It's September, which means we're in for lots of football, dying leaves, and the return of Spider Man folders stuffed with algebra equations and emo lyrics: school is back! Maybe not for you. Maybe you graduated, dropped out, or -- more likely being that this is Park Slope -- earned approximately two-to-three too many unmarketable degrees. But, you'll never grow if you don't learn, so you should never stop learning. And as we all momentarily believe after a Democratic National Convention, education is the great leg up in America. So, improve yourself. Add a wrinkle to your grey matter. Receive some undeserved praise from an underpaid instructor. Take a class! Check out some of the Park Slope and area options below. As with much else, Brooklyn is simply teeming with opportunities to smartify yourself:
* Friday, Sept. 14: Uke Can Do It!, Jalopy: It's not just hipsters who want to play adorable, old-fashioned stringed instruments. Many accomplished musicians with jeans that fit normally also wield the banjo, mandolin, finger-picked guitar -- and the grandorable of them all, the ukulele. And Jalopy Theater and School of Music, snuggled just off the olde tyme BQE, employs some of the best string slingers in BK. Beginning uke courses tune up on Fridays, with many other classes (in guitar, banjo, songwriting, mouth harp, dance, and more old tyme sound-makin') at other times. 7pm-8pm, 8 wks, $245.
* Sunday, Sept. 16: Beyond the S'more, BK Brainery: The Brooklyn Brainery always puts together a wide variety of learnings, but this one should stand out to you BK foodies: get snooty about campfire cooking. Yep, the last bastion of the hot dog and the s'more gets fancy. Really, though, it's about old-fashioned open-flame techniques that should kick your kitchen-ninja status up a belt. 11am-3pm, $50.
* Week of Sept. 17: 4-Wk Poetry Workshop, Sackett Street Writer's Workshop (Red Hook): Writers are to Brooklyn as indie band members are to Brooklyn. It's like we're replicating -- and in Park Slope, that's literally true, with word-heads like Jonathan Safran Foer and Nicole Strauss popping out little scribes to one day wax nostalgic about life in the Brooklyn suburbs. Less famously, many grads and educators from top MFA programs call the borough of Whitman home, which makes for an excellent talent pool for the faculty of Sackett Street Writer's Workshop, headed by Julia Fierro (who herself MFA'd at the grandaddy, the Iowa Writer's Workshop). This poetry workshop will help you experiment with verse, in the classic workshop atmosphere. Taught by Ted Thompson, another Iowa alum. Check out the many other courses in fiction, MFA apps, and more. Weekday (TBA), 7:30-9:30pm, $425.
* Wednesday, Sept. 19: Intro to Makeup, Third Ward: Your face is like the resume of your head. It's the first thing people notice and it guides their impression of you and their questions about why you studied classics and American history. Did you want to be a teacher or something? Sorry, got off track. The point is, people look at your face and then make decisions about you with important implications for the future achievements of your bank account and/or genitals. Learn how to paint that head-resume right with professional make-up techniques from NY Emmy Award-winner, Roberto Casey. Two Wednesdays, (Sept 19 and 26), 7-10pm, $120-150.
* Wednesday, Sept. 19: Cardio Tasting, Dance Studio of Park Slope: This is New York, and no one wants to get tied down -- to a job, to a significant other, and least of all, to an exercise program. Not when there's world-class theater to be avoided by watching HBO! So, give a dance/workout class a toe-tip with this $5 "class tasting" for Cardio Dance. You can also let your limbs attempt ballet, tap, kickboxing, and the Running Man (maybe) for full price. 6:45 pm, $5.
* Thursday, Sept. 21: Orgami, Taro's Studio: Yeah. There are origami classes in Park Slope. Just take a minute and think about the fact that you live in a place where you can do just about any random thing. Then, sign up for this, learn to fold giraffes and crabs and things, and then have a go-to thing to do during any awkward lulls on your next date. Thursdays, 6:30-7:30pm, $25.
* Sunday, Sept. 23: Art of the Blowjob, Babeland: Oh, hey. Remember how I told you that it was cool you could learn about anything in Park Slope, including stuff that would be good on dates? So, here's a blowjob class. 7:30-9:30pm, $35.
* Monday, Sept. 24: Braaaaainy Social Science, BK Institute for Social Research: Miss those heady humanities seminars from your useless master's degree? Want to tune up those flabby close-reading muscles? Here's the spot to do it. The Institute, modeled vaguely after Frankfurt's famous Institute for Social Research, exists to brings liberal arts ed to the BK community. Accomplished scholars and scholars-to-be head the courses, including this one on zombies, replete with great academic words like "identity" and "contemporary representation" and "agency" and wholly Van Halen reference, look at the video of the instructor, I think I'm in love. (Hey, it never hurts when your teacher is crush-worthy.) The class examines stories, secondary readings, and, natch, zombie flicks! -- screenings included in the tuition. Runs for 6 weeks, on Mondays, 7-9pm, $315.
* DAILY: Cupcakery, Butterlane: These sell out quickly, so snap 'em up! You'll learn to make the happiest little collection of sugar and color this side of a Peep. Various times, $60.