Living life on purpose means not staying stagnant--it’s about stretching your edges, learning new skills, and building on existing knowledge. Wayfinding Labs help you do just that. These 12-hour courses are where our community and college meet to nurture your constant growth. 

There are no anonymous lecture halls here. Instead, expert Lab faculty teach in the “Wayfinding Way”: small group settings designed for lots of discussion and interaction. Learners of all ages join our full-time students for a rich mix of perspectives.

Labs are 12-hour workshops that offer the chance to dive into a specific subject over the course of a weekend or several weeknights.

 

Current Lab Offerings: 

 

GENDER & SEXUALITY IN BLACK POPULAR MUSIC

with d.a. carter

This course analyses how cultural debates on gender and sexuality play out in histories of Black Popular Music. Taking a thematic rather than a chronological approach, we will examine the manifold ways that patriarchy, sexual agency, desire, power, and objectification inform our understanding of songs, music videos, albums, covers, and samples. Click here to learn more and register!

Gender & Sexuality in Black Popular Music meets:

  • Tuesday, October 23rd, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

  • Tuesday, October 30th, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

  • Tuesday, November 6th, 6:00 pm- 9:00 pm

  • Tuesday, November 13th, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

 

PORTLAND: A DEEP DIVE ON GENTRIFICATION

with Sarah Hassouneh

What is gentrification? How does it show up in our city, and nationally? What philosophies, ideas, and policies create and sustain it? In this Lab we will explore the history that has made gentrification a reality, the present that continues to support it, the effects it has on longtime Portland residents, and the global forces that contextualize it. Using a blend of history, political analysis, philosophy, literature, art, music, and other multimedia, we will explore gentrification while we grapple with our own positionalities and work to uncover potential solutions. This Lab will place you in the heart of the community, in conversation with those displaced and those fighting that displacement, and will tackle head on the questions of what is happening and how we got here. Click here to learn more and register!

A Deep Dive on Gentrification meets:

  • Friday, January 25, 6:00pm-9:00pm

  • Saturday, January 26, 9:00am - 6:00pm

 

GET YOUR MONEY TOGETHER!

with Lillian Karabaic

Baffled by budgeting? Struggling to figure out how to save money while going to school? Terrified about your impending student loans? Want to figure out when it's too early to plan for retirement? Lillian Karabaic, host of the Oh My Dollar! podcast and author of the cat-filled purrsonal finance workbook Get Your Money Together, will walk you through money management in a friendly and glitter-optional class. You'll walk away with a concrete plan for your money, a lot more cat memes in your life, and knowing more about Roth IRAs than you thought possibles. Click here to learn more and register!

Get Your Money Together Meets:

  • Thursday, February 7, 2019 6:00pm-9:00pm

  • Thursday, February 14, 2019 6:00pm-9:00pm

  • Thursday, February 21, 2019 6:00pm-9:00pm

  • Thursday, February 28, 2019 6:00pm-9:00pm

 

HOW TO BUILD A WEBSITE

with Karl Keefer

We will be learning how web pages are built and styled by building our own static websites. The course will be targeting beginners who might not be familiar with HTML or CSS, the building blocks of basic web pages. Students will end the class with their own public website that they can use for whatever purpose they want. Click here to learn more and register!

How to Build a Website meets:

  • Tuesday, February 12, 2019: 6:00pm - 9:00pm

  • Tuesday, February 19, 2019: 6:00pm - 9:00pm

  • Tuesday, February 26, 2019: 6:00pm - 9:00pm

  • Tuesday, March 5, 2019: 6:00pm - 9:00pm

 

LIVE YOUR DREAM LIFE

with Prashant Kakad

Get ready to open your heart & your mind to a new way of seeing & being. You will kickoff this Lab with a dance workshop, Bollywood style. Prashant will then draw upon his journey from an Intel Engineer to a touring DJ & share practical insights that he has picked along the way.

There will be readings, exercises during the Lab & assignments in between them designed to gently bring you closer to the edge of your comfort zone. You will finish this Lab feeling more inspired to express yourself fully in all walks of life. Click here to learn more and register!

