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We Can Teach You That

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Welcome to We Can Teach You That, a new virtual event series where Times staffers and other experts teach online courses.

These practical skills classes, featuring Times writers, editors, photographers, designers and other experts, help readers explore new subjects and longtime interests from the comfort of home. Audience members are invited to share questions during the one-hour webinars.

An image of a house above a key to a new home
(Reina Takahashi / For The Times)

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Secrets of the Great SoCal House Hunt

Join us May 19 as we simplify home buying in one of the nation’s most competitive housing markets.

This 6 p.m. virtual discussion is built around questions from Times readers, who shared their biggest hurdles and uncertainties when buying a home in Southern California for the first time. Times reporters talked to housing experts, financial advisors, and successful home buyers for advice on how to navigate the process with less stress and published the Great SoCal House Hunt, a step-by-step guide.

In this one-hour live event, housing reporter Andrew Khouri will discuss what’s going on right now during the spring home buying season, as well as financing options, open houses and how to make an offer you can afford. Yolandra McClinton, of the nonprofit Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County, will join the discussion. She has worked with the community nonprofit for 20 years. and teaches classes on how to buy a home. Times columnist Patt Morrison moderates the event.

Readers are invited to share questions in advance of the event on Twitter @latimes. Sign up on Eventbrite to receive direct watch links before the event starts.

How to watch: This discussion will be live streaming on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

An illustration that includes a volcano, a tidal wave and a meteor, with a hand putting a coin in a piggy bank.
(Jackson Gibbs / For The Times)

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How to Take Charge of Your Money in 2022

Join this practical session to help you manage your money in the new year.

The Jan. 11 class is taught by Jessica Roy, assistant editor on The Times’ Utility Journalism Team and the host of “Totally Worth It,” a new newsletter about personal finance for regular people.

In this one-hour webinar, Roy will help get you started making a budget you’ll actually use, share tips for spending less money and show you how to make a plan to pay off your debt.

“Imagine your best friend is coming over with a bottle of wine and her laptop to sit down with you and really, truly get you to tackle your money stuff. That’s me!” Roy says. “Now imagine yourself in total control of your money, unstressed, thriving, deciding how you’ll spend your credit card cash-back rewards. Soon, that could be you.”

This event has ended.

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We Can Teach You That How To Gift Wrap Like A Pro
(Los Angeles Times)

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How to Gift Wrap Like a Pro

Grab your favorite beverage and join us Dec. 2 for a creative, fun evening to learn how to wrap beautiful presents. Our clever elves spill their secrets and show you how to up your gifting game this holiday season.

The Competitor: Reporter Laura Nelson comes from a family that turns gift wrapping into a friendly competition. She shares her tips and favorite traditions.

The Green Queen: Reporter Faith Pinho uses scraps, greenery and upcycled items to create sustainable yet beautiful holiday packages.

The Artist: Times design director Taylor Le shows you how to transform holiday gifts into small masterpieces.

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The evening’s host is Times Assistant Managing Editor Samantha Melbourneweaver.

Where: This event has ended, but you can watch it on YouTube, Twitter or Facebook.

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Previously

Times reporter Teresa Watanabe
(Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times)

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Aug. 26: What to know about applying to college this year

Education reporter Teresa Watanabe led this timely webinar for students and parents navigating the college landscape amid the COVID crisis recovery.

The speakers: Watanabe joined Gary Clark, UCLA’s director of undergraduate admission, and April Grommo, assistant vice chancellor for enrollment management services at the California State University Office of the Chancellor.

The class: Watanabe, Clark and Grommo shared tips and advice on how to get ready for the college admissions season. The discussion included updates on applying to California universities and colleges, key planning dates for the 2021-2022 school year and what’s changed as campuses in California and nationwide reopen this fall.

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Watanabe writes about higher education for The Times. She has been a staff writer since 1989 and also has covered immigration, ethnic communities, religion, and Pacific Rim business, and served as Tokyo correspondent and bureau chief.

Watch: The live event has ended, but you can watch the webinar here.

