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Women's Expo Seminars: Event offers range of topics

From fashions to food and cruising to gardening, the Bemidji Women's Expo seminars Saturday in the John Glas Fieldhouse offer topic for a variety of interests.

A new presenter this year is Maggie Carlson, 56, an associate professor of education with a language arts specialty at Bemidji State University. Her topic, "For the Love of Language," focuses on the joy of reading, both silently and privately and aloud and socially.

"I have taught in the elementary schools for 24 years," Carlson said. "I started in Queensland, Australia, then Red Lake and Northern School here in Bemidji. I taught kindergarten, first and second, about equal time in each one."

She said the point at which a child caught on to reading, when "that light came on," that was her payday.

She earned her doctorate from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and has taught at BSU for 11 years.

Carlson said her first job in Australia, right after she graduated from Emporia State Teachers College in Kansas, turned out to be a psychological experiment with the teachers as unbeknownst guinea pigs. The American teachers were flown to Australia to fill in while the Australian teachers were on sabbatical to further their training. A psychologist watched them, following up on a premise that teachers from the Midwest would be more successful and fit in better in Australia than people from other parts of the United States because the Midwest and Australian cultures were similar.

"We just thought we were getting a job," Carlson said.

Carlson said she hopes those who attend her presentation at the Women's Expo with the desire to read and share reading with youngsters.

"I want them to be tantalized by reading with someone else and how important it is with children," she said. "Especially in this age of screens, we need more lap time. Reading with people adds so much to what you're reading."

Carlson said she also wanted to emphasize the pleasure of reading various genres, such as fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

She said she plans to start her presentation at 9 a.m. on the Lakeland Public Television Stage with a song, "Read a Book" by Linda Arnold, and have a dialog with a puppet friend, Friz.

Other seminars are as follows:

9 a.m.

-- Jodi St. John, "Creating Style and Design in Your Home," Minnesota Public Radio Stage, gym.

-- Jessica Burkhamer, "Emotional Intelligence -- Putting Your Life in Perspective," Bemidji Pioneer Stage, gym.

-- Tony Brown and John Motta, "Your Jewelry -- the Old and the New," Paul Bunyan Broadcasting Stage, fieldhouse.

-- Trish Barthorpe, "Tips & tricks to Get Great Photos from Your Digital Camera," RP Broadcasting Stage, fieldhouse.

10 a.m.

-- John Winters, "Cruising the Caribbean and Beyond," Minnesota Public Radio Stage.

-- Debbie Drinkard Grovum, "Living & Working with Purpose," Bemidji Pioneer Stage.

-- Keith Thunem and John Westlund, "Buying a Vehicle in Today's Market," Lakeland Public Television Stage.

-- Cathy Breedon, "Hot Topics in Women's Nutrition," Paul Bunyan Broadcasting Stage.

-- Sue Doeden, "Fast and Fabulous Meals for Frazzled Families," RP Broadcasting Stage.

1 p.m.

-- Formalities, "Wedding & Formal Wear Show," Minnesota Public Radio Stage.

-- Sue Engel, "Operating on a Heart of Gold Standard," Bemidji Pioneer Stage.

-- Dr. Angela Bremer and Leslie Staker, "Stop Striving ... Start Thriving," Lakeland Public Television Stage.

-- Paul Andreas, "Sleep Apnea: Sawing Logs in Northern Minnesota," Paul Bunyan Broadcasting Stage.

-- Janie Sutherland, "Diabetes 101," RP Broadcasting Stage.

2 p.m.

-- Kristyn McCrady and Sarah Lerhman, "Time is Ticking. Are You Ready?" Bemidji Pioneer Stage.

-- Sally Sertich, "Sit Down and Move," Lakeland Public Television Stage.

-- Simon Hensman, "The Challenges of Gardening in Northern Minnesota," Paul Bunyan Broadcasting Stage.

-- Pam Stowe, "Play is Children's Work. Is Your Child Unemployed?" RP Broadcasting Stage.