In the beginning there was grad school. That ended in 2010. Now what do I blog about?

NEW BLOG - ACADEMIC AMPLITUDE

January 16, 2010

Plans for 2010

It's 2 weeks into the new year and I'm still seeing fellow bloggers publishing their to-do lists for 2010. I am a planner by nature and my 5-year plan only took 2.5 years so I'm behind the 8-ball. I definitely have that, 'OK, now what?" feeling and it is causing me to procrastinate work on my final project for school, simply because I don't know what I'll be doing when I am done.

WebWorkerDaily contributors (a new favorite blog in my Google Reader) have been posting their plans for 2010 and today's post by Nancy Nally's is what inspired me to write mine. I appreciate her post, as well as Simon Mackie's, where they set simple goals to improve their quality of life, professionally and personally. I think that is what is about - improving quality of life. It's not about changing who you are/I am because there is nothing wrong with you/me. It's about taking steps, moving forward and growing. So, here we go.

Getting physical
I'm starting 2010 more physically fit than I started 2009. My daily 3-mile walk on the treadmill plus getting an elevated workstation at work has helped tremendously. I feel less tired at the end of the week. My posture has improved. I simply feel better. The human body is just not meant to sit at a computer desk for 8 hours a day.

This year I'd like to spend more time outside - walking outside for sure, once spring arrives - and spending more time in the yard and less time in front of the computer. The vitamin D and fresh air will do me good, and the bending, squatting and stretching of working in the yard won't hurt either.

Gadgets & toys
For work I want a Macbook. I have already gotten a price from our campus vendor. Just need approval. Sweet.

Last year we looked into getting a camping trailer. If we get the axle on the Jeep fixed, maybe we'd have something to tow one with. So maybe we'll get back to looking at campers.

Social interaction
I'd like to try to add disc golf to my routine. I've played before but never regularly. I'd like to get in with some people who play weekly, who can teach me to play and who are cool to hang out with. If I could play every weekend, that would be awesome. OK, at least twice per month. The point is to do something fun, outside, with cool people.

Professional development
Must. Hit. HEWEB 2010. I love conferences and HEWEB (High Ed Web Association) is one of the best in the country. I must also find a conference to present something on academic medicine, perhaps something on social media use for professional learning networks.

I discussed PhD pursuits with a colleague at work. She is in her 3rd year. Since I cannot financially commit to a program at this time, she suggested I do find a program that interests me, contact the program director and see about taking a few of the required courses. It would help me stay focused on prof dev and it would knock out some credits toward a PhD if I do decide next year to go for it. I think that sounds OK. So the hunt is back on for a program.

Goal setting, for work
I must think about where I am professionally and envision where I'd like to be in five years. Its about creating a need and then filling it. Part of that is committing to staying where I am for another 3-5 years, which is significant commitment. I worry that there isn't enough room for growth in academic medicine. But then again, as I just mentioned, it is about creating a need and then filling it. Can I create a need for myself where I work?

Goal setting, for home
Dammit, this year I am tackling the front yard. Flowerbeds, shrubs, maybe decorative split rail fencing. This is the year. Got to get me a rototiller. Dig up some wild shrubs from the back yard and put them out alongside the steps to the front porch. Put in perennials on either side of the walkway and install a new mailbox.


Do you set annual goals for yourself? How does goal setting affect our self-esteem? our mental health?

January 02, 2010

Imagine

On New Year's Eve, when someone asked me if I made any resolutions for 2010, I replied no, I am more of a five year plan kind of girl.
The five year plan I made at age 35 took less time to complete than I expected so here I am 2.5 years later needing to set some goals.
I have pretty much ruled out pursuing a doctorate. I simply cannot afford to do it. Not right now anyway, not in this economy with my husband out of work. I did get excited when I read about Harvard's new PhD program in education and my brain was happy to imagine me having a PhD from Harvard hanging on my wall. Imagine.

Although there have been some frustrating moments at work in recent months, it has not been unbearable. Am I getting itchy to do something new? Yes, I cannot deny that. Sometimes I feel like I am driving in the far left lane and people at work are in the middle and right lanes. I'm not driving crazy fast, but am moving a little faster than the pack. This happened at GJCC, too. I have the same feeling I had there about a year before I left that job for the university gig. I have no plan other than to be open to new opportunities.
The need for a salary increase may become more significant in the new year if no work options for spouse materialize when his unemployment runs out. Other than him I have so many friends and relatives who have been in dire straits for that last one or two years. There could be no better thing than to see a significant improvement in the job market this year. I would love to see my hub and many friends go back to work this year. What a sigh of relief it would be if the unemployment rate dropped significantly. Imagine.

Counting down the months until summer vacation at the beach. That 2nd week of June on the Cape has become an important touchstone for me, for us. I look forward to it a great deal. 6 months and 1 week from today we will be packing the truck and driving down to Pretty Penny, our little rental on the dunes, the sun sparkling on the heads of the little seals in the water as the waves move in and away from the beach. Imagine.