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Posted in: Learner Stories

Paul Reiners
Chaska, MN | Age 55


My edX story started back in 1979. It was my senior year of high school. I took the ACT and scored 36 in Math and 35 Composite. However, for complicated reasons, I underperformed at school and didn’t apply to any good colleges, much less any excellent colleges. I’ve always regretted the fact that I did not go to the best college I could have.

Fast-forward to 2012: MIT and Harvard start offering courses through MITx and HarvardX. This gives me back some of what might have been, and I’m very grateful for that. I can’t go back and change the past, but I can try to make the present and future as good as possible.

I’ve used edX to give myself the good undergraduate education I never had.

I’ve mainly taken courses from HarvardX that are unrelated to my trade, which is software development (although I did take CS50x for review). I started out by taking HarvardX courses such as:

The last time I counted, I’d taken and finished 20 such courses. I have some favorite professors already, such as Professor New, Professor Nasrallah, and Professor Sandel. Until 2016, I had never stepped foot in Harvard Yard, but I felt as if I knew Sanders Theater, Emerson Hall, and Holden Chapel. In 2016, I happened to be in Cambridge on business and took the time one evening to visit Harvard Yard. It was as beautiful and elegant as I had pictured it in my mind. I can’t wait to go back again.

I’m hoping to take some classes through the Harvard Extension School. My ultimate dream is to retire at 65, move to Cambridge, Massachusetts and earn an A.L.M. from Harvard Extension. I’m sure the HarvardX courses I’ve taken (and will take) will be a good foundation for this. That is my edX story so far. To be continued…


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