I’m Jennifer; I’m currently a graduate student in medieval literature and a working actor. Thanks to homeschooling, though, I do have a solid background and abiding interest in quantum physics/pure mathematics/statistics/etc., and ‘aspiring rationalist’ is probably the best description I can provide! I found the site through HPMoR.
Current personal projects: learning German and Mandarin, since I already have French/Latin/Spanish/Old English/Old Norse taken care of, and much as I personally enjoy studying historical linguistics and old dead languages, knowing Mandarin would be much more practical (in terms of being able to communicate with the greatest number of people when travelling, doing business, reading articles, etc.)
Hey, another homeschooled person! There seem to be a lot of us here. How was your experience? Mine was the crazy religious type, but I still consider it to have been an overall good thing for my development relative to other feasible options.
My experience was, overall, excellent—although my parents are definitely highly religious. (To be more precise, my father is a pastor, so biology class certainly contained some outdated ideas!) However, I’m in complete agreement—relative to any other possible options, I don’t think I could have gotten a better education (or preparation for postsecondary/graduate studies) any other way.
Yeah, I got taught young earth creationism instead of evolution. But despite this, i think I was better prepared academically than most of my peers.
Me three—I thought I was the only one, where are we all hiding? :)
Your self-description is one of the best arguments for homeschooling I have ever seen or could imagine being made. (See also: Lillian Pierce.)
Welcome to LW, and please keep existing.
Impressive! How do you plan to learn Mandarin? Immersion? Rosetta Stone?
Combination of methods based on what has worked for me in the past with other languages! I’ve used Rosetta Stone before, for French & Spanish, and while it’s definitely got advantages, I (personally—I also know people who love it!) also found it very time-consuming for very little actual learning, and it’s also expensive for what it is.
a) I have enough friends who are either native or fluent speakers of Mandarin that once I’m a little more confident with the basics, I will draft them to help me practice conversation skills :)
b) My university offers inexpensive part-time courses to current students.
c) Lots of reading, textbook exercises, watching films, listening to music, translating/reading newspapers, etc. in the language.
d) I’m planning to go to China to teach English in the not-too-distant future, so while I’d like to have basic communication skills down before I go, immersion will definitely help!