18 Sep 2013

KEEP BUSY!

By Ezim Osai,
Wednesday, September 18 2013

An idle mind is the devil’s workshop
-My mommy

 

Today I want to write on a couple of things we can do with our free time during this “compulsory” holiday ASUU/FG has sent majority of us on. I know this article is a bit late but better late than never, right?
The first thing I advise and which I did myself is to learn a new language. There are a handful of government and privately owned language schools across the country and they do offer streamlined courses. If you cannot afford to enrol at a language school, there are resources on the internet you can use.  Personally, I am using MIT streamlined open freeware for Mandarin Chinese which is expected to run for around 4-8 months. It would be wise to learn international languages like Chinese, French, Latin, Spanish or even Dutch and German.
The beautiful thing about learning languages is that they are fun to learn and that they have practical uses anywhere and they also add value to us.
The next thing I would advise for someone who is a techie like me is to learn a new programming language. Like regular languages, programming languages have different uses and functions and there are some that are so simple that even students of the classics and humanities can grab them within a few weeks. Over the course of the strike I have successfully completed a course in HTML and begun another in CSS (These are programming languages used to create webpages). For those of us interested in creation of applications, there is the popular Java and C language. Javascript, Ruby, XML, Joomla and MySQL are also programming languages worth taking a look at. We could take them in a computer school or take them online like I am doing, the choice is yours. Programming languages add value to us and give us practical skills that can be applied in our day to day activities. The beautiful thing about them is that one can start making money using them while still learning. Awesome!, right?
Another thing I would suggest is to embrace self empowerment through vocations. This could be sewing, catering or anything we can do with our hands. There is also make-up artistry and hairdressing, bead making and wire-works and Jewellery fabrication too. There are a lot of beauty schools and vocational institutions across the country and if we do not want to attend those, there is a wealth of tutorial videos on Youtube which is highly accessible to anyone willing to learn. Although acquiring skills to master a vocation can take quite some time, there is a huge market for it and the cash will come eventually. I would have loved to learn one myself but as it is I am already engaged in a number of courses.
We can also learn computer-based skills like graphic designing, music/sound production, video editing or AUTOCAD designs. Most of these skills require specialized software which can be bought from our software dealers or downloaded online. They can be learnt in computer schools or online as well. Also, there are training programs and crash courses being organized around the country for these purposes.
If none of these work for you, get a job!
Well, this is all I can advise for now that will give you value for your money and not take too long to achieve. It all depends on what we are most comfortable with and what we have an affinity for. The ASUU strike could be called off at anytime, and school activities would commence; some of us will come back with a couple of more skills while some of us would come back with nothing to show for the now two-month long break. There is no time like the present and like they say “No knowledge is lost"



Ezim Osai is a 200L Physics major at the University of Ibadan. A Taoist and a Christian, he loves Cooking, Travelling, Reading, Writing, and loves to absorb nature.

2 comments:

  1. You can find a link to MIT open courseware here. http://wiki.9jeducation.org/resource-center/e-learning.

    Since I'm a techie, I feel obliged to give a thumbs up to some of the technologies listed in this article.

    HTML/CSS: always useful as both help shape how content is consumed online
    Java: the object oriented programming language that showed the world that thinking in objects is really cool. Remains a big player in industry.
    Ruby: Really cool language and supposedly boosts programmer efficiency because it's easy to express logic using ruby. If you rock at ruby, you might want to holler at konga.com's development team. Have it on good authority use quite a bit of ruby to run their online e-commerce platform.
    SQL is used in relational databases to store and find data. MySQL is a great database to use in learning SQL. It's also free to use (no licensing costs).

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