Past classes

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Panda Rock
1322 Oakton St.
Evanston US

In this class, we'll learn about restorative circle practices and how they hold the capacity to transform the way we interact with one another. Many ancient and indigenous cultures all over the world used restorative practices, and we will learn the structure of the ancient circle practice for the intent of community building and relationship development. This class will serve as an experiential introduction to restorative circle practices. I will lead us through a listening circle, teaching along the way the necessary components of the circle structure, while participating in circle dynamics as we go along. By the end of the class, you should have a general understanding of restorative circle practices as well as personal experience participating in a listening circle.

Bring one of the following:
house plants
hugs
organic fair-trade chocolate
organic produce
surprise
tea
tupperware container of a home-cooked meal

About the teacher, Jen Daniels

What's All the Hype with Gluten?

12:30a.m. to 2:30a.m.
Panda Rock
1322 Oakton St.
Evanston US

Going gluten free appears to be one of the latest diet fads, and many food product companies have joined in the craze to take advantage of this niche market. Can it really benefit anybody? What does it take to be completely gluten free, and is it necessary? This class will cover what true gluten intolerance is and who may benefit from a gluten free diet. It will also point out the hidden sources of gluten, the potential pitfalls of the diet, and what it doesn't do. Some handouts will be provided. Students are welcome to bring a notebook for notes, yet they are not required.

Bring one of the following:
1 hr helping me sew quilts for Project Linus (no sewing experience required)
1 hr sewing or quilting a quilt I'm working on for Project Linus (experience and sewing machine necessary)
Assistance with designing business card
Assistance with website
Local pastured eggs
Organic nut butter
Organic produce

About the teacher, Ina Meloney Oster

Ina Meloney Oster is a Naturopathic Doctor with a degree from National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, IL. She focuses on the mind, body, and spirit of each individual person. Her healing modalities include nutrition, lifestyle counseling, botanicals, homeopathy, spiritual support, and Reiki.

Panda Rock
1322 Oakton St.
Evanston US

Listening circles are a facilitated space for meeting, conversing, and sharing stories among community members. They provide space for deep and intimate truth-telling in a safe container created through consensus by all participants. This circle will focus on the struggles we face in our interpersonal relationships and focus on the theme of commitment. We will explore our fears, our barriers, our successes, and our desires for commitment with one another. This circle will be an experiential learning class. By participating, you will learn what it's like to sit in circle, experience the form and structure, and feel what it is to participate in "circle magic." Jen will also hold space afterwards for questions regarding circle facilitation. This circle will last 3 hours and can be energetically demanding, so please come prepared to sit and listen to one another for the entire 3 hours. Tea will be provided. Food is not permitted in circle so please come ready to give your full attention. If you have additional questions or have not sat in circle before, please contact Jen directly and she'll be happy to answer any questions.

Bring one of the following:
A surprise gift!
Be able to give your full attention
Show up on time

About the teacher, Jen Daniels

Panda Rock
1322 Oakton St.
Evanston US

This class is an overview of the ongoing conflict in the Great Lakes of Central Africa has unfolded over the last twenty years. It has been labeled Africa's First World War because of the amount of countries involved. In spite of this, there is not a great deal of general knowledge of the conflict in the United States. We may have heard of the Rwandan genocide of 1994, the Lords Resistance Army or that in general that there is war in a place called eastern Congo. Some know that eastern Congo is a place where some of the gravest violence against women today is suffered. But overall, the interrelated threads of this conflicts are fairly unknown. This class will be a lecture and discussion. A bibliography will get printed out, but bring a notebook if you like to take notes. By becoming informed on this history, we are in putting our conscience towards peace which is an important part of the big picture in solving such conflicts.

Bring one of the following:
Book-bags to get donated abroad
Chinese paper lanterns you had in a box
Foods to be immediately consumed by by class
Protein Powder to get donated abroad
Small $ donation Panzi Hopsital, Bukavu, Congo through V-Day fund

About the teacher, Stephen Raden

Stephen Raden is a activist and international development worker. He lived for six months in Rwanda as a computer literacy teacher and has been studying this region's history ever since. He currently works as organizer for Jakmel Ekspresyon Art Center, an art center with a mission of non-discrimination in Jakmel, Haiti.

Writing the Young Adult Novel

5:00p.m. to 7:00p.m.
Panda Rock
1322 Oakton St.
Evanston US

Young Adult (or YA) is all the rage right now. As I type this, the movie adaptation of bestselling YA novel Divergent is filming in Chicago. This class will teach the basics of writing for the young adult market, what makes this genre different than general fiction. This will also be like a novel writing 101 class, as it will also cover the basics of plot, character, and voice. Optional class materials: Pen & paper or laptop/tablet if you want to take notes.

