Thursday, April 24, 2014

update on my Coursera classes


I have been "just listening" to all the classes I've signed up for so far this year.

How Things Work 1 ended a couple of months ago.  I feel bad about this one.  I was so thrown for a loop at learning that A) pounds and kilos do not measure the same thing, along with B) no one ever told me!, that I had to just stop dead and work on taking it in.  By the time I'd revised my world view sufficiently to proceed, I was so far behind that I never caught up.  I surely hope he offers this class again soon.  I would like to give it another shot.  I believe I can still listen to the lectures.  I should find out, and do that, if I can......

The Music of the Beatles is over (will be offered again in July 2014).  I listened to all the lectures, and listened to a significant amount of music related to the class on youtube.

Marine Megafauna: An Introduction to Marine Science and Conservation is over.  I listened to all the lectures but the last week.  That was when we got to the heavy-duty "conservation" part of the class, and I really don't think I want to listen to "Whales and the Age of Sail"..............  I have a general idea of the atrocities we perpetrated on whales, and I really don't want to know the details...........

Archaeology's Dirty Little Secrets ended last week.  I took Secrets last summer, and loved it, so I took it again to enjoy the new bits and savor the old.  No notes/exercises/exams for me, this time around.

Roman Architecture ends this week (I have one lecture worth of videos to watch and take notes on).  I've listened to all the lectures, and have taken reasonable notes, for my own possible future reference (should I go somewhere where the works she described still exist), but have not written any papers nor taken any quizzes/exams.

Music's Big Bang: The Genesis of Rock 'n' Roll ends next week (and I'm caught up for this week).  Just listening.  No notes, no homework, no quizzes/exams.  Greater familiarity with some of the pre-rock music he is talking about has not helped me to enjoy it more.  Some of those styles just do not float my boat.  Unlike the other rock classes I've taken, he has played us a significant amount of music.  No whole pieces, but healthy chunks of many pieces.  I haven't felt compelled to search out more of it on youtube.

It's good that my plate is almost cleared -- in addition to Maps and the Geospatial Revolution and Epigenetic Control of Gene Expression, I'm signed up for Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life.  (all of these start next week)

Our neuro bio teacher is totally geeked about teaching the class.  She has a blog and a twitter feed.......  Gotta love her level of enthusiasm, and her conviction that the world would be a better place if everyone knew more about brains.

I'm not making decisions ahead of time about whether I will or won't do more than "just listen" in neuro bio or epigenetics.  I will do the labs for maps, because I learned so much from them last time, but I don't know if I'll take any quizzes/exams........

And -- I'm working at NOT looking at what other offerings might be available just now...........  Which is hard, because you can't count on these classes being offered in the future, and what if I missed the one offering of a totally dynamite class???


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