Multi-Tasking Continuing Education Classes, Spring 2011

This past Fall I enrolled in cooking school with a couple of designer friends. I wanted to learn some fundamentals so I could “design” a nice meal. It was not unlike the InDesign and Photoshop classes I took a few years ago – only the food was better. Consequently, I realized that I needed to brush up on my InDesign and Photoshop skills, and wouldn’t it be great if the two classes could somehow run together to save time.

In this multi-tasking world why wouldn’t there be continuing education classes that combine one or more subjects? For instance, is it absurd to think that ballroom dancing and a basic type design class could fit comfortably together as a single course? Here are some possible Continuing Education offerings and the instructors (and writers) that conceived them:

Type Designing, Ballroom Style


Monday and Wednesday

Hours: 6:30 pm–9:30 pm

12 sessions; 3 credits; $900

Instructor: Steven Heller

Think out of the box-step. This course will introduce the tools for and principles of designing digital typography through one-on-one engagement with a partner of your own choosing. You will learn how to compose type on screen for print or virtual formats, while learning balance and poise. More than just selecting letterforms from a specimen book, dancing with type is a method of making your fonts trip the light fantastic. You will be guided step by step through a process of designing while also learning to waltz, mambo and tango. Knowing these classics will enable you to produce entire alphabets that will earn you bows and curtsies. This deeper understanding of how eye and feet work together will further result in a new set of creative skills that can only make you a better designer and hoofer. After 12 weeks, you will be designing with the stars. Prerequisites: Experience with bézier drawing and good coordination. Note: Comfortable shoes, tuxedo/evening gown required. Bring your own laptop.


UKILL 2000

Tuesday and Thursday

6:00-9:00 PM

15 classes + public performance, 3 credits, $850

Instructor: Steven Guaranaccia

Learn what Arthur Godfrey and Tiny Tim already knew! The ukelele is the tone-deaf person’s guitar. In the 1920s, just about everyone had one in their back pocket, it was that easy to play. This new class takes the worries about not reading music out of the equation. You’ll learn to “read” images, assign values to their line, color and composition, and translate that information into easy-to-learn chords, notes, and strums. You’ll be playing illustrations like the Glaser’s iconic Dylan poster or Sendak’s entire Where the Wild Things Are in no time.  Advanced classes for the truly chordophone-obsessed will decode pre-1900 illustrative imagery for that authentic vintage uke sound. Prerequisites: Perfect pitch and 20/20 vision.



Tuesday evenings

Hours: 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

10 sessions; 4 credits; $2400 (student loans available)

Instructor: Allan Chochinov

Prestidigitization immerses the student into the overlapping worlds of magic (prestidigitation) and the ever-increasing digitization of constructed objects. Sleight-of-hand fundamentals will be paired with intensive Arduino workshops, while Platform Magic and Stage Illusions will be taught alongside Immersive Digital Projection Environments. Both Cut-and-Restore as well as Color Change techniques will be informed by Cut-and-Paste and CSS RGBa tutorials. As a new addition to the curriculum, Patter and Flourishes will be team-taught with faculty from both the marketing and branding departments (no Misdirection jokes here, please—last year’s graduates spent too much time beating that dead horse). Also note that despite repeated requests, Mentalism and Client Management will not be included in the fall semester due to an ongoing IP legal dispute. Prerequisites: Some experience Busking or hacking HTML; Escapology or refusal to be the tech support person for your parents each a plus.

Intermediate Knife Skills and Advanced Client Pitch Presentations


Monday and Wednesday

5:30 pm – 6:00 pm

2 Sessions; 6 credits; $528


Instructor: Jim Bowie and Sam Houston

Knife Skills and Client Pitch Presentation will sharpen your perspective by teaching you how to zero in on your target and penetrate to the heart of your company’s problems. These two intensive half-hour classes will cut the fat off what you should know about using kitchen cutlery while presenting good design ideas to unresponsive clients. The first class introduces students to chef’s knives, paring knives, slicers, bread knives, cleavers, and Nakiri knives and which of these are appropriate for what kind of pitch and presentation. In the second class, role playing with actual hardware allows students to experience the interaction between knife and client, and how to persuasively thrust your blade into the heart of design mediocrity. A special exhibition of knife play by Daniel Day-Lewis (as Bill “The Butcher” Cutting in The Gangs of New York) is offered for a small extra fee. Prerequisite: First Aid and CPR certification.

Locksmithing and Children’s Book Writing and Illustration

LCBI 0005

Friday, Saturday

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

12 Sessions + 1 Field Trip; No Credit; Pay what you can afford.

Instructor: O. Pinda D’Orr

Locksmithing is a useful skill and can also be a very fulfilling career for those with a knack for locks. Children’s books, likewise, unlock the wonder within children of all ages. This one-semester course will enable you to pursue opportunities for an independent career, allowing you to leave your parents’ home, while earning respect for your special skills. With this unique locksmith training and book conception/production workshop, you’ll have the opportunity break into the children’s book field. In addition to studying a large variety of locks, keys, alarms, and security systems, you’ll learn how to reach deep into a child’s unconscious and how different plots twists and magical characters — keys to the inner mind — function. You’ll be shown how to troubleshoot when keys to the stories fail to work. This unique training course is designed to help you gain knowledge and specific skills, so if your career in children’s publishing flounders, you can fall back on a legitimate service. Prerequisites: There are no educational prerequisites or experience requirements to enroll. Enjoyable training makes studying to become a locksmith and/or children’s book auteur easy, enjoyable and safe. Note: Persons with felony convictions in Kansas, Mississippi, South Dakota and Wyoming need not apply.

8 thoughts on “Multi-Tasking Continuing Education Classes, Spring 2011

  1. Eileen

    Love it, here’s one to add to the mix:
    Designing with ChakrasLearn how each of the 7 chakras can direct your design energies, call on them when you need them:Root Chakra – survival (your boss, the client, or crowdsourcing)Sacral Chakra – creativity (inspiration for ideas)Solar Plexus Chakra – empowerment (take control of your career path)Heart Chakra – empathize (with fellow designers, boss, and clients)Throat Chakra – communicate (your ideas effectively)Third Eye Chakra – intuition (gestalt kicks in)Crown Chakra – enlightenment (ahhh, relax and enjoy it)
    No fee – just good karma 🙂

  2. Mindy

    Obviously, this is a joke! Right? Kinda reminds me of one activities we students did in advertising class once a few years ago. We would talk about what sock that person in class would be wearing. Can be anything from snake skinned socks to christmas candy flavored socks. It was pretty funny and totally out-of-the-box thinking.  

  3. Scott Lundberg

    This reminds me of Richard Saul Wurmans comments about the relationship of jokes and innovation last night. For one, they both deliver the unexpected.  
    I want to take Allans Prestidigitization course.