Enter the MOOC: free online education

“You can go downtown,” I used to say to my son, “but you can’t just hang. You have to have something to do.” I abhorred the thought of my kid just hanging around Main Street, looking bored. 

I’ve felt sort of like one of those teenagers these last few weeks. Just hangin’. An aimless Hum-de-dum-dum, not wanting to do any of the things on my to-do list. You know the feeling.

Before I retired, I yearned for unstructured time. Now that I’ve got it, I find myself yearning for some structure! Thus my feelings of contrariness.

No, I don’t want to go back to work, so don’t even suggest it.  I just want a little something-something in the way of a schedule. Because I’m not as good with unstructured time as I thought I was.

In my working life, I was an administrative assistant at Yukon College.  One of the great things about working there was being totally immersed in an atmosphere of teaching and learning.  In fact, practically my entire life revolved around teaching and learning. I taught dance classes for 15 years, I traveled “outside” regularly to pursue my education as a dance artist and teacher and I took an assortment of college courses in the evenings.

As I sit here writing, I realize that that’s what’s missing. Teaching and Learning! Especially the Learning.

Enter the MOOC.

MOOC is an acronym for Massive Open Online Course. These are (non-credit) university courses that are open to anyone, anywhere. As long as you have access to a computer and the internet, you can take a course. And best of all, the courses are free!

Part of retiring early (early 50s instead of mid-late 60s) was accepting the challenge of learning how to live successfully on a tight budget. So you can imagine how attractive the word FREE is, especially when followed by the word EDUCATION! Lol!

The other day I discovered The Open University’s Future Learn program. Within minutes, I’d signed up for a course: Start Writing Fiction.  The course starts at the end of April, and I can’t wait for class assignments, assigned readings, critical thinking and deadlines! I realize that makes me a bit of a geek. Too bad, so sad. It’s the way I roll. I might even sign up for a second class!

If you are interested, here’s the link to the courses Future Learn offers.

What would you like to learn?


  1. Education is good, free is better. I took a look at the class, but characters are never my problem, so I’ll keep an eye on things and when we get to finishing the plotline, I’ll take the class. LOL

  2. Oh that ho hum feeling….and then to make things worse you don’t want to do anything on your list…ugh…yes I’m very familiar with that feeling and I don’t like it! LOL!! And like you, I love being immeresed in the world of education but after 27 years, I’m beginning to find my teaching to be unstimulating at times..esp. because I’ve already taught almost ever level and have had a stint in leadership…thus why quilting/blogging have become my middle age muse. I’m enjoying learning about them. I’m really going to put myself into learning more about long-arm quilting this summer since I won’t be teaching summer school. I have a class I’m partiticapting in May that will give me the jump start I need to have a fun summer practicing and developing my FMQ stytle. I’m excited about it! (Thinking of having a weekly post about my learning process too) I think your class will give you the exact structure you are looking for. I just told my husband yesterday, that I think the key to my having a good summer is going to be to have a little “routine” yet with no school bells telling me when to have lunch. LOL (sorry so long…I should have just emailed ya) But it’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who struggles with that ho hum sometimes….I know I’m not, but ya know what I mean! SMILES!

  3. Thanks for the info, Nita! sounds good. And I like that it will make you happy.

    Last week I left a link on my site with the same info only about Khan acedemy. Also a free online university giving free courses in all kinds of subjects. So if you find you want to explore other menues try that as well.

    Good luck with the courses. I Love learning, too, and am going to a writing conference this weekend. No doubt I’ll blog about it. 🙂

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