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Arts & Entertainment

Sticking Around for Spring Break?

Take advantage of Boston’s movies, museums, bar trivia, and more

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The Museum of Fine Arts is always free for BU students, and makes a great spot for an outdoor lunch at the first signs of spring in Boston. Photo by Jeff Dlouhy

If you find yourself here during spring break next week, no need to mope. There’s plenty going on in Beantown to fill the hours between much-needed sleep and TV watching.

We can’t promise a tan (not a real one, anyway), but we can offer tips for a stimulating break right here in Boston — including some opportunities to learn a few things.

Cinema with a Twist
Want to feel smart while munching popcorn? Check out one of several highbrow movie events.

Brookline’s Coolidge Corner Theatre teams up with the Boston Lyric Opera Sunday, March 7, to present La Rondine on the big screen. The classic Puccini opera of love gained and lost in 19th-century France will screen in HD at 10:15 a.m. — perhaps a little early for opera, but at least you don’t have to dress up.

The Coolidge also holds its regular series Talk Cinema and Off the Couch. Talk Cinema, hosted Sunday at 10 a.m. by film critic Harlan Jacobson, offers surprise sneak screenings of critically acclaimed movies followed by a discussion; past fare has included Slumdog Millionaire and An Education. What better time to get a jump on next year’s Oscar prospects than the day of the 82nd Academy Awards?

On Tuesday, March 9, at 7 p.m., switch gears from armchair critic to armchair therapist with Off the Couch. Put off studying for that psych midterm and join psychoanalyst Virginia Youngren for a discussion of the psychology behind the new Roman Polanski film The Ghost Writer.

Exhibiting Good Taste
Visit the Harvard Museum of Natural History to see Evolution, an exhibition that makes the case for natural selection using replicas of Darwin’s own fossil evidence. It’ll give you plenty of fodder in case you ever make it to Petersburg, Ky., to check out the Creation Museum.

Expand your social consciousness at the Museum of Science’s temporary exhibition Running the Numbers: Portraits of Mass Consumption. Photographer Chris Jordan compiled thousands of small photographs into large-scale pieces of art to conceptualize popular statistics in ways that make us think. He reveals, for example, what a pile of one million plastic cups (the number used on passenger flights every six hours) looks like.

And remember, the Museum of Fine Arts is always free for BU students with an ID. Check the calendar to find times for special events, film screenings, and guided tours by genre and continent. Or celebrate the first hints of spring weather with lunch in the MFA’s Courtyard Café.

Testing the Waters
Spring break is a good time to start thinking about career and graduate school options. It may not be fun, but when else will you have the free time?

Seniors looking for jobs can don a suit, print some résumés, and head over to the Boston Job Fair on Monday, March 8, from 11 a.m., at the Radisson Hotel Boston, sponsored by BostonHires and National Career Fairs.

Register here for the free event, and see a list of companies planning to attend.

Considering grad school? Both Kaplan and Princeton Review, the country’s largest test-prep companies, offer free sample classes and practice tests from time to time, and spring break week is no exception. There’s no requirement to sign up to sample the companies’ pricier services, so taking advantage of a little prep can’t hurt.

Kaplan hosts The Dos and Don’ts of Graduate School Admissions on Tuesday, March 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the Boston Kaplan Center. Premed students can take advantage of free MCAT preview classes at Kaplan’s Cambridge location on Wednesday, March 10, at 2 and 6 p.m. For SMGers and other budding entrepreneurs, Kaplan is holding a GMAT preview class and a business-school admissions seminar, both on Tuesday, March 9, at 6:30 at its Boston center. Another b-school seminar will be held Friday, March 12, at 5 p.m. at the Cambridge location.

Register and learn more about Kaplan’s GRE events here; for MCAT events, here; for GMAT events, here; and for LSAT events, here.

The Princeton Review also offers free classes and tests next week. MCAT overview classes will be held Saturday, March 6, Wednesday, March 10, and Thursday, March 11, at the Harvard Square location. Prelaw students can take a free LSAT at the Harvard Square location on Sunday, March 7.

More information on Princeton Review’s GRE events is here; MCAT events, here; GMAT events, here; and LSAT events, here.

Trivial Pursuits
If you’re feeling extra-brilliant — or just competitive — try one of Boston’s bar trivia nights, guaranteed to stimulate and obliterate brain cells. Whether it’s a sum gain or loss is up to you.

John Harvard’s Brewhouse in Harvard Square hosts a round on Monday (as the location might suggest, it’s a tough crowd to beat). Matt Murphy’s Pub in Brookline Village (at 10 p.m.) and Atwood’s Tavern in East Cambridge (at 7:30 p.m.) both have formidable Wednesday night trivia events. Atwood’s is known for unpredictably themed questions, Matt Murphy’s for being just plain difficult.

Dozens of Boston-area bars host Stump Trivia, a team contest. Find a list of daily trivia events happening at affiliated Stump bars here.

Common Ground on Harvard Ave. in Allston gets good reviews for its Monday night Stump games, which start at 7:30. Brendan Behan Pub, a cozy Jamaica Plain establishment with vehement defenders, has a Tuesday night Stump at 8. Razzy’s in Somerville is a lovable dive with unquestionably first-rate Thursday trivia nights that are so popular, the bar added another round on Tuesdays. Both start at 9 p.m.

And after all this, you’ll need another break.

Katie Koch can be reached at katieleekoch@gmail.com; follow her on Twitter at @katieleekoch.

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