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.

OpenCulture.com 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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