It’s that time of the year again, and I’ve enrolled in two new courses – well, I meant to enroll only in one, but then, you know how it happens, and I clicked on the button and… OK; so today I took the first lessons in two new online courses on Futurelearn.
The first is a six-weeks course in Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology, hosted by Durham University, and I find it particularly interesting because it works for me on three levels.
- It works professionally: back in the day I took a master in Applied Micropaleontology that included a section of Forensics Micropaleontology, and I later followed up with a few books on the subject. The archaeological and anthropological side of the forensics studies sort of rounds up my old qualifications. I don’t think I’ll work on a forensics team anytime soon, but it’s good to keep my qualifications up to date.
- It works as a good addendum to my long-standing interest in archaeology: I have followed so many online courses, at this point, that together with the live courses I took when I was younger and bolder, I think I have completed a curriculum in sui generis Archaeology. I could go and award myself a home-made BSc.
- It works as part of my research for my writing career, because it covers the sort of topics that might come up in one of my stories. To me, taking online courses and MOOCs is still the best way to do research for my writing.
And while I was browsing the catalog on Futurelearn, looking for a French course (none is active right now) I chanced to spot a four-week course on Japanese Subcultures, that started in October and is offered by Keio University. And I thought, why not?
When will I have another opportunity to follow a course held – also – by a teacher that got his photo taken in front of the Gundam, wearing an Earth forces uniform?
But it is not a silly thing at all – and indeed the first lesson, about shoujou manga and the related subcultures was quite illuminating, and heavy on the cultural studies side.
But really, there is nothing better than finding fun ways to keep oour brains engaged.