Learning Online (So Much Choice)

I recently wrote about going back to school but I’ve also been browsing different methods of online learning that are offered these days. I’m a big fan of (of course) using YouTube, and almost everything you could ever possibly want to learn is on there – but sometimes I’d also like something a bit more structured, or I want something where I can see in depth reviews. To that end, I’ve looked into two popular ‘learning’ platforms, Udemy, and Skillshare. Both do almost exactly the same thing, offer ‘classes’ for people that typically have a cost associated with it. With Skillshare it’s subscription based, you can access any of their lessons for a fee ($20 CAD or there abouts) each month. Once your subscription ends, you lose access. In fact I can’t even browse skillshare without an activated subscription which I find really annoying. They do offer 30 days free, but I’ve used mine up.

For Udemy, you purchase each class individually. You own access to that class for as long as you need it, and you can learn at your own pace without keeping an active subscription. The classes are much more expensive – but – they also have frequent sales. One example is the classes I purchased above, they were 85% off, and less than $20 each. I have absolutely no issue paying people for their time when they’re teaching me something but I obviously do prefer to just purchase a class outright so I can constantly use it instead of using a subscription. If one class takes me three months to complete and I’m paying $20 a month, vs. that same class costing $20 outright – well, it’s easy to see why I made the choice to just stick with Udemy.

I love that there are these (and other) options out there. I love that teaching, and learning, is promoted. It doesn’t have to be for everyone, but it’s something I personally like to make use of and I’m just so thankful that technology has allowed for this to happen. Of course there are good classes and bad ones, and free ones and expensive ones, so figuring out WHAT to take and WHERE to take it is always a challenge – do your research. If you’re good at self motivating and creating your own schedules, it’s definitely something I recommend.

Leveling up In BDO

I’ve continued to play BDO this month alternating between my two accounts every 30 days so that I can remain on the Olvia servers (no PvP happens there). My winter season character (a dark knight) is level 58 and just finished the chenga tome quest. Next I’ll work my way to 61 by using some of the very popular leveling guides, and I’ll attempt to finish off my season pass. When 30 days have passed, I’ll swap back over to my other account, and continue playing the season there. All in all I’m pretty happy with my progress, life skills are moving, though some certainly move faster than others. I still have not even touched hunting yet, mostly because I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it or be any good at it. I hear it’s pretty annoying. Still, it’s on ‘the list’.

I’ve done a lot of AFK fishing, afk combat, and cooking. Alchemy is something I’m really interested in, but getting components is annoying. I haven’t started doing too much trading on this second account, but I made up for that with bartering which levels VERY slowly. In fact after 23 barter trips, I’m still at beginner 2. Ouch.

I’m excited about the new winter zone being added, and while I can see how people would experience burnout and want to play different games, I’m still enjoying myself and trudging along. Maybe when I reach guru in all of my life skills I’ll want to take a break. Until then..

Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

You are NEVER too old to learn

I recently made the decision to go back to school – at 40. There were a lot of factors that weighed in on this decision but one of them was simply that I love to learn, and I never had the opportunity when I was younger due to the cost. I moved out when I was 16 and paying for a university education was not in the cards. Now that I’m older, some things (financially) are easier, while other things (time) are more difficult.

My kid was diagnosed with autism as well as global developmental delay at age three. His disabilities require care and help for life, and it’s a full time job. Due to our isolated posting I’ve been managing on my own with the help of my husband of course, but eventually we’ll have more resources available to us (I hope). If anything should ever happen to my first responder husband, I want to have skills readily available that I can use to get into the work force and provide for my family. I want to get these skills now, and not be rushed to get them later when I’m going to have more than enough on my plate.

I’m starting off with classes in French, the basics. I already know some basics but it has been years since I was in a classroom situation doing anything official. In Canada French is the official second language. These courses can ladder to a BA with a focus on French, or I can just continue forward taking certificate programs. Or I can decide on a completely different path, and those courses will work towards credits.

At the same time I’ve also picked up a bunch of Udemy classes on sale for some back pocket learning.

These programs don’t offer any certificates but they should still give me some skills (minus the digital painting one, that one is just for me for relaxation hobbies). I just feel better when I’m learning. I like the structure, I like the organization, I enjoy using new notebooks and pens to take notes. Even if I never really focus on anything, I think it’s important to keep pushing forward in that way. I’m not sure if everyone else is the same in that regard, but it’s almost like a bit of self care. Investing in myself. Believing in myself. I wish things could have been different back when I was a kid, but that doesn’t mean I want to just give up on myself. I love my children, and I love taking care of them – but there’s more to me than just that.

2021 DailyCreative in Review

After taking a few days to think about it, I finally picked a new project to start for 2022. This time around I’m using up some handspun to create a scarf. I plan on using a few different skeins I have, and creating a slight fade between the two of them that I hope works out. I don’t have enough of any handspun to knit an entire scarf, but I do have three skeins that will work very well together (or so I hope). The pattern looks lovely, and I’m already enjoying the progress.

2021 wasn’t as knit heavy as I would have liked, but I did get three major projects done. I finished off my Silver Bell Sweater, I knit an amazing shawl, and I completed my Cable Crush Hoodie (that I love on so many levels). I also did a handful of smaller projects like socks, christmas balls, and dish cloths. I did not learn any new techniques, and I didn’t get to do as much sock knitting as I would have liked. I did get a bit of spinning done, but again not as much as I wanted. Being evacuated in the summer ate up a chunk of time, as did the issues with my hands I continue to have. Some days as much as I’d LIKE to knit, I just can’t. I’m still coming to terms with that even though it’s difficult.

