It’s never too late to learn a new skill or perfect an old one. Chicago has many organizations that offer adult education classes and workshops designed to teach students new concepts, technical skills, or even new dance moves. Taking a class is a good way to set up an ongoing friend date if you’re someone who has a busy schedule and misses hanging out with people. And you can meet new friends and network! Here are some ideas to get you started.
Stories of our genes and ancestors
Sites like Ancestry.com have made it easy for us to map our family trees, but what do you do once you’ve found all the names and dates? As part of the Newberry Library’s Adult Education Program, Dr. Aaron Greenberg, co-founder of storytelling technology company Biograph and senior lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, is teaching this four-session virtual seminar. to help amateur genealogists and family histories keepers transform research into stories that contextualize facts and create a deeper picture of our ancestral pasts.
Saturdays, 10/29-11/19, 2-4 p.m., $193.50-$215, newberry.org
Maybe you are not interested in appearing on Project track, but wouldn’t it be nice to be able to confidently hem those jeans or at least put that big button back on your winter coat? Learn some basic skills from a real fashion designer, Chicagoan Anastasia Chatzka, who will teach you how to use a sewing machine, attach buttons and zippers, and even read a sewing pattern. No experience is necessary to get started. If you understood, Chatzka also offers advanced courses in sewing, knitting, and streetwear. Students can opt for Sunday or Saturday morning or Monday evening sessions that take place at Chatzka Studio (2041 W. Carroll, Suite 222).
Next six-week sessions start Sunday 10/23, $345 includes materials, anastasiachatzka.com
City Colleges of Chicago offers a range of in-person and online education designed for adults who need affordable professional certifications, GED courses, and more. . . walk. You can still enter Steppin’ for fun and fitnessa late fall offering at Daley College (7500 S. Pulaski) that will teach you the basic moves and flair of stepping, a form of partner dance originated in Chicago and often performed to R&B music.
Wednesdays 10/19-12/7, 6-7pm, $55
And if you want to work on your drawing techniques, let the city be your muse with Urban sketch: an introduction, an in-person course hosted by Harold Washington College (30 E. Lake). Most classes will be held at destinations within the Loop or accessible by public transit. Students will learn to draw what they see in the city using pencil and ink.
Saturday 10/1-11/5, 10am-1pm, $189
Information and registration for both at ccc.edu
The five fingers of self-defense
Self-defense isn’t just about knowing a martial art — in fact, skills like risk assessment, positioning strategies, and verbal tools are essential for navigating crisis situations. The folks at the Thousand Waves Martial Arts and Self-Defense Center teach the “five fingers” approach: Think, Scream, Run, Fight, Tell. These strategies can also lead to better awareness and communication in all of your interpersonal relationships. The training is accessible to people of all genders from the age of 12.
Two-hour workshop, future dates Sat 10/8 4-6pm and Fri 12/9 6-8pm, $50 (sliding scale available), 1220 W. Belmont, 773-472-7663, Thousandwaves.org