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Steering off course

Some classes sound like so much fun they might as well be extracurricular
By ELLEE DEAN  |  May 8, 2006

UMass - Casino Management
UMass's course in casino management includes lessons on how to deal with MIT kids trying to beat the system

The undergraduate thesis on behavioral economics, the critical reading about the role of women during the rise of the British Empire, the 75 multiple-choice questions on plate tectonics — considering past experience, why would you ever continue your education? Perhaps you’re a behavioral economics, British Empire, plate tectonics–loving freak. For the rest of us, the Naked Mile, the Primal Scream, and the hung-over lectures on beatniks and punks were about all we could handle.

We do not recommend the continuing-education course in accounting, auditing, and ethical standards, though it exists. We recommend the course taught by the indie filmmaker, the course inspired by a Daily Show regular, and the course considered “experimental.” The courses listed below are courses we would pay to take. No requirements necessary. Well, maybe there’s one requirement, but that’s only because we hope it involves naked people. So, choose to continue your education, and let the body, the booze, the box office, or the game of baseball — yeah, baseball — be your syllabus.

Finals in Fashion
Dreams of Halston, Anna Sui, Stella McCartney, and Men in Tights? In the fall of 2005, MassArt’s Fashion Design Department launched an open-enrollment Fashion Certificate Program. The 10-course certificate program offers those with visions of viscose, cotton gauze, and silk trimmed in lace the skills necessary to pursue or advance a career in design. Master classes cover specialties such as draping, costume design, millinery, fashion forecasting, tailoring, and CAD for design pattern-making software. In the meantime, keep your day job. The rotating course calendar accommodates busy schedules. Prepare to learn the art of the pillbox hat, the Victorian cowboy, and the organic feminine.
Massachusetts College of Art | 621 Huntington Avenue, Boston |

Box-Office-Smash Class
“I’ve discovered I’ve got this preoccupation with ordinary people pursued by large forces.”— Steven Spielberg
The Hollywood street busts out sharks, aliens, and dinosaurs at estimated budgets of $123 million. Large enough forces for you, Spielberg? In Boston University’s continuing-education course The Hollywood Blockbuster, you’ll learn about the marketing concepts, ideological enterprise, and special-effects laboratories behind big-budget films. Excerpt screenings from directors including de Mille, Coppola, Spielberg, Lucas, Cameron, and Bigelow fill the summer. Order your custom director chair and learn how to make the cut.
Boston University Summer Term | 775 Comm Ave, Boston |

Indie-Film Crash Course
Rebellious, self-taught, award-winning indie filmmaker Jon Jost will host an intensive seven-day digital video workshop through Boston University’s open-enrollment summer term. The course will explore digital video as an artistic medium for the indie-filmmaker hopeful. Shoot and edit three of your own short films alongside the legend. The focus will be on the creative and technical, not on the financing, production deals, or business of film — and that's what you would expect in a course taught by Jost, a man who has realized independent ideas, independent of box-office budgets, since 1963. (But the course will cost you. Think of it as a two-grand experience for only $1872.)
Boston University Summer Term | 775 Comm Ave, Boston |

A Lesson in Laughter
“I’d like to teach Iraq about democracy because we’re so experienced with it. First they should know that after 100 years they should free their slaves. Then after 150 years they should give their women the right to vote. Oh, and of course when they start it all they should begin with some genocide and ethnic cleansing." — Kurt Vonnegut, The Daily Show, September 2005
We laughed. Boston College’s  Laughter: A Literary Approach, an open-summer-enrollment course, explores the funny stuff through, of course, irony, paradox, wit, absurdity, and satire. The class claims to be a “loving reflection on the human condition.” We claim it is a release from the stark and stuffy academia regulars and the lecture hall. Read Jon Hassler, Anne Tyler, Russell Baker, Kurt Vonnegut, and Lewis Grizzard, and laugh it up.
Boston College | 140 Comm Ave, Chestnut Hill |

Leaving for Las Vegas: The Course
Forget the flashing score lines, old theater seats, and boiled hot dogs of old-school Vegas sports betting. Make your next trip to Sin City a field study of inside operations: slots, blackjack, craps, and, yes, sports betting — yeah dog! The University of Massachusetts offers an online course in casino management. With the textbook Casino Operations Management in your hands and the Wizard of Odds Web guide to online gambling on screen, you’re rolling an Ace Rothstein.
University of Massachusetts | 100 Venture Way, Suite 201, Hadley |

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  Topics: Lifestyle Features , Entertainment, Music, Quentin Tarantino,  More more >
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