What have I found out so far? Well, I have engaged in accomplishing 3 projects, to work on creative writing, learn a new language and to develop photography skills. All of these skills I can learn by going back to school and taking certificate courses, or studying on my own.
I initially leaned towards going back to school for a number of reasons. Taking a class meant that you had someone to go to if there was something you did not understand. It meant there was a set deadline to accomplish your tasks, good for when you like to procrastinate. And there were people that you could practice with. Studying on your own gave you the flexibility to study when you had the time, and the desire to do so. But if I got stuck, I was on my own. Or was I? There was always the Internet, the default repository of all the world’s knowledge. And that is where I discovered Meetup (http://www.meetup.com)
Meetup is a site that allows anyone to setup a group for a specific purpose, for a nominal fee. It is free to join the meetup group and there are no obligations other than those that the group itself may have stipulated.
I joined 3 meetup groups to aid me in my quest and set some form of scheduling. One for Spanish speaking, Toastmasters, Outdoor Photography, and Creative Writing. I have not ye attended all of these, to avoid getting overwhelmed, I started with Toastmasters since this will help in developing the skills to think and gather your thoughts. A few weeks later, Spanish Speaking. In about 2 months, I hope to start attending the Creative Writing group. Once all 3 are running smoothly, I will throw in Outdoor Photography.
I have been very satisfied with the use of MeetUp. There really isn’t much to it once you’ve joined a group. You get a support group that almost cost you nothing. You get to meet new people who could become your friends. You find a group of people with different skill sets, some still learning just like you, others are there to practise or share their knowledge and skills.
Go ahead and explore MeetUp. It is not for everybody but you just might be surprised by what you find.
© 2016, Norman Talon. All rights reserved.