One of the ideas that has been percolating around my brain for quite sometime now is the title of this post: Learning Outside the Classroom. In my work as a teaching assistant, talking with my classmates, thinking about future jobs and internships, this theme of learning outside of the classroom keeps coming up. I know that for me personally, I don’t do enough learning outside of the classroom though I intend to.

As an example I bought myself a Raspberri Pi 2 for Christmas last year to monkey around with but it is still in the box. I have everything I need to get it up and running because I bought a complete kit from Adafruit and I even have several project ideas for it, yet it is still in the box. This is what I do.

So with the knowledge that I would have 3 weeks during winter break where I would have orders of magnitude more free time I came up with a list of things I wanted to learn, learn more about, or accomplish during the break.

2015 winter break list

Some of these I have worked on. This post is published on my new website that was built using Jekyll. This post and my first post were both written in Emacs using Markdown.

Some of these items I have not yet accomplished. Practicing and eventually switching to the Colemak layout is a long term process and I haven’t done much to learn more SQL or LaTeX these last 2 weeks.

I am interested in all of the things on my list. Some of them, will benefit me in the coming semester. Some of them are related to the The Utah Robotic Mining Project or to CPUofU which are student groups to which I belong. I believe that working through the items on this list will help me become a better programmer. Being exposed to different tools, ideas, methodologies, paradigms, programmers, and projects can only be a good thing.

Perhaps I have been a bit too ambitious in the number of things I put on the list. There is certainly no way I canould accomplish all of them in the 3 weeks I have off of school, but I have learned a tremendous amount so far. Additionally, I will continue to work on all of these things after the break, I just won’t have as much free time to do so.