Bring one of the following:
1 YA novel (surprise me) purchased from an independent bookstore (aka not Amazon)
2 movie passes
A surprise
Bake me a batch of cupcakes
Clean my apartment for 1 hour (1 time)
Run my grocery errands (1 time)
Target gift card

About the teacher, Philip Siegel

Philip Siegel grew up in New Jersey, which he insists is much nicer than certain TV shows would have you believe. He graduated from Northwestern University and promptly moved out to Los Angeles, where he became an NBC Page. He likes to think that the character of Kenneth on 30 Rock is loosely based on his life rights. Currently, he lives in Chicago and writes young adult novels. His first book, THE BREAK-UP ARTIST, is getting published by HarlequinTEEN books in May 2014.

Making Herbal Healing Balm

1:00a.m. to 3:00a.m.
Panda Rock
1322 Oakton St.
Evanston US

Learn how to make a healing balm for cuts, scrapes, chapped lips, and cracked hands from winter or labor. We’ll do a brief overview of the herbs involved. All materials will be supplied. I’ll provide a small sample of the finished product.

Bring one of the following:
1/2 lb coffee whole bean
container of raspberries
home cooked meal
notebook
surprise

About the teacher, Emily Hlake

Panda Rock
1322 Oakton St.
Evanston US

In this class, you will learn about a range of home sharing options that may be more suitable than living with your parents or people with whom you have little in common. These alternatives include: PH/H – Professional Homes managed by Professional Homemakers. N-FIG, Non-Familial, Inter-Generational home sharing. All adults are equal, either all renters or all owners. Dormitory housing may appeal to people who are over their love affair with “stuff” and would welcome a simpler lifestyle in a gracious environment with less responsibility. Dormitories would have private bedrooms, common living space and an arrangement for meals.

Bring one of the following:
advice on buying a television
Graphic design help
horoscope reading
learning about Google Analytics
marketing coaching

About the teacher, Terry Edlin

I started the New Community Vision website and blog in 2008 because I believe that we strong, resilient communities are an essential foundation for a healthy society. I think communities that mix together often have a better shot at creating the neighborly environment in which people thrive.

Action Vs. Emotion

12:00a.m. to 4:00a.m.
Panda Rock
1322 Oakton St.
Evanston US

Action Vs. Emotion This class is the first part of a series that works on the belief that Acting is just that—acting, or do-ing. Not emoting. In order to explore this concept, we will use movement and exercise games. Introduction to the use of "objectives" in scenes. This workshop will begin with a set of physical and mental warm-up excercises. You are responsible for recognizing your physical boundaries. I will do my best to accommodate people’s capabilities. an overview of basic literature on this principle. Schedule: Warm-ups: Articulation of sound and body work will aim to make us more receptive to communication. We will work on developing neutral postures to open up our options using Alexander Technique concepts. Readings: You will need to RSVP to the class. Upon doing, you will be assigned a section of the reading for the class. You will be responsible to summarize the main points of what you read for the rest of the class on the workshop day. I can provide you a copy of the text. An Actor Prepares. Stanislavski: Ch. (1-2)3-5, A Practical Handbook for the Actor. Bruder, Cohn, Olnek, Pollack, Previto, Zigler. Introduction; Ch1: Physical Action; Ch9: The Emotional Trap Audition. Michael Shurtleff. Ch2: Conflict. Exercises: 1) Brooch Search--participants will be given a clear physical objective and a hypothetical situation with high stakes. We will see superfluous actions fall away, and see impulsive emotions come forth. 2) Rat and Cheese--participants will compete in this very physical game (people might have actually done this in gym!). Application: Using “objectives” in improvised scene.

Bring one of the following:
Cooked Dinner
Crew Hours on film: grip, mover, camera person.
Hours doing helpful stuff in my house
Hours of creative collaboration in the creation of a short film: including acting, dancing, editing, music playing or composing

About the teacher, Elizabeth Wall

I am an actor in Chicago. I studied acting at Sarah Lawrence, Connecticut College, Interlochen Arts Academy and Camp, Piven Theater, Lookingglass Theater.

Panda Rock
1322 Oakton St.
Evanston US

Words are spelled because they are castings of spells. Words are placed in sentences because we are sentenced to live by the spells we cast. In this class, we will explore the 26 distinct 'spells' cast the by letters of the English alphabet, the distinctions between vowels (Vows of El, the name of God at the time our alphabet was created); and consonants, 'con-sonants' or 'soundings with', which distribute and translate the spiritual intent into specific physical action. The point of the class is to break down the magic of language into its constituent elements, in order to become more competent magi, or spell-casters.

