“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?