Whether you're sick of your crappy college courses, or you're a "civilian" looking to meet people while having fun and getting educated... have we got the extracurricular classes for YOU!

By Phil Busse, Brian Brait, Julianne Shepherd, J.B. Rabin, Katie Shimer, Justin Wescoat Sanders III, and Wm. Steven Humphrey; Extracurricular model Kim Keller; Photography by Andrea J. Wright

TRAPEZE CLASSES

Bouncing off the walls of your cubicle? Daydreaming of wearing a sparkly body suit, flying through the air with the greatest of ease? No, it's not too late to join the circus!

Local theater troupe Do Jump hosts classes in stilt walking, partner acrobatics and trapeze! Even if performing under the big top isn't your goal, Daniela Steiner, one of Do Jump's gravity-defying instructors, points out that trapeze and their Cirque du Soleil-styled acrobatics have the same attraction and benefits as yoga. "A lot of people who do yoga find the same benefits here," she says. "Flexibility and fitness." PB

Do Jump, 1515 SE 27th, for more information call 231-1232 or check out dojump.org

COPWATCH TRAINING SEMINARS

Everyone should know their rights when it comes to dealing with the Po-Po. Do you have to let a cop inside when he comes to break up your party? Can they search your backpack if they pull you over on your bike? You'll never know unless you talk to the folks at Portland CopwatchÉ but better yet, schedule a training for your group, class, or organization. PCW will come to your place and teach you how to watch the cops. Or attend one their "Your Rights and the Police" seminars, where volunteer lawyers discuss the ins and outs of making complaints about bad bacon. BB

Portland Copwatch, 503-236-3065, copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org

HIPHOP CLASSES

The "freshman 15" can be avoided via two methods: 1. heavy chain-smoking and 2. mega-intensive hiphop/b-girl workouts. (Note: It is incredibly difficult to apply both simultaneously.) To get your ass kicked in the best way, learn the uprock narrative from b-girl instructor Kumari Lohar-Singh (freestyle hiphop, foundational breaks, reggae dancehall), or incredible dance maven Mariecella Devine (hiphop). JS

Kumari: Tues-Thurs; Bally Total Fitness, 110 SW Yamhill, 223-0088; Mariecella: Mon-Thurs, Sat; Devine Funk, 811 SE Main St, #200, 232-5575

FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASSES

I was going to start this little blurb with a phrase in a foreign language, then laugh at your feeble attempts to try and translate it. It was going to be an insult, too, and boy were you going to be pissed when you finally figured it out. Unfortunately, the only foreign language I know is the Spanish word for "sofa": sofà. Opting not to call you a big, ugly sofa, I'm going to first check out the Portland branch of the Berlitz Language Center before dissing you all foreign-style. Berlitz is a worldwide learning program offering group and private classes on almost every language imaginable, from French, to Dutch, to Pashto, a dialect of Afghanistan. Plus! The Berlitz program's website brags, "The Berlitz method is a direct, conversational approach to language learning. No grammar drills, no memorization, no translation and no lectures." Le awesòme! JWS III

Berlitz Language Center, 321 SW Fourth, 274-0830; the center will tailor to the language you want to learn, so give 'em a call!

BREWING CLASSES

One of my goals for 2004 is to STOP DRINKING PBR. It gives me a hangover and tastes like piss--and yet I still find myself consuming at least 48 ounces per week. Why? Because it's cheap. Why else? Because none of my friends like Coors Light. The solution to this problem? Join the Oregon Brew Crew and make kegs of homemade beer. Who can turn down a frosty home-brewed Hefeweizen? No one, that's who. Join the club by signing up at www.oregonbrew.com and gain access to home brew workshops, great recipes, and monthly brewing competitions. KS

The club meets at Steinbart's, 234 SE 12th, on the second Thursday of every month at 7:30 pm. Beginners can show up at Steinbarts on November 1st at 9:30 am, where it's "Teach a Friend to Home Brew Day," and the Oregon Brew Crew will be on hand to get you started.

IMPROVISATIONAL ACTING CLASSES

Improv is the acting equivalent of tightrope walking without a net. You're performing, but making everything up on the spot, which can be tremendously challenging, exhilarating, and very rewarding. Jumping around and acting all crazy can be wonderfully liberating, and when it's in front of a group of people who are on the same wavelength, it's a great confidence booster, too.

