The Ozark Athenaeum

I have been considering some additional ed for myself, an old dream of an MA in Humanities, but four things keep me from pursuing it – time, money, stress, and what I call the fatigue factor.

Time: I’m a busy guy whose life is only going to get busier in the future.  I’ll never have the time or the flexibility to pursue traditional ed.

Money: My wallet gags at the cheapest tuition being north of $500/credit hour.

Stress: I have several friends who are in grad school now and, with full careers and fuller lives, I don’t know how they do it without the help of amphetamines.

The fatigue factor: When I think about all the nonsense about traditional ed – the tests, the papers, the deadlines, et al – I groan with fatigue.  I always felt like a gerbil in an exercise wheel while in school.

Surely there is another way, somewhere between traditional ed and a reading program.  That is when I created “The Ozark Athenaeum”.  Think of it as “Audit U.”

I have discovered everything I could ask for on the ‘net with sites like Open Culture, edx, and Coursera.  High-quality university courses, for free, and on my own time. offers 1,100 free courses, hundreds of films, books, etc., right on the web.  Another site even more impressive is “edx”, a consortium of universities such as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford that offer free or super-low cost courses on the web.  I stopped looking when I came across a third source, Coursera, which also provides access to free course work.  I had all I could possibly need with these three websites.

I created five humanities categories on a spread sheet (Classics, Religion, History, Philosophy, Art), filled in a course of study for each, and figure it might take me about 18 months to complete.  I am starting with “The Greek Hero” from Harvard, and “Intro to the Old Testament” from Yale.

Wish me luck!  …though, I really don’t have anything to lose, do I…


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