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Old Dog, New Tricks

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by The Village Idiot, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. The Village Idiot

    The Village Idiot
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    Porn Worthy, Bitches

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    Kind of a follow up on the what you wish you could do thread.

    I've recently decided to try to get better at some things I've wanted to excel at over my lifetime. So I decided to get lessons for guitar and golf.

    My wife says they I'm doing well, she sees/hears a major difference. I don't see it because I'm doing it everyday, and incremental changes are often difficult to see. A lot of my learning at this age is unlearning bad habits that I've developed. It seems like it would have been so much easier if I had done this when I was younger and didn't have all this baggage holding me back.

    Focus: Do you feel that being older is a detriment to learning new things? Have you recently tried to learn something new? How is it going? Do you think you would have picked it up much easier if you were younger?

    Alt Focus: Give us your stories about your retardedness in learning new things. I've got plenty, but I'll get to that later.
     
  2. Blue Dog

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    I like to cook. I'm not the best, but I like to cook, and I do it all the time. Like, every single day I'm the person in our house that cooks every meal. Breakfast, lunch (when we're home), and dinner- they're all done by me.

    I'm also the one who does all of our grocery shopping. Since I'm the one that cooks, I go and buy what I need every week after planning my menus.

    I've always considered myself pretty knowledgeable, too, when it came to food & cooking. I've read books/blogs/meat charts/whatever in an effort to learn more about the subject, as well as ways in which I might improve my cooking techniques. If you're going to do something you enjoy, you might was well work your best to be good at it, right?

    You want to know how retarded I am? I just realized within the past month that not all ground beef is the same thing. Oh, I've always understood that they have different fat contents (80/20, 90/10, etc.), but I literally have always thought that the ground beef that comes in a tube for $3.00/lb was the same thing as the hamburger meat served in restaurants.

    I had honestly never even considered that it'd be different. I can't explain why, other than to say that I'm a friggin idiot. It was right there in front of me every time I went to the store- they have ground sirloin, ground chuck, ground round, what have you- and my brain just never processed it. I would just automatically buy the first/cheapest kind I saw (labeled only as "ground beef") that was <20% fat content, and then spend the following evening wondering why my burgers didn't taste as good as I could experience elsewhere.

    I have no excuse, but there it is. I are dumb.
     
  3. TJMax

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    I've been talking about exercising and getting in shape since the old board. I got a positive rep about it there, saying "good going, you're taking the bull by the horns!"... Except I wasn't, I was all talk. Six or seven years later, I've finally joined a gym. I'm about to turn 39, and have never physically bettered myself in my life. This will either end in me having a six pack and LA9 booty calls, or just accelerate my impending heart attack, or possibly both.
     
  4. TJMax

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    From rep:
    Actually, I'm a fat skinny person. I was underweight my whole life until just before I turn 30, when almost overnight (over a month, maybe) I gained 20+ pounds in my gut. Now I'm at 155, which is fine for being 5'9", but my body fat percentage has to be something atrocious. Both the numerator and denominator of my blood pressure are good for stage 1 hypertension. I look skinny, and I guess I am, but that's a fortunate genetic accident for me; I should be the fattest fucking 'Murican waddling around Walmart.

    Focus: Another new trick for this old dog to learn: Eating right? I can't cook to save my life, and willpower-wise I can resist the urge until I see ooooh deep fried transfats! (om-nomnomnom)
     
  5. McSmallstuff

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    Kind of in the same vein. I'm just starting to defat myself. And I'm just now realizing how woefully ignorant I am about healthy eating and exercise. At one point in my life I was 265 lbs of damned near pure muscle. I had something in the neighborhood of 5-8 percent body fat. However I ate horribly. I ate two gigantic meals of whatever, sounded good because my coaches wanted me to bulk up. And my senior year in high school when I wanted to lose weight I simply starved myself. Now that my weight and body are my own responsibility I'm finding out I know very little about making healthy choices but I'm learning more every day.

    Much like my diet I don't really know how to put together a good exercise plan. When all your work outs are dictated by a team of people who's entire job is to make fast strong violent people, faster stronger and more able to visit violence on others you don't ask questions you just do what they say so you can go experience college life.

    Ultimately I would kill for the resources, and knowledge of my old college coaching staff. But acquiring a new set of skills and knowledge is immensely satisfying.
     
  6. jrm

    jrm
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    There are two things that I spend most of my time thinking about: travel and sport.

    I'll watch pretty much any sport, especially live. I'm thirty-three now and my biggest regret in life is having never been a professional sportsman, well, attempting to become a professional sportsman I suppose.

    I've quite a few very good attributes but I was completely turned off organised sport by my school. It was heavily focused on sport but the sort of sports that the public at large didn't give a toss about. I thought this was ridiculous and a reflection on the elitist nature of the school. As part of my teenage rebellion I refused to be selected for the first team and instead played for fun with the children who didn't care.

    My favourite sport is ice hockey and until I was thirty I'd been skating a sum total of about three times. Then I moved to Finland and ended up skating about twelve hours a week. I get the whole not noticing incremental changes thing but with hockey and skating each time I went I found myself being able to do things I couldn't do before, or stopping players who would have breezed past me easily a week or so earlier.

