One of the school districts in our county has significantly more money than the others, and tends to be pretty impressed with itself. Maybe it's justified; maybe it's not. But they're the only district to offer community ed classes, and over the years the list has been pretty impressive. At least I've been impressed.
So when I opened up the Sunday paper this morning and found an insert from the school district titled "Adult and Community Education" and featuring an aerial photograph of the high school—golf course, football field, lake and all—I decided this would be my year to take a class.
The first section was Personal Enrichment. Sounds good. There's always room to be personally enriched, no? I scanned the course offerings . . . Driver Safety, Acrylic Painting, Art for Children, Watercolor Painting, How to Rubber Stamp (Uh...pick up stamp. Press on ink pad. Line up on paper. Push.), eBay for Beginners, Handmade Christmas Cards . . . and stopped at Adventures in Dreaming. Just as I thought: It was about lucid dreaming and other forms of dream work. Interesting. But I lost interest when I read the name of the instructor. Why would anyone call himself Thor the Barbarian? The other instructors had normal names like Demitrakapoulos and Piotkowski. I didn't think I wanted to take a class from someone named Thor. To me, Thor is the lovely longhaired German Shepherd who was part of our family in the 1970s. He was not a barbarian in any sense of the word.
I looked at the dates. The class would be given on Mondays beginning November 7 and ending November 19. Huh? One of those obviously is not a Monday. Maybe neither of them are Mondays. I moved on.
Latin Cooking, Herbs, Dog Obedience . . . hmmm . . . Thor the Barbarian is also teaching Bodybuilding. Christmas Quilting sounded nice, and I was relieved to see it was taught by someone named Smith. The course description said the student would learn how to make a beautiful Christmas quilted table runner for the holidays. I made one of those quite a few years ago, but still...then I read on: Students are required to bring a working sewing machine (those non-working models are a pain) and $100. That's one hell of an expensive table runner, especially when you have to make it yourself.
But Christmas Quilting was cheap compared to Beginning Pottery ($175), Inspection Mechanics Licensing ($175), and Planning Your Retirement (free, but you'll have to put up with telemarketers for the next 20 years).
The next course on the list was The Many Faces of Dracula. I'm sure that one will fill up quickly. Ditto a $50 course called Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Your E-mail.
Further down the list, I learned that Thor the Barbarian is also teaching A Guided Tour of the Underworld (he should know), Meet Your Power Animal, The Viking Runes, Spirit Communication, and three different courses on UFOs.
All this from the impressive school district.
I'm impressed . . . not.