Daily Archives: 2014-10-30

Learning how to learn :: Bar alone report

Learning how to learn is a funky(and free) course I’ve started recently. Being lean and easy to digest, it doubled number of tricks I know to succeed with new stuff : )

Coursework did not lower my level of excitement, I feel exactly the opposite. I’ll be reporting my experiments to the people as well as will be discovering what are they learning themselves – that naturally fits into my favorite paradigm of project-oriented relationships(or basically doing useful stuff together).

In my most awesome peer assignment ever, I’ll be describing concepts from the course using my Bar Alone Project: I was improving my fluency with having conversations with people I never seen before and here I’ll reflect on the experience.

Stick with a supporting mindset

“Life begins at forty” (c) proverb

You’ve probably seen people being super-easy going and having super nice conversations. Some time ago I’ve learned about introverts and thought I never will be able to talk to people smoothly(at least until I’m forty according to the proverb).

It’s better to have a supporting mindset and the course told me a one. Deliberate learning says that most of the things can be learned by practicing enough(and I think by making enough mistakes).

social skills

My first day was super important in terms of kicking off with the whole adventure. As an engineer, I’ve started with researching existing studies in the field. I was reading a lot about what people can do in a bar, what types of bars are there, movie scenes etc. Although, this strategy helped me a lot in the past, it just delayed me from entering a bar now. Welcome to einstellung – a type of mind trap where by having a particular hammer in my head, I was seeing nails everywhere.

Beat procrastination with something simple

I could have spent ages in this known and pleasant state(you’ve probably heard about the procrastination), but then I’ve decided to kick start myself with something real simple. I was just supposed to get into a bar and just buy myself a drink. No expectations, no strings attached – nothing to worry about. That helped a lot. Generalizing the idea – it’s easier(and more pleasant) to be focused on small step(one at a time) and thus a process. The end product of the multitude of steps will come naturally.

Rinse and repeat

Although, my first experience was really exciting(making me feel like I should party 7 days in a row), better results in learning(and in this case in preserving state of my liver) can be achieved by spacing repetitions of a thing you’re trying to master. Neural pathways take time to be formed and the more you use your newly formed connections, the more persistent they will be. Probably that’s why I remember just nothing from my university – everything was learned just the last moment ^_^

TL;DR: Learning is fun and easy

Spending <10 hours for the course(yay 2x video replay speed!), I learned how to be more productive with learning. I already have 4 additional learnings activities 3 of which(driving, sailing, French) are nicely covered by AnkiWeb / AnkiDroid(basically cards in your phone for spaced repetitions) and time sponsored by the public transit system ^_^


P.S. Yes, I’ve found a date, though that’s a completely different story : )