1. Achieve conversational fluency in Danish (B2 proficiency level, in CEFR terminology) by 07/31/2019. 

I have been learning Danish at University for two semesters now. Although I know how to introduce myself to a Dane, ask for directions, and other introductory formalities, I won’t be able to sustain a conversation with a Dane. My professor did a great job at introducing me to the language, however, I feel the need to become more fluent in the language so as to sustain conversations with normal people and enable myself to talk about physics. To achieve this goal, I applied to a summer school in Denmark. And I was accepted. 

Materials: Duolingo, Colloquial Danish (Routledge, 2003), Danish: An Essential Grammar (for grammar reference), The Shamer’s Daughter (2015), Copenhagen (2014), The Danish Girl (2015), and other Danish movies/TV Series. 

Assessment: Attending the summer school and trying to speak Danish instead of English on a daily basis. Plus I shall be trying to vlog about experiences in Denmark in Danish. I’ll link the YouTube channel when it is ready.

2. Achieve conservational fluency in Russian (C1 level) by 09/30/2019.

I have been trying to learn Russian for quite some time now. When I first visited Moscow, Russia in 2015, I realized (pretty fast) that I needed to learn the language to get around the city. Three visits to the capital later, I still haven’t gained conversational fluency yet. I can understand the cyrillic alphabet, write it, introduce myself and do some other introductory things, but, as with Danish, can’t sustain a conversation. I’m taking this challenge to gain fluency in the language and talk about the things I like, in Russian, in front of my friends. 

Materials: Duolingo, Troika (Wiley and Sons, 1996), Learner’s Dictionary - 10,000 Russian Words in Frequency Order (Routledge, 1996), The New Penguin Russian Course (Penguin, 1996), Russian Films/TV Series. 

Assessment: Travelling to Moscow in April, 2020 and vlogging my experiences in Russian.  

3. Read all of Albert Camus’ work by the end of the month (07/31/2019).

I have decided to enrich my knowledge of classical literature and read more. Reading an author a month would help me achieve that goal and acquaint me with the less famous works of the said author, along with the famous ones. The list of authors I will be reading next can be found here. 

Materials: All of Camus’ works. 

Assessment: Writing reviews for each of his works that would be published on the blog. 

4. Complete the following MIT OCW courses by 08/04/2019

A. 18.02, Multivariable Calculus, Fall 2010

B. 8.02T, Electricity and Magnetism, Spring 2005

C. 8.282J, Introduction to Astronomy, Spring 2006

Along with that, I shall be trying to complete the Math 2400 course from the University of Colorado, Boulder to get ready for University.

This challenge would help me get better at astrophysics and understand my field a whole lot better. MIT OCW is a great resource for pursuing some tailored courses with video lectures, exams and readings. My goal would be to get two-three courses done each week until I complete all active courses in Math and Physics, and selected courses in Chemistry, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Mechanical Engineering and Nuclear Science and Engineering. 

Assessment: Completing all the assignments and the exams and publishing a selected portion on the website. 

5.  Complete Astroparticle Physics by Claus Grupen, G. Cowan, S.Eidelman and T. Stroh (Springer, 2005) by 08/30/2019

This challenge is like the MIT OCW one. It will help me get better at astrophysics. I plan on finishing books in my field every two months (or the sooner I can complete them) to become a better astrophysicist. 

Materials: Astroparticle Physics

Assessment: Complete at the problems in the book and publish a few of them on the website. 

6. Run 2.5 miles everyday for the rest of the month (and the rest of the year). 

This isn’t really a challenge along the lines of education, but it’ll certainly help me learn better and keep me in good shape. 

Materials: Me and a running tracker

Assessment: Post my running statistics on the blog on the first of every month. 

Join me in this adventure and create your own challenges. You don’t have to do 6 challenges like I am doing, you need to do just 3. Create a challenge and post it down in the comments below or on Instagram @rethought_official. Reddit community is on its way and will be up very soon.

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