Hip Mom Hits the Books

Head back to school--for fun!

I have a recurring dream – well, really a nightmare: I am wandering around my college campus, lost in some way. Either I can’t find the class I’m supposed to go to, or I can’t figure out what classes I need to graduate, or I can’t figure out what homework is due, or I’ve missed a deadline for a paper. Or I can’t find the classroom for the final. I wander around in a panic, horrified and ruing the mess I’ve made of my life. And the worst: PVT is not my husband, but just a casual boyfriend who’s “just not that into me.” Terrifying!

Then, recently, after watching my son and his friend struggling over their summer calculus packets, I had a dream – nightmare! – that I was back in calculus, trying to solve a math problem over and over that I couldn’t get right. From all of these dreams, I wake up very happy and relieved that I am no longer in school. Unfortunately for our children – and happily for us – the kiddies are BACK in school! And as I’m so fond of telling them when they ask for excessive help with their homework, I gloat: “I already finished (first) (third) (eighth) (whatever) grade. I don’t have to figure that out, but you do.” Aren’t I rotten? And I’m going to continue gloating throughout the school year because guess what? When you’re a mom, you can take classes for fun! And, fortuitously, Tulsa seems to offer a class for just about anything that intrigues you. Here’s an incomplete roundup:

COOKING:

The Girl Can Cook Cooking School in the darling Rose District in Broken Arrow hosts an amazing array of hands-on cooking classes, from “All Kinds of Kabobs,” “Hawaiian Luau,” “Spanish Tapas Party,” to “Happy Birthday Julia Child,” and “Wine Tastings with Small Bites.” All of the classes involve preparing three or four courses under Chef Candace Connolly’s brusque, no-nonsense but lots-of-fun tutelage. Plus, there are wine pairings with each course!

The Girl Can Cook

I’ve been to several classes, both with a friend and PVT, and had a great time while learning new but practical cooking tips. (Did you know you don’t really need to bother washing fresh herbs?) I also learned a lot about grilling — usually the provenance of the male types. Sign up for one of her classes today — either with friends or a date.

(Side note: Candace has just launched a podcast called “Not a Single Fork.” It’s full of cooking tips and tricks, and makes people like me in a cooking rut excited to get back into the kitchen. She has a great camaraderie with her co-host, Natalia. There is cussing, so you might want to listen with earbuds, but somehow the cussing is hilarious – it just works!)

COCKTAILS:

Yes, even drinking can be a class! Isn’t being an adult great? The Vault hosts monthly cocktail classes featuring a seasonal cocktail, where you learn about the spirit, how to mix certain drinks — plus you’ll get some hors d’oeuvres pairings. So much fun! Well, I think they are. I’m always on the waitlist. I’ve been on the “Vodka” waitlist, the “Farmer’s Market Cocktail” waitlist, and the “Tiki” waitlist. Blast it! One of these days I’ll get in.

The Vault

Another fun and tipsy option: Foolish Things Bar and Biscuit hosts flower arranging classes and provides you a signature cocktail while you’re designing your masterpiece! I suppose you wouldn’t want to attend a cocktail class where you were also, say, installing a car seat, but a little drink probably fuels those floral-decorating juices.

Foolish Things Bar & Biscuit

And, of course, Pinot’s Palette is the granddaddy of tipsy creativity: Their classes are a great way to relax, play with color, paint with friends, and, with some wine, you won’t care if your picture rivals a Van Gogh or not.

BOOKISH SMARTY PANTS THINGS:

Magic City Books hosts the most stimulating literary salons since probably Frenchies in 19th century Paris. Jeff Martin somehow procures big name authors to little old Tulsa, and the gatherings make me feel like I have a brain again.

I had a fabulous time at “Meet Fiona Davis: Drinks, Design, Discussion.” Fiona Davis is the author of, most recently, “The Chelsea Girls,” a novel about two women in NYC at the iconic Chelsea Hotel during the tense period of McCarthyism. It’s so fun to hear about the author’s fascinating background in journalism and her leap to historical fiction, her writing process, New York City — my flabby brain is so happy to be peppered with all these new thoughts! Magic City’s calendar is impressive.

Just this fall, there’s a midnight release party with Margaret Atwood (of a “Handmaid’s Tale”!), an evening with Salman Rushdie (yes, the real one!), Celebrating Meryl Streep (!), and an evening with Delia Owens (of the hit novel “Where the Crawdads Sing”). What great opportunities to read books for fun and discuss them just to dig into stories, life, and love a bit more, instead of having to read for an A in Language Arts.

ACTUAL REAL-LIFE SKILLS:

If you actually want to learn a new skill with real-world application — say, knitting, or car repair, or personal finance, or how to take a decent picture — various community education classes around town are ideal resources.

Where I live, Jenks Community Ed provides a smorgasbord of offerings for all kinds of interests. From jewelry making to Tae Kwon Do, there is something for everyone to learn. And if you really want to pull out the big guns, enroll at TCC. They have a continuing education program where you can learn anything from Graphic Design to Art Therapy.

Now, you can actually earn degrees at TCC, so this is getting dangerously close to real school. But you don’t have to do that! You can just take a class or two. I’ve enrolled at TCC — a ridiculously easy online process — with the hopes of taking a creative writing course, just for the joy of it. We’ll see if I can find a class schedule that suits me — they even have courses online!

So get back to school, mama. This time, just for fun!


Categories: Hip Mom

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