Speaker Series offers opportunity to listen...and maybe even learn
By Ken DeLaat
After the holidays many return to the gym of their choice, right? It’s a way of helping the body get a bit of healthy movement going again.
I admit to a bit of a pullback from what is probably an already inconsistent exercise regimen during times like the holidays when I can find ample excuses to forego working out.
“Wow, I need to go to the gym but it’s not like those cookies are going to eat themselves, right?” or ‘I could probably get there this afternoon but I noticed Die Hard is on at 3 and you know how I love Christmas movies.”
Thus, once we begin venturing into January my attendance sees an upswing and I strive to get back to my semi-regular routine (can a routine be semi-regular?) and reacquaint myself with the various machines as well as the pool and walking track at Tamarac. I also reacquaint myself with the initial days of post exercise soreness created as punishment for my procrastination.
If you think about it there’s also the post holiday mind to consider and for that we have some good news.
We are on the very cusp of a series of intellectual workouts that will provide intervention for any post holiday emotional ennui or even just the lingering malaise an ongoing spate of sunless weather can produce.
The January Series gets under way tomorrow. If you are acquainted with attending this mid winter classic at the Dogwood you likely have already marked off the dates of your selected speakers on your phone calendar.
If you’re a novice and after years of saying you were going to go but didn't you are committed to going this year for pinky swear certain? Congrats and well done. You won’t regret the time spent and will likely become a regular.
The Dogwood has hosted these for years and it remains one of those things that helps in getting many of us who tend to eschew snowmobiling and ice fishing through the winter.
This series begins Monday with an intriguing look at the way our bodies interact with the world around us as Dr. Sara Hendren challenges listeners to explore preconceived notions about why things are designed as they are and how the world could be more accommodating to all people.
And this is what I love about the Speaker Series. It challenges those who attend to listen to ideas that may not have occurred to them and hopefully process their reaction in a healthy, non judgemental manner. Because believe me, we could all use a little more polishing when it comes to listening skills. Most people are either learners or knowers . Knowers tend to be a bit handicapped when it comes to listening. In an era when opinions pass for knowledge there are few things more refreshing than to hear credible people speak on a subject they have a deep sense of connection to.
On Tuesday Monica Guzman steps to the mike. She is the author of I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times.
Ms. Guzman is a senior fellow with Braver Angels, the cross-partisan grassroots organization working to help depolarize our wonderful country. Some may recall there was a Braver Angels workshop held in Newaygo this past fall.
I would challenge those who reside entrenched in the camps of the right or left leaning to attend this one. While recognizing how some may dismiss any attempt at the possibility of common ground (generally the knowers), those who have yet to relinquish the concept of open-mindedness might find this one fruitful.
And those are just the first two. There are 13 more running through Friday the 27th of January which means after the series we have gotten through a good third of winter and it’s time to begin going through the seed catalogs in earnest.
So get yourself to the Dogwood this week. Here’s the skinny:
The January Series lectures will be video streamed live at the Dogwood Center, 4734 S. Campus Court, Fremont, from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, January 9 - 27. The lectures are free and open to the public. The Black Box will be available for seating and attendees may bring their lunch. View the speaker schedule at www.dogwoodcenter.com and pick out which ones you will be attending!
We would like to hear from you as to your opinion on one or any of the series you might attend. Send your review, comments, feedback, whatever, to firstname.lastname@example.org and type in 'January Series' in the subject and we will post your views on any of the ideas you hear expressed over the next 3 weeks.
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