For some time now, I’ve been aware that I’m getting older. At first it was a strange reluctance to go to a late bar on a school night. Next, weddings started bursting like anti-aircraft fire in my extended social circle (none too close though). The latest symptom is a common one, I think: a creeping dread that I’m not doing enough.
I used to be quite happy sitting in of an evening and playing computer games for a couple of hours. Now I think ‘I should be doing something productive. I’m wasting time!’
I guess it’s a good thing. It’s an impulse to do something constructive. Besides, I don’t think there’s an authority to whom I can address a letter of complaint.
Angst aside, it’s true that in this miserable summer of 2012 I’ve come face to face with the holes in my personal development. They’re faintly embarrassing. And, as the best way to deal with embarrassing stories is to own them, I’ll list the main offenders.
Counting and adding and dividing things
First, I can barely remember how to do maths. Anything more complex than basic algebra is beyond me. And I studied both applied maths and physics in school. Strike one.
Second, I used to be reasonably skilled at German. I could read, write, and speak it at a decent level. On a recent trip to Berlin, I barely managed to order food. Strike two.
10 PRINT “HELLO WORLD!”
And third, in a world where the coder is king, my knowledge stretches as far as basic HTML and CSS. Strike three.
There’s more new things I’d like to learn, of course, but these are the big three. And I’ve decided to sort them out.
So what’s next?
Here begins my experiment in online learning. Over the next couple of months, I’m going to learn new things. And as much as possible, I’m going to use free resources like Codecademy, the Khan Academy, and MIT Open Courseware.
The first lesson was to redesign this blog using my (limited) knowledge of CSS and the WordPress platform. It’s liable to change more in the coming months as I put Codecademy lessons to practical use.
Other than that, I’ve no set deadlines or schedules. It’s my goal that in the next 12 months I’ll make significant progress on the big three. After that, we’ll see what comes next.