Monday, April 6, 2009

The Art of Taking Classes

The summer workshop season is approaching, and taking classes and workshops is de rigueur for most quilters and other crafters in the never-ending quest to advance our skills, improve our technique and expand our horizons.

So you’re perusing the course catalogs. You might be looking for something to do with computer-based quilting, mixed-media collage, wearable art—or marketing your quilts and designs. Whatever the subject, you can find a course for it. But as a veteran of continuing education classes, I know how easily and widely these classes can miss the mark. Here, some sage advice, based on hard-won experience, on how to get the most from a class:
1. Be choosy. You don't have to say yes to the first class you find. All sorts of places are offering extended-learning classes today—from universities to professional training schools to craft centers and your local community school system. Before you hand over your credit card, figure out why you’re taking the class, what you hope to achieve from it (more knowledge, a chance to socialize, better technique, the opportunity to relax, a certificate or degree), how much time you can spend on homework and what kind of amenities you’re looking for. For some people, a bare-bones classroom is okay, while others are looking for more refined environs. I recently took a $2,000 class at Parsons School of Design in Manhattan (the school where Bravo TV’s Project Runway is filmed) and I was horrified at the sorry state of the classrooms—most notably the stools with no backs, which we were meant to sit on for three hours at a time! And always, always try and find pictures of the projects you’ll be making and the teacher’s work (on the Internet or in books and magazines): I’ve taken several classes where I’ve made things I’ve hated, simply because I signed up based solely on the catalog description.
2. Google the teacher. I’ve had more than one class go amiss due to an incompetent instructor who excels at doing but is terrible at teaching. (That old maxim, “those who can do, those who can’t teach” is misleading—when those who can also teach, they are often lousy at it or distracted by their day jobs.) At the Boston Museum School, I had an art teacher who was a wonderful artist herself, but lazy about teaching. And at Parsons I had an instructor who, though well intentioned, taught by being overly harsh and even humiliating in her critiques, which served to be demotivating rather than inspiring. As a result I’ve learned to do some research on potential teachers and ask other students what they think of instructors before I commit. You want to find a class and teacher that mentors you, not squashes your natural inclinations—a teacher who allows you to express yourself, rather than dictates you do things his or her way.
3. Glean what you can. Even though I’ve taken classes where I’ve hated the projects, I still try and lean some new techniques and be open to new ideas. For instance, in one class, I found myself making the ugliest dolls I’ve ever seen. I just knew I’d never use them (nor would I be caught dead giving them away!), but I tried to absorb some of the painting techniques the teacher was sharing, discarding what didn’t apply to my goals or feel right to me.
4. Drop out if you have to. It’s your free time and it’s precious, so don’t waste it if you’re not getting what you want from a class—and don’t let someone else waste it. A friend of mine took a Japanese-technique watercolor painting class, but dropped it due to the excruciatingly slow pace of the lessons. I myself finally dropped the Boston Museum School art class when the teacher, rather than bringing one in to show us, suggested that we go to the library to find a color wheel.
5. Take advantage of class connections. One of the great bonuses of taking continuing education classes is meeting people who share your passion for creating. Another is networking about potential organizations, events, other classes and even jobs. I’ve made some long-term friends during classes I’ve taken, people to laugh, problem-solve and shop with, friends who share my enthusiasm for fabric and quilting. And what could be better than that?

91 comments:

Deb Peterson said...

Hi Nancy!
I'm the Guide to Continuing Education at About.com, part of the New York Times Company. I found your blog this morning and loved it, so I blogged about you. :-)

http://adulted.about.com/

Thanks for the great advice.

Deb

Deb Peterson
Guide to Continuing Ed.
About.com, part of the New York Times Company
http://adulted.about.com/

E. Sheppard said...

Hi - I just found your blog today and will add it to my list at my Nontrad blog too. I like your advice about making friends and also to drop out if you have to. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.blingforfun.com]hip hop jewelry[/url],[url=http://www.blingforfun.com/pendants/cat_9.html]hip hop pendants[/url],hip hop watches,[url=http://blingforfun.com/belts/cat_18.html]bling bling[/url] ,hip hop,[url=http://blingforfun.com/chains/cat_7.html]hip hop chains[/url],hip hop bling,[url=http://blingforfun.com/chains/cat_7.html]iced out chains[/url],[url=http://www.blingforfun.com/chains/cat_7.html]wholesale chains[/url]
hip hop jewelry
wholesale hip hop watches
hip hop rings

Anonymous said...

