My mom was a stay at home mom who raised six kids, and she claims the only way she stayed sane was by taking evening classes at the local college. What started out as a way to get out of the house in the evening and use her brain for something other than cooking meals for six grumpy children, turned into a lifelong love of learning languages. She instilled in me the idea that the way to nurture yourself is to challenge yourself. Whether rediscovering an old interest or starting something I’ve always wanted to do, she advised me to just keep learning.
After moving to Maplewood this past January, I recently took on the position of communications coordinator at the South Orange-Maplewood Adult School. With over 170 classes a semester, the Adult School seemingly has courses for everyone. As the school edges toward its 80th anniversary in South Orange-Maplewood, it’s clear to see that I have moved to a community of kindred spirits that values learning. I’ve decided that rather than learning about our class offerings from the course catalog alone, I would take this opportunity to delve into my new community and find out who exactly the Adult School students are. I hope you enjoy reading this weekly series of student profiles as much as I enjoyed meeting many of my neighbors.
MEET THE ADULT SCHOOL STUDENTS
What’s your name and occupation?
Amy Howlett, Lawyer turned stay-at-home mom
Where do you live?
Which class(es) have you taken at the South Orange-Maplewood Adult School?
I took the upholstery class and loved it so much that I signed up to take it again starting in October.
What’s one unexpected thing you learned in the class?
I guess the most unexpected thing I learned is completely unrelated to upholstery: that the Town Hall Deli in South Orange claims to have invented the Sloppy Joe. And that there's a great divide between those who favor the Town Hall Sloppy Joe and those who think the Millburn Deli's Sloppy Joe is better.
What motivates you to keep learning?
Frugality is definitely a big factor. Why pay big money to have your things upholstered when you can do it yourself?
What class would you like to take in the future?
I'd love to take a Spanish language class.
What’s your favorite thing about Maplewood/South Orange?
The people - everyone is so down-to-earth and open minded. I feel like I live in Utopia.
For more information about the South Orange-Maplewood Adult school visit our website at www.somadultschool.org.