Changing jobs was a bit of a kick starter for me, moving me back into a learning frame of mind. I don’t mean to imply that I wasn’t learning in La Crosse, certainly I was, but after three years I had settled into the job. Now I have a lot of new things at work to learn about and work on and it continues to spark me in new directions and even more things added to the “want to learn and know how to do right now” list.
A comment I made to the Philosopher recently was that “I think one of my biggest challenges is that my brain is always hungry. I always want to learn more, but I feel I can’t fast enough.”
One of those constant wish to learn things is regarding my technology skills. Oh, I can manage an a href or a bold or italic just fine when I’m working on a blog post, and generally I can read HTML or fuss around a little with CSS and heaven knows I’ve spent enough time in the back end of an Access database to have some SQL wrangling abilities, but I’m not where I’d like to be in terms of ability.
Fortunately, as often happens when I am trying to learn a new skill, there is someone willing to show me.
Wednesday nights are my study nights with the Philosopher. We’re working through a lot of theory and application, starting with HTML and going onward through CSS and eventually into programming (Python is somewhere ahead of me). It’s been a little slow going so far, mostly because we’re wading through a lot of theory. One of my homework assignments has been to read “In Beginning was the Command Line.” I never turn down Stephenson, though it’s one of his dryer pieces. It taunts me and reminds me that I need to get back to the Mongolian Project. The Ipad app for that was beautiful, I wonder how it would show up on my Android. Hmmmmmm.
Anyway, it’s something I’m doing so I better understand our webpages, our electronic resources, electronic content, and everything that goes into them. I want to understand the why, if not always the how. I might not be able to duplicate, nor be the best that ever was, but being the best is at least an option and, to paraphrase David Rothman, excellence is always something to work towards. And if I happen to be able to know when a programmer is telling me ridiculous nonsense, it allows me to arch an eyebrow in appropriate places.
The reason we set this on Wednesdays is so we have a guaranteed evening to work on things. Every Wednesday. There have been a couple of cancellations and a few late nights when social things interfered but with the responsibility of yes, every Wednesday, we’ve both been able to commit to a learning schedule.
How do you squeeze learning in?