So most of my goals are up on the blog now, with strong commitments across the board. I haven’t talked about two of them yet, nor the “ongoing” day to day stuff. And the other piece missing? Things I intend to cross off my bucket list this year. Let’s start putting the pieces together.
BLUE PRIORITIES (Intellectual, organizational, cerebral)
My two big goals on this for the year are astronomy and a kitchen renovation this summer. Both require some additional planning, but they are the big two for the year, and I’ve already blogged about them.
For my bucket list, I’m going to knock five blue items off the list:
- Learn photography — I have a great DSLR, but I want to figure out how to use it better. Probably one of the Coursera or TheGreatCourses options, combined with some books that I have. I might sign up for a course next fall, if the schedule permits. I will probably start on this in March. I’m also going to produce special little cards, kind of like baseball cards, with key situations and settings as reminders.
- Learn to knit — I don’t have any great illusions of ability or commitment for the future, I’d just like to make something. Probably a scarf or a tea cozy. Nothing extravagant, I’d just like to try it. Andrea’s a willing teacher, at least in theory. We’ll see if her willingness continues when she has a lousy student. I’m thinking maybe April for this one.
- Learn to juggle — my hand/eye coordination sucks. But, most jugglers claim anyone can do it if they practice hard, and I bought a little “kit” a few years ago with some nice soft hack/sack like balls to practice with. There are also lots of videos on the net. I’m thinking I’ll commit to this as part of a creativity challenge one month when I’m tired of blogging on the computer all the time. Sounds like a good fall project.
- Learn origami — I’ve had interest in this since Grade 6 when my teacher, Mr. Hutchison, did some basic origami. I’ve learned a few folds over the years, but I’d like to commit to learning one a week once I actually get started. I’m thinking probably in May and then continue throughout the year.
- Experience a meteor shower — I might settle for the regular one in August, or set up for a special one another month. Nothing extravagant, and to be honest, it might not even be the best year to do it. But worth a shot.
Under my ongoing day to day stuff, there are still items that will take work and planning, just didn’t make my big list. Obviously, I’ve taken a different approach to my 2015 goals this year in order to roll up to the PolyWogg 4.0 / Commit to the Quest brand. I’m going to continue that with a new logo design, flow chart, and incorporation into a shirt layout for myself at one of those “print here” places. I also need to set up a special type of tracker to let me implement the Seinfeld Method and keep a running total on some of my commitments.
For my mother’s estate, I mentioned I’m going to do the photo scanning, 10 photos a day. Hoping to start by the end of the month. I’d love to have these all done by the end of the year, along with sorting out all my e-files for photos going back to 2002. That also includes learning some new software and creating some photobooks.
A huge portion of my free time involves electronic tools, and I need to continue my improved organization for it. Some of it is wiring, some of it is backups, some of it is copying CDs onto the hard drive.
I have a long list of little projects around the house, and I think I’m going to give them to Andrea as a “Honey Do” list to manage for me — she can choose which ones get done next. We do this anyway now with a joint list each weekend of errands/projects to do, but many of the non-urgent ones never make the list.
I also want to get my passport renewed, and do a comparison of costs between the two major grocery stores I shop at to see how much of a premium I’m paying for convenience when I use the one.
Finally, for the blue category at least, I need to figure out my learning plan for the year. Yesterday, I posted a list of courses for TheGreatCourses and Coursera that I’m interested in, and my approach. But of course, I didn’t actually commit to the courses — there are 125 with Coursera and another 170 with TheGreatCourses. My feeling is that I can probably do one every other month, so six for the year. Time to ante up and commit to the quest. One, two, three, weed the list!
Two courses are carry-overs, and I’m not counting them in the “six” as I can finish these ones pretty quick:
- Coursera – Understanding video games (carry-over)
- Coursera – Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology (carry-over)
Of the others, I think I want one that is tied to psychology. Coursera has an Introduction to Psychology (University of Toronto) and I’ll go with that. Future options might be “Positive Psychology”, but that is more about self-actualization techniques.
I also want one on music. There is a Coursera course called “Introduction to Classical Music” from Yale that looks great, give me a better foundation than just randomly picking Beethoven symphonies. Plus I’m a bit more eclectic in my tastes, with some of the most obvious choices of little interest to me. Mind you, there is also a Coursera course that would aid my Billboard writing called History of Rock, Part One which is part of the University of Rochester. But it is the fact that both of them are “obvious” choices that have led me to ignore them in front of a TGC course — Elements of Jazz: From Cakewalks to Fusion.
I’m going to play it a little safer for my third choice, something astronomy related. Coursera has an interesting course called AstroTech: The Science and Technology behind Astronomical Discovery from the University of Edinburgh but it’s not active at the moment. If it doesn’t show up this year, I’ll opt for one of the TGC courses, either Skywatching: Seeing and Understanding Cosmic Wonders or the more traditional Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, 2nd Edition.
My fourth course is going to be hard-core. Yep, coding. TGC has nothing in this area, it’s all about the internet courses in general or the Coursera ones, and I’m going to opt for Coursera. I’d like to take Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems: Part 1 at the University of Maryland, but it assumes you already know Java which I inconveniently don’t. There’s a simpler version at University of Edinburgh called Code Yourself! An Intro to Programming, and it would probably be a really good idea to start with that one just to refresh my brain since my last programming experience from umm, 1989 and 1992 (!) didn’t use object libraries to combine existing code modules. But screw it, I am on a quest! I don’t have time for namby-pamby basics! I’m going for the University of Illinois’ Creative, Serious and Playful Science of Android Apps.
I’m going to pass on the photography courses and the Greek mythology courses, I have books on those that I’m going to read this year already. Governance and non-profits look great, as does one on giving and charities. There are several good options for ones about religion, cultural literacy, and soul beliefs.
But I really need a refresher on microeconomics to help with some work I want to do on ebook pricing, and there is a simple Coursera course called The Power of Microeconomics: Economic Principles in the Real World from the University of California at Irvine. They don’t have any sessions open right now, but I’ve added it to my watchlist. If by the time I get to it, nothing is still available, I’ll opt for one of the other micro-economic ones.
Last, I’m going to take a flyer on something. Coursera has a course from the State University of NY on Meta-literacy: Empowering Yourself in a Connected World, which is about digital citizenry. I have an idea for a big project in November this year, and this will help lay the foundation early. In fact, it is up first in the rotation, starting in early February. I guess I should get those other two done before then!
That’s it, that’s all for the blue…On to the green!