Local Courses for 2015

!Viva La Vida Latina!

Spend the week exploring the Spanish-speaking world without leaving home! In this course we will explore the cultures of several Latin countries as they are expressed through their food, music, dancing, art, film and other cultural outlets.  Activities will include: visiting local Latin restaurants as well as cooking several authentic meals here on campus, painting in the style of the Latin masters, learning regional songs and dances, watching movies that reflect the cultures. This course will be conducted in Spanish and English and is open to all levels of language abilities (including students who are not studying Spanish).  

  • Enrollment: 12-18
  • Cost: $175
  • Course leaders: Dana Mosher Lewis, Carmen Boyle

Arts in the Garden   

We will explore Portland area gardens including The Japanese and Chinese Classical gardens,  The Oregon Garden in  Silverton, and others in order to find artistic inspiration, using writing, drawing, poetry,and/or narrative to respond to a variety of natural settings.  Students will bring sketchbooks, notebooks, and cameras along on our forays.  We will have a service component one day, and we will spend the last day putting together a compilation of our creative works.

  • Enrollment: 12
  • Cost: Free
  • Course leaders: Debby Schauffler, Corbet Clark

Head Start Helper   

Head Start is a federally funded preschool program for low-income families. Their mission is to provide a safe, nurturing, caring, and culturally sensitive environment for their young students. As a Head Start Helper, you will read to children, play educational games, assist the teaching staff with classroom activities, and help supervise outdoor play. You will have the opportunity to interact and develop meaningful relationships with young children from very diverse backgrounds. Participants in this Winterim will earn service learning hours and may turn the experience into a service learning project.

  • Enrollment: 6-7
  • Cost: Free
  • Course leader: Sandi Lillevik

Starting a Business - Lessons from Entrepreneurs

Ever thought of starting a business?  Have a great idea, but not a clue about what it takes to make that idea a reality?  Each morning of this Winterim course, we will discuss important foundational topics like idea evaluation, building a sound business model, writing a business plan, forming a team and raising capital.  We will draw on selected books and case study material as needed, and discuss startup ideas that students may have.

Each afternoon we will sit down with an actual entrepreneur from the Portland area to hear directly how they succeeded…or failed…in building their business.

Have a great idea?  Bring it.  Don’t have an idea, but think you might want to be an entrepreneur some day?  Join us.

  • Enrollment: 12
  • Cost: Free
  • Course leaders: Jack Phillips, entrepreneur, and Ed Cecere

An Exploration of Native American Culture

This winterim will be hands-on, experiential learning and exploration of Native American culture as one that is vibrant and alive in the present, not only as the story of Native peoples in the past. It will also investigate the intersection between culture and cultural preservation. Our experiences will include hands-on exploration of Indian art, investigations of how Indian culture is portrayed in movies, blogs and books, taking a field trip to an Indian reservation to learn directly about art and complex issues from Native representatives, and grappling with the tough issue of using Indian culture and objects for sports mascots and symbols. Students will come away with increased cross-cultural skills, sensitivity and awareness, in addition to knowledge and unique experiences gained from engaging with tribal people and exploring the portrayal of Native peoples locally and regionally in the Northwest.

  • Enrollment: 10-12
  • Cost: $175
  • Course leaders: Myra Clark, Chad Gilton

Get in the Swing: The Basics of Golf

This course is designed to teach the basics of golf, and is intended for beginning and intermediate golfers. Each day our group will go to a local course, where students will receive instruction on the full swing, chipping, and putting. There will be ample time for practicing these skills, but we will also provide plenty of opportunities to take your skills out on the course. Golf etiquette will also be emphasized, so you will always be welcome at any course you visit. During the week we will play at least 36 holes of golf on full-size courses. Depending on weather and the interests of this year's group, we might do some mini-golf as well. Sustenance is an important part of every golfer’s game, so daily visits to the snack shack or a nearby eatery will also be a priority.

