I started my DIY Engineering degree in January. Here’s how it’s going so far…
Environmental History: I took this class through Saylor.org over the month of January. It has 8 units and I was able to finish within the month. I thought this class was easy and interesting. It was mostly reading with some videos or audio thrown in once in a while. It wasn’t really a technical class so I didn’t take any notes or anything. There was no assignments or exam so to “finish” the class, I’m writing a paper this month about the Wisconsin Peshtigo Fire. This was more a fun class for me although it was really a lot of reading.
Physics 202: This is the second half of my autumn Physics class at the local college. I decided to audit it this semester to save money. It started a few weeks ago already and I’m enjoying it very much.
Foundations of Modern Social Theory: This class I am taking in February. There are 25 video lectures so I’m watching one per day and plan to finish early March. It is interesting but I don’t necessarily feel I’m learning anything applicable, really (nothing against social science of course).
Calculus II: This class is kicking my butt. I don’t really have any teacher, I’m just trying to finish the book that I started the first semester. I’m really having a hard time with it. I am using the chapter review question to test myself and I am completely failing. As a result, it’s really difficult to motivate myself to try at all. I’m about a week behind and I’d like to finish this chapter by the end of the month. I think I’m actually shooting myself in the foot because whenever I’m moving on without understanding fully and completely, it just makes the next part that more confusing. :( I really need to put more work into this class. I really don’t want to take it again.
Learning Creative Learning: This is a class offered by the MIT Media Lab and it’s about learning, I guess. Brent and I are taking it together and it’s an online scheduled course where you have webcasts (which unfortunately are all scheduled during my Physics class) and do group projects and, well, I don’t really know what else. I just was interested because it’s about learning better and since I’m a learner and a teacher, I need all the help I can get. This class starts tomorrow and I’m excited to see how it will go.
German: I’m taking the whole year to focus on the German language. I’m not really doing a hard learn on it, just a casual approach. My daily routine is to play one lesson of Duolingo, watch a news story and a telenovela episode on DW.de, and listen to the weekly Coffee Break German. I also changed my iPhone language to German which is both causing some interesting problems and teaching me a few words. I chose German because I wanted to do some type of language and I already knew German once in my life. I took 4 years in high school and also spent 6 months in Germany on a student exchange. So I was close to fluent at one point, I’m just trying to wake up the memories.
Phew, that’s a lot! I originally wanted to try and do one class per month, but with some classes being scheduled and some others not, it’s not working out that way. I’m trying to pair really hard classes with easier so I’m not over taxed for now. I’d also like to throw some projects in there too, but I’m not sure what they will be yet. Maybe this summer when I’m not trying to homeschool Andrei on top of all of this too.