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When the students are away, learn to cook, make a film, or get in shape.

In the second part of our look at educational vacations, we've collected a batch of challenging self-improvement opportunities to learn a new trade in preparation for possible career change, brush up on an old skill, examine great literary works, get in shape, and travel.

Smith College's Fitness Camp

Think of it as your own personal training camp, with out the drug tests and steroid rage. This eight-year-old camp is the perfect excuse to jump-start your fitness regimen, learn a new activity or improve your tennis score. Participants can take instructional programs, opt for fitness or sports medicine evaluations and try out recreational activities and sports that you're curious about, from aerobics to croquet to kayaking to yoga. The website describes the camp as "a vacation with a purpose . . . We believe that a full, active lifestyle leads to healthy, happy and productive people." Though Smith, located in Northampton, Massachusetts, is a women's college, the camp is open to men, too. Activities start at the very early hour of 7am and run to 5pm for a social hour before dinner and then activities such as games, ballroom dancing or a lifestyle clinic occupy the evening. Dates run from Sunday, June 12 to Saturday June 18; tuition is $1150, and includes instruction, activities, room and board. Registration form is available on the website.

Adult Sports and Fitness Camp, Ainsworth/Scott Gym, Smith College. Northampton, MA 01063; tel. 413/585-3970; e-mail: dsiegel@smith.edu; website: www.science.smith/edu/exer_sci/Camp

Summer In Greenwich Village

No matter what your age, at New York University there are a myriad cultural learning opportunities. Through the Special Programs office at Tisch School of the Arts, high school and college students can choose from cinema studies, dance, stage design, film and television, performance studies, drama, dramatic writing, among others. But for working adults, their film studies program offers the greatest promise. Geared toward professionals and educators, you can choose from three different opportunities to improve all sorts of film-related skills, from writing to producing. From July 5-July 22, Monday through Friday, enroll in the workshop called Visual Storytelling: An Introduction to Film & Video Production for Educators. It's made for teachers who want to learn more about video production, filmmaking technologies to enhance their curriculum. In three weeks you will write, shoot, and edit a film. Tuition, registration and other fees runs $2,799; lab and insurance fees: $420 and housing varies, if you are coming from out of town. Tisch introduces two new programs this summer: Dublin Master Workshops in Producing and Screenwriting, and a Film Certificate program. The Dublin, Ireland producing workshop runs from May 9-20, at the cost of 1500€ and involves the rudiments of film production, including weekly projects. Please note that these Dublin programs are open only to European students. The Screenwriting workshop, also 1500€, begins June 6-17 and aims to provide students with a good working knowledge of how to approach the craft of screenwriting from the idea generating stage to looking for an agent. Both take place at Tisch Dublin in Temple Bar, the lively, arts-and-nightlife district of the country's capital city. If you want to stay a little closer to home and are looking for a certificate, you can study with award-wining professionals and faculty members at the alma mater of Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese and Amy Heckerling and obtain a film certificate in one of four areas: filmmaking, digital filmmaking, producing and screenwriting. Choose from the May 16-June 24 session, or June 24-August 5. Courses available in both sessions include Beginning Digital Video Production, Beginning Film Production, Intermediate Film Production Workshop, Cinematographer's Workshop, and Documentary Workshop are all $3,500 with a $420 lab and insurance fee. Writing for the Screen, Seminar in Script Analysis and Producing for Film and Television are $1,650. Roughly speaking, on-campus housing runs from $142 a week to $378 per week including meals; check out www.nyu.edu/housing/summer.

Office of Special Programs, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, 721 Broadway, 12th floor New York, NY 10003; tel. 212-998-1500; e-mail: tisch.special.info@nyu.edu; website: http://specialprograms.tisch.nyu.edu/object/sumnyc.html; click on "programs for educators" on the lefthand side.

July Jazz Getaway in PA

Moravian College, the country's sixth oldest liberal arts college in the country, is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, nestled in the mountains of the Lehigh Valley. Started in 1993, the camp gives adult amateur musicians the opportunity to hone their chops by taking classes and clinics with Moravian music department faculty and guest artist Bud Shank, an alto saxophonist. Shank is a charter member of the West Coast jazz movement and gained prominence in the late 1940s big bands of Charlie Barnet and Stan Kenton. Musicians explore a range of genres, from be-bop to swing to fusion, Latin and more. There are opportunities for performance, both as a participant and a viewer. Past guest artists have included Rufus Reid, Wycliffe Gordon, Clark Terry and Stanley Turrentine. The workshop runs from July 10-16, 2005 and costs vary. For a commuter who doesn't need meals: $640 for; tuition; $750 covers tuition plus lunch and dinner. If you're not within commuting distance (fyi: Bethlehem is about sixty miles north of Philadelphia and about ninety miles west of New York City), the cost for tuition, housing and three meals a day is $850.

July Jazz Getaway, Moravian College Music Department, Bethlehem, PA 18018; tel. 610/861-1650; e-mail: jjg@moravian.edu; website: www.julyjazzgetaway.org

Colby Summer Institute

If your idea of good summer reading does not including lounging poolside or with a trashy novel, then you'll love the Great Books discussion series at Colby College in idyllic Waterville, Maine. If you aren't able to travel, you can join one of more than a half a dozen "councils" Founded in 1947, the great books Foundation's goal is to "give all people an opportunity to join in a conversation of our basic beliefs and ideas through reading and discussion." The groups serve as a forum to read and discuss books you always wanted to read but never seemed to have the time for, and engage in a method of discourse called "shared inquiry." This summer's institute takes place August 7-13 at Colby College and includes the following texts based upon the theme The Fool, including The Praise of Folly, Don Quixote, Catch-22, The Conversion of the Jews, Gimpel the Fool and Cato's Letters. The registration fee of $480 covers accommodations (single or double) in a dormitory, meals, discussions and books. The cost for commuters, which covers all group activities, six lunches and a lobster bake but not housing, is $180. A registration form is available to download from the website.

