I’ve mentioned before that my learning is not going to stop simply because I’m not enrolled in college at the moment. I also think that I noted some classes I planned to take in an earlier post. So, for an update…
I am moving slowly through my first poetry writing class. I’ll give it a moderately okay rating, say 4 or 5 out of 10. We have a substitute facilitator as the original instructor is out on emergency hiatus. It is really no more or no less than I expected it to be. We’ve been introduced to various styles, had discussions of imagery as crucial to the poets work, and I believe, before the class ends we will also be introduced to publishing our work. The participants are varied, however not very forthcoming with meaningful critiques.
I have discovered that I am most definitely not a poet who enjoys structure of any kind. Our introduction to the sonnet resulted in frustration on my part. Does anyone even write sonnets anymore? We just learned of the sestina and the villanelle, two forms I won’t be employing in my search for expression. I am picking up some useful hints though, so all is good in that regard. Poetry however will almost surely never be a form that I feel fully comfortable with. I am wordy, rambling on at length if given the chance. When I don’t have to be succinct and matter of fact, as in research work, then I want to enjoy what I write. On occasion I post some of my class work at Proudly Poetic. If you stop by please remember that everything there is a newbie work in progress.
Mid week next week is the start of a drawing course for beginners. Absolutely no idea what to expect on that front, and my work their probably won’t be appearing on this, or any other blog, so you’ll just have to take my word for a personal evaluation of my skill level. I have been reading a bit from a text my son let me borrow. It’s called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. Originally published in the 1970’s, with this edition from 1989, the author claims that by retraining the brain to perceive the world differently, as in edges, space, relationships of objects, light and shadow, etc., and in simple terms turning off the analytic left brain, the right brain creative aspect will allow anyone to render an image worthy of being called art. My interest now comes as this class begins. I wonder if the constructs within the class will differ greatly from the concepts in the book. My initial thoughts: I’m going with the one that allows me to actually draw a face that looks like a face.
Also starting next week, Sunday actually, is an intriguing MOOC I ran across from the folks at Coursera. I am deeply historically challenged, but Deciphering Secrets: Unlocking the Manuscripts of Medieval Spain, just seemed too good to pass up as a free class. This class is associated with a huge project jointly managed by multiple, international universities. In short, the project is a massive undertaking to transcribe Jewish, Muslim and Catholic text from the ancient walled city of Plasencia, Spain. The teams undertaking this project have devised a transcription program designed for the lay person to be utilized within this MOOC course to help transcribe text. Students get to explore ancient Spain plus help to accomplish critical aspects of the work associated with this historical project.
That was a sad excuse for some real insight into how I might be spending the next 12 weeks so I would suggest if you are interested in details jump over here for more information. I’ve briefly seen the transcription software being used and it seems pretty manageable. I received a reminder email today telling me that I am one among 7500+ lay persons going on this journey back into Spanish history. I have high hopes for this course just from an academic standpoint as I get to experience history, anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, religion, probably some art, plus do something useful as well.
I hope to keep up on my personal reading as well with some commentary on the blog.
As all of the above border on educational endeavors, albeit self-imposed and self-regulated action, I plan to keep updates going on these classes over at The Perpetual Student for the duration of the summer. Join me there on occasion if you like.