Well done is richer reconsider than extravagantly said.

Anonymous said...

Artistically done is richer reconsider than extravagantly said.

Anonymous said...

Artistically done is well-advised b wealthier than spectacularly said.

Anonymous said...

Lovingly done is better than spectacularly said.

Anonymous said...

Lovingly done is richer reconsider than extravagantly said.

Anonymous said...

Lovingly done is sick than extravagantly said.

Anonymous said...

Splendidly done is better than spectacularly said.

Anonymous said...

A human beings who dares to waste everyone hour of one of these days has not discovered the value of life.

[url=http://www.frameshow.com/photoframecommunity/member.php?u=105470]Jake[/url]


Jake

Anonymous said...

We should be careful and perceptive in all the advice we give. We should be extraordinarily painstaking in giving opinion that we would not about of following ourselves. Most of all, we ought to refrain from giving counsel which we don't follow when it damages those who take us at our word.

bucket boss

[url=http://bucket-boss-26.webs.com/apps/blog/]bucket boss[/url]

Anonymous said...

A gink begins scathing his discernment teeth the earliest without surcease he bites eccentric more than he can chew.

Anonymous said...

To be a noble charitable being is to have a kind of openness to the in the seventh heaven, an gift to guardianship undeterminable things beyond your own control, that can lead you to be shattered in very exceptionally circumstances pro which you were not to blame. That says something very important with the condition of the righteous passion: that it is based on a trust in the unpredictable and on a willingness to be exposed; it's based on being more like a spy than like a prize, something somewhat fragile, but whose acutely item handsomeness is inseparable from that fragility.

Anonymous said...

Vex ferments the humors, casts them into their right channels, throws eccentric redundancies, and helps cosmos in those secret distributions, without which the association cannot subsist in its vigor, nor the soul fake with cheerfulness.

Anonymous said...

Incredible blog I enjoyed reading your information

[url=http://partyopedia.com]birthday supplies[/url]

Anonymous said...

Procure Neopoints to archive your highest target on Neopets.
Neopets is a absolutely complicated game to earn Neopoints yourself in, it may take months of hardwork moral to cause 1,000,000 Neopoints!
[url=http://buyneopoints.org]Buy Neopoints[/url] and fall ill the elemental Neopets cheats!

Neopets has tons of games you can play, and when you procure neopoints, it will up your experience much bettert!
Essay us thoroughly today and you won't regret it, Neopoints packages start from upright $2.25!
Buy Neopoints

Anonymous said...

Awesome blog I loved reading your information

[url=http://partyopedia.com]birthday supplies[/url]

Anonymous said...

good day people,

I am a new user here crafttoheal.blogspot.com, I am not sure where to post this and so I just decided to post it here at this ( I apologize if this is the wrong category) so hi once more everyone. I'm a student at a local college wanting to become a personal trainer in 6 months, in a few weeks I want to lose pounds fast. People can't follow directions from a fat guy.
[img]http://lose14poundsin14days.com/lose-pounds.gif[/img]

Kamagra said...

Very interesting I think this is a really good blog because it has a good explanation about what we have to think at the time to choose a new class

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Thanks for sharing this link - but unfortunately it seems to be down? Does anybody here at crafttoheal.blogspot.com have a mirror or another source?


Thanks,
Jules

viagra online said...

Agree, I do physical activity during the all year, but this season is the best for doing exercise because the sun it's outside everyday and you can burn more calories haha and the camping, bycicle and some other activities.
Good luck people and have a grear summer.

Anonymous said...

Witam serdecznie!

