College Professional Studies & Special Programs: As one of the country’s best communications colleges, Emerson cranks out the kind of top talent that really shapes the national media landscape—from Hollywood to The New York Times. But those of us who simply want to hone our inherent interests can find plenty of summer courses and continuing education options. Screenwriting, graphic novel illustration, and Photoshop-rendered costume design are among the awesomely diverse opportunities. But if you really want to give yourself a mental (and physical) makeover, Emerson also boasts the Bobbi Brown Program in Makeup Artistry, which can train you in all the tools of the trade via three intensive one-week courses. Whether you want to gain a few new beauty tips, make a couple extra bucks doing bridal makeup on the weekends, or become America’s next drag superstar, you’ll learn everything you need.

Improv Asylum Training Center: When you were a kid, it paid to be the class clown. Sometimes the ability to inspire an impromptu guffaw was an easy way to get out of detention. And you know what? Things don’t change. The gift of gab, breezy charm, and thinking on your feet can help you coast through a corporate presentation as well as it can a midterm oral exam. Try out some classes at Improv Asylum, a comedy troupe headquartered just steps from the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Many of the scene-building skills are geared toward performers. If you’re looking to try out some material at an amateur stand-up comedy club, here’s a good way to practice. Most aspects are applicable to any industry, whether you want to hone your public speaking, get your creative juices flowing, or just bust guts among mutually hilarious new friends.



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