Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Creativity Boost

If you want to give your creativity a big boost, take a class.

I've been doing one class a semester for the last five years and it's been great. My husband also decided to get in on the fun last semester and signed up for a metalworking class at our local community college.

There are pros and cons and you'll need to feel that the pros outweigh the cons for it to be worth your while.

Cons
• Working full time means you may have to take a night class. That might mean you'll have one or two nights taken up with class and another night or two for homework.
• It will probably cost money. If you go to a university (like I do) you will pay A LOT of money for one class. My husband's class costs a lot less because he's going to a community college instead of a university.
• It can eat up the time you would use for other creative activities. I don't have time to make art other then sketching and occasionally finishing projects I started a long time ago.
• You may have to take tests, write papers, or hand in final projects.

Pros
• You get to learn instead of sitting around on the couch. Depending on what class you take it will take more or less of your time. If you can take a class at a local museum, art co-op, etc it can be a lot less time consuming. A lot of places offer one time classes or ones that only run for 2 or 3 sessions.
• The classes offered by non-university/college places are generally a lot less expensive. If you are thinking about going back to school, however, it might be worth shelling out the big bucks if you can use it as credit for a degree or to fill in gaps in order to get into graduate school. In that case check out funding.

In the state of Colorado they have what is called The College Opportunity Fund. It helps pay undergraduate tuition. It doesn't help me since I am going to a university and I already have a bachelor's degree (therefore classified as a graduate student). It does help my husband. Even though he also has a bachelor's degree, he is going to an institution that doesn't have a bachelor's degree program and so he gets classified as an undergraduate. The state is paying for half of his tuition. I was bummed when he got it and I didn't.

If you're a senior citizen, local schools might let you audit classes for free.

If it's work related, talk to your boss. Some companies will help pay for classes that their employees take if they believe it will make you a better and more productive employee.

• You meet a lot of interesting people and get exposed to different ideas and ways of thinking. It's cross-cultural, cross-generational, and will challenge your perceptions of the world. Talk about a creativity boost!

So check out your local schools and organizations. Find something that sounds interesting and make it happen.

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