Texting during class is generally discouraged, unless it’s with your dad and you want to chat about a class you are taking together.
That’s the plan for Lauren Vandezande, a freshman at Calvin College in Michigan.
She will be on campus participating in the January Series, one of the nation’s leading lecture and cultural-arts series. Her father, Gerald, will be attending the same series, but through a live video stream at Peace Presbyterian Church in Cary.
Fifteen presentations are scheduled for the series starting Jan. 8. The topics are hard-hitting and relevant, and they cross age barriers. Peace Presbyterian will show the lectures for free.
Lauren is working on a double major in Spanish and elementary education. She wants to hear Nicole Baker Fulgham’s presentation called “Educating All God’s Children” on Jan. 14.
To prepare for the session, Lauren bought Fulgham’s book on education reform.
“I was drawn to the book because she writes about the current problems facing school systems in the United States,” Lauren explained.
Gerald plans to hear as many of the presentations as he can, including “Our place in an Amazing Universe” by astronomer Jennifer Wiseman; “Of Games and God” by Kevin Schut; and “Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” by Isabel Wilkerson, a best-selling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize award for journalism.
“Each of these topics hit home for me as I see my need to understand and to come to grips with each of these topics and how they affect my view of life,” said Gerald, 52, who serves as a deacon at Peace Church.
Linda Smith, founder of Shared Hope International and a congresswoman from Washington state, will talk Jan. 17 about human trafficking, the second-largest and fastest-growing crime in the United States.
If you are a parent of a young girl, you won’t want to miss this lecture with stories of how girls as young as 11 are being trafficked for sex in every county of the United States.
Sports enthusiasts will be want to hear from ESPN founder Bill Rasmussen, who will talk about the early days of the sports channel that was started with a $9,000 credit-card advance. Rasmussen’s presentation is planned for Jan. 23.
“These speakers are all quite interesting, so besides getting a good education, I am looking forward to being entertained as well – a great break in the middle of the day,” said Gerald, who completed understudy work at Calvin before graduating from the University of Waterloo in Canada.
This is the college’s 27th year providing the January Series that has won several awards.
For the first time, the series is available in North Carolina.
In 2014, 44 remote locations will carry the January Series that will span 17 U.S. states, three Canadian provinces and one site in Europe. There will also be an audio-stream from the Calvin College website.