Its been a rather busy but highly productive week focused primarily on my studies. Hubby also finished his vacation, which means that we will have to scrape out some quality time together likely playing WildStar and the pen and paper RPG that he GM’s some weekends. In any case, things have been quite good on my end.
I haven’t spent much time playing WildStar this past week, but I seriously need to step it up a notch in order to start paying for my game-time with platinum. A few patches dropped this past week as well, including the Strain patch and one opening up the WildStar PTR. Not too shabby, but I also need to consider the other things that I want to achieve with my spare time.
I completed several MOOCs over the past few weeks and have finally got around to post reviews of all but the one that I completed this afternoon over at edX. I dropped one course for personal reasons regarding feedback, and am having a ball with my current enrollments. I also rediscovered Degreed, a great service for tracking your learning. They organize pathways as well, which are a collection of linked online materials for learning about a particular topic, case study on a famous person, and collections of linked online free courses. I think it is pretty neat and highly encourage folks check it out.
I am currently enrolled in the following MOOCs:
- Crafting An Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade by MSJC at Coursera (3rd week of 5 week course)
- English Common Law: Structure & Principles by University of London at Coursera (2nd week of 6 week course)
- The Addicted Brain by Emory University at Coursera (2nd week of 7 week course)
- Literature of the English Country House by The University of Sheffield at FutureLearn (5th week of 8 week course)
- Econ-1: Principles of Economics by Stanford Online (2nd week of 8 week course)
I am also slowly working on the following self-paced and/or archived courses in my off-time:
- Calculus One (self-paced) by The Ohio State University at Coursera (16 module course)
- Competitive Strategy (self-paced) by Ludwig-Maximillians-Universitat Munchen (LMU) at Coursera (6 module course)
- ChinaX part 2 (rotating honor code certificates, self-paced) by Harvard at edX (6 week course)
- Space, Time & Einstein (self-paced) at World Science U (one of 3, 3 week introductory course. They are also great preparation for the 3 10 week university level certification courses available on World Science U)
I am supplementing my studies with the following The Great Courses series in the minute amounts of spare time:
- Introduction to Nanotechnology – 24 lectures (science is awesome!)
- A New Way of Life – 36 lectures (folks that enjoyed Cosmos will dig this lecture series)
- The Art of Storytelling – 24 lectures (storytellers across all genres will benefit from this series)
I have a few courses starting next week as well:
- The Music of the Beatles by University of Rochester at Coursera (6 week course)
- Questionnaire Design for Social Surveys by University of Michigan at Coursera (6 week course)
The key in all of this studying is to mix up the information enough to avoid getting bored. Short topical videos are usually good for this, but mixing up the subjects works even better and can potentially help connect some of the subject matter together. As mentioned in previous posts though, if a course turns out to not meet my learning requirements, messes with other studies or the instructors end up delivering the material as drones, then I will drop it. I am learning to build up resistance to certain levels of stress, but I still have a long way to go.
I did manage to spend some time brain-storming some schools of thought for a fantasy world that I am attempting to flesh out. It is baby steps, but every few days I discover a new piece of the puzzle. When the preliminary information is complete, I need to expand to add meat to the bones. Still, any progress is a step in the right direction. This world-building will likely make it into the setting for the Heaven series, as it seems to work well with the Mage Academy that the main character and her associate graduate from in the first chapter.
I really have some hurdles to deal with for the main character as she will soon deal with a major loss in her loss. She also has to deal with an epic destiny, which will put herself in direct conflict with a church that can easily hide its more recent corruption because of misplaced trust. I would really like to delve into the problem of how people deal with having their greatest beliefs about the world around them questioned. It is a psychological question, which is where some of my recent study on psychology really helps. And there is this issue of betrayal by those that profess to honesty and righteousness. However, it is less of an attack on real world religious institutions and more on organizational betrayal in general. And last but not least, how do you hold on to the spiritual when everything seems to be demanding otherwise.
This is not to say that I will be able to pull any of this stuff off, but it is a challenge that will offer some good therapy for me. I am dealing with my own upheaval due to recent things that I have learned about myself and the world around me. It is something that I really need to address and it seems that this book may offer me some help in that regard.