A Scholar’s Scholar: Jeff Meyer
by Anastasia Faunce and Christian Fredrickson
If it’s true that the way we spend our time, and the people we spend our time with, define who we are and what we value, then LearningLife student Jeff Meyer may be considered a scholar’s scholar, not to mention a man who has a passion for sharing his pursuit of knowledge with others.
Meyer, who retired in spring of 2011, says “LearningLife courses, seminars, and immersions have become a large part of who I am and what I do.”
Despite perpetual busyness, the LearningLife schedule works well with the pace of Meyer’s lifestyle. Initially he volunteered with various groups but moved away from that, wanting to get away from a rigid, predictable weekly routine. “The nice thing about LearningLife courses,” he says, “is that they don't require major time commitments over an entire semester that would interfere with my other interests, yet provide high-quality instruction by world-class scholars in a variety of subjects of interest.” This works nicely around a major home-renovation project he’s been working on, as well as gardening, tennis, yoga, the “infamous retiree breakfast,” and as many Twins games as he can attend.
"Being able to spend a few hours with some of the top scholars and finest researchers to be found anywhere, and hearing about the latest ideas and developments in their respective fields, is an opportunity not to be missed."
Meyer particularly enjoys attending these courses with his friend, Rosemary Foley, as well as sharing the opportunity to learn with others. “I talk about my participation frequently with family and friends,” he says. “I do think the annual Sampler events have been a great way to introduce family and friends to the LearningLife program.”
When asked about his favorite instructors, Meyer was reluctant to leave anyone off of the roster of influential, inspiring educators: Dr. George Sheets speaking on the great trials of history, Allan Kohl’s art history courses, Doug Ohman’s local tours of Minnesotan significance, and nearly every course on neuroscience LearningLife has to offer. “I would pay to listen to Dr. Anatoly Liberman read the phone book,” he insists, recalling his lessons on Oscar Wilde and the Icelandic Sagas.
“I've never taken a LearningLife offering that wasn't interesting, enjoyable, and enlightening on whatever subject was being taught. It makes me feel that the people of Minnesota are being greatly rewarded for their investment in their University.”