Monday, January 3, 2011

Recap of 2010: A more relaxed year

I think it would be good to get in the habit of reflecting on my life once I have a little bit of perspective. Last year I blogged about changes in my life over 2009 and I would like to try to do the same with 2010. I will break the developments down into categories.

Academic:
I applied for the DeVoe Moore Dissertation Fellowship, which pays a little more than an assistantship while requiring the student only to work on their own dissertation. I was one of two students to receive the award and I am very grateful for this support. The fellowship started in the fall semester and will continue through summer 2011.
I spent a good deal of time during the spring trying to figure out how to become a better teacher. I reviewed things I had done in classes I taught in the past to see what was effective and what was not. I was assigned to teach a class I'd never taught before (ECO2000) in the summer. This course came complete with a high degree of freedom and flexibility for me as an instructor. I decided to take notes from Whitney's class and Dr. Calhoun's class while borrowing demonstration ideas from Dr. Corey, my past experience, and Whitney. All that work paid off when I won the Rockwood Teaching award for being the best graduate student teacher in the department for the 2009-2010 school year.
I've been a little less productive on my dissertation than I would like. It took me a lot of time and effort to get all the tax millage information together, but it's in amazing shape now that I have it. I just wish that the FL DOR didn't do stupid stuff with their data; they're making it hard for me to get everything into one file because they change things around from year to year.

Athletic:
I enjoyed taking it easy on the athletic front. I finished the year running only 429 miles...a record low. It was nice not worrying about super hard training like last year. I balanced out triathlon by picking up a couple new sports. In 2011, I'd want to make sure I don't let a calendar week elapse without getting in at least one run.
I started rock climbing with the FSU club in the spring semester, took the summer off, and climbed a bit in the fall semester again. I saw major improvements and found a great way to get a full body workout.
I started playing bicycle polo over the summer. I've also seen a lot of progress since I first started. In fact, I was way better at the end of the first night than I was at the beginning of that night. I'd like to build myself a polo bike so I can have some consistency and high performance. I think that would make me a better player. Right now it seems like I'm on some nights and off others. It's almost always fun, though.
I was race director for Tri the Rez again. This year was much easier since I knew who I had to contact and what permits I needed, etc. I was able to put on a way better race and I feel like I did a way better job. I got lots of positive feedback. I'm hoping not to be the race director in 2011, but will do it if absolutely necessary. There's still plenty of room for improvement to make the race better all around, and I learned a lot this year. On a related note, the City of Tallahassee is interested in putting in a bid to host USAT Collegiate National Championships and they want me to be the USAT/FSU liaison and local head honcho if we get the bid. That's still a ways off, but would be very cool if it happened.

Travels:
I've decided that it would be ideal to visit a new place at least once per year. I went to Sweden to visit some family over the summer. I went with my dad, his sister, her husband, and my grandmother. We stayed with many different members of my granny's family in different parts of the country. We took a side trip to Norway to see a fjord. I'm glad I got to go to Norway and see the amazing unpatrolled, unfenced border, but I feel that we spent too much time on the road and not enough time visiting with people. We made a lot of our overland travels in a motor home. I got to go running on part of the course for the Stockholm Marathon (which I hope to run some day) and I went to the Absolut Ice Bar in Stockholm. I saw a good deal of snow in Trollstigen...in the summer!!! I also think I got to see midnight sun for the first time, but the locals said that it wasn't quite what they call midnight sun. I got to learn a little bit of the language while I was over there and that's always kinda cool. I think that it would take me quite a while to distinguish and make the vowel sounds that we don't have.

House:
I got a new roof. Too bad that I had to spend the money, but hopefully it will pay off when I sell the house. Also, I prevented the roof from leaking before it actually happened. There were some rotten patches that had to be replaced and they would have ended up causing me way more trouble.
Jennifer moved in early in the year and is just now moving out. She got a dog, so I had one in the house for a while, but it didn't like me so much. David moved out and Javi moved in.

Bicycles:
I started working on bikes that I didn't own in the beginning of 2010. Micah was running the Green Bicycle Project back then and I started helping him out on Saturdays. I learned a lot with hands on teaching. After working (I mean volunteering) with GBP for the first part of the year, I began to volunteer my services to Krank It Up! over the late part of the summer. Some time either late summer or early fall, Micah transitioned to the new bike shop: Damn Good Bikes. I'm still working with him there about once per week. Although I don't get paid, there are benefits. Sometimes I get to work on really sweet bikes and sometimes I get amazing discounts. I took advantage of one of those great discounts to buy my first fixed gear bike, the KHS Urban Uno. I've been commuting on it a lot. For my birthday, I got an amazing LED headlight/taillight set. It's changed my life while riding at night.

I did my first (and second) alley cat race this year and my first cyclocross race. While I have biked to a 5k in town before, 2010 was the first year that I biked about 92 miles to get to a 5k race, only to stay the night and ride back in the morning.


Side Projects:
I found out about Bread and Roses around late November of 2009. I looked into it and eventually became a member in early 2010. After going there and doing my regular member-worker shifts for a couple months, I ended up volunteering to be on the finance committee while the head of the committee was gone in Africa for a couple months. Only a couple months ago, I ended up being voted on to the board of directors.
My idea to start a garden failed. I think I'd like to try again to grow my own food, inspired by the deliciousness of my dad's garden back in Vero.
In the early part of the year, though the end of the spring semester, I stared a dinner club where someone cooked/cleaned/hosted at their house and everyone else in the club was invited. I think we had about 12 weeks of this and nobody ended up cooking twice. I would have liked for it to continue, but people leave for the summer and it just fell apart. I'd like to be a part of something like this again, but I don't want to be the one to organize it.


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