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Living a LearningLife

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November 2009 Archives

sm_donna2008.jpgAdults in conversation with children will often resort to this fail-safe question to make a connection with a child. Children usually have a quick and ready answer: An astronaut! A fireman! A pilot! A teacher! And so on. They call out their favorites without restraints, without hesitation. They see it and they believe it.
Can you remember longing for the grown-up day when you would magically become who and what you dreamed to be? For some people, things turned out exactly as believed; for others a new, different, and often surprising path was followed.
Whatever your path has been to now, do you find yourself coming full circle lamenting, "I don't know what I want to be when I grow up!"? You are not alone. In my work as a coach, I hear it often. I've been in that place myself.
Read this and other posts at Donna's LearningLife expert blog, Thresholds...

coming up...December 2009

College of Continuing Education Information Session. Learn more about pursuing a self-designed bachelor's or master's degree. (Tuesday, December 8, 6-8 p.m. Free)

Headliners, December edition: New Models for the News (Thursday, December 3, 7 p.m. Tickets: $10)

Great Cities of the Mediterranean World: Cairo, Alexandria, Carthage (Tuesdays, February 2-16, 7-9 p.m. Tuition: $160)

Minnesota Ghost Stories and Legends: A Case Study in Writing (Tuesdays, February 2-16, 7-9 p.m. Tuition: $125)

Willa Cather in Context and On Stage, in partnership with Illusion Theater. Learn more about American author Willa Cather, known for her plainspoken works about American frontier life. Engage with literary scholars and members of the Illusion Theater production of My Antonia during the day; in the evening, attend a performance of the play and an exclusive post-performance discussion. (Saturday, February 27. Tuition: $125, includes ticket to the show)

AndyGilatsNEW.bmpfrom Andy Gilats, LearningLife director

I believe that it's impossible to be human without being creative. Creativity is a defining characteristic of our species, and is related to urges like hunger and thirst. It impels us to strive, make and build, have ideas, be resourceful, make discoveries, solve problems, and craft our futures. Creativity might be repressed, it may go to sleep, but it doesn't die until we do. We are all creative from birth to death.

Creativity shows itself in infinite ways. Whether it's an especially elegant way of organizing a space, teaching someone to read, knitting a sweater that fits (my yet-unmet life goal), leading a team through a satisfying project, or baking a soufflé that "turns out," large and small creative acts are a daily part of living and integral to a fulfilling life.

Going to a war-torn nation to face war criminals, gangsters, and corrupt officials isn't everyone's idea of professional development--but for one 2007 Master of Liberal Studies graduate, it was an opportunity to study international law firsthand.
For one year, Ramsey County District Court judge Edward Wilson worked in Prizren, Kosovo, serving as an international judge on cases deemed too sensitive or explosive for local officials--including war crimes, ethnic disputes, and organized crime. Read more about his experience and how he's brought his experience with restorative justice back to Ramsey County.

See free performances of Chekhov's Wild Honey, performed by senior students in the U's Bachelor of Fine Arts Actor Training Program, a partnership between the U and the Guthrie Theater. The play will be performed at Rarig Center's Kilburn Arena Stage, December 3 and 5 at 7:30 p.m.; and December 6 at 2 p.m. Learn more at the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance Web site.

Tips and tricks for getting started on Facebook, LinkedIn, and more....SclNtwrkLgs.gif

In the last couple of years, social networking Web sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have become almost as ubiquitous an accessory as a cell phone or a computer. A sizeable proportion of Gen X and Millenials have a page (or two or three)--some estimates say nearly 90 percent of college students maintain at least one page--but what about baby boomers? Is social networking "just for kids," or are people over 40 adopting the technology as well?

A recent report from Forrester Research indicates that baby boomers are more technically savvy than might be popularly believed. According to the study, more than 60 percent of boomers are using social media like blogs, forums, podcasts, and online videos. And one-third of adult Internet users have a profile on a social networking site, up from 8 percent in 2005 (according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project).

Sometimes, it seems that everyone, from individuals still in the corporate world to retired grandparents, is going online. Heck, even nonagenarian actor and academy award winner Kirk Douglas has his own MySpace page to keep in touch with fans and family alike. (He's a Sagittarius, by the way.)

coming up...November 2009

Are you wondering how online networking could be valuable to you, either personally or professionally? In "Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter: Making Them Work for You," learn how to use, navigate, and leverage the "big three" social networks. (Saturday, November 21, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)

Also upcoming...
More Home, Less House: Back to Basics Green Design (Mondays, November 9-30, 7-9 p.m.)

From Facts to Memories, Meaning to Memoir
(Tuesdays, November 10-24, 7-9 p.m.)

On October 1, health policy expert Larry Jacobs delivered an incisive Headliners presentation on "Touching the Third Rail: The Politics of American Health Care." Listen to the presentation online and discover why presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton have tried and failed to deliver on their promises of comprehensive health care reform. Or, read Casey Selix's MinnPost story about the event.

One hundred years ago, the U's School of Nursing admitted its first class--of eight students. Since its inception in 1909 (as the first nursing school based in a university), the school has operated continuously for 100 years. Check out the centennial Web site for photo galleries, facts about the school, and a century's worth of alumni memories.