Szukam i szukam i znalezc przyczyny nie moge... problem mam nastepujacy: moja strona ([url=http://www.nieruchomosci-pila.net]Piła nieruchomości[/url]) raz sie otwiera innym razem z kolei dostaje jakies dziwne komunikaty albo w ogole przegladarka twierdzi, ze takiej strony nie ma. Do tego na niektorych kompad pod internet explorerem wyswietla mi sie wyszukiwarka binga - i tam pojawia sie na pierwszym miejscu link ktory... zazwyczaj otwiera strone. Macie jakies pomysly?

Bede wdzieczny za wszelkie propozycje, nagroda - szczegoly na PW!

Anonymous said...

Witam serdecznie!

Szukam i szukam i znalezc przyczyny nie moge... problem mam nastepujacy: moja strona ([url=http://www.nieruchomosci-pila.net]wynajem mieszkań Piła
[/url]) raz sie otwiera innym razem z kolei dostaje jakies dziwne komunikaty albo w ogole przegladarka twierdzi, ze takiej strony nie ma. Do tego na niektorych kompad pod internet explorerem wyswietla mi sie wyszukiwarka binga - i tam pojawia sie na pierwszym miejscu link ktory... zazwyczaj otwiera strone. Macie jakies pomysly?

Bede wdzieczny za wszelkie propozycje, nagroda - szczegoly na PW!

http://www.erioead.com/ said...

http://www.erioead.com/ buy neopets, buy neopoints, buy neopets neopoints, buy neopets pets, buy neopets accounts, buy draik, buy krawk, buy neopets krawk, buy neopets draik

Anonymous said...

i am travelling to bonn in june and looking for some [url=http://sumoboss.com/agneyabackpackingblog/2011/01/15/hotels-in-bonn-12/
]cheap hotels in bonn[/url] ?

Anonymous said...

Three days after my arrival, walking out of curiosity to the northeast coast of the island, I observed, about half a league off, in the sea, something that looked like a boat overturned. I pulled off my shoes and stockings, and wading two or three hundred yards, I found the object to approach nearer by force of the tide; and then plainly saw it to be a real boat, which I supposed might, by some tempest, have been driven from a ship; whereupon I returned immediately towards the city, and desired his Imperial Majesty to lend me twenty of the tallest vessels he had left after the loss of his fleet, and three thousand seamen under the command of his Vice-Admiral. This fleet sailed round, while I went back the shortest way to the coast where I first discovered the boat; I found the tide had driven it still nearer. The seamen were all provided with cordage, which I had beforehand twisted to a sufficient strength. When the ships came up, I stripped myself, and waded till I came within a hundred yards of the boat, after which I was forced to swim till I got up to it. The seamen threw me the end of the cord, which I fastened to a hole in the forepart of the boat, and the other end to a man of war; but I found all my labor to little purpose; for being out of my depth, I was not able to work. In this necessity, I was forced to swim behind, and push the boat forwards as often as I could, with one of my hands; and the tide favoring me, I advanced so far, that I could just hold up my chin and feel the ground. I rested two or three minutes, and then gave the boat another shove, and so on till the sea was no higher than my arm-pits; and now the most laborious part being over, I took out my other cables, which were stowed in one of the ships, and fastening them first to the boat, and then to nine of the vessels which attended me; the wind being favorable, the seamen towed, and I shoved till we arrived within forty yards of the shore; and waiting till the tide was out, I got dry to the boat, and by the assistance of two thousand men, with ropes and engines, I made a shift to turn it on its bottom, and found it was but little damaged.

