The Walking Dead Goes to College

Walking_Dead_Season_3_CastAMC’s huge hit, The Walking Dead, has been integrated into a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) offered by UCIrvine. The course, Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s The Walking Dead starts tomorrow and runs through December 21.

From the course description: Each week we’ll watch engaging lectures, listen to expert interviews, watch exclusive interviews with cast members talking about their characters, use key scenes from the show to illustrate course learning, read interesting articles, review academic resources, participate in large and small group discussions, and—of course—test our learning with quizzes. We recommend that you plan on spending about two (2) to four (4) hours per week on this course, though we believe the course is compelling enough you’ll want to spend more time.

Yes. I am signed up. You should too, if you’re a fan of the show. This looks incredibly interesting and engaging. I’m up for it and willing to set up Google discussions to chat if you want. Who’s in? Let me know in the comments. With enough interest, I will set something up!

Oh, and don’t forget: The premiere is tonight!!!

If You Were Here by Alafair Burke

if you were hereI might have mentioned that I’m rarely surprised by books or movies. I’ve read so many thrillers/mysteries and seen so many suspense movies that I can almost always see the twist coming. When I find a book that surprises me, I LOVE it.

Gone Girl had plenty of twists, and it’s not surprising that people really liked it, but if you are really looking for a book with plots, characters, and subplots that are tangled and untangled and tangled again only to converge into a great surprise ending, look no further than If You Were Here by Alafair Burke.

You know I don’t do spoilers and you can read “summaries” on Amazon… But don’t. Just pick it up and start reading. If you enjoy mystery/suspense, you’ll love it. Go into it blind. That’s what I did. I saw a review that recommended it – but I only looked at the headline and star rating. I picked it up and hated putting it down.

As an experiment, try it. Pick it up with no warning of the plot or preconceptions. Then let me know what you think. Let me know if you wish you were here…

Never Stop Learning

courseraI’ve heard a lot about MOOCs lately. For those unfamiliar with the acronym, it means massive open online course. There are several outlets for these courses and many were recommended to me before I stumbled upon Coursera.

A Facebook friend mentioned that she was taking a course, so I decided to check it out. I was shocked to find that everything was free. Everything. Access to textbook readings, material that usually requires website membership to access, videos that are not usually available for viewing online, and video lectures made specifically for the course.

I took Social Psychology from Wesleyan University, taught by Professor Scott Plous. I cannot begin to tell you how engaging Professor Plous is. His lectures were never boring and he made the material easy to understand and absorb. Assignments were interesting, and most were peer reviewed for grading. I even got to participate in a discussion group with members from all over the world!

I took my final exam yesterday and hoping to pass and receive a certificate for the course. The best part is that I am already applying Social Psychology principles to my life! I updated my Linkedin profile and immediately got a new job. Coincidence? Maybe…

Anyway, Coursera has classes for everything from computer science to the arts. I highly recommend taking a free class and continuing your education.