Mon February 4, 2013
KU Changes Core Curriculum, Bishop vs. NCR, Medicine Museum
Starting in the fall, basic curriculum requirements will change for undergraduates at the University of Kansas. Currently, each school sets its own requirements. And some are pretty specific, for example, all students must take the same introductory math, philosophy or western civilization class. The new core curriculum doesn't require specific courses but allows students to take a wider range of classes that meet six overall goals.
Two lightning rods of controversy in the Catholic community clashed recently when Kansas City’s Bishop Robert Finn publicly denounced the locally-based National Catholic Reporter. Last fall, Bishop Finn, who is the head of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese, was convicted of failing to report suspected child abuse. The Reporter called for his resignation. Now, the Bishop says the newspaper’s anti-church editorials have gone too far, and the Reporter should stop calling itself “Catholic.”
One area doctor has been out on a mission to pay homage to medicine’s past: the mistakes, breakthroughs and lessons that might be taken for granted today. Dr. Bruce Hodges started out collecting medical relics from around the region as a kind of hobby, but it’s grown way beyond the confines of his house. Catch a sneak peak at his soon-to-be public collection in Shawnee, Kansas.
As extreme weather like flooding and drought takes land out of production in the Midwest, farmers and ranchers also are getting record prices for their products. You might think that that wouldn’t bode well for conservation efforts, but as it turns out, some landowners are still managing to set land aside for environmental uses.
Composer Kirke Mechem On Realizing What Opera Could BeComposer Kirke Mechem has written more than 250 works, from choral music to operas. Mechem has lived in San Francisco for decades, but he grew up in Topeka, Kansas – and says he still considers himself a Midwesterner. Recently, he visited the University of Kansas in Lawrence to talk to students and attend performances of Tartuffe, the first opera he wrote.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of playwright William Inge. His classic plays like Bus Stop and Picnic drew on his formative years in Independence, Kansas. Inge was never openly gay, but he did write a series of short plays featuring gay characters and stories that are rarely produced. A collage of four of those plays opened Feb. 1, staged inside The Jewel Box Lounge, the region's former premiere venue for female impersonators.