I've been a professional writer all my working life--non-fiction: newspapers, national magazines, books, tv--and now that I'm semi-retired I'm attempting to learn a new skill. Painting. It's thrilling to see the world in a new way and I love it. The instructor is delightful: accomplished and generous with praise. I've taken her beginners' course and learned a lot--by my subjective eye, I went from worst in the class to second best. Now I'm in the follow-up course. But I'm not very good yet and nearly all the 15 or so others in this class have painted for years or have taken lots of courses, and they're embarrassingly far ahead of me. I know that I must "compete" only with myself. I know that I can advance only at my own pace and that should be fine. But I want to learn faster! I want to be the best! I'm reading books, and practicing outside class, and messing around with different paints and colors and substrates, and that helps. Is there anything else I might do that would help me learn faster? Tips? Reading? Materials? Just practicepracticepractice? See, I don't even know enough yet to ask a clear and concrete question. Mefi artists, can you show me the way?
I would love to learn Autodesk 3ds Max (my goal is to use it for 3d architectural and product visualization) and Adobe Premiere Pro (I need to study the technical aspects of editing and hopefully move on to other offline and online NLEs). I fear at this point in my life, it might be too late to embark on such career-changing endeavors, especially that the learning curves for both these programs are reputably steep. What is the easiest and best way to learn these programs, and can I do it on my own? [more inside]
I make an effort to visit art museums very regularly. I love art! How can I make the most out of my visit? I would also welcome suggestions for how to get more out of the books I read and films I watch. [more inside]
I am in a "Learn ALL the things!" mode, and also in the mood to collect books to put on shelves. I am looking for clear-consensus best introductory guides to, well, everything. I've just finished "Bobby Fisher Teaches Chess" and am now knee deep into K&R's "C Programming Language", and have Mark Rippetoe's "Starting Strength" and "Zinn and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance" under my belt. Which introductory guides to your areas of interest are the most informative and accurate and engaging?
I majored in CompSci. I have 7 years of programming experience. I spent 2 years coding in Java. But then I took a break from programming, which lasted for about 5 years, and now I'd like some hand-holding while I'm finding my way back. [more inside]
I have the unexpected opportunity to devote time to an online course of study for the next one to two years at no cost (I'll still be working my fulltime job, though). Rather than provide guidance and potentially narrow the responses, I'd like to know what specific course of study you would take in this instance and why. [more inside]
What kind of projects have you followed where the author's goal is to teach someone something every week for 52 weeks? I'm particularly looking for the once a week format for a fixed amount of time. [more inside]
Asking for a Montessori teacher friend: Can anyone help me find a quote about learning to read? It likens the task of reading to an acrobatic task. I can't remember the origin and haven't been able to come up with a single clue. It's just the perfect way to sum up the "reading process system" which is a boring way to say all the stuff that happens in your brain when you read. I need it for a reading workshop on Saturday. Thanks!
That's basically it - I'm not finding any reviews online. Has anyone else taken it? [more inside]
What are some ways by which you keep current in your professional field? How do you find ways to put your education to use and to continue learning? [more inside]
So, I recently got selected to do undergraduate physics research this summer. Great! Awesome! Yay me! However, my research advisor has asked me to use something called IDL to analyze tomographic images of compounds and turn them into 3D images. This is good news, because IDL is used a lot by astronomers to analyze astronomical data, and I want to continue my education in astronomy. But, I've never used IDL ever before. I'm not even sure exactly what it is (a programming language?). My question is this: how do I get up to speed so that I can hit the ground running with my research? Difficulty: Research begins in two weeks. Details: [more inside]
Has anyone ever experienced a reduction in their motivation and drive? If so, what things have you done to try and change it? In the past, my motivation has been influenced by pain and fear, but that doesn't seem like the most useful way of staying motivated at least that is what my friends have told me. On the same topic, does anyone have any book recommendations or movies that have helped them get motivated again?
What are real-life examples of experiences that are 'shortcuts' to accomplishing something, even though they might be very difficult because of the required intensity? For example, military training supposedly develops a kind of physical and mental discipline that would take a civilian longer to acquire. Rapid learning techniques that allow someone to learn several languages faster than most people learn one is another example. What are others?
I need to return to my French language oral fluency by mid-October. What are your best tips and tricks to resuscitate your language skills? Websites? Podcasts? Structured systems? [more inside]
I'm looking for a study which investigated college faculty's perception of an average student in science classrooms. [more inside]
Please help me figure out what direction my career could or should move in, based on my current job as Product Manager, my skills, and my strengths. [more inside]
What are some strategies to keep the mind in its best condition to learn, retain, and recall as we age? Its much harder and psychologically daunting for me to keep "fresh" than it was just a few years ago. How do I halt the decline or improve the situation? [more inside]
Hi, folks. Through work and study, I achieved fluency in Spanish. In my current job, I was hired to do bilingual work, but I have had very little opportunity to speak Spanish for about six months. I'm worried I may be forgetting Spanish, which is really very bad for me on many levels. Please help me find a few ways to keep in touch with the language. [more inside]
I want to learn SPSS. What are my options? [more inside]
I have been out of the HTML game since CSS came on the scene, (yeah, that long.) and I need to develop it as a skill set. I could use some suggestions for reading material that'll get me there quickly. [more inside]
What are some situations where you can be paid--WELL--to learn a new skill? I'd like information about specific programs, not vague things like "internships" or "apprenticeships." By well-paying, I guess let's go with at least $25K/yearly.
