Autodidacticism

The last listed, but most interesting (at least to me, also the most likely to be kept) resolution in my list was to learn something new.  Not because of some exterior stimulus or need, just because.  Just because I can.

Autodidacticism is self-education, self-directed learning.  My dad does this all the time.  Heck, I do it a lot myself, learn something just because I want to know it.  Last year I picked up needles and taught myself to knit, and now I’m a knitting fiend.  I’m always learning new recipes, new lab techniques, new embroidery stitches.  But these are all things that come easily to me.  The difference this year is that I’m determined to learn something that truly challenges me, something I really have to work for, something that I will probably only dint even if I work consistently at learning it the whole year.  Something hard.

(And preferably something inexpensive.  Knitting and woodworking and cooking and all that are loads of fun, but in addition to finding them relatively easy, they also require working capital, and we’re trying to save money.)

If I look at the things that I do, and do well, there is a theme to them.  They are all tactile things, things I do with my hands.  I’m good with my hands.  So something new should exercise my brain.  I’ve narrowed it down learning a new language, either Spanish, or Cocoa.

Yes, I am aware that one’s a programming language, and one’s a ‘real’ language.  But I hate learning languages, any language.  I’m bad at it.  Stupendously bad at it.  I haul out that ‘one language, badly’ joke all the time.  So either should be perfect.

I’m leaning towards Cocoa, but I’ll probably try to learn both.  Does this seem excessive, nay, unrealistic to anyone else?  It does to me.

The problem with learning Spanish is that I feel a responsibility to learn Spanish.  My husband’s paternal grandparents live in Mexico (with brief sojourns into the US for their pension checks *sigh*) and speak essentially no English.  The rest of that side of the family can speak English… but won’t unless absolutely necessary.  And whatever the relationship between The Husband and his relatives, whatever my relationship with them, I feel like I have a responsibility to give my son the ability to make his own relationship with them.  So he needs to learn Spanish.  Which means I need to learn Spanish.  (Obviously The Husband already speaks the language).  But GeekBaby is lucky to have the opportunity to know so many of his great grandparents.

But this feeling of responsibility takes away the fun in learning a language just because I want to learn it.  So I’ll try to learn both this year, one for fun and one for duty.

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