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    Burgeoning enrollments in continuing education courses, all over the country, indicate that everything we need to know, we obviously didn’t learn in kindergarten, or high school or even college. An adult educator can sniff out the needs of the community, and popular teachers of non-credit courses often receive  mementos from grateful students. One teacher received an urn filled with the last butts of the, “Stop That Smoking Hacking and Spitting” class.

    Trends are targeted, and many classes are advertised in brochures and newspapers. For instance, you can now register for: “How Money Can Buy You Happiness,” “Controlling The Compulsive Urge to Clean Your Clutter,” “How To Find Out What You Have No Interest In,” “Learning To Read Between The Lines For The Unbelievably Gullible,” and, “Putting The Inner Child Back After You’ve Let the Brat Out.”  

    Some of the teachers have advanced degrees and are extremely qualified, such as the “Assertiveness Training” professor at a local college. Unfortunately, at the last class session she had to hide in her classroom closet, because she had done such an effective training job that she completely lost control of her rampaging class.

    Recently, I enjoyed reading descriptions of  class offerings in a brochure that I received in the mail. Here are some that might appeal to you:

    In Search of Mediocrity: Have you been in the forefront too long? Sick of people seeking your opinions and hanging onto your every word? Then come and exchange warm and honest platitudes with other formerly fascinating men and women. Class limited to number of seats in the back row.

    Saturday Freeloaders At Four Grocery Stores: Join us for a progressive taste-testers lunch at four exciting supermarkets. Expose yourself to cuisine surprises as we introduce you to the fun of eating free on this culinary aisle-by-aisle field trip.

    How To Give Others The Impression That You are Really Intelligent, Even If You Are Not: Learn to fool your friends with easy-to-apply smart-as-a-whip tricks. Classes will explain how to answer questions with a question, the value of the knowing nod, maintaining eye contact while  your mind wanders, and skillfully replying, “uh huh.”

    In addition to course descriptions, the catalog gives detailed parking instructions: “Eighty parking spaces are available at no charge to our 8,000 non-credit students. While looking for a space, those registered for ‘Stress Management’ please leave your car windows up as you pass the tranquility garden since high-pitched screaming over excites plant stamens.”

    Some student endorsements were also listed in the brochure:

    Mack, an engineer, said, “I’m single and I figured out that by taking one course for $50, I can meet 20 women, where I used to spend that much on one date. It’s the best bargain in town.”

    Velma said, “I’d go anywhere, anytime to get away from my kids and the dirty dishes.”

    Simon chose “Encountering Your Actual You,” because “How To Take Your Toilet Apart In Six Easy Lessons ” was already filled. And—-

    Phillip the Philosopher summed it up: “The real reason why so many of us come here week after week, put up with the lousy parking and grab bag of classes is those colorful certificates we get at the end of each course. Not only are they suitable for framing, but I only have to take one more course for my bathroom to be completely papered for free.”

    Is that educational or what!

    Esther Blumenfeld (Based on “Evening At Emthorpe State Tech,” Southern By Choice” column, Blumenfeld and Alpern, Accent On Homes & Living Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 9, pg. 54) c. Blumenfeld

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