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  • 400 Souls—Building a Slave Society in Real Time

    We will explore the meteoric rise of American chattel slavery from 1619–1861 through economic, historical, legal, political, religious and scientific lenses provided in the book Four Hundred Souls. This epic one-volume “community” history of African Americans, edited by Ibram Kendi and Keisha Blain, includes essays by 90 different writers. We will apply these perspectives to increase our understanding of the current racially polarized historical moment.
  • A Pain in the Neck (and how to get rid of it)

    Stretches alone won’t eliminate your neck aches and pains. The neck muscles and tissues need to be strengthened to support the load of the head and better your posture. We will use therapy balls, blocks, straps, and the wall among other props to do exercises and sequences to bring awareness and strengthen neck muscles and shoulder joints, and rewire the load we place in our tissues around the area. Many exercises will be supine, some sitting, and others standing. Open to anyone and everyone who wants to learn how to decompress, relax, and apply easy techniques to feel better in one of the areas where we hold the most tension. All mobility/fitness levels are welcome. Please note: Students must bring the following to class: Yoga mat Yoga belt/long strap/belt Theraband/resistance band Tennis ball/therapy ball Yoga bolster or firm cushion
  • A Taste of Thai Cooking

    Thai cuisine is filled with aromatic herbs and spices that contribute to its unique and delicious flavors. Join us to explore fresh interpretations of traditional Thai recipes that you can replicate at home. We will make a full Thai meal, starting with a warming and colorful Thai coconut soup. For the main course we’ll create the popular stir fry noodle dish pad thai. Dessert will be a simple and refreshing no-churn mango ice cream.
  • Adult, Infant & Child CPR with AED

    This American Heart Association Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED course trains participants to provide first aid, CPR, and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) in a safe, timely, and effective manner. Expect to learn about adult and child CPR and AED use, infant CPR, first aid basics including choking, medical emergencies, injury emergencies, environmental emergencies, preventing illness and injury, and opioid-associated life-threatening emergencies. This intensive three-hour course is for anyone with little or no medical training. Participants will be emailed a course completion card, valid for two years. Educators and students can register at a reduced rate. Please register first and then email us within 24 hours and we will refund you for the amount.
  • Charles Smith (flickr) (CC BY 2.0)

    Advanced Running

    So you’ve run a 5K—now what? You liked training for a three mile race and are ready to take your running to the next level but don’t know how? Whether you want to run a five miler, a 10K, or a half marathon and beyond, this course will teach you how to safely achieve your fitness goals. Coach Gaggi will give you a custom training program based on your running goals and check in with you weekly to keep you on track. Extra “homework” with strength exercises will be included. Most classes meet at Spy Pond. Prerequisite: For the 3 months before the start of the class, you need to have consistently run 3 times a week with at least 2-3 non-stop miles per run, totalling at least 6-9 weekly miles. If you don’t have a solid base for this course, you may get injured. Start logging your miles today!
  • American Mah Jongg

    Learn to play this fun and fascinating game that combines a Chinese set of tiles with American rules and strategy. You will need your own official 2023 National Mah Jongg League card, which can be ordered when you register. Beginner: We will cover the fundamentals of the game, progressing through familiarity with the tiles, building the wall, understanding the Charleston series of tile exchanges, and learning the hands. Strategic Play: For players who already know all the rules and can play mah jongg independently. We will cover offensive and defensive strategies, focusing on improving your ability to find the right hand, decide when to change hands, determine your opponents’ hands, and know how to thwart them. NOTE: You will need a 2024 National Mah Jongg League official card, if you don’t have one. Please select the $15 option online during registration.
  • American Sign Language (ASL)

    Signing is a useful skill that can open up a new world of relationships and understanding. Level 1 (Absolute Beginner): Learn the ASL manual alphabet, numbers, greetings, basic signs, and ASL grammar basics. This class is for absolute beginners only. Level 2: Low Beginner: For students who have completed the Level 1 class or have similar experience with letters, numbers, and basic signs. Further increase your vocabulary and get introduced to verbs and adjectives. Level 2: High Beginner: A refresher and skill-building class for students who have taken Level 1 and have firm knowledge of basic vocabulary. Strengthen your vocabulary, speak instructor-to-student and student-to-student with full sentence work, and practice in day-to-day signing situations. Level 3: (Intermediate): For those who have completed Level 2 and want to further increase vocabulary and grammar skills. Learn more advanced vocabulary, converse in the classroom with only ASL, and learn about Deaf culture and history. Note: Students will be required to purchase a book for the class: Barron's American Sign Language: A Comprehensive Guide to ASL 1 and 2 with Online Video Practice illustrated edition
  • An Introduction to Chinese History

