Introduction To: Introduction To (aka The Lazy Layman)

I had this whacky idea. Let me share it with you. A group of people, i.e. you, me and a bunch of our friends, organize an “Introduction To” every-so-often event. We all get together and talk and learn about a subject for a couple hours. Typically (but not necessarily) one person is the teacher. For example, one week, Marlo gives everyone an introduction to Mandarin or communism. The next week Stewie gives everyone an introduction to culture jamming or screen printing or game design. Later, I give an introduction to Lovecraft or drawing or voice acting or Scrabble strategy. We could get special guest speakers in whenever possible. Chris Woods might tell us about painting or art history or donuts. Arinn can introduce us to writing and Martin can give us a history of DC comics. Repairing a bike; haircuts; miniature painting; cooking; nutrition; reading music; optimizing your computer; getting the most from exercise; using Flash; Photoshop; building a web site; photography; guitar; first aid; investing/finances; yoga; tai chi; gardening/growing avocado plants; woodworking; plumbing/fixing your terlet; basket-weaving; the list goes on. If we all decide we want to learn how to do a certain something but nobody is more qualified than anyone else we can take a group approach and just discuss, share snippets of knowledge, read from books, etc. It’s a chance to share interests, show off, and be social. The best “classes” would probably be ones that didn’t require “students” to bring big heavy or expensive things, like pianos, but at some point I could see the classes being held at places with useful facilities, like community centers for ezzample.

13 Replies to “Introduction To: Introduction To (aka The Lazy Layman)”

  1. I’m all for it – there’s a series of mystery short-stories that Issac Asimov wrote, concerning the Black Widowers Club. Basically a social group that met once a month, had dinner, and talked. They took turns as to who the “host” was, and that host could bring one guest. The idea was that this person would be the catalyst to keep the meetings interesting and different – Asimov used it as a way to keep new mysteries walking through the door, seeing as they’d never leave the club.

    Since I read those I’ve always wanted to to do something similar, so I’m whole heartedly in favour of this. Do you have a structure or scheme in mind?

  2. That is an excellent idea. I once tried to implement something very like this, but by email. It died a premature death as an idea-fetus *but* I do think it could work with the right group of motivated folks.

  3. I had an idea just like this for a school. Take what you just described to classes with lots of people.

    Something like: you teach something, you get x “credits” to take other courses. No one gets paid, students don’t pay, either (maybe to buy their own materials).

    So you’d have people teaching people, with as low cost as possible. Instead of grading and diplomas and all that fun stuff, you just have human beings teaching to, and learning from, other human beings.

    Radical concept, Toren. It’ll never fly.

  4. “you just have human beings teaching to, and learning from, other human beings”

    Wow. That’s just like … school and university.

  5. I don’t think human beings learn from human beings anymore in school and university. That’s financially unsound. Now, kids learn from videotaped lectures, online courses, someone else’s notes from the lecture, and the most inhuman creatures of all, graduate students. πŸ˜‰

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