Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Knowledge is free.

You can learn all kinds of things online for free--through universities like MIT and others' OpenCourseWare, through non-profits, and through various organizations.  And yes, at MIT and Yale and Tufts and other colleges that offer this, you can get the information for the same classes that paying students are taking.

You can try your hand at cooking completely new dishes (you can go here, here, or here to browse recipes).  Invite some friends over--and have everyone bring a dish they've never made before.  If it's tasty, great! If it came out horrible, you have a funny story to tell.  Win/win.
Do you want to learn how to knit, but no one you know is familiar with how to do it?  Don't have the money for a class?  Try have instructional videos, articles, and forums.

Learn another language. From French to German to Japanese to Urdu, the BBC has got it covered. (I really should brush up on my French since I can't do much beyond asking for a beer and where the toilet is after five years of study in junior high and high school.)

Actually, it looks like the BBC has various course offerings, so check it out.

The Khan Academy is a great place to learn (or relearn) math, physics, finance, or history.  I'm a math dolt and I should really check this out and (re?)familiarize myself with algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.  I can understand the basic concept, but trying to actually do the math makes my head explode.


  1. What a brilliant post! I will definitely be using the BBC's german course. I actually was quite fluent in German at one point, but I've since lost it. I am slowly trying to get through Harry Potter in German, but it's taking forever with lots of dictionary breaks!!

  2. You can read Harry Potter in German?? That's impressive, even if you need a dictionary. I used to be fairly fluent in Japanese but have lost most of it since coming home from Osaka 13 years ago. (OH MY GOD IT WAS 13 YEARS AGO HOW DID THE TIME GO BY SO FAST???)

    1. Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen. :) I've not read any for a while. It helps that I already know the story line, but I thought it would be a fun way of getting back into the language!

      I know, I finished my A levels (16-18 year old education) a scary five years ago! A lot of it has trickled out of my head since then, but I'd love to get back involved with it.

      A possible life goal at the minute is to work at the Max Plank Institute in Dresden, although I seem to be taking a more crop science-related turn in life now. But then, they have crops in Germany!!

      It's so cool that you lived in Japan! I would absolutely love to live in another country!