Last year I was going to set myself some reading challenges, but because of everything happening at the time, I pretty much abandoned the blog and the challenges. Reading was pretty fundamental to my emotional recovery, but the burden of a commitment to a challenge felt like it was too much to bear. As life has started to settle I've been more active with the blog again, and beginning to feel like I’m ready to challenge myself.
For a long time now I've wanted to start studying English again. It’s been nearly 25 years since I sat my GCSE’s, which was the last time I studied English, but I have often wished that I’d had more confidence to pursue it further. How I ended up studying Sociology is a lesson in how-not-to-follow-your-dreams.
I had hoped that moving to a city focused almost singularly on education I would be able to finally get back to studying again. Would you credit it – I have not found a single part time GCSE or A-Level English course anywhere in the area, and I think I've checked every 6th Form or college in a 30 mile radius. I've obviously got to be a little creative, hence my new November challenge!
Oxford University (I’m such a traitor), have posted lots of podcast lectures on iTunes University, along with a whole host of other universities across the globe. There are numerous courses on works by Shakespeare and so on, and I will get to those eventually, but I thought I’d start with one lecture series based on a favourite book – The Hobbit. I downloaded it quite a long time ago and unfortunately can't find it online again, but as soon as I do I will edit and post the link.
My November Challenge is to read The Hobbit again while listening to the lecture series. The way it seems to work is that I’d read a few chapters and then listen to the associated lecture. I might want to then re-read those before reading the next chapters.
I think that is probably achievable in a month, providing I don’t get too distracted.