  • Enrollment: 14
  • Cost: $150 plus some spending money for snacks
  • Course leaders: Joel Gray, Chris Myers

Lower School Interns   

Have you always dreamed of going back to your 1st grade classroom? Thinking about being a teacher some day? Here is your opportunity to explore those dreams and return to the Lower School for the Lower School Internship program. You will be spending time with our young OESians, helping them out in the classroom or other activities, such as P.E., science or art. You will be able to choose the age group and specialty. These children will know and love you forever!

  • Enrollment: 6
  • Cost: Free
  • Course leader: Robin Weitzer

Game Play and Design: Card and Board Games

This course introduces students to the various game-playing genres of card and board

games. Students will play mostly unfamiliar games that require them to think strategically, collaboratively, and creatively.  After building a level of competence and discovering the game mechanics they enjoy the most, the goal will be to combine their favorite features and design their own game.  In addition, students will receive instruction from a professional game designer and take a trip to a game store and museum.

  • Enrollment: 14-18
  • Cost: Free
  • Course leaders: Gabe Edge, C.T. Henry

Ommm: Healthy Body, Healthy Spirit, Healthy You!

Interested in learning more about your own health in an active, fun, rejuvenating way? Explore healthy living at its best in this Winterim by learning new ways

to invigorate and strengthen your body; calm your mind; and tickle your funny bone! Each day will include a chance to elevate your heart rate through a variety of possible activities--nature hikes, Tai Chi, laughter yoga, Nia, roller skating or Pilates. You’ll

also to learn how to prepare healthy, delicious meals after we consider group preferences and mull over tasty options like sushi, salad rolls, kombucha, and kale chips! We’ll also explore the benefits of medicinal herbs and alternative treatments like acupuncture.

Join us for an energizing and relaxing week of exercise, deep breathing, joyful eating, mindful healthcare, and play!

  • Enrollment: 12
  • Cost: $175
  • Course leaders: Deb Walsh, Amanda Weber-Welch

Playing with Wool: Learning to Copy (and improve)
that Scarf You See At The Gap

Come and experience the pleasures of fiber. We'll start off learning the life -ong skill of knitting and create a two hour scarf.  After you've mastered the garter stitch , we'll continue on to more advanced techniques and pick the project of your choice (i.e. cowls, hats, etc.).  We will explore the art of felting, from needle felting to repurposing thrift store sweaters into one-of-a-kind bags, gloves, pillows and much more.  Also you'll come away able to create an OES scarf or blanket in the newest knitting fad...Arm Knitting!  We will also visit the Oregon College of Arts and Crafts and their Fiber department along with trips to local yarn stores and a Goodwill for crafting sweaters.  The sky's the limit when it comes to yarn crafts...so bring your creativity and let's starts creating.

  • Enrollment: 12
  • Cost: $150
  • Course leaders: Dawn Swanson, Hope Stevens

Protecting Yourself

In the morning session of this all-day course, you will be discussing and learning about human aggression as it manifests itself in one-on-one and small-group situations. We will look at the full spectrum of these situations, everything from a criminal assault on the street to an argument boiling over at a party or at school.  Our morning sessions will take advantage of expertise in our area, through reading, through visits from specialists in the Portland Police Department, and a possible visit from a therapist with over twenty-five years of experience in assessing and treating the mentally ill on the streets in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as in risk assessment at schools. Some of the questions we will consider in these morning sessions:

  • What factors play into the genesis of a violent conflict between two people?
  • What characterizes the interplay between fear and anger?
  • What motivates bullying, and how can it be eradicated?
  • What are the stages of conflict escalation, and how does the process operate?
  • How can tension be de-escalated?
  • If you feel forced to defend yourself physically in a “casual conflict” like this, what are your legal and other liabilities?
  • What are the risk factors that professionals look at when assessing the risk of a violent outbreak at an institution such as a school?

Street violence and other criminal violence is not a high-profile problem in this area, but it certainly exists, and it is wise to know how to protect oneself and others.  We will consider:

  • What is high-risk behavior for becoming a victim of violent crime?
  • What simple precautions should become part of your routine?
  • How can you best protect your home from intrusion?

