If the main objective of the glamour photographer is to make the model look attractive, there are probably more challenging subjects than Beyoncé and Christina Aguilera—but that doesn't mean David Blecman is complaining. The Positive Negatives founder and longtime shutterbug—he was named the photo editor of his county newspaper before his 20th birthday more than 30 years ago—has a history of plucking these plum gigs, having snapped pictures of celebrities such as Jimmy Buffett and Gene Simmons and worked for commercial clients including Sears, JCPenney, and Bath & Body Works.
At his studio, Blecman applies his skills toward shooting everything from headshots for models and actors to portraits of kids and teens. He also shares his expertise during workshops that cover both photography and modeling, so students can know what it feels like to be on both sides of a lens without giving their neighbors a turn with the binoculars.
Affiliates of the American Sailing Association, the instructors at Chesapeake Sailing School strive to keep the Chesapeake's seafaring heritage alive through classes spanning one-day sailing courses to five-day live-aboard cruises. The training fleet ranges from 22-foot boats for basic and intermediate instruction to 38-foot vessels for advanced cruise training. The school's team also assists students obtain their ASA certifications in preparation for careers as Popeye impersonators.
Beyond instruction facilities, Chesapeake Sailing School houses The Tiller Club, which grants members privileges such as unlimited daily use of the school's Tanzer 22 ships. The school’s team also coordinates charter excursions to give vacationers a from-the-water view of the Inner Harbor, St. Michael's the Archangel Church, and the bay's abundant wildlife.
The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous centers understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they design custom lesson programs based on the results of a skills assessment using diagnostic tools and one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas without having them tattooed on your chest. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results. Camps and after-school and summer classes can ready high-schoolers for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college-admissions officers with their superior essay-writing skills.
When Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he imagined a much-coveted golden ticket that granted access to myriad wonders and unveiled the inner workings of an entire industry. MetaBody created a real-life version of that ticket with the MetaBody Yoga & Fitness Pass, though it applies to fitness instead of candy. The pass grants access not to a single gym but to classes at a variety of local studios, specializing in everything from yoga to boot camp. With the freedom to move from location to location, students can sample different regimens, instructors, and styles of exercise to cobble together a program that fits their needs and goals. MetaBody's nutritionists supplement class packages by coaching clients in healthy eating, recipe cooking, and speed-reading nutrition-fact labels.
SailTime's instructors—each ASA-certified and boasting USCG captain's licenses—pilot Colgate 26 sailboats carrying two pupils out to open waters of the Chesapeake for a six-hour day-sailing lesson. Depending on crew desires, captains can teach sailing terminology and skills such as how to make vessels move by unfurling the sail, steering the rudder, and throwing fistfuls of pepper toward clouds to make them sneeze. Passengers can also opt for a more relaxing route, learning basic boat operations while lounging and gazing out on the city skyline and the bay's verdant shores. Captains may reschedule voyages in case of unsafe boating conditions such as rough winds, storms, or turf wars between rival wakeboarding clans.
The J/Boats sailing vessels at J World Annapolis serve as floating classrooms for students of all skill levels as they improve their sailing techniques under the tutelage of expert coaches. Budding buccaneers can make smooth forays into the sport via one of the school’s many Learn to Sail courses, which range from three-hour group lessons to five-day comprehensives. Up to four students of similar experience levels control the ship from the time they unmoor until they return, rotating through the different onboard positions while the instructor keeps a close eye on safety, expounds upon sailing theory, and warns the team of upcoming whale mouths. From there, intrepid sailors can choose from a variety of courses geared toward continuous improvement, culminating in the advanced racing course for expert speedsters.