The northern hemisphere’s tradition of school summer vacation is a weird anachronism, partly an expression of the 19th century belief that too much education could literally strain the brain. But in one respect that Victorian belief was correct: without regular exercise, the mind atrophies, losing skills and knowledge.
In the past, this has been a particular problem in my full-time web development classes, which stop in mid-April. Students resuming classes at the start of September can sometimes feel like trying to start a car that’s been left in the garage for a year.
Students in that situation need a continued source of inspiration, something to bridge the gap between April and September, to keep them active in web development. Not, to be clear, at the level of work experienced during fall and winter, but something to keep their skills active, trained, and occupied. I think the same is true of freelancers taking time off, web developers looking for work, and others looking for inspiration.
To this end, I’ve created a new mailing list, The Summer Sessions. Subscribers will receive one eMail a week, containing a short exercise in web design and development: covering everything from typography and font pairing to code minification.
Unlike most mailing lists, The Summer Sessions will have just a dozen issues, from May to late August. The suggested exercises will be brief: most should only take an hour or two. And like thenewcode.com, it will never carry any advertising.
I hope you’ll join me and sign up to receive the first issue, and I look forward to seeing the work it inspires in you.
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