Teaching This Old Dog New Tricks


B.O.R.I.N.G. That’s how I was feeling as summer drew to a close. It had been  awhile since I felt like I really learned something that excited me. While I would never wish to be in High School again, as I watched my daughter load up her Back to School supplies I felt a twinge of excitement at the possibility of learning something new.

As the Universe works, my friend and intellectual muse, Rena, sent me an email about something she thought I’d find interesting. It’s called Coursera. “Hmm”…I thought, and then headed out to get my hair cut. While at the salon, I picked up a copy of a magazine and there was a blurb on …Coursera! “Hear something twice, pay attention” as the Sufi saying goes.

When I got home, I clicked through to the Coursera website. Coursera offers 300-plus on line courses all taught by professors at over 60 of the top colleges and universities. Its course catalog reads like a dream list of classes you had wish you could have taken in school. I was so excited by all the descriptions; I didn’t know what to choose first. Upon Rena’s suggestion, I peeked at Creativity, Innovation and Change which is offered with 3 professors from Penn State. I signed up on the spot.

I am currently in week 2. At my own pace, I watch on-line videos and read articles. I also have the opportunity to do projects, contribute to an online chat and even get a grade — which I am passing on. That would be way to close to High School for me.


I know there are lots of other free on-line classes out there. However, I was in the right frame of mind when this one crossed my screen. I am ready for a new trick. Armed with my new school shoes and a view of the changing leaves outside my study window, I am prepared to re-enter that seasonal ritual of learning.

Who knows what trick this old dog will learn!?!

Where do you MindFULLY go to learn new tricks? Let us know!

4 thoughts on “Teaching This Old Dog New Tricks”

  1. Saw the article in the New York Times about the course at Curtis School of Music. I guess that got an overwhelming response on their course. What a great concept! Thanks for posting the site. I hope you remind us next semester.

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