Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Blog year in review

I saw this meme at Dr. Crazy's, then at Sciencewoman's, and decided what the heck. It's the end of the year; time to reflect on Life According to The Blog for 2006.

The rules:
  1. Harken back to your archives.
  2. Collect the first sentence you wrote every month for the whole year.
  3. Entertain us.
Here goes!

January: "So I'm still trying (unsuccessfully) to fight off this stupid bad cold/mild flu that I came down with the other day." Sort of misleading; what followed were my resolutions for 2006. If I make this self-imposed deadline of submitting the journal article by the end of this month, then I will have accomplished 3 out of 4 resolutions. Not too shabby.

February: "One of the roles I often find myself in when talking to colleagues outside of my department is that of The Voice of Reason for Technology." This was a post on how our students aren't really as savvy as some faculty give them credit for, in that students can use technology but are still not equipped to think critically about technology.

March: "The past few weeks have been really busy for me--deadline after deadline with no real break." If there was a recurring theme this year, on the blog and in my life, this would be it. This was one of the many posts this year in which I discussed strategies I use for maintaining work-life balance and for staying productive.

April: "I did about 6 solid hours of work today." Geez, I was all obsessed about work this year, apparently. This was actually a post about my old laptop, which had....issues. Luckily I met my One True Love (ah, MacBook Pro!) shortly thereafter.

May: "...of my dissertation, following the meme that's going around everywhere: 'request'" This was the "last word" meme that went around earlier this year. I'm surprised this wasn't about the third year review fiasco, since that's what I remember blogging about most in the April/May time frame.

June: "A few days ago, I was talking to a senior colleague from a related program." This was a post about enlightening senior faculty about the pressures and workload of junior faculty, and how senior faculty at my institution seem pretty clueless about just what junior faculty's lives are like these days.

July: "If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I enjoy being physically active." Yeah, I don't blog about this too much, but it pops up from time to time. This was a post about pushing my physical limits, and the accomplishment I felt as a result.

August: "I've been tagged by skookumchick for this meme (I never get tagged! I guess it's my lucky day), so as a reward for my full day of writing (woo hoo! the motivation is back!), I'm taking some time to fill it out." Another meme! I didn't think that I did too many of these (um, right). This was my book meme post.

September: "This morning there was a paper rejection in my Inbox." A post about dealing with rejection, and finding the good and the bad in it. Note: I turned this paper around right away, and should be hearing back from the reviewers soon. Keep your fingers crossed, please!

October: "This afternoon, I had to give some constructive, yet difficult, feedback to my undergrad research students." Another recurring theme from the blog this year: working with undergrads on research projects, and the difficulties (and rewards!) of teaching students how to "do" research in computer science.

November: "Who knew that the Louisville/West Virginia game would be such a high-scoring game?" One of those random I-don't-know-what-to-blog-so-I'll-just-blog-random-stuff-from-my-day posts. Interesting fun fact: this post was written on the same day that we told our families about Baby Jane's impending arrival. I broke the news on here not too long afterwards.

December: "For various reasons, this week is a bit of calm before the storm." In this post, I talked about what I wanted to accomplish this month so that I could start the new year (and my sabbatical) with a clean slate of sorts. This is also where I declared my intention to submit a journal article by the end of the month...which brings us full circle, since in my very first post of the year I wrote that one of my resolutions was to submit a journal article on my current project.

So let's see....2 memes, 5 posts about work/research, 2 posts about enlightening my colleagues, and 3 about Life Outside School, roughly. I'm surprised no teaching posts turned up...apparently, I save those for the middle of the month. But otherwise, this is a surprisingly good snapshot of what's been on my mind this year.

And on that note, I'm running away. OK, just for a extended long weekend trip to a fun place, not forever. But this is a technology-free vacation, which I sorely need right now. So I'll see y'all next week, and hopefully I'll have some fun travel stories to share!

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