detail of paiting by Hong Zhang, pine trees against grey rock cliff


Minnesota Mycology: Small Plate Soirée

Skillet filled with edible mushrooms

Reservation deadline is Sept. 18! 

What is this? Can I eat it? According to mycology enthusiast Kathy Yerich, these are the most commonly asked questions about mushrooms. On September 25, join us at the Campus Club to sample plates made by executive chef Beth Jones while you learn about some of the more than 5,000 species of mushrooms found in our region. You'll get tips on how to use these versatile morsels in your own kitchen and discuss the ins and outs of the ever-expanding local mushroom industry with a gourmet mushroom cultivator. Space is limited.

Photo: Maja7777 @ Pixabay




Approach Learning on Your Own Terms

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 features 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 minds, resources, and research of the University for those who seek knowledge, personal development, and academic and civic engagement.

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

Courses, Seminars, Immersions

Minnesota Mycology: Study, Forage, Savor

Start Date: September 19, 2019 | Short Course
Instructor: Beth Jones, Ian Silver-Ramp, Courtney Tchida, Kathy Yerich
Hen of the Woods, Chicken of the Woods: what’s the difference? With more than 5,000 species of mushrooms found in the region, identifying species can be challenging. Led by mycology enthusiast Kathy Yerich, this course allows you to first learn about, then forage for, and finally savor the mushrooms of Minnesota. The course includes an introductory classroom session, a Saturday foray, and a closing soirée featuring small plates made from locally sourced wild and cultivated mushrooms, cooking tips, and a visit from a gourmet mushroom cultivator who will discuss the ins and outs of the ever-expanding local mushroom industry. Space is limited.

Birding by Ear

Start Date: September 23, 2019 | Immersion
Instructor: Sharon “Birdchick” Stiteler
Boost your bird-song knowledge! How do avid birders find so many birds? Half the battle is being able to identify birdsongs—not only what type of bird is singing, but what specific calls mean. This lively immersion will have you out during fall migration season spending the day using different tools to identify bird calls, songs, and species identification.

Minnesota Mycology: Small Plate Soirée

Start Date: September 25, 2019 | Special Event
Instructor: Beth Jones, Ian Silver-Ramp, Courtney Tchida, Kathy Yerich
What is this? Can I eat it? According to mycology enthusiast Kathy Yerich, these are the most commonly asked questions about mushrooms. Join us at the Campus Club to sample and learn about some of the more than 5,000 species found in our region. In addition to offering tips on how to use mushrooms in your own kitchen, the soirée will include a visit from a gourmet mushroom cultivator who will discuss the ins and outs of the ever-expanding local mushroom industry. Reservations must be made by September 18.

FROM THE FIELD | Easiest Catch: Another Fish in the Dark Net

Start Date: October 7, 2019 | Seminar
Instructor: Mark Lanterman
In recognition of October being National Cyber Security Awareness Month, one of the nation’s leading cybersecurity experts will lead this seminar which surveys recent high-profile cybercrime events, including website breaches that have impacted businesses, institutions, and organizations. Also discussed: some of the dangerous threats that affect individuals, current developments in the digital underground, and realistic advice for your own cyber protection.

It’s a Small World: Boost Your Intercultural Competency

Start Date: October 12, 2019 | Short Course
Instructor: Thorunn Bjarnadottir
In this interactive course, you will learn how to uncover aspects of your own culture in order to distinguish how your unique values shape your perception of the world. Whether you are a world traveler, a professional who works with people around the globe, or a prospective host to international visitors, you’ll quickly come to see how identifying relevant cultural differences can make it easier to create positive connections with people who come from cultural backgrounds different from your own.

Mighty Fitz: The Sinking and Trial of the Edmund Fitzgerald 

Start Date: October 14, 2019 | Special Event
Instructor: Michael Schumacher
The sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald is one of the most famous shipwreck stories in Great Lakes history. It is also one of maritime lore’s great mysteries, the details of its disappearance as obscure now as on that fateful November day in 1975. Join us for this special 44th-anniversary event, when acclaimed author and historian Michael Schumacher pays tribute to the lives lost by sharing a unique, and uniquely enlightening, perspective on this unforgettable episode in America’s maritime history, from the fateful final voyage to the controversial final report

The Roaring 1880s: Minneapolis and Saint Paul Come of Age

Start Date: October 16, 2019 | Short Course
Instructor: Larry Millett
The 1880s were a time like no other in the history of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. It was a dynamic period that saw explosive growth and a great flowering of architecture. Based on three books by architectural critic and historian Larry Millett, this course will explore the 1880s in all of their splendor and squalor, looking back at the crucial decade when Minneapolis and Saint Paul came of age.

