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Four years ago the campus of American University in Northwest Washington was officially designated a public garden and arboretum by the American Public Garden Association. That should tell you something about the groundskeeping, but note the word "public" -- they want you to come see it. Wander the grounds, then grab a bench on the quad and watch the backpacks go by.
Senior citizens luck out big time at AU. Through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, retirees can pay $225 to take up to three peer-taught classes. There are no term papers or final exams, and you get access to the campus library and special lectures. Courses this semester include "The History of Modern China," "Aristotle: Ethics" and "No End in Sight: Iraq War Films." For more information, visit http:/
The university also hosts plenty of academic and public affairs forums, especially through its School of International Service. On Oct. 27, for instance, Tanzanian Ambassador Ombeni Sefue will be at the university to discuss his country's history and political development. For information on all university events, visit http:/
American University is home to the 130,000-square-foot Katzen Arts Center, which boasts a vibrant contemporary art gallery, plus performance space, film screenings, poetry readings and art lectures (almost all of them free). On Oct. 29, Israeli author David Grossman will be reading from his fictional works, including "Someone to Run With." On Nov. 6, New York-based painter Keith Mayerson will be discussing his work as part of an art department lecture series. On stage starting Thursday at AU's Greenberg Theatre -- located nearby at 4200 Wisconsin Ave. NW -- is the Jazz Age-set classic "Thoroughly Modern Millie" (tickets: $5-$15). For a listing of all events, visit http:/
AU's men's basketball team was the Patriot League champion last year, so expect renewed enthusiasm at Bender Arena this year as fans wait to see if the Eagles can make a return trip to the NCAA tournament. The first home game is Nov. 17 against St. Francis University. To check out the full schedule for men's basketball and AU's 10 other sports, visit http:/
Also, if you live in the neighborhood and want the added motivation of working out with a bunch of college students, a number of community memberships to Jacobs Fitness Center are available. For more information visit http:/
While you're on campus: Show a little spirit by saying hello to the bronze eagle at the entrance to Bender Arena.