writings of a personal documentarian

I was at my makeshift standing desk in the early morning, summer 2020 in Virginia. After writing lines of python code that I had just learned, I switched to spending fifty minutes on each current study subject: financial terms, French, russian, and study techniques. Then I rewarded myself by dancing to one of my favorite songs. It was my day off from working three jobs & was having so much fun learning. This included writing code, speaking in russian, feeling joy that I finally am learning material that I would practically use in money management, and imagining myself using the travel and points systems that I was learning about.

A few ways I have implemented these accelerated-learning strategies to my own learning projects [in 2020 & in earlier years]:


-wrote down why I am learning russian, python, web development, app development, html, css, study techniques, financial terms
-learned the ‘jobs of the future,’ the hot tech skills, and what skills are wanted the most in a particular type of tech job


-implemented the concept of “meta-learning” [learning how to learn a specific subject] by reading a couple of blog posts and watching a few videos for coding [and more specifically python] before starting to learn it [2020]

-progressing through a project-based course on python which emphasized performing quick feedback loops by way of mini projects and instant self-testing [2020]

-read [and scanned some parts that were not relevant to my ‘why’] David Bach’s “The Automatic Millionaire” page by page & didn’t skip ahead until I’ve solidified the information or practiced it in some way in 2020 [in order to get a holistic overview of finance, not just details]

-I would listen to an International Relations lecture [instruction] as I was walking around downtown Richmond in 2017 [after reviewing the information in a book]
-took a blogging course [as I was writing in my first blog ‘russophile’ documenting my russian language learning in 2016]

-took an ARCore app creation course on ‘Coursera’ through doing worksheets, mini projects, & videos in 2018]
-exposed myself to different explanations & metaphors when I was learning a specific term in python and how to write it [2020, via YouTube videos, blog posts, podcast episodes…]

-when learning about the system of travel rewards points & credit cards, I would consult a lot of different platforms to learn the same information by way of a different perspective [2020 again…videos, posts…]


-performed a practice/feedback loop each time I would write in python code
-used the foreign language words in Skype with my language partners


-practiced with previous lines of code in order to remember the syntax
-reviewed old words in russian after learning new ones that day
-I would say out loud the financial terms, the russian words, and the french words I was learning [“active recall”]

-reviewed russian & french words using spaced-repetition software [Anki] after being exposed to the words in a simple russian learning/french learning YouTube video


-used associative imagery and the words’ sound+image+meaning [“keyword mnemonic”] in order to remember specific financial terms & foreign words
-wrote down this imagery in my notebook and on paper flashcards for later review
A lot of my building skills & knowledge happened in between jobs, in between frustrations, in between pauses of creativity and uncertainty of what I was doing. I feel certain when I am in the process of learning something novel and practically using these principles & in conjunction with what I needed to improve my present situation. There wasn’t any super concrete career changes, but I was learning French after high school because I thought I wanted to do something with the knowledge career-wise, or I was entertaining the idea of getting a job or becoming a freelance python web developer, an app developer, wanting to manage my money better that I was getting from my three streams of income etc. There wasn't any external pressure aside from wanting to get out of my present reality, make more money, have deeper conversations with foreign people. I think that nebulous motivations like these are fine provided that you stick with the subject/strategy that works.