I loved being a student. I would have stayed in school forever if I could have. As it was, I dragged my university years out as long as possible.
So while I’m at home feeling lonely and abandoned, what could be better than taking courses to keep myself busy? Free classes! Yep, that’s right. As well as providing me the opportunity to purchase expensive purses I don’t need, the internet is a vehicle for free non-credit university courses in anything you could imagine (and many things you couldn’t).
Coursera is just giving knowledge away. I worry there must be a catch, but so far I haven’t found it.
I’m taking Introduction to Fine Arts. In addition to weekly readings, video lectures and quizzes (which are surprisingly challenging–this is a unversity-level course, after all), participants have the option to create art in order to complete the course “with distinction.”
I like the idea of doing things with distinction, so I am producing art. I’ve made fantastic art, mail art and personal collection art, but my most ambitious project is the environmental art installation I created. I designed it on paper before constructing it and spent hours (well, about half an hour) writing my artist’s statement to describe both my vision and the story my installation conveys. I submitted photos to Coursera–close-up to highlight details and panoramic so viewers can appreciate how the work suits its location. I look forward to my peer evaluation reports because, hey, I love praise as much as the next person.
Yesterday my dog created her own piece of environmental art. She chose to use materials remarkably similar to the ones I selected. Although she isn’t sharing her artist’s statement, I can see her natural joie de vivre and exuberance reflected in this installation. It reminds the viewer to see beauty and opportunity everywhere. It’s joyful and optimistic with a puppy-like playfulness that engages the observer.
In short, it’s better than mine! Even worse, it’s too late for me to submit Penny’s work as my own. (No, the dog didn’t eat my homework, the dog DID my homework!)
I hope my Courserian peer reviewers are kind when they evaluate my work.