M’OOC! Ah….

List of titles of works based on Shakespearean...This Some Thing 4 Sunday post is all about Shakespeare.  Okay, maybe not all about Shakespeare.  It’s about an awesome (can you tell I’m giddy about it?) MOOC course I’m taking via the FutureLearn site on Shakespeare and his World.

This isn’t the first FurtureLearn class I’ve taken.  Now into my third class through the site, I’m finding I like the varied formats they’re using and the general accessibility of the teachers.  I’ve tried other MOOCs as well before this, including a course of History and the Occult through Berkley and Roman History class I found via Open CourseWare.  Even with access to group chats on the courses, the level of teacher interaction never seemed quite adequate.  I’m really happy so far with my experience at FL.

Sir John Gilbert's 1849 painting: The Plays of...

Sir John Gilbert’s 1849 painting: The Plays of William Shakespeare, containing scenes and characters from several of William Shakespeare’s plays. Since the artist died in 1897, this work is now in the public domain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As for my present course…  I’ve never been much for the Cult of Shakespeare personally (sorry, but my school experiences till now never inspired in me a passion for his work, and with so many other great writers and artists tweaking at my senses..,).   However, this class draws into my passion for history and mysteries and wordsmithery 😀 in just the right combinations.  Each lecture and discussion following it has given me cow trail after cow trail of bits on architecture, social customs, politics, even history as seen by people of the time period.

Perhaps the best way to explain my feelings might be via a Doctor Who episode The Shakespeare Code.  During David Tennant’s tenure as the

Love's Labour's Lost by Gresham's, c. 1914

Love’s Labour’s Lost by Gresham’s, c. 1914 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Doctor (I have to note this because I’m such a fangirl, of course), he  and Martha Jones end up in Elizabethan London during the Bard’s attempts to write Love’s Labour’s Won as a sequel to the canon play Love’s Labour’s Lost.

I liked the episode, mostly because Shakespeare wasn’t the star of the show.  As usual, the Doctor and his companion(s) were, and the limelight of the week was cast on the villain(s) and the random person (usually historically famous, but not always) who needs the Timelord’s help in defeating them.  I liked the way the story portrayed the jail, the potential romantic life of young people of the time, the crowds, the boarding house scenes….  even the idealistic visit by Elizabeth I herself at the end.  Most of what I liked though is how Shakespeare is cast as a normal, flawed human being, a product of his time.

Conwy's Elizabethan Locals - IMGP1538

Conwy’s Elizabethan Locals – IMGP1538 (Photo credit: catchesthelight)

I like human beings.  I can relate to human beings.  I like spending time with human beings.  I do not like to spend time with gods.  (An odd thought–how humanity tends to try to humanize its favored gods and deify its beloved members…)

And this MOOC, while about Shakespeare’s works, is as much about the people and the world they lived in at the same time as Shakespeare.  Yes, our professor uses Shakespeare’s works as a lens to show us these things; he also uses historical documentation and artifacts from the time period–things sorely deficient in my high school experiences with the Bard.

FutureLearn hasn’t closed the class to new sudents yet.  If you’re interested, sign up.  The joy of MOOCs is you can participate as little or as much as you’d like and at your own speed.  I have no doubt you’ll get something new out of it even if you only follow the lectures and assigned plays.

ROW80 Check-in

ROW80LogocopyIs this progress? *shakes head*

  • write every day; at the minimum, do 5 sentencesdo notes count?
  • finish a complete (rough) draft of Courting the Swan Song  except for scratching notes, no action
  • make twice weekly blog posts (WIPpet Wednesdays and Some Thing 4 Sundays) check
  • maintain active sponsor participation on track; decided to sponsor again next ROWnd
  • energize myself with more physical activity mostly home stuff
  • reclaim my writing space the top of my desk showed up momentarily
  • go through some piece of my electronic home (desktop, laptop, server space, Dropbox, etc.) a forced electronic reprieve because my PC is acting up
  • laugh more, hug my family more, share myself with friends more…  some, though not as much as I’d have liked; a lot of collapsed plans these past few days
  • attend chats and sprints on Twitter (at least one of each) nope
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10 responses to “M’OOC! Ah….

  1. I’ve looked into MOOC before, but I just can’t find real life time to fit it in. Maybe I can during summer, when I give myself a bit more “free time?” Really glad to hear you are liking the course.

    Not every ROW check-in can be great. Huge kudos for being a sponsor again. I always consider doing it, but when I think of that blog post I blank and go “CAN’T DO IT!!!” If I ever think of a blog post to write, I’ll definitely sponsor. 😉


    • Considering all the extra self-learning you’re doing, Gloria, I think you’re doing your fair share of “MOOC”like learning anyway. One doesn’t need to take a university class to learn things. I just find I enjoy the format of a “class” (it pushes me to actually set a timetable, for one).

      Oh, tell me about it! That sponsor post is a killer for me. I love sponsoring, but that post! AH, terror…. 😀


      • I tend to discount my self study times not because they are self done/without a class structure. Rather, I discount them as 50% of their purpose is to get me to sit down at meals and to get me to eat slow.

        The other 50% is meal times are regular parts of my days and by fusing them together, I would regularly study. I felt like a genius when all the benefits compiled together. 🙂


        • It’s still learning time, Gloria. You’re still taking extra time to expand your experience, Gloria. I’d count it.

          Slowing down can be useful just in itself.


  2. When it comes to writing…everything counts. (I know…I said I don’t count some of it….but that was writing I was already doing before ROW80 appeared out of nowhere for me.) 😉 Thanks for your help and inspiration!


    • Sometimes the writing you “were” working on ends up being the project you work on the most. Most of the things I am doing for the ROW80 are things I was “working on” for years. But it wasn’t until the ROW80 that I actually started making real progress on them.

      No problem. Enjoy the next ROWnd. 😀


  3. My hubby is currently working his way through several historical series on Netflix. He and our daughter are bigger fans of it than I am. Because I’m all about relationships, when history is presented from a human, rather than an academic-facts-and-figures kind of way, I’m in. (I liked that episode of Dr. Who as well.)
    All the best as Round 1 comes to a close. See you next round.