Elementary school kids think they’re so darn special.

Back to school they go, swarming the sidewalks with their scuff-free shoes and fancy backpacks. The bus swings down residential streets, picking them up at the curb like a personal valet — the kids aren’t even expected to pitch in for gas.

And between the hectic glue-sticking work of art class and a taxing hour of story time, the kids are let loose upon the playground to what? Decompress?

School-age kids don’t fret over carpal tunnel, computer-screen comas or other desk-induced ailments — and they’re definitely not fired for handing in a five-paragraph essay on the eating habits of dolphins simply because it’s written in crayon.

School kids have it easy.

But adulthood has a few perks. We don’t have to ask permission to use the restroom, and no mid-level manager is going to make us change into gym shorts for a lunch-hour round of broom ball in the office lobby (although work would be a whole lot cooler if they did).

As adults, we can pick out our own clothes and still enjoy the brain-expanding wonders of the classroom. Here’s a roundup of some back-to-school options for the grown-ups:

A good schoolyard rumble was one way to solve classroom disagreements, but it’s frowned upon for grown-ups to fist-fight their bosses by the coffee machine. Instead, adults can take a Staged Combat class and learn the nuances of sword swinging and choreographed battles without the risk of a two-week suspension.

11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 18. $60 in advance; $75 at the door. Contact Mark Bedell at [email protected].

Ever have that ominous feeling that you’re about to get called on in class to answer a question you don’t know? Maybe you didn’t study enough. But maybe you’re also psychic. Find out at the Are You Psychic? class.

6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 15 and 22. $19. Offered through Old Orchard Beach Adult Ed; oobsaco.maineadulted.org. (But then, you probably already knew that.)

No one will get sent home for wearing “inappropriate attire” at Red Hot and Ladylike’s Burlesque classes. Students learn the art of being saucy from dance instructor MissE. The classes are women-only, but the guys sure do appreciate the homework.

Session begins this Tuesday. Classes available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. $15 per class or $60 for five classes. Red Hot & Ladylike Studios, Portland; www.redhotandladylike.com or 899-4422.

When things got tough in school, some kids daydreamed of running off with the circus. And while some offices do feel circus-like, it’s not the same. But adults can live the dream — at least part of it — with an Aerial Dance class, where students get acquainted with a single-point trapeze.

Time and dates TBD at Acorn Studios, Westbrook. $20 per class. Contact Janette Fertig at [email protected] or (215) 806-9971.

Class clowns have a forum for their funny that won’t irk the teacher. Learn the art of improv — just like they do in “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” — with an Improv Class.

6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 25 to Nov. 8. Lucid Stage, Portland. $150. Register at www.yourinneraction.com.

Perhaps things got a bit out of hand in shop class and you were remanded to sweeping sawdust before another kid lost a finger. But women looking to revive their handyman potential can take “Power Tools for Women” and learn to safely cut, nail and saw to their heart’s content.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 18 and 19. Maine College of Art, Portland. $195, plus a $30 studio fee. www.meca.edu/cs

There’s nothing like the sense of accomplishment a youngster gets from mixing up a batch of Triple Awesome Grape Kool-Aid. Adults can make a grape drink of their own, thanks to Cellardoor Winery’s Winemaking Class. Folks will craft their own wine, from crushing to bottling.

First session 5:30 p.m. Oct. 6 at Cellardoor Winery, Lincolnville. Price TBD. www.mainewine.com

There’s a class to fulfill just about any penchant or long-forgotten dream. School kids shouldn’t have all the fun.


Staff Writer Shannon Bryan can be contacted at 791-6333 or at:

[email protected]