UW News

October 16, 2003

MEDIA ADVISORY: UW offering places to pause and Take Back Your Time on Oct. 24

Students, staff and campus visitors alike can meditate, write poems, try yoga, experience “being present” and even listen to a story on Oct. 24 as the University of Washington puts its own twist on Take Back Your Time Day, a nationwide campaign to challenge the modern epidemic of overwork and overscheduling.

The Oct. 24 date, nine weeks before the end of the year, highlights the statistic that Americans work nine weeks more than Western Europeans, organizers say. Take Back Your Time Day, featuring events nationwide, has been spearheaded by Seattle activist John de Graaf.

UW venues will include Parrington Hall, the Henry Art Gallery and two main libraries.

“Libraries and museums are communal spaces — sanctuaries — that encourage us to take back our time,” said David M. Levy, a professor at the UW’s Information School. “We might think of them as laboratories for the cultivation of stillness, reflection and deep attention, some of the qualities missing from our over-busy lives.”

At the Henry, admission will be free all day and visitors will be encouraged to take advantage of quiet museum spaces, artworks and two special Time Day programs, including meditation and a drop-in poetry workshop. At the libraries, events will include a story hour and yoga classes.

Levy, who coordinated the campus Time Day events, is a former computer scientist who now teaches future librarians and information scientists. New technologies, he said, often rob people of time instead of making more of it, and the barrage of information has made it more difficult for people to find something of value.

These themes also will be explored at a UW conference next May on Information, Silence and Sanctuary, which will bring international scholars to address such issues.


HENRY ART GALLERY (free admission all day, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.)

? Art and Contemplation: A Vipassana Meditation
3 p.m., in the exhibition “James Turrell: Knowing Light”
Meditation leader David Zucker of the Seattle Insight Meditation Society takes participants through a 30-minute session, followed by an option to discuss the experience. Please wear loose clothing and bring a pillow.

? Drop-In Poetry Workshop: Experimental James Turrell Poetry Studio
</bɮ p.m.-5 p.m. in the Education Studio
Drop in and make a poem using a random handful of words. Stay for three minutes or three hours and see what happens when you mix the words from the Turrell exhibition with vocabularies from various fields that relate to his work: astronomy, flight, physics, literature and perceptual psychology.


? Yoga in the Odegaard Undergraduate Library (Room 220)
Session I: 10:30 a.m.
Session II: 12:30 p.m.
Session III: 2:30 p m.
Taking back your time means taking time to unwind, reprioritize and create space — internally and externally. Use this opportunity to experience Hatha Yoga, an ancient Eastern Indian form of self-care that integrates deep breathing, strength development and gentle stretching.

? Suzzallo Story Hour
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m., Suzzallo Library, Smith Room
Take back your time as storyteller, editor and author Allison Cox performs in Suzzallo Library’s restored Smith Room. Combining her training and experiences as a therapist and social worker with her love of story, Cox connects across cultures and generations to add balance to busy lives.


? A Drama-based Experiential Workshop on Presence
3 p.m.-5 p.m., Evans School of Public Affairs, Parrington Hall Forum (3rd Floor)
A person’s relationship with time can improve with the ability to “be present” — to have whatever one is doing at the moment be the most important thing there is. In this two-hour, interactive, drama-based experiential workshop led by Jim Boggs, participants will learn to distinguish being present from not being present, and to apply that distinction to their daily lives and college experience.

For more information, contact Levy at (206) 616-2545 or dmlevy@u.washington.edu, or de Graaf at (206) 443-6747. Updates on these and other campus Time Day events can be found at: www.ischool.washington.edu/timeday. The national Take Back Your Time site is www.timeday.org.