On December 19, 2012 my dad took a break from hurting his brain learning Python to text me: “I almost seriously want you to quit your job and co-learn with me for a while.”
I replied “!!!”
After 3-weeks of adventuring through SE Asia and the turning of a new year I decided that I didn’t need to quit. But I did need to give myself the gift of time to learn a few of the things I wanted to learn and to work on side projects that I struggled to fit into nights and weekends.
So I decided to take what I call a “personal learning leave”. For the months of July & August I treated learning & side projects like a full-time job. And for two days every week, I co-learned with my dad. We alternated between my loft in the Mission and his garden in Marin. We kicked off our sessions with a (usually) homemade lunch & discussion about mind augmentation tools or the evolution of Western philosophy. Our afternoons were dominated by code — either the conceptual complexities of Python (Classes! I understand Classes and Object Oriented Programming now!!!) or the tactile tangible trial-and-error of electronics (from breadboards to soldering our own circuit boards!).
There is so much I need to document… the process of being a beginner & learning new skills, the questions I explored, the things I built, the syllabus my dad created and curated for me, my advice for learning programming, the synthesis of how these 2 months re-programmed my mind and showed me new ways to think…
But first I will start with how I approached these 2 months: I identified projects to work on, habits to cultivate, and new skills to learn.