Thursday, June 23, 2011

Acadamia in Transit

A while back, I posted about and our interest in beginning a subscription, as we had decided to use our time on the road spent towards more academic measures (now that we're both done with our degrees! {Ben has only his defense left to do}). What we discovered though, through this great age of technology, is that we don't have to spend money to take advantage of academics offered in transitory status.

The iPhone we bought back in January has been so great to use for so many things, but one we never really discovered using until recently was the iPod/iTunes functions. I know, I know, welcome out of the dark ages, right? I never knew (or desired to know, to be honest) how to use an mp3 player or an iPod because I just don't pay that much attention to music, and I figured that that's all people used them for. The XM satellite radio we have offers any kind of music you'd want to listen to as well, though we keep it to Christian and Frank Sinatra. So, no need to spend the money on something that probably won't be used, right?

Enter our discovery of iTunesU. Holy mackerel has this made our purchase of the iPhone SOO worth while! Now, again as mentioned in the Audible blog post, we've had lots of audio to listen to, such as Latin, Spanish, and the New Testament Scriptures. Adding to that, we've begun to listen (or for me, re-listen) to the distance learning graduate courses for theology from Franciscan University. We started with Historical Foundations of the Church and are now in the middle of the Teachings of Vatican II. But iTunesU? This has forever changed the landscape for the remainder of our time on the road.

The courses offered range from guest lectures all the way to the entire semester's worth of lectures, from many schools across the country. So far, some of the courses we've listened to have been:

Early American Colonial History: Dr. Jack Ravoke, Stanford
Justice (Philosophy): Dr. Michael Sandel, Harvard
Political Philosophy: Dr. Steven Smith, Yale
Basic Spanish: Claudia Fernandex, DePaul University

We've also downloaded some podcasts: quick lessons in Spanish, slowly-spoken newscasts in Spanish, as well as lessons in Latin (unfortunately classically spoken, but it still works).

Ben has downloaded so many courses, lectures, podcasts on our computer that we could go years without listening to anything else on the radio, XM or CD's. This suits his nature in so many ways, as he just loves to learn and absorb as much information as possible. Me? I like to take things a little slower, but am excited of all the prospects of expanding our education (one that we DON'T have to pay for!). And let me tell you--those Ivy League students (as showcased in our Justice class at Harvard) really are the cream of the crop. Very impressive!

Present Location: Laredo, TX
Miles this week: 6300 (woohoo!)

Also to help pass the time? Our friends recently loaned us their seasons of The Office. The writing in season 2 is fantastic! We haven't laughed this hard in a while!!

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