Open Thread Mondays: New Things

When I was but a wee boy, I taught myself HTML from a book my brother bought me. I had my first website when I was 12. I taught myself about journalism – though later I went to school and received my bachelor’s in it.

While abroad, I taught myself Spanish, though that was by necessity. At first I hated it, and demanded everyone learn English. I also taught myself how to teach (though I’d never compare myself to a true school teacher) and began giving English classes while traveling.

Painting was another thing I taught myself, one that made me good money back in the day.

I like learning new things.

Apparently I’ve been doing this a long time. My parents say that I potty-trained myself, which I’m sure was a relief to them. And I also read before they knew I could. My first piece of literature was a pamphlet on fertilization. My mother was a Lamaze teacher, and I picked up the mail one day and read to her about sperm crashing into eggs, detaching their tails and, behold, the zygote. They gave me a quiz afterwards.

As I’ve gotten older, learning things takes on new importance. In youth, you can chase whatever interests you. You may grow without shape or focus to your skill set, an amused octopus with tentacles in all places. Now that’s fun.

But today, especially in this economy, learning new things is a selective process. Which new ability will compliment my existing skill set? Which opens the most job opportunities? Which will earn me the most money?

With questions like this baring down upon your back, learning becomes decidedly less fun.

If you’re looking for a point to all this, then it’s time you learn something: open threads need not have a point. Go, play, have fun…

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