Summer School

Now that the two MOOCs I enrolled in finished, it seemed time to move on to other things... like more MOOCs.  I was sad to see no courses on Copyright, even an intro one, on either Coursera or Canvas. I don't care that I've taken Intro to Copyright courses before, I will keep taking them when offered (or a more advanced one if possible) because it is such a convoluted subject.  Two courses did snag my attention:
I also found a third course through a friend, Building a Basic Website, which should actually be a basic course so I am excited.  I can do some basic site design working within templates but I remain incredibly conscious of everything I still do not know.  My hope is to gain more confidence with my base level of web design knowledge to grow into more advanced aspects.  This class just started and marks a first for UMass as they explore offering MOOCs.
My personal interests really do align with my profession rather well.  

The first class includes recommended readings already on my "to-read" list, including Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet by Katie Hafner.  I feel that Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrey Blum might also fit well within the scope of this course.  Unlike previous computer science MOOCs I have attempted, this one looks well within reach of my skill set rather than likely to quickly accelerate out of it.

As for the Fantasy & SciFi class, the syllabus consists of many seminal books, both contemporary and classic.  I cannot begin to express how happy I am to take a fiction class that deals with literature published post-1965 (the approximate end point of the "modernist" period in English literature).  Nothing personal against modernist literature overall, I just have encountered a few more modern literature courses taught without a solid context than I really can appreciate.

Between these two classes I have a rather ambitious reading list (even with the amount I read).  In addition to variously assigned articles and online readings here is my summer assigned reading list:
  • Weaving the Web : the original design and ultimate destiny of the World Wide Web / Tim Berners-Lee
  • How the Web was born : the story of the World Wide Web / Robert Cailliau
  • Where wizards stay up late : the origins of the Internet / Katie Hafner
  • Household stories / Brothers Grimm
  • Alice's adventures in Wonderland / Lewis Carroll
  • Through the looking glass / Lewis Carroll
  • Dracula / Bram Stoker
  • Frankenstein or the modern prometheus / Mary Shelley
  • The portable Edgar Allen Poe / Edgar Allen Poe, J. Gerald Kennedy (ed)
  • Twice-told tales / Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Mosses from an old manse / Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The island of Dr. Moreau / H. G. Wells
  • The invisible man / H. G. Wells
  • "Country of the blind" / H. G. Wells
  • "The Star" / H. G. Wells
  • A princess of Mars / Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Herland / Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • The Martian Chronicles / Ray Bradbury
  • The left hand of darkness / Ursula LeGuin
  • Little Brother / Corey Doctorow
If I really work at it I should be able to finish all of these within the 11 weeks of the course.  Of the books I have previously read some I can tear through quickly, others take a bit more effort for me to focus and finish them.  I will need to reread any previously read in order to adequately write short essay responses and to participate in discussion.


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