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Tips/strategies/advice to improve my intermediate Spanish?

Do you have suggestions for the best ways to improve my intermediate-level Spanish, take advantage of immersion here in Argentina for the next few months, and ease up on anxiety/overthinking when speaking so I can be more fluid and fluent? My top priority for improvement is listening comprehension, followed by clarity, speed/fluidity, and confidence in speaking. [more inside]
posted by EmilyClimbs on Sep 10, 2013 - 7 answers

How can I try out camping?

I would like to find a way to try out camping, without buying a lot of gear. Can I rent gear somewhere? Maybe from an outfitter or outdoor education sort of place? My ideal would be to fly or drive to a U.S. National Park, put myself in the hands of an expert who will rent me gear and take me to a camp site, help me set up the gear and give me basic instructions about how to use it and cook stuff, then have the expert leave while I try things out for a long weekend. Does such a service exist? [more inside]
posted by OrangeDisk on Sep 9, 2013 - 25 answers

Learning (or re-learning French)

I took French in school and it was fun. However I did not keep up with it and here I am. I want to re-learn French again. My goal is to familiarize myself once again with all that I learnt and then start reading novels in French (which, once upon a time, I could do) [more inside]
posted by ladoo on Sep 5, 2013 - 10 answers

Online courses for IT professionals?

I'm familiar with Lynda.com, Kelby Training or TutsPlus/Premium for creative professionals and learning new creative or programming related skills. Is there a good equivalent for learning IT skills? Things like networking, computer troubleshooting, server support, active directory, etc? My google foo is failing me, probably because it's an area I'm not familiar with. I would prefer an all in one type site with curated materials as opposed to just finding stuff on youtube. [more inside]
posted by [insert clever name here] on Sep 3, 2013 - 10 answers

Learning composition by transcribing music?

I have read that John Zorn and Unsuk Chin, among others, learned music composition by transcribing music. Am I correct in thinking that this means copying an existing score? Is this a good way to learn music composition (and are there any others)? Does one copy the piece verbatim, or is there a strategy for targeting significant parts?
posted by myitkyina on Aug 26, 2013 - 11 answers

Looking for a 10+ year old book about a stuffed bear in a classroom cave

Years ago I picked up a book at random that I thought had "Creative Education" or "Classroom" in the title, but every search I've done comes up empty. It's written by a teacher that used a stuffed bear that lived in a cave in the corner of an elementary classroom. I also recall a chapter on a 'Mr. Pen'. I'd like to find it again. [more inside]
posted by lysdexic on Aug 22, 2013 - 2 answers

Teach me hip-hop

What are the best resources for learning about hip-hop from the very beginning to the present day? [more inside]
posted by tavegyl on Aug 22, 2013 - 12 answers

Completing my prequisites online

I have a Quebec high school diploma. I want to apply for to distance learning programs provided by schools based in other Canadian provinces, but since Quebec high school ends at grade 11, I'm missing a whole slew of pre-requisites I'd already have under my belt if I had done grade 12... [more inside]
posted by ohmy on Aug 20, 2013 - 6 answers

What are the best online communities besides metafilter?

I am interested in meeting people that like learning and value their education. I have come across a forum that I like a lot: PhysicsForum. I also like coursera, udacity and edX communities but, unfortunately, there are seldom meetups in my country. I would like to make some "geek" skype friends to know how the education is on other countries and exchange some ideas.
posted by tsuwal on Aug 19, 2013 - 1 answer

Good online database solutions that hold images?

I'm looking for a good online database app thingy that would let 50 teachers and 200 students easily and quickly input sentences in two languages *as well as pictures* and be easily searchable by all participants in the future. Any ideas? [more inside]
posted by sdis on Aug 19, 2013 - 4 answers

ADHD - Processing Speed

Greetings all, I realize that this is not a medical forum, but I have been struggling with ADHD and a slower processing speed for most of my life. At times it has been somewhat manageable due to medications but right now it is not. This issue affects every aspect of my life and I wish that it did not. If I could solve my memory and processing speed issue, I'd be willing to wager that I would have a good shot at turning around my life. Has anyone struggled with this sort of stuff? If so, what has worked for you? I've read that biofeedback has worked for some people but it is very expensive and not an option right now. I have also been told that doing things like crosswords and sudoku can be of benefit and I am not very good at either one of those. I apologize, but if anyone has any solutions that has worked for them with regards to improving their memory and processing speed, please let me know regardless of how outlandish it might sound. Ultimately, the big goal is to be able to become an efficient learner and to be able to play ball in the same park as everyone else, but to this day, that has not been the cards that I have been dealt. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
posted by nidora on Aug 4, 2013 - 6 answers

Where to find free non-literary book summaries?

