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A cartoon of a man at work daydreaming.

Curiosity camp: a day's respite from routine

From eNews, May 13, 2004

Your day-to-day work may have nothing to do with unraveling the makings of a who-done-it novel or getting your hands dirty in a gardening experiment. But taking a day this summer to nurture new interests may be the best thing you can do for your career, or life in general. The University's Curiosity Camps offer that opportunity. "Why should kids have all the fun at summer camp?" says Margy Ligon, director of Personal Enrichment Programs at the U's College of Continuing Education. "We created these daylong experiences to give adults an excuse to take a vacation day and explore an interesting topic. They'll get a chance to hear from U experts, meet people with similar interests, and tour the quiet campus to discover beautiful gardens, fascinating laboratories, and 150 years of inspirational architecture and sculpture." You can choose one "camp" or sign up for the four-part series; each adventure runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and costs $120 ($95 for U of M Alumni Association members). In "Mapping the Life of a City" on Wednesday, June 30, you'll get a bus tour and the chance to view hand-drawn topographical maps of Minneapolis from the mid-19th century. In "The Mysterious Agatha Christie" on Tuesday, July 13, you'll discuss Christie's perennial popularity with Minneapolis author Ellen Hart and attend a matinee performance of The Mousetrap on the Minnesota Showboat. In "Gardening with a Guru" on Wednesday, July 28, you can talk horticultural pleasures and problems with University horticulturist Deb Brown and try your hand at arranging garden flowers. And finally, if your motto is "I live to eat" then you won't want to miss "Consuming Passions: Food and Culture" on Wednesday, August 11. University nutritional anthropologist Chery Smith will take you to several ethnic markets in St. Paul during her journey into the sociocultural meanings of our world's cuisines. "We're hoping these Curiosity Camps will encourage adults to take time for themselves and remember how incredibly stimulating and fun learning can be," says Ligon. She adds that workforce trends indicate our society is taking fewer vacations. For complete information about each of the camps or to register, see or call 612-624-4000.

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