Smile Politely

Listen Up: November 12–18

WHAT: A Butterfly Big Year,” Michael Jeffords & Susan Post, INHS

WHEN: Tuesday, November 13 @ 3 p.m.

WHERE: Forbes Natural History Building, 1816 S. Oak St., Champaign

From the event announcement: “A big year is an informal competition among birders to see who can see or hear the largest number of species of birds within a single calendar year and within a specific geographical area. For butterflies, big years are much less common, in fact, only Robert Michael Pyle has attempted one for the U.S and it is chronicled in his book Mariposa Road. During 2011, Michael Jeffords and Susan post undertook such a quest for Illinois to see how many species of butterflies they could find and photograph in a single year. Their experiences and results make for an interesting story and lead them to discover some of the premier butterfly habitats within the state.”


WHAT: ‘Their Own Worlds of Ice’: Arctic Exploration in Christoph Ransmayr and W. G. Sebald,” Professor Judith Ryan, Harvard University

WHEN: Tuesday, November 13 @ 5 p.m.

WHERE: Music Room, Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St.


WHAT: Community Cinema: Solar Mamas

WHEN: Tuesday, November 13 @ 6 p.m.

WHERE: Champaign Public Library, 200 W Green St. Champaign, in the Robeson Rooms A & B

From the event announcement: “Can a young, barely literate woman become a force for technological change in her community? Are women better at getting out of poverty than men? These questions are at the heart of Solar Mamas, which follows the path of a young Bedouin woman and the obstacles she encounters in her effort to bring the benefits of solar energy to her tiny settlement in the Jordanian desert.”


WHAT: Meet the Pros: Al Fleener

WHEN: Wednesday, November 14 @ 12 noon

WHERE: Champaign Public Library, 200 W Green St. Champaign, in the Robeson Rooms A & B

From the event announcement: “With over (gulp) twenty-five years’ experience in design, advertising and marketing, Al Fleener brings his expertise — and a daily passion for creating — to business. Al founded SURFACE 51 in January 2005 with the philosophy that the best people to run a creative agency are, ahem, those who actually create.”

Read our interview with Fleener here.


WHAT: Determinants of Discrimination in Latin America,” Damarys Canache, Associate Professor, Political Science

WHEN: Thursday, November 15 @ 12 noon

WHERE: 101 International Studies Building, 910 S. Fifth Street, Champaign

From the event announcement: “Racial discrimination persists as a serious social and political problem in many of the world’s nations, including Latin America. Although many of the consequences of such discrimination have been enumerated, considerably less is known regarding the bases of perceived discrimination. In this study, individuals’ perceptions that they have been the targets of racial discrimination are examined.”


You live near a major university and a community college. There are smart people that come here every week to talk to the general public about interesting topics. Perhaps you were not aware of this fact, or were overwhelmed by the sheer number of opportunities for possible enlightenment. If that’s the case, Smile Politely understands and is here to help. Here are several events going on in town this week. Check out one or more of them if you have time. Get your learn on, as they say, and join the cognoscenti. It’s free, you know. Plus, sometimes there’s free food, too!

If you have a community event, speaker, or film event that you’d like to see featured on Listen Up!, send the event information to joelgillespie [at] smilepolitely [dot] com by Friday the week prior to the event. Listen Up! runs on Mondays when classes are in session.

More Articles