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Reader! Reader!

Literary fiction, classics, dystopian, history, memoir, prize winners, and of course the 1001 books. You really might catch me reading anything!

Currently reading

Empire of Cotton: A Global History
Sven Beckert
Progress: 220/656 pages

"Fantasy and Science Fiction" Coursera Course

I have finished all of my reading and work for the U of Michigan "Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World" course with professor Eric Rabkin. I still have some videos to watch, but I will be getting my completion certificate when they are posted.


The reading in this course is fabulous—I will be getting to the works in future posts. Prof. Rabkin knows his stuff, and his commentary is fascinating. If you have any interest in the topic, I encourage you to go along for the ride!


The downside, as with many coursera courses, is in the peer reviewing. To earn a completion, you must complete 7 short essays (there are 10 weeks of reading) while earning a minimum grade and do 7 sets of reviews/grading. Yes, the grades are coming from the other students in the course. So it is very hit or miss—both in what you receive to review, and which reviewers receive your essays. The class is supposed to require college-level writing, but the bulk of students are not able to do that. Many of the students are English students from around the world. Some have pretty strong English skills, some not so much. So you need a thick skin to take the strange negative comments (I got things from "too many big words" to "your quotes are wrong"), and be patient enough to do your best when reviewing the many people trying to learn English. I found reviewing 5 essays to take much longer than writing my 1.


But that's only if you want a completion certificate! You can always just read and watch. And don't miss the forums, there are great discussions there.