Never stop learning
Thu Aug 7 2008
Illustration: Ian Keltie
Maybe it’s the memory of going back to school, with sharpened pencils, immaculate erasers and uncreased textbooks in your spanking-new backpack, but after the long, hot hedonism of summer, there’s something satisfying about returning to the discipline and productivity associated with the fall. Now that the distractions of vacations and stultifying heat are about to fade into a memory, it’s a good time to take stock.
It hasn’t escaped anyone’s attention that rocky financial times are here. With the mortgage market in peril and alarming stock-market dips, it makes sense to take steps to strengthen your survival skills for an uncertain future. Some careers are more recession-resistant than others, and educational institutions have responded to our fears by crafting courses to help us cope with the struggles we might face. You might also think about developing a profitable sideline or brushing up on your financial know-how. If you’re looking to change your career altogether, one growth area to consider is an eco-related field. There are now courses in how to be more green in a variety of sectors, from product design to food preparation.
On the lighter side, reality TV shows seem to be multiplying at the rate of inflation, covering just about every occupation you can imagine. If you’ve ever sat on the couch and thought, “I could do that,” enrolling in a taster class is the perfect way to see if you’ve got what it takes before making a bigger commitment. See how the fantasy compares with reality.
People continue their education for a variety of reasons: to change their career, to take up a leisure activity, to gain a sense of community or merely to keep learning throughout their lives. New Yorkers share their experiences and reveal what they got out of taking a course, whether professionally or personally. And continuing study doesn’t have to be a big commitment, either—responding to our increasingly time-pinched culture, many institutions are offering highly concentrated one-day courses. So now you have no excuse not to go back to school.…
Never stop learning | Get real | Local access: Brush up on NYC | Crash courses
Change is good | What a difference a day makes | Green lights