Monday, June 18, 2007

Pod professors

Over the past week or so I've been listening to the public-access lectures offered by the University of California at Berkeley, and I'd highly recommend them for anyone in search of stimulating MP3s to listen to while working or exercising. Courses currently available include computer science, chemistry, physics, biology, and economics. --At the beginning I downloaded a smattering of lectures from three or four different courses, just to get the feel for each lecturer's style and the suitability of each subject to the audio format. If you're many years out of university as I am, listening to these webcasts will bring back memories of awkward, socially inept professors making bad jokes to dead air, patronizing their students, and spending inordinate amounts of time on administrative matters ("did everyone get the handout? okay, if you did get it, please sign the sheet that's going around", etc.). But, if you're lucky, it should also remind you -- however distantly -- of the excitement that attended upon the first serious educational experience of your life, and of that liminal time when you felt you'd be happy to sacrifice what remained of your youth for the sake of the wisdom offered by maturity.

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