Archive for Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mini College’ to open for public

Courses let anyone return to school for a few days in June

April 26, 2009


In early June, some returning “students” to Kansas University will hear lectures on topics such as terrorism and getting rid of all that stuff accumulating around the house.

It’s all part of KU’s first Mini College, which offers a chance for people to return to school for a few days on June 1-4.

There are no tests or quizzes this time around — just a few lectures to choose from in the mornings on a wide range of topics, followed by four different tracks that can be followed in the afternoons.

Anyone interested can register for a $175 fee by May 1, though late registrations will be accepted through May 15 with an additional $25 fee. Participants can opt to stay in a residence hall if they choose, though it’s not required.

Evan Jorn graduated from KU in 1975 with a degree in social work. The Lawrence resident and his wife both plan to attend so they can meet local author Laura Moriarty, whose books they enjoy.

They’ll be following an afternoon track devoted to meeting the authors of four books — participants are required to read the books ahead of time — and the discussions that follow.

“We’ll hope to meet Laura, and maybe I can get inspired to write my own book someday,” Jorn said.

He said he looked forward to the lectures in the morning, too. One session popular with registrants is on the accumulation of stuff, by David Ekerdt, professor of sociology. The session is scheduled to address how households accumulate things over time and why it’s hard to get rid of them.

Saralyn Reece Hardy, director of the Spencer Museum of Art, said the museum was happy to assist in one of the afternoon tracks devoted to showing people how museum pieces are chosen.

“It’s important to keep people engaged with the university and the absolute thrill of being involved and learning throughout your life,” Hardy said.

In the art museum’s track, people will have a chance to interact with the museum’s curatorial staff about how decisions are made after hearing about all the issues that go into a decision to display a piece of art.

“We’re always interested in what people say,” Hardy said.

About 90 people have signed up for the Mini College so far. Anyone interested in registering may visit for more details. Details are also available by phone at 864-1767.


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