After searching forever, I finally found some woodworking classes that are within a 1.5 hour drive from me, with classes long enough to give me at worst a 1:1 driving-time to class-time ratio. Whooo-hoooo, right? Well, for me, definitely, if that' s my only choice!! There is NOTHING in my neck of the woods, and even some serious efforts to find someone to teach me one-on-one have totally failed.
The classes are at the Woodcraft store in the Wilmington area, and if they check out (as in, no one tells me that the classes at the Woodcraft stores aren't worth the drive) I'll be signing up for an evening class in Tablesaw basics, a full day of Router Basics in the morning followed by Router Table Techniques in the afternoon, and an almost-full-day Raised Panel Door class subtitled "Routing with Stile." They even have a cabinetmaking series, but the next one starts next weekend and that's just not possible (especially since I'd need some of the other courses or experience to really get the most out of it), but hopefully the next round will work out for me. The prices seem pretty reasonable - around $60 per 3-hour session - and materials are included in that, plus the class sizes are small, just 5-8 students. It likely beats my original plan to spend a week in Vermont spending $2000+ for tuition plus travel, room and board, for a class with 20 or so people in it.
This could be the beginning of something good. See, I have a standing offer to use a coworker's seriously underutilized (and, according to his wife's tone and eye-rolls, seriously over-invested) workshop, but no one to teach me how to use anything -- he made it clear that he'd love to see it used, but he has neither the time or inclination to teach me what I'd need to know. If I get some training somewhere, then I can hopefully put some of that training to use in making doors for the storage and medicine cabinets for the bathroom remodel I'm planning, and then later to other good uses. And if my coworker is true to his word, I can do what I need to do without having to invest in the equipment myself (I'll find some way to pay him back).