What's fresh in Bay education, from pot activism 101 to design degrees
CAREERS AND ED Be not dazzled by the big show across the pond into forgetting your studies! Regardless of how assured and gosh-darn perfect the Olympians may seem, few of us will ever find our dream job by cutting another tenth of a second off our 100-meter dash, or adding another five pounds onto our barbell (egads! Didn't you people check that Korean weightlifter's horrific elbow dislocation last week? Low weight, high reps out there, please.) But there are ample ways to improve your lot in life, by attending a class or two or enrolling at one of our fine educational institutions. We've compiled some amazing options within your grasp here. Grasp... poor, poor Sa Jae-hyouk.
Saturdays at the Accordion Apocalypse repair shop offer a shot in SoMa at learning to tickle the ivories on sweet, sweet squeezebox. For only $20, staff teach accordion-playing hopefuls about the inner workings of the instrument. It's said you'll even emerge from your day of instruction knowing how to wheeze an entire song. Lessons happen once a week and hey, how convenient! If you really take to the accordion, fine specimens are available for purchase mere feet from your classroom.
Saturdays, 4pm. $20. Accordion Apocalypse, 255 10th St, SF. www.accordianapocalypse.com 
You don't have to be a stoner to be upset about the way the federal government has been shutting down our cannabis dispensaries and raiding marijuana trade schools here in the Bay Area. And you don't have to be a stoner to not know, like, what the hell to do about it. Enter patient advocacy group Americans For Safe Access, who is teaching you how to stand up for medical marijuana with its free Camp WakeUpObama program. Earn online merit badges for calling your elected officials, making protest art projects — even coordinating pot-themed street theater with the help of ASA's exhaustive website's educational resources.
Maybe you don't want to go back to college, but you are down to take a college class. It happens, and San Francisco State's extended learning department gets it. Register for an Open University course for this kind of real class, real life confluence. For example, its Studio Sculpture course. It's a rare opportunity to get a in-depth studio sculpting experience without all the boring prerequisites. That doesn't mean you won't get ample lessons in theoretical background. You didn't think your trip back to college will be all clay and play, did you?
Tuesdays and Thursdays Aug. 27-Dec. 17, 9:10-11:55am. $960. SFSU Fine Arts Building, 1600 Holloway, SF. www.sfsu.edu 
Sharpen your hamachi-making skills at this City College of San Francisco two-session course on the best in raw fish prep. We Be Sushi owner Andy Tonozuka opened his first sushi shop in 1987, so he should be able to impart all you need to know, from rolls to sashimi. Best of all: the lessons take place in Tonozuka's classic Mission District eatery. You can't get more San Francisco sushi-authentic than that — and we'll bet you your class fee covers at least a free sample or two.
Sundays, Sept. 26-Oct. 6, 10am-1pm. $65-80. We Be Sushi, 538 Valencia, SF. www.ccsf.edu 
From camp-happy urbanites to professional explorers, Bay Area citizens can take their wilderness savvy to the next level with Adventure Out, one of NorCal's ultimate resources on all things wild. With the organization's flintknapping and stone tools course, students will be introduced and trained in stone technology, which sound like an oxymoron, but actually entails exacting processes like spalling, percussion, and pressure flaking. Apocalypse now!
Sep. 29-30, 10am, $250. Adventure Out, Santa Cruz. www.adventureout.com 
A concentration within the school's counseling psychology degree, this is one of the nation's only master's in drama therapy. The program is intended for those who'd like to make their living implementing Erik Erikson's psychological prescription to "play it out." Courses focus on broadening self-understanding and activating dormant aspects of the human psyche.
California Institute of Integral Studies, 1453 Mission, SF. (415) 575-1600, www.ciis.edu 
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. After all, if our media sources aren't covering the news to your liking, it may be high time you became a newscaster. This program teaches students the appropriate research, writing, and reporting skills for careers in media forms including radio, television, cable, syndicated, Internet, and satellite news organizations.
Community College of San Francisco, 50 Phelan, SF. (415) 239-3285, www.ccsf.edu 
For every consumer consuming, there must be an industry creating. San Francisco State keeps this basic fact of capitalism on the books by offering a degree that is as much kooky inventor as it is savvy economist. Process, people, and product provide the basis for this bachelor's degree in industrial design with a concentration in product design and development. Students will learn product design through researching technology, material, aesthetics, and the nuances of that ever-present invisible hand.
San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway, SF. (415) 338-1111, www.sfsu.edu 
Body-conscious, food-obsessed Californians can thank their stars that some of the state's brightest students are equally as nutrition-oriented, and driven to make moves in the world of healthy eating. UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resource undergraduate degree in dietetics focuses on disease prevention through understanding metabolic regulation, genetics, and the biological and chemical sciences of nutritional studies. Graduates from the program are generally expected to gun for a future in food production, clinical settings, or community and governmental leadership.
UC Berkeley, 318 Sproul Hall No. 5900, Berk. (510) 642-7405, www.berkeley.edu