February 10, 2020

10 Things I'd Like to Learn (a writing prompt)



Nothing new to write about today, so I picked a writing prompt from my jar and I think this is a fun one: Things I'd Like to Learn!

I will preface this by saying that I don't actually think I am going to learn all of these things in my lifetime--that would be extremely difficult, if not impossible--but if I had the means and the time and all that, these are things I would find interesting to learn.

1) A Second Language

I've always wanted to learn to speak another language (fluently) but I just have never dedicated the time that it takes to get very far. I remember when I was a kid (maybe 10?) I bought a French translator book from Walden's (remember that book store?!). I bought it just because I wanted to learn French.

I always had an interest in American Sign Language, too, and I took several classes over the years for that. I remember a lot of it, but not enough to really converse with someone. And I definitely don't know the language structure. The signs are much easier to remember than the structure of ASL.

When I went on a class trip to Washington D.C., we got a day to ourselves to go wherever we wanted in the city. Most of the other kids went to the touristy places, but I chose to go to Gallaudet University (a college for the deaf). I find it so funny that I chose that! But it was awesome. I even attempted a conversation in ASL with some students at a café.

A couple of years ago, after "chatting" with a deaf man in Boston, I really wanted our whole family to do an online course in ASL. Now, I feel like I missed the opportunity because my carpal tunnel has gotten so bad. It flares up whenever I do something that requires me to move my wrists a lot.

In high school, I took four years of Spanish. I can read Spanish very well, but I have no idea what I'm reading! Haha. I love that Spanish is so simple in terms of pronunciation and the grammar "rules"--unlike English, which has a trillion exceptions to all the rules. I think I could probably learn Spanish fairly easily if I was (were?) to live in a Spanish-speaking area for a while. (See? I don't even know English.)

How funny is this photo (below) from 1999? 😂 My mom and I went to San Diego, and we headed down to Tijuana for a day. This guy was offering photos with a sombrero while sitting on a donkey/zebra/zonkey?


Anyway, I think learning another language would be great! If I had to choose just one, I'm not sure what I'd pick... but I think if I didn't have to take the time to learn it, Russian would be awesome to know!

2) Speed Reading

I've mentioned several times that I'm a very slow reader. I'm not sure why that is! I don't skim--I process every word in my mind. I don't know if that's normal or not, but I just don't understand how people read a whole book in a day!

I know there are "tricks" to speed reading, and I looked it up online once, but it was overwhelming. And when I tried it, I didn't have any idea what I just read. So, maybe this is just a talent that you're born with.


3) How to play Flight of the Bumblebee on the piano

My friend Mike, who now lives in NYC, plays the piano. He played in Kindred, the band that my friends were in during our high school years; and now, he teaches piano lessons to rich kids in the city ;)  (When I visited him a few years ago, I went along to one of his lessons--it was in a $6 million apartment! Watching him teach a lesson to a five-year old boy was cute, though.)

Anyway, when we were in high school, Mike played Flight of the Bumblebee (which is super fast and a complicated piece to play). After that, every time we were around a piano, I asked him to play it. I was mesmerized by it! And I think it would be super fun to play.

I took piano lessons when I was eight years old, and never really got further than "Jingle Bells", hahaha. The photo below was from my very first (and only) piano recital. I didn't want to do it, but my older brother, Brian, told me he'd buy me a whoopie cushion if I did.

So, duh. I did it!



4) How to swim

I know how to "swim" as in "not drown", but I think it would be awesome to really know how to swim different strokes to use lap swimming as a form of exercise. There are a couple of problems with this, however...

I'm extremely self-conscious in a bathing suit; I hate being in water; AND my loose skin (especially on my thighs and upper arms) is super uncomfortable when swimming. So, I don't see it ever happening, but it's something I'd like to learn if those things didn't hold me back.

Clearly, my parents were very concerned with safety when they put this life jacket on me.



5) How to juggle

This is so random! But I used to be able to juggle when I was about 12, and it was fun impressing my friends. Since then, I have certainly lost the skill. Occasionally, I'll try it (usually when holding in-shell walnuts for the squirrels), but it's pretty hopeless. This is something I could probably do again if I practice enough!


6) Solve a 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube

You'd think I should know this, given the fact that my 14-year old son can solve it in under 20 seconds! I'm even taking him to a competition in a couple of weeks. I can solve it when I look at the cheat sheet of algorithms, but how Eli has those memorized, I'll never know. That kid amazes me.


