Saturday, February 11, 2006

Bigger Brains

I finally succumbed and ordered courses from The Teaching Company -- they offer comprehensive courses on CD or DVD on a ton of subjects. Most are college-level courses, and they look really interesting. I've been longing for the History of Ancient Egypt class for months, and when it went on sale, ordered it and the History of the English Language.

I figure the half-hour classes will be a welcome distraction from riding the exercise bike or walking (which I am trying to do with more regularity, but it's not something I really stick to well without some sort of enticement). If I can only listen to them while doing one of those things, I'm hoping it will be enough of an incentive to keep at it. With 48 lessons or so, it will take awhile.

I've only listened to the first to sessions on the English Language class, and so far, it is really interesting. The professor actually demonstrates some of the older dialects and I assume that as we move through the class, he will continue to do it. I've been listening to a lot of audiobooks lately (the long commute to work was made much more tolerable by a good book to distract me) and I've discovered that I really enjoy them. The current bookshelf and booklist contain a lot of non-fiction and history, so things are a bit dense. I was trying to listen to language tapes in the car (I really am trying to learn Irish Gaelic), but I discovered that it needed a part of my brain to process that apparently conflicted with the parts I need for driving...not a good combination. Even the densest audiobook (I've been listening to JM Roberts' History of Europe, and Shakespeare: The Biography) seems to be ok. For some reason, though, I can't really listen to an audiobook and cross-stitch. Since I can pretty much listen to an audiobook (prose) and write (prose) at the same time, I think that this is a mental block because i've always done cross-stitch in front of the television. My brain says Stitching = TV Movies. Ah, well. There are worse things. Netflix loves me.

I've been watching eBay for Teaching Company classes, and they tend to be expensive, so I'll just wait until the ones I want are on sale from the company directly -- I'm keeping an eye on the History of Rome and Appreciating Music right now. (Hm. Must give hint to Adorable Husband that these are cool gifts)

Of course, the Adorable Husband is not-so-subtly poking me to register for the last three classes I need at Regis. I've checked the schedule, but I need to talk to one of the advisors and so far I've been procrastinating. I'm not sure why -- it's not like the classes I need are very demanding, but I've really been enjoying the "nothing to do" meme that I have going. I'm still a bit directionless, but I feel like I'm finally unstressing, and I don't have that weird anxiety of "must go do something" that I was having before. I'm enjoying the library, reading a lot, playing some mindless computer games, and just generally not doing anything that stresses me out. Seems to be working.

Give me enough time, and I'll work my way through the Teaching Company inventory, I can predict. If you live long enough, you can learn everything. Or at least you can try!

2 comments:

The Tiger said...

The Teaching Company itself tells you to wait until they're on sale in their adverts. I don't remember why their pricing structure is set up that way, but they have some reason...

maplehouse said...

Fellow Teaching Company addicts can join my Yahoo groups and phpbb forums:

Some of my new Yahoo groups:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Teaching_Company_Users/?yguid=317656331
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Teaching_Company_Users_Professor/?yguid=317656331
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Teaching_Company_Users_Subject/?yguid=317656331

Teaching Company forum:
http://teachingcompany.12.forumer.com/index.php

Robert Hazen's "Origins of Life" forum
http://teachingcompany.12.forumer.com/viewforum.php?f=17

Doug van Orsow
moderator