Friday, April 25, 2008

Audio Courses from the Teaching Company

What a crazy week! I had a tarot card class on Monday night (more on that later), the Frasier's cooking class on Tuesday night, and a flower-arranging class on Wednesday night. Tomorrow night, we're headed to Conner Prairie for Follow the North Star.

All of that learning makes me want to curl up in a big chair with my iPod and shut out the world. But that reminds me! We haven't talked about the Great Courses series offered by the Teaching Company. The company produces audio courses on every topic you can imagine, from history and science to art and literature. If you can take a college class on the topic, you can take a Teaching Company class -- and there's not much difference between the two.

My first Teaching Company class was "History of Ancient Egypt," a fascinating class that I listened to, oddly enough, on a 6,000-mile Route 66 road trip. If you're even vaguely interested in the topic, this is the course for you. The professor walks through Egyptian history pharaoh by pharaoh during 48 30-minute lectures. If you're doing the math, that's 24 hours of lecture time for just $65 (the current sale price for the digital download).

I'm now halfway through "History of the English Language" and getting ready to start "Shakespeare's Tragedies." Also sitting in my Teaching Company download queue are "No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life," "Great Ideas of Philosophy" and "People and Cultures of the World."

I have so many classes in my queue because I buy them as they go on sale. Every class goes on sale at least once a year, and the discount is significant. For example, that $65 Egyptian history class is regularly $250. The Teaching Company classes are also available on CD, DVD and tape, but the digital download is cheapest.
Interested? The current sale continues through mid-May, and it's a big one -- everything from "Beethoven's Piano Sonatas" to "Earth's Changing Climate." Imagine auditing a full semester of an interesting college class, with one of the best university professors in the nation, for less than $100 a pop. What a deal.

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