In 2021 I had a loose goal of knitting 12 projects, one for each month – and I completed this. I’m not sure if I want to have the same goal in 2022, or if I just want to knit and see where it takes me. I might even do a bit of crochet. I do hope I get a lot of spinning done, I have so much amazing fiber just sitting there, it deserves to get showcased.

In non fiber crafts, I want to keep drawing. I might do more with miniatures, but I think my days of cross stitching are pretty limited. My eyes (and hands) just can’t seem to keep up. It’s a shame because I have a LOT of supplies, but for now I’m not going to pressure myself. I would like to continue sewing, but again I’m not really sure where to go with that. I had thought quilting would be neat, but it’s also complicated, and seems expensive. I guess we’ll just have to see!

Final Project for 2021 – Completed

One of my major goals for this month was to finish my Cable Crush Hoodie – and I did it! I love it. The yarn cost me a total of about $25 from a KnitPicks sale last year. I knit a 2XL – and I love every inch of it. I can’t wait to see what 2022 brings. Right now, I have zero WIP on the go, and it feels odd, because I think every year prior I’ve always had something on my needles to finish off.

So here’s to 2022 and everything it brings.

I’ll Packa my Alpaca

Even though the adorable alpaca mounts are temporary (we hope that they will release a permanent version once the new winter zone releases for good) of course I had to rush right out and do some ice fishing to collect one.

It was a quest I don’t ever want to do again.

You grab a fishing rod from Crio in Velia, and then you head SE a ways into the bush where you settle down to do some ice fishing. When you catch a fish you physically move your mouse around in circles, either clockwise or counter clockwise depending on which way the reel has to go. You’re supposed to keep the fish in the center of some marking and move both clockwise and counterclockwise as the fish moves – but it’s REALLY difficult and sore on the wrist. My only tip is to move from your shoulder to prolong the issues you’re going to encounter.

You have to catch two of each type of fish. There are three. It took me 30 attempts and then some. Each rod only has 30 attempts, so I had to run all of the way back, grab another rod, and continue trying to fish.

There was nothing fun about this quest.

That being said, my Shai does look absolutely adorable riding her Alpaca – and it’s also incredibly slow so the chances of me actually using it are pretty slim, besides the fact that this version of it will be vanishing in February, so I’m not even really sure what the point was.

Picture of course for cuteness.

Let’s Go Sailing

It was time. I bought myself a boat from the central market, and I wanted to teach myself how to barter. From the start, it’s pretty simple. Under the life tab of the UI you have a barter screen. On it you’ll see different objects listed, starting with one that comes from on land. It’s usually node obtained or harvested or something like that. I think my first one was some red stones. You take a number of those red stones (or 6x the amount listed, as you can typically complete 6 of those particular trades) and look to see who is accepting them. Then you sail out there and they give you another item in return for your trade. You take that item, look at the list again, and sail to the next location. In BDO there are 5 trades, and then you can either sell the final item for silver or you can exchange it for crow coins.

Coins can be spent on various things and you get the picture of how this works. After 21 trades I’m still at beginner 2 bartering, which is pretty low. I did a bunch of sailing quests and I’m at skilled four for that, at least. There are dailies (also known by players as sailies) to do that will help you get that sailing experience, and you earn some for riding around where the map doesn’t work.

I have a lot of work ahead of me. I dedicated storage space to a few islands so I can drop off excess barter items (you are limited by the weight your boat can carry, so you may not be able to perform every transaction that you have access to) and I unlocked a lot of trade nodes at least. It is one of my least favourite life skills so far, but it might get better in time, I’m not sure.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Winter Season has Started!

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make this season. Originally I went with a ranger, wanting to try out a ranged class. Playing the class didn’t feel fluid and I only got to around level 23 before deleting and deciding on a Dark Knight, instead. This lady swings a 2h sword like she’s been doing it since birth, and I feel very fluid (much like the lahn, another class I really love to play) and is a more defensive play style instead of evasion where I need to run around dodging. Right now she’s level 50, progressing through the story and enchanting armour just like seasons gone by. It turns out that I never completed the season on my first (older) account, even though I’ve participated in TWO seasons now. Third time is the charm, right? I hope to complete everything this round and still have time to get it done on my second (newer) account as well.

The plan is to let each account lapse for 30 days before returning so that I can continue to play on the Olvia servers and avoid PvP. It may seem a bit strange to spread myself between two completely different accounts, but it’s working out well for me so far, and I just focus on that one account for the month without really missing the one I’m not playing. The game has so much to do that there hasn’t been a lot of overlap for me, and I’m enjoying not having to worry about people taking down my ships/characters when I randomly AFK.

I’m hoping this gives me the confidence I need to get into bartering and sailing. Two skills I have very little experience in.

As always, we’ll see how it goes. Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Weather Systems

One of the (many) things I love about Black Desert Online, is their dynamic weather systems. It’s winter right now, and the rain that used to show up on maps has given way to snow. The towns are not always covered in snow, just like they were not always covered in rain – but when a system passes through, the towns are absolutely beautiful. I wish more games had this sort of dynamic weather in place.

Merry Christmas

Thank you all so much for joining me here in my little corner of the internet. Merry Christmas, everyone. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

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