Well, the mindful blogging was a big bust. I simply cannot write that way (on or off the internet). I have to edit, refine, rethink, retool, cogitate and then some before anything goes out under my name. I didn't blog for over three months which was more than enough time to come up with a new enthusiasm: OpenCourseWare! The BOCES GED teacher at the jail where I work mentioned it while we were discussing Macintosh iBooks. He said that MIT had started it in a big way by putting all their courses online so people could audit by internet to obtain cultural enrichment. I checked it out and discovered that it wasn't just MIT. John Hopkins, Tufts University and a handful of others have decided to make some of their courses available online. I found one at Utah State University entitled Anthropology of Religion. The syllabus includes the text name, video lectures by Dr. Crapo (the text's author), other images and quizzes.
So, in the intervening blogless period, I've explored the online used textbooks store (I can't believe how much textbooks have gone up in price since I was in college!!). After securing the text, Anthropology of Religion: The Unity and Diversity of religions, I jumped into Chapter 1. Things have changed a great deal since I went to Eisenhower College in 1969. Besides giving a host of recommended readings, there is a list of recommended websites to peruse. I've been busy checking them out while trying to locate some of the recommended readings in the two public library systems I have access to. I could only find Carl Sagan's book, A Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. I went back to alibris.com and found books by Emile Durkheim, Benson Saler and Victor Turner. Although I couldn't find the exact book by Bronislaw Malinowski, I was able to locate another appropriate book at the Internet Sacred Text Archive.
There's nothing like letting enthusiam rip. I decided to see how students now are taking notes and found NoteTaker by Aquaminds Software Corporation. There's a bit of a steep learning curve that comes along with the month-long demo. The interface isn't as intuitive as I would expect. But, anyway, I'm happily taking notes, listening to the lecture and reading my eyes raw - all for not a lick of credit, just the joy of learning.