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Shakespeare as Professional Development: de Vere's Irish Pub Quiz Newsletter

The Newsletter in which we discuss work roles, shakespeare, and a life buffeted by the arts.

Note: The pub quiz at de Vere's begins at 7 p.m. every Monday. Show up early to get a seat. 

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,

I got to play the roles of both parents today, the one who gets to attend meetings on topics as diverse as SmartSite, social media policies for UC Davis, and supporting the arts in our home town; as well as the parent who gets to feed the three kids, prepare them for the trip to school, and then collect them again at the end of their school days. And then, this afternoon, I get to attend more meetings!

This diversity of parental experience is made possible, in part, by my wife Kate attending a conference all day in Sacramento. Ironically, while I sometimes question the purpose (and especially the number) of the meetings I attend, as does anyone who attends many of them, I love attending conferences, especially if they support a cause I believe in (as will be the case of the Flourish Davis event that I linked to earlier), or if they offer some sort of professional development.

With regard to professional development, UC Davis has named “Preparation for Lifelong Learning” as one of the seven Educational Objectives for Students decided upon by a large group of faculty (including myself) at the 2001 Chancellor’s Fall Retreat, and since then I’ve made a point of modeling curiosity and discovery for the students I teach. I suppose the Pub Quiz allows me to extend that practice, to enact a practice of lifelong learning that might appeal to a broad range of locals, without regard to how many years it has been since they sat in a formal classroom.

Tonight, for instance, we will share and learn microlessons on a variety of substantive and trivial topics, topics such as cold remedies, online communities, political change in France, The Avengers, large margins of victory, well-stocked libraries, museums, basketball, the tongue as razor, home states, bugs, the SCOTUS, making things undecipherable, Latino culture and heroes, auteurs, party music, solid footing, names of cities that you have seen but never visited, William McKinley, jays, non-fiction novels, Oscar-nominated actors, Irish culture, faraway capitals, favorite continents, Ron Paul and his minions, CEOs, breakfast cereal, and Shakespeare.

Speaking of Shakespeare, the man responsible for the largest Shakespeare tour in American history, Dana Gioia, will be coming to Davis on May 17th for a noon reading and Q+A at the John Natsoulas Gallery as part of the Poetry Night Reading Series. I keep plugging these events because I create and organize them, and because you feel compelled to read these bonus paragraphs, looking for stray Pub Quiz clues. Gioia is former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and current Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the University of Southern California. His new book of poetry is called Pity the Beautiful.

See you tonight at 7 for the Pub Quiz!

Your Quizmaster

Here are five questions from last week’s quiz:

1.         Mottos and Slogans.    What company whose five-letter name begins with L uses the slogan “The relentless pursuit of perfection”? 

2.         Internet Culture. What is the name of the electronic-book reader developed by American book retailer Barnes & Noble? 

3.         Newspaper Headlines.   The same film topped the box office for the second weekend in a row. It has four words in its title, which is one more than The Hunger Games. Name the film. 

4.         Four for Four.      Which of the following animals, if any, are members of the weasel family? Ermine, Polecat, Skink, Stoat. 

5.         Mitt Romney’s BFFs. With which 62 year-old current world leader is Mitt Romney closest friends? Hint: Back to the 1970s, both were young hotshots at the Boston Consulting Group. 

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