Learning Priorities

I seem to continually forget something: This is my blog.

I shouldn’t be shy here. This is my space to express my feelings and my thoughts. Yes, it’s public and people can give their opinions in return, but I control what’s here. Of all internet spaces, I should never be uncomfortable. So long as I keep in line with WordPress’s policy, I should never feel it’s unsafe or embarrassing to write something here.

So, I won’t.

Lately, I have talked about my goals. While I have never enjoyed school, I enjoy learning (I can’t get over the irony of a place intended to support learning destroying the love of it), and I want to learn several subjects. Human languages, programming languages, science, math, design. The list goes on, but those are at the top. However, I’ve realized there is such a thing as too much learning. Or at least, too much in a short amount of time.

My 29th birthday is this year and I can’t get over this mental/emotional crisis that I am “late”. However, overwhelming myself won’t slow down time or help my mental stability. A new friend who is helping me learn a certain subject advised me to prioritize what I want to learn that will help me now versus later. My fiance and a different friend also gave me this advice. I can’t say I disagree with them. However, I have decided only on two priorities, and am struggling to choose a third.

What I decided so far:

  • Spanish. I’m not dumb enough to think I can advance my skills to almost native-like in one year. I couldn’t do in twenty-two years, despite exposure to the language, so it certainly won’t happen in one! But at the bare minimum, I want to become conversational. This is mostly because my (future) in-laws are Hispanic and some do not speak English (or not do not speak it well enough to be understood). I also want to avoid embarrassing myself. I tried to tell my fiance’s mom I loved her Christmas dinner by saying “Yo lo amo (I love it)”. Not only is this not linguistically correct (it should be “Me lo encanta”), but my pronunciation utterly sucked and she may have heard it asĀ “Yo te amo”, which means “I love you”. I do love her as my (future) mother-in-law, but that was not what I wanted to say! I’d say “awkward” in Spanish, but I don’t remember that and I will not look it up right now (“embarazada” means “pregnant”, not “embarrassed”!).
  • JavaScript. Since I want to be a front-end developer, and I can’t seem to learn much more from HTML and CSS, I want to advance my very minimal skills in JavaScript. I am taking a boot camp that focuses on front-end development, so I will need to prioritize this anyway. Now, those aren’t the only languages used front-end. Some others are React, Angular, Vue, jQuery, and Swift. JavaScript can also be used for back-end. But it HTML, CSS, and JavaScript seem to be the main “trifecta”.

I want to say the third priority is Java. However, my only reason for learning at this time is for software development boot camp my job offers. If not for that, I would have never bothered to learn this language for the time being. Java is more commonly used for back-end development and mobile development, and I want to eventually learn the latter (which will probably go hand-in-hand with the former), it’s not my focus right now. If I don’t choose Java, my choice would be math. Specifically, pre-calculus since I plan to pursue a degree in computer science some years down the road. Of course, I can always change priorities.

In the end, my ultimate goal at the end of 2023 is to not be in the same position at work I am currently in. I want to prioritize whatever will get me out the fastest.

Math Is The Enemy

Today, I took a placement test at the local community college. I did well on the writing, and reading comprehension, but not on the math. The algebra was what got me. They are given me tutoring for ten weeks, which’ll exempt me from the extra classes I’d have to take.

I used to be very good at math, but after I started high school, that skill flew out the window. I do not understand algebra, calculus, or anything beyond basic math and fractions.

So my wish for this Wednesday is that I was good at math again. And before anyone says study, I have. No matter how much I study, I do not understand it. I barely passed my math classes in high school, no matter how much I studied or how much help I asked for. It’s just something I’m hopeless at.