A change of season

Summer has come and gone and we are about to enter what Staples calls the “happiest time of the year”. Students will be returning to their studies and some of you will be helping with their homework. I would like to take a moment to salute those parents who get involved with their children’s education. I would like to challenge the rest of you to set a personal goal for yourself in this time of renewed learning.

Pick something that you have always had a problem with, perhaps something that you just didn’t get in school, or a skill that has eluded you, and seek help. Take a night school course, set time aside to practice that skill, join toastmasters and hone your presentation skills, or buy some new books and read. Set a deadline for yourself and make a plan to achieve it. When you achieve your goal, reward yourself.

I just bought a book called “The joy of x”. It’s a journey through math from basic numbers to equations defining plains in three space. I have forgotten things like matrix manipulations and Integrals and this text takes a unique approach to refreshing those skills. For me reading the book is not enough of a goal, I have to convince myself that I actually learned something so there will be exercises and a final exam.

November is National novel writing month with the annual competition to write 50,000 words in four weeks. I will be participating this year and hope to complete my third novel “Journey”.

One of these years I am going to teach a course at a local college or university. There is nothing like having to teach others that forces you to lean a subject thoroughly. It is so difficult to unlearn something that you have been taught wrong, so it is imperative that instructors get it right the first time. That means a lot of prep work and good practical/fun exercises.

The list of my projects tends to grow every year at this time. I challenge you to get your list started.

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