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Plagues, Witches, and War

Who could resist a title like that? I couldn't, which is why I started the course Plagues, Witches, and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction. It's as interesting as it sounds, or at least it is to me. I was the high school student who forged notes to get out of class or school early. I didn't enjoy high school—except that I was able to see my friends—but I loved college. Finally, I was taking classes because it's what I wanted, not because it was mandated. Yes, an elementary and high school education is extremely valuable, and I did quite well, but the entire experience lacked stimulation. On the other hand, I found university classes (exception being math) to be quite stimulating. I eagerly showed up for each class and completed all assignments, often taking on extra work because I found the subject thrilling. Well, that enthusiasm for learning has never waned.

Over the years, I would take various online courses—both free and paid—as either referesher or to learn something new. Recently, a friend told me about Coursera, and so I went online to browse their catalog. I was surprised by their selection of courses and lectures, but the one that first caught my attention was Plagues, Witches, and War. I'm two lessons in, and it is just as interesting as I'd imagined. When I catch the learning bug in full force, I can't stop the tidal wave of desire to absorb as much knowledge as possible.

I'll share more about the course as I work my way through it. It's not only book-learning that I enjoy, but also practical skills. I've always wanted to learn how to fence. I don't imagine there are too many places where I live that teach such a skill, but that's no excuse not to learn. Do you enjoy continuing education? What is one class you've always wanted to take or skill you've always wanted to acquire?

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MK McClintock writes stories for those who enjoy escaping to another time and place, where their imaginations are free and open to simple pleasures and stories with plenty of happy-ever-afters—at least for the good guys. Villains get a different kind of ending.


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