History of Rock – John Covach Tells it Like it Is…er….WAS.

This is the second day of a course I am taking through the University of Rochester on the history of rock music. It is taught by John Covach, the bearded guitarist in the attached video. The lecturer really knows his stuff, and moves through history quickly, interestingly and with the same precision he uses to play his instrument. I have learned more in the last two days than I’ve learned in entire courses taught by other people. Am really enjoying this one! He goes through his video lectures at a pretty swift clip, packing each one with interesting facts and tidbits that a lot of folks probably aren’t familiar with. For instance, he talks about the invention of recording tape….how the Germans developed it so they could record Hitler’s voice and play it on remote radio stations to protect him from being assassinated. Then, he goes into how Les Paul got together with Bing Crosby when they recognized that recording tape was going to be the next big thing in music…and the rest is…well….history!

This is a course that I highly recommend, folks.            *****           

Do Not Question Authority??? Really??

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Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…” 
― Timothy Leary

My Futures So Bright, I’ve Gotta Wear Shades!

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This is what I look like when I first wake up in the morning.  Pathetic, right?  😉   Today, I feel particularly happy and elated .  I am completely in love and  THAT makes me smile….and I also feel  like singing right now!   This morning, I received official word that I have, indeed, been accepted into the Masters of Psychology program at Southern New Hampshire University.  My future ‘s so bright, I gotta wear shades!

How About Some Free Education?

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I am what some refer to as a “professional student,” in that I am perpetually involved in taking classes or one kind or another, whether online or in person.   I have always been thrilled at the prospect of learning.   My dance card remains filled with art classes, literature classes, how-to-make-something classes, singing classes, writing classes…… I have done this for as long as I can remember, and will probably continue for the rest of my life.  I thrive on learning,  and greatly enjoy the challenge of picking up something new.

I get up early in the morning and devote a few hours to each of my educational pursuits, every day.  It is deeply satisfying.  I really enjoy it.  Although I went the traditional route, spent a fortune and got a great college education, one does not  have to spend a lot of money to get an ace education these days.  The resources are at our fingertips.

One of the biggest reasons that people are denied education is because they feel that they can’t afford it.   Fortunately, today,  we exist  in a world where knowledge and information are readily accessible like never before.  Technology has leveled the playing field so that anyone with an interest and an internet connection can receive a world class education, and in many cases, free of charge!     Bloggers, podcasters, search engines and digital content creators of all types of have made it possible  for us to learn virtually anything we want to even if we don’t have the money  . If you want to learn anything chances are there is somebody creating content about the subject and sharing it with the world at no cost.

I don’t sleep a lot, and, in fact  work very hard.   For me, taking classes is a way to indulge myself that is wholly satisfying.  Some people get up in the middle of the night and build a sandwich.  I wake in the middle of the night and study.  For me, this is a delicious treat AND it’s calorie free!  🙂

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I got all of my degrees by taking classes in person on bona fide college campuses…. but since the formulation of online classes has advanced so much over the last 5-10 years, I now take a plethora of  online courses.  Some are free.  Some cost money.   My husband is a pioneer in the design and development of online education.  He writes courses for a number of educational entities , and he also teaches online…..and on campus. so I have to credit him for turning me on to this online educational world.

I started my masters degree at Brandman University in Fairfield, CA.  I am getting ready to finish up my masters degree in Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University online.  This school is accredited by the same agency that accredited Harvard and Boston College.  It is a great school and I am looking forward to starting toward the end of September.

I also take jewelry making classes, as I have mentioned previously, from Deryn Mentock (pictured below), a fabulous teacher and inspiration for my new Silverthorn Studios line of jewelry!  These are fun, informative classes, ones that I recommend wholeheartedly, because Deryn instills the skillz, folks!

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Deryn Mentock

I take voice lessons from : Aaron Anastasi at http://www.superiorsingingmethod.com.  Aaron’s teaching methods are unsurpassed.  The classes are a real pleasure, and I enjoy them so much.  I have really improved my voice since I started.  Am doing this for my own pleasure, not because I want to go back to being a professional singer.  Those days are long passed.  It just feels great to understand how the vocal chords work and how to control my breath and so forth.  Wish I’d had this information years ago.  These classes are a lot of fun.  I took the basic course.  Then, I purchased the harmonizing classes, which I’ve downloaded, but have not begun yet.

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More and more acclaimed universities are offering free online courses that can expand horizons and help anyone learn virtually anything they want to know…or help people hone skills that they already have.  There are a handful of  traditional education institutions that have started to embrace this trend.   One ne of the very first to do so was MIT, a world class institution where tuition would run you a mucho dinero!   However, through open courseware an MIT education is , like magic,  available to anybody who wants one.  Courses are available in engineering, management, science, architecture and a number of other areas. If other institutions start to follow suit, people who have been denied the privilege of education for financial reasons will finally have an opportunity if they want it.   Harvard, Yale, Stanford….These schools all offer free classes.  Last year, I took a course from Stanford on creativity.  It is not a class that I liked very much….very disorganized and not well put together.  I felt, in fact, that it was largely created to promote the instructor’s book….but not all of these classes are like that.  Some are just great.

Duke, Princeston, Georgia Institute of Technology…..go ahead!  Take your pick.  Choose a course and enlighten yourself today!

It’s free!  https://www.coursera.org/courses