[url=http://asvathylboo.tripod.com/hanioti-grand-hotel-3.html]Hanioti grand hotel 3[/url]
[url=http://bescolace.tripod.com/deha-hotel-3-foto.html]Deha hotel 3 фото[/url]
[url=http://conmadysfe.tripod.com/saphir-hotel-.html]Saphir hotel [/url]
[url=http://deitradosra.tripod.com/green-park-hotel.html]Green park hotel[/url]
[url=http://emcesespjal.tripod.com/prohojdenie-igri-hotel-otel.html]Прохождение игры hotel отель[/url]
[url=http://faduclila.tripod.com/hotel-jeff-paris.html]Hotel jeff paris[/url]
[url=http://finposunve.tripod.com/vesileppis-spa-hotel.html]Vesileppis spa hotel[/url]
[url=http://fitmitagprext.tripod.com/altis-golf-hotel-resort-5.html]Altis golf hotel resort 5[/url]
[url=http://geodispwahmwhitt.tripod.com/akrotiri-hotel-4.html]Akrotiri hotel 4[/url]
[url=http://liodiutheohic.tripod.com/ctg-14-1.html]Larissa park hotel 3 [/url]
[url=http://menlichildcin.tripod.com/sheraton-zagreb-hotel.html]Sheraton zagreb hotel[/url]
[url=http://pulredefun.tripod.com/miramare-hotel-villas-4.html]Miramare hotel villas 4[/url]
[url=http://revilonel.tripod.com/skachat-tokio-hotel-humanoid-german.html]Скачать tokio hotel humanoid german[/url]
[url=http://sepimesbou.tripod.com/capsis-hotel-rodos.html]Capsis hotel rodos[/url]
[url=http://tingneandlisear.tripod.com/appart-hotel-tagadirt-3.html]Appart hotel tagadirt 3[/url]

miami broadband said...

very good advices to enjoy and learn something new durring summer!!

Sometimes is better to find a good class or workshop that we could be interesting on than takins several meaningless ones!!

Anonymous said...

1000 facebook likes
buy facebook likes

http://islandora.ca/node/406 http://www.columbusneighborhoods.org/content/irs-recognizes-columbus-hilltop-neighborhood-vita-program-volunteers
get facebook likes 1000 facebook likes get facebook likes
Heres the deal i know how to format a computer... i have done it a million times but this time i have come across a new problem and im not exactly sure how to deal with it. I know that when you completely wipe a computer you have to wait for the prompt during start up that says "press any key to boot from disk" but what happens when you dont see that message? How do you format it then? Yes i am trying to wipe xp in order to reinstall xp (nasty virus tried EVERYTHING else) any more info needed just let me know... If it helps at all my computer is a Lenovo

facebook likes 1000 facebook likes [url=http://1000fbfans.info]facebook likes [/url] get facebook likes

pharmacy said...

Hi, listen, I'm pretty new on this blogosphere and Internet thing, so I don't know if there's a sort of "subscription" method that I can use in order to receive notifications of your new entries...? Thing is I enjoy reading your blog a lot and I'd like to be up to date with your posts!

Anonymous said...

Hello. Facebook takes a [url=http://www.onlineblackjack.gd]casino games[/url] venture on 888 casino apportion: Facebook is expanding its efforts to mete out real-money gaming to millions of British users after announcing a practise with the online gambling proprietorship 888 Holdings.And Bye.

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online tramadol hcl 50 mg picture - tramadol 50 mg is it a narcotic

Anonymous said...

cheap tramadol online treatment of tramadol addiction - legal buy tramadol online united states

Anonymous said...

xanax online xanax lethal dose - xanax 93833

Anonymous said...

xanax online where can i buy xanax online legally - xanax street price 1 mg

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online tramadol 50 mg and tylenol - where to buy tramadol online forum

Anonymous said...

buy carisoprodol side effects of soma carisoprodol tablets - what is carisoprodol 350 mg tablet for

Anonymous said...

generic xanax do drug test test xanax - viagra xanax drug interactions

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online tramadol hcl muscle relaxer - buy tramadol online prescription

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online buy tramadol cod online - buy tramadol online usa pharmacy

Anonymous said...

carisoprodol 350 mg what is soma carisoprodol tablets 350mg - carisoprodol good high

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online tramadol recreational dose bluelight - order tramadol online no rx

Anonymous said...

xanax online xanax overdose and seizures - xanax drug abuse effects

Anonymous said...

carisoprodol 350 mg carisoprodol webmd - soma 350 mg erowid

Anonymous said...

buy carisoprodol carisoprodol 350 mg web md - carisoprodol dosage instructions

Anonymous said...

cheap tramadol tramadol withdrawal long - tramadol dosage for humans

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online tramadol max dose - buy tramadol with mastercard

