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#MicroblogMondays 20: Learn Something

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.


Back in college, retirees used to come in the summer and audit classes as part of an elderhostel.  I told myself that when I was older, I would go spend time at colleges around the world and learn new things just for the sake of learning them.

And I still plan to do that, but there is this huge sea of time between the end of graduate school and the start of my retirement, and I’ve been trying to fill it.  While I don’t have the time right now to go to a local college and take a class, I am deeply interested in things like Coursera that allow you to take college classes from afar.

I’m currently devoting this year to learning a new computer language.

What would you want to learn if you had the time and guidance?


Are you also doing #MicroblogMondays? Add your link below. The list will be open until Tuesday morning. Link to the post itself, not your blog URL. (Don’t know what that means? Please read the three rules on this post to understand the difference between a permalink to a post and a blog’s main URL.) Only personal blogs can be added to the list. I will remove any posts that are connected to businesses or are sponsored posts.

1. Deboshree 18. Rachel 35. Daryl
2. No Baby Ruth 19. Isabelle 36. Dubliner in Deutschland
3. Karen (River Run Dry) 20. Solo Mama 37. Mali (No Kidding in NZ)
4. Uma S 21. Emma (Muddy Boots & Diamonds) 38. Cynthia Samuels
5. Sadie 22. Unpregnant Chicken 39. Lisa
6. Jen (Days of Grace) 23. Lizzy 40. Junebug
7. Vinitha 24. Shailaja 41. Laurel Regan @ Alphabet Salad
8. Looking for a Little 25. Stacie 42. My Path To Mommyhood (Jess)
9. Anks 26. Cristy 43. Pamelal
10. Just Heather 27. S 44. m. (the maybe baby)
11. Persnickety 28. Shail 45. torthú il
12. Middle Girl 29. Waiting for Baby 46. Rachel
13. Loribeth (The Road Less Travelled) 30. My New Normal 47. deathstar
14. Eryn (A Glimpse Into Eryn’s World) 31. Non Sequitur Chica 48. Kasey
15. Turia 32. Ke Anne
16. Mary Francis 33. Liz
17. earthandink 34. Tara



1 Deboshree { 01.12.15 at 5:19 am }

If I had the time, I would learn to play the piano. I plan to make some time for this someday. 🙂

2 No Baby Ruth { 01.12.15 at 6:06 am }

I’ve actually just embarked on a journey to learn to quilt. I inherited an old quilt top from my grandmother and it’s just inspired me to make a go of it.

3 UmaS { 01.12.15 at 6:36 am }

I would love to go for some serious baking classes, esp breads !

4 Karen (River Run Dry) { 01.12.15 at 6:36 am }

Oh, gosh, what WOULDN’T I want to learn? I want to learn how to play the piano. I want to learn how to write a book – really learn the nuts and bolts of structure and plot and character development. I’d love to learn another language, like French or Italian. I’d love to study psychology.

I LOVE SCHOOL. Seriously, if I could audit classes and get paid for it for the rest of my life… I’d do it. I wish there was a profession like that. 🙂

5 Vinitha { 01.12.15 at 6:49 am }

OH!! I have plans to learn so many things. I have all set with coursera. I want to learn more on android. I started learning Spanish. I am yet to join for Karate. I am not going to embarass myself with all my “plans”. 🙂

6 Reb { 01.12.15 at 7:12 am }

I’m still in grad school, but I’m picking up Portuguese on the side, just for fun. There are so many things that I want to learn… One of the biggest is learning more about the financial world and investing, and another is learning more about computers.

7 anks { 01.12.15 at 7:21 am }

I would love to do a formal course in creative writing… just to test my creativity and to find my voice!

8 Catwoman73 { 01.12.15 at 7:34 am }

I want to learn classical guitar. I already play the piano and clarinet, and can muddle through on flute, cello and violin, but I am desperate to learn classical guitar.

9 JustHeather { 01.12.15 at 7:39 am }

I’ve wanted to learn Russian or Chinese for a while, but just haven’t gotten to it. Part of the issue is/was that here in Finland, it is most likely taught via Finnish and when I was in school my Finnish skills weren’t so good.
There are “community colleges” here that you can take classes from (no need to audit as there are no grades) and I have taken some from them: paper making , glass (tiffany and melted glass), ceramics, dream catcher… and will take more from them as I find ones that fit my schedule and desires. Some are 1 day or weekend courses and others are a semester long.

10 Middle Girl { 01.12.15 at 7:47 am }

Fascinating question for a Monday morning! I am going to learn Spanish and try to reawaken my French. And then there is music: theory, piano, and guitar.

11 Persnickety { 01.12.15 at 7:52 am }

Many many things. Languages would be interesting, but I really want horticulture and biology (or as my brain supplied it- herbology). I find the restoration and rebuilding of destroyed landscapes and ecologies interesting.

12 Eryn { 01.12.15 at 8:33 am }

Oooo, a new computer language would be good! My goal is to learn more about running a successful blog (cliche I know!) and to learn more about running a successful etsy shop!

