Project Learn!

Do you get a hankering for freshly-sharpened pencils in early September? Me too. That's why I started Project Learn, a quarterly course structured around around a specific topic.

(Project Learn is on hold for the moment... for online classes, check out No Is For Wimps.)

Semester 5: The Value of "Again"
December 1, 2011 to February 29, 2012 (View relevant posts via the PL: Again tag.)

Books (read 8 of 12)
Feast of Love by Charles Baxter
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffeneger
After Rain by William Trevor
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
Dubliners by James Joyce
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
The Weird Sisters by Elenor Brown
The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

The Wonder Years
Before Sunrise
Before Sunset
I Heart Huckabees

For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver
Stunt by Barenaked Ladies
Boys and Girls by Ingrid Michaelson
Quelqu'un m'a dit by Carla Bruni
Hard to Be by David Bazan

Have a weekly tradition.
Visit a place I haven't been in a really long time.
Get better at something through repeat practice.

Semester 4: The Art of the Biography
September 1, 2011 to November 30, 2011 (View relevant posts via the PL: Biography tag.)

Readings (choose 4 of 6)
Sherman statue written about in McCullough's book.
Bossypants by Tina Fey
The Greater Journey by David McCullough
The First Tycoon: the Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles
Vera by Stacy Schiff
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Emperor of all Maladies (A Biography of Cancer) by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Visit my grandpa and do a video interview about his life
Visit the Vanderbilt mansion in Newburgh
Watch lots of 30 Rock
Create a family calendar with family members' birthdays, anniversaries, important dates. Make an effort to send cards to celebrate the important moments!
Weekly photo posts of statues (or art!) dedicated to an important person

Semester 3: The Summer of New York
May 1, 2011 to July 31, 2011 (View relevant posts via the PL: NY tag.)
First NY cheesecake = a success!

Saturday Night Fever (waaaaaait... this was set in Bay Ridge?? wtf.)

Readings (choose 4 of 6)
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton 
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Selected chapters from Gotham by Edwin G. Burrows

Assignments (at least one of these open-invite to all blog readers!)
Visit 5 places that were written about on Daytonian in Manhattan 
Visit Governor's Island
Eat a NY hotdog
Take the Staten Island Ferry
Bake a NY Cheesecake
Interview a few people and make a little video about why they love New York
Write a visitor's guide to NY for the blog
Once-a-week photographic posts of NYC

Semester 2: The Soul: a quest for discomfort
February 1, 2011 to April 30, 2011 (View relevant posts via the PL: Soul tag.)

Questions to consider
What is it about being outside the comfort zone that brings out deep inspiration? Is there a term for this?
Is it true that you lose 21 grams when you die? What are the theories about what those grams represent?
How do different religions view the notion of soul?
Becoming a runner = uncomfortable!
What is Plato's essence of a person?

Into the Wild

Readings (choose 6 of 8)
Even Silence Has an End by Ingrid Betancourt
The Long Run by Matt Long
The Discomfort Zone by Jonathan Franzen
The Age of Comfort by Joan DeJean
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
A Rope and a Prayer by David Rohde and Kristen Mulvihill
Question 75 of the Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas
the Bible- the temptation of Christ/40 days in the wilderness - from gospels Matthew, Mark and Luke

Other Resources
Wikipedia's Soul entry

Do a public presentation about my work at Arc90.
Run a 10k.
Attend 10 ballet classes.
Publish a soul post every Friday.

Semester 1: The Formation and Decline of Memory
November 1, 2010 to January 30, 2011 (View relevant posts via the PL: Memory tag.)

Questions to consider:
When does memory begin?
Do men and women remember differently?
Can you erase a memory?
What is Alzheimer's? How can you prevent it?
Can you improve your memory? How?

The riddle of experience vs. memory: a TED talk by Dan Kahneman
How brain science will change computing: a TED Talk by Jeff Hawkins

101 Theory Drive by Terry McDermott
Losing my Mind by Thomas DeBaggio
Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks
Man Walks into a Room by Nicole Krauss

Other Resources

Write a personal essay about a memory and submit it for publication.
Make a gift for someone based on memories.
Find out how memory works in a computer. Document it in a really simple way.
Publish a memory post every Friday.