I know how you feel, I'm in they same situation. I'm trying to learn Perl on my own. But every project I think of seems to be beyond my current abilities and it keeps me from progressing. I've looked on the web for project ideas and you can find websites for classes that have there assignments, but most of thoses are very simple and only demenstrate a single aspect at a time.
My next bright idea for a project is I'm going to try and rewrite some unix commands in perl. it probably will be too much for me but we'll see.