Growing up, my favorite thing to do on Sundays was to sit on the couch drinking coffee with my Dad, and to read the New York Times together. I think he was truly the first person who really taught me what it meant to be a “lifelong learner”, and has instilled a love of reading in me that will last forever. As a senior in college, rapidly approaching the end of my undergraduate education career, it has struck me that this is potentially the last time I will be required to attend “classes” in the traditional sense of the word. With that said, I realize this doesn’t have to mean the end of my education itself. Therefore, I wanted to make a post on my favorite ways to improve my knowledge of the world, and some current obsessions that fill my days.
Since this blog is focused on my love for urban spaces and technology, I’ll include a few along those lines, but of course, I’ll throw in some other non-related titles as well!
- Walkable City by Jeff Speck
- Happy City by Charles Montgomery
- These two titles above relate greatly to urban planning, as well as engineering, policy, and just living in American cities and towns in general. I find myself both angry and inspired at the same time while reading them.
Dear Ijeawele, Or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- This book is an amazing look into the feminist approach to life, and is short enough to read cover to cover in an hour or less. It puts a human face on the topic that can be somewhat controversial and explains why we still need it more than ever, even though we have come so far.
This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick
Okay- hear me out. My mom always told me to listen to podcasts or audiobooks and I personally did not get the hype. Yet, here I am recommending podcasts to you on my blog. Turns out she was onto something 🙂 (Hi mom, if you’re reading). As a person who frankly gets bored after five minutes driving, I finally decided to give some a try when I was driving home by myself one weekend. It all starts with finding the right ones for you, and then trust me, you’ll be hooked. I will list a few of my favorites below with their descriptions and maybe you can find one that intrigues you!
- Code Switch: Race & identity, remixed.
- Another Round:
@heavenrants & @brokeymcpoverty cover everything from race and gender to squirrels and mangoes in one boozy podcast.
- Rookie Podcast: Discussing creativity, feminism, pop culture, love, bodies, poetry, candy, and more.
- Parksify: Parksify is all about the social impacts of our cities’ public spaces.
Okay, here is where I start to sound extremely nerdy. Hackathons are one of my favorite methods of learning though, simply because they are able to cram so much into a short amount of time. These are basically 24-hour events (give or take a few), where you are challenged to build something using technology. Whether you are a first-time computer programmer or an expert, there are workshops, teams, and ideas flowing that will benefit you. I highly recommend these to anyone interested in programming or technology, and if you are looking to be inspired to get into these fields, there is no better place. As a woman in this highly male-dominated field, it can be a little intimidating to attend these events at first. My tip is: just think about the hundreds of women you could inspire to jump into this field just by putting yourself out there at an event like this. I will attach links below to learn more about these. Happy hacking!