Life your Dream Life meets:

  • Tuesday, May 7, 2019 6:00pm-9:00pm

  • Tuesday, May 14, 2019 6:00pm-9:00pm

  • Tuesday, May 21, 2019 6:00pm-9:00pm

  • Tuesday, May 28, 2019 6:00pm-9:00pm

* indicates required
 

Previous Labs we've offered include: 

 

LOCATING THE ARTISTIC IMPULSE

with Ursula Beck

In this Lab we’ll consider the artistic impulse and how it aids us in locating ourselves in the world—rooting into our senses. We’ll explore the intersection between the arts, self, and environment, testing out ways of locating and knowing through a constellation of activities and artistic modes such as writing, drawing, meditation, movement etc. You’ll have the opportunity to apply your artistic impulse (whether you consider yourself artistic or not!), experiment with form and material of your choosing, develop your sense of place, and connect with and explore the sensorial and natural world.

 

CONFLICT RESOLUTION SKILLS

with Jesse Laird

This Lab explores the theory and practice of conflict resolution with a special emphasis on personal skills development and cross-cultural conflict. Course activities include educational games and simulations, interactive lectures, role plays, online training tools, and small group discussions of film and literature.

 

VIEWS OF THE RIVER: UNDERSTANDING PACIFIC NORTHWEST RIVERS & STREAMS WITH HEARTS AND MINDS

with Jim Evans

In this Lab we’ll dive into Pacific Northwest riparian ecosystems to better understand how ecosystem components – plants, animals, soil, and much more – interact to create vibrant systems that are more than the sums of their parts.  We’ll consider major threats to these systems, and actions we can take to improve their chances.  Finally, we’ll examine our own relationships with natural systems.

 

Smart(Phone) StoryTelling

with Jason deParrie-Turner

Introduction to DIY filmmaking! In the style of 48 hour film festival, we will write, produce and edit a short film, which will be submitted to a film festival! Learn how to translate a short script/concept to screen, light up the set using available or low cost lighting, how to make the most of your phone camera, and various editing styles. Learn how to utilize the powerful filmmaking tool you carry in your pocket!

*Students will be expected to spend some time in between classes working on the class project either in groups or solo, depending on individual needs.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA & THE QUANTIFIED SELF: PRODUCING VIDEOS FOR CRITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS

with Jenny Tatone of the Center for Transformative Arts and Education 

Social media has revolutionized the way we experience ourselves and our perceptions of others, radically reorienting how we relate to each other and to ourselves. Amid such change emerges a quantified self. A self that is made of data. A self that is habituated and marketized. A self that is curated, self-conscious, and prone to impulse and reactivity. A self that demands closer examination in a time and space that demands authentic confrontation.

How do the new ways in which we make sense of ourselves, of what it means to be alive across multiple dimensions, shape our perceptions on scales from the personal to the political? Such inquiry is at the heart of this Lab, which will ask you to bring critical consciousness and social justice to your reflections on social media.

 

THE POWER OF FOOD

with Gina Lorubbio of American Heirloom Project

We'll look at the ways in which food shapes culture, offers identity, and unites us. Along the way, we'll explore local case studies from sources like the Racist Sandwich podcast, hear stories from around the world, meet for a lunch discussion at the St. Johns Farmers Market, and examine the role that food has had in our own lives. 

This Lab will culminate in a student-led event for Welcoming Week, a program put on by Welcoming America to unite immigrants and U.S.-born residents.

 

HOW TO USE GAMES TO ADDRESS SOCIAL JUSTICE

with Bjarke Kronborg of Where's My Spark

Use games to help save the world! Participants in this Lab will choose a social justice area they would like to address. From there, you’ll team up around your social justice topics and develop a game to address at least one element. For example you might focus on raising awareness, changing behavior, or identifying strategies to solve regional issues. Through your game you’ll develop multiple different mechanics to address that element while learning about game thinking, methods and concepts, psychology, motivation, fun and engagement.

