Thursday, April 15, 2010

ways to get smarter without really trying

For the past week or so, Abe & I have been trading off watching DVD lectures of Art History and Game Theory by the Teaching Company. The Teaching Company puts out DVDs of professors lecturing on any and all topics.

We've watched several series including Egyptology (inspired by my love of Elizabeth Peters novels) and Italian History. Our success rate has been about 70% for really engaging, interesting series. And, unlike college courses, if you realize half-way through that you don't want to take the class, it's pretty easy to drop out. Or, in my case, just fall asleep on the couch.

The bonus is that our public library has tons of these DVDs, so if we keep this up we could be extremely intelligent in just a few months. Of course, we do temper the effects with old episodes of Superman.

Last night, we learned about Donatello. The professor showed Donatello's statue of Mary Magdalene and I was quite taken with it. The figure portrays an older Mary wasted by fasting and age. I think I like this sculpture because it captures the moments when our spiritual tenacity feels like it's at a breaking point - and yet, I have all assurance from her look that she hasn't and won't give up.



Also, I love the fact that I did a google image search on "Italian statue Mary Magdelene old" and instantly found what I was looking for.

5 comments:

Jared and Delia said...

You guys are brilliant!

Jen said...

Thanks for sharing, that is truly a moving piece of artwork. And I love your description of her. It has given me much to ponder today.

Dawn said...

Very very cool. More proof that our public libraries are necessary, valuable and should be budget-proof.

Margaret said...

Dave and I (or I should say, Dave, because he is always the instigator) have been getting these as CD's so that we can listen to them in the car. It's a fantastic way to brighten up a commute - you look forward to getting back into the car so that you can hear more about the Dred Scott case, or linguistics in the Lord of the Rings.

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