Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Click on a class name to get the class description. See our list of ongoing classes here: Continuous Classes.

Terwilliger Plaza DVD Series

For the DVD Series at Terwilliger Plaza, if you don't find a spot in the parking lot in front of the main building, free valet service is available. The bus stop is in front of the street level entrance on SW 6th Avenue. To enter, buzz at the door and say that you are with the SSI/PCC program. Proceed to room P 3. There is a coffee shop on the second floor of the main building.

Thursdays 10am-12 noon

Language and Society: What Your Speech Says About You
  • April 2
    • 1) What Does Your Speech Say about You?
    • 2) Does Language Influence Worldview ?
  • April 9
    • 3) What Is Sociolinguistics?
    • 4) Four Levels of Language Variation
    • 5) How Do Dialects Develop?
  • April 10
    • 6) Language Change: What's New Is Old Again
    • 7) The Origin and History of American Dialects
  • April 23
    • 8) Your Shifty Vowels
    • 9) Vowel Shifts and Regional American Speech
  • April 30
    • 10) Language and Social Class
    • 11) Sex, Age, and Language Change
    • 12) Language Attitudes and Social Perception
  • May 7
    • 13) Language as a Communicative Process
    • 14) Making Sense of Conversational Intentions
    • 15) Analyzing Conversation
  • May 14
    • 16) The Mechanics of Good Conversation
    • 17) Mind Your Manners: Politeness Speech
    • 18) Linguistic Style and Repertoire
  • May 21
    • 19) The Gender Divide in Language
    • 20) Ethnic Identity and Language
  • May 28
    • 21) Socializing Children into Language
    • 22) Language, Adolescence, and Education
  • June 4
    • 23) Textspeak: 2 Bad 4 English?
    • 24) The Changing Face of Linguistic Diversity


Mondays, 10am to 12 noon

Poetry Reading Fun - March 30, & April 13, 27 & May 11, 25

Know a lot about poetry? Know nothing about poetry? Somewhere in between? There’s a place for you in the very popular class started by Norm Grant and now led by Jan Vaillancourt. We read from a variety of published works. Really FUN!

Music Time Machine: the ‘20s and ‘30s - April 6

Join Robert Samuelson as he transports us back in time through music. He plays brief samples of popular music to stimulate your long-term memory. Come listen and remember the background music to some of the cherished moments in your life. Part 1 of this three-part series takes us all the way back to the 1920’s and ‘30’s.

The Pacific Lady - April 20

Sharon Adams, a.k.a. the Pacific Lady, was the first woman to sail across the Pacific alone. She has since made many other firsts as she logged over 30,000 miles under sail. Her story is filled with adventure, amazement, and humor.

Big Band Jazz - May 4

We will listen to some of the bands and singers that were popular in the 40's and beyond. Swing dancing styles will also be featured in the class. Jazz pianist Andrei Kitaev will entertain us with swing tunes on the grand piano during the second hour. Come get in the groove!

Living a Mindful Life - May 18

Guest Benaz Shidfar will discuss mindfulness, with an introduction to various techniques such as body scan, conscious breathing, and mindful movement; mindful self-compassion; stress reduction using a mindful approach; mindful eating; and living and applying the practice of mindfulness in all areas of one's life.

America’s Highway: Route 66 - June 1

From Chicago to LA, take a visual journey along the famous Route 66. Learn about the history of the Mother Road with special emphasis on automotive nostalgia. Susan and John Schenk will share slides of their Road Scholars (Elderhostel) two week adventure. John is quite a gear head, so we show a lot of car stuff for the car nuts and historic stuff for everyone.

Mondays, 1 to 3pm

Current Events - see Continuous Classes


Tuesdays, 10am to 12 noon

Current Events - see Continuous Classes

Tuesdays, 1 to 3pm

Obsessed with Obscure Fiber Arts - March 31

Guest Linda Hendrickson has devoted the last 22 years of her life to teaching and writing about tablet weaving and ply-split braiding. With stories, demonstrations and samples, she will introduce us to these little-known fiber art techniques, her home studio, and her unusual on-line business.

The Balkans - April 7

Guest John Oreskovich leads us in a discussion of the political and cultural significance of the Balkans, with an emphasis on the former Yugoslavia.

