The Art of Going Back to School
(When You’re…Older)

by guest blogger Maya Rodale, writer of historical tales of true love and adventure

At the age of—well, never mind that—I have gone back to school. This time, instead of yet another English degree, I’m learning another language entirely. I’m learning how to write code.

Yes, computer code. I used to be one of those people who believed in Internet fairies and couldn’t fathom how it all worked. So I didn’t try. Let me tell you how expensive that was—actually, I can’t even stomach it.

And then I met The Husband, who happens to run an Internet company. I’d like it to be noted that I can now code more than he can. But he was the one who got me started by setting up a WordPress website for me to play around on and by pointing me in the direction of coding classes and online programs. He also introduced me to a world where coding was cool. And incredibly lucrative. There are members of his team earning triple what I make—when I have way more college degrees—but they have a valuable skill that’s in high demand right now.

I’m not very good at all. But I know enough that I’m starting to see how things are built and understand how it all works (without fairies). I love the immediate feedback of code—it either works or it doesn’t and you know it. Currently, I’m learning

HTML and CSS, and it reminds me of organizing a pantry with neatly labeled bins—and we all know how much I love that! I’ve also learned enough that I can manage my website myself (and save lots of $).

I do not miss school—with two degrees, I did my time—but I do still like the challenge of learning new things, especially because these days it’s just for the pleasure of it.

In fact, I’ve gotten hooked on the fun of discovery and accomplishment. After I finish this Front End Web Development class, I’m going to sign up for another class to learn something I’ve always wanted to: sewing.

What’s a new skill or hobby that you have always wanted to learn, just for the fun of it?

(P.S. If you’re interested in coding, try these FREE online resources: Codecademy and Team Treehouse).


Maya Rodale is the author of multiple historical romance novels, as well as the nonfiction book Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels, Explained. She has a master’s degree from New York University and lives in Manhattan with her darling dog and a rogue of her own. Her latest book is The Tattooed Duke. Learn more at



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4 Responses to The Art of Going Back to School
(When You’re…Older)

  1. Hillary August 31, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    Hi Maya!

    I’m turning 45 in October and just started taking my first course toward a third degree, also outside my usual comfort zone. My BA is in history and my MA is in Folk Studies, but this time I’m going for a Communication Design degree, which will also include web design. My first course is a computer graphics course and I’m already so excited to be learning something new and of real practical use.

    With two kids, a nearly full time job, an organic garden, a husband, cats and a running routine as well, it’s a tight squeeze, but we’re making it work.

  2. Sandra Burch August 31, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    Hi all
    I left school at 15 fell into a job, got married and had children. I kept working throughout but recently lost my job. I am now going back to school (at age 52) to get an Accounting qualification. Yes Gran is going to college and will be living away from home as well as my college is too far to travel to. Boy am I scared but also excited. My husband and family are shell shocked but it’s a brave new world out there and I intend to be a part of it.

  3. DanaB August 31, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    Sewing! Sewing! I’m right there with you. And good for you for going back to school, I’ve been out for a little (not a lot, just a little) but I still can’t stomach the thought of buying books, studying my note cards, ect.

  4. Leslie Kerr October 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    Hello to all those students who have mastered the skill of ‘multitasking’:
    Words of Wisdom to those If-you-ever-grow-up persons – you NEVER leave school, you just leave the classroom.

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