The Brody Theater, like many improv groups around the country, uses its classes as both an introduction for newcomers, and a training ground for serious improvisers who hope to eventually perform with the company. At the very least, the Brody is one of the more energetic and innovative improv groups you'll find, and that spirit is intoxicating no matter what your level of intensity or focus. JWS III

The Brody Fall introductory class has already begun but has only been going for a week. See if you can talk them in to joining. The Brody also gives "creativity and team building" workshops for groups or businesses, as well as other improv-based workshops throughout the year. Check out www.brodytheater.com for the full skinny.

BOXING CLASSES

Boxing is easily one of the most misunderstood sports. Besides being one of the fastest ways to get into, not just good, but remarkable shape, boxing combines body control, style, balance, and most of all controlled emotions. Take back your life and work off some steam at the Dishman, where knowledgeable instructors teach you boxing technique, heavy bag, jump rope, and speed bag--without ever having to lay a glove on another persons face. WSH

Co-ed Boxing Conditioning Class, Dishman Community Center, 77 NE Knott, 823-3186. The fall two-month class starts on November 17, and costs $50. Sign up now, these classes fill up fast!

DANCE CLASSES

"We support all phases of a working artist in dance," says co-director Tere Mathern of Conduit Dance, Inc. , a non-profit dance studio/theater space. Conduit does this by providing all manner of classes to those seeking instruction as well as renting out performance space to dancers and choreographers putting together their own shows. In the past they have focused on dancers at the semi-professional and professional levels but are working on building resources for people who have never studied dance before. JBR

If you're interested in any aspect of dance, contact them for more information at econduit@earthlink.net, 221-5857, or check out www.conduit-pdx.org .

SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING CLASSES

Synchro Swimmers always look like they're passing a bowling ball through their urethra. But you'd look a little odd too if you tried to run for a minute at top speed while holding your breath! SS is a fun/wet sport for those who want build power, strength and grace; and use unflavored gelatin in their hair instead of hair gel, wear scads of makeup and suit up in amazingly sparkly costumes. Christina Todd, who teaches one of the only adult synchro swimming classes in Portland, says it's a great way to stay healthy while having a lot of fun. She's really excited about the sport and welcomes all women AND MEN to get involved! BB

Contact Christina Todd, 503-680-5054, cntodd@aol.com

COCKTAIL CLASSES

You want to talk style, talk to the 820 Lounge over on North Russell. This relatively new cocktail bar is as pleasantly chi-chi as they come, and what's more, they teach cocktail classes revealing the secret recipes to their insanely wonderful drinks. Want to make the perfect Avocado Daquiri at home, or whip up a Lucy's Sidecar to impress a handsome date? No problem. It'll cost you $50 for one class, but the skills you'll learn are invaluable and I guarantee, once you start serving up the 820s "O" cocktail, you'll be getting laid a lot more often. KS

Call the 820 at 460-0820 to sign up for an hour and a half class, which takes place on the last Sunday of every month.

COOKING CLASSES

Does your idea of home cooking involve stirring cheese-flavored powder into noodles? Do your cook books read like ancient hieroglyphics? Local caterer Jen Louis with Culinary Artistry helps decipher the wonders of savory cooking with private classes from truffle making to wine tasting. 1406 SE Stark, 232-4675

Across town, In Good Taste actually brings cookbook authors and famous chefs into the store to teach "demo" classes--that's right, you don't even have to cook! Sit back, watch them cook, and eat up the results. They also have hands-on classes, from basic skills (like how to correctly mince garlic) to more dynamic talents (like whipping up a plate of Pinot Noir Braised Pork with wild-mushroom polenta and a side of fall greens dribbled with a hazelnut vinaigrette). PB

For more information call 248-2015 or check out ingoodtastestore.com

WRITING WORKSHOPS

The need to write is a burning pressure in the brain--but even the most prolific writers get "Writer's Block." It can be hard to get those juices flowing, no matter how great the desire. To avoid the writing equivalent of blue balls, try some stimulating writing classes.

Budding poets should head for the Mountain Writers Center, which offers poetry courses on every topic from appreciation ("Developing Your Ear"), to turning your collection of poetry into a full-blown manuscript ("Developing Your First Poetry Book Manuscript"). None of these classes, it should be said, actually teach you how to write a poem.

The MWC, however, has classes that DO teach you to write memoirs, short fiction, and in France ("Writer's Workshop in France"). Or, for slightly more specific writing themes, head for the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis & Clark College, where you can take "Bearing Witness: Writing and Social Justice," and "The Healing Power of Story." JWS III

Most of the Mountain Writers Center's classes start the first or second week of October and cost $230, call 236-4854 or visit mountainwriters.org for more info; The Northwest Writing Institute's classes start at different times throughout October and into November and run you $250, call 768-6160 for more info.