Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Year of the Second Chance: 3.5 Out of 5 for a Pass!

There are multiple ways to view 2013 and my five big goals for the year.  Numerically, I'd say I hit 3.5 of the 5.  Since I'm a professor, that basically translates to a 70% or a C-, but then again, being a professor means I could just do some grade inflation, and give myself some extra points for effort or something.  In any case, this post is the last of the year's accounting of the five big challenges, so I'll start with a bit of review.  The goals were:

1. To run a marathon.  Check! Completed the Burlington City Marathon in late May, 2013 and wrote all about it here.
2. To become a better rock climber. And here "better" meant completing my first lead climb which happened on October 19 and is written about here.
3. To become a better ice skater. Being a better skater was to be marked by being able to do a very short performance before an actual audience to a bit of music.
4. To finish the book on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)  I began as a group project with my students back in 2011. The product, obviously, would be the actual manuscript.
5. To become proficient in French. As demonstrated by conducting myself in French for a weekend in Montreal,

This post is about the accomplishment on goal 3, the movement (and hence, the allocation of that teacher's best friend, half credit) on  goal 4, and the acknowledgement of abject failure in goal 5.

First, the so-so news.  The MDG manuscript, alas is still not complete.  But it's close, and true to its vision, it has been written by students for students, and will be posted spring semester with the help of students who were in my fall semester 2013 course and will be staying with the project to completion.  When it's up, it will certainly be linked here with a description of the process and final project.  During fall semester my MDG class voted to take up the pieces that had been written by previous students and add a few new components.  The drafts are done and now await editing and posting spring semester.
This MDG project has been a long, long time coming. On the plus side, it has allowed me to work with some very terrific students (mostly alums now) over time. Here are four of the original team -- Alexsis, Ben, Amanda and Matt -- doing an MDG session while simultaneously celebrating Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry's.

As for the full-credit goal, that would be ice skating.  I am excited to report I have reached my first (self-defined) benchmark in figure skating -- taking part in an actual performance.  On December 14, I joined 6 other Ladies of Leddy for a 90 second performance accompanied by Aaron Neville's "Please Come Home for Christmas" in the Leddy Park  Holiday skating show. I missed a pivot and the kickline was not quite ready for the Rockettes, but it sure was fun. I'm 100 percent hooked!  We'll definitely be back again next year, and I think I am going to take a leaf from some of the others in the group and try my own solo or ice dance as well next year. 

Got some work to do on the kick line timing.

Donna and me (red sweater, courtesy of one of my fabulous students, Meaghan D.) finishing the routine.

So there it: in 2013 I completed a marathon, did my first lead climb and my first bona fide ice skating performance. inched my Millennium Development Goal student writing project closer to completion and dismally failed in progressing my French language skills. Far from perfect but hey, you can't lose if you don't play.  One of the many things I learned from my 2010 year of 52 New Things is that, for me at least, there's something powerfully motivating about publicly committing to a set of goals, And so, as 2013 draws to a close and we all start training our gaze to 2014, I wanted to close this post by noting that I've decided it's time for another year of 52. I'll be posting the list-in-development before the New Year and looking for more ideas and especially, fellow participants.  Here's looking forward to a fulfilling end of 2013 and an exciting new year!


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