in reply to practice exercises
In addition to the suggestions by moonie, you might consider getting a copy of Perl Cookbook. Browse through it and try playing with the examples given. I'm sure you'll find lots of examples on topics that you are interested in. All examples are given in a Problem/Solution/Discussion format, are relatively short and will likely address most of the basic problems you will encounter as you begin programming Perl.
In Section Seekers of Perl Wisdom