Audit or Credit?
Mythgard students have two choices when they enroll in our classes. Those who want to use the course towards an M.A. should fill out the application to take the class for credit. Those who just want to enjoy the lectures and not write the papers or receive grades should sign up to audit the class. M.A. students will have access to all of the course sessions described above. Auditors will only watch or listen to the primary lecture and the closing session, and they may participate on the discussion board. Auditors will not be involved in the small-group discussions.
A Week in the Life of a Mythgard M.A. Student
Here’s what a typical week in the life of a Mythgard M.A. student will look like. For discussion purposes, let us call our imaginary student Folco Boffin.
At the end of the week before, Folco checked the course reading schedule carefully, making sure to leave himself plenty of time, since there is quite a bit of reading to do. Professor Olsen is lecturing on the Fellowship of the Ring this week, so Folco re-read the long sections of the book Prof. Olsen assigned and he also read the critical articles listed as supplementary reading.
On Monday evening, Folco logs in to the online lecture hall to listen to Professor Olsen’s lecture, taking careful notes during the class, especially about passages or ideas he’d like to discuss more later in the week (he is especially interested in the significance of Gandalf’s self-sacrifice on the Bridge of Khazad-dum). He makes an entry on the class discussion board thread on this subject, engaging in a heated debate with his friends Fatty Bolger and Huge Bracegirdle.
On Wednesday afternoon, Folco logs in to the discussion room, making sure his microphone is plugged in and ready to go. Halfast Gamgee, his preceptor, opens up the discussion, and Folco immediately hits his “raise hand” icon (he wants to explain his theory about the Balrog’s “dark fire” before Hugo steals his thunder).
Thursday morning, Folco pops in on Professor Olsen’s office hours time and they have a ten-minute discussion about the funeral song for Boromir (they didn’t quite get to that in the discussion session). Folco knows that there is a lot of reading for the Two Towers next week, so he starts that reading Thursday night.
Finally, he enters the lecture hall one more time for Professor Olsen’s closing session. Folco is delighted to hear that Prof. Olsen goes over the funeral song a bit (he’d mentioned during their chat on Thursday that he might), since it didn’t get covered very much in the primary lecture on Monday. After the closing session, Folco gets back to his Two Towers reading and spends some time working on the outline of his final paper, which is due in a few weeks.
A Week in the Life of a Mythgard Auditor
Here’s what a typical week in the life of a Mythgard auditor will look like. Let’s call our imaginary auditor Farmer Maggot.
Maggot is an intelligent and curious fellow, and although he is much too busy running his farm to be able to take Mythgard courses for credit, he is excited about the chance to learn more about these works.
Maggott does get a chance to do some the reading this weekend prior to Monday evening’s lecture by Professor Olsen. He’s been wondering what Sigurd and Gudrun was about anyway, since it came out a couple years ago. He didn’t quite get to finish the reading (he had an unusual number of trespassers to thrash in the last few days), but he still logs in to the lecture hall and watches the live lecture. He even submits a question which he had while reading the first part, and Professor Olsen answers his question halfway through the lecture.
In the next couple days, he manages to finish the first half of Sigurd and Gudrun, so he goes back and listens to the primary lecture again. He logs in to the discussion board and responds to a longs thread about the differences between Tolkien’s Sigurd and the hero in the Volsungasaga.
On Friday, he logs in for the closing session to hear Professor Olsen’s responses to students’ questions and his last comments about the first half of the book. This weekend, he’ll start reading the second half of the book, between training session with that promising new puppy who is still being trained to drive hobbit-lads out of his mushroom patch.