January 2013 Challenge

Click here for results from last month’s no negativity challenge.

This month’s challenge: Learn or relearn something difficult

Learning is often both frustrating and fun. I’ve recognized this more recently since I’ve been taking a drawing class for about 2 months now. I’m not a natural artist by any means. My penmanship is so … unique? … I can’t read my own handwriting most of the time. This has been a fun exercise in seeing that, “hey, even if you’re horrible at something, you can actually get better at it with consistent practice!”

This month’s challenge for me is to learn web server administration (again). I started it mid-way through last month, but then the holidays got me off track a bit. Specific challenge is to configure Postfix e-mail server on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and transfer all of my websites from BlueHost to Linode. I also need to set up The Initiative – my small private membership site for 20 people (10 spots already taken) you might have read about if you’re on my e-mail list – on this new server. I’ll probably use BuddyPress, but still unsure exactly how to set that up.

Sure I could hire this out for $100, but I actually want to know this stuff.

What are you going to learn this month? Please read the comments before answering. A few people are missing the point of self learning. It’s not supposed to be something you have to learn for school or for a job. Must be something you want to learn.

{ 18 comments… add yours }

John Capecelatro

I’m going to learn how to make basic mock-ups with HTML/CSS/jQuery – something that is part of a larger goal to be technically competent enough to build a prototype by mid year.

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Karol

I like it!

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Rebecca

For the month of January I hope to learn to at least get people to come to my website and maybe make some plans for this spring to travel back home to either NM or visit a friend living in Alaska.

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Karol

Rethink this. It’s not concrete or actionable. Which means it’s impossible to know what succeeding with it looks like.

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Amanda Wintermans

I’m going to relearn playing my flute and concert flute.

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Karol

Fun!

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Logan

Like John above, learn HTML/CSS/jQuery and a bit of PHP if possible (bought myself a couple books for xmas), not the actual design/visual appearance of elements as that’s a whole separate issue, in my books, to the code behind it.

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Dane

This month I will do a good review to relearn the information or refresh my memory for a test I need to take the end of the month, with a goal of scoring over the 50th percentile.

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Karol

That’s cool, but I’m not sure if it counts if it’s something you have to do. The point of self learning is it’s supposed to be stuff you want to do. Also, 50th percentile? Come on! 90th at least.

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Karen

I’m going to relearn my piano exam pieces for this month!

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Thulemin

Funny, because there are 3 things I’ve decided to learn this year, and I’m starting next week :)

- Play the ukelele – Be able to play 2 songs by the end of the month.

- Relearn Japanese – Get to my former level (not that high, so do-able)

- Follow Wordpress tutorials to learn how to build a website – 2 tutorials a week, or more, hopefully.

For those who wanna get academic knowledge, check coursera.com : teachers from Ivy league universities hold their classes online for free :)

Good luck everyone!

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Paz

I am going to learn how to edit videos. I have tons of great videos of our family that would be better with a little editing and I own camptasia 6.0 and don’t use it. I will learn to edit the videos and get them up on YouTube for ya’ll to enjoy!

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Katharine

I am going to CONTINUE to learn Photoshop, even though it’s driving me crazy. My photographs will benefit in the end, so I’m determined to open up all the creative options Photoshop can give me.

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Joan

I’ve started reading an amazing book about germ warfare and research in the northeastern United States (not real far from my home, sadly). It’s driven me to research some difficult concepts that range from medical theories to the food-supply system to war strategies. Book’s called Lab 257, if anyone’s interested.

This is big for me because I rarely read nonfiction – I’m the anti-Karol, I guess? I read all day for “work” and my free-time reading has always been escapist at most, and sometimes falling far into “useless garbage.” (Enjoyable, but useless.)

My specific goal for January is simply to finish the book with a clear comprehension of the issues in it (which is requiring outside research). It’s not a huge goal, I guess, but it’s doable in a busy month and I’ll feel good when I accomplish it.

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Karol

That book sounds great. Though I think I have to institute a book buying embargo. My reading list has crept up past 70 due to all the recommendations I’ve received recently.

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Billie Leigh Kellar

I’m going to learn how to do a correct patent application for patenting my product that should have been patented a while ago. Just finding a lawyer doesn’t count–I want to learn the correct testing needs, how-to-write-it-myself, and all of the ephemerous minutiae that goes with it.

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Olivia

I’m going to start learning Italian (again) :)

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Tami

Hi Karol,
Thank you for such an awesome challenge for the month. I got an electric violin last year, its been my dream to be able to play it. After learning, “smoke on the water” and a brutal “hot crossed buns”, I just sort of stopped practicing it. Always to busy… but not really. I am going to learn to play the electric violin.

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