shedding layers part six: nothing yet


Good intentions, good intentions. I do need to discard more things but have not done much for a few days. Ideally the intent would be to discard one thing each day. But I have never been much of a hoarder/collector/keeper, so I don’t have a whole lot of things that I don’t use. I may move some furniture around, which will be a good time to go through things that are hidden away.

One of the big long-term plans is to renovate the house and surrounding buildings, which is undoubtedly a much bigger and more involved project than I can even imagine, especially because I don’t have much of an imagination at all when it comes to visualizing and conceptualizing space.

I’ve had some kind of eye discomfort/pain – I thought it was a stye so tried to self-treat but there was never any visible stye and eventually the discomfort got much worse. It seems to have been a tear duct blockage and possibly some kind of irritant got into my eye when I was driving with the windows open for many hours the other day (a lot of dust, dirt, etc. flying about). I suppose this has all been exacerbated by the fact that I spent so much of last weekend actually using the tear ducts – I guess I did shed something after all.

Teach Yourself Revolution: Good Intentions


A lot of us sign up for online courses – online education is becoming more and more dynamic and accepted. People do it for enrichment, self-betterment, refreshing skills, dipping our toe into something totally new, for diversionary purposes, for actual university-level degrees. I have signed up so many times for these MOOCs (massive open online courses) and never really participated in a single one until now.

Not surprised, then, when I visited my current course’s webpage to read: “If you have got this far and completed the first test, you are amongst the 45 percent left who started the course.” Three weeks in (one-third of the length of the class), fewer than half are still in the course. According to UK Times Higher Ed online (2013), only about seven percent (!) of MOOC students complete the courses they start. Remarkable.

Then again, it is not surprising – there is nothing holding you accountable. The learning with MOOCs, if you learn or engage at all, is passive at best.

While not nearly as passive (collaboration/group work and interaction is required), I have nearly completed an MA degree completely online but have not finished the last little bit – but I found that even with the level of self-discipline I have (I work mostly at home), finding the time and discipline to keep up on readings and lectures was really tough. If school/studying is not the priority or does not have some immediacy in my daily life (that is, the Coursera class I am taking now is quite relevant to my daily work while my MA had very little to do with my life or career), I am not going to be nearly as motivated to make it a priority.

But every time I sign up, I have high hopes and, even more, the best of intentions.