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The College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences' Department of Horticultural Science owns its own 1137-acre landscape arboretum in Chaska, Minn. The Arboretum holds "magnificent gardens, model landscapes, and natural areas-from woodlands and wetlands to prairie-with extensive collections of northern-hardy plants." The purpose of the Arboretum is to provide a community and national resource for horticultural and environmental information, research and public education; to develop and evaluate plants and horticultural practices for cold climates, and to inspire and delight all visitors with quality plants in well-designed and maintained displays, collections, model landscapes, and conservation areas.


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The Arboretum has 12.5 miles of paths for visitors to wander while they enjoy the 32 display and specialty gardens, 48 plant collections, and more than 5,000 plant species. There are always interesting and enjoyable events happening at the Arboretum. They currently have a number of holiday events along with different outdoor activities happening in the next couple of weeks. Click here to check out the different ways to have fun at the Arboretum!

While the Arboretum definitely has entertainment value, there's also important research happening there every day. Some examples of Arboretum research include fruit breeding, wetland restoration, and woody landscape research. The U of M's Woody Landscape Plant Breeding and Genetics Program began in 1954 to breed trees and shrubs capable of withstanding Minnesota's harsh climate.

If you are interested in visitng the Arboretum, check out their visit page. They are open 363 days of the year, and it is free for U of M students (plus, the Arboretum provides internship opportunities for U of M students year-round!).


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One of the most noticeable differences I experienced between high school and college curriculum was the amount of essay-writing required. As a liberal arts student, you will undoubtedly hone your composition skills through many hours of writing and editing. Rest assured that there are resources available on campus to help make you the best writer you can be.

The Student Writing Support Center, located in Nicholson Hall, offers free writing instruction to all University of Minnesota students at any stage of the writing process. Student Writing Support can help you "develop productive writing habits and revision strategies." They offer online collaborative consutlations or one-on-one consultations. During an online consultation, students submit a paper, along with any questions they may have, to a consultant who then reads through the paper and provides feedback. Students can then set up a follow-up chat to go over any new or old questions. During a one-on-one consultation, students can receive guidance on where to start a paper, how to work through writer's block, and tips for revising, editing and proofreading.

So remember, if you're having difficulty with writing a paper (or just want to have a fresh set of eyes looking over your work) the Student Writing Support Center is just a click or call away!

Winter break is here! This year, the University's break is from December 22, 2010 until January 18, 2011. After all of my final tests and projects, I am ready to have some rest and relaxation. 

Without classes in session, campus gets rather quiet during the break. Some students stay on campus for work and other commitments, while some students move home for the break. The residence halls close, and so do most of the Greek houses. My sorority house closes tomorrow, so I will be moving home to Grand Rapids. Unfortunately, means I will not be blogging until I return to campus in January!

Since I will have extra time on my hands (no studying!), I plan to have some fun. My friends from home and I are planning a ski trip to Lutsen Mountains in Duluth, and a week-long trip to California to visit a friend that goes to college at the University of San Diego! Since I will be graduating in May, I also plan get a start on the big job search. Other than that, I'm going to spend a lot of time at the outdoor ice rink with my little brother and just hang out with my family. 

I look forward to coming back for spring semester to share more stories with you about my busy, amazing life as a U of M student. Happy holidays and see you in January!

Many of you probably do not know that the University of Minnesota has a mortuary science department. In fact, the University's program was the first of its kind in nation when it began 100 years ago this month. Part of the medical school, the mortuary science program is the only one in the Big Ten and the only undergraduate collegiate program in the state of Minnesota. (It is offered as a bachelor of science.)

Students typically complete two years of prerequisite course work and start in the program during their junior year, completing two years of upper-division course work. Upon graduation, students will be well-prepared to complete the National Board Examination for the American Board of Funeral Service Education.

In honor of the program's 100-year anniversary, the Wangensteen Historical Library for Biology and Medicine is exhibiting some tools and artifacts detailing the history of the science. In addition to biochemistry, I studied the history of medicine, a minor offered in the History of Medicine Department. As a student in the department, I spent lots of time in the Wangensteen Library. This library houses a fascinating collection of historical books, artifacts and documents pertaining to medicine and biology.

If you've visited campus you may have noticed the various newspapers and magazines inside the doorways of many of our buidlings. Did you know that many of those publications are completely student run? Are you interested in getting involved in media? If so, check out these excellent opportunities to gain valuable experience in creative writing, editing, photography, design, and more:

The Minnesota Daily
The Minnesota Daily is one of the nation's largest student-run newspapers, and has the fourth-largest circulation of newspapers in Minnesota. Students in any major are able to find great opportunities to get valuable experience in journalism, advertising, and more for print and online media. The Daily keeps the University of Minnesota community informed on local and national news and provides a forum for students to voice their opinions or concerns. Almost all U of M students pick up a copy before their first class of the day!

The Ivory Tower
The Ivory Tower is a student-run literary and arts journal that accepts contributions from students accross the University in art, poetry, and short stories. The magazine is run by students who enroll in English Literature 3711, a year-long course. The magazine provides a platform for students to share their talents in art and the written word. It also provides the students who enroll in the class experience in editing, writing, and publishing.

The Wake:
The Wake is a student-run literary magazine that is printed every two weeks. The magazine provides students with opportunities to gain experience in art, business, journalism and editing.

The U of M has very robust campus media, and provides countless jobs and internships for students each year. If you're interested in writing, advertising, art, public relations, web development, or the business of publishing, be sure to check them out!


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