I am a Neil deGrasse Tyson buff. I’ve read several of his books, follow his current podcast (Star Talk) and own a t-shirt with a NdGT quote and a bracelet that I saw on his website of the planets in order. (I actually made my own bracelet based on his design and I added Pluto – he may be smart, but Pluto will always be one of my planets!)
One of the things that I admire most is his ability to take difficult concepts and to distill them down so that most of us can understand them. I was re-listening to his description of how the tides actually work/exist and wondered what it would be like to take a class from him (an entry-level class of course – I’ve encountered some of his work that is NOT distilled down and it is way over my head).
My favorite classes in college were always lectures. I don’t need any small discussion groups or multi-student projects – just let me sit in the presence of great professors while I soak up their knowledge. Between Carleton and Metro State I took five Shakespeare courses from two different professors – fabulous. There was a spellbinding Chinese Middle Kingdom class and the professor who taught my King Arthur in English and American Literature (yes, a real class for which I got credit) held my attention like no other.
But based on YA’s master’s program experience, the current trend in education is all about self-teaching, small group projects and collaboration (I detest this word). Her description of every single class she took for her MBA made my skin crawl, so I guess I probably won’t be going back to school in my retirement. I’ll have to remain self-taught in the areas that appeal to me. I’m still doing my online Italian class; I’m almost at 900 days straight. I’m still working my way through biographies of the English monarchs as well as the American presidents. Banned books are high on my list of interests as well as reading on Black Lives Matter. Science is also a love of mine although I would say I have a broad science curiosity as opposed to a deep curiosity.
If I were to take any classes, my first choice would be anything taught by Tyson; it’s possible he could do wonders from my understanding of physics. Add a course covering the history plays of Shakespeare. I’d like an economics class that specializes in the real world and does not discuss guns or butter. Literature courses of just about any kind. No math (I got through trigonometry by the skin of my teeth) and no classes where anything has to be cut up!
What were your favorite and least favorite classes in school?