I think learning the toolbar, and pallettes and the PATHFINDER are great for level 1
And I know there's a lesson plan already set in place, but the instructor seemed very open to sticking around after class and answering questions about random shit and off-lesson tools. Probably a good idea to take advantage of that.
also, if you dont have the program, get it, and mess around with it.
i guarantee you will far more just experimenting with it and trying things out. Those adobe classroom in a book series are prerry helpful, also illustrator wow books, but i would advisr you stay away from those illustrator bibles. they cram way too much information in it, and it is hard to follow.
Yeah, I have creative suite cs2 through my job. I've got proper skills in ps and indesign, but my illustrator skills are lacking. I use it and get my way around, but I feel like it always takes longer than it should to do everything.
Plus, the work pays for the course and it can't hurt to add more to the resume.
EDIT: and I think I recall the instr. saying she was getting a lot of her lessons from the WOW books.