 

FLOURISH BY FINISHING

with Charlie Gilkey

This Lab will help people overcome procrastination, analysis paralysis, and choice overwhelm by discussing key topics in visioning, goal-setting, prioritization, planning, time management, and productivity. The course is especially geared towards creatives, changemakers, and visionaries with big ideas who want to match those big ideas with consistent implementation.

 

PRIVILEGE OPPRESSION AND SOLIDARITY: WORKING TOGETHER FOR CHANGE

with Katharine Sprecher

How do we work together for positive social change across differences marked by privilege and oppression? How do we unpack the myriad and often invisible ways systems of dominance infiltrate our realities and the ways we perceive and interact with our world? In what ways can we use our privileges to do ally work and our oppressed identities to offer powerful insights and peer support in particular activist spaces, as well as everyday interactions?

This Lab will allow students to explore diverse intersecting social identities in relation to privilege, oppression, and solidarity with emphases on 1.) relevant historical and socio-political contexts and 2.) developing solidarity across differences for collaborative social change activism.

 

LESSONS LEARNED FROM STARTING THINGS

with Jefferson Smith 

An introductory Lab with Jefferson Smith. Starting things from scratch with lots of enthusiasm and very little money is not for the faint of heart, and Jefferson Smith has been a part of more than one such founding. Come for the war stories, stay for the observations about group dynamics, budgeting, and strategic partnerships.

 

TREADING LIGHTLY (AND CRITICALLY!): SUSTAINABILITY SIMPLICITY AND SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL LIMITS

with Felipe Kawena-Ferreira

This Lab seeks to critically examine the interrelationships between ecological principles and the notions of simplicity and limits through an array of interactive and engaging approaches. The goal of this brief course is to inspire individuals and communities to develop more nuanced, socially conscious understandings of simplicity while centering justice and the dynamic limits set by supporting ecosystems. We will look at how both critical theory and ecology can be employed in tandem to nurture more sustainable practices in our local communities and beyond.

 

TRAVEL HACKING FOR BEGINNERS

with Stephanie Zito

Travelers near and far are taking the globe by storm and advancing the art of seeing the world for nearly free to a whole new luxurious level. Points, miles and loyalty programs have handed you the power to go further than you’ve ever gone before and open your world to experiences you’ve only dreamed of. You want to fly first class? Done. You want to sleep in an overwater bungalow on a remote South Pacific island? It's possible! You want to check the “I’ll-never-afford-this destination” off of your bucket list? Yep, you can do that too. The depth of your pockets or breadth of your budget no longer defines your travel experiences. The ability to travel wherever you want in whatever class of service you desire can be achieved. This Lab will introduce you to the game of travel hacking and get you on your way to seeing the world!

 

INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL JUSTICE

with Virginia Luka & Andres Guzman

The aim of this course is to introduce students to social justice concepts through a variety of interactive approaches. The course has a two-fold goal: participants will develop an understanding of their own intersectionality while also practicing specific approaches for how to address social justice issues. Topics to be considered include active allyship, cultural humility, microaggressions, social identity mapping, and more. The intent of this course is to make it a meaningful experience for each participant.

 

FOOD CULTURE EXPLORERS

with Gina Lorubbio

Connect with ancient wisdom and your own intuition to eat, cook, and live well. Discover the unchartered territory of your local food system through cooking challenges, guests speakers, and maybe even a field trip. You’ll learn how to find beauty in food and share it with others through a medium of your choice (writing, photography, video, drawing, and more). You’ll leave with motivation and tools to integrate good food into your everyday life.

 

FINANCIAL FREEDOM: BECOME THE CFO OF YOUR LIFE

with Douglas Tsoi

Most people live their lives unconscious about money and because of that, live in financial fragility. We'll explore the hidden assumptions of consumption and debt in our capitalist system and help you reclaim ownership of how you spend your time + your energy. Once achieved, financial independence gives you the chance to live a fully honest and authentic life.

 

CONNECT THE DOTS

with Jolie Guillebeau

Without a clear understanding of yourself, your motivations, your relationships and your values, it’s impossible to create a life that matters, or even make a decision without doubt. Over four weeks, we’ll talk about what got you here, what brings you joy and what you want in your future. Using art making, writing prompts, and in-class exercises to clarify your values and goals, we’ll work together to create a specific personal plan for your own self-care that will guide your decision making far into the future. 

