I couldn't sleep last night, so I got up for awhile and was reading a pamphlet for the fall 2011 schedule of non-credited classes at our local college. Do you ever read those things? Some of the courses sound like they'd be a lot of fun. There's a wildlife photography one where they take you to a location with an exotic animal. You take pictures of it and then go back to class and they critique your work. That sounds like it would be a blast because they list Siberian tigers, mountain lions, snow leopards, Canadian Lynx, and predators like that. I would love to do something like that, but don't have the $139 for a one-time class.
However, some of the courses are pretty silly. We always used to joke about Underwater Basket Weaving courses, but in my pamphlet there's one called Pine Needle Basket Weaving. Seriously! For just under $60, you can spend two days learning how to weave Ponderosa pine needles together. I laughed when I saw there was a two day class called Blogging Bootcamp -- for $99! There's a $50 one day class called Facebook Basics. I suppose there are people who need these classes, but man, they're getting hosed on the fees. I'm no rocket scientist and I didn't go to college, but I certainly didn't need to spend $50-100 to learn how to blog or use Facebook. People must be willing to pay those prices, which is the amazing part.
Some courses make total sense for northwestern Montana, such as Animal Tracking & Sign Interpretation or Astronomy for Montana Skies or Wilderness First Aid. Other classes I understand like Modern Home Canning, Cake Decorating, and the Western Two-Step. But Intermediate Bridge? Why isn't there a Beginner's Bridge class? Or spending $69 for a class that basically runs you through National Novel Writer's Month? Really? One of the best ones was called Online Fitness Class. Yes, for a mear $94, you too can lose weight and keep it off forever! Just pay us money and read our information online. It's just amazing. I know people like being in the class setting and maybe they get more out of this than if they learned something on their own or read a book. However, a book would be cheaper. Do you really need to spend $59 to learn how to run? Heck, a good pair of running shoes will set you back that much.