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Practical Adulting Session #4

  • Wayfinding Academy 8010 NORTH CHARLESTON AVENUE Portland, OR 97203 (map)

with Willow D’Arcy Harmer 

There was once a time when everyone learned the basics of how to navigate life and society as an adult from parents and school. Roles were established in advance, people were divided by gender, class, etc., and skills were sorted accordingly. By the time people were 18, they knew how to do what they had to do because what they had to do was all delineated clearly and narrowly defined.

Life doesn’t always work that way anymore, thankfully. However, as wonderful as it is that we’ve attempted to throw off the chains of strict social roles, modern life also brings with it a new level of economic and technological complexity that isn’t quite as wonderful. As a result, many of us in the modern world end up in situations where we feel lost, trying to “Adult,” thinking that we are supposed to be able to do everything and not knowing where to begin.

This lab will help each student discover what living life as an adult means to them and begin building skills accordingly. The curriculum of the class will be developed together as a group so that people are learning and sharing the skills that are truly useful to them.

We will start with activities to help them recognize the skills they already have and identify what skills they may want to begin building that will be helpful in each individual’s unique life. Students will then choose one practical “adulting” skill they want to learn and one skill they want to share with the class. These skills can be things like how to mend a garment, how to change a tire, how to write a resume, how to shop smart for groceries, etc. By the end of the class, we will have collectively created a documented collection of practical life skills that can be referred to for later and passed along to others

Lab registrations are non-refundable

Practical Adulting is a 4-part Lab series and meets:

  • Friday, Oct 4th, 2-5pm

  • Friday, Oct 11th, 2-5pm

  • Friday, Oct 18th, 2-5pm

  • Friday, Oct 25th, 2-5pm

Meet Your Lab Leader

Willow D’Arcy Harmer

is an artist, teacher, illustrator, and animator living in Portland.


Due to a unique family and an unusual life, she has a diverse set of experiences that have taken her from living in the mountains and deserts of New Mexico learning plant species and their medicinal uses, to caretaking and managing a household with a disabled mother, to running small businesses and building a diverse art and education career.

Ever the experimenter, Willow believes in learning to do things oneself. She’s been found under cars covered in grease, in a sewing studio designing garments and soft toys, on the couch knitting socks, in the kitchen making new recipes from scratch, in the yard digging an intensive garden bed, on a bridge painting a sunset from life or on the computer writing speculative fiction. She’s helped people write resumes and artist statements, invented her own art equipment, and surveyed the medicinal and edible plants growing in her neighborhood. If something can be done by hand, chances are she’s tried it. She believes in people’s potential to learn and grow through risk, failure and the pure joy of trying new things.

Willow is currently the Director of Visual Art and Education for Ignite Community Arts and holds an MFA in Applied Craft and Design, a joint program from Oregon College of Art and Craft and Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Lab registrations are non-refundable

What Does It Cost?

We believe that learning in community should be accessible to everyone. We also want to give folks with a little more cushion the chance to support our work. That’s why we offer a sliding scale fee to attend Labs at Wayfinding. 50% of all registration fees go directly to Lab instructors.

Sliding Scale Tiers:

  • Low End - $90

  • Middle - $120

  • Higher End - $180

Please read more about our sliding scale policy to figure out where on the scale you should pay. If the low end of the scale is still too high for you, please reach out directly to our Labs Program Coordinator at We are committed to making our Labs accessible to anyone who is interested!