Anonymous said...

generic xanax buy xanax online overnight delivery - does xanax show up on an oral drug test

Anonymous said...

xanax online xanax 1mg cost - xanax expiration

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol order tramadol online cheap - tramadol 180

Anonymous said...

xanax online get really high xanax - xanax bars ladders

Anonymous said...

generic xanax xanax dosage for anxiety attacks - best place to buy xanax online forum

Anonymous said...

just dropping by to say hi

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online tramadol addiction egypt - buy tramadol 180

Anonymous said...

carisoprodol buy carisoprodol abuse - carisoprodol 350 wiki

Anonymous said...

carisoprodol 350 mg buy carisoprodol online cheap - carisoprodol 350 mg tablets information

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online tramadol shot - what is tramadol for dogs for

Anonymous said...

cialis online no prescription buy cialis 20mg online - buy generic cialis online no prescription

Anonymous said...

cialis online generic cialis walmart - cialis promise program

Anonymous said...

cheap cialis 20mg buy cialis cheap online - generic cialis yahoo answers

Anonymous said...

cialis no rx cialis rush order - caverta cheap cialis generic viagra

Anonymous said...

http://buytramadolonlinecool.com/#56411 tramadol lexapro - tramadol compared to ultram

Anonymous said...

http://landvoicelearning.com/#51602 where can i buy tramadol online - tramadol dosage chart

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online kandungan tramadol hcl - tramadol for dogs constipation

Anonymous said...

learn how to buy tramdadol where to purchase tramadol - tramadol hcl 50 mg get you high

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol mastercard buy tramadol overnight delivery - tramadol 50 mg with food

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol tramadol hcl 50 mg for migraines - tramadol hcl 50 mg tablet

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online tramadol no prescription free shipping - tramadol dosage australia

Anonymous said...

generic tramadol online tramadol withdrawal day 4 - does tramadol hcl 50 mg contain acetaminophen

Anonymous said...

tramadol generic tramadol withdrawal paws - online pharmacy for tramadol

Anonymous said...

http://blog.dawn.com/dblog/buy/#85714 tramadol hcl 50 mg shelf life - tramadol high yahoo

Anonymous said...

http://buytramadolonlinecool.com/#63102 tramadol dosage 80 lb dog - tramadol dosage 100 lb dog

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol tramadol in pregnancy - where to buy tramadol forum

Anonymous said...

buy ativan online ativan urban dictionary - ativan withdrawal and depression

Anonymous said...

ways to buy ativan online ativan overdose effects long term - ativan janice dickinson

Anonymous said...

http://staam.org/#41652 tramadol dosage erowid - buy tramadol online saturday delivery

Anonymous said...

generic xanax xanax for social anxiety - xanax overdose antidote

Anonymous said...

buy xanax online xanax pill high - xanax vs lorazepam

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online generic tramadol no prescription cod - tramadol 50mg max dosage

Anonymous said...

tramadol online pharmacy tramadol addiction blog - tramadol hcl overdose symptoms

Anonymous said...

cheap tramadol tramadol dosage restless leg syndrome - tramadol for dogs vs people

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online tramadol 50 mg itching - tramadol get u high

Anonymous said...

generic xanax online xanax side effects blood pressure - how much xanax and alcohol to die

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online can you buy tramadol online in usa - buy tramadol overnight delivery

Anonymous said...

http://bayshorechryslerjeep.com/#1833 xanax dosage for sleep - xanax withdrawal experience

Anonymous said...

xanax online what is xanax yahoo - xanax more drug_uses

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol cheap online buy tramadol no prescription overnight - tramadol cheap

Anonymous said...

http://www.achildsplace.org/banners/tramadolonline/#1903 buy tramadol with mastercard - buy tramadol online

Anonymous said...

buy misoprostol ireland - generic of cytotec - can i buy cytotec online

Anonymous said...

tramadol generic buy tramadol 180 - order tramadol overnight

Anonymous said...

Buy Priligy Online where to buy priligy in uk - buy cheap priligy online