So I’ve been further considering this “Introduction To…” communal grassroots (god I hate that word) educational system. I could make a new blog for it (vancouverfreelearning.blogspot.com?), which would be cheap and easy, but the disadvantage is that there’s no way to email people who are interested in partaking, unless I made a separate mailing list, which I could do. There’s yahoogroups, which is a glorified mailing list, but some people have a hate-hate relationship with it. Doing forums would be the most efficient way I think, but it would be a hassle to set up and would probably never get done since I am no programmer and probably don’t have the requirements to host such a program.
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.