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Impromptu Students Sample Knowledge At Greenmarket's Pop-Up Class

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The pop-up restaurant trend has made temporary eateries come and go all over the city, but Union Square's greenmarket recently held a pop-up college class. NY1's Education reporter Lindsey Christ filed the following report.

Where better to hold a class on the culture of food than in the Union Square greenmarket? At such a class held recently in the market, the "students" were recruited on Facebook and Twitter and even some passersby joined the group.

The 45-minute lesson was quick and free, but the teacher, Professor Fabio Parasecoli, is the head of the New School's Food Studies program. He hoped people would like the idea of a pop-up class.

"Many people are weary about education in a very structured way and this makes it more light," said Parasecoli. "It is the same thing with the restaurants. It's more casual. It makes you feel like you are participating in something new, something original, something that has not been done before. That's what New Yorkers like.

The impromptu students jumped right in.

"I have an interview later, and I was walking by and I saw the New School signs. And it was really interesting when I came up to know they were talking about the food and the market that we are actually in," said participant Randi Hernandez.

"A friend of mine mentioned it on her Facebook page, mentioned the event, and it looked like something interesting. So that's how I found out about it," said participant Jim Tuller.

The New School hopes to host more pop-up classes. While the university is known for bringing students out of the classroom for classes and assignments, this is one new way of bringing the classroom out of the school.

"It's a good way for us to communicate what we do outside the university," said Parasecoli.

It made sense for some to start with a class in the greenmarket.

"It's very much in keeping with the market here. You can walk around and get lots of free samples," said Tuller.

New School administrators said the class was not a marketing move, although they did have course catalogues available.

Pop-up students said the small burst of education was a fulfilling treat.

"To get some information from a reliable source, like a professor, it's always good to have that," said Hernandez. "Once you start adding money into it, they might not be as popular, but if they're free and they remain free, they'll definitely be a good trend in teaching."

That makes for some food for thought.

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