This summer I have a lot of reading to do: some books about physics and math applied to sports, others about evidence-based sport conditioning, objectivism, ... stuff that built up because I didn't had to read it. When I read books I like to have a top down view of the subject but most books' introduction fail to do so, either because it is too short and not enough to give a good overview of each chapter or because they not even try to summarise the contents of the books and on how to use the book. [more inside]
posted by tsuwal on Aug 2, 2013 - 2 answers

String, or nothing!

Beginning enthusiast programmers on MeFi are often advised to learn by working on a substantial project and then exhibit it publicly on GitHub. How can someone new to a technology or tool scope out learning projects that are (a) commensurate with the learner's current, possibly rudimentary skills, (b) substantial enough to be a significant learning opportunity, and (c) interesting enough to hold the learner's attention past the initial phase? I'm especially interested in suggestions for learners who aren't learning front-end technologies or don't want to build yet another shopping cart or calendar widget.
posted by Nomyte on Aug 1, 2013 - 12 answers

Online science resources for a liberal arts major?

I want to learn science. [more inside]
posted by Hawk V on Jul 25, 2013 - 13 answers

Downtime Learning?

To what productive use can I put the (soon to increase) downtime hours at my job? Learning something would be great, other suggestions welcome. Complications: no internet, limited space, no phone access and more inside. [more inside]
posted by Hobo on Jul 25, 2013 - 19 answers

I will see how many stamps I can lick in an hour, then beat that record!

How can I rejigger my brain to recognize engaging, rewarding tasks as "fun" instead of "work"? [more inside]
posted by Shepherd on Jul 23, 2013 - 10 answers

Can I learn a color guard routine in one week?

Please help me learn a Color Guard routine in a week. I'm a complete novice who's horrible at following routines. Help! [more inside]
posted by Autumn on Jul 22, 2013 - 17 answers

Learning disabled artist blogs?

Who represents learning disabled artists? Or how can I find blogs or catalogs that feature learning disabled or developmentally disabled artists working in any media? Europe and South America especially but welcoming feedback about the rest of the world. Thanks!
posted by parmanparman on Jul 17, 2013 - 8 answers

Not-too-easy/Not-too-hard German books

Question for German speakers: I would like some reading material to improve my German. I've studied it for a while and have passively absorbed many words, but usually in the context of vocabulary lists and such. I don't want anything really easy however. [more inside]
posted by polywomp on Jul 17, 2013 - 21 answers

Coding in a corner of the world

I’m a US citizen and would like to go somewhere for a coding 'vacation' for a few months. Essentially I just want to live somewhere cheap and work to improve my software development skills – learn new languages, build a couple projects, etc. Where could/should I go? [more inside]
posted by twobit on Jul 15, 2013 - 19 answers

I was banned from collegeconfidential just for asking for some help?

Summer vacations are coming up and I am going to use some of my free time to learn physics and math, subjects that I love. In order to do that i asked collegeconfidential.com if anyone had "exclusive study materials" from their university which they could share. I mentioned that I would like to have acess to tests and exams from other universities and I could give some good materials collected by my colleagues of the physics and math course in exchange. [more inside]
posted by tsuwal on Jul 12, 2013 - 27 answers

Excel: Is it possible to sort by an arbitrary list?

I have a list of 625 English words, translations in a bunch of languages, and what-not in a giant excel file. We'll call that excel file "the Data." The Data is in alphabetical order. I also have a separate list of those same English words in a different order. Is there a way to sort the Data so that it's in the same order as my new, non-alphabetical list? [more inside]
posted by sdis on Jul 7, 2013 - 6 answers

What is this pleasant sensation when I learn something?

Okay, here's something I've wondered about for more than three decades. Ever since I was a very young boy, I have had occasions where someone was teaching or explaining something to me, or showing me how to do something, and I would feel a very pleasant tingling sensation in my scrotum. It's not at all sexual, and I'm not turned on by it, but it is a very unique, pleasant feeling. Is this a known phenomenon? Does it have a name? [more inside]
posted by D+ on Jul 3, 2013 - 9 answers

Tips for learning english on vacation.

Hi. I'm a Portuguese student and I'm going to spend two weeks of my summer vacations on Leeds, England since I have an aunt there that invited me. I would like to spend my time practicing my English but I don't know what to do or where to go. Where can I meet new people (of my age range preferably: 20's), have a good conversation, listen to other people talk, ...? Your help will be much appreciated!
posted by tsuwal on Jul 3, 2013 - 6 answers

iPad math apps for a 10-year-old?

My son is 10 years old and going into 5th grade in the fall (but he usually does 6th grade math). He likes Stack the States, and we're looking for a math app with similar appeal. We already have Sushi Monster and his younger sister loves it, but I'd like something more challenging for him.
posted by The corpse in the library on Jun 25, 2013 - 11 answers

How should I use my potential Rosetta Stone subscription?

