What skill should I learn? (in 10 days)

I have some mandatory vacation coming up and absolutely nothing to fill it with. Since I don’t want to feel like I’ve wasted my time I’d like to fill it doing something useful. I don’t have a ton of money and I don’t want to travel so I think I’d like to learn a new skill.

I looked over the thread about 50 skills everyone should know, and I have most of that list covered. I’m looking for some suggestions about skills I could teach myself. I’ve considered everything from knitting, to juggling, to learning Mandarin Chinese, but I’d love to hear some suggestions.

The only qualifications are a regularly low start up cost to learn (under $100), and something that can be self taught in about 80 hours (8 hours/day for ten days). The more useful the skill the better, but I’m open for just about anything. Also a basic understanding is fine, I don’t need to master, the skill just have a decent base of knowledge.

So what’dya got for me?

flipping cards into a hat

it’s all in the wrist

I’m told that the accordion is very popular, and will get you laid.

Do you know Excel?

You make me laugh with this “mandatory vacation” business. Do you not want the time off? Since you’re being forced into it anyway, take up bicycle repair, and then fix my bike.

Magic. Learn a few good tricks and practice them well. Instant fun in any social gathering. At work, some of your coworkers will admire you, others will be entertained, others will be convinced you have made a pact with the Devil and cross themselves whenever you come near.

Apparently, you don’t know how yet.

Learn how to tie a variety of knots, including when and how to use them.

Learn to do slight-of-hand magic tricks. I did exactly that a few years ago on vacation. It cost about $25 for a book and some cards. Then I just practiced for hours.

This is NOT a useless skill! It makes me “the entertaining one” at parties and gives me something to break the ice with. It’s also great for long flights.

Contact juggling! I’m learning it too, and can do a few easy passes after only a couple of hrs.



Thanks for the responses guys, yes I am proficient in excel and I know a few magic tricks but it would be nice to brush up on a couple of them. Mandatory vacation just means that I need to take the days off, but my wife doesn’t get as much time off as I do so she’s stuck working.

I like the relaxation suggestion, but my life isn’t exactly stressful. We’re DINKS and we tend to spend most of our nights relaxing. TV bores me to tears though and I’m all caught up on my reading, so I’m looking for a bit of a brain exercise to keep me out of (or get me into) trouble.

Thanks for the suggestion Gary T! I was a boyscout once upon a time, but I didn’t pay much attention during the knot tying lessons. Which is something I’ve regretted more than once since.

3 card monte.

A useful party trick, and handy back-up vocational skill.

Yes, I’ve seen real, live grown-ups suckered into it.

ALL of the cards have ALL of the CORNERS BENT!

Learn to program.

For those who don’t know:
‘Mandatory vacations’ are common in the financial world - it is a security measure to prevent workers from “floating” transactions to cover their embezzlements.
If you have someone who processes financial transactions and never, ever takes vacation or sick leave, you look closely at their work.

The OP’s vacation may be entirely different, but the fraud/embezzlement vacation is the one of which I know.

You should learn the skill of drinking. It’ll make your vacation a lot more exciting.

I’m still single and celibate! ;):p;):stuck_out_tongue:

Space photography.

Very cool!

Done, done, and done. Even I have $148.

Homebrewing beer.

No affiliation, just a satisfied customer!