Thursday, January 16, 2020

Self Education and Mentors

Considering the importance of education and since I can't attend college I have tried to pursue knowledge on my own. I have used quality texts to learn C (which I don't use) and PERL (which I do use), and I am self-taught in HTML and CSS. I am not an expert in any of these, but I know enough to do the things I have needed and wanted to do, and I take pleasure in accomplishing these tasks.

Learning to learn is its own skill, and one I have come to value. Using the internet as a learning tool is invaluable, and over time I have been pleased to see so many resources appear online, such as The Khan Academy, Wikipedia, and many others. I can't count the number of times YouTube has been useful in helping me fix an appliance or complete some kind of do-it-yourself task around the house.

Unfortunately I haven't had the time or the mental energy to devote to learning lately. It's been a struggle for me to retain anything mentally, and I don't know why that is, except that I face so many interruptions in my life which derail my efforts to learn. I want to learn Java, but each time I try I fail to make significant progress. It has been my experience that I struggle to learn something new until I hit a "critical mass" where something clicks in my head and everything makes sense.

One thing that would help me tremendously would be access to a capable mentor. Someone who understands Java programming and who has the time to teach me until I reach that critical mass level where I can pursue my Java education unassisted. Then they would take the role of guiding me on what Java technologies to study and only help me when I get stuck understanding something.

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