I just got a new job where I will have access to Rosetta Stone for a single language. I don't need to learn any languages for work so please help me decide how I'd like to use it. [more inside]
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl on Jun 24, 2013 - 11 answers

Resources for learning to learn more effectively?

I'm looking for resources for evidence-based processes, tips, hacks, improvements, ideas, etc., for learning more effectively. [more inside]
posted by StrawberryPie on Jun 23, 2013 - 11 answers

Help me understand fractions

Dear math people: please help me understand fractions and ratios intuitively. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 19, 2013 - 29 answers

How can I learn to grocery shop and cook on a college budget?

I'm going into my senior year college and have relied on a fraternity meal plan and eating out often. What should I be buying at the grocery store regularly, and what are some quick and healthy meals to make regularly? [more inside]
posted by seandq on Jun 17, 2013 - 29 answers

What is this type of recall?

What is the technical term for this type of recall? A student (possibly with ADD) plays a puzzle game while listening to a class (there's no relationship between the puzzle game and the content of the class). Later, while relaxing at home, he plays the game again and by doing that recalls the content of the class.
posted by fries on Jun 14, 2013 - 8 answers

Taking a class for fun, but actually learning something in the end.

You've taken some classes, academic or not, for fun or out of simple interest. Some of those classes were paid opportunities to socialize. You walked out of them not feeling very different from how you felt coming in. Then you forgot everything you were supposed to have learned, and you never did anything like that again. Other classes taught you (or put you on the road to learning) a fulfilling skill or a body of knowledge. What kinds of classes were they? How did you find out about them? What lasting effects have those classes had on your life? (e.g., took a foreign language class → went abroad without a guide, took a welding class → set up a workshop in the garage, etc.)
posted by Nomyte on May 28, 2013 - 29 answers

Would you like some Apples, Tacos, & Tinctures?

I'm starting a new job for a telecom giant at a call center and to make the most money I need to make sales. I have worked for a call center before, and I guess you could say I sold things, but I didn't really sell things. Where can I learn to sell? [more inside]
posted by trogdole on May 28, 2013 - 7 answers

What's the best way to learn a language quickly?

It's difficult to get a job in my field without knowing Spanish, and the grad programs I'll be applying to next year strongly prefer bilingual English/Spanish applicants. I'm searching for a job and I'd like to become conversationally proficient as quickly as possible. What methods have worked for you? A community college class? A private class? A private tutor? A particularly awesome website? I was once fluent in both French (which I spent years studying in highschool and then got practice working for a French company, who also provided a private tutor) and Portuguese (learned via an intensive university class, but lost once the class ended and I didn't keep using it). I pick up languages fairly easily, but I need a lot of practice time and a little bit of structure. I'm confident in my ability to learn the specialized jargon of my field once I'm comfortable speaking the language on an everyday basis. I'm looking at an intensive Summer class at the local community college, but I'd like other options as well.
posted by rhiannonstone on May 27, 2013 - 22 answers

How can I benefit most from watching course webcasts beforehand?

I like to watch video webcasts of courses I'm going to be taking in the future. What are your best suggestions to get the most out of this experience so that I can boost my performance when I'm actually in the course? [more inside]
posted by ptsampras14 on May 26, 2013 - 4 answers

What would you really like to know about language and language learning?

I run a blog about language learning and have ~9 months until a book of mine gets published. During that time, I'd like to grow my audience as much as possible, which basically means writing as many interesting articles as possible. While I have a list of blog-post ideas, I'm currently living in book-related tunnel vision, and could use some outside input. If you knew someone who knew a lot about foreign languages and language learning, and was willing to do some research and write an article about anything you wanted, what would you want him/her to write about? What burning, unanswered questions do you have about languages, language learning, memory or any other related topics?
posted by sdis on May 19, 2013 - 37 answers

What is the best non-fiction book for kids in your field of study/work?

My kids (currently 6 and 9) have become voracious readers. We have a large and varied collection of excellent fiction for them, but the non-fiction collection is more haphazard. They love learning new facts as they read (the type of thing that makes them look up from the book and say, "Did you know...?"). I want to make sure that the collection of books gives them a good introduction to fields where I myself may not have enough knowledge to judge the quality/accuracy of the book. So what's the kid's book in your field that makes you say, "If only every kid got to read this book, people would understand [topic] better."? [more inside]
posted by winston on May 18, 2013 - 19 answers

I can FizzBuzz! Where do I go from here?

I am teaching myself how to program. But there seems to be a big gap between intro courses/resources (CodeCademy, O'Reilly books, Learn X the Hard Way) and Actually Doing Things. Help me figure out a road plan? [more inside]
posted by Phire on May 6, 2013 - 16 answers

Who should I send early copies of my book to?

