Wednesday, 25 September 2013's Fall

And people in real education are in a new term or semester, and so am I. I had to pare down my courses brutally in the lead-up to my daughter's wedding, in fact I dropped out of several because I had no time.

The only one I kept up through the busy time was:

A Brief History of Humankind

As it turns out, this is the most compelling course to date. I am actually urging friends to take it, or at least put the book that goes with it on their MUST BUY list. It's not exactly a history course, more anthropology and/or social science, but it's GOOD. It's very, very good. If you get a moment, at least look it up.

Now that I have some spare time I also signed up for:

The professor is somewhat quirky in his delivery, but I'm getting used to him, and although this is a peer-reviewed essay grading system, which I'm not keen on (some of my peers' ideas leave a little to be desired) I shall stick it out. I much prefer tests/exams, but the content is good, so it's worth the bother.

Next week I shall start a VERY different course:

I'm looking forward to that immensely as it's an area I've never studied before at any level. Having been put on the floor (unharmed, thankfully) by a terrorist bomb in my teens, and then, decades later, befriending a terrorist, my angle may be a little skewed, one way and another. But I want to see what this is all about, and I do hope the location of the university will help avoid the usual American bias.

Finally, also next week, something different again, that just appealed to me as a gardener/farmer:

I'm not going to start talking to my carrots, you understand, but I like knowing. I need to know. I crave knowledge.

If you do too, give Coursera a look. It's the most incredible thing, FREE courses, in your leisure time. What have you got to lose?