That’s right, kiddos. Just when you thought you’d escaped that dreadful education stage of your life, the world is going to punch you in the face. This was a bit of advice that was given to me especially because of my tech major: learning never ends. Might as well get used to learning, because the most rewarding thing about most days will be the ability to learn something new.
The reason they told me this specifically in my field was because every 5 years, half of the knowledge learned in a tech degree has become obsolete. I found it funny that my professors were telling me this, because my degree took me 4.5 years already. So now half a year after starting, I’m almost as dumb as I was initially. Boo math!
So my suggestion, now that we’ve discussed learning to pay attention and trying to overcome procrastination: take your continuing education by the horns. I went so far as to spend an hour considering WHAT it was I wanted to learn. See, college classes were very structured. The professors had been teaching almost the same thing for years. Sometimes I was interested in spending more time on a particular subject, but their planners said we had to move on. So I thought about what I WANTED to learn, what I COULD learn to help me in my job, and what I SHOULD learn to help me in my life.
The list of things that I wanted to learn came pretty easy to me. One of those was Bible, so I’ve spent additional time as of late studying my Bible and even reading outside material. I even used some of my Borders gift cards I got as graduation gifts on buying a wonderful study Bible. The library is GREAT for acquiring my ‘textbooks’. The other books were by authors like Os Guinness (yes, related to the beer people) and Ravi Zacharias. Both of these authors I highly recommend. I’ve started a book or two by Chuck Swindoll; he’s not a bad author, but I seem to have trouble getting into his works. The other subject I wanted to learn was Korean. So far that subject has been waffling. I have all the resources I need. But like with other languages I’ve thought about learning, I get into it a little bit and then hit a wall. I know I need to buckle down on this one, seeing as my rote learning ability is flying out the window as we speak.
For short-term goals in what I could learn to help my career, I thought I might crack a book about software engineering or quality assurance. See, I took a class in college called Software Engineering. I should have been a lot more involved in it than I was considering that’s EXACTLY WHAT I DO AT WORK. But instead I got a B in the class. So I took the wrapping off the textbook a couple weeks ago and started focusing on learning it to apply at work. It does really help to have current life experience to link the knowledge to. As for the quality assurance (I am a software tester, after all), I got a “Crash Course in CMMI” book from the library. I think this may actually have been a textbook, once upon a time. I haven’t looked at that one as much as I should. I need to though, because not only is it a guideline for documentation and process improvement in the technology field that will likely follow me my entire career, but my work section is going through a CMMI review right now. Basically I could be involved in a lot more conversations with people that don’t expect me to be fluent in the subject if I had already started perusing that book.
And last but not least, what I should be learning is oddly the area ignored the most. I think the problem with this category is kind of what most kids think of Calculus in high school: will I ever need this stuff? I’ve been driving for 7 years and been just fine knowing nothing about cars, so obviously it’s not direly necessary. As for home repair, I am years away from buying a home. The one subject that I’ve done well in this area has been cooking. I’ve been collecting recipes from the Internet and started watching the Food Network more often to get myself accustomed with all those spices in the pantry. This is an immediately helpful topic because my family and I eat dinner, like, every night and different typically goes over very well….. I sounded like a teenage girl with that last sentence, didn’t I? My bad. *Pulls chest hair to affirm manliness*
So there were the basics of my ‘curriculum’ for the ‘semester’ after graduation. I haven’t stuck to it 100% for sure, but I’m still more focused with my time and keeping my brain working. Last time I checked, that was recommended by 5 out of 5 doctors, which is better than I can say for most things in the world. And those aliens from Hulu (Alec Baldwin) won’t be scooping my mushy brain out with a melon baller anytime soon either.
Happy days of learning new things to all.

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