13 loribeth { 01.12.15 at 8:54 am }

I do have some time now, so I guess I don’t have an excuse! lol I am going to look for a yoga class shortly, and I have been considering getting certified through the Editors Association of Canada as prep for a possible freelancing business. I’d also like to take some cooking courses and broaden our menus, although that could be a minefield with my tomato allergy. :p There’s a university nearby that offers free tuition for people over 60 — both dh & I still have a while to wait or that, but it’s something we both think we might take advantage of.

14 Katherine A { 01.12.15 at 8:58 am }

I really want to be more proficient at Spanish.

However, speaking realistically, what I would really like to do is audit some courses at a good college on various literature that I didn’t get a chance to cover in my undergraduate degree. So many books, so little time. I would love to take a course looking at, for example, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s works exclusively. One of the things that I just sighed over was one year I was reviewing the J-term offerings for my alma mater (the school does at 3.5 week short term in January that allows students to travel or take a course unrelated to their major just for the learning experience/fun) and one of the English professors was offering a course on J.R.R. Tolkien which I would have loved to take.

15 Turia { 01.12.15 at 9:00 am }

I am a permanent student. Finishing the PhD has just made it easier to start thinking about all the other things I want to learn! I want to get back to piano (I took lessons as a child but quit and now I regret that). I want to get my French back up to speed. I want to take a course on photography to help me get the most out of my camera (I muddle along but am still afraid to go fully manual). I’d like to take some child development classes. There’s a uni in our city that offers a certificate in publishing that I’m intrigued by. Financial stuff. Knitting. There’s so much!

16 Jen { 01.12.15 at 9:07 am }

I would love to learn to cook tasty meals and wow-factor treats. Making things in a cookery school with a big white professional cooking seems much more exciting than cooking at home.

17 MC { 01.12.15 at 9:32 am }

I had a very awesome prof in university (computer science), who used to say that learning a new programming language can be done in around a week, as long as you have a good foundation in computer science. And I have found that to be mostly true. So if you have a whole year to devote to this, I would strongly recommend starting with a computer science fundamentals course (or two) on Coursera. Once you are comfortable with the theory/concepts behind it, picking up a new language should be fairly easy.

18 earthandink { 01.12.15 at 9:47 am }

The next in line to learn is the ukulele. I need it for a project I’m working on. At the same time: self-publishing. There’s a long list, actually!

19 Shail { 01.12.15 at 9:49 am }

Oh I’d love to learn new languages! 🙂

20 Rachel { 01.12.15 at 10:08 am }

Languages! I would improve my French, and then I would learn Spanish, Latin, German and I would love to learn Russian.

I have a friend who does stuff through courseera a lot. She quite enjoys it. I truly believe that when people stop learning and doing, is when they die. You age so fast once you stop learning and doing. So when I retire I plan to go back to school to take anything that interests me… just to keep me on my toes mentally and physically.

21 Isabelle { 01.12.15 at 10:29 am }

I would LOVE to relearn French. I used to be fluent…. and I totally lost it. And I would love to speak Mandarin well. I can fake it… but I just guess my consonants sometimes. Languages are hard!

22 Cristy { 01.12.15 at 12:08 pm }

I’m learning a lot at the moment through teaching (though it makes sense, who knew as a child?). Currently reading “Endless Forms Most Beautiful” and thinking a LOT about shapes in the world surrounding us.

23 Sharon { 01.12.15 at 12:13 pm }

So many things! I took piano lessons for a while and would love to resume if I had the time; I’d also like to learn the guitar. I would also like to master organic chemistry, which confounded me as an undergraduate, because it is the only academic subject I ever found myself unable to master.

24 SRB { 01.12.15 at 12:15 pm }

Love this. Always been a dream of mine. I’d like to take things I am both wildly interesting in (neuroscience, history) and things I know next to nothing about (physics, economics). In Paris, of course.

25 SuzannaCatherine { 01.12.15 at 1:39 pm }

This is such a great question! I’ve been thinking of doing something like this for awhile now. One of my greatest regrets is not continuing my formal education. I have always been interested in science (archeology and paleontology), psychology and the studies of apes and chimpanzees (and how much humans and apes have in common). As a teenager I read everything I could about Jane Goodall and the Leakeys. That has desire to learn about these disciplines has never waned. I love reading about these subjects and would certainly audit related courses. I’m also am fascinated by all things related to the exploration of the universe and Darwin’s discoveries regarding evolution.
However, as you can tell, what I REALLY need is a course in concise writing techniques!
Thank you for reminding me that all these things are available “out there” – and that I’m the right age to benefit from programs geared to retirees.

26 nonsequiturchica { 01.12.15 at 2:19 pm }

I would like to work on my Spanish. I have had fits and starts since graduating high school but the knowledge always goes away because I don’t use it.

