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Photo of Kevin Hughes
Posted in: Learner Stories

Wilmington, NC | 62

For me edX is no joke. And I would know. I spend 28 weeks a year at sea as a professional comedian for Princess Cruise Lines. I have a degree in History and heard about edX while taking an MIT OpenCourseWare course in Neuroscience. There isn’t much high speed internet on the open ocean near the equator, but when I came across the Ancient Greek Hero from HarvardX, I thought I would get my feet wet. I almost drowned. Then the powerful combination of the edX teachers and students kept me afloat, eventually teaching me to swim!

One the minor accomplishments of having finished the course is that I can now read an Ancient Greek case painting. I know what the symbols are. That is no small achievement for someone who failed the first test!

The rapid response of the course staff and other students was vital in supporting my success in the course. I would get over a dozen emails offering tips, advice and support. Through the discussion forum posts, I was able to see where I was wandering off track.

The flexibility of taking an edX course was important to me. It allowed me to study and still focus on my family and work. I’ve been marred to my own Hero for 33 years, have two daughters and one granddaughter. What else can I tell you about me? I was a red head for most of my life – unfortunately my hair didn’t make the entire journey with me.

On a more serious note. During the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy, there was a sense of community in the course. One of the Grad Students wrote a poem that was shared with all of the cohorts, and it brought us a sense of…well, being connected.

I never understood the power of great teachers and great students until I took this HarvardX class. One must up his academic muscles a notch, not lower them as the naysayers would have you believe. And when you combine the Internet – the largest nation on earth – with traditional colleges, edX will lead the way to a global nation of motivated learners.


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