I wasn’t a very good student in high school. I got decent test scores, but a pretty weak GPA. If I could go back and do it again, I think I’d handle things much differently. However, the way you need to learn in high school is much different than how I learn now, and I think I prefer the casual pace that I’m allowed to take today.
For example, earlier this year I decided I wanted to learn more of the periodic table. I wasn’t particularly worried about all of the details like the atomic number for each, but just keeping track of things like Cadmium=Cd while Calcium=Ca would be nice.
There are 118 elements, so learning them back and forth meant that it was 236 things to remember (“Ca is Calcium”, but also “Calcium is Ca”). There’s no test next week or anything, so I was able to take it slow and just work on two per day for about four months using Anki (and this shared deck) — it added virtually no time to my daily routine, and now I know all of those.
As I shared in my “1,000 days of Anki” post last year, this didn’t create a new task for me every day. Just in among my normal card review there’d be a couple of periodic table cards. As I shared before, “this” Mickey had the idea to learn the periodic table, but then I let the “other” Mickey have to do the learning. It’s a neat way to view things.
If I was back in school having to learn them quickly for chemistry class, I’d have to rush a bit more — it’s unlikely I could cruise for four months slowly picking up a few each day. At this stage in my life, though, it’s nice to be able to desire to learn something new, toss some cards in Anki, and magically have that new knowledge on hand in a few months.
The question is, what do I want to learn next?