Monday, January 17, 2022

2021 Wins

One of the healthier things to do at the end of the year is to tally the wins. 2021 wasn’t exactly the easiest year with the pandemic raging on and my tenure file due. 

Win #1 the tenure file

This was months long process and it is in. Talkmabout a win list. 5 years of grants, papers and more. I won’t lie. This is an anxiety machine. What needs to go in, what is considered sufficient, what actually gets read etc. is vague enough to add to a general background of anxiety for most of the year. It was a relief/anticlimactic event to have it in. I’m sure there is some more to do. I haven’t heard a peep for months. 

Win #2 the book

I finished my book. The key thing here is finished. I didn’t aim for amazing, brilliant, complete, comprehensive or even fully spelled right. I aimed for complete. If that sounds like I don’t like the end result it’s not that. I can’t really judge. But I did what I set out to do: write a 200+ page book on a topic I like. 

Win #3. Bike to school most days

Ms C has a bike and she and I have been biking to her school most days. We are the only ones. Sometimes scary but it’s been lovely. And doubling down on our Dutch-ness. 

Win #4 m plays football (soccer for US audience) 

This took some doing. Mr M got into a soccer team and we managed to stick with it. And he likes it! Both of these are “trying to be involved parent” goals. Weirdly harder and easier with the pandemic. No travel so I can be there consistently but part of a churn of weeks