I’m Going to an Ivy League School for Free…. Really…. Yale, Maybe Princeton or Brown Later

A friend of mine mentioned casually that he was spending lots of time at coursera. Even though I listen to a lot of NPR and even heard an interview with some college provost about free online courses, I didnt know what he was talking about.

What do you do these days when someone mentions something you know nothing about? I googled coursera. It is pretty cool. You can get a free college education, on line from all sorts of colleges. these colleges offer online courses for credit and the tuition is thousands of dollars, but someone or someones had the great idea to offer a lot of classes on line for FREE!!!! There is a serious discussion about whether giving away the courses is good for higher education in general and for the institutions involved in specific.

Does a free class devalue the degree that another student pays for? What does a free class completion mean? You cant get a Free Degree this way, but you can get a free education. How much of what an institution has to offer is the value of the piece of paper? How much is the actual learning?

By the way, if you are poor enough, and most of us are, you can get an Ivy League degree for free. Several of the schools offer a free ride to students who are accepted and come from families making less than $200,000. Does that devalue the paid degrees? Doe it improve their value? Does the free on line class improve the value of the paid class?

I dont know, but I will be taking a course in constitutional Law at Yale next month.


I am currently enrolled in a class at University of Illinois Urbana for learning how to build Android aps.


Will these classes improve my commercial skill set? Will they improve the quality of my life? Maybe I could take a bunch of writing classes and finally learn how to write. Seriously. Maybe I will become even more unsufferable by “Institution dropping.” You know, standing at an office party or a Democratic Fundraiser or in the lobby at my kids Elementary String Concert and saying, “Well, my professor at Yale says…..” Is it possible for me to become more insufferable?

Will I end up like I did 30 yrs ago at Auburn University Montgomery, leaving because i decide i am too smart for Duke or Princeton? I dont know. I hope I can learn and find it more fulfilling than playing Spades against the computer late into the night.

Speaking of late into the night, My son and I are planning to get up at 430am to watch the Meteor shower, I wonder if he should start college classes, already? Will he become unbearable even faster, or will he discover the cure for everything by his 19th birthday?




About anthonyuplandpoetwatkins

https://www.goodreads.com/AnthonyUplandpoetWatkins born in Jackson, The United States August 04, 1959 gender male website http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?contributorI... genre Poetry, Historical Fiction influences James M. Lancaster, Brenda Black White, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, and Al Filreis member since March 2011 About this author edit data As one of the most public lives ever lived by a private citizen, there is little about me that isn't already available at Facebook or Shelfari and countless other places. Poet, writer, construction worker, salesman, truck driver, climber into the attics of total strangers, father and husband, and all around one of the luckiest men on the planet. My luck continued with a win in the June Goodreads Newsletter Contest! What an honor! http://anthonyuplandpoetwatkins.wordp... Additional Influences: Bob Dylan, William Faulkner, Barbara Kingsolver, Gloria Naylor, Eudora Welty
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15 Responses to I’m Going to an Ivy League School for Free…. Really…. Yale, Maybe Princeton or Brown Later

  1. mark H says:

    One of these days I’ll have to take the time to convince you how serious Cormac is, how ruggedly uncompromising…

      • mark heyne says:

        Hi Tony. Have you started ? i have watched the intro videos and already learned something! Tell me, are you going for the signature track? it commits you to stick with it…not sure if i will or not.

        Mark Heyne MA Oxon. Senior English Teacher Saudi Development and Training

        Tel. 0966 055 087 1333


      • Not yet, been moving too fast, but I am going g to catch my breathe now. Will take a look. Not doing the signature thing. Maybe I’ll retake it and do that so I have a piece of paper from Yale:)

      • mark H says:

        Tony, have you folllowed the threads on secession? it seems to me the prof was wrong! the various arguments that secession was envisaged have a lot of evidence form various sources!

      • well, as one steeped in the southern traditions of the constitution and the civil war, two things i have taken away so far is that the notion i have always been taught, and now i know why, were flawed:

        the preamble is a poetic marketing tool and has no weight on the actual document, and that the constitution was a contract that allowed for free entry and free exit. I know see the preamble as THE CONSTITUTION, and the articles to be the instruction manual as to how to implement that opening statement. And i see that his logic that there would not have been so much resistance to forming a temporary league makes sense. I do believe he has it right, but i am following everyones comments, except anonymous. he is an annoying coward, for my money.

      • mark H says:

        well, that ‘s already a lot to learn form one weeks lectures! i made a joke about posting anonymously,but really i don’t like it either! i am going to give the new lectures a chance, but he is not exactly an exciting speaker! the forums are always stimulating and informative. i already feel more confident talking about American politics, and i am starting to see the other side of the argument about the civil war aka the Northern war of aggression!
        On another topic, if you havent seen Cormac McCarthy’s film The Councelor, rush out right now and get it!

      • You know you and I strongly disagree about the value of cormacs work….

  2. mark heyne says:

    hi Tony. Glad you looked into Coursera and found some interesting stuff…i am in a “Constitutional struggles in the Muslim countries” course right now, but the American constitutional Law course looks interesting. I may see you there!

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