I'm writing a book about language learning and the science of memory for a major publisher. We're a couple months away from sending galley copies around to various people for blurbs and reviews, and they've asked me for input as to who might be interested. So! Who should read this thing? Name some people who, if you saw their name on the back of a science-y book on language learning and memory, you'd buy it.
posted by sdis on May 4, 2013 - 20 answers

How can I relearn high school subjects?

I want to relearn algebra, chemistry, basic mechanics, and basic physics this summer. For free? [more inside]
posted by Grandysaur on Apr 25, 2013 - 12 answers

Help me name my book!

I'm writing a book for a major publisher on language learning, and we're currently in the process of figuring out/fighting over a title+subtitle(+sub-subtitle) combo. Here's the issue: the book crosses two genres. Originally, it was simply a how-to book, with a step-by-step method for learning any language quickly. But over the course of writing and researching it, it's turned into a discussion about the science of memory and learning, how we learn languages, why we generally don't succeed at learning them in school, and what to do differently. It's become interesting, not just on a how-to level, but on an intellectual how-do-our-brains-work sort of level. This is great news from an audience standpoint – we've added a whole new potential audience (people who aren't looking for a how-to-learn-a-language book, but *are* interested in how their brains work) – but it's very tricky from a title standpoint. How do you choose a title that conveys the How-to nature of the book and the How-your-brain-works part at the same time? [more inside]
posted by sdis on Apr 17, 2013 - 14 answers

Head start for the advanced learner

My almost 3 y.o. has been accepted into the head start program in the summer. Will they be able to work with him as an advanced learner? [more inside]
posted by kristymcj on Apr 4, 2013 - 12 answers

Help keep a wannabe autodidact on track!

So, I really like learning new stuff and spend a fair bit of my spare time reading. If I won the euromillions I'd retire and spend the rest of my life at uni. In the real world, I have to keep paying rent/eating, so have been exploring MIT's open courseware - writing essays will give a focus to my reading and structure my repsonses to it more effectively, but it ends there. The feedback on my thoughts and arguments a lecturer would give me, or points to improve on, are still missing. This is what I need help with! [more inside]
posted by abbagoochie on Apr 2, 2013 - 8 answers

I have to take a video-based course. This is not how I best learn. Help!

I am taking an on-line course that is mostly video-based. This is not the best way for me to learn. I am falling very behind and struggling with it. More inside. [more inside]
posted by JoannaC on Mar 27, 2013 - 11 answers

What's the point of getting fit if I can't go out and injure myself?

I've recently finally gotten really fit and in shape, after spending most of my 27 years...not doing that. I've been looking for something local and athletic to do, both for fun and for fitness, but since I haven't played sports since I was 12 or so, my skills are lacking. However, all the local instruction is oriented towards youth, so I turn to you folk for aid. How can an sports newb adult learn how to play? [more inside]
posted by Punkey on Mar 20, 2013 - 25 answers

Help me learn more about the labor and leftist movements via audio

I'd like to learn more about the history of the left, particularly the far left, particularly as it relates to me, a late-20's north american male. I'd love to learn more about the left, labor, unions, communism, socialism, labor laws, etc., particularly in what factors and machinations gave and took away rights and freedoms. Here's the kicker - I'm really, really hoping to find them in audio format so I can learn while I exercise. Audiobooks, podcasts, lectures, etc. [more inside]
posted by rebent on Mar 8, 2013 - 8 answers

I want to see what my code is doing

I am taking an entry-level college class in programming. We are using Javascript "playground" that works within a web browser. I am a visual learner and the textbook and exercises are useless to me. We're only six weeks in and I'm in the weeds. Is there a tool that shows what exactly is happening at each step in the Javascript code? [more inside]
posted by crosten on Feb 27, 2013 - 15 answers

What are the "beginner pianist" cliche songs and melodies?

I'm looking to compile a list of those piano songs that "everybody" learns because they are simple, memorable, or good skill builders. Any genre is acceptable. [more inside]
posted by davey_darling on Feb 15, 2013 - 21 answers

There's learning additional skillsets. And then there's my ethics.

Want to up my game as a vegan baker, but feel weird about going to a pastry school that doesn't use ingredients common to my chosen field. A few snowflakes inside. [more inside]
posted by Kitteh on Feb 13, 2013 - 14 answers

How best to improve my written and spoken Spanish skills in 6 months?

Ayudeme a decir a la gente que tienen alta presion arterial. [more inside]
posted by queens86 on Feb 6, 2013 - 21 answers

Name my university learning blog

Looking for a descriptive and short name for a blog about university study. Save me from bad puns and opaque acronyms! [more inside]
posted by Paragon on Jan 29, 2013 - 12 answers

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