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Cultivate your mind and approach learning on your own terms! Intellectually challenging and personally enriching, LearningLife’s innovative portfolio of short courses, seminars, and one-day immersions feature a range of topics and approaches to learning. Taught by University faculty, and scholars and professionals from the community, the program offers rich, meaningful experiences that highlight the intellectual resources of the University for those who seek knowledge, academic engagement, and personal development.

LearningLife also is home to Encore Transitions, a series of courses designed to help you imagine and prepare for a vibrant post-career life, and Headliners, a lively current event discussion series that highlights the recent work of University scholars and researchers.

Courses, Seminars, Immersions

Genomes: Understanding Your Body's Ancestry 

Start Date: November 26, 2018 | Short Course
Instructor: David Matthes
It’s complicated, but grasshoppers and elephants are built from the same arrangement of just four chemical bases. How? A little (and huge) thing called genomes. In this course participants will not only learn about ancestry and genomes, they also will learn to interpret their own human genome sequence. Take the plunge and discover the amazing world residing within nearly every cell of your body.

The St. Paul Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Start Date: November 28, 2018 | Short Course
Instructor: Dave Page
The ties between Fitzgerald’s life in St. Paul and much of his short fiction are evident—the author’s deep connection to the city giving him some of his best material. This course delves into those stories, some virtually unknown, others literary classics. Taught by Fitzgerald scholar Dave Page, each class session will begin with an illustrated lecture, followed by a discussion of related works. 

Revolution in Taste: California’s Changing Viniculture

Start Date: February 11 | Short Course
Instructor: Jason Kallsen
In 2013, Jon Bonné’s book The New California Wine shook the wine world. Labeled as a comprehensive guide to the must-know wines and producers of California's new generation, the book is an astute consideration of “the young, innovative producers who are rewriting the rules of contemporary winemaking.” Based on Bonné’s book, this course explores the old vineyards, forgotten grape varieties, under-appreciated growing regions, and iconoclastic winemakers who are changing the face of Golden State viniculture.

Constant Craving: Of Neuroscience and Addiction 

Start Date: March 13 | Short Course
Instructors: Jazmin Camchong, Julia Lemos, Mark Thomas, Alik Widge, Anna Zilverstand
In conjunction with Brain Awareness Week, LearningLife joins forces with the University’s Departments of Neuroscience and Psychiatry, the Medical Discovery Team on Addiction, and the Brain Conditions area of MnDRIVE to highlight the most current neuroscientific research on addiction. These ongoing inquiries into the common features of addiction are what allow scientists and clinicians to envision and develop new therapies for this most-difficult-to-treat brain condition. Led by five of the University’s finest neuroscience researchers and educators, all three sessions include presentations and ample time for Q & A. 

The Double Act of Yeats and Beckett: Two Irish Writers Compared

Start Date: March 14 | Seminar
Instructor: Patrick O'Donnell 
Often seen superficially as contrasting figures, the indefatigable William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) and the formidable Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) have much more in common than is typically recognized. In this seminar, we’ll examine how Yeats and Beckett are a double act whose work mirrors one another’s obsessions and cultural themes.  

Moving Beyond Perceived Limitations: Improv and Mental Health 

Start Date: March 16 | Short Course
Instructor: Jim Robinson
Anxiety, depression, and tired old stories and feelings of inadequacy can rob us of our vitality, making us feel like wallflowers and spectators rather than participants in any number of social interactions. But did you know that improvisation can help you discover personal strengths and move beyond what you perceive to be your limitations? Offered in conjunction with Brain Awareness Week, this course provides a supportive, task-focused environment in which we’ll explore the physiology of anxiety, and the improv tools that can help to manage your dread and demons, rejuvenate your self-worth, and improve and sustain your mental health. 

Genomes: Understanding Your Body’s Ancestry

Start Date: March 25, 2019 | Short Course
Instructor: David Matthes
It’s complicated, but grasshoppers and elephants are built from the same arrangement of just four chemical bases. How? A little (and huge) thing called genomes. In this course participants will not only learn about ancestry and genomes, they also will learn to interpret their own human genome sequence. Take the plunge and discover the amazing world residing within nearly every cell of your body.

Registration

There are four ways to register:

1. Online by selecting the course title

2. By phone if you're paying by credit card: 612-624-4000 

3. By faxing the completed form to 612-624-5359

4. Via mail by sending the completed form to:

CCAPS Registration Center
353 Ruttan Hall, 1994 Buford Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55108

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