i recently read a piece about a guy in his late 30s who took up learning guitar as a hobby and actually became a proficient player. then i read about a young man who decided to devote an hour a day learning about something just for fun — including banjo, juggling and astrophysics.
those pieces revved me up to go out and learn something new. although i love that journalism allows me to dabble in a range of topics, i miss the thrill of structured, focused education. i’m not talking about going back to school full-time for a degree program, but taking a course or even reading a book to learn something just for the sake of it, such as a new language or skill. (italian! guitar! indian cooking!) i don’t need to become a master–the basics are fine with me.
easier said than done, of course. the problem isn’t just that my aging brain makes it harder to absorb new information. it’s squeezing in the time.
but when you think about it, a dedicated hour or even half-hour a day isn’t that hard to fit in; i surely accumulate that much time watching tv, reading, exercising or futzing round the house. maybe i could listen to an instructional tape while jogging? or read some educational nonfiction before bed instead of my go-to novels or mysteries? or take a web course instead of vegging out to “modern family”?
despite my gung-ho intentions to learn, i have a feeling that i may simply be too undisciplined–and tired–at the end of the day to make this happen at this young-kid stage of my life.
it’s not just me, either. my husband recently signed up for rosetta stone to learn brazilian portuguese. his initial enthusiasm has now waned and while he still wants to complete the course, work, family and sleep needs have made it tough to master. he’s also trying to teach himself programming through codecademy, which provides free online courses.
readers, have any of you done any adult education or learned a new skill or hobby as an adult? how did you find the time?