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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Open Yale Courses - "The American Novel Since 1945"

I've long dreamed of living in some university town where I would be within walking distance of a school that encouraged people like me to monitor lectures and classes that appealed to them.  In my case, these would most often be in the areas of  world literature and American history.  Houston is home to several good schools (Rice University, The University of Houston, St. Thomas University, among them) but none of them are easy for me to get to  - nor, as far as I know, do they allow casual monitoring of even their largest classes.  So, no joy there.

But guess what?  I have discovered that lecturers from the best universities in the world are willing to come to my house to deliver personal lectures free of charge.  No travel expenses, no college fees, and, of course, no college credit.  Materials are suggested, but whether you purchase them is entirely up to you.  Sounds perfect to me because, at this point, I'm not after a degree.  I'm simply looking to have some fun by learning strictly for the sake of learning.

This, for example, is a lecture series from "Open Yale Courses" that I plan to start soon on "The American Novel Since 1945."  This screen shot provides a course overview and shows the first five lectures of a series of twenty-six.

Click on this screen shot to see a more readable version

Think about this for a minute...twenty-six lectures totaling almost 21 hours of clock-time.  Can you imagine what this would have cost you just a few years ago, or what it would still cost if you took such a class on-campus?  Here's a link to the complete page for those who want to take a closer look - please do let me know if you decide to listen to some of the lectures and what you think of them.

This is just the smallest tip of a very large free learning iceberg.
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