Think Olio: Pop-Up Classes in Bars, Galleries, Bookstores, & More in Ridgewood!
“Rethink your evening. Interdisciplinary learning with the best professors, for the price of a movie ticket. An eclectic education this summer at Nowadays. Have a drink and learn under the stars”
Every Tuesday night, Think Olio brings an awesome professor to the backyard at Nowadays to teach on interdisciplinary topics ranging from ‘Noise in NYC’ to ‘Foucault & Freedom’. Individually the Olios are $12, but you can sign up for access to the entire summer for $40.
Think Olio is a nomadic learning series, founded by CUNY students, Chris Zumtobel and David Kurfirst. Think Olio brings the best professors into the community to hold classes on topics they love, giving adults another chance at the classes they wish they took in college. What began in a living room has expanded into a growing community of lifelong learners and passionate teachers, now having held over 250 events in venues all over the city.
Professors value Think Olio at a time when universities pay less but require more. Professor Geoff Klock says, “You know how superheroes emerge to fight crime because the regular police are either inept or corrupt, and like Spiderman has to do the right thing himself? Take a look at education in America — ferociously expensive, myopically focused on job skills rather than actual thinking, mired in pointless testing and repetitive homework, featuring classes that promise the reliable sameness of a shitty fast food franchise — and notice that the Think Olio guys are zipping around New York saving people one at a time.”
Think Olio pays professors part of the revenue while allowing the teachers complete freedom to teach whatever they want, however they want. “We rely on student nominations to find our teachers, so these really are the best of the best,” says co-founder Chris Zumtobel. “We started this with our favorite professors and now we are looking for everyone else’s. It’s amazing to hear people’s stories about the teacher who changed their life.”
“It’s exciting to be in an era where people are realizing that their education doesn’t culminate in a degree. With the pressure to specialize in one subject during school, a lot of my friends feel that they missed out on topics they were really interested in. Think Olio is an easy way for people to explore these passions without the huge commitment of a grad program,” says Aubrey Sanders, Olio attendee.