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Study Study Study

Study Study Study

May 7, 2010 | Hot Takes

For the past 3 months, I have been taking a course through the Harvard Extension School. The course is a history of Japan from the early periods to modern times. The course is being taught by Andrew Gordon and I have to say it was the most intensive course I have ever taken with two lectures every week. Each lecture lasts an hour but I usually spend 2 hours watching and taking notes. There are tones of readings where I must respond to questions posted based on readings. There is a mid-term exam (I got 85%) and a final exam next week. As well, as two 8 page essays.

I took the course because I was feeling a bit bored. I wanted to learn and grow in different ways and I though that taking the course would help in my understanding of Japanese history and culture. I had dated a Japanese guy before and found it interesting as I traveled through Kansai (Osaka-Kyoto-Nara). I have always been interested in Japanese music, movies, and such. I wanted to gain almost a reason why I was so interested in this culture.

To be honest, the course has created more questions and made me want to learn even more about the culture of this land. I would like to work there for some time but the pay and cost of living is a bit too high for me. I am sure that I will continue to travel and explore the country but I feel, armed with this new information, I will have a better understanding (without learning Japanse)

As for on-line learning, I doubt that I would do it again, unless for purely interest sakes. I prefer to be in a classroom with people and engaging in conversation. I love being with people and with his method I don’t feel like I am with people. I learn best when surrounded by them.

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