If you are anything like me, you never quite got over school. September brings with it a certain sense of a new year, a desire to do something new and inspiring with your mind or body. Perhaps the festival season is one manifestation of that, too. A yearning to find a channel for that autumnal energy. As we see at the checkouts of newsagents, the ever-increasing number of evening courses, even in these lean times, seems to indicate that a great many people are still looking for new hobbies or new education at this time of the year.
I am not going to do a post on all evening courses available out there, because Dave and Claire would get angry with me for hogging the blog for the next year, at which point I'd have to start over again. I have, however, trawled through the selection of the largest institutions of the city and reviewed their offerings. What follows is an entirely subjective list of courses that I found appealing and/or quirky.
Dublin City University: No evening courses. (My own university. I remain disappointed.)
Dublin Institute of Technology: No evening courses. (For shame.)
National College of Art and Design: Unfortunately the last date for application for their evening courses was 7 September. Apologies for missing this one.
Trinity College: Now we're talking. TCD's evening course selection remains respectable from year to year, and, in fairness, mostly unchanged. There are lots of languages - from ancient Classical ones to Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Turkish and Korean - and plenty of activity from the departments of Classics, History and Religions and Theology. For me, what stands out from the selection is an intriguing-sounding course on Magic. I for one am looking forward to Advanced Thaumaturgy next year.
University College Dublin: The most massive selection of evening courses, presented online in a slightly difficult pdf format, which means I can't link to individual courses. However, here my eye was caught by Revolutionary States: Home Rule & Modern Ireland, taught by the Curator of Education and staff of the Hugh Lane Gallery, Discovering Dublin from the archaeological perspective, A History of Irish Theatre in Ten Scandals, Folklore: The Supernatural World (I hope they work with the Leprechaun Museum), Magic, Heresy and Witchcraft in the Medieval times, Popular Literature. In the spring semester, we have A History of Irish Food and Reading Paris: A Literary Tour from Balzac to Rimbaud. There is medieval history available throughout the year, including a module on medieval war and society, which promises to investigate where some of the influences on A Game of Thrones came from. In the third semester, I see Hellfire Clubs in Eighteenth Century Ireland and A History of Hidden Dublin from Monto to Little Jerusalem.
Phew. Now go get yourselves some education!