To visualize what this might be like, I’ve taken the last three Madison weekly newspapers (the Isthmus) and sketched out three weeks of daily events that I might actually enjoy. These particular events are listed in order, one per day, starting Thursday, January 22, 2009.
- Lululemonade, deep relaxation class
- Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra
- Duck Soup Cinema
- Cook for the homeless at Lutheran Campus Center
- Russian National Ballet
- University of Wisconsin Men's Tennis against Marquette
- Wild Ones Wildflower Photo Tour at Sequoya Branch Library (just 3 blocks from my house)
- Stand-up Comedy at the Comedy Club
- Madison Rep production of "Bus Stop"
- Sexy Ester and the Pretty Mama Sisters at Frequency
- Madison Gay Hockey Association
- Michael Hanson Jazz Group at the Samba
- Lunch lecture "Milton House and the Underground Railroad," Wisconsin Historical Society
- Bruce Bengtson organ concert, Luther Memorial
- Javier Calderon, guitarist
- Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, talk by exhibit curator
- Live simulcast of "Lucia di Lammermoor" by the Metropolitan Opera
- Ben Taylor, Schuyler Fisk at the High Noon Saloon
- Master class with Karen Caballero, soprano, and David Collins, pianist
- Lecture by Chrystia Freeland, Financial Times U.S. managing editor
- Lecture by Biddy Martin, UW chancellor
- UW Women's Basketball vs. Penn State
About half of these events are free or have no cover charge. I figured out that, buying the cheapest ticket when there are multiple prices, the three weeks would run me $137, or about $6.50 per day or less than a movie, which doesn't seem too bad for 22 days of entertainment.
I'm also struck by whole categories of events that I could have included, such as meetings of government organizations (and in a state capital, there are plenty of those), judicial bodies (a morning listening to arguments at the state supreme court, for example), religious ceremonies, high school athletics and musical or dramatic productions, poetry readings, volunteer opportunities and more. Over the course of three months, I can be exposed to an amazing array of new experiences.