Did I share this video? I don't think I did! Remember I bought him the 13x13x13 Rubik's Cube for Christmas? He solved it in about 7 hours, if I remember correctly. Now, he can solve in in about 90 minutes. This video is a time lapse, and it took him just under 2 hours.



7) How to do a super impressive hip hop dance

I think it would be so funny if I (someone who never dances) just randomly busted out some super crazy hip hop moves at a wedding reception or something! That would be the most unlike-me thing I ever did!

(There was that time that I may have had too much to drink at Sarah's bachelorette party and I danced on chairs, though...)




8) How to do mental math super fast

When playing my Lumosity and Peak games on my phone, I am HORRIBLE at the mental math games. I know my times tables up to 11 because I have them memorized, so I can divide those numbers fast as well. But when it comes to adding and subtracting, I have to use my fingers! And if I have to borrow or carry numbers over or any of that, it ends my game, hahaha.

I'm not stupid--if I have a piece of papers, I can do all the math. However, like reading, it just takes me longer. I'd love to learn mental math so I can kick ass on my games!



9) How to develop an app

I have a really great idea for an app, but I don't have the first clue how to start. I looked into having it developed for me, and it can cost upwards of $100,000! So, as of now, my app idea is just a pipe dream.


10) Auto repair

As I've mentioned, my dad has been an auto mechanic for his entire adult life. He owned his own auto shop when I was growing up, and then he started working from his own garage. People have always trusted him with their cars and he never overcharged anybody (in fact, he should have been charging more).

I wish I knew when I was younger just how important a skill it is. All I remember about it from when I was little was that he would pay me a few dollars to help him "bleed the brakes" of a car--that makes me feel nostalgic! Anyway, I can't tell you how many thousands of dollars he's saved me over the years. I've never had to take a car into a shop--my dad has always done the work on it.

His health isn't the greatest anymore, and he's working on cars less and less. I wish I'd taken time to learn from him. It was fun when, in the fall, he taught me how to change my oil (and check the other fluid levels in my car). Just recently, he taught Noah how to change spark plugs--I was thrilled that Noah wanted to learn that!



8 comments:

  1. For the swimming one- I wear knee or capri length leggings over my bathing suit to swim. I also have a full coverage bathing suit (commonly nicknamed a "burkini") that is wrists to neck to ankles coverage, which I love for paddleboarding. For me, the full coverage is at least partly to avoid a sunburn- but I am definitely more comfortable wearing leggings into the pool for swimming, and never had anyone look at me weird for it or anything.

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    1. I had no idea that those existed! I'm going to check out that option. Since I've gained weight, my weight is distributed in odd places :( I really wish I could just find the determination to drop the weight! I'd still not like wearing bathing suits, but at least my body shape would look more "normal".

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    2. Swim unitards do exist, also, they look a bit like a think wet suit. I wear undies from a brand called Tomboy X, and if you searched, you'd see their offering. There's presumably cheaper ones, too, I just happen to know this brand. I once saw a full body swimsuit than a modest Muslim girl wore (Olympics maybe?), so I'm sure you could find something cute for you somewhere.

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    3. Search on Amazon for "modest swim skirt" and you can find a ton of options, things like capri length leggings with a skirt that comes to just above the knees, to leggings with just a super short skirt, etc. They are fantastic, and I think the more people who wear them, the more comfortable other people will be with wearing similar things. Many women don't feel comfortable in a standard bathing suit, and these are such great alternatives! I normally wear a one-piece bathing suit with capri length leggings, but am looking at getting a swim skirt for this summer on the paddleboard.

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  2. My boyfriend and I both have been using duolingo for a language (different languages...but oh well). I am not sure if you could consider it fluent but I love that it stimulates my mind and that I am learning something! Also I wear a swim shirt and/or capris when I swim as well. Mostly for sun exposure but also because of looser skin.

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    1. I looked into Duolingo before, and maybe I'll have to revisit the idea. It's totally overwhelming to think of learning a language, but when I think of all the people that do it, certainly I should be able to!

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    2. Duolingo is great for breaking it down and gets you to review constantly so it starts to get cemented it. It's free too, so can't hurt to try it (maybe alternate with lumosity one night etc)

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  3. Try teamtreehouse for a site to go to start learning coding and eventually build your app!

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