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Taking Class Action : From romance to rocks, there are lots of courses for improving yourself in '94.

January 07, 1994|JOHN MORELL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; John Morell is a frequent contributor to The Times

The party's over, and the New Year's decorations are just beginning to collect dust. It's time to make good on some of those reso lutions, including that promise you made to improve yourself.

Here is a compilation of local classes to help you follow through:

Now You See It . . .: Packaged as "Magic: The Ultimate Sales Tool," two classes will show you how to add some dazzle to speeches and business presentations. In "Close-Up Magic," students learn the basics of card, coin and ball tricks designed to fool a small group. "Stand-Up Magic" focuses on tricks for large audiences and developing a performance style.

Cal State Northridge, Office of Continuing Education. Each class is $140. "Close-Up Magic" occurs over six Tuesdays from Feb. 15 through March 22. "Stand-Up Magic" will meet six Tuesdays from April 5 through May 10. Both will meet from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Up Against the Wall: Take a look inside some of the more fashionable homes in the area, and you'll probably see wall glazing, a painting style that gives flat walls a subtle, textured effect. Most glazing techniques aren't difficult to learn, which is why "Decorative Wall Glazing Techniques" may be a great course to take before tackling a spring painting project.

Students will be taught how to rag-roll and sponge paint, select a pattern and color scheme and create the right visual effect.

Learning Tree University. $95 plus $35 for materials. 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for two Saturdays, Jan. 22 and 29.

Music of the Night: There seem to be two kinds of people, those who love opera and those who'd rather sit on a nail for three hours. A few people are on the fence, which is why there's "What's All the Screaming About?"

This course is designed to give the individual with little or no knowledge of opera some appreciation and insight into a frequently misunderstood art form. Students will learn some of the history of opera, as well as how to make sense of the madness on stage.

Pierce College Extension. $45, $40 for senior citizens 60 and older; 7 to 9 p.m. over six Mondays, Feb. 14 through March 28.

Scribbled Success: "Cartoon and Humorous Illustration" will teach you how to create and market panel cartoons and comic strips.

Students learn the basics of drawing and lettering, how to develop humorous and realistic characters and how to sell their work.

Learning Tree University. $139. 8 to 9:50 p.m. over eight Tuesdays, beginning Tuesday through March 1.

I Left My Heart in San Fernando . . . : You've driven along Pacific Coast Highway at sunset and looked at the city lights from Mulholland. What else is there for a romantic couple to do? In "Romancing the Southland," find out about the secret hideaways that lovers tend to keep for themselves.

Valley College Community Services. $29 plus $3 for materials. 7 to 10 p.m. Feb. 8.

Like a Rock: When you look at a rock, do you see a doorstop or a potential piece of art? If you take the artistic view, you may want to take "The Art of Stone Carving."

Students will learn the structural concepts in the creation of an abstract stone sculpture, as well as carving techniques.

Learning Tree University. $159 plus about $75 for materials. 9 a.m. to noon for six Saturdays, Jan. 15 through Feb. 19.

Master the Pen: Is your handwriting beginning to resemble your doctor's? It may be time to take "Spencerian Script/Ornamental Penmanship." Using a script style devised almost a century ago by Platt Rogers Spencer, you'll find out how to turn letters into keepsakes. Students will use oblique penholders with straight nibs, and there's no need for previous calligraphy experience.

Pierce College Extension. $62, $57 for senior citizens 60 and older. 7 to 9:30 p.m. for seven Tuesdays, Feb. 8 through April 5.

The Next Light Bulb: Think you have the next big invention amid all the clutter in your garage? Enroll in "Inventor's Workshop: Marketing Your Ideas and Inventions." It will show you how to create a prototype of an invention, how to estimate costs and feasibility of your project and, most important, how to protect--and sell--your invention.

Learning Tree University. $69. 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 5.

Hear My Song: Although you may have given up on the dream of taking home a Grammy, you can still earn praise by singing in public.

"Karaoke Fun" is designed for people who love to sing, even if they can't hit a note. Students will learn basic vocal techniques and voice exercises, as well as how to develop a stage presence.

Valley College Community Services. $49 plus $5 for materials. 7 to 9 p.m. for six Thursdays, Feb. 17 through March 24.

The Romance Is Back: Not many television programs had the impact of "Beauty and the Beast." Although this series about unconsummated love was short-lived, its thousands of loyal fans felt a huge loss when the show was canceled by CBS.

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