When does Plain Jane get a new dress? Soon…very soon. One small thing about maintaining one’s own website (instead of hiring it out) is that one must find time, and an excuse, and motivation among pressing work for real paying clients to do the maintenance “on the side.”

I recently purchased the new Devi template and developer pack for WordPress from Elegant Themes with the full intention to become a practical-level hack who could whip out my own slick-looking site and help a couple of friends. Best way to learn something new is to use it, right?

So what’s keeping me? How about wrangling 160 VISTA Blend students in two sections, which suck time out of the workday like a feather in a wind tunnel.┬áBut wait: 60 of those students will be finished with their course tomorrow, cutting my facilitation load by about 40%. Woohoo! More time.

How about an excuse to do work on selfish tasks? No problem: One friend-in-need is suddenly very much in need with a critical deadline to have a new site built within a month. Helping others is not selfish, even if I take new skills away as payment.

Motivation, wherefore art thou? Plain Jane, my monochromatic friend, you are my motivation. Once I know the lay of the Devi land and familiarize myself with the nuts and bolts under the developer hood I will craft you a new frock, complete with colors and widgets and plug-ins, oh my.

That’s my story of self-education professional development and I’m sticking to it. Cheery-oh!