One of the biggest ways to set myself up would be to go into this project with no accountability. I am not about to hire teachers, or have the ability to enter into a degree program with the purpose of "teach me everything i should have already learned. " So there are limited options here.
I think the easiest way to hold myself accountable would be to have some way to measure my progress by having a clear objective goal. That means testing. Just as with Lisa Simpson, I need some objective measure of my knowledge. In steps the Educational Testing Service. When I was about to graduate from college, I had absolutely no idea about what I was going to do. I was well on my way to getting a degree in Econ, but despite the fact that it sounds like a pragmatic degree, it quickly became apparent, that it was anything but pragmatic. No employer gave a shit about the fact that I could discuss utility curves and the concept of "stagflation." I had already freaked out in my 3rd year and ran away from a philosphy major for fear that I was going to be lost in abstraction, and would never be able to apply Kant's Critique of Judgement in a way that could support myself.
With graduation imminent, I thought my one way out of unemployment and a fate of knocking on doors trying to sell people on a pyramid scheme (an actual interview i had), grad school was going to be my way out. I registered for the GRE and took the basic test. I had no idea what area of graduate studies I was going to pursue, and I had an innate fear of following in my parents' footsteps, and so I hadn't taken any of the subject tests. Thankfully, I never had to use my score (I did well, but that wasn't the point as i couldn't apply for a graduate program in "verbal skills") as the tech boom was on, my learned ability to turn on a computer landed me a job post-college.
So what was the point of that digression? My plan of accountability and progress, is to sign up and re-take the GRE. And not just the Basic GRE which tests verbal skills, (which as a lawyer i hope mine haven't gone downhill), but also for a variety of subject tests. I whave decided to take the biology, biochem, chemistry, mathematics, physics and literature subject exams.
I don't plan on taking all of the subject tests at the same time, but in order to make this worthwhile, I am going to try and sign up for 2 tests at a time. I am also NOT going to study or use GRE specific materials. The entire point of this project is to actually teach myself these subjects and not just learn a subject for purposes of taking a test.
The exams are given out 3 times a year, April, October, and November. There is no way I can be ready for the exams by October or November, so I am going to plan for an April exam for my first 2 tests.
Afterwards, I am hoping I can get the next 2 in October or November. And then my one year anniversay will be for the final 2 subjects. This will hopefully mean that in 1 year and 7 months i will have learned 6 "elementary" subjects.
What am I leaving out
Computer Science and Psychology. Despite having taken a couple of comp sci courses, I never really learned computer science, and never took any psych classes, so I am leaving them out as subjects for now.
What am I going to tackle first?
I think I am going to focus on:
Mathematics & Literature
Chemistry and Physics
Biochemistry, Mol Biology and Biology
Textbooks, texbooks, Textbooks and Books.
I have many of my college text books, but not all. I do work at a University, and i get a campus discount, though i can also easily look for used text books as well.
Luckily i have friends and family who teach and involved in many of these subject areas. I am going to try and get them on board, and ask them to periodically devise ways to make sure I am actually understanding what it is that i am learning.
The purpose of this blog
I hope to use this as a sort of experment logbook. I don't expect much of an audience, but I do want a means to record what it is that I am doing. I also hope that the mere existence of this blog will serve as a means of accountability.
Right now, my plan is to try and score in the top 25%, or better than 75 percentile for all the subject areas. This may be too ambitious, but I would love to try.