Step 1 – Self-Education

Allow me to outline the brief why and how of Step 1 of my atomic Quest: “Teach myself how to become a Nuclear Engineer through Self-Education.”

This whole thing started when when I was stumbling around the Internet using StumbleUpon for the interest of “Nuclear Science” (in another post I will explain the full “why” and history of how I even got to the point of stumbling for Nuclear Science, but for now just suspend your curiosity) and I came across this: MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Open Courseware (OCW).  Specifically, I stumbled onto the link for MIT’s course called Introduction to Ionizing Radiation.

I found this at about 2 a.m. while on prison watch.  The prisoners were being quiet at the time, so I browsed further—skeptically at first, as I had heard of online courseware before, and had done some Codecademy a few years ago, but I assumed this was some kind of trivial introductory offer like many other MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).  You know, the kind where you can take some basic courses for free, earning pixelated completion certificates, but inevitably reaching the point where you have to empty your wallet for digital coins to unlock the next course…

Anyway, let’s collapse this wavefunction of a story and I’ll just tell you that MIT OCW is legit.  MIT’s credibility in Engineering requires no explication, and the stated goal of the OCW is straightforward and awesome: “to publish all of our course materials online and make them widely available to everyone.”  This includes materials from 2260 courses at time of writing!  It has everything: course plans, lecture notes, syllabuses, syllaba, syllabi, videos, quizzes, tests, mid terms, final exams…  And though these may not reverberate with a person of the neutral polarity, for a highly charged self-learner like me, these materials are like a whole sea of oppositely charged particles.  The keys to becoming a nuclear engineer are on this website for free and forever.

Man, moment, machine.

Zlotu, 2 a.m., OCW.

By 4 a.m. I had it all planned out, I will complete the entire undergraduate and graduate level Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) Degree curriculums curricula for MIT.  On my own, at my own pace, while serving out the rest of my prison sentence!  And during this I will use evidence of the work (papers, projects, theses) to help justify my admission into an actual NSE degree program.   Hopefully M.I.T.!

Stay tuned for more on my ambitious timeline.  Of which I will require your help to keep me on track!



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