Urban Canopy - April 14

Jenn Cairo, City Forester and City Nature Manager for Urban Forestry, Community Gardens and Horticultural Services for the City of Portland, will explain the value of trees and the urban forest, how Portland’s urban forest is managed, and some key challenges for the City’s forest of the future.

Swing into Spring! - April 21

The first hour will feature jazz legend Count Basie. During the second hour, Larry Nobori, music educator/clarinetist and the director of the Minidoka Swing Band will present swing music of the WWII internment camps. Be ready for some wonderful clarinet demonstrations.

Portland Water - April 28

Floy Jones, a founding member of Friends of the Reservoirs, will describe the simmering water war that’s about to come to a boil over the fate of historic, well-loved public reservoirs in Portland. At the heart of the controversy is a breakdown in public trust that reflects the dangers of corporate-led water privatization schemes in Portland and around the world.

Leave Your Legacy, Shape Your Community - May 5

Join Arlene Siegel Cogen, Director of Gift Planning at The Oregon Community Foundation, in a discussion about charitable giving. Her presentation is geared towards individuals and families who are interested in learning more about charitable giving options. She will cover current various planned giving vehicles including bequests, beneficiary designations, charitable annuities, and charitable trusts.

3D Printing and the Maker Culture - May 12

Join Benny Hill of PCC's MakerSpace Lab, a former art teacher at the middle school and high school level, to learn about the exciting new "maker" culture and to unravel the secret of 3D printing. Benny moved on to apply his art background to new manufacturing processes like 3D printers and laser cutters.

Unknown but Indispensable: The Many Lives of Bayard Rustin - May 19

We have all heard of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the March on Washington, and the anti-war and anti-nuclear protests of the 1960’s—but we know very little about a key person who stood behind the curtains as the main events unfolded in public. Bayard Rustin, with not much more than a high school education, walked firmly and proudly onto the world stage. Guest James Harrison introduces us to the remarkable man referred to as Brother Outsider.

Crows and More Crows! - May 26

If you missed the first session (standing room only) don't be left out of this one. Carol Shiveley details this ubiquitous bird's habits and intelligence. You'll leave being able to communicate with these neighborly critters.

Neighborhood House

Wednesdays, 10am to 12 Noon

Our April Fool’s Day Fun - April 1

After a brief history of April Fool’s Day and the concept of The Fool in the Western tradition, we’ll share our own memorable experiences of April Fool’s Day Bring your favorite funny stories, jokes, tall tales, or April 1 experiences of practical jokes played on--or by!--you. Come one, come all!". This could be fun!

Don’t Worry, Be Happy! - April 8

Happiness is what we all want—but how to go about getting it? In 1998, author and talk-show host Dennis Prager wrote a book called Happiness is a Serious Problem. Explore with SSI member Sharon Rose some of the insights and techniques from the book which may be useful in finding happiness—or letting it find us!

Port of Portland - April 15

A Port of Portland representative will explain how our daily lives are affected by the Port’s airport and seaport activities. Learn about the top commodities that come to and from this region and how they relate to our economy. Hear how the Port manages to meet its environmental responsibilities to both people and wildlife, and actively supports businesses that are their customers.

Whither Taiwan: Province or Nation-State? - April 22

Is it a province within China or a distinct nation-state with its own separate identity? Why is it considered the most cosmopolitan country in the world? We review the island’s history since World War II, and its remarkable transition to a vibrant democracy. Finally, a look at the revolutionary change in the role of women.

Is Nuclear Energy Obsolete? - April 29

An expert witness on the Enron case, guest Robert McCullough will argue that, regardless of the environmental issues surrounding nuclear plants, the economics just don't pan out. Conventional oil is now in abundance as a result of new breakthrough drilling technologies.

History and Future of Our Public Transportation System - May 6

Learn how public transportation has evolved in the metro Area and about new planned changes. The new Tillicum Crossing Bridge will be included. Our speaker has multiple related roles including one on the Portland to Milwaukie Light Rail line and another on Accessible Transportation.

Science and Spirit - May 13

Since classical antiquity we have had two perspectives on the nature of reality--one from the head and the other from the heart. Drawing on the work of Albert Einstein and Teilhard de Chardin, Baird Smith presents scientific perspectives on the origins of life and humankind, finding a force much like God. makes it local. This talk will give an overview of this varied and complex subject.