Bring one of the following:
Candles.
Pass it on; give a gift to someone else.
Promotion or sharing of my work, such as forwarding my mailings to friends or attending a Dream Circle.
Veggies from your garden (except cucumbers) or home-cooked food.

About the teacher, John Sacelli

John Sacelli has 45 years of experience in spiritual exploration. He is the author of the AngeLynx Oracle Deck, and the Angelish Dictionary. He is a practicing counselor, astrologer, reader and leads Shamanic Dream Circles in Chicago, as well as being an arts promoter.

Learn How to Compost!

1:00a.m. to 3:00a.m.
Panda Rock
1322 Oakton St.
Evanston US

I'll cover the basics of outdoor and indoor composting and have a hands-on worm composting experience. Whether you've played with composting or are new to it, this class is for anyone interested in how to start an easy composting system at home. Our current waste management system simply isn't sustainable, come learn how to create gold from garbage!

Bring one of the following:
coffee whole bean
dozen eggs
fresh produce
home cooked meal
Time Dollars (chicagotimeexchange.com)

About the teacher, Emily Hlake

Power Tools for Everyone

1:00a.m. to 3:00a.m.
Panda Rock
1322 Oakton St.
Evanston US

We'll learn how to operate a drill and a circular saw. We'll do some basic things like putting up a coat rack. Then we'll have some fun and make a small shelf with some wood we'll cut with the saw. I want to gear the class to those who come so think about what you'd like to learn as far as using a drill or circular saw. Please wear closed-toe shoes.

Bring one of the following:
coffee whole bean
dozen eggs
home cooked meal
produce

About the teacher, Emily Hlake

Intuitive Eating and Exercise 101

5:00p.m. to 7:00p.m.
Panda Rock
1322 Oakton St.
Evanston US

Intuitive eating is a nutrition philosophy based on the premise that becoming more attuned to the body's natural hunger signals is a more effective way to attain a healthy weight, rather than keeping track of the amounts of energy and fats in foods. The premise is that you eat what you want, when you are hungry, and you stop when you are full. A similar principal applies to intuitive exercise. You body wants to move and be healthy and if you listen, you will notice what movements and exercise your body finds naturally enjoyable. Participants will learn about the principals of intuitive eating and exercise and will work in groups to reflect upon their own eating and exercise practices and how they can continue to honor their hunger, fullness, and intuition. This course will be interactive and will cater to the students in attendance. Students should bring paper and a writing utensil and, if they wish, a food journal that details a few days or meals of what they have been eating recently and what they feel before or after.

Bring one of the following:
Drawing Lessons
Flowers
Logo Design
Running/Jogging/Walking partner
Tea
Time Dollars (www.chicagotimeexchange.com)
Website support (specifically Ruby on Rails lessons)

About the teacher, Jami Becka

Jami has tried every diet around. Atkins, 4-hour body, French women don't get fat, neanderthals don't get fat, a vegan diet--she's tried them all! She is now on a path to living and eating intuitively. Jami writes about her adventures in learning at www.therecoveringacademic.com.

Winter Garden Extension

10:00p.m. to 12:00a.m.
Panda Rock
1322 Oakton St.
Evanston US

We will learn different methods to extend your gardening season through some of the winter. Then we'll put into practice some of what we learn on the garden outside and get our hands dirty planting what will grow for the the next couple months!

Bring one of the following:
coffee whole bean
dozen eggs
home cooked meal
walnuts

About the teacher, Emily Hlake

Strategize! Stepping Forward

1:00a.m. to 3:00a.m.
Panda Rock
1322 Oakton St.
Evanston US

When you don't have a hard structure around you, you have to be alert each moment. You must respond to the new situation before you. This class will cover two aspects: 1. How to tap into your self to know who you are and what you have to offer. 2. Steps on developing a structure for success. Whether it's getting into the groove of school, finding a job, managing your life as it is, or creating something all your own. This workshop will develop your own self-confidence. The world is ready for you to step up! Are you?

Bring one of the following:
A positive reccomendation
Assistance in making flyers for distribution
Good Food
Kombucha & other ferments
Rain proof pants for cycling Chicago
Sewing, singing or yoga instruction

About the teacher, Carly Evans

Carly Evans is a Professional... Her career has been colored by working with amazing entrepreneurs, visionaries, even an imagineer!! She works with others in developing a solid foundation for their own ideas to take root in order for them to one day soar. : ) She loves a good plan. And, still has realized the benefit of being able to fly by the seat of your pants. : ) ( :