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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
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None Shall Class

I’ve been toyed around and screwed with by all sorts of people. Family, friends, bosses, coworkers, spouse, pet, strangers, the IRS — you name it. But never by the local Adult Education people.

Okay, that’s totally not true. The Adult Ed. people have royally screwed me over, twice already. First, they canceled the class that I wanted to take this summer, which my friend Jenn was scheduled to teach. Then, when they’d only give me ‘class credit’ rather than a refund, they scheduled a bunch of clearly fake ridiculous classes to keep me from getting my money’s worth in the fall.

Now their winter class schedule has come out — my very last chance to use that credit for good, rather than lining the pockets of some smarmy part-time adult-ed administrative hack. Who’d probably use it to detail their Passat wagon, or some ridiculous shit like that. So I was totally motivated to find a viable class in this semester’s program.

“I’d have an easier time finding a vegan at a Vietnamese rodeo.”

I’d have an easier time finding a vegan at a Vietnamese rodeo.

(No, I don’t know how that fits, either. But I bet there are no damned vegans in attendance. Work with me here, already, would you?)

I looked through the schedule, and I’ve determined that the Adult Ed. people are screwing with me. Just blatantly, now — that’s the only possible explanation. They’ve probably never had anyone shoehorned into taking ‘class credit’ before, and they’re milking me for everything I’m worth. Or at least everything I paid for that one class I wanted to take. Once. At a time that now seems so, so very long ago.

Meanwhile, their ‘catalog of classes’ is a farce. An intentional laugh. It has to be. Oh, sure — there aren’t quite as many over-the-top goodies as last time. There’s no ‘All About Water‘ or ‘Yoga Dance‘ in this set of offerings. ‘Learning to Be a Hospital Clown‘ is absent; ditto, ‘The Language of Paint‘.

(Who will now speak for the silenced watercolor martyrs? Has oil no longer a voice? It’s a tragedy in acrylic!)

Still, this catalog has its moments. There’s ‘Outdoor Composting‘, for instance — far less dangerous (or pungent) than its indoor cousin, presumably.

Also , Get to Know Your Sewing Machine — where the inner life of Singers are exposed; The Art of the Tart — less about painted hussies than you might hope; and Barre Workout, which is not, in point of fact, ‘bare workout‘, but you try telling that to old Mrs. Jenkison and her free wrinkly spirit.

Then there’s Afternoon Intermediate or Advanced English, which not only can’t decide what level it’s at, but also starts at 11:30. In the morning.

Dizzying is the array of hastily thrown-together classes and descriptions. But I thought perhaps it was coincidence, just a simple general lack of interestingness on the part of mostly every available class there is.

Then I flipped to the ‘Writing’ section, and realized that they’re frankly just screwing with me. And for the sake of nothing but laughs, it seems. Yanking my chain is more fun than Bare Workout with a bunch of Artsy-Fart Tarts, apparently.

Here’s what I found lurking in that writing section — a testimonial, meant to entice a chap like me into one of their classes:

“Kathryn is very good at imparting her knowledge of how to get us writing and assigning exercises that work.” — A student in one of Kathryn Deputat’s writing courses

Sounds lovely. Right up my alley, and me with ‘class credit’ to spend on a course. I scoured the page to determine which class Ms. Deputat was teaching this session.


I flipped the page, and perused the rest of the writing section.


So this Adult Education group, best as I could figure, had decided to include a glowing testimonial by a student about a teacher — who’s not teaching one of their classes. What the hell kind of course-tease is that?

It’s like quoting some yutz in your brochure as saying, ‘Ooh, I just LOVE that Annie Sullivan — she positively works miracles in the classroom!

And then disclaiming that, ‘Oh, but she doesn’t actually teach here. Hoo boy, wouldn’t that be awesome? Ah, but a schoolhouse can dream!

Which leads me to the obvious and inescapable conclusion — the Adult Ed .people are pulling my leg over here. I bet they don’t even have a winter session, and the whole brochure is the culmination of some class from the fall called ‘Stick it to the Jerkwad Who Thought He’d Ever See His Class Credit Cash Again‘.

This’ll teach me to ever sign up for classes again. Take heed, children — learning is dumb. And everyone’s against you.

Words to live by, there. Maybe I should teach my own damned class, eh?

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