When we started, a few years back, this adventure called retirement or golden years, we knew that one of the things we wanted to do with our new-found free time was to learn new subjects.

How to learn now what we should have learned earlier in life.

We wanted to learn but without the stress of homework, exams or deadlines. In my case, my higher education was in Engineering and Business, but I was pretty much ignorant in DNA, Genes or Biology. I knew I needed more balance in my knowledge. That is when we stumbled on the Great Courses. Pretty soon we found that with the Great Courses learning was made addictive.

The Great Courses – what are they ?

Each course is a series of typically 24 lectures on topics related to the subject area. Available topics are many. Academic subjects such as Science, Religion, History, Philosophy or more practical subjects such as photography, creative writing, languages, even weight loss. Lectures range from “How to stay Fit as you age” to “The Theory of Everything”. I am pretty sure that you will find your favorite subject in one of the courses.

What are the prerequisites for taking a course ?

You do not need previous knowledge to benefit from the courses. The lectures are delivered by gifted professors and by world-class experts in the subject area. The lectures are college level in content and thoroughness, but delivered in an entertaining and engaging manner. I found the learning very enjoyable.


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Who is supporting the Great Courses

What I found impressive was that the Great Courses have partnered with top-notch organizations such as National Geographic, the Smithsonian, and the Mayo Clinic. These organizations provide their expert guidance in the development of the courses. The lecturers are top college professors who are also great communicators. They know how to engage the audience.

What are the drawbacks ? There must be some.

The drawback is that the courses are very addictive. When you finish one course and can discuss the subject intelligently with your friends you will want to buy another course right away. In my case my favorite courses were:

– Earth’s Changing Climate ( a very timely topic )

– Introduction to Nanotechnology: The new Science of Small

– The Nature of Earth: An Introduction to Geology ( especially the lecture on Coal )

– Understanding Genetics


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I really learned these subjects in depth without much effort. It was great! But then I got carried away and ordered Latin 101:Learning a Classical Language. My wife and I also speak Portuguese and Spanish respectively, and are learning Italian so ordering Latin 101 seemed like a good idea. Well.. Latin 101 is a very thorough and excellent course, but this course requires time, dedication and lots of homework . Too much for me to handle at this time. So we never finished the course.

Vita brevis ( Life is short )

So watch out for your impulse buying !

Check out one of the Great Courses here

A different course (not from great courses)

If you are interested in learning internet marketing, maybe to start your own business, there is a free course I recommend.

To learn about this free course click here


I would like to hear your comments.


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