The teachers at Weston Wayland Success Learning Center have a variety of backgrounds and credentials, from early childhood education to advanced physics degrees from MIT. The staff use their vast experience and knowledge to help students tackle tough subjects and prepare for exams. They specialize in math (all the way through calculus), reading comprehension, and elements of effective writing, including grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary. They also guide students toward academic success with exam-preparation programs for the SAT, SSAT, ISEE (Boston Exam School Test), and SAT subject tests.
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.
The staff at Good Vibrations aren't salespeople—they're SESAs, or Sex Educator-Sales Associates. The title was invented by the store to reflect not only the rigorous training that the employees go through, but also the open and empowering attitude that they project. They encourage questions about the stock of romantic accouterments, and dispense safe, respectful advice on enhancing erotic play. For the SESAs, knowledge is a stepping stone to pleasure. They've even employed the same sexologist and historian—Dr. Carol Queen—for more than 20 years to host a regular "Ask the Doctors" class.
Above all, the staff keeps a warm and welcoming shop—a characteristic that automatically distinguished Good Vibrations from its counterparts when it opened in 1977. Its philosophies have garnered the company plenty of press accolades since opening. Extending the positive, forward-thinking ethos beyond the shop's walls, the company has committed to environmentally friendly wares with its Ecorotic collection of natural lubricants—as well as eco-friendly packaging. The shop is also stocked with candles, costumes, and lingerie with the Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco locations carrying their largest supply of nightwear.
Tito Gaona's Flying Trapeze Academy defies gravity and provides both beginning sky soarers and naturally airborne gymnasts with expert instruction in flexible flight. Take to the trapeze bar in semi-private class sessions of five to eight students, gliding with newly met friends or toting along your long-lost alter ego or barbershop quintet. Learn the basic swing, dangling deftly from arms and swaying from knees, and then follow up with introductory tricks such as executing taut frontward and backward kicks with limber limbs. For comfortable swingers, the class applies advanced skills such as the catch and return, which involves swinging toward your trapeze partner before flipping over the bar, swiftly grabbing your compatriot's people paws, vacillating back to your perch, and then gracefully fluttering into the springy net below. Sessions are an excellent workout as well as a great way to regain lost confidence in your acrobatic companion after that unfortunate hot-potato incident. Classes are held Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Fridays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Finally, you'll have a viable alternative to wooing potential romantic partners with a sousaphone serenade. For $137, today's side deal gets you five private, in-studio guitar lessons at Boston School of Guitar in Brookline (a $275 value for adults), including use of a guitar during your lessons. You may also choose to take home a rental guitar for additional practice (limited availability). Boston School of Guitar's private lessons are available seven days a week and typically last 45 minutes (30 for kids). All you'll need to bring to your lessons is a pick, some functional fingers, and maybe an iPod full of the music you'd like to learn.
For more than 25 years, Benjamin Stoller has shaken cocktails and perfected the foam-to-brew ratio in a pint glass. He shares his insider knowledge during fun, hands-on classes taught at the Queen's Head Pub inside Harvard's historic Memorial Hall. Courses focus on the art of mixology, or crafting inspired cocktails with balanced ratios of liquor, mixers, and paper umbrellas. They also delve into specialized skills such as how to present drinks and keep patrons safe.