    I'm fine with playing pick up games or beer leagues now, but it's frustrating that I didn't have the right attitude when I was younger.

    My other passion is travel, and I've really enjoyed learning languages. It's only English that I speak fluently, but at there are a handful that I've been at conversational level. Being able to tell a cute Russian in her native language that you've been to her home town has its advantages.

    I read a really interesting article on language learning a few weeks ago that aimed to dispel the conventional wisdom that children learn languages more easily than adults. The research quoted showed that children had two advantages: the first being that they have no option but to learn them and the second being that they don't have fear of being incorrect. It's so easy to just speak English a lot of the time and it's understandable to lack the confidence to attempt to communicate in a language you know you're not very good at.
     
  7. Roxanne

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    I think being older is a detriment to learning new things because everything is geared toward kids. So what if I want to be the only 26-year-old at a pony camp designed for 7-year-olds? I WANT TO LEARN ABOUT PONIES TOO, DAMMIT.

    Seriously though, internships, work studies, summer camps, you can't do any of that shit when you're an adult. You just have to figure it out yourself, and who wants to do that?
     
  8. katokoch

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    Focus: I've simply been losing the free time that could be dedicated to learning as I get older. I'm working more, traveling more on weekends (too. many. weddings.), and trying to become a responsible adult in general means the free time I used to learn and play with is dramatically diminished at times. I get more free time in the winter months but the season also limits what I can do.

    I wish I had the time this summer to really improve myself with some different rifle shooting disciplines and figure out some new woodworking and wood finishing techniques, but the time I'd use for that feels like it has been sucked up dry thanks to priorities I've set.
     
  9. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal
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    I'm going to college at night for a trade, I have been for the last year and a half and it's going well. I think its pretty much never too late learn new things or start over, especially if its something you believe you'll either like or catch onto fast. Hell, if I had enough money to retire I'd just become a full time student and take interesting university courses-- the ones you WANT to take, instead of career practical.

    The problem with learning something the new is that hump to get over: the push you need to swallow your pride and become a rookie in something again. It sucks being a rookie and not knowing your way around once you become an independent adult-- until you realize everyone sharing the room with you is just as insecure and ignorant as YOU are as to what's going on. I've talked to people my age about going back to school because it SOUNDS like a good idea but they're embarrassed to go back to school. They feel "too old." Huh?? Why would anybody talk down about somebody trying to learn something fresh and exciting? It beats moving sideways if you're not happy with how things are.

    I also think travel and vacation is VERY important. Don't become some shut-in afraid to see what's out there. Both drive AND fly. Flying gets you places, but I never got to see Touchdown Jesus from an airplane. May he rest in peace. My parents took me everywhere throughout the U.S. as kid right up into my teens, I've seen MUCH more of that country that my own. Now I want to start touring it again now I have a family of my own. I want to check out China and other Euro cities and I'd love to see Moscow some day if Russia ever ceases to suck. Like my parents, the benefit of having only one child is the ability to travel quicker and more often (in this year's supirise trip she is being cultured at Disney). I also want to check out m OWN country, which I haven't seen that much of, just southern BC, Calgary/Banff, my stupid province and a fraction of Quebec. I want to do a coast-to-coast drive and besides see the natural wonder my home turf dishes out but to also educate myself in the monstrously retarded "Roadside Attractions" Canada has, including a fucking UFO landing pad in Alberta. No shit.
     
  10. Nettdata

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    People's ego and fear of looking "stupid" is the biggest hurdle to get over.

    When you're learning something new, you're going to suck at it at first... because that's how it works. If you do your best to educate yourself, and keep trying and practising, then you're going to get less shitty at it. The more you do it, the better you'll get, until you're actually good at it.

    For some reason there is an expectation that "not young" people have that they shouldn't suck at things. This is wrong.

    Stop wasting energy on feeling embarrassed and being afraid to fail, and just dive in and do it. Revel in your failures, and learn from them. Become a sponge and listen/learn from anyone who has any experience doing what you're trying to learn, regardless of what your ego thinks of their age or relative status to you. Apply some critical thinking to filter the information you're exposed to, learn how to separate good info from bad, and apply the good.

    But get seat time... that's the only way you're going to get better at something.


    I actually have the opposite problem with my younger developers right now... they think their opinion has equal weight as everyone else's, even though they have no experience in the matter at hand, compared to the 10+ years of experience that others in the discussion have. I've had to deal with this head-on by calling them out and pointing out how they have to learn to shut the fuck up and listen and ask questions and not act on their need to share their "opinion" on how they "think" that shit should work. They were a little bit surprised and offended initially, but when I started confronting them, quite publicly, and drilling down into even the most basic concepts and making it painfully obvious to even them just how little they actually knew, they finally grok'd that they are newbs with a lot to learn. They now get that the opinion/input of my senior devs, with lots of subject matter experience, are weighted at 99%, while the newbs' "we should do it like this because I've just thought about it for 10 seconds for the first time ever" is weighted at 1%. We're not all equal.

    In the day of Google, everyone considers themselves an expert after just a cursory glance at some subject. They think their sound-bite level of information on a subject is equal to that of someone with the mythical 10,000 hours invested in the subject.

    We need to stop tolerating that and calling people out on it.