What is the history of the stock market and why was it invented?
Do stocks even have a place in your portfolio?
How do you analyze stocks using fundamentals, ratios and charts?
How do you open a brokerage account and execute stock trades?
Get answers to these questions and more in our upcoming class, Introduction to the Stock Market, taught by investment adviser Sara Glakas. After taking the class, previous student Billy Linley enthused, “Great for beginners! Sara was absolutely amazing. She showed great knowledge of the subject matter and effectively communicated the material.” Sign up for Sara’s next class on our website and bring your questions to class so you can feel confident pursuing your goals on the stock market.
Examine the role played by religion in various critical points in a person’s life. Psychology of Religion through the Lifespan is presented by psychologist and UT instructor Dr. Wendy Domjan. Dr. Domjan considers both the psychological processes involved in religious belief and practice at each of the six points and also the ways in which religion influences psychological functioning. Don’t miss the chance to take a class from this engaging, thought-provoking celebrated UT professor. Class starts on July 1 - register on our website!
In the age of personal electronic devices and information at your fingertips, knowing what and how to focus your attention and energy means the difference between feeling balanced and in control and not. Take this helpful class and pinpoint your greatest time challenges. Once you discover your greatest time inefficiencies, you will make a plan of action to get more out of your time. Instructor Nancy Schill has been working in personal development for more than 8 years. Take advantage of her experience and gain some coaching and support starting July 1. Register online.
Take advantage of LinkedIn’s powerful networking tools and resources to grow your professional career or business in this new class.
•Learn how to setup and optimize your profile. •Learn how LinkedIn differs from other social media platforms. •Discover how to grow your network & connections. •Learn how to generate leads and even market your products & programs. •Explore leveraging groups to build your brand and expertise, and much more!
Since 1995, instructor Fran Harris has helped entrepreneurs, organizations and companies perform at peak levels. Her fun, interactive classes are great for new business owners or established business who need to step into new markets. Register on our website for this June 30 class.
The most prolific authors writing romance and mystery turn out between four and five novels a year. The average is about one book every 10 weeks. Join this 10-week intensive workshop to test the waters and find out what it takes for you to kick start your stalled novel. This workshop is a place for practical learning using a studio technique. You provide pages from your novel for other aspiring authors to read and also read for them. Then, in partnership with a classmate, discuss the draft pages providing each other useful feedback.
A writer’s workshop is several things at once: a support group, a place to be mentored and a place to work with kindhearted peers who serve as informal coaches. Instruction will focus on commercial genre fiction, plot, characters, conflict, scene structure and story arc in addition to giving feedback with kindness to fellow authors. Class starts Sunday, June 29 - sign up now!
Susannah Raulino and Vanessa Shields at Create-A-Gogo
Susannah and Vanessa started their company, Create a Gogo, to help you explore the source of your inspiration, find your voice and help you get your work out to the world. They have two more classes coming up this summer, Creativity for Everybody and Yoga for Creativity. In their classes, they will “share [their] enthusiasm for self-expression and self-trust and help people learn how to free their voices and discover their muses”. After taking one of their classes, their students leave with increased confidence and a stronger connection to their own sources of inspiration. Read more about Susannah and Vanessa in the following instructor highlight.
Informal Classes: What can students expect out of your class?
Create-A-Gogo: Students can expect to have fun, boost their own creativity, find new ways of solving problems and approaching situations. They will feel liberated to say yes to their own ideas and imagination in a supportive environment. Students will leave with increased confidence and a stronger connection to their own sources of inspiration.
IC: What are you most excited about sharing with your students?
C-A-G: We are excited to share our enthusiasm for self-expression and self-trust. We love helping people learn how to free their voices and discover their muse with simple tools, creativity exercises and relaxation techniques. We enjoy sharing feedback about where students’ gifts lie and how to expand the good in their work.
IC: Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
C-A-G: Susannah Raulino has 25 years of experience practicing and teaching yoga and meditation. She has been writing since 1989 and teaching creative writing since 2007. She wrote the book It Writes Itself: A travel guide to writing fiction. Vanessa Shields has a degree in education, and is an award winning dancer and dance instructor. She created the Adhri Technique, an emotional release technique for increasing freedom and joy in creativity, performance and life. She is currently working on a novel series and performing songs and sketches with Susannah in Snap Snap Nation.
IC: What do you as the instructor learn from working with your students?
