I made it through the school year! Finals are done and the weather is sunny (at least once in a while) and it’s summertime.
I’ve been busy figuring out what my summer is going to look like – I can probably plan on a whole lot of readin’ and writin’ (we need to handle our financial situation, are we a nation of states? What’s the state of our nation?).
This is what I’ve been up to:
I’ve been fascinated by coding for a while, but I’ve only ever circled around it, because I have this idea in my head that because I like being outside, I can’t also like computers.
That’s right, Dwight. Don’t put yourself in a box.
So I’ve been doing this program called freeCodeCamp, which takes you through the basics and then through the not-so-basics. It’s totally free, and I even get a certificate at the end! Plus you end up building apps for nonprofits, so it’s a win-win.
Then there’s the actual reading and writing:
Books! This summer I want to do some more serious reading, since I won’t be drowning in schoolwork. I have a stack of theology books from my dad, as well as biographies and nonfiction science and psychology books, and some classic lit to round things out. A few upcoming highlights:
- A Summary of Christian Doctrine, by Edward W. A. Koehler – this one is pretty much just the basics of what my church believes and why. Possibly dry, but very very important.
- Thinking in Numbers: On Life, Love, Meaning, and Math, by Daniel Tammett – I’ve always felt like there’s a mathematical order to the whole world, one that would amaze us with its beauty if only we could comprehend it. I’m hoping this book explores that idea a little.
- Elements of Ecology, 8th ed. – An old textbook of mine that I want to go over more closely. As is evident from this entire post, apparently I have some perverse wish to put myself back in school as soon as I get out of it.
- Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow – The book that inspired Hamilton. I am not throwing away my shot.
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey – McMurphy v. Nurse Ratched. It’s about to go down.
There will be many, many more books, I’m sure. Those are just the ones I’m excited about right now. And don’t worry, I’ll work plenty of easier reading in there too.
Other things happening: I’ve been watching Daredevil! It’s so fantastic – Matt Murdock making jokes about being blind is everything I didn’t know I needed.
I’m also trying to get TEFL certified this summer. (TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language.) After I graduate I want to live abroad and teach English for a while, so this would be a step in that direction!
I’ve got a lot of plans, and I know that everything might not happen. But I just… I want to make the most of this summer. I want to grow and think and learn things I can use to help others.
In the first episode of Daredevil, the final scene shows all the wretched, wretched sin that’s going on in New York. People being shot, beat up, kidnapped… and this is juxtaposed with Matt pounding away at his punching bag. And ultimately, it’s hopeful, because you know that Matt is training for what’s out there, and then he’s going to go after it and he’s going to stop it.
Obviously, I’m not going to learn martial arts and take down the Russian mob. But. I do think that I have gifts I can use, if I can just be disciplined and patient and dedicated enough to hone them. I think I could do some good things.
I want to use this summer to get better, because I am not throwing away my shot.