10 January 2018

Recreational learners, this is for you

I've written a lot on this blog about various courses, of various durations and in various art and textile subjects, that I've attended and enjoyed over the years. Back in the day they had to fit within the demands of a day job, and now they are one of my main pursuits.

Coming up this term are a painting course called "surface and gesture" (5 weeks) and another 8 weeks of japanese woodblock printing ... more about those later. These involve getting to a places across town, sometimes in rush hour - worth it when you get there, but the travel isn't something I particularly look forward to. That's the stuff I do during the day.

Last term I started a new thing - online classes (www.futurelearn.com/) - these are free, can be done anywhere, and present a variety of subjects through videos, articles, extra links, and the occasional quiz, presented in weekly segments. (You are in control of how much you do, at what pace - and whether you finish or not.) I started with 3 weeks of opera; then went on to 6 weeks of animal viruses and then 2 weeks about influenza, those two because I had lots of unanswered questions about whether to get a flu jab. [Yes, one should.]

This term I'll be doing a course on the weather (futurelearn.com/courses/learn-about-weather), and another on Scottish palaeography ... that's old handwriting, you know, the hard-to-decipher stuff (futurelearn.com/courses/ems-palaeography). And while searching out the links to those courses, I found "In the night sky: Orion" and couldn't resist ... (futurelearn.com/courses/orion) ... it's 4 weeks, available from now till 21 February, should you fall behind. 

These courses are "just" for interest. Not because I'm bored (that notion is "so very last year") but, well, why not find out something you never yet knew? ... if not now, when?

Ok, that's the stuff I do late in the evenings, curled up with the laptop. Earlier in the evenings, in London, there are often museum "lates" and other events, eg this showcase of mechanical engineering - tickets no longer available, alas. (Check out ianvisits for a weekly listing, or wade through eventbrite. Then: act fast.) 

And there is the wonderful Gresham College.

Founded in 1597 by a philanthropist banker - the world needs more philanthropist bankers - the college appoints professors who talk to the public about ...
"Unusual"? I went to one of those lectures - on the history of sourdough - or rather, the role of bread throughout history, and the changes to the availability of leavening agents. Fascinating. You can watch it here.

Insects? -gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/bug-world-sex-violence-and-a-cast-of-billions

Driverless cars? - gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/is-society-ready-for-driverless-cars

And there are dozens, or even hundreds, more...

If 6pm is free time for you - maybe you have that glass of wine handy - the lectures are live-streamed on the Gresham website, and on Facebook. Or, watch the entire range of past lectures here. Warning: this can be addictive!

1 comment:

Lyv said...