Living a LearningLife


November 23, 2009

Heard it through the grapevine...December 2009

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.

November 5, 2009

Heard it through the grapevine...November 2009

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.

October 2, 2009

Heard it through the grapevine...October 2009

The University's student-run radio station, Radio K, is moving to the big-time world of FM radio. Radio K is Minnesota's oldest radio station, broadcasting since 1922 at 770 AM. Due to FCC regulations, Radio K was unable to broadcast during the night hours on their AM frequency, so the move to FM broadcasting is also a move to 24-hour broadcasting. Listen to them at 104.5 FM in Minneapolis and 100.7 in St. Paul, or online at

October can mean many things: falling leaves, Halloween, a steadily falling thermometer...but to a dedicated group of U of M students, it means only one thing--Solar Decathlon competition month! In our August issue, you heard about the U's solar house entry, the ICON house. This month, keep an eye on the University's Solar Decathlon team Web site, as well as the Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Web site for results. The winner will be announced on Friday, October 16!

July 29, 2009

Heard it through the grapevine...August 2009

Can't get away this summer? This month, LearningLife travel blogger Catherine Watson muses on finding the exotic in her own backyard.

You have the power! At least in an online game. Faculty in the University's Institute of Technology, working with staff in the Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute, have developed an online game that lets you simulate traffic congestion problems, and gain an appreciation for the work that traffic engineers do everyday to cut down on accidents and driver frustration.

June 29, 2009

Heard it through the grapevine...July 2009

David Kessler, the former FDA commissioner known for taking on Big Tobacco, has a new health concern in his sights: obesity. Listen to his 2007 Great Conversations appearance with Allen Levine, and hear about the Oprah episode that got him interested in obesity and his take on the American food industry. (Scroll down to the 2007 series.)

Mettle's tagline says it all: "Tough times don't last. Tough people do." Each year, students in the School of Journalism's Magazine Editing and Production class produce a full-scale magazine. This year's magazine, Mettle, takes an in-depth look at the current recession and its effect on the millennial generation. What's more, the printed magazine is accompanied by a robust Web site that rivals many professional sites. Check it out for a look at what's on the mind of this year's crop of University graduates.

June 2, 2009

Heard it through the grapevine...June 2009

On June 28, the Split Rock Arts Program kicks off its summer season of intensive art-making workshops and retreats. Check out a gallery of work by this season’s visual art and design faculty, or attend one of two readings given by members of Split Rock’s writing faculty at the University of Minnesota Bookstore.

First Lady fashion-watching has become an American pastime of sorts. Watch a video of U of M fashion historian Kathleen Campbell discussing the impact of the First Lady on the world of fashion, and how Michelle Obama is using fashion to communicate to the wider world.

May 13, 2009

Heard it through the grapevine...May 2009

LearningLife expert bloggers Elizabeth and Katherine Hirsh tackled the topic of self-renewal in their April post, Spring Into Self-Discovery – Planting and Pruning for New Growth. See their post for insightful thoughts about how you can reclaim your life and fill it with energizing, joyful activities.

The University of Minnesota Extension Service turns 100 this year! Check out the centennial Web site for a rich history of the Extension Service—everything from how Extension agents helped save Minnesota hogs during the hog cholera epidemic of 1913 to how educators currently work with communities to promote sustainable tourism.

April 3, 2009

Heard it through the grapevine...April 2009

At the March 10 Great Conversations event, Pulitzer Prize-winner Seymour Hersh made blog headlines around the world with his assertion that, during the Bush administration, Vice President Cheney’s office oversaw an “executive assassination wing.” The story later popped up on CNN and on Fresh Air. Read Eric Black’s original MinnPost story on Hersh’s appearance, watch a portion of the conversation, or listen to the entire Great Conversations event.

The Great Conversations series continues on April 14 with “Innovative Science,” a conversation between Drs. Doris Taylor, a U researcher and a finalist for TIME magazine’s most influential person of the year, and Patricia Simmons, chair of the University’s Board of Regents.

