Monday, August 26

Quarter-Life-Crisis Homeschooling

Continuing from Unemployment 101

Class Ideas. Part one.

Select a few of the courses below for your semester-ly (or quarterly) schedule. Each of those "courses" should then be attempted for between 30 minutes and one hour at least two to three times per week. Just pick one or two of the suggestions -- or make your own -- to try for each "course".
Take the weekends off :)

Course Name: Employment 101
Description: Since my biggest problem right now is my lack of job (or real job, for that matter), a good place to start, even though I don't want to, is on learning how to get a job. I really hate tutorials on resume building, job interviews, etc. But part of me knows that if I never learn this stuff, I will remain stagnant. So let's get learning about work.

Syllabus Ideas:
*Use online job search resource pages:'s Career Advice
Career Builders
Huffington Post
Remember, not all advice will apply to you. Keep learning.
*Google search "How to become a ____" and fill in with your desired profession.
*Buy (and read!) the resources that deal with your profession. This could be manuals, histories, how-tos or biographies. For me this would probably be Style Guides, Writer's Markets, and books on editing/editors. My beau has a large collection of books on typography and design.
*Find local resources. Many cities and universities have a surprising amount of resources for people looking for work, beyond just unemployment and long lines at state job networks. Look them up in your area!
*Field Trip! Go out and look! This week, if I can drag myself out of my apartment, I'm hoping to go to a local job network meeting. I don't really think it'll get me a job-- because I don't actually  have a skill set (thanks college)-- but I do see it as a step forward.

Course Name: International Languages
Description: It's not a secret that knowing another language is not only cool, it opens up doors for you, whether they're social, in traveling, or your career. Being bilingual looks really good on a resume, and can be just fun.
Though I grew up in a multi-racial family, I was too lazy as a child to learn spanish, and now I'm just bad at it thanks to a terrible memory. But I also have never tried hard enough.
Admitting that is step one. Step two is getting started. Step three is not quitting. Step four is learning.

Syllabus Ideas:
Have rosetta stone? Awesome! An available tutor (or friend, family, etc)? Sweet! Otherwise, do some research! There are plenty of sites that have videos or learning tools to help start the basics.

My tool of choice will be Babbel, a wonderful, (almost) free resource online and on an app that lets you learn (almost) whatever language you want.
The app is completely free (from what I've seen) but the website is not. After using the app off and on for a month, I'm only now looking at the website, which seems to have trials but not full access for free; so stick with the app.
That's okay, though, because the app is awesome. You go through lessons of word listings where you're given pictures of the words, you hear the pronunciation, and you then repeat the words so it can judge how you're doing. Then there are mini activities to help you get used to the words and how they're used, and in the main menu there's also a Review program that goes through a certain number of the words you've done (can be repetitive) to help your memorization. So far the only thing it seems to be lacking is sentence structure, but if it doesn't come up, you can look that up or get a children's learning book to help.
Watch out for some of the pronunciation, though. This is Spanish spanish (as in, from Spain) and some things can be tricky/different. One example is juice, which, in most of the hispanic world is "jugo" (who-go), but in Spain is apparently "zumo", but with the Spaniard lisp, is pronounced "thoo-mo". I tend to fail that one, but luckily I already knew jugo.

Course Name: Gym
Description: Seriously. We need to exercise. The fact that I have this time to do anything, but no motivation to go to my gym which is a) within walking distance (like 20 feet) and b) free (!), my excuses are poor and pathetic. So it's time to get moving! Different from Recess in that it focuses on moving with a purpose instead of general play (we'll get to that later), Gym should consist of exercise that clears your mind, makes you sweat, and builds your body. Exercise can help you lose weight, stay healthy, fight stress (and illness), and even help you sleep. Cut your excuses and get moving.

Syllabus Ideas:
*Get to the gym. Whether its a free gym or not, going to the gym gives you really no choice: you're there, so work out. Use motivational apps like Zombies, Run! ($6) to get you started on something (treadmill, in this case- you can start out walking until you build stamina) and work your way up slowly.
*Field Trip. Take a $5 zumba class or something, or find local groups that offer donation based classes (my city has tai-chi, but i haven't found anything else). Just doing one will make you feel better -- more active, more social, more energized -- even if you can't do more than that.
*Play! Use games like Just Dance, Dance Central, or Wii Fit or Kinect Training to get some exercise in your own home while having fun (and not having to worry about looking bad.
*Use your environment. Have a pool nearby? Swim laps. Live near a mountain? Go or a hike. Got a bike? Use it! Don't let what you have go to waste.
*Stretch. A simple Gym course can be just 30 minutes of simple stretching. It seems like a lot, but find a Stretching Routine that you like, spend at least one minute in each pose, with some minute breaks in between, and you'll feel more flexible, healthy, and relaxed when you finish. 
*Oh, don't forget abut sex. There are a lot of different statistics about how many calories sexual activity can burn, from a tiny bit to a whopping workout. That doesn't really matter all that much. Sex is healthy and does, in one way or another, burn calories and get your body moving. So make it heavy and make it last, and you've got a workout to begin or end your Gym class.

Course Name: Recess
Description: Where Gym class is about getting sweaty and fit, Recess is a time for fun. Active fun, that is. At school, there are no computers, no movies, no games, no couches. But there also doesn't have to be treadmills or long distance sprints, weights or aerobics. Recess is about fun, laid back activity that gets you moving in a much less strenuous way, and encourages fun/happiness a little more than fitness.

Syllabus Ideas:
* Take a walk around the block. Your block or someone else's. Park? Downtown? Anywhere. To take up time, you can start with five minutes of stretching, a 20-25 minute walk, then five more minutes stretching to cool down. Enjoy your surroundings.
* Play with your pet. Inside or out, just 15 minutes of playtime can improve your emotional and physical health.
* Play with friends. Whether it's Frisbee at the park or swimming at the pool, any time spend moving about outside is a good activity. Or get someone to play tennis or basketball with. Don't have friends? Find out if your community has an intramural/casual sports team. I used to live in a park area where twenty-somethings got together to play kickball or ultimate frisbee. No commitments and social activity makes it a win.
*Go to the park and play on the jungle gyms. Monkey bars, climbing walls, and anything you climb through, over, or under can make you feel active and silly and fun. This is more fun if you have someone to be silly with you. **You might want to go to an empty one to avoid looking like a creeper.
* Play games! Twister. TV Tag. Racing. Simon Says. Jump Rope. Make like a kid and find someone to play games with!

Next time; FYI Sciences, Art, Home Ec, History Appreciation, Nutrition for Beginners, and Sex Ed!

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