Cartoonist Lynda Barry, who has helped legions of adults grope their way back to the unselfconscious creativity of childhood, is teaching at the university level. Barry’s Unthinkable Mind course is designed to appeal to students of the humanities. Also hardcore science majors, the sort of lab-coated specimens the first group might refer to as “brains.” The instructor describes her University of Wisconsin spring semester offering thus:
A writing and picture-making class with focus on the basic physical structure of the brain with emphasis on hemispheric differences and a particular sort of insight and creative concentration that seems to come about when we are using our hands (the original digital devices) —to help us figure out a problem.
The twenty-one grads and undergrads accepted into Professor Barry’s course have been warned, via the illustrated letter above, handwritten on legal paper, that the workload will be heavy.
You should be warned as well, if you elect to audit this course from home. Enrollment is not necessary. Professor Barry will be posting her weekly assignments and curriculum materials on her tumblr, a forum where her abiding interest in science is as apparent as her devotion to undirected doodling. Your first assignment, posted above, requires a box of crayons, the coloring pages of your choice, downloaded to four types of paper, and a significant chunk of time set aside for brain-related articles and vintage videos starring Cognitive Neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga and astronomer Carl Sagan. You should also be committed to keeping a four-minute diary and serving as your own guinea pig.
A big H/T @kirstinbutler