Education via Twitter? The U is helping Minneapolis’s Roosevelt High School bring tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Maps, and more into the classroom. See a UMN News Service video about the program or read the feature article.

March 9, 2009

I heard it through the grapevine...March 2009

Didn’t catch last spring’s LearningLife Fest? Listen online as the Purpose Project’s Richard Leider discusses “Facing the Midlife Challenge,” or to former Star Tribune travel writer Catherine Watson’s presentation, “Living a Renewable Life.” (Links will open to an audio file.)

The U’s “Taking Charge of Your Health” Web siteis a powerhouse of information on complementary and alternative medicine, navigating the health care system, and online health management tools. The site is a collaboration between the U’s Center for Spirituality and Healing and the Life Science Foundation.

February 2, 2009

I heard it through the grapevine...February 2009

“...suddenly India, with more than a billion people, seemed small and closely knit, and I was stunned at how close terrorism had come to people I knew.?

Catherine Watson’s mind-expanding monthly blog, the open road, reflects on how travel changes one’s outlook on life and global events. Read more from the award-winning author at the LearningLife Web site.

Talk about an inspiring global perspective...J.L. David Smith, a University professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, thinks globally, and teaches his students to do so as well. For over 25 years, he has studied tigers in south and southeast Asia. Here at the U, he has established the Collaborative Lab for Asian Wildlife Studies (CLAWS), has led field classes of University undergraduates in Thailand, and has worked with a U graduate student to train former poachers to be forest rangers.

How does this relate to Minnesota? “Maintaining biodiversity is a regional, national, and international issue,? Smith explained in an interview with Legacy magazine. “Minnesotans understand that being global citizens means caring about global ecosystems.?

November 24, 2008

I heard it through the tidbits from the College of Continuing Education and the U of M, December 2008

The director of the University’s Human Rights Program, Barbara Frey, has been visible in our local media in recent days, as a United Nations human rights expert has asked to hear local testimony about the desecration of Hmong graves in Thailand. Frey talked with Kerry Kennedy about human rights as part of Great Conversations last spring—tune into the full-length talk.

Enjoy a colorful survey of the Minnesota Dance Theatre’s 40-year history in a University Libraries exhibition, “Houlton’s Legacy: The Magic of Dance,? from December 11 through February 20, 2009.

Attend the opening reception on December 11, and see a brief preview performance of the company’s Nutcracker Fantasy. The event is free, but reservations are required. Learn more and RSVP.

October 31, 2008

I heard it through the tidbits from the College of Continuing Education and the U of M, November 2008

Headliners, the monthly forum that connects the public with University experts, kicked off its 2008-09 series on October 2 with Professor William Beeman’s presentation on Petropolitics and the Middle East. If you missed it, you can listen in and watch the presentation online.

The University’s Goldstein Museum of Design, located on the St. Paul campus, is the only design museum in the Upper Midwest. Take an online tour of their eclectic collections.

September 24, 2008

I heard it through the tidbits from the College of Continuing Education and the U of M, October 2008

The annual Compleat Scholar Sampler features short "tastings" of personal enrichment courses that will be offered through the fall. Listen online to presentations on topics ranging from the science of tasting wine to the use of glass as an artistic medium.

Read about how a U of M professor assembled a new online database that has exponentially expanded the possibilities for social science research.

August 28, 2008

Heard it through the tidbits from the College of Continuing Education and the U of M, September 2008

Minnesota is changing fast. Watch Minnesota State Demographer Tom Gillaspy’s April 2 presentation on Minnesota’s Radical Demographic Change, part of the Strategic Leadership Insights program.

The University of Minnesota School of Music offers performances year-round, many of them free. A list of September events includes a master class and performance from pianist Leon Fleisher.

July 18, 2008

I heard it through the tidbits from the College of Continuing Education and the U of M, August 2008

Missed Daniel Ellsberg and Larry Jacobs' Great Conversations on "American Democracy in Dissent"? Download an MP3 or listen through the Flash Player as a seminal figure in the history of the Vietnam War discusses the role of secrecy in government with one of the U's top political science professors.

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