J-Term Round Up

The university decided to institute a winter term and offer intensive three-week classes as a trial this year. It was a bonus for me because my department wasn’t offering any courses so I didn’t have to be in town to teach or to take them and I was able to go to a conference and stay a little extra time and collect some data on non-college student adults in Iowa. I tried to use the time as wisely as possible, finishing things that I’ve been meaning to get to for ages and just generally Spring Cleaning my psyche if you will. I spent a lot of time leaving things at the Altar of the God of Small Accomplishments. (It’s hard to ask for praise for doing something you should have done awhile ago. Like, finish reading a foundational text for your dissertation.)

At some point in the December, I decided a visual representation of what I wanted to accomplish would be particularly useful. So, I created a board on pinterest and pinned things that presented what I hoped to accomplish. And, of course I went way over board. (Ha! We what I did there. I went over….board! Hahaha. I slay me!)

You’ll see this board is a mixture of work and play because I get so excited about what I’m going to knit next or what movies are out or what books are available at the library or whatever that sometimes I get a little lost, and then a little overwhelmed and I end up doing nothing. (There’s nothing wrong with doing nothing, especially in your down time, but it’s a bummer when you wanted to do something and what you ended up doing was spend three hours looking at yarn for your new project and deciding on nothing.)

There are lots of things on this board that I didn’t accomplish. Like, I didn’t make progress in my C++ learning goals. Or, make swants (I still haven’t even found a sweater I want to upcycle yet!) And, while I did progress in my understanding of Bayesian modeling, the project I was working on with a colleague had to be sidelined for data-related issues. We’ll get there, we just didn’t get there before the end of the month. And, I didn’t start knitting the sencillo. God, that shawl is going to be gorgeous. I have skeins all picked out for it.

I bought fabric for my infinity scarves but I haven’t made them yet.

I did finish my raglan with a difference and it fits so nicely. I’ve worn it maybe three times (in public!) since its completion. I’m going to write a post just about that but I haven’t gotten to it. And, I did finish Within a Budding Grove (I think I might be crushing on Saint Loup. I like Madam Swann a lot more than I did at the end of the first volume. I like the narrator a lot less.)

I did start the money challenge. I did try Yours Truly by Tofutti (made easier by the fact that I won a contest at JL Goes Vegan and so I had a coupon. Actually, I have lots of coupons. I’m going to be eating a lot of tofutti for the next couple months.) I finished The House of Hades and my sister and I have decided we’re actually going to try the podcast instead of discussing the podcast. More about that in the coming weeks!

My big accomplishments are that I submitted a grant proposal and I read Herb Clark’s book. I also started an online cooking class with my Mom. We only made it to the first lesson but the sauce we made was delicious and I feel accomplished (what did I tell you, the Altar of the God of Small Accomplishments!) knowing that I can now make a bechamel sauce without it getting grainy or clumpy.

I found having a visual aid that I could check back to was really helpful and so I do think I will be creating more boards full of monthly goals. How was your January? What are you goals for February?

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