Colby Summer Institute, Colby College, Waterville, ME; e-mail: colby@greatboooksdiscussionprograms.org; website: www.greatbooksdiscussionprograms.org; click on Colby Wachs Summer Institute on the right-hand side.

University of Toronto's Classical Pursuits

Described as "learning vacations with a purpose," the seven-year-old Classical Pursuits program run by Ann Kirkland and located in St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto. The program is designed to let you step out of your busy life and enjoy "the creative spirit of the world's greatest writers, composers and artists" There are two ways of doing this: "Travel Pursuits" and "Toronto Pursuits." This summer's travel destination shows you Ireland through the eyes of some of its creative giants. "Irish Literary Genius -- Dublin Galway, and Aran Islands" runs from June 11-25. Literary works include James Joyce's Ulyssess, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, and poetry and plays from Martin McDonough, W.B. Yeats and John Millington Synge. You'll walk the streets of Dublin and witness the Bloomsday festivities. Total cost for the fourteen-night trip is $3,488, which includes accommodation, two meals a day, discussions, tours and admissions. Seven days will be spent in Dublin, six in the very remote Aran Islands, off the western coast, near Galway, where you'll spend one night. For Toronto locals or those who want to travel to the clean and cosmopolitan capital of Ontario, the flagship program Toronto Pursuits seminars focus on texts such as Paradise Lost, Democracy in America, Madame Bovary, La Dolce Vita, and Vanity Fair, among others. Start date is July 17 and it finishes on July 22, are made up of 12 seminars that $925.

Classical Pursuits, 379 Palmerston Blvd., Toronto, Ontario M6G 2N5; tel. 877/633-2555 or 416/892-3580; e-mail: info@classicalpursuits.com; website: www.classicalpursuits.com

Summer Career Discovery at Harvard

Does the form-follows-function ethos of Frank Lloyd Wright inspire you? Do you think Frank Gehry is out of abstract architectural tricks and think you can do better? Check out Harvard University's Design School. Their rigorous, six-week intensive program will help you determine whether a workday full of blueprints, architect's scales and tall buildings are right for you. Developed for high school and college students and anyone considering a major career change, the six-week course work is available in architecture, urban planning and design, and landscape architecture. Your days are filled with lectures and panel discussions; afternoons, evening and weekends are occupied by studio work. The camp begins June 20 and runs through July 29. Tuition is $2,350 and includes a studio kit of supplies. Housing is first-come, first-served and cost $1,110 if you are not commuting to campus.

Career Discovery, Harvard Design School, 48 Quincy Street, 422 Gund Hall, Cambridge, MA 02138; tel. 617/495-5453; e-mail: discovery@gsd.harvard.edu; website: www.gsd.harvard.edu/professional/career_discovery.

Adult Career Discovery at Culinary Institute of America

Being stuck in a cubicle staring at a computer monitor all day can do crazy things to your brain, like make you ponder what life would be like in a less 9 to 5 workplace. If you are contemplating what life in a professional kitchen or patisserie might be like, the country's prestigious Culinary Institute of America has designed programs to help you test drive that desire and learn a little in the process, too. There are two ways of going about it. The Culinary Institute of America's Greystone campus in St. Helena, California (think Napa Valley wine country) runs a year-round Adult Career Discovery program that allows you to do just that. Choose from courses in Baking and Pastry, the Professional World of Wine, and Career Discovery Introduction to the Professional Kitchen. Each class is limited to 18 participants. The introduction courses are available May 23-27, June 20-24, July 25-29 and Aug 22-26 and cost $895. Baking and Pastry courses are available June 20-24, Aug 29-Sept 2 and also cost $895. The Wine course is available July 18-21 and tuition is $585. Career Discovery 2 picks up where the introduction left off, and you'll hone your knife skills, discover new sensory techniques and learn principles of balance, unity, form and texture when creating a meal. This course is available June 27-30, Aug 1-4 and costs $850. At the Hyde Park, New York campus in the picturesque Hudson Valley, Career Discovery is available during the summertime to high school students who will have completed their junior or senior year by July 2005. There are a handful of sessions: June 26-29; June 29-July 2; August 7-10; August 10-13; August 21-24 and August 24-27. The total cost is $664, which includes program fee, your own chef's uniform, and housing. For adults who can't travel to California, Hyde Park's adult program is only available April 24-27 and April 27-30; total cost including tuition, hosing and uniform is $745. Accommodations are available at the eighteen-room guest house at Greystone. Housing is available for students attending Hyde Park's Career Discovery as well.

Greystone Adult Career Discovery. The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, 2555 Main Street. St. Helena, CA 94574; tel. 800/333-9242; website: www.ciachef.edu/greystone/discovery/adlt_discovery.html.

Hyde Park Career Discovery. Culinary Institute of America, 1946 Campus Drive, Hyde Park, NY, 12538; tel. 1-800-CULINARY; e-mail: admission@culinary.edu; website: http://ciachef.edu/admissions/experience/index.html