Hollywood careers series
(Juliette Toma / For The Times)

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Aug. 10: How to Build a Career in Hollywood

Times reporters Anousha Sakoui and Wendy Lee led this session about how to find work in Hollywood.

Careers in the entertainment industry can be mysterious, even for those working in the business. The Times has published an ongoing series exploring how to find work as a producer, writer, editor and other key roles.

The class: Sakoui and Lee discussed the Times series, their work covering the business of Hollywood, hot jobs in the industry and how aspiring candidates can get a foot in the door in the post-Covid era. Sakoui and Lee were joined by Bree Frank, vice president of physical production for unscripted TV at Hello Sunshine, the media company founded by Reese Witherspoon, and Phillip Sun, president and co-founder of the representation firm M88.

The speakers: Frank, the founder of Hue You Know, is an industry executive with more than 20 years of production experience and focuses on building pathways for people of color in media.

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Sun launched M88 in 2020 with the goal of supporting and amplifying the next generation of diverse artists and cultural leaders.

Sakoui is an entertainment industry writer for the Times, covering Hollywood and labor issues in media. She joined the newspaper’s Company Town team in 2019 from Bloomberg News and has been based in Los Angeles since 2014. Previously she was in London and wrote for the Financial Times as well as Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall St Journal.

Lee covers the business of podcasting, streaming services like Netflix, talent agencies and digital media. She previously covered technology at the San Francisco Chronicle, and was a business reporter for KPCC, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Tennessean in Nashville.


Local Matters: How to survive the Big One, a community forum hosted by the L.A. Times and KPCC/LAist.
(Times staff)

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June 24: Local Matters: How to survive the Big One

As a resident of earthquake country, do you know what to do when the Big One hits? If you’re like many Angelenos and Southern Californians, your answer might be no. But your answer can become yes with a little research and preparation.

On June 24 seismologist Lucy Jones joined journalists from the Los Angeles Times and KPCC/LAist for a lively conversation about how to survive a major California quake.

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Watch the virtual discussion with Jones, Times earthquake reporter Rong-Gong Lin II, KPCC science reporter Jacob Margolis, Times columnist Patt Morrison and KPCC host Austin Cross. The free community forum was hosted by The Times and KPCC/LAist.

For more on how to prepare for an earthquake, go to latimes.com/unshaken.

Cooking columnist Ben Mims

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May 12: How to Cook for the Week

From his home kitchen, Times cooking columnist Ben Mims taught this class on how to shop and cook for your family for an entire week without breaking the bank.

Mims is the author of three cookbooks and has worked as a food editor and recipe developer for more than a decade; he joined the Times food team in 2019 and also has written for Lucky Peach, Food & Wine, Saveur and Buzzfeed/Tasty.

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Mims recently began a new Times series called “Week of Meals,” which features five easy-to-prepare weeknight dinners from one shopping trip and which come together in less than an hour. He discussed his approach to cooking for the week and how to create a simple recipe during the class. He also answered questions from readers.

L.A. Times TV editor Matt Brennan; critic Lorraine Ali; reporters Greg Braxton and Tracy Brown; and critic Robert Lloyd.
Left to right: Times TV editor Matt Brennan; critic Lorraine Ali; reporters Greg Braxton and Tracy Brown; and critic Robert Lloyd.
(Los Angeles Times)

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March 16: How to binge watch like an expert

The L.A. Times TV team led this discussion about how to binge watch like a pro. One year into the pandemic, TV isn’t just the center of our living rooms – it’s the center of our cultural lives and brimming with unprecedented entertainment choices. Times TV editor Matt Brennan, critics Lorraine Ali and Robert Lloyd, and reporters Tracy Brown and Greg Braxton will share the shows they can’t stop watching – the stories that enchant, intrigue and comfort. For aspiring writers, the TV team also will talk about how they do their jobs.   

Times photographer Francine Orr
(Los Angeles Times)

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Feb. 23: Capturing this moment in photos

Francine Orr’s photography has captured the story of Los Angeles in this moment with compassion, beauty and a keen eye for humanity under duress, from the streets to the E.R.

The class: On Feb. 23, Orr shared her photos from the past year and discussed how she approaches her work in challenging, often dangerous situations. “Mostly what I do is listen to people,” she says. Orr also discussed ways to tell your own stories of the pandemic through photography and answered questions from class participants. Watch here.

