these are the posts tagged ‘study’:


about a year ago, i asked here on the blog and on facebook whether anyone wanted to study with me. i was looking to replicate our berlin early morning study sessions on an online format, to help me get out of bed and into study-mode in the early hours of the morning. but no one came along, and i get it: this is not for everyone.

a couple of weeks ago though, someone in habitica mentioned focusmate and it has been the answer to my prayers!

focusmate is a platform that does exactly what i’ve been looking for: you’re paired with another person for a 50 minute video time slot. you talk a bit in the beginning about your goals for the session, and then get to work, only talking again at the end. all the while, you’re doing your thing, the other person is doing their thing, and you’re both quietly being your most productive selves.

as expected, the results have been awesome! not only do i get out of bed extra quickly (there’s someone waiting!), but i’ve also been able to do lots more stuff these past few weeks, including reading about difficult conversations and online communities, studying chinese again… and writing on this blog. :) hurray!

study with me?

back when we were in berlin, we had something called the early morning study sessions. i’ve written about them before, but in short, everyday we’d meet the same friends at the coffee shop around the corner at 7am, studied for an hour and then went home to continue with the rest of our day.

maybe it was the consistency of it, or perhaps the accountability factor, but every morning when the alarm rang i jumped out of bed thinking “our friends will be waiting, we need to go!“. so we went, and it worked beautifully. i learnt more in those months than i had in a long time, just silently reading and taking notes next to our equally absorbed friends.

i miss this morning ritual terribly. there’s still so much that i want to learn and that i never seem to be able to get to. but there are no nice cafés in the village, our closest friends live 20km away… and i know these are just excuses, but i’ll be the first to admit that my self-motivation was never all that great.

so, keeping in mind this is the age of the internet, i propose an experiment: what if you and i got together on skype bright and early (sometime between 6-8 gmt?), and just quietly learned, researched, crafted or worked on our own projects for a bit? maybe everyday, maybe a day or two per week — whatever suits your schedule.

i know this is not for everyone and maybe it sounds a little crazy… but there must be at least one person out there willing to give it a try, right? in any case, i thought i’d ask. if you’re an early riser and there’s something you’d like to make time to study or learn in the morning, let me know — we’ll see if it works! :)

early morning studies

i was always one of those kids who spent the summer vacations counting the days till school started again. the holidays were great, but what i really wanted was new stationery, new teachers, old friends and never-opened books that smelled like new beginnings… and i also wanted to know more – about everything. i like discovering new things, and my favourite method of learning has always been from teachers. good teachers are outstanding storytellers – inspiring and captivating.

because we miss the stimulation that comes with pushing beyond what you know and learning something new, the boy and i have decided to do join some online courses on subjects that we found interesting. he’s learning about finance on coursera, i’ve been listening and taking notes from a berkeley class podcast, on the history of europe. every early morning after breakfast (but before checking our inboxes and to-do lists), we take an hour or so to sit on a nearby café and just learn.

it’s been… refreshing – and not just because of all the things we’re studying. for me, it’s also the realisation that we can do this: we can learn what we want, at our own speed (as long as we are disciplined and make some time for it). no need to go back to school and endure hours of not-so-interesting lectures in order to thrive on those few subjects that you really like. makes me think that the future of education is probably already here.

small victories


yesterday the clerk at the postoffice gave up and spoke to me in chinese (which was better than his english) and a lady in the queue even told me my chinese was good :)

persistence seems to be paying off!