C-A-G: Every student learns differently, which teaches us new ways to adapt our techniques and approaches to work for a variety of learning styles.
IC: Any thing else you’d like to share?
C-A-G: We love to share in the creativity of our students. Hearing their words and seeing the excitement in their faces as they discover their own abilities is the best part of each class.
Dance off the calories in our upcoming class, Dance AusTONE Fit. Raise your heartrate with some of Dance Austin Studio’s signature cardio routines, plus sculpt and tone your body with 20 minutes of fun exercise. The exhilarating music will inspire you to move in this fun class, available for participants 16-years and up. Class takes place at Dance Austin Studio on Burnet Road and 183. Register on our website.
Learn helpful techniques to significantly reduce your nerves, eliminate the visible signs of nervousness and bolster your self-confidence when speaking in front of others in Speaking Without Fear. Instructor Tonja O’Neill suffered through a fear of public speaking for many years before learning to overcome it. She now thoroughly enjoys public speaking and will share her secrets with you. Class starts June 18. Register online.
Facebook is more than a way to catch up with old classmates! Learn how to use this powerful social media site to grow your brand, build your business or even fund raise for your favorite charity with input and tips from professional marketer Fran Harris. Discuss the mistakes most people make on Facebook and learn how to avoid them, plus explore the best ways to turn fans into customers! This one-day class is on June 16 - register on our website.
Learn how to be your own travel agent in our upcoming class, The Basics of Travel Planning. Discover everything you need to consider while in the planning stages, from transportation to finances and more, including one of the instructor’s favorite sanity-saving travel tips, creating a travel hub. Join seasoned overseas traveler Joy Owen on June 14. Bring your questions and get them answered in this helpful class. Register on our website.
We are very excited to have a flower arranging class coming up in June! Learn the simple mechanics of designing fresh flowers and make an arrangement of your very own to take home. Class takes place on June 14 - register on our website.
The Alexander Technique is a century-old educational method which teaches you how to change faulty postural habits, improving mobility, posture, performance and alertness and relieving chronic stiffness, tension and stress. Our next session starts on June 14, followed by two individual, private meetings between you and our instructor, Donna Martin. If you are experiencing discomfort in your daily life, rethinking your posture with the help of the Alexander Technique is for you. Previous student Jyoti Sinth told us, “I enjoyed working with Donna - she is amazing!” A second student, Francesca Mari, also told us that Donna is “fantastic” - don’t miss your chance to take advantage of Donna’s expertise! Register on our website.
Learn to capture a likeness using oil paints in our upcoming class, Oil Portraiture Fundamentals. You will learn the basics of capturing realistic skin tones and work off of a model to complete a portrait in each class. Register on our website - class starts 6/12/14.
Developed by Moshe Feldenkrais, scientist and engineer, Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lessons provide a somatosensory learning platform for identifying and changing how, when, and why you move. Lessons are comprised of novel movements explored with precision and attention. In other words, you learn to pay attention to how and why you move your body and by moving with more deliberation, you will experience less fatigue, fewer muscle aches and improved sleep. With a thousand different ATM exercises available, instructor Becky Behling can tailor her class sessions to the prevailing ailments of the class to give her students a personalized experience. Previous students have told us that they found the class “interesting and relaxing! Becky was wonderful.” Re-think your movements and improve your comfort levels - enroll online now!
Student Ryan Arbow sums this class up perfectly: “The class was fantastic. The ideal class for getting up and running with HTML/CSS and exactly what I was looking for. I have an HTML/CSS book which would’ve taken days to read. Three evenings and I feel confident to start creating websites and continuing to build my skills.” Instructor Greg Hervey will get you started in this program, make the “difficult subject matter easy to understand,” stated another student, Kerri Barton. If you have been wanting to learn HTML/CSS but have been intimidated by the topic, this class will get you on the right track! Greg’s next session of Beginning HTML/CSS starts on June 23!
Enhance your relationship with your favorite canine companion! A properly-trained dog will decrease your frustration and make your life, and that of your pup, much more enjoyable. Our summer class starts on June 7 - register online.
Find out why so many people are hooked on knitting in our upcoming class, Learn to Knit - Jump on the New Knitting Wave! Instructor Bridget Shrum is passionate about knitting for its therapeutic value and the possibilities it offers to create beautiful things by hand. Former student Helen Whitcraft wrote, “Bridget was phenomenal in her passion for knitting and her teaching style was wonderful!” Learn all the basics, practicing a new skill in each class session, and gain a hobby that is relaxing and soothing. The next course starts on June 4 - register on our website.
