What does he get out of this?

Good question. I’m doing this totally for fun. I love hardboiled detective stories and film noir – it’s something I’ve been into for more than twenty years. But if I wasn’t playing along with this course, my only reading would be work-related, which is much less fun.

So one thing I get out of it is reading authors like Hammett, Cain and Highsmith, instead of just watching the movies made from their work. Fante and Paretsky I didn’t even know about before. The other thing is listening in on the class discussions. Hearing everybody’s questions and insights and ideas gives the books more depth. And it makes me think more about what I’m reading in turn.

I don’t think I ever took a literature class where we got to read something I wanted to read. Usually the readings ranged from a chore to torture, mainly because they were things I had to read, and not things I chose. Here, I get to read stuff I like, and I get to develop a deeper appreciation for the works. Of course, I don’t have to deal with tests and grades like the rest of the class, so there’s no pressure for me other than what I put on myself. So that’s what I’m here for – the entertainment. It’s fun.

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2 Responses to What does he get out of this?

  1. Jim Groom says:

    What a blast it has been having #emoboiled understand in a very intimate way others love this stuff too. Your presence is literally palpable in class, and for that it makes for a really compelling dynamic with idea that the work we’re doing is bigger than our class, but at the same time not massive. There is something in all this that is really awesome—I just can;t articulate it very clearly. But for me, the most important part is you have made yourself a presence through thoughtful attention to their posts: you’re a respondent, you’re a classmate, and you’re a teacher to the class—and that is what they need to be too! How can I thank you enough for that? If it is just entertainment for you, then I think we’re all doing something right together.

    Also, awesome GIF BTW, is this yours? I am a big fan!

    • phb256 says:

      I found the GIF on tumblr. I just knew it had to be out there somewhere.

      Massive gets a lot of hype these days, but it’s not such a big deal. Open is the thing. You open your classes to the world, but it’s not just giving away the courses – it’s adding to them with outside contributions, and putting the classes on a world stage. I think there is a huge potential to that, even though the media hype machine just misses it altogether.

      And it’s more than just entertaining; it’s addictive. New Year’s resolution: Read more Cain & Hammett.

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