10 Courses to Survive the Worst Economy in Generations

by |
01/18/2012 4:30 AM |

(Kelly Owens dog dress, photo by Nicole Geller)

Pet Apparel Fashion and Design

You know who still has disposable income to spend on handmade couture? Dogs. The other day we saw a Lhasa Poo wearing a cable-knit cashmere shawl collar cardigan with mother-of-pearl buttons, and talking on a bluetooth. Learn to design for today’s modern dogs, and get a head start on branding your line (hint: doggie tastemakers). 6pm-9pm, Thursdays March 1, 8, 15, 22 or 6:30pm-9:30pm, Mondays April 23, 30, May 7, 14. $260.

Medgar Evers College
Certified Wedding and Event Planning

Thanks to the LGBT allies in Albany, wedding planning is now one of New York’s biggest growth industries. (We imagine. Seems logical though, right?) Learn to save couples from their own inclinations to kitsch, so that they might live happily together for a lifetime. 6pm-9:05pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays February 7-March 20. $1,495.

The New School
The Arab Awakening

So, like, what’s going to happen with that whole “Arab Spring” thing? Are we through the Arab Winter, yet? Will there be “Arab Spring II”, a sequel which—like The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather: Part II—is better than the original? There’s really only one way to find out how the rise of Arab democracy is going to impact our daily lives: yup, taking this course. 6pm-7:50pm, Tuesdays January 24-May 1. $650.

Portuguese On the Go
The New School has this great “On the Go” option for busy types (that’s, uh, you) who want to pick up the basics of a given language in a short burst of immersion. The linguistic options are many, and there are four levels of study available—so hey, how about Portuguese? After all, the Brazilian economy, at least compared to all those other ones, still seems to be doing ok. Also, beaches. Email foreignlanguages@newschool.edu for details.

New York City College of Technology
Basic Electric Arc Welding

Remember when your uncle was all, “So what exactly does one do with a philosophy degree?” And you were all, “A lifetime pursuit of enlightenment is its own reward,” weren’t you? Well, turns out it’s not. This is pretty much the exact opposite of that. Plus, bet even your uncle doesn’t know what a multiple pass lap joint is. 6pm-9:30pm, Mondays and Wednesdays, March 19-June 11. $1,800.

Hidden and Cheap Eats in Manhattan

Sure, you have to pay for the course, but think of it as an investment—all that money you’ll save on falafels and ramen? And your potential to be an authority for freelancer-dependent alt-weeklies compiling their quarterly “Cheap Eats” guides? 11am-3pm, Friday, March 9. $95.

Becoming a Wine Expert
One percenters with enough cash to splurge on fancy wines also have enough to drop on experts to tell them what to drink. You might also get close enough to slip something into their drinks, if that’s the OWS-assigned mission you choose to accept. 6:30pm-8:30pm, Wednesdays, March 21-April 25. $385.

Interior Lighting

Picture it: the economy takes an unexpected nosedive at the end of June, Iran attacks Israel (or vice versa) in July causing oil prices to spike, which leads to a coordinated armed uprising by right-wing militia groups across the good old U. S. of A. Where does that leave you, after taking this course? In a very, very well lit survival bunker, five stories under ground. You’re welcome. 6pm-8:30pm, Thursdays, February 2-April 19 or Fridays, February 3-April 20. $699.

Connecting Us: The Arterial Highway System of the New York-New Jersey Region

Contemplating becoming a cab driver but never owned any vehicle other than your brakeless fixie? No biggie! This primer on the city’s highway system will have you passing veteran cabbies in no time. “Williamsburg to Newark International in 30 minutes? Pfff, no problem!” 9am-5pm, Wednesday, April 25. $295.

Package Design and Brand Identity
Those smiley-faced boxes all your Amazon orders arrive in? Someone designed ‘em, and now they’re filthy rich—or at least living more comfortably than you, probably. With a little prior Photoshop knowledge (and really, who doesn’t have that these days?) and this class, your package could be brightening online shoppers’ faces everywhere come Christmastime. And by “package,” we only mean the thing in which you ship things. 6-9pm, Tuesdays, January 31-April 3. $395.