in reply to Reinvent the wheel!
I daresay though that Perl might not be the place for you to start, depending on what you want to learn. Like you, I started out in C, stuck with it a bit, and then moved on to Java before I started to touch Perl, Python, PHP, &c. It provides you with a solid foundation in the way memory management works, and if nothing else will lead you to respect what Perl and its cousins can do more.
So by all means, reinvent the wheel when you have the luxury of doing so. It's a great way to learn the trade. The principle of NOT reinventing the wheel applies mostly when you're more concerned with *getting* something to work than with understanding the process of how it works.