I was in the gifted program in high school, and they made a class called 'gifted studies' available to us as an elective. It was a free-form class, where each student chose a project every semester, and had to set goals for whatever we wanted to learn … basically, designing our own curriculum. The first few semesters were mostly squandered ("taught" my friend guitar (ie. an excuse to bring my guitar to school and play around), "learned" the Japanese hiragana alphabet (ie. an excuse for an anime nerd to play around), etc.)
By the time I graduated, I had a couple of small time website clients that eventually led to full time employment writing actual code. I am so incredibly grateful for that class, which let me "play around" until lightning struck and changed my life forever.
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