Mythmoot, Midmoot, Mythcon, Mythgard… What is all this?
Recently I have been spamming my friends and family with emails trying to convince them to sign up to take classes at Mythgard Institute. Not to neglect you, dear Reader, I invite you to check out Mythgard Institute, too: it is a beautiful online school where I’ll be serving as a preceptor in the fall. For a couple of years now, this guy named Corey Olsen, “The Tolkien Professor,” has been my hero. He’s a super smart and fun teacher who got sick of the broken academic system and stepped outside to make his own new mode of online education that really works. I’m a huge fan, and hoping for big things from Corey and Mythgard in the future. I thought maybe you would enjoy hearing about this school and what I’ll be doing. Please note that these are my own thoughts; although I work for the University and also volunteer in an outreach capacity, this post has NOT been checked or approved by anybody else associated with Mythgard or Signum. These are just my own promotional ideas, so I take full responsibility for any mistakes or misleading statements.
The Mythgard Institute, a program of Signum University, is a super exciting opportunity for you to take courses in Tolkien, mythology, fantasy literature, science fiction, or modern and classical languages with dynamic, passionate, brilliant faculty members. I think you might find a course that you would love! “But I don’t need an M.A. in Literature,” you say, or maybe you already have one. OK, but there are four different levels of involvement, and I think maybe one might suit your ongoing appetite for personal enrichment and broad learning:
1. Free Courses. There are always free courses and discussions offered as podcasts. You can get these on the Mythgard website or on iTunes. You can watch them live as they happen, or download them later to listen to whenever. The current course is on Frank Herbert’s Dune. There are lots of other cool past classes and podcasts, such as the ones on each book of Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, one on Ender’s Game, and an ongoing one called Riddles in the Dark about the Hobbit films and adaptation. Do check some of them out! They’re great for listening to as you commute, go for run, wash dishes, or work in the garden.
2. Course Packs. You can buy course packs for past classes at ridiculously reasonable prices and watch them at any time, doing the reading at your own pace. Look at some of these cool classes! How about a class on Sherlock Holmes, or on Harry Potter? You won’t find those in most stuffy academic departments.
3. Audit a class. You can enroll in an upcoming Master’s-level course as an auditor, which means you get to watch or listen to the classes live (or download them later), but you don’t have to do the writing. That way you can have the involvement of a full student (participating in the in-class discussions if you want) but not have to take exams. Yay!
But these classes start in just one week, so take a look quick! The Fall 2014 courses are: Lewis & Tolkien (taught by Dr. Corey Olsen), Science Fiction Part I (taught by Dr. Amy Sturgis), and Roots of the Mountain: Fantasy Before Tolkien (taught by Dr. Douglas Anderson).
4. Earn Credit. Finally, you can take courses for credit! You could take just one, or you could decide this is the time to re-invent yourself and get a whole M.A. in literature online! — watch out, because this stuff is addictive. Listen to just one podcast, and you might find yourself sliding down the slippery slope into full-blown graduate level studies! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
If you do take a class, please mention that I referred you (I get a discount when I have friends sign up). And spread the word!
I’ll be on the faculty, serving as a preceptor. Each course is taught by a faculty team: one lecturer and several preceptors. The preceptors lead discussion groups and work with the students on their writing. So I will be precepting for the Lewis & Tolkien course. I’d love to see you there!
Do write and ask me any questions you may have. Cheers.