Got to keep the old grey cells active.

Learning matters to me. What I have done best in my life was always being a student. I may not have been able to transform what I learned into anything that I could get paid for, but I console myself by insisting that my presence in the classroom has been valuable to my classmates. I don’t know for sure that this is true.

In any case, you have to keep learning, or your brain rots. In order to stave off inevitable decay, I take online classes. Sometimes they even prove useful.

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) I have taken (from Coursera and edx):


  • Modern and Contemporary Art & Design (MoMA) (four classes)
  • Good with Words: Writing and Editing (U Michigan) (four classes)

Stand alone courses:

  • Leonardo to Rembrandt to Goya (University of Madrid)
  • Hollywood: History, Industry, Art (Penn)
  • The Age of Cathedrals (Yale)
  • Roman Architecture (Yale)
  • Witchcraft in the Middle Ages (U. Barcelona)Post-War Abstract Expressionism (MoMA)
  • A couple of classes about learning from UCSD

Currently: Race and Cultural Diversity in American Life and History (U Michigan) — just started

Most useful thus far: the Good with Words Specialization (I liked it so much I wrote a thank-you note to the professor)

Most boring thus far: the learning classes

Hardest: Roman Architecture (the material was hard, the final was a bitch, but the project — create a map of your own Roman city — was a lot of fun)

Most interesting: tie, the Good with Words Specialization, and the Contemporary Fashion Design that was part of the Modern and Contemporary specialization

I discover myself running out of humanities classes to take from Coursera and edx. I may need to find other sites, or break down and take something commercially useful, like Python for Everybody.

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