Would you like to record life stories & family memories for your family and future generations? If you’ve been wanting to start but haven’t gotten around to it, this is the course to get you going! Writing Your Life Stories and Family History will lead you through writing six of your stories in a short format, which you will then share with your class each week. One previous student wrote, “This course provided a great foundation to begin a life history project. I plan to continue to work on this using the course materials as the foundation.” Take advantage of this opportunity to spur on your progress and start writing down your family history. This class starts June 4. Register now!
Have you been considering opening your own business? Don’t be so overwhelmed by all the decisions that you have to make in order to start your business keep you from pursuing your dream! In our three-session class, Build Your Business from Scratch, you will take your business idea and flesh it out into a business plan, complete with the knowledge of what the different kinds of business entities there are (and which type would be best for you), whether or not you’ll need to charge sales tax, how to develop a marketing plan and so much more. Former student Amy Maddox told us, “I think this class was excellent. I learned so much in 3 nights! I am so excited about what I’ve learned. I can’t wait to open my business.” Small business consultant Regina Anaejionu, the instructor for this course, is ready to arm you with the tools you need to strike out on your own and make your mark on the business world. Class starts June 4 - register on our website!
Do you have a digital camera and are comfortable with its controls, but want to make images with stunning impact? This course will explore the creative controls and the art that will allow you to take your photography to the next level. Explore the use of lenses for compositional creativity, understand how light and color affect the creative outcome, and get into advanced techniques, including shooting in RAW, High Dynamic Range Imaging and much more! Instructor Brian Loflin offers over a half dozen different courses at UT Informal Classes over the span of a year and his students rave about him. He has many students progress from one class to the next. One student wrote, “this class was excellent! I learned so much! I am excited about my photography again.” Another student told us, “Brian is extremely knowledgeable on all photographic topcs and very eager to share his knowledge with others.” Brian’s next Composition and Light course starts on June 3. Check out his instructor page for a list of all of his upcoming courses.
Learn about the complexities in the history of jazz music, with a focus on many lesser-known African American musicians in the last century, whose techniques and ideas greatly influenced the art as well as some of the most well-known jazz musicians. Instructor Thomas Newsome is a scholar of U.S. History and wrote his dissertation about Jazz Musicians in Chicago, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Newsome also operates an educational non-profit, Model Alternative School Services, in which he presents and teaches subjects that he feels are underrepresented by conventional school curricula. His Informal Classes course, History of Jazz: An Alternative View, is part of our UT Odyssey series, which features lectures presented by local scholars and UT professors. His class starts on June 2 - you can register now on our website.
Designer and instructor Sara Cukerbaum is teaching Introduction to Interior Design again at Informal Classes starting June 3. After working in finance, Sara obtained a degree in Interior Design, then worked at several high-end residential and commercial firms in Chicago, New York and Dallas before founding her own company in Austin. On teaching, Sara told us, “I love teaching because it opens my mind to practical questions and concerns from my students. This in turn helps me to be a better designer.” Learn how to organize space and form in the interior environment and develop techniques to implement effective visual communication in design with Sara’s expert guidance. Register on our website.
Make an informed decision about whether or not to start your own business by following the steps outlined in our class, Key Steps to Starting a Business. Explore your primary motivations behind opening a business and the characteristics of a business that are deemed most important to success; learn how to do market research, stay competitive and estimate demand; and much more. This class, taught by seasoned franchise leader Stephen Maeker, will put you on the right course for your new business venture. Register on our website. Takes place May 31.
Get out on beautiful Lady Bird Lake and enjoy a fantastic work-out in a kayak! Easier on the joints than running or aerobics, kayaking is suitable for all fitness levels, ages, and abilities. Learn kayaking strokes, safety techniques, interval training drills and much more. The Texas Rowing Center is a great location on the lake that’s been there since 1987 and has taught over 10,000 people how to row. Join in on the fun and get fit this summer. Register on our website.
The summer Word for Word Speaker Series includes lectures on robotics, Bach, autism and our changing world. Sign up for the whole series to receive a discount, or just pick the single nights that most pique your interest. The series starts on May 27th. Register on our website!
