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Professor relives childhood humiliations for new book, DO-OVER!

Robin Hemley eats lunch with his kindergarten classmates
Robin Hemley has lunch with his kindergarten classmates. Photo by Kate Hrdina.
 

Robin Hemley decided to do over the experiences he botched as a kid.

So at age 48, the director of the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program went back to kindergarten and summer camp, joined a fraternity, attempted to take the ACT, and finally asked the girl of his 16-year-old dreams to prom.

Hemley describes his adventures in his new book, DO-OVER!, published this summer by Little, Brown & Co.

“I’ve always believed in Socrates’ adage, that the unexamined life is not worth living,” Hemley says. “As a memoirist, that’s part of what I do—and by going back into the past and stirring things up, I was able to get beyond some of the embarrassments and failures of my childhood.”

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Annual report shares stories of flood recovery, documents achievements from fiscal year 2009

Since June 2008, The University of Iowa has conferred more than 5,000 degrees, given the world new treatments for disease and new prize-winning literature, logged record grant and gift totals, and developed innovative solutions for leaner, greener times.

These and other achievements offer a striking record for any year. But they’re even more remarkable given that the past year saw The University of Iowa confront one of the greatest challenges in its history—the flood of 2008.

The Office of the President has published its fiscal year 2009 annual report, which recounts unforeseen opportunities that emerged in the flood’s wake. UI students, faculty, staff, and friends tell their own stories, accounts that illuminate, inspire, and illustrate the University community’s resolve.

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Photo feature: Snapshots from "One Year After"

The president's annual report offers a series of audio slide shows titled “One Year After” as its centerpiece. Twelve individuals from a cross-section of the UI community spoke about myriad recovery efforts and new opportunities that came in the flood’s wake.

See the images, hear their stories...

 

UI dance faculty members help pave road to Broadway for young performer

Iowa City youngster Alex Ko obviously has what it takes to be noticed, even at 4-foot-9 and 85 pounds. That’s why on Oct. 6 he will join the cast of Billy Elliot the Musical, performing the title role at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway.

But how does a kid—even a prodigy like Ko—find his way from the Heartland to the Great White Way? Before Broadway noticed Ko, his talent caught the eyes of faculty in the University of Iowa Department of Dance, who not only furthered his training but also helped make connections for him in New York.

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News in brief

UI law professor named one of most influential people in American legal history

A new book has named University of Iowa law professor and Iowa City native Nicholas Johnson as one of the most influential people in American legal history.

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AROUND CAMPUS…

  • New episode of Iowa Insights podcast available
  • DVD-based game asks future scientists, “Did You See That?”
  • NASA selects UI researchers to participate in x-ray telescope mission
  • UI Health Care gets an A for conflict of interest policy
  • Nicholas Meyer to read from his memoir about directing Star Trek movies
  • Gang Leader for a Day author to speak as part of UI Lecture Series
  • Cello Daze includes free concerts on UI campus Sept. 12–13
  • WRAC offers variety of support and discussion groups
  • UI symposium on clubfoot will educate, raise funds Oct. 16
  • Andsager named John F. Murray Research Scholar
  • Bloom named Bessie Dutton Murray Professional Scholar
  • See which Learning and Development courses are right for you

(Full details)

DISCOVERIES…

  • Gene discovery reveals a critical protein’s function in hearing
  • UI team improves delivery of cancer-fighting molecules

(Full details)

TRANSITIONS…

  • Recent deaths

(Full details)

 

Profile

Jacob Yarrow
  Jacob Yarrow
   
Yes, he was quite aware that we had a flood here last summer that devastated the arts campus. But Jacob Yarrow, who began his duties as the new director of programming for Hancher Auditorium on Aug. 17, wasn’t about to let the lack of a building keep him from joining an organization that he has long admired. He’s eager to build on the legacy of former Hancher leaders Jim Wockenfuss, Wally Chappell, and Judy Hurtig, as well as current executive director Chuck Swanson, all of whom are “celebrities” in the world of arts presentation. During his second day on the job, he took time to talk with fyi about Hancher, teaching junior high students, and the biggest risk he ever took.

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"Quote...
Endquote"

"If you see Shaq stumble while throwing a football, that appeals to people. The athlete then seems more like us."

Mark Andrejevic, associate professor of communication studies (Modesto Bee, Aug. 22)

More quotes...

 

 

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