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June 2010 Archives

Justus_Ramsey.jpgA journalism major in college, Laura Weber has spent decades in the writing and editing field. She got her start as a freelancer covering the Minneapolis arts community, continued writing articles and reviews as she worked for a variety of nonprofits, and is now serving as the director of communications for the U's College of Design.

In many respects, it was her vocation that opened the door to her avocation. Weber's writing on the arts segued into writing about history--which led to her graduate degree in history. It also piqued her interest about many of the buildings and structures in the arts district. Now, when she is not at work at the U, she is a writer and historian specializing in Minnesota vernacular architecture

Weber, a past president for the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians, will lend her expertise to the July 20 Curiosity Camp, Chapels, Cottages, and Ivy-Covered Halls: Preserving Historic Gems.

MarkFischer_LL.JPGCollege, technical or professional training are tools you may use to launch your children or grandchildren into a future life of independence. After all, in a knowledge-based economy like ours, what your children know and can contribute can be of substantial value to different employers and therefore generate higher pay for them.

There are three ways to pay for the training - beforehand, during and afterwards.

1. Beforehand means putting money aside from income or assets into an account that will be available to pay tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses when the time comes to pay the bills. This approach has time working for you; the money you have contributed into your account may earn interest and dividends and even grow.

2. During means using your income to pay the bills directly while your (grand)children are in school. This approach can work great, but with current high educational expenses you need to have substantial discretionary income to find enough money.

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Space Camp for Grown-Ups (Thursday, July 8, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)

Finding Creativity and Meaning Through Mindfulness (Tuesday, July 13, 2:30 - 9:30 p.m.)

Reaching a Sustainable Future: Design/Community/Art/Action (Thursday, July 15, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

Chapels, Cottages, and Ivy-Covered Halls: Preserving Historic Gems (Tuesday, July 20, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)

China's Art Treasures (Wednesday, July 21, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)

Subterranean Twin Cities: Caves, Mines, and Underground Spaces (Additional session added, due to demand! Thursday, August 5, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)

Late Roman and Byzantine Art: From the Daily to the Sacred (Tuesday, August 10, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)

Great news: Due to popular demand, the sold-out "Subterranean Twin Cities" Curiosity Camp will be offered again on August 5! Thanks to instructor and guide Greg Brick for being so flexible!

If you're interested in exploring the maze of caves beneath our streets, we urge you to sign up quickly--chances are, this event will sell out fast! Registration is available here.

More info about Curiosity Camp

MPR blogger Dave Peters posted some thoughts about Tuesday's Great Conversations and how it relates to local sustainability efforts here in Minnesota. What are your thoughts? Can we "fix the system"?

Katherine_and_Elizabeth_Hirsh.jpgRecently one of us was experiencing jaw pain and went to the dentist only to discover that she needed surgery, and expensive surgery at that. She felt frustrated at the thought of having the procedure and at spending money she had not expected to spend. Then she considered the alternative: no pain and therefore no warning that something was wrong and thus the possibility that things would get worse and her whole jaw could be affected.

Suddenly the mouth pain, as well as having to get and pay for surgery, didn't seem that bad. In fact, upon reflection it seemed like a gift. The pain served an important purpose. It was a warning that something needed to be done. Of course physical pain is not the only sort we face - as is all too familiar, pain can strike in many forms. Below are some of the guises that pain can take and the gifts it might be offering us.

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Straight from the source....J. Brian Atwood, dean of the Humphrey Institute, writes about his recent Great Conversation with Hernando de Soto in a Star Tribune editorial.

MarkFischer_LL.JPGWhen you die, your will (or trust or the state's will) will spell out what you want to happen to your investments and personal property. Would you like to share anything more than that with your family?

What ideas or information or values or personal history has been important for you? What are your stories? What do you want to be remembered for, besides your money?

Do you have instructions, thoughts, feelings for your spouse/partner or other family members?
What are you grateful for? If you could do it over again, what would you do differently?

Is there anything really, really important to share with children or grandchildren, even the ones that are too young to understand now or may not even be alive yet? What do you want them to remember or to do?

What insights or special wisdom do you have? Are there blessings that you have for them? Are there things unsaid that are worth saying now?

The document you write that answers these questions is called an ethical will. It is a gift to those you love whenever they read it.

There are considerable advantages for you, too. It gives you an opportunity to be thoughtful and reflective and possibly provide spiritual meaning for yourself. What you learn can be useful to you in future ventures. In some senses it can provide immortality. Your legacy will live on if you leave behind people who understand what you stood for and will carry on what you believed in.

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