Learn to shoot better pictures and how to improve the ones that aren’t great to start with in Digital Photgraphy for Mac Users. Instructor Bob LeVitus (a.k.a. Dr. Mac of “iPhone for Dummies” fame) discusses getting the best picture you can on the camera you happen to have on you, be it your iPhone or iPad, point-and-shoot pocket camera, or digital single-lens reflex (DSLR). Then he teaches you all about managing and improving your digital photos with iPhoto (free) and other free and inexpensive tools for the Mac. Let this be the first step towards feeling confident when you have to re-touch your images! Class starts May 27.
Looking for serenity and balance in this hectic world? Improve your emotional and spiritual well-being by learning about Buddha’s teachings in our upcoming Modern Buddhism 101. Training your mind in the Buddhist fashion can help you transform daily life problems, showing you how to skillfully deal with conflict and find strength in the face of discouragement—and do it all with a compassionate heart and a peaceful mind. Instructor Gen Kelsang Ingchug is a Western Buddhist nun who has been studying, practicing and teaching Kadampa Buddhism under Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s guidance for many years. She teaches with clarity and gentle humor, presenting Buddhism so it is accessible to everyone. Benefit from her guidance in our class beginning on May 7.
If you’ve recently invested in a digital SLR camera, get the hang of using it in Carlos Austin’s beginning digital photography class! Photography: Digital Photography for Beginners will begin again on starts up again on May 7th. Student Travis Young wrote that he “loved class! Carlos was enthusiastic and I learned so much! The class was what I envisioned and then more. There was great group discussion and our instructor was knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and fun.” Come learn for yourself why Carlos’s students rave about him and his class!
Instructor Eileen “Ike” West, MA, has taught grant writing workshops for both non-profit organizations and state agencies over the years, and has been teaching through Informal Classes for over 20 years. Her next session of Grant Writing I, which will take place on May 17th, will be as informative and eye-opening as usual. Her students always have fantastic feedback about Ike and her classes. “This class was worthy of my money. Informal Classes is lucky to have Ike West.” Another student, Docia Craft wrote, “Invigorating, informative, inspiring. Grant writing is a skill set that will empower communities to unite for the good of all.” If grant writing is in your future at your organization, take advantage of Ike’s expertise and sign up!
Fitness and health are not synonyms. There has been a recent explosion in empirical research on connections between diet and the systemic inflammation that characterizes chronic disease. How can changing your eating habits combat your chronic illness? Learn more about it from Deirdre Earls, a registered nurse who has combated her disabling disease with an imperfect diet. It is possible! Learn more at her class, Let Food Be Your Medicine, on May 14.
Understand both the music and culture behind salsa dancing in our upcoming new class! You will learn the basic steps of the dance as well as experience live performances of the percussion instruments so your ear will be as expert as your feet. Class starts on May 6 - register on our website!
Do you want other people to say “yes” to anything you ask them? If you do, Successful Marketing 101 is the course for you. Learn to utilize the six principles of the science of compliance dramatically increase your chances of getting a “yes” to any proposal you make. Instructor Maurizio Basso has trained hundreds of sales and marketing professionals to achieve new levels of performance during his career. His past Informal Classes students have called his class “very useful and informative! Maurizio is a dynamic and inspiring presenter. Information was easy to understand. I would love to see more presentations from him.” Another student wrote, “Best small investment of my time and money in the last 15 years.” Register on our website. This two-session course starts May 13.
Learn the basics of sewing on your own sewing machine with the guidance of a talented, experienced sewer, Carlyne Wormley. Carlyne’s “wonderful class” will give you step-by-step instruction on working your machine, selecting patterns, pattern placement, and more, plus you will focus on your own project, creating a caftan. A student from her last class wrote that the “student to teacher ratio was my favorite part. There was plenty of one-on-one time.” Come learn (or re-learn) the basics of sewing in this fun class starting May 5.
Another one of our new classes this summer is Origami for Beginners. We are excited to have Ryan Fan teaching it for us. Ryan is a self-taught origami enthusiast who has been teaching for over ten years. He will teach you basic folding techniques and how to read an origami diagram. Learn to make beautiful, fun pieces of art each class session!
We are pleased to be offering Table Tennis this year in conjunction with the Austin Table Tennis Club! Learn the basics of the sport and get access to the club for extra fun over the span of the course. Find out more on our website, www.informalclasses.org.