Friday, May 02, 2008

Stanford 0, Oxford 1

Via this list which I got from here, I listened to most of Dr. S. D. Lee's lectures on Old English from Oxford. They are wonderful! Dry? Not a chance. He obviously loves his topic, he's witty and funny and and the students obviously enjoy him and he provides lots of context both to the time and to the present. My notes are here.

Encouraged by that experience, I started listening to Ben Franklin and the World of Enlightenment from Stanford's iTunes site. They don't make it easy to found out detail of the course (and so I haven't) like who the lecturer is. Maybe it's just as well, because he's not very good, especially following Dr. Lee. The Stanford leacturer says "um" a lot, tell jokes that aren't very funny, has a lot of filler in addition to the um's and is sloppy with his facts and citations. Maybe he nervous knowing he's being recorded. I think the material is fundamentally interesting but it remains to be seen if I'll stick it out to the second lecture. Beyond that, I don't like the Stanford on iTunes site. It's very closed and proprietary, and does little more than send me to the main iTunes store.

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