This year I was not particularly active as a blogger. I listed four words that would guide me through 2011. How did it go? How did I do? Hmmm, in true professorial style I’ll quickly have to grade myself.
Active (C+): If it weren’t for this December I would have given me a solid B. I did not lose more weight, but I managed to stay active in the gym – at least three times a week, except when I was travelling. To a large extent my lifestyle changed – now just to transfer that style change to the Christmas holidays as well. Let’s just keep it at saying at the beginning of December I was still keeping my weight…
Balanced (B+): Compared to 2010 this certainly improved. I tried spending much more time at home, and I tried ‘working’ less. Is it working? Well the B+ implies it went well, but there are some definite room for improvement, especially as far as community is concerned. I think I’ve mellowed out a bit, both at work and at home. Not sure I always like it, but mostly it is better for me, my family and maybe even my co-workers.
Creative (B): My creativity somehow was limited to my work environment. While I produced several reusable ‘components’ for my lectures, my most creative time was during November. I set myself a target to in November produce a thousand words a day in new notes and course material per day. I am proud to report that by 30 November I had more than 30000 words, thus meeting my target. Sure, it is a first draft which will be added to and edited significantly during January to be used as course material from mid-February, but it is much more than what I have ever produced.
Deliver (C): Did I ship enough? Traditional academic outputs, yes, that would score a B+. I had 2 journal papers appear and some 5 conference papers. A PhD, two MTechs and an MBA treatise student walked over the stage in April (arguably that is because of 2010 efforts though). What about other outputs? No, that’s probably a D. Nevertheless I’m hoping that the momentum that I built during November won’t be lost completely over the December break and that it is a sign of good things to come. One thing that I’ve realised is that sometimes I am trying to bite off (way) too much; I must learn to eat the elephant bite-by-bite.
So overall my guiding words helped; I’d give myself a B-.
Finally, on a personal note, some of my more vivid 2011 memories:
- All the kids are in school now and are doing great. The last one entered school in Grade 1, and the oldest went to high school. All three made me proud, very proud.
- My first PhD graduate, Jacques Ophoff crossed the stage.
- Laurie Butgereit, one of my 2011 M graduates who is continuing with her PhD, not only got the award for the best masters in technology by dissertation, but also the very prestigious Rupert Family Trust Award.
- I crossed the stage for the Post-graduate Certificate in Higher Education.
- For the first time since 1994 I bought a brand-new car, quite an event considering the time lapse. For the record, I am still very happy with my Hyundai i10.
- We had some good family breakaways. Most notable is what is becoming our annual outing to the Grahamstown SciFest, and a trip to the Tsitsikamma showing the kids where mom and dad always go for their anniversary.
- This December we did not use our own caravan for camping; instead, we hired a caravan. Might sound stupid, but it is so much less stress if somebody else worries about that part plus it added a full two days to our camping due to the lack of setting up and breaking down camp. So the ten days were actually ten. Furthermore, the car trips involved a lot of stopping and enjoying the trip, something that with a caravan on tow is just not possible.
2011 was a good year, with tons of things to be thankful for. I will using some words for next year again (more tomorrow). How about you?