27 Valery Valentina { 01.12.15 at 3:40 pm }

First aid course! (and find out if I really could have been a doctor)
And I started following a blog from someone teaching formal logic (I think) it sounds like magic meets grammar, and I’m intrigued.
It is somewhere in England, and I might just pick up piano and knitting while there.
I wish my DP wasn’t devoting 7 nights/week to learning new programming languages and application development suites though…

28 Valery Valentina { 01.12.15 at 3:52 pm }

ohh, I forgot dancing! ballroom, latin, jazz ballet.
(Not sure if I would want another chance to break my brain over learning the math for a two armed spiral shaped star system)

29 DublinGal { 01.12.15 at 4:49 pm }

I think I would study psychology, because I’d love to learn more about what makes people tick!

30 Mali { 01.12.15 at 5:33 pm }

Languages! Love languages. I’ve dabbled in several, but for travel purposes want to work on my largely self-taught Spanish, and brush up my Mandarin as well. I’ve been procrastinating the last year – because we’re not travelling at the moment, I don’t know which one to focus on! (What a stupid reason to procrastinate.)

31 Cynthia Samuels { 01.12.15 at 6:00 pm }

I love this question! I want to know too many things and haven’t found a way to discipline myself to just one at a time. Definitely learning from traveling to new places is and will continue to be huge, but shockingly I think I’d like to study Jewish stuff – writings, rules and prophecy.

32 Lisa { 01.12.15 at 6:34 pm }

I like to learn languages. So far I’ve learned German, Swedish, Turkish, Spanish, Swahili and French to various levels. The tricky thing is that you really need people around to speak them with for them to cement firmly in your mind, so online learning isn’t the best. And when your mind is cluttered with half a dozen half-learned languages it is easy to pull the right word out from the wrong language when practicing with people.

33 Junebug { 01.12.15 at 7:00 pm }

I decided to learn Mandarin this year and pay homage to my daughter’s heritage. We both started last Saturday and I am so excited.

34 Laurel Regan { 01.12.15 at 8:31 pm }

I wish I had the time, money, energy, and brainpower to carry on with learning both French and Italian (Italian, if I had to pick just one). And upgrade my web design skills. And learn graphic design. And take piano lessons again. And learn to paint. And, and, and…!

35 Jess { 01.12.15 at 9:58 pm }

Hmmm, so many things to learn! I bet my husband (engineer that he is) would pee his pants if I said I was going to learn a new computer language. I’m impressed! I think I would take a class in pottery, like the wheeled kind. I don’t know if it’s because of “Ghost,” but that always seemed so therapeutic and beautiful and tactile as a process and an art. And I am not so much an artist, so it would be a major challenge. History classes might be interesting, too, as now that I teach and I support all the subjects I am enthralled by the way history is taught now and think I might have liked it had I taken it now instead of 20+ years ago.

36 m. { 01.12.15 at 10:02 pm }

Awesome question. I would love to re-learn Spanish, Polish, Russian, French. This one time, I could actually string a few words together in another language. That skills seems to have completely vanished. 🙁

Oh, Jess – pottery sounds cool too!

Sidenote: M’s grandma did elderhostel for years after her husband passed away and before she had a stroke and she LOVED it. Made tons of friends, traveled the globe. I think it is an excellent thing to keep on your to do list.

37 Jamie { 01.12.15 at 11:56 pm }

I’ve been trying to refresh my Spanish speaking skills through Duolingo. I might try French. I’d love to learn calligraphy, how to fly a plane or be more proficient in Excel on the computer. It would be fun to take some art classes.

38 torthuil { 01.13.15 at 12:56 am }

Tons of stuff. Get really good at playing musical instruments (or at least, better than I am now). Learn more kinds of dancing. Learn how to make (good-ish) movies on the computer.

39 Shailaja V { 01.13.15 at 10:21 am }

I love the idea of learning something new and I always promise myself I will do it some day. Perhaps learn to speak another language? I am not sure though. Where is the time? Ah…

40 Lindz { 01.13.15 at 11:22 am }

I’d love to learn Korean. DH’s family is Korean and his grandmother doesn’t speak any English. I’d love to be able to actually communicate with her the next time we visit.

Beyond that, an actual creative writing class would be fun. Or stepping far out of my STEM comfort zone and learning anthropology or sociology.

41 Lori Lavender Luz { 01.13.15 at 1:52 pm }



I’ll be thinking about this as I go about my day.

42 Kasey { 01.13.15 at 6:32 pm }

Being in grad school I can’t begin to answe this question. Currently I’m very much in a place where I’m looking forward to a day where I learn nothing. That might be a little dramatic. I need to come back to this question I. A few years.

43 Ann Z { 01.13.15 at 8:12 pm }

I just finished an EdX course on the neuroscience of vision. It was interesting, both from the perspective of being interested in vision, but also in being interested in online learning. I would totally take another online course like that if there were a topic I wanted to take. Though I think I’ll take a bit of a break first. I started to resent having to watch the videos and do the problem sets by the end.

I’d love to take courses in meteorology, sustainable agriculture, and food science.

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