Summer Weekend Classes for DIYers

Class Schedule — May 30–31, 2009

Muscle-Building Basics — Rocks and Bricks

Feel the burn in your biceps! To prepare for a new patio, participants remove heavy pieces of cut stone from a stack, carry them approximately 50 steps uphill, then restack them. Next, students pull flagstone and rocks from stacks in their own yard and restack them (temporarily) in neighbor’s yard. Class finishes by moving 100 or so bricks from one stack to another, 20 feet away.

Trees and Fences for Couples

Couples practice teamwork and tact as they cut down and trim trees and shrubs in the abandoned yard next door. (Note: Class requires use of 7-ft pole pruner with chainsaw on the end.) Extra credit for cutting out and removing wire fencing installed by their home’s previous owner — now hopelessly entangled in thorny barberry — without killing themselves or their partners.

Appeasement 101 — Wood, Wood, and More Wood

One participant appeases the other by loading a giant pile of wood from a month’s-ago porch demo into old pickup truck, with no clear idea of where to get rid of it. Appeasee practices appropriate gratefulness and diplomacy (refraining from suggesting abandoning both pickup and wood at nearest junkyard).

Furniture Refurbishment — What Not to Do

Students learn humility by improperly priming a small outdoor table. “Time-saving” primer-paint combo doesn’t stick, and must be scraped/scoured off so table can be repainted using different primer. (Students earn bonus humility points by painting two coats before acknowledging it’s not working.)

Improvisational First Aid

Participants receive first aid kit of ibuprofen, eye drops, allergy pills, sewing needles, aloe gel, potato chips, crunch-n-munch, iced tea, wine, and beer, and must decide how to best treat various cuts, scrapes, splinters, bruises, allergies, muscle aches, and random pains.

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
~ Mark Twain


  1. mel said,

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    I am laughing laughing laughing out loud. if only my OWN “classes” were as funny as other people’s…

  2. WritingbyEar said,

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Ya know, Mel, during Muscle-Building Basics I actually had a few Zen moments. Who needs fancy gym machines and meditation sessions? Just haul a few dozen heavy rocks and soon you’re channeling Helen Reddy (I am woman, hear me roar) and marveling at what mind over matter can do.

  3. mel said,

    Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 8:07 am

    I can honestly say that, even in my mightiest moments, I have never channeled Helen Reddy. I’m speechless with admiration, or– or something. ; )

  4. WritingbyEar said,

    Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 8:15 am


  5. Faith said,

    Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Funny, funny stuff. I needed that.

    Even though Bally’s keeps tempting me back to them, I figure among the vacuuming, lifting my almost 50 lb kid, hauling groceries, pulling weeds and lifting some free weights, I am pretty well covered in that area. I could probably use some of your other classes…

  6. WritingbyEar said,

    Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    I have little doubt there will be more classes throughout the summer — equally as educational…it’s only June… (sigh).

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