D U L T   E D U C A T I O N

A brochure arrived in my mailbox that had the heading, "Neshaminy Adult Education." I'm an adult and, being a college professor, I'm interested in adult education, so I opened it and began to peruse its contents. The first course to catch my attention was called, "Angels of the Energy Fields."

I was clueless about Angels of the Energy Fields and read the description. "Be introduced to nine angels, each having a different talent, with a singular message, and become trained to be aware of Angelic presence which may enhance your ability to further your soul quest. Channel Angelic energy! The Angels purpose is to assist the therapist and the individual to promote self-healing and enable receipt of Divine Energy. $40"

Yikes! Was this for real? I read it again because the closest I've ever come to having nine angels give me Divine Energy was in 1973 at a Topless Go-Go bar in San Bernardino. And that cost me a lot more than $40. Hmmm! Perhaps this really was "Adult" education.

Next was an aromatherapy course. I've heard of that and even had it performed on me a few times, although I must confess that the only thing it did for me was to make me smell really odd. However, this course was different. Its description said, "Learn to utilize common household scents for the bath, fragrances, etc, to help facilitate change in mood both in yourself and others." I started thinking about some of my "household scents," which didn't exactly evoke a pleasant mood. Did I really need a course about my household scents and what I could do with them? I don't think so. I needed a course in how to get rid of some of my household scents.

"Bagpipes for Beginners." Now there's a course that should really irritate everyone in the classrooms nearby. Its description said, "No special talent or experience necessary! Instructor hopes to eventually start a band." I hate bagpipes. Put a whole group of beginning bagpipe players in one room and it would sound like thousands of cats fucking.

"Balloon Art: Learn how to sculpt balloons into works of art. Make a dog, horse, lion, flowers, hats, etc. Become the life of the party or maybe start a new career or business." I can't recall ever seeing a work of art that consisted of balloons, or anyone being the life of the party through balloons. (Well, there was that one incident, but I think that it also involved drugs.) How can they call this adult education?

"Bicycle Riding and Touring: Before planning that wonderful mini tour, learn how to ride a bicycle properly." Are there any adults out there who don't know how to ride a bicycle? If you have not ever ridden a bicycle by the time you are 40, it's probably because you don't want to.

Following that was a course on "Bankruptcy". If you need to declare bankruptcy, you can pay $30 for this one night course and learn how. But more than likely, if you are the kind of person who would pay $30 for this course, it might explain why you need it.

There was a course in Cardio Kickboxing, which I suppose is good for your heart providing you don't get kicked there. A four-week course on "Clutter Control" purported to, "Eliminate the stress and frustration caused by clutter and chaos in your life." It probably does this by removing you from your cluttered house every Wednesday evening for four weeks. That will cost you $50. You might consider just staying home those nights and spend them picking up all the clutter. Or you could send the $50 to me and I'll tell you what to do.

I glanced over a few other courses, such as "Cooking for Beauty" and paused on one that said: "Dance, Swing Couples Only." Wow! Could they really have a dance class for couples who swing? Nah, it was probably just poor word juxtaposition. Then I saw a course named, "Fauln Dafa." This was even more obscure than "Angels of the Energy Fields." Reading its description didn't enlighten me. "Falun Dafa means Truth, Compassion and Forbearance, through self cultivation. Balancing mind, body and spirit through the power of Qigong." Well, that certainly cleared up the matter.

To be fair about all of this adult education, most of the courses offered were mundane things like golf, tennis, floral arranging, French, guitar made easy, photography, investing in annuities, home decorating, Spanish, Yiddish, and "Yoga in a Chair," which is probably for really lazy people. "Massage for the Non-professional" briefly tempted me, but I've already perfected a form of that.

"Past Lives Investigations" sounded interesting and might have shed some light on moments of dé ja vu I had once while prowling the back streets of Tehran. But on reflection, I'm most intrigued by the nine angels who are going to give me Divine Energy. I could use some of that. Even one angel would be nice.