Finally, during the afternoon sessions you will learn and practice  those self-defense techniques (including breakfalling) that are easiest to learn and most likely to give you a chance to get away from the physical threat.  These are techniques selected from three martial arts: aikido, judo, and karate.  We will also look at the use of improvised weapons for the most dire situations. These physical techniques are not for the defense of your ego or your wallet; they are intended for use only to save your life.

You will need loose-fitting, sturdy clothes for this portion—a martial-arts uniform if you have one.

  • Enrollment: 6-12
  • Cost: Free
  • Course leaders: Art Ward, guest instructor

Portland in Motion: Digital Photography

Portland has earned a reputation as one of the country’s most progressive cities, with a population on the go. In this all-day Winterim we invite students to develop and apply their creative skills to explore and capture Portlanders in action through the medium of digital photography. We will explore the equipment, techniques, and potential of digital photography at OES, employing the studio facilities of the theater lab and the editing equipment of the mac lab (including Lightroom); we will head downtown and to various destinations around town before returning to OES to edit, critique, print, and curate an exhibition of our work. How can a photograph capture motion? What does it mean to be in motion? What is going on in Portland? What creative things can one do with digital photography and with exhibitions?

  • Enrollment: 12
  • Cost: Free
  • Course leaders: John Holloran, Cameron Jack

The Whole Hog : Basic Pig Butchery

On some level or another, we are aware that factory farms pose real challenges for us as meat eaters and as consumers. We are omnivores and we eat meat. But how should we respond to factory farming? We are regularly confronted with images of horrific animal cruelty and the inhumane treatment of workers in our slaughterhouse factories. Who here hasn’t seen or heard about mother pigs confined in crates too small to turn around in? We struggle to live sustainable and ethical lives—but we really like bacon, too.

Join Maria McIvor and Kara Tambellini as we team up with Camas Davis, head of the Portland Meat Collective, to explore these issues in a very direct way.

For one week, we will focus our attention on one pig. We will learn about traditional animal husbandry and meet with farmers who are actively engaged in humane practices around raising and slaughtering pigs for food. We will learn how to avoid factory farms and support a healthier food system. And we will learn how to butcher and use every part of a pig. We will teach students how to split sides of pork into primals, and how to cut those primals into cookable cuts like ribs, tenderloins, ham roasts, chops, and coppas. Then we will learn how to use the whole hog, including how to prepare different styles of sausage, how to cure bacon, how to make pancetta, and what you can do with the hooves, skin, organs and head of the pig. At the end of this hands-on class, students will go home with meat they have butchered and they will know how to prepare and eat it!

  • Enrollment: 8-12
  • Cost: $425
  • Course leaders: Kara Tambellini, Maria McIvor

All Things M&M: Metalsmithing, Molten Glass, Marbling, Movies and Milkshakes!

We will spend the week exploring all fun, diverse and wonderful ARTS beginning with the letter M!: metalsmithing, marbling, milkshakes, movement, & molten glass! We will visit a bronze foundry to see how bronze sculptures are made, visit Daniel Lee & Julie Sikkink’s organic farm to buy milk (to make casein paint and to make milkshakes to drink!), and we will have metals artist Allie Bentley,  Artist in Residence,  show us how to do metalsmithing to form fantastic jewelry.  Other “M” arts we will explore will be working with glass (molten!), making large-scale performance (movement)  arts, create flow-paintings and watching movies! Join us!

  • Enrollment: 12-18
  • Cost: $150
  • Course leaders: Sue Jensen, Tanja Horvat

Portland Now and Portland Future

How can the Portland area, home to an ever-increasing population, keep its character yet provide housing, water, food, and transport for its burgeoning citizenry?  At the same time it needs to keep agricultural land intact for farmers and growers, protect wild places for wildlife, and maintain the unsullied, natural beauty of Portland’s surrounding areas for people wishing to escape from the city for a few hours.  This winterim explores how Portland is planning now to build and prepare for its future while keeping its character intact.  The city that we enjoy today was largely shaped by the land use planning laws, the first of their kind, established in 1973.  Come with us to meet the planners and architects, talk to the movers and shakers, and listen to the views of farsighted people of Portland.  To know and understand the future Portland, we need to have a working knowledge of our present city.  So, on our way around the metro area and its immediate surroundings, we will criss-cross the bridges, experience different forms of transport, sample the cuisine, visit wild places, study our water supply, explore the four quadrants, and make our own contribution to Portland’s future. The City of Roses is beckoning.

