Expressing gratitude for the gifts this year past brought me...
Right... end of the year and all that jazz. Wishes are flying hot and heavy, and I've left my share, so, except for a general "HNY everybody!", that's all I'll say about that.
I want to close out this tired old year by taking a break from all this site work I'm doing today (like preparing a new post on Design Your Own Education: Inspiration for Independent Learners), and just express my gratitude for several important developments that have occurred in 2013... for me personally, that is.
- The first one is a just breaking development. I learned only an hour or so ago that I finally received my Certificate of Accomplishment from HarvardX, an online initiative of Harvard University, for a course I completed recently called ChinaX. Actually, it was just part one of the course, which will actually last 15 months. But it was Part one, a mini-course in itself... and what an exercise it was. Rather than go into detail here, I'll refer you to my blog post about the course, "ChinaX: Political and Intellectual Foundations of China."
I'm just very thankful to have had the opportunity to take this course, which has enriched my knowledge of early Chinese origins (government, writing and philosophy) so profoundly.
- I finally returned home from a three and a half year sojourn in Norfolk, England. As lovely as it was where I lived, along with my British wife, we both realized over time that it wasn't for us. I'm so grateful to have had the chance to live there, in a very old, quintessentially English village in east Anglia, with it's own Norman motte and bailey castle and Cluniac priory. But home is where the opportunity really is. Over there, amid all that austerity and depressed rural economy, I was, I am sad to say, unable to flourish. This plant grows best in his native soil.
- I discovered Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs. This happend last march, while I was visiting from England to explore the possibiity of coming back. Long story short, I have taken several courses from several prestigious universities: one on Composition and Rhetoric, one on Climate Change, another on Sustainability of Food Systems, and the ChinaX course mentioned above.
I have also learned more about the world of online education than I ever thought I'd know, and the learning continues. It is this experience that's made it possible for me to begin my site, which was only possible thanks to...
- Wealthy Affiliate University! Yep, I think of WA as the "ultimate MOOC". It has all the characteristics: A comprehensive course of super instruction by knowledgeable teachers; peer support and communication; a massive on-line community from all over the world. And best of all, it offers students an incredible opportunity to build, from the ground floor, their own successful business. I seem to have been guided by a benificent hand of fate, my guardian angel, whatever it may be, in all the right directions this year. Having come here to WA only about a month ago, I have been brought to just the place I needed to be. It's already making a difference in my life and attitude, and giving me targets to aim for, visions to fulfill as I head into the new year.
Ok, I think that's about all I wanted to say. Wishing one and all a grand and prosperous 2014. Catch you on the flip side of the calendar turning!