My ignorance of science and engineering concepts, procedures, and methods of calculation is holding me back from tackling a whole mess of fun stuff. But what fields am I even interested in, and how can I learn more? Where do I begin? [more inside]
Is there a book or a research article (or high quality speculation) to be found, which would ponder how frequent bombarding with "surveillance is a good thing" comments (appearing in media and made by some kind of authority) and "yet another security flaw appeared in a mobile application, in a web service or in a department of a company" news (which would happen to some high profile and well known company) affects kids and youngsters? I mean their mind is still shaping, so it would be interesting to know in advance, what kind of adults will they become? Naturally the mind of an individual is shaping throughout the whole lifetime, but it could be said that there are lots of people, who aren't or will not be very good at getting rid of their "old programming".
After my grandma lost her shit with me last night, she's calmed down enough to admit to my father today that she feels like I can be really condescending sometimes. Eek. This is a piece that I want to work on improving, while I'm also learning to be much more on guard whenever I'm around my grandma. Can you help me be less of an annoyingly (unintentionally) condescending/smug person? Ugh. The worst. [more inside]
I am a university student who takes french as a minor alongside law. My law essays are well received, and even when I miss the mark on the question my professors say I have expressed myself and written a good essay. In french, the opposite is true. I'm struggling with basic structure and linking of my ideas in this second language. Any help or advice? [more inside]
My apologies for this very convoluted question...tl;dr: I guess I'm asking how people deal with taking notes from books, not just on the book's content and structure etc, but mapping bodies of literatures mentioned in those books. I would love to hear if you have a system that works for you. More after the jump. [more inside]
I need to learn about financial instruments and trading at an intermediate level. I have a basic, 101-type understanding of how CDOs and CDS-es work and what hedging is, but I need to get to the next level, because I'm still getting lost in conversations where people are talking about complex synthetic CDO strategies, delta hedging, correlation trading, ABCP, and similar topics. Is there a book I can read, a course I can take online, anything you can recommend I do to start getting much more comfortable with this securities stuff at a high level? Thanks in advance for your help!
I'd love to do more urban/travel sketching with watercolors and ink, and I'm pretty new to art. How do I learn to do it better? More inside! [more inside]
I'm trying to make language learning a daily habit on my bus commute, and looking for tips on making it work. [more inside]
I've recently become interested in machine learning and want to know some good resources for a beginner! [more inside]
How do you balance "life" (ie. full-time work, family, chores etc) with hobbies/projects that can't be done in short time periods or occasional bursts of action, but require a longer sustained activity? [more inside]
I'm looking for a keyboard that a) lets me play along to lit-up keys and b) allows me to either add my own music for it to decipher or tell it which keys I want to light up when I play a song. [more inside]
I have some very basic French language skills, and I would like to develop them to the level of working proficiency over the next few months (I am prepared to study hard). I am enrolled in a class and have a tutor. What are some other resources (preferably free ones) that I can work with my own time in order to accelerate my learning as much as possible? [more inside]
Hi Mefi Community, I would like to apply for an MFT grad program but feel a huge block when it comes to the personal statement, as well as the letter of reference(s). One of my recommenders has asked that I draft the letter of reference and he will approve it after review, but I've never actually even seen one of these before, so do not know where to begin! [more inside]
My mum got a shiny new camera. It has dials and buttons and beeps now and then. Understandably, it's all so confusing. Help! [more inside]
Brushing up...and doing things correctly with my new computer...help out an oldster! [more inside]
I have an electric, piano-weighted keyboard that I want to learn how to play. I can't afford lessons right now. It has MIDI in and out connectors. Is there a hardware/software combo that will take that MIDI out connection, plug it into an Android or iOS tablet, and provide a more interactive teaching experience? [more inside]
I'm looking for flashcard software for my Mac, with several caveats. I'd like to create the decks as text files and sync them with Dropbox, like you can with Flashcards Deluxe. If there's a Mac app that will use the same files as Flashcards Deluxe, that would be perfect. Thanks!
I am looking for adult-oriented iOS apps that will help improve my math skills. [more inside]
What's a mnemonic I can use to remember the difference between probation and parole? [more inside]
Tell me about awesome 1 week (or so) classes, courses, workshops, retreats, festivals, tours, activities, etc. I'm looking for a solo vacation in the continental US for 2014 (active but not super fit 40s single female here) where I can learn something or do something. Like I went to surf camp once, went to a dude ranch, rafted the grand canyon, took canyoneering classes, took photoghraphy workshops, etc. Mefi collective brainstorming session? All ideas welcome! [more inside]
How would I go about programming a map which would fill-in an area with color when a question was answered correctly? [more inside]
I am a moderately skilled cook, I rarely make mistakes or destroy meals and there are few dishes I do really well ( mostly roast related). I know my around around knives, understand the basic chemistry and flavor profiles going on, and can keep a large amount of things going at different speeds and heat until everything is ready. Since I've come into some free time, I'd like to up my game, go from moderate to skilled home-cooking of weekday staples to more difficult, labor intense, fussy, and visually appealing cooking. How do I go from " Beef daub served with fresh bread" to "slices of brandy soaked pears and quince elegantly arranged around applewood smoked tenderloin in a lavender sauce."? What should I be looking at, reading, listening to, and practicing? [more inside]
How do you describe the basic concepts of a difficult subject you know a lot about that makes it "click" for a beginner? [more inside]
What is "electric potential"? I've dug through the internet, gone to tutoring, asked my teacher, and nothing has helped. [more inside]
What's the system for learning and following the rules that's described by the numbers one, two, and three in what I think is an Asian language? [more inside]
I would like to start learning how to draw, after 16 years of stick figures. I am keeping a sketchbook to practice in frequently, but I was wondering if anyone had some good resources for jump-starting my artistic development (there are overwhelmingly many such resources on the Internet). I am also interested in general modern art, metal art, sculpting, lithography, and photography. Thanks in advance! ^_^
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]
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]
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]