This week: What Is a MOOC?Edited by: Brr-rooke
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“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” ― Dr. Seuss
Is there an area of your writing that you feel needs improvement? I'm pretty sure there is very few of us that would answer that question with a no. For the rest of us, I'd like to make sure you know there is help available and most of it is actually FREE. Yes, I said free. I have taken many and I know some friends that regularly enjoy them as well.
I'm talking about a MOOC.
For those that like to learn or find value in improving their skills, a MOOC can be a very exciting way to spend your time. For those of you that don't know what the acronym stands for, it's Massive Open Online Classes. There are many places to find these online classes and they vary in caliber and cost. Thankfully, a "massive" amount of them are absolutely free. I'm kind of a MOOC junkie in that I can't get enough of learning new things. It's only limited by the amount of time I have available to watch the lectures and actually participate. Many times I'll just 'audit' the class and not physically participate. I watch all the lectures and do some of the course materials just soaking in the knowledge without looking for a "certificate of completion" which many of the classes offer.
My favorite place to learn is Coursera.org because they have an extensive collection of classes and there is very few (if any) that cannot be taken for free. What do they offer for writers like us? Well, here are a few below:
Grammar and Punctuation
Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot
Creative Writing: The Craft of Character
Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description
Creative Writing: The Craft of Style
And yes, some of these started a couple days ago, but it's fine. Jump in and sign up. You'll have full access to the resources and the lectures and you can still learn at your own pace. That's one of the best parts!
Interested in finding more places and exploring more MOOC's?
Udemy offers FREE courses relating to writing also. Click here to see their current classes.
Many colleges have their own FREE offerings. While some are online, many are in-person lectures. Take for instance the "How To Become a Professional Film and TV Writer" which is a 1-day offering at UCLA in October that sadly appears to be already full. However, if you're in that area, you can add yourself to the waiting list if you'd like and search for more.
Other colleges such as Carnegie Mellon University have an impressive list of FREE courses especially if you're interested in learning a new language. You can check it out if you'd like by clicking here
What about you poet's out there? There are a lot of classes that can help you learn about things you're interested in. How nice would it be to take the Poetry in America: Modernism course from Harvard? Sounds expensive doesn't it? Nope, it's free. They have several centered on different poet's I noticed. I'll have to check one out when I'm done with my current classes. Let me know if you've taken one or plan to in the comments.
Got enough going on and can't take on any more? Perhaps meditation is something you could benefit from. There is even a free course for that too. I learned about it from a newsletter written by our own Shannon . Here is a link to learn Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Happy learning! ~ Brooke
"Once in a generation, a book forces us to reconsider the fundamentals of higher education—and College (Un)bound is that book for the Wireless Generation." — David L. Marcus, author of Acceptance.
Check out the items below and if you read them. make sure you leave a review.
Prompt for June 2016: Write a story about a character whose best friend is something other than another human being. It can be a pet, robot, inanimate object, imaginary friend, or anything else you can come up with!
January 1978. The excesses of Christmas on New Year's safely behind us, we were ready for a holiday. Winter in Germany is a grey, damp time. It rarely gets cold, and snow is an event where we lived, at the foot of the Black Forest. All in all, much easier to take than a Canadian winter. Nevertheless, we felt we were ready for a bit of sun and warmth. Spain was the logical choice, but Constance had spent several months there the previous year and I wasn't too keen on the idea either. Somewhere exotic was the answer.
Rodney Armstrong is a private detective by trade, a boxer by passion and a screenwriter by desire. Rodney has a small office in New York and takes on cases that peak his interest. Just enough to pay the bills. The rest of the time he spends in front of his computer typing out screenplays that he thinks are a sure fire hit. As if the turndowns are not harsh enough on him he also goes to the gym daily for his workouts and a boxing match that he usually loses.
"What did you say? I didn't hear you just now, the line seems to be disturbed."
He laughed his beautiful laugh. "I said yes, of course, why not, or did your hearing aid stop functioning?"
I felt a blush coming up at the other end. "I am not that old", I uttered, feeling both joy and stress at the same time. I had just asked this man out, what was I thinking?
“This time… this time I’m going to do it!” I said it loudly, excited, hopeful…
I could almost feel the sneer, even before the words finished forming.
“Of course you will.” It was dripping with sarcasm.
“No, really. I really mean it. This time it’ll work.” I sounded confident. I did mean it.
“What makes you think you can actually do it? You’ve failed so many times before.”
Failed. What a harsh word. But it’s right. I have failed – every single time I tried.
Arie is an eleven-year-old medium sized terrier of brown and white complexion. He is playful, funny, not that bright and very much the ideal dog for me. Friendly to people, not so friendly to other dogs which is his only weakness. Walking outside and meeting other dogs is no picnic in the park. He barks a lot, and is protective to his owner. I sometimes take another route just to avoid unpleasantness.
All through his waking life as an ambitious travel photographer, he would lead his equally ambitious bunch of photo hungry Turks who would crisscross the entire length and breadth of the Gulf every Friday, seeking out unique places completely off the map while unlocking new vistas for exploration and adventure.
But the identifying hallmark and sheer brilliance of his work lay in the interplay of shadows and lighting in every one of his photos.
Plagiarism is taken rather seriously these days. Even in school, I was required to sign a paper by my history teacher, saying that I would not plagiarize on my research report. The consequences would be a 0 on my grade. My teacher had even downloaded a plagiarism app to run all of our writings through. It forced me to take extra precaution in making certain that the words I was writing were my own.
I shoved my camera back into the left pocket in my hip strap and pulled the hood of my raincoat over my head. Looking ahead, I could see that past this gorgeous view, there were more ominous clouds looming over the next peak. Having five and a half miles to go before we could set up the tent and rehydrate some dehydrated dinner, I was eager to get back on the trail. As we continued that day’s hike through the Wind River Range, there was little conversation among the group. This was not typical, but I happily accepted the chance to catch my breath (since I was 10,000 feet above sea level) and spend some time just thinking.
I wish someone told me. No, I wish someone screamed it at me. I wish someone warned me about him.
What if it was different? What if I was told? What if I did know? How would it have turned out then?
What about him? What if he changed? What if he didn't break me? Why does this have too happen to me?
Why doesn't God take the pain away? Why does he leave a cloud around me? Why doesn't He lift the burden from my shoulders?
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I received some wonderful feedback to my last newsletter [#7637] "Tom Kelly's Bottle House" and I'm proud to share it with you.
While walking with my dog in my neighborhood, I've come with up some mental prompts...Why do some people leave their curtains open after sunset? Why is the family in the corner house suddenly installing seven-foot tall stockade fencing? Does the owner of the pack of teacup chihuahuas realize the dangers from above, letting them run free in the chain-link fenced backyard. Falcons, don't care if their prey is a squirrel or tiny pup.
That thought has entered my mind with my tiny pups. The world can be a scary place when you're that small!
Great newsletter about looking for inspiration in the everyday things.
Thanks! I appreciate you dropping me a note.
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