Want to learn something new?

ccampbell@newsobserver.comNovember 9, 2012 

A new business in downtown Wake Forest is catering to adult learners – and especially fans of the online site Pinterest.

Pick A Class held its first sessions in October at its new space on South White Street. John Giustiniani – who owns GC5 Vintage & Gifts down the street with his wife, Amanda – is offering dozens of adult enrichment classes. The subjects range from wedding planning to poetry writing to self-defense.

The idea was born when Giustiniani became certified as an eBay education specialist and was looking for a place to teach classes on eBay sales. He found a vacant storefront, but eBay classes couldn’t fill the entire space.

“I thought we could teach all sorts of classes,” he said, adding that the location will also house an art gallery.

The plan is to get input from residents on what subjects they’d like to learn more about. Then Giustiniani will find someone nearby who’s an expert on the topic and bring them in for a 90-minute session or two. The classes are affordable, with most running $35 to $45.

“It’s community teaching community,” he said.

He has lined up 12 instructors so far. Many topics are serious, such as how to liquidate a loved one’s property or help kids defeat a bully.

But some are lighter subjects. One is “How to Speak Fluent Southernese.” That class, taught by a local business owner, should come in handy for Wake County transplants from the North.

“There’s certain sayings that people don’t know what they mean,” Giustiniani said, adding that he had a rough time himself when he first moved from New York. “My father-in-law said, ‘It’s just over yonder,’ and I put ‘yonder’ in my GPS.”

The crafty set can take a monthly Pick A Class session with Suzanne Corey, who’s also holding weekly classes through her own business, Let’s Do This with Suzanne. Her craft classes grew out of an interest in the social media website Pinterest, where users post project ideas.

Corey provides the supplies and expertise to help people complete different crafts each Saturday for $10-$20 each. Some classes are for kids; the Saturday before Halloween, they made personalized trick-or-treating buckets. Adults made picture-frame key holders and make-up organizers.

“It’s practical items that you can make using just about anything,” she said.

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