Laneway Learning Christmas Party

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A room full of the most creative, smart, and inspiring people in Melbourne, all bouncing ideas off of one another over glasses of wine? Count me in!

Tuesday night saw the first of the — hopefully annually — Teachers' Christmas parties, thrown by Laneway Learning. What's Laneway Learning? In a nutshell, it's a space for people to pay $12 to learn something in an hour-long class. Want to learn how the brain works? Curious about cryptography? Always wanted to try your hand at origami? You can learn it all — and much, much more — at the classes run on Mondays and Tuesdays in the CBD.

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Founders Mark and Lucie say hi to the crowd

All of the tireless organisation comes from a four-person team, who head up the logistics behind corralling several dozen teachers and taking registrations for 9,000 participants. That's right. 9,000 people in Melbourne have taken their classes in the past two years.

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Comedic “pre-enactments”

As a thank-you to their teachers, the team threw a celebratory bash one of their class venues, the bicycle shop-cum-coffeshop The Little Mule Co. We were treated to a free “class-ertainment” by comedian Fabian Lapham, who “mishmash[ed] real scientific forecasts, genuine religious prophesies, and wild prognostications to make some comedic hypotheses regarding the future of our planet, our species, and our legacy!”

Over complimentary wine, snacks, wine, pizza, and wine (from Naked Wines, supporting talented new winemakers in Australia and New Zealand), the teachers got to mingle. There was the new art director of Dumbo Feather magazine, chatting to someone who teaches about maths. I met everyone from a scientist, to a person who teaches about the U.N., to people who do yarn bombing, to a woman who shows people how to make their own tortillas.

It was one of those magical Melbourne evenings, where a huge swathe of the city's various subcultures met and became friends. I highly recommend you start taking — or teaching — your own Laneway Learning class when they start back up in January.

-Theresa

Disclosure: Theresa has taught at Laneway Learning for the past year.