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One Day University with The Fresno Bee

November 10, 2018 9:30 AM – 1:15 PM

schedule

9:30 AM - 10:35 AM
The Civil War and Abraham Lincoln: What's Fact and What's Fiction?

Louis Masur / Rutgers University

Abraham Lincoln is considered our greatest President and one of the most controversial. People have debated various aspects of his personality and politics. Was he depressed? Why did he tell so many stories? Was he truly opposed to slavery? Did he free the slaves? Did the Union prevail because of his leadership or despite him? This class aims to uncover the man and not the myth. In 1922, the historian W.E.B. DuBois proclaimed that Lincoln was “big enough to be inconsistent.” To be sure, there were tensions in Lincoln’s character and ideology: he could be happy and melancholy, could promote democracy and suspend civil liberties, could oppose slavery yet have doubts about the place of blacks in American society.

Some of what DuBois saw as inconsistency had more to do with political reality, especially in regard to the issue of the abolition of slavery. Lincoln had to contend with various pressures knowing that any misstep could very well lead to the destruction of the Union. Here is where his temperament becomes so important. As we shall see, Lincoln’s storytelling had a purpose, as did his gradual approach to decision making. But once he made up his mind, he seldom looked back. In the end, it is not that he was inconsistent, but that he was thoughtful and deliberate and was not afraid to change his mind and grow in the process.

Louis Masur / Rutgers University
Louis Masur is a Distinguished Professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers University. He received outstanding teaching awards from Rutgers, Trinity College, and the City College of New York, and won the Clive Prize for Excellence in Teaching from Harvard University. He is the author of many books including "Lincoln's Last Speech," which was inspired by a talk he presented at One Day University. His essays and articles have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, and Chicago Tribune. He is an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society and serves on the Historians' Council of the Gettysburg Foundation.

10:50 AM - 11:55 AM
Rhapsody in Blue: The Musical Masterpiece that Changed America

Orin Grossman / Fairfield University

Gershwin wrote his first hit songs at the age of 19, and was a successful songwriter from then on. He created concert works out of melodies and rhythms that come out of the popular music of his day - Broadway ballads, ragtime, Latin dance rhythms, and the Blues. Professor Grossman's lecture will demonstrate the unique way Gershwin composed, including his very first and most popular concert work, Rhapsody in Blue. And yes – Professor Grossman (who is a concert level pianist) will play excerpts from that American masterpiece.

Orin Grossman / Fairfield University
Orin Grossman is renowned internationally for his knowledge of music. He lectures and performs concerts throughout the US and Europe, he teaches Performing Arts at Fairfield University, and has served as the University's Academic Vice President. Professor Grossman has been particularly associated with the music of George Gershwin, performing concerts of his song transcriptions and classical pieces to critical praise around the world, including performances in Cairo and New York. Professor Grossman was also chosen to play for the New York City Mayor's Awards of Honor for Arts and Culture.

12:10 PM - 1:15 PM
The Science of Sleep: How it Can Effect Creativity, Focus, and Memory

Sara Mednick / University of California Irvine

Sleep is critical for our brains and bodies, from decreasing risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease to bolstering our memory and emotional well-being. Sleep changes across the lifespan, from childhood to adolescence, adulthood to older adulthood. How can we maintain our top level of performance and health through all these fluctuations in our sleep? Dr. Mednick is an expert in sleep and cognition and will explain the moving target of sleep across the ages and its impact on mental and physical health and well-being. She will help people understand how to best combat these changes and work with them to benefit our lives. She will give tips on how to sleep better, including how to engineer the perfect nap! Along with learning how to use sleep to heighten creativity, productivity, memory and emotional well-being, older adults concerned with cognitive decline can learn about the role of sleep in this process and how to best regain control of sleep in order to bolster their brains and memory processes.

Sara Mednick / University of California Irvine
Sara Mednick is Associate Professor in the Department of Cognitive Sciences at the University of California, Irvine and author of the book, "Take a Nap! Change your Life." Her research investigates how sleep supports cognition and discovers ways of boosting cognition via napping, brain stimulation, and pharmacology. Her work has been continuously federally funded, and she was awarded the Office Naval Research Young Investigator Award in 2015. Her research findings have been published in such leading scientific journals as Nature Neuroscience and The Proceedings from the National Academy of Science, and covered by all major media outlets.

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