Do you miss those great discussions you used to have around the seminar table in college?
Do you have questions about current events and history, or literature you've been dying to read?
Are you bored with game night and taco Tuesday, but still want to spend quality time socializing with friends in each other's homes?
Living Room Learning
Living Room Learning is a college seminar crossed with a wine and cheese party. Hosts of Living Room Learning parties gather their friends together for a fun, informal, and informative conversation led by a Ph.D., so the discussion goes deeper than the usual chit chat around the dining table. The goal of Living Room Learning is to explore the ideas and events that have shaped (or are shaping) our curious and confusing present moment, so I design sessions around a wide range of topics from history and politics to literature and pop culture. Having an experienced teacher facilitate means that discussions stay on track. That way, participants learn more and have a more fulfilling experience.
How does it work?
After scheduling a Living Room Learning party, I work with hosts to decide on the perfect discussion topic for their guests. I suggest topics that will be the best fit for a group depending on its size, interests, and learning preferences.
Before the event, I share a curated selection of readings with the group. These readings allow all participants to enter the discussion with a shared base of knowledge.
The day of the party, I arrive ready to teach and facilitate an engaging, productive discussion. I scaffold each session so that conversations build from an overview of the topic to more complex questions and debate. This structure gives participants the opportunity to review and clarify their understanding of the issues and ideas before challenging the group to think about the topic in new ways.
"Living Room Learning is where I go when I'm looking to drink wine and dialogue with brilliant minds." --Kyle C.
"This evening was a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and dive in to a complex and controversial topic. A modern day salon!" --Jess H.
"Living Room Learning facilitated a discussion on an issue that has relevance and impact today by supplying context both modern and historical in an inclusive and intellectually invigorating setting." --Ben S.
"It was fun talking about a topic that I did not know about before. I liked 'going back to school.'" --Desiree S.
Thursday, September 28, 2017: Sound the Alarm!
Join me for Living Room Learning at the East End Brewing Company's Brewpub in Larimer! You'll get two of EEBC's tasty beers, light snacks, and a chance to join some of Pittsburgh's most interesting people in a discussion about two iconic pieces of writing about the environment. David Wallace-Well's recent article in New York Magazine, "The Uninhabitable Earth," presents an alarming portrait of climate change and how it will affect humanity. We'll compare it to Rachel Carson's classic, Silent Spring, which likewise sounded the alarm about synthetic pesticides effect on humans and the environment. After the destruction wrought by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, we'll debate the effectiveness of alarmist texts about the environment--do they inspire action or do they (counterproductively) inspire fatalism?
Time: 6:30 - 8:00 PM
Location: East End Brewing Company's Brewpub, 147 Julius Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Wednesday, October 4, 2017: Lena Dunham, Feminist Friend or Foe?
Join me for Living Room Learning at Colony Cafe--yes, Pittsburgh's new cat cafe! Join some of Pittsburgh's most interesting people in a discussion about Lena Dunham, one of the most influential and controversial women currently working in media. Better yet, you'll get to share whether you loved or hated Girls while petting a cat in the cafe's cat loft!
Tickets come with unlimited glasses of the cafe's house wines and a delicious spread of veggies and hummus and a cheese plate!
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Location: Colony Cafe, 1125 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
I also design mini-seminars for small groups who want to explore a topic or answer a question. Whether you're interested in a one-night lecture or a monthly book discussion, I create a customized course plan for your group of five people or more. I arrive ready to teach and facilitate an engaging, productive discussion. Don't get a babysitter and drive downtown for a lecture--get your friends together and the teacher will come to you.