iTunes U

Nov. 17th, 2007 10:31 pm
spidra: (Default)
Bad hand day so hopefully I can be concise.

I've really started diving in to podcasts. While looking for gardening and horticulture podcasts, I was reminded that the iTunes Music Store has iTunes U - a section where colleges and universities upload their own podcasts. Some are just fluff, like the Texas A&M hit I got for "horticulture", however, when I decided to see what else was on iTunes U, I rediscovered UC Berkeley's uploads, which have grown significantly since the last time I looked. Not only do they have special events like a journalism panel including Helen Thomas, they have entire semesters of some of their classes. I started listening to MCB 140 General Genetics by Fyodor Urnov He's a riveting lecturer. It's not that I understand everything he's talking about. But he makes me want to pay attention and learn more.

They also have lectures by Alex Filippenko, who was recently featured in the SF Chronicle for his dynamic teaching of astronomy.

For those of you who wish you had enough money to go back to school, this is a great opportunity to "attend university" for free! I wish they had even more classes up there, but there's a pretty nice selection. University of California does a lot of things that piss me off. Things that make it clear that educating as many Californian as possible is lower on their list of priorities than it should be. But this is an example of a brilliant and public-minded use of their resources.

In other news, my father flew up today to help me pick up the Singer treadle machine I won on Ebay. I had trouble rounding up friends to help. I feel a bit guilty that I accepted my dad's offer to help given he had to fly up to do it, but I'm happy I got to spend time with him. I haven't seen him for a while and now that he's in his second career as a high school teacher, he's busier than a one-legged man at an ass-kicking contest. I'm not going down to my parents for Thanksgiving (and probably not Xmas) so I guess this was a good, though short, time together. I'm very grateful for his help.
spidra: (Default)
Today's II went well. It was nice to talk to an old skool BMUGer anyway and furthermore to be talking about interesting stuff. I learned some HRish stuff which helps me understand what my immediate future might look like. My department has been a bit cagey about that. They don't wish me ill, I'm sure, but they're also looking out for #1. The information I learned today helps me prioritize what things to do when I'm at work and what things to do in my jobhunt. I feel a bit more peace-of-mind. I also feel more hopeful about finding another place here, hopefully in some of the departments that are doing exciting interdisciplinary work.

What I learned about the HR perspective of my situation has made me feel secure enough to risk spending the enormous amount of money UCB Extension charges for their classes in order to take their Graphic Design Professional Sequence for certification. I'm a little underwhelmed by their new curriculum (they used to have a program in Graphic & Interactive Design), so I'll look around to see if there's somewhere, maybe even somewhere cheaper, that I can get a rigorous and forward-thinking grounding in design principles. However, if there isn't, I'll sign up for UCB Ex. Actually, the class I'd be taking is in SF anyway (meaning I don't get the advantage of the "Berkeley" in UCB), so I should totally check out CCA's classes since no matter what I'm going to have to cross that freakin' bridge.


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