    Take a thematic tour of the vast and fascinating world of Chinese history through space and time. Each session will showcase the complexity and diversity of the subject with informal lectures, discussions, and suggested readings on topics from Warring States Philosophy to Tang Poetry. Get an overview of different historical periods as well as suggestions for how to learn more about whichever things interest you the most.
  • Arabic: Levantine Spoken

    This course is for those who have some familiarity with Levantine Arabic. Considered one of the major varieties of Arabic, “Levantine” refers to the spoken variety of Arabic among the eastern Mediterranean coast, which includes Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine. More informal than Modern Standard Arabic, this dialect is used in the home, among friends, and has become the chosen language for many television series. We will discuss various everyday topics, with some focus on grammatical structures.
  • Arabic: Modern Standard

    Originating in the 6th century, the Arabic language has become one of the most widely spoken and recognizable languages in the world today. This version of Arabic is the formal language of news, media, and books. These classes are taught by a native speaker. Level 1: This beginning level class introduces the 28 Arabic letters and focuses on basic reading and writing skills through an interactive and practical instructional method. Some basic everyday vocabulary and conversations such as greetings and courtesy expressions are also part of the course. Level 3: Expand your Arabic proficiency. This course will put your conjugation and other grammar skills to use as you learn to write more elaborate paragraphs.
  • Astrology for Beginners

    Understanding your astrology chart can help you build on your natural skills and abilities and reveal when to explore the most opportune moments for progress in your life. Learn how to read your unique birth chart and gain understanding of the meaning behind signs and houses and placement of each planet. We will study the aspects and interactions between planets, stars, and personality and learn how to interpret each placement in your chart to discover the key to development of your natural abilities and personality traits.
  • Auto Repair for Everyone

    Join us for this information-packed lecture/demonstration and build confidence in your ability to diagnose car problems and communicate with auto repair professionals. Get a general overview of major systems of an automobile from an experienced mechanic and instructor who can make all things automotive both fun and clear. We will cover basic maintenance; discuss common problems; and troubleshoot ignition, charging, cooling, fluids, electrical, brakes, and exhaust systems.
  • Backpacking 101 for Women

    Interested in backpacking but unsure about what you need or how to plan for getting yourself out on a trail for a few days? Learn more about the what, how, and why of backpacking from a pair of experienced long-distance thru-hikers. These indoor, hands-on sessions are suited for beginners as well as more experienced trail enthusiasts who want a refresher or an infusion of trail mojo. Learn how to plan a safe excursion, choose proper gear and clothing, and pack food and filter water.In addition, we will share simple mindfulness concepts that can result in a greater experience of awe in nature. This program is inclusive of individuals identifying as transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming.
  • Backyard Bird Song Identification

    Have you ever wondered if that “tweet” is from a cardinal or a chickadee? Learn what our feathered friends are saying to you! Start with a few basic bird songs as a reference, then add to your repertoire with repetition and practice. You’ll learn the types of sound birds make and why they make them and explore common bird songs heard here in Massachusetts. We’ll focus on 10–15 different birds each class. Time spent outdoors will become even more enjoyable with your new understanding and appreciation of birdsong. Note: Have handy a notebook, pen, and a bird book if you have one.
  • Bakery Box: Biscotti & Italian Cookies

    Discover the satisfaction of baking your own Italian cookies and bring home a box of sweet treats that will rival what you can buy in the North End. Together, we’ll make a variety of classic Italian cookies: crispy, dunkable twice-baked biscotti; soft and pillowy ricotta cookies; crunchy and fragrant sesame cookies; amaretti cookies bursting with almond flavor; and rustic, buttery Venetian currant and cornmeal cookies.
  • Ballroom Dance

    Enjoy some of ballroom’s most popular social dances. Whether you want to float like Fred and Ginger or put a little sexy hip action into those Latin dances, come join in the dancing fun. Couples and singles welcome. Beginning: We will break down the basics of footwork, musicality, and partnering in swing, salsa, rumba, and more. Two left feet? No rhythm? No problem! Once you learn the basic steps, you’ll be able to spice up any dance floor you step on. Continuing: Ready to move past the basics? We will cover a variety of moves like crossovers, turns, and combinations to up your dance game. We will also dive into more styling and technique, to give you a more polished look. Please note: If attending as a couple, both dancers must register individually.
  • Banjo