Creativity Reimagined

Start Date: October 17, 2019 | Short Course
Instructor: Alice Larson
Quick, off the top of your head: name a book about creativity or creative practice that was written in the last half century. Name another. And another. The truth is, hundreds of such books exist and range from John W. Gardner’s classic treatise Self-Renewal: The Individual and the Innovative Society (1964) to Richard Florida’s theoretical The Rise of the Creative Class (2002). But what actually constitutes creative thinking? How does this compare to critical thinking? What are the individual characteristics of those who are considered creative? What cognitive skills and personality traits support creative thinking? Can creativity be taught? It’s a topic for the ages, so let’s jump in!

The Symbolic Meanings of Money

Start Date: October 22, 2019 | Short Course
Instructor: Kenneth Doyle
Money and property are among the most pervasive forces in modern life, and our personal relationships with money are as much about psychology as they are about economics, about communication and symbolism, about buying and selling. This course will help you to understand the symbolic meanings of money and the psychological, cultural, economic, social, and political variables that contribute to these meanings. Examples both contemporary and historical will synthesize what psychoanalysis, psychometrics, social science, and brain science tell us about our relationship with money and why we do what we do even when it is not considered rational or in our best interest.

Chinese Calligraphy: History, Culture, and Practice 

Start Date: October 28, 2019 | Short Course
Instructor: Hong Zhang
More than simply a form of written communication, Chinese calligraphy is a revered art form that has specific tools, techniques, principles, and approaches. In this hands-on course, you’ll study the history and cultural background of this ancient practice and learn how to use a calligraphy brush, ink, and paper, as well as important calligraphic terms. Through lectures, demonstrations, and individual practice, you’ll discover the importance of mastering calligraphic brush skills and gain a deeper appreciation for the beauty and concepts of the form.

How American Gothic Fiction Critiques America: Vonnegut, Bradbury, King

Start Date: October 30, 2019 | Short Course
Instructor: Patrick O'Donnell
Distinct from Gothic fiction, American Gothic fiction is a homegrown subgenre set in uniquely American settings and characterized by themes that delve into the darker elements of the nation’s culture and history. With an eye toward critical insight into the American experience, we’ll read and discuss three novels: Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles, and Stephen King's Carrie.

A Golden Age of Cartography: Maps and Mapmakers Before 1800

Start Date: October 30, 2019 | Short Course
Instructor: Marguerite Ragnow
This course surveys the golden age of cartography, highlighting maps and mapmakers from the Middle Ages and ancient Rome to 18th-century America. Using rare and magnificent maps from the James Ford Bell Library’s collection, you’ll delve into the history, romance, and beauty of cartography and learn how ideas about the world have changed over time—not just on maps, but in the imagination as well.

The Barber of Seville

Start Date: November 9, 2019 | Short Course
Instructor: Daniel Freeman
First performed in Rome in 1816, Gioacchino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville helped to usher in an era of Italian opera that flourished well into the early 20th century. Delightfully comic and teeming with social commentary, the appeal of Rossini’s Barber has now far transcended that of its literary model, Pierre Beaumarchais’s French comedy Le Barbier de Séville, the first of the three Figaro plays. Offered in conjunction with the Minnesota Opera production.

The Normandy Invasion: A 75th Anniversary Retrospective

Start Date: November 12, 2019 |Short Course
Instructor: John Kim Munholland
Perhaps one of the most dramatic events of World War II came with the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, when approximately 156,000 US, British, and Canadian forces landed on five separate beaches along France’s Normandy coast and forever changed the course of the war. As the world marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, this retrospective taught by Professor Emeritus John Kim Munholland provides details of how the historic invasion was achieved

Design Thinking

Start Date: June 24, 2020 | Short Course
Instructor: Virajita Singh
The emerging field of “Design Thinking” takes design concepts from professional realms such as architecture, film, fashion, and design, and applies them to broader society. The process, which focuses on deep listening, holistic thinking, creativity, collaboration, experimentation, and “user” experience and engagement, is used in a variety of fields as well as by individuals working toward expansive or specific goals. In this course, you’ll use the systematic steps of Design Thinking to advance your creative vision.


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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