Thursday, August 25, 2011

Madison-Area Classes for the Slightly Eccentric

I'm very excited to get my first paycheck from this job, for several reasons.

One is being able to pay bills next month. Along with that come all the other ways in which I should be responsible, like getting new glasses for myself and Spousal Unit, car repairs, saving for an apartment, all that good adult stuff we should be doing. But there's another reason I'm excited.

I can finally take a class again.

Yes, I want to go back to school eventually, but I'm not talking about those kinds of classes. I'm talking about creative, fun classes, the ones in which I have a hobby-esque interest. I want to learn about these things, and the best way to do that is through an instructor.

For example, belly dancing. My original belly dance lessons were through Ameena Ahava in my home town. I only took lessons for two months before heading to New Mexico, and I'd love to do more. Plus, I miss the cameraderie of a bunch of ladies shakin' their groove thing and shedding physical inhibitions. My Madison-area option for this is through the university, and classes are only (I think) during the school year. Perfect timing, affordable classes, what more could I ask for?

Another hobby on my list is painting. I took a painting class in New Mexico a couple of years ago, but didn't take another due to the instructor's lack of... instruction. The only thing I really learned was another method of color scheme - not worth $40. A fun variation on this looks to be Studio You Paint It Pottery, where you can pick out the pottery piece and paint it for an average of $15-20, depending on the piece you pick. Spousal Unit painted a mug for me once, with a sunset on one side and a starry sky on the other - I'd love another mug like that. (Hint hint, Spousal Unit.)

A recent interest of mine is kendo. I've been wanting to take a more intensely physical class that can improve my pathetic self-defense skills. Yes, I know I could simply take a self-defense class, but the right kendo class can give me that and more. I'm also after kendo's mental discipline. Plus, swords! The kendo dojo in town might be a good place to start, but I don't see fall class dates. The Oom Yung Doe dojo seems more like what I'm after, but I have no clue of their prices (plus, I'm an outsider to the art). Let me know if you've heard about a great Madison dojo.

I'd also love to take some kind of writing course as guidance for my novel. These, of course, end up being more expensive. The Wisconsin Regional Writer's Association conference is coming up, with a sci fi/fantasy/horror segment featuring Patrick Rothfuss, among others. I can't even tell you how awesome it would be to attend this. It would blow my mind. I would explode with ideas! Unfortunately, it's in Stevens Point and the non-member cost for Saturday alone is $60. Worth it? Yes, I'm sure it is. But that's a lot of money right now.

In short, I must decide on the wisest way to spend my money, and where I want to devote my time. Right now, I'm thinking the writing workshop is most worth it. I must ponder these things, but right now, it's the novel that weighs heavy on my mind.


  1. Looking for ways to spend your money? I've got a birthday coming up and you could get me some Black Ops or a pre-order on Skyrim (wink, wink, Wifal Unit).


  2. I totally forgot to mention music classes! I want to take singing and mandolin lessons too. :)


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