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The instructor: Since 2000, Francine Orr has been a staff photographer at the Los Angeles Times and previously worked at the Kansas City Star. She also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Yap, Federated States of Micronesia. As a photographer, Orr has focused on public health and poverty issues in Africa, India and the United States. In Los Angeles, she has concentrated on the growing homeless crisis since 2005.

Joe Ide and his novel, "Hi Five."
(Mulholland Books)

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Jan. 27: How to write and sell your mystery

The class: Southern California novelist Joe Ide, author of the popular I.Q. detective series, showed audience members how to write a mystery novel. He discussed storytelling (the ingredients that make one story compelling and another fall flat); how to create dynamic characters and sharp dialogue; and how to build action scenes. The class delved into the logistics of getting published, including the mystery book market and the money (advances, royalties, movie and TV options).

The instructor: Ide grew up in South Central Los Angeles and his favorite books were Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. He went on to earn a graduate degree and had several careers — including Hollywood screenwriter— before writing his debut novel “IQ.” His fifth novel in the series, “Smoke,” was published in February 2021. Snoop Dogg has signed on to executive produce a TV series based on “IQ.”

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2020 classes

During fall the Times offered two free We Can Teach You That sessions to help readers handle day-to-day technology and wellness issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Los Angeles Times columnist David Lazarus
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

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Part 2: How to navigate health care and vital services

The class: On Dec. 1 consumer columnist David Lazarus offered timely information and insights for navigating health care and vital services during the COVID-19 crisis. He also answered general questions from readers.

The instructor: Lazarus is an award-winning business columnist. He also appears daily on KTLA-TV Channel 5 and is a part-time radio host. His work appears in newspapers across the country and has resulted in a variety of laws protecting consumers.

This session is available online: Watch on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter.

Times editor Jessica Roy
(Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times)

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Part 1: How to connect with family and friends

The class: On Nov. 17 editor Jessica Roy shared some of the easiest ways to connect online during the holiday season. This session will be helpful to a wide range of readers, whether you’re a caregiver or senior in need of new tools to reach distant relatives or someone stuck at home and looking for new ways to keep in touch.

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The instructor: Roy is an editor on the Times’ new utility journalism team, which helps readers live better lives by solving problems, answering questions and helping with decision making.

This free course is available online: Watch on YouTube.

Times travel writer Christopher Reynolds

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How to to travel safely (if you must)

The class: Times travel writer Christopher Reynolds explained how to travel safely in the COVID era, especially flying. He shared ideas on how to reduce risk, suggest day trips and discussed some ups and downs from his own travels in California and Nevada since March. The class covered the latest regulations and advice from experts, including local and state officials who are still urging that we avoid nonessential travel. Reynolds also will gave an update on ever-evolving restrictions on U.S. and international trips.

The instructor: Born and raised in California, Reynolds has written about travel, the outdoors, arts and culture for the Los Angeles Times since 1990, traveling by planes, trains, cars, buses, big ships, little boats and one reluctant camel. Since 2015, he has kayaked in Canada; surfed in San Diego; snorkeled in American Samoa; floated in Xochimilco; climbed the hills of Dingle; swallowed twitching seafood in Seoul; and found his family in the ledger book at Ellis Island.

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This class is now available for free viewing: Watch now

We Can Teach You That: Make a Family Cookbook

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How to make a family cookbook

The class: In September, Times cooking editor Genevieve Ko taught a class on how to make a family cookbook. Ko explains how to create recipes; shares tips and tricks for photographing food; and walks readers through the steps to compile favorite dishes and stories into a personal cookbook.

The instructor: Ko is the author of “Better Baking” and has collaborated on more than a dozen cookbooks with notable chefs. She graduated from Yale University and has been a food writer, editor and recipe developer for national food media outlets, including NYT Cooking. She was born and raised in Monterey Park on dim sum, onigiri and chimichangas.

Update: This class is available for free viewing: Watch now.

For more information about the “We Can Teach You That” series, contact bookclub@latimes.com.

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