Who says school is just for kids? | ParkRecord.com

Who says school is just for kids?

Alisha Self, Of the Record staff

It’s a few weeks into the new year, and already your resolutions are starting to look bleak. Your diet plan has been sabotaged by holiday leftovers, your money-management scheme thwarted by new year’s sales, and your resolve to recycle dampened by the dog’s penchant for shredding plastic.

But the good news is, there’s one resolution on everyone’s list that’s simple to keep. Whether you want to learn to roll sushi like a pro, tie your own fly fishing tackle, or finally get a grasp on Spanish, there are plenty of opportunities for those who want to learn a new skill or trade this year. And thanks to community education programs sponsored by the Park City School District (PCSD), University of Utah, Utah State University and the Kimball Art Center, classes are right at your fingertips.

PCSD’s Community Education program boasts a variety of classes for Parkites seeking to broaden their intellectual horizons. The catalog was recently expanded to provide more options that appeal to locals, such as Après Ski Yoga and Explore Winter Ecology. "Hopefully we have tuned into what people in Park City are interested in," says Judy Tukuafu, director of community education. Courses are geared to help people in their personal lives as well as in their professional capacities, says Tukuafu. "Sometimes in the winter people tend to hibernate with their TVs," she says. "This is a great opportunity to get out there, meet new people and learn something skillful or fun."

Classes range from one night only to eight weekly sessions and start on different dates between January and March. Sessions are offered throughout the day to conform to anyone’s schedule. Sign up for beginner or intermediate Acoustic Guitar courses to channel your inner rock star. Start a new fitness regimen that involves belly dancing, booty boot camp or waist-whittling Pilates. Sharpen your culinary craft and learn how to make an Indian feast, host an authentic Mardi Gras fete, or actually use the pressure cooker collecting dust in your pantry. Aspiring bilingual speakers are offered three levels of instruction taught by a native Spanish instructor.

There are also several options for the technically challenged. If you struggle with navigating anything beyond email, Mac Essentials or Computer Management will teach you what you need to know for basic operating systems. For those who are curious about wikis, podcasts, Twitter and other web wonders, Essential Online Tools will have you cruising through cyberspace in no time.

Classes take place at schools throughout the district as well as the Park City Aquatic Center and Trailside Park. Tukuafu recommends registering early to reserve a spot. To view the Compass catalog, log on onto http://www.pcschools.us (click on "Community" and then "Compass/Leisure Learning"). Prospective students may register online, by calling 615-0215, or in person at Park City High School.

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PCSD has also partnered with Ed2go.com this year to provide an even wider selection of classes (over 300 total). "There’s an advantage with this program because there is a beginning and an end date, and it keeps you on track," Tukuafu says. New sessions begin on the third Wednesday of each month and run for six weeks. All courses can be completed from a personal computer at any time of the day or night; they are instructor-facilitated and include interactive discussion groups. To get started, visit http://www.ed2go/pcschools.

The University of Utah’s Lifelong Learning program offers select programs in Summit County. Conversational Italian or Spanish will provide you with basic skills for travel and communication in everyday situations. Introduction to Digital Photography covers basic shutterbug terms and tools as well as traditional imaging skills. For those who have a way with words, discover insider tricks with 17 Ways to Make a Living as a Writer or Self-Publish Your Book. Sessions start in February or March. The program also offers an array of courses ranging from herb gardening to investment strategies to songwriting in Salt Lake City, Sandy and Murrary. New courses for 2009 include American Indian Art, Beer Tastings and Pairings, and several options for the agriculturally-inclined. For more information or to register, visit http://www.lifelong.utah.edu or call (801) 587-5433.

The Utah State University Extension Service is sponsoring a continuing education course for green thumbs in Summit County. A 10-session Master Gardener class begins Feb. 5. Topics include landscape design, vegetable gardening, weed control, insect problems, plant disease problems and more. Weekly sessions alternate between Park City and Heber. Enrollment deadline is Monday, Feb. 2. For more information, contact the Summit County/USU Extension Service at (435) 615 3217.

Last but not least, Parkites are invited to unleash the artist within by joining a class or workshop at the Kimball Art Center. Learn procedures for digital and darkroom photography, foundations of jewelry-making with metal, clay or silver, techniques of wheel-throwing pottery, or basics of acrylic painting. One-day adult workshops include watercolor painting, basket weaving, knitting, the art of silver clay, and a Bath Treats and Spa Sweets course featuring homemade lotions, salves, scrubs and body butters using salt from the Great Salt Lake. The center also offers a variety of art classes for Little Picassos (1.5 3 years), tots (3-5), kids (6 -10), and ‘tweens and teens (11 17), as well as Family Fun classes for all ages. For more information or to register for Spring classes and workshops, visit http://www.kimball-art.org/classes.htm or call Jenny Diersen, Education Director, at 649-8882.