I took a knife skills class at my local Sur La Table. This made a lot of sense at the time, and now, with the new information that it helped me learn, it makes even more sense. The only problem is that it's so easy to come away from Sur La Table classes with a terrible urge to buy new gadgets...
In this case, the new gadget is a Japanese, hand-forged chef's knife (Shun Classic Chef's Knife 8") that's worth just under $150 dollars (plus or minus tax). This was perfectly weighted for my grip preference and size...one of the major influences in enjoyable slicing and dicing!
The class did a lot to help me understand how knives are made, what to look for when looking to purchase knives or deciding which knives are best for your needs, and how to cut stuff up in cool ways. :o)
I liked this class so much, that I wrote an assignment up on this topic for my Tuesday night class. The professor said he liked it very much, which is the best thing he's said about my writing sicne I started this class this term! I may post parts of the assignment on a follow-up post here later. This will depend on how much attention span I have and time... tempus fugit these days.