By N3 Entertainment Squad
This week we embark on what will undoubtedly prove to be another serendipitous journey through a series of intriguing ideas, concepts and points of view from an eclectic collection of speakers on a wide variety of subjects.
No, we're not referencing the upcoming Golden Globes, we’re talking about the January Series beginning on Wednesday January 3rd.
For over three decades this Calvin College sponsored (and free) series has made the month of January a bit more bearable.
Not a lot more bearable mind you because it is, after all, January and as an N3 friend who moved south said recently “There’s a lot I miss about Michigan…..well…. except January…. oh yeah, and February.”
But anything that helps get some of us through the seemingly eternal opening month of the year (and don’t even try to convince us it has the same number of days as its much swifter sister July) is heartily welcomed.
Last year we recall being challenged by Eugene Cho, enchanted by Taylor Chase, awakened by Mark Charles and captivated by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
There have been many surprises that have arisen from the series when people at the podium previously unknown to us delivered insightful thought provoking presentations and few, if any, of the more well known names disappointed. A few years back they tossed out a rather remarkable back to back when Rebecca Skloot the author of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” spoke on Tuesday and was followed on Wednesday by the iconic and infinitely entertaining and informative Cokie Roberts.
And as we mentioned the adventure is in listening to someone you’ve not yet heard of speaking to a topic that might seem foreign or at the least just not in your wheelhouse and coming away with a piece of something you didn’t have when you walked in.
The snag here being that Calvin College is a bit of a drive (Grand Rapids) and these things are held midday (12:30pm) because, after all, its a luncheon series of sorts.
Ah, but the Dogwood Center on the outskirts of Fremont is not a long drive nor would you be battling the East Beltline traffic to get there. For the 9th year running, thanks in part to the support of the Fremont Area Community Foundation, they will be hosting a simulcast of the presentations as well as... ‘BONUS ALERT’... offering lunch for a mere fin.
Yes five bucks and you get to settle into the cozy comfort of the Black Box while sampling a lunch whose source will depend on the day you attend. We’ve had our lunches there from a variety of local eateries and the best thing is that one can almost always count on a cookie or similar treat being part of the package.
‘BONUS ALERT II’ You must call a day ahead to have a lunch reserved. That’s 24 hours, meaning the morning before and not a ten minutes to midnight machine message.
This years lineup most certainly looks a lot more enticing than the one the Tigers will be putting on the field Opening Day.
Any Hamilton fans out there?
Yes, there are. We at N3 know your numbers are legion in our area.
Well, a special treat arrives on the 18th when Jeremy McCarter presents “Hamilton, Hope and Change”
Pentatonix aficionados? Plenty of you to be found nearby as well.
Well, on the (17th) group member Kevin Olusola will be “In Concert and Conversation”.
Check out Pashon Murray (9th) and Randy Lewis (5th) a pair of business folks with intriguing stories, Laura Truax (11th) who looks to provide an interesting take on generosity and we are intrigued by Beverly Tatum(15th) whose book title reads “Why Are All the Black Kids Still Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”
Then there is Katherine Boo (16th) who has written extensively about her time spent in some of the world’s poorest communities and is on our admittedly extensive ‘can’t miss’ list.
There you go Near Northians, three weeks of lunchtime listening and learning at the Dogwood which has annually been one of the highest attended remote sites in the nation for this series, including over 50 gathering spots that span the continent from Connecticut to California and Ontario to Texas.
We at N3 World Headquarters find our brains freeze up a bit along with the frigid temps so taking a mid day break to stimulate a few receptors seems to produce a thimbleful of thawing.
And we can use any help we can get because….because...
Well, because it’s January.
And 45 days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training.
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