    Learn to play the banjo in the old time clawhammer style. Beginning: For beginners and those with a bit of experience. We’ll start with right hand technique and chords. The goal will be to learn a handful of melodies that people actually play in open G and, hopefully, in double C and G modal tuning. Learning by ear will be stressed but handouts of banjo tab will also be available. Continuing: For clawhammer banjo players who can already play at least a handful of tunes and who are looking to learn more in G, G modal, and in double C tuning. We will focus on the right hand technique as well so that you can get the best sound that you can. Note: Students must bring their own banjo.
  • Basket Weaving Workshop

    While it is an ancient art, basket making is a tradition that continues to thrive today. Learn the basics of basketry and craft your own functional and versatile basket. Topics covered include reed sizing, styles, design of baskets, techniques for creating the base, shaping, continuous weaving, and lashing. Your finished basket will be approximately 6-8" at the base and 5-7" tall, perfect as a fruit basket, bread basket, or to hold trinkets or small books around the house. Add a plastic liner and you can use it as a decorative plant container. Please note: Some grip strength is required for this class.
  • Beginner Green Wood Carving

    Carving fresh, found wood into useful objects is a fun, relaxing, satisfying hobby. We will cover an overview of “green” woodworking, including tools, materials, process, technique, and safety. We will talk through the early part of the process of turning a log into a rough carving blank with an axe. Then you will learn safe, effective knife grips so you can carve your project. We’ll wrap up with a discussion on finishing touches, decoration possibilities, and how to continue in the craft. Class fees include all materials needed, as well as use of loaner tools. Butter spreader/cheese knife: Wooden spreaders, present in nearly every Swedish kitchen, were traditionally hand-carved. Yours will be great for spreading butter, but also for soft, medium, and crumbly cheeses. This single-session class is perfect for complete beginners. Wooden spoon: The serving spoons we’ll make have an extra large bowl for generous helpings and a stout handle for ease of use. Some experience woodworking, carving, or in other hand crafts would be beneficial for this two-night class.
  • Beginning Brioche

    Expand your baking skills with the fundamentals of brioche-based pastry—from dough preparation and cutting, weighing, and shaping, to filling the pastries with chocolate, cherry, apricot, and other fillings. We will make several shapes such as buttery, caramelized French kouign-amann; sweet, braided mini-babka; and various filled buns. Bake your delectable pastries with the experts at the artisan bakery, Bread Obsession, and take them home to share with your sweetheart. All levels welcome. Please note: Participants will need to wear a head covering (scarf or baseball hat).
  • Beginning Jewelry: Sterling Silver Bangles

    Learn to make a set of textured bangle bracelets, one in sterling silver, one in bronze, and three in copper. Develop fabrication skills, including measuring, texturing, filing, forming, soldering, and tumbler finishing. All materials will be provided, including sterling silver, bronze, copper, solder, and sandpaper.
  • Beginning Jewelry: Sterling Silver Pendant

    Create a beautiful sterling silver pendant with a bezel-set cabochon stone as you learn basic metal working techniques. Develop fabrication skills including: drilling, sawing/piercing, filing and multiple soldering techniques; satin finishing; and setting the stone. All materials will be provided, including sterling silver, fine silver bezel, many different 16mm round stones to choose from, copper, and more. Please note: In the event that a makeup class is needed, it will be held Tuesday, June 18.
  • Beginning Jewelry: Sterling Silver Ring

    Learn fundamental techniques for designing and fabricating a sterling silver textured band ring. Making a perfect circular form is one of the most basic and important skills in jewelry making. You’ll receive step-by-step instructions in texturing, filing, forming, soldering, sanding, and polishing your ring. All materials will be provided, including sterling silver, copper, and more.
  • Beginning Salsa

    Spice up your week by learning how to groove and spin your way into Latin dance. In addition to focusing on the vibrant and passionate rhythms of salsa, we will also explore related styles that you may come across during a salsa night—the upbeat merengue and the slow and sultry bachata. No previous dance experience necessary. We will start from basics and build to combos. Couples and singles welcome. Please note: If attending as a couple, both dancers must register individually.