Phoenix Year

The sun has set for the last time in 2012, and like most thinking beings out there, I’m inspired to reflect on the footsteps behind me and the fresh path before me.

Sunset Year

My resolution is a seemingly odd one for a writer, someone who pours molten words onto a cool page and watches them solidify into something eternal and strong.  Yet this resolution promises to produce more of me by demanding less.

I want to talk less and do more. 

I’ve noticed a lot of white noise in my life,  from myself and others, a lot of words but not much meaning. So I’m hoping to refrain from saying, listen only to that which makes me stronger,  and get about doing.

I’ll emerge from 2012 a new man.

Of course, I wish every one of you a wonderful new year, and I look forward to not only writing but also reading more of your thoughts. 🙂

Cyber Schooling


So I’ve gone back to school. I’m taking classes at Yale, Oxford, and Stanford. Amazing, right?

Thankfully, it’s part of iTunes U’s free courses. I’ve dipped my toe into Apple’s pool of university course offerings before, but these days it seems to have expanded substantially.

That must be the "free online course that usually costs a few grand" button. Or FOCTUCAFG button for short.

That must be the “get a free online course that usually costs a few grand” button. Or GAFOCTUCAFG button for short.

And what, you might ask with feverish interest, am I studying? Well, I did a fair bit of philosophizin’ back in college (six years ago; wow, I’m getting old), so I’ve started two Yale philosophy courses–one on the concept of Death and whether we live on after it, and the other on the philosophy and science of human nature. I’m also studying iPhone development thanks to Stanford as well as business development course courtesy of Oxford.

Most offer videos of professors lecturing–which is about as close as I’ll ever get to seeing the inside of Yale–and course materials are sometimes included, but even if they’re not, it’s fairly easy to track down the texts on ye olde interwebs. I’m even spacing out my courses to mimic my old schedule: I attend each class twice a week on alternating days.

The best part? I don’t have to write any of the papers the professors assign, and every once in awhile I catch a glimpse of the poor students who do and laugh at their caffeine overloaded study nights. But I do get to learn.

A lot.

That these courses are offered free is mindblowingly awesome, and I get to develop in-demand skills that would normally cost thousands to learn. (iPhone development in particular. I’ve already made an app based on that old PBS show Ghostwriter. Word!)

So, dear readers, if you could take a free online course, what would you want to learn?