Mr. Charlton Learns from the Internet

Every morning, I start the day with some math problems. No joke. I head over to Khan Academy, log myself in, and for anywhere from 15 minutes to half an hour, I either do math problems or watch videos on how to solve math problems. Now, these aren’t difficult math problems. Right now I’m challenging anything from grade 3 math all the way up to grade 8, and once I’ve mastered all of those, I’ll start back into more advanced stuff from the later stages of high school. In the end, I’m hoping to get a better grasp of mathematics as a whole.

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It just so happens I’m at the quarter mark

What’s really cool about this is the website breaks everything down for you. Fell like you’re ahead of the curve? You can challenge the questions and master the lesson without having to watch a video or practice any problems. Get stumped on some of the homework? You can ask someone about it through the forums. And no matter what choice you make, there are points to be had. Badges to be earned! These people over at Khan Academy have figured out how to get me addicted to learning math!

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PUT THE ACHIEVEMENTS RIGHT INTO MY VEINS!!!

Oh, and it’s not just Khan Academy that’s teaching people new things. There’s Coursera, Udemy, the MIT open courseware (yes, that MIT), I mean, damn, there’s a bunch of websites teaching people a bunch of cool stuff.

The kid in me is ecstatic about learning new things. The cynical adult is a little wary of the whole deal. Because we run into a small issue with many (not all) of the free learning that’s going on over the intertubes; are these skills transferable to the real world?

Obviously, they are, but a lot of these things don’t come with a certificate of any kind. Some of them do offer certification, but then again, are employers willing to….

Willing to….

Oh no. I’m talking about something boring. I read over this and I’m boring the shit out of myself, and I love nothing more than listening to myself talk. Am… am I talking about websites that most people already know about? I mean, at least people who have a regular attention span and don’t spend most of their day drinking by themselves and browsing cat memes.

Christ. Is this what I’ve been reduced to? This is the most interesting thing that’s been going on in my life recently? Oh god, it actually is. Mathematics in the morning has been my little routine for a while now, and that’s the most interesting thing that’s been taking place in Mr. Charlton’s world.

People are traveling the world. I’m seeing pictures of Austrailia, and Thailand, and Denver, and a whole slew of places I’ve never been. Well, except for Denver, I’ve been to Denver. Nice airport. But these people are traveling, and living life to the fullest. The fullest! And here I am, stuck writing about doing morning math problems.

People are having babies. A whole mess of babies! Not that I’m really jealous of that, mind you. Not really a baby guy, never really been interested in the whole ‘trying to replicate part of my genetic strain’ thing. Just not my bag. But babies are interesting, and people seem to be having them. And that’s gotta shake things up a bit. It’s a lot more of a shake up than 15 minutes of arithmatic first thing after a cup of coffee.

You know what? Screw math. I’m also going to shake things up in a big way. Writing is pretty boring to begin with too, you know? Only nerds are reading, anyways, so I’m going to express myself in a dynamic way. Like, like…. music. I’ll become a rockstar. Yeah, that’s sexy.

Can’t really play a music instrument and it seems like a pain in the ass. I need inspiration, some sort of quick fix to make me cool almost instantly and give me the edge to write hit records and become super famous. How did these other rock losers do this? Hold on a sec.

Author’s note: For the next 15 minutes, Mr. Charlton’s house is filled with  the sounds of rummaging, quiet sobbing, the noise a fist makes as it hits a wall, loud sobbing, and a few wild eyed “Eurekas”.

Ok, I’ve got it. It’s heroin. How did I miss that? Instead of an early morning dose of boring old math, I’ll be shooting up some sweet China lily right into the old veins here. It’s what the greats did. People who want to be nerds can do math in the morning. I want to be famous. And it seems like heroin is a great way to start. Screw math. Right now, the only thing going into my body is black tar heroin.

Sincerely,

The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. I remember going to see ‘System of a Down’ a few years ago, when their lead guitarist was going through some of his rougher days. Dude was just wigging out on stage.

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