I’ve always enjoyed studying. In the olden days studying meant pouring over given information and learning it by heart. Unless of course you had a teacher such as I had in 5th and 6th class, born before her time who knew that libraries and talking to people opened doors to limitless information. Studying family history with my mum explored these avenues of research as we visited old aunties and uncles, parish houses, libraries, graveyards.
Since I retired I’ve had many opportunities to humour this passion. I’ve looked at the Anzac story through studying a hundred stories: World War One a history in 100 Stories is a silent presentation from Monash University, Australia that remember not just the men and women who lost their lives during the Great War, but also those who returned to Australia, the gassed, the crippled, the insane (sounds like the song “Waltzing Matilda”), all those irreparably damaged by war and their families who were part of the shaping of the world as well as the Aussie nation.
Trinity College’s course on Irish Lives in War and Revolution continued the theme of WW1 leading into the Troubles. My grandfather’s involvement as leader of a Flying Column provided impetus for me to access military documents which are all online now!
Heroism and War, the first course I did with Leeds University was particularly interesting as it asked participants to examine their ideas of heroism. The current course is my second involvement with Leeds Uni. and is titled World War 1 through Art and Film and looks at the issue of propaganda.
The joy of these courses is that you can do them in your time and at your own speed. But most especially the design of the course encourages personal research. There is a huge range of additional video and reading material provided and some exercises that allow you to gauge your progress. There are also links to online archives suggested if you want additional reading.