Academia here I come?

In an abundance of enthusiasm, I have set myself up for what could be a busy few months of classes! Thankfully, two of them are online: a FutureLearn course on the Tudors and a San Diego City College course on the Study of Filmed Plays. The latter is a real three-unit college class though.

Then, just today I signed up for two classes through San Diego Oasis: in March, Shakespeare and History’s King John, followed in April by Marlowe and History’s Edward II. These three-session courses meet in-person, so it’ll be my first time in a classroom setting in decades.

The Oasis classes sit at a three-way intersection of my interests: history, literature, and pop culture – in this case, Elizabethan pop culture and its continuing influence on our perceptions of real people and events, and even our selves. In addition to soaking up the Dan Jones and Helen Castor books and TV programs covering the periods, I’ve seen videos of two versions of King John and one of Edward II. Apparently the Edward II I saw will be the film we’ll be viewing in class, so it’ll be great to see it again with expert guidance and discussion.

I should point out that none of these classes actually count toward a graduate degree. I’m taking them out of the sheer joy of learning, interest in the subjects, and – a distant third on the list – to see if I could cut it as a student.

In which regard, the slightly daunting thing is that my schedule of classes overlap – I’ll be taking up to three classes at once. Still, my involvement in three of them is pretty scaleable, so I should be able to focus on the one actual for-credit class. And, it must be reiterated that all the classes fall more under the category of leisure than scholarship.

Nonetheless, I feel a little like I’m in the calm before the storm. I’ve been cleaning up my office and tidying my bookshelves so everything will be in its place. I’ve been pre-studying what I can, re-reading sections of books and re-watching some videos. And, I’ve been front-loading other leisure activities, like metal detecting.

I can’t wait to get started!

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