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Living a LearningLife

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Season's Greetings from LearningLife!

Margy.jpgAlthough holiday music and seasonal displays seem to creep into public life earlier and earlier each year, there's no denying that the holiday season is truly here in full force. Everywhere we turn there seems to be shopping chaos, hyperactive advertising vying for our attention, and the lure of fun-filled adventures over the river and through the woods. But amidst all the activity, there is a quiet center of being thankful that never goes away, no matter how hectic our schedules seem to get.

That's why I wanted to take this opportunity to say "thank you!" to all of our LearningLife participants. I know there are a lot of choices out there when it comes to how you spend your precious time, and I'm grateful that you have chosen to make LearningLife a part of your busy schedule.

Based on your response to our fall programs, this is going to be a year for the record books. Just this fall alone, more than 2,000 of you have taken part in our unique learning experiences!

We kicked off the season with a bang, with 500 people registering for the annual Sampler. While the Sampler is an old favorite and our short courses enjoy a loyal following, two of the formats showcased at this year's Sampler (101s and Saturday morning seminars) are some of our newer offerings. We launched 101s last year, and these daylong immersions in collegiate topics have proven to be extremely popular. There's still time to "go back to school" this season - Aesthetics 101: A Beginner's Guide on Saturday, December 3, will help you get in touch with your inner philosopher.

Our Saturday morning seminars came about as a result of feedback from many of you, asking for more opportunities on weekends to fit into your active lives. At the first two seminars many of you grabbed a cup of coffee and engaged in lively, two-hour discussions of topics ranging from constitutional law to the controversy swirling around the international best-seller, Three Cups of Tea. The final seminar of the season, Reading the Tea Leaves: The Rise of Political Parties, led by superstar political scientist Kathryn Pearson, is scheduled for December 10 and still has a few seats available.

In addition to Saturday offerings, there was a call for a return to daytime courses. We're excited to announce that we have two short courses coming up this winter on weekday mornings: Writing Our Lives Again will focus on new books by pioneering feminist authors as a springboard to think about and actively shape your future, and The Poems of Emily Dickinson will be led by perennial LearningLife favorite, Professor Toni McNaron. You can view full information and a roster of all the winter programs online starting in mid-December.

Your feedback is essential in helping us develop the programming you enjoy, both in terms of format and content. We love to hear from you, and encourage you to visit our Facebook page to see photos from recent events, join in discussions, get program updates, take part in contests and giveaways, and connect with like-minded learners.

We are excited about our new programs, and think we've got some great things in store for you in the coming months. Thank you again for being such an important part of the LearningLife community during 2011. I hope to see you at a course or event in the New Year!

Happy Holidays,
Margy Ligon
Personal Enrichment Programs

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