  • Enrollment: 6-12
  • Cost: Free
  • Course leaders: Peter Langley, Liz Weiler

Habitat for Humanity   

After a winter of school work, imagine how great it’ll feel to pick up a hammer and build something—work with your hands and see the fruits of your labor! We’ll team up with local Habitat volunteers on a construction site in east Portland, carrying forward the steady work of raising a house; we’ll also likely spend time helping out in a Habitat ReStore, which sells donated home furnishings. Habitat for Humanity has been building houses in partnership with people in need for nearly forty years, helping create shelter in countries all over the world. We’ll learn about the group’s mission, and the feisty, interracial Christian commune in south Georgia that gave it life. If you’re sixteen or older, you are eligible to join us; if you’re wondering where to find that really cool service project, look no further! All tools and equipment will be provided, though we’ll pack our own lunches most days and save up for a couple of meals out. Come learn how you can make a difference in somebody’s life!

  • Cost: Free
  • Course leaders: Rick Rees, Lauren Shareshian

Creating Harmony: OES-OIA Chorale Ensemble   

This Winterim course offer the unique opportunity to sing and perform in a Concert for Peace at St. Mary’s Academy along with students from Oregon Islamic Academy and St. Mary’s Academy. Each day we will go to the Oregon Islamic Academy and practice with students there for part of the time. The rest of the day will be spent at OES improving our singing, and learning how to plan and present a musical program. Experienced and novice singers are welcome to enjoy the thrill of creating hope and making music. Music brings people together in special ways and together we can create peace through harmony.

  • Enrollment: 20-25
  • Cost: Free
  • Course leaders: VJ Sathyaraj, Adam Steele

Helping Hands   

Six days of service to the community and learning about how our community supports those in need. This year we’ll focus on the experience of homelessness, and explore different points of view: adults, families, children, youth, homeless advocates and allies, and even our homeless canine & feline friends. Students are encouraged to take a leading role in planning our activities. Participants earn 20-30 or so hours of off-campus credit in the week, or can get a good start on a long-term SL Project. Plus, you'll reap the great rewards of doing something to help others, and learning a lot in the process. Daily reflection time, posting to a group blog, and planning for future service are all part of the schedule. And, it’s fun!

  • Enrollment: 6
  • Cost: Free
  • Course leader: Robin Schauffler

Launched: Everything You Need to Know to Survive the Early Years of Independent Adulthood

Your job interview is across town, you have no car, the button just came off your jacket, your shirt is still wet and the clothes dryer just stopped working. ACK! In this course you’ll learn how to tackle all these problems and more, including how to do basic car and bike maintenance and repair, how to build your own light fixture from recycled elements, and how to shop, cook and survive on a minimum wage job. (There’s more to eating cheaply than ramen noodles.) We’ll explore the many money-saving options available throughout Portland, (home to a multitude of resource share programs and cooperatives) and teach you how to live a full and well-entertained life on a tiny budget. Learn to be handy, eat well, and live frugally!

  • Enrollment: 12
  • Cost: Free
  • Course leader: Chad Gilton


Discovery is a 5-day, 40-hour apprenticeship opportunity open to 10th-12th graders who want to create their own individualized learning experience. The deadline for submitting an application to do a Discovery during Winterim 2015 was November 7, 2014. Students who have not already submitted an application to Robin Schauffler may not register to do a Discovery during Winterim 2015. If you are interested in setting up an apprenticeship for the future, and would like to learn more about Discovery, please click here http://www.oes.edu/us/discovery/

  • Enrollment: Open to students who have already completed the proposal process
  • Cost: Free
  • Course leaders: Lynne Sadler, Robin Schauffler

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