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Being a Foreign Aid Worker; Teaching in the Bronx; Helen Fielding Revives Bridget Jones; Ancient Maps; Getting Creative

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Jessica Alexander talks about what inspired her to become a foreign aid worker, and how her ideals clashed with reality when she was sent to Rwanda following the genocide there. Laurel Sturt describes the challenges of teaching at an elementary school in a poor Bronx neighborhood. Helen Fielding discusses returning to Bridget Jones in her new novel. We’ll get a history of maps going back to ancient times. And Silicon Valley’s Tom Kelley explains how we can tap into our own creativity to change our workplaces and our homes.

A Decade In and Out of Humanitarian Aid

Jessica Alexander talks about life as a foreign aid worker. She arrived in Rwanda in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide as an idealistic intern, but the experience in the field was messy, chaotic, and difficult—but she was hooked. Her memoir Chasing Chaos: My Decade In and Out of Humanitarian Aid traces her personal journey from naïve newcomer to critical realist.

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Ten Years in a Bronx Public School

Laurel Sturt talks about her life in a high-poverty elementary school in the Bronx.Davonte’s Inferno: Ten Years in the New York Public School Gulag is a study of the crisis confronting today's educators and an indictment of the system.

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Helen Fielding on the Return of Bridget Jones

Helen Fielding talks about her long-anticipated new novel, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy. Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of loss, single motherhood, tweeting, texting, dating, and sex.

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Measuring and Mapping Space

Dr. Roberta Casagrande-Kim, guest curator, and Dr. Jennifer Chi, exhibitions director and chief curator, talk about the exhibition Measuring and Mapping Space: Geographic Knowledge in Greco-Roman Antiquity, focused on ancient cartography and the ways in which Greek and Roman societies perceived and represented both the known and unknown worlds. It’s on view at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) at New York University through January 5, 2014.

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Creative Confidence

Tom Kelley, partner at the design firm IDEO, explains how to unleash our creativity and change the way we approach and solve problems. Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All, written with his brother, David Kelley, IDEO founder and creator of the Stanford d.school, provides principles and strategies for being more creative at work and in life.

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Tributes: Patrice Chereau

Officially, Patrice Chereau was a director – but his provocative work in theater, opera, and film defied traditional forms. French President Francois Hollande called him “one of France’s greatest artists.” Chereau died recently at the age of 68 after a long battle with cancer.  You can hear his interview with Leonard from 1999, when he discussed his film, “Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train.”

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