I’ve just finished the final of three courses in my masters in online and distance education (MAODE) from The Open University (pending failure and resit, which right now seems horribly pessimistic). It feels good to finish, especially as I got married half-way through the first course and moved from the UK to Switzerland and then France at the beginning of the third course. My background is in American short story minimalism, so learning the approach, methods and practices – immersing myself in the new discourse, one might say – was in itself fascinating, before I even got started on the subject-related stuff.
Study can become addictive, so I’m wondering what I can study next. Perhaps a geology course might interest me, since I’ve become a bit obsessed by mountains; or there’s always photography? Or perhaps abandon formal study altogether. I’ve certainly decided to do this for the subjects that are central to my academic and work life. Not that there isn’t any more to learn: but I want to write and research independently. Shorter courses can broaden my learning in those areas that I’m inexperienced in. I might even doth some maths.
But for now, I’m weaning myself off study with the lighter but by no means less interesting The Great Courses ‘Museum Masterpieces: The Louvre’ DVD set, which discusses a selection of some of the great artists and their work. Then I’ve got their ‘How to Listen to and Understand Great Music’. And there’s French, too – and… well, almost everything I do seems to involve learning at some level.
I’ve my peers on H800 to thank for making it such a happy, interesting and useful experience. Many of us used Twitter for sharing ideas, tips and support. Now it’s a bittersweet feeling to symbolically close the Tweetdeck tab where I had kept a search for the hashtag ‘H800’ so I could follow what people were writing about it. Bye bye MAODE, hello everything else.