What I Learned Series

I love learning as long as it is something I want to learn about. I am too old to learn things I am not interested in, like finite math or calculus. That saying, I have found online university courses offered through FutureLearn, where college courses are taught for free and I can pick and choose which classes I want to take.  The courses generally last from 5 to 6 weeks and you work at your own pace. They are offered through different universities in England, Scotland and Australia and other universities around the world. The classes I have taken so far are History of Royal Food from the University of Reading, Research Your Family Tree from the University of Strathclyde, WWI: Lessons on the Legacy of the Great War from UNSW Australia, WWI: History in a 100 Stories from Monash University, Identifying the Dead from the University of Dundee (my absolute favorite online course) and Literature of the Country House from the University of Sheffield. However, they offer a bazillion different courses in just about anything you would want to learn about. The interaction between other students in the course is invaluable too. Through texting you participate with the other students and I learn very interesting things from them as well.

My language passion is still strong. I have taken classes online and in Italy to learn Italian. It helps me a great deal when I travel to Italy.

I study French every day, and I mean every day. I study lessons from many course books at least once a week, but I keep up everyday with dialogue, vocabulary and pronunciation through Duolingo. Learning any language is fun with Duolingo. It is on my computer, my iPad and my IPhone so whenever I have a few minutes I can study French. I have completed the course once and as you move up they add more words, and more words, even after you have completed the entire course, so you can go on and on at whatever level you are at. For example; once you complete the course, when you go back to Level 1, there are no baby words like there were when you first started, you start again with the advanced words you just finished up in the course and built on that! This year they added BOTS to the program and this is one-on-one dialogue. A person speaks to you and you type back! They have topics so you know what the topic is going to be before you begin. All of this is done on my iPhone! It makes learning a language really fun and I highly recommend it!

Then there is the information I learn when visiting the villages, gardens, estates, castles, pubs and everything else under the sun when I travel.

I am fascinated with people’s lives and how they live them! I love talking to people. I want to know what they think about things.

When I visit an estate I want to know who lived there and how they lived. What was their occupation? Who else lived in the house? Did they have servants and other help? Was there conflict in the family? And on and on……… I learn the most fascinating things!

When I visited Batemans, the home of Rudyard Kipling, I learned that Batemans was where he went when he wanted to get away from things and get a lot of writing done. His wife was very protective of him. Even in the country people would show up to see Kipling unannounced, the very thing that disturbed him when in the city. The Mrs put an end to all that at Batemans by making sure she had a private room right over the entry way. When people came to the door, she had a peephole to the entryway and she would determine if the said guests should be invited in or turned away. The answer would be given to the maid and Mr Kipling’s interruptions were kept to a minimum! As you can see from the picture the Mrs didn’t look as one to be messed with!

So I hope you will enjoy my “What I Learned Series” as much as I do!