A Great Activity for the Christmas Holidays

Want to take your mind off college for the holidays? I don’t blame you.

Here’s my suggestion to do just that. Sit back and listen to some fascinating lectures from some of the most intriguing people on the planet.

You can find countless lectures by visiting the website of TED, a nonprofit which originally got its name by bringing together people from technology, entertainment and design, but its universe of topics has long since been expanded. TED has attracted such speakers as Bono, Bill Clinton, Richard Branson, Richard Dawkins, Michael Pollan and countless others  in such fields as religion, architecture, science, politics, engineering and literature.

Don’t have time to fidget through a long talk? TED limits all speakers to presentations that can’t last more than 18 minutes. Even better, TED breaks up your choices into convenient categories such as the following:

  • Most favorited all time
  • Rated jaw-dropping
  • Persuasive
  • Courageous
  • Fascinating
  • Inspiring
  • Funny

I just listened to a lecture featuring Malcom Gladwell, a New Yorker writer and prolific author of bestsellers, who spoke about spaghetti sauce. Fascinating. Really.

So here is what I suggest:  Put on your listening cap and learn something during this holiday season.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also blogs about college for CBSMoneyWatch.

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