In a class of their own
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.
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.