In a class of their own

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - SOCIAL - Katie Byrne

With the new school term just around the cor­ner, the an­nual evening class rush has be­gun. Ama­teur en­thu­si­asts come out in force at this time of the year as they sign up for classes in every­thing from French to pho­tog­ra­phy, cook­ery to karate.

If Jan­uary is the month that we whit­tle our waist­lines, September is the month that we widen our op­tions and aug­ment our CVs.

But what about the fel­low stu­dents? Evening classes cer­tainly of­fer a so­cial out­let but it’s im­por­tant to know who ex­actly you’ll be so­cial­is­ing with.

New to the whole evening class thing? Here are five char­ac­ters you are sure to meet.

THE LONELY HEART

Dis­en­chanted by dat­ing apps and per­pet­u­ally dis­ap­pointed by blind dates, the lonely heart has de­cided to lis­ten to that well-mean­ing aunt who told her that the evening class scene is FULL of el­i­gi­ble men.

Truth be told, she has no real in­ter­est in taek­wondo but maybe the gen­der dis­par­ity could work in her favour and be­sides, white has al­ways been her colour.

Drops out six weeks later when Jean-Claude Van Damme fails to walk through the door. (The an­kle sprain doesn’t help mat­ters.) THE KNOW-IT-ALL

The know-it-all spends the bet­ter part of the In­tro­duc­tion to Piano class wav­ing his arm in the air. He likes to show­case his vast knowledge by way of state­ments that mas­quer­ade as ques­tions, and he es­pe­cially likes the sound of his own voice.

“Was Chopin in­flu­enced by John Field?” he asks as his class­mates butcher ‘Twin­kle Twin­kle Lit­tle Star’. “Did Bach’s wife com­pose some of his bet­ter works?” he won­ders out loud as ev­ery­one else strug­gles to find mid­dle-c.

The know-it-all thinks of him­self as an undis­cov­ered mu­si­cal sa­vant. The rest of the class think of him as an in­suf­fer­able pain.

THE EA­GER BEAVER

The in­struc­tor lead­ing the Wa­ter­colours for Be­gin­ners course told her stu­dents that they only needed to buy ba­sic ma­te­ri­als. The over-ea­ger stu­dent pre­tended not to hear.

Af­ter all, he’s al­ways liked the idea of own­ing a full-size French-style easel, and he’s long flirted with the idea of wear­ing a jaunty black beret.

As the first to ar­rive and the last to leave, the ea­ger beaver can be­come a bit of a nui­sance, es­pe­cially when he does home­work when he isn’t asked to. At the same time, it’s hard to get an­noyed with some­one who has clearly con­fused his lo­cal com­mu­nity cen­tre with a School of Fine Art.

THE TOURIST

This char­ac­ter was all-smiles dur­ing the first Ukulele for Be­gin­ners class but then, mys­te­ri­ously, she dis­ap­peared and never came back.

This will prob­a­bly seem like strange be­hav­iour to those who paid their de­posits well in ad­vance. Those who have been around the evening course block, how­ever, will know that there’s a one-night-won­der in ev­ery class.

The tourist likes the idea of evening classes — the more un­usual or avant garde the bet­ter. Only then she re­mem­bers that hard work is nec­es­sary too and, as much as she loves her new fenc­ing gear, she’d much rather be ly­ing on the couch scrolling aim­lessly through the night­courses.com web­site.

Maybe she’ll give the In­tro­duc­tion to Phi­los­o­phy class a go next week.

THE SO­CIAL BUT­TER­FLY

This un­usu­ally out­go­ing per­son ini­ti­ates post­class pints at the first class… and the sec­ond one… and the third one. On first im­pres­sions, you think he’s a free-spir­ited gad­about and/or a high-func­tion­ing al­co­holic.

With time you re­alise he’s a brow­beaten fa­ther-of-four who is de­ter­mined to ex­ploit his one and only hall pass of the week.

Pints?

Any­one?

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