Get into the habit of working with html5 and css 3 as much and early as possible. Call it whatever you like "icing on the cake" or "a webpage on steriods", they will enhance the look and feel of your webpage tremendously
The following slideshow will show why they pack a punch
A Guru acts like the catalyst, hes been there done that, cornered and escaped, the real learning comes when you work practically. I have over the years not only taught but developed scores of websites for my clients . Its best to learn from someone whose knowledge is simply not bookish
get smart and start working with Conditional comments for Older Internet Explorer versions ..conditional comments allow you to write css that target only IE or its specific versions, read more about it here ...CSS TRICKS..for example this is how you will
Target IE 8 and LOWER
<!--[if lt IE 9]> <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="ie8-and-down.css" /> <![endif]-->
They are supported from IE 5 up until IE9 (inclusive).
get some Awesome pure css3 coded backgrounds at http://lea.verou.me/css3patterns/ watch my youtube video on how to do it here http://youtu.be/XDhsZwQqC84
The following is a slideshow explaining css 3 patterns best
Understand more about using google fonts here http://youtu.be/DXBUch5Z5UI and custom fonts here ...
Some useful Links1. Emmet Cheat Sheet..
8. Pure Css 3 zoom-fade Image gallery
9. The best way to create an ordered list
10. Pure Css stiched Look
11. Rotating Social Icon Links