We got to enjoy one dinner together before he was called to L. They made eggplant parmigiana and vegetarian lasagna, among other things, then enrolled together for a second cooking course (on soups). These days they're in each other's kitchen almost every night, cooking up a storm.
As a writing instructor, I had an ironclad rule (unarticulated, of course! An editor taking the course wrote some poignant essays about his son's wedding, becoming a grandfather and learning to live alone. Think about splitting the rental of a group ski lodge or beach house.
I went out with an instructor I talked to over the crabmeat canapés at a faculty event. Afterward, eager to keep the connection alive, she went to his shop and thanked him in person. Years earlier, newly divorced and pushing my daughter on a playground swing, I spotted a cool-looking man with his daughters. At a Web-design course, for example, my divorced neighbor, Larry, faced a computer and a blank wall — no interaction with fellow students, no chance to mingle.
At another, I struck up a conversation with the handsome, funny bartender, who happened to be an actor. We smiled, sat down on a bench and started talking. Next he tried Italian cooking, with better results: The class involved preparing dishes with a partner, so Larry picked the entrée course — and a single-woman partner.
I waited until after the last session, then made my move: "If you sell any of those pieces," I told him, "I hope you'll let me know. you can get in touch even if you don't sell them." He called the next week, and we went out until I discovered he wasn't exactly living alone. It's a great way to meet like-minded people — provided, of course, you like skiing or the beach!