If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I'm a certified Shakespeare junkie. So, naturally, I loved my final class this morning at Mini University: "Early Modern Racism in the Works of Shakespeare."
We looked specifically at Othello and The Merchant of Venice, exploring the source materials for the plays and the cultural influences of the time. We also had some spirited discussion about whether Shakespeare's portrayals of Shylock and Othello were racist (and how to fairly evaluate that question, 400 years later). I have some new things to consider: the sure sign of a worthwhile class.
After the final class, we all gathered for the graduation ceremony -- complete with diplomas and "Hail to Old IU." I'm feeling all tingly with school spirit, and I'm happy to report that I was not awarded the green beanie.
My final evaluation of IU Mini University: For $250, this program is a steal. In a week, I took fifteen classes on a huge variety of topics, from sustainability to sex to stars. The program was well organized and efficiently run, and the faculty were outstanding. I learned a lot. I have new things to think about.
At the beginning of the week, I saw the people who had been coming every year for 35 years and thought, "Well, that's a bit excessive." Now, I know exactly where I'll be in 34 years.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled learning.