It turns out that the Critical Thinking class is basically a Logic class for Science folk. Apart from some very simple program logic which I learned for physics instrumentation, I've never studied logic. So I'm reading a lot of terms that I've never heard of or never knew what they meant. (Enthymeme anyone? Syllogisms?) Even terms I am familiar with may have somewhat different meanings when talking about logic. So I've found the best way to work with that class is have a dictionary beside me while I read the presentation slides and the chapter readings. The best part of the class is the class discussion. After the first lesson made no sense to me, I read through the discussion so far and was finally able to start wrapping my brain around stuff. With the second lesson, I had my references (let's hear it for Wikipedia!) handy and tried to do it all without help from the others. And then I read what others said and found out that I was on the right track. That sounds good to me!
The class on Informal Science Learning is about teaching & learning science in an informal setting. Like watching a science program on TV or visiting a science museum. The course is taught by a lady who works at a science museum in Buffalo, NY. Cool. And my assignments are to watch a science program or read a science blog online (anyone have any favorites?), to visit a science museum (woohoo! Boonshoft here I come!), and to read from science journals or books (something I do on a regular basis actually). And as with the other class, the course discussion board is lively and informative. I think I'm going to like this program!
As I suspected, my biggest weakness in this program is my procrastination. This week in particular I was bad. Although I read the book readings on Wednesday, I didn't actually finish the week's work until today. But I spent over four hours in my library with my dictionary (and sometimes Linus) by my side. And I got the week's work done. I'm hoping to do better this coming week and work on material throughout the week.