 

HOW TO CROWDFUND FOR YOUR GOOD CAUSE

with Bjarke Kronborg, Tim Marcroft, and Jefferson Smith

Join our three Lab leaders who have worked on three of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns in Portland history including a radio station (which raised $103,762), a park (which raised $123,880), and a new kind of college (which raised $206,451). Bring an idea that you want to get crowdfunded and you'll receive personalized attention to sharpen your plans and improve your execution. You’ll leave with a primer on grassroots fundraising, a timeline template for your campaign (counting backwards from launch), and personalized next steps and tips for improving your odds and increasing the amount you raise.

 

THE ART AND SCIENCE OF CREATIVE PODCASTING: FROM STORYTELLING TO MARKETING

with Eric Klein

Lab participants can expect to learn the skills and tools needed to produce podcast episodes that engage the listener and build audience community. At the conclusion of the course, participants will have completed one episode of their own podcast. 

 

HOW TO TURN A GREAT IDEA INTO A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS OR NONPROFIT

with Sean Harry

Beginning with a series of self-assessments to help determine an entrepreneur’s level of comfort and competence in 20 critical business focus areas, participants will explore and outline their idea(s) for a business or nonprofit organization. Through mini-lectures, in-class activities, reading books & articles, and completing worksheets, students will learn how to use a set of tools to help them address the 4 basic challenge areas every business faces: 1) an attractive Business Concept, 2) a strong Organizational Structure, 3) lasting Customer Relations and 4) profitable Business Operations.

 

SKETCHNOTES FTW! HOW VISUAL NOTE TAKING CAN SUPERCHARGE YOUR BRAIN

with Doug Neill

Do you ever find that the use of words alone isn’t enough to wrap your head around a new idea or a particular challenge that you’re up against? If so, then this Lab is for you!

Throughout this four-session Lab we’ll be exploring a skill called sketchnoting - a way of working with ideas that combines the use of handwritten words and hand-sketched visuals that can help you become a better learner, a better problem-solver, and a better storyteller. 

 

THE PHYSICS OF EVERYDAY THINGS

with David Rikert

We’ll examine things you’re intrigued by — touch them, ride them, throw them, film them, take them apart. then we’ll work to understand a bit of the physics behind them — concepts like velocity, energy, momentum, and wavelength.

We can’t, individually, know everything (or even all that much). But we can be curious about things (that we’d like to understand), and we can tap into the larger community around us to learn and explore. This Lab will provide a fun, hands-on experience with this lifelong skill through a focus on how everyday things work and the physics that lies behind them.

 

HABITS: HOW TO BREAK 'EM AND HOW TO MAKE 'EM

with Brad Pendergraft

In this Lab we will study the neuroscience and psychology of habits and introduce frameworks and strategies designed to allow you to take conscious control of these unconscious processes. As we discover the surprising keys to habit change we will also explore the mind/body connection and learn how a willingness to have fun can free you from deeply grooved patterns.

 

HOW TO SURVIVE!

with Poe Stewart

This Lab will focus on three main areas. 1. Exploring the concept of Resilience (specifically disaster resilience). 2. Being prepared (specifically disaster preparedness). and 3. Wilderness based survival skills. At the end of this Lab, participants will understand the concept of resilience and how they can help make themselves and their community more resilient (specifically after a natural disaster).

 

CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION

with Angela Owusu-Ansa

The Lab will provide experiences for questioning, creative thinking, and innovative actions. The Lab will be conducted using a series of questions (socratic questioning, posing essential questions, using scientific inquiry, etc.) to model and teach participants different ways to ask good questions. During the Lab, participants will find that there are systems to question, undergo exercises to develop creative thinking, be given opportunities to use creative thinking, and afforded a chance to uncover innovative approaches that are simple, but powerful.

This Lab on how to develop creativity and innovation matters for two main reasons - it will equip participants to live life to the fullest and to succeed in the 21st century.