Tales of Fine Art Forgery - May 20

Fine art forgery has a long and interesting history. Successful forgers are talented artists in their own right and also have a deep knowledge of materials, techniques and markets. After enjoying (?!) some successful forgery, we will follow the careers of popular, wealthy and successful forgers.

Hunger in America - May 27

As of 2012, about 50 million Americans were food insecure. This film examines the issue of hunger in America, largely through the stories of three people suffering from food insecurity. One review of this award-winning documentary states, "A Place at the Table" is an engaging and enraging movie that will enlist supporters for its cause." Following the film, we hope to have a speaker from a Portland food bank to discuss the local situation.

Learning the Labyrinth - June 3

A labyrinth is not a maze, but Veriditas Certified Labyrinth Facilitator Eunice Schroeder will amaze you with the lore of the labyrinth. This curious figure is both ancient and modern; come learn its story and how to use it yourself.

Wednesdays, 12:30 to 3pm

Play Reading - see Continuous Classes

Thursdays, 10am to 12 noon

Current Events - see Continuous Classes

Thursdays, 1 to 3pm

Book Potpourri - April 2

Sandy Foran once again brings her vast knowledge of what's cookin' in the book world -- what's popular in all genres and what's not. There will be plenty of time for member participation and even if you only listen you'll go home with a great list of suggested books. As the saying goes -- so many books, so little time.

ISIS Update - April 9

Guest speaker Aram Mahshigian describes The Rise of ISIS, the changing landscape of the Middle East, and how ISIS may ultimately impact that region and the United States.

Istanbul, Turkey and Ireland - April 16

World travelers Mimi and Bob Sorkin will present a travelogue on Turkey and Ireland. Bob's professional photography will transport you to the places and people of these far away lands. Pack your bags!

Meet the Humans Part II & III - April 23 & April 30

Join Garland Holt for this continuing series on human evolution. We will meet "Lucy" (Australopithecus afarensis), Homo erectus, H. floriensis, and the Neanderthals, and revisit the emergence of H. sapiens sapiens. Topics will include climate change and the Ice Ages; the "Bottle-Neck Period," the Out-of-Africa movement; and changes due to gene expression. Garland will compare the Neanderthal to Homo sapiens and explain possible reasons that only the latter remains today. Note: This topic covers two lectures: Part III will take place on April 30.

Historical Research in Preparation for the Great American Novel - May 7

Joyce Cresswell spent three years researching and writing her first book, which is now in manuscript form. Beginning with her family, who migrated to Pendleton during the Civil War, the creation of her book many twists and turns from what she anticipated at the outset.

History of the Oil Industry - May 14

The oil age began when candles and whale oil lamps were displaced by kerosene from rock oil in the 1850's. Unfortunately, the "Rule of Capture" from English common law caused the oil age to be dominated by greed. Mike Gray takes us through the process that has led us to our present state of perilous dependence on petroleum products.

3D Printing Tour - May 21

Tour the Maker Space Lab at PCC Sylvania to see live demonstrations of what was discussed during the May 12 lecture. What used to be called "stereo lithography" has become so inexpensive that it is now a consumer product known as 3D printing. You may go on the tour even if you missed the lecture. All tour goers should RSVP to Steve Baker at503 254-9230. Meet at the HP building at 12:55 sharp. This is at the South end of campus just south of the AM building (Automotive and Metals ) Please note: The #44 bus passes in front of Neighborhood House on its way to the PCC Sylvania campus. Since vehicle parking is not free and can be limited, please consider using public transit or car-pooling to this event.

Iconic American Restaurants - May 28

From sea to shining sea, everyone's favorite pastime is eating! Join Kathy McCulloch to experience histories and menus and goodies from some of our county's favorite restaurants. Bring your bibs!

Butterflies - June 4

Butterfly populations have been declining for the past few decades and disease is one of the primary forces driving these declines. Guest Amy Truitt is particularly interested in a bacterium called Wolbachia that spreads through, and wreaks havoc on, its host’s reproduction. Small populations can be driven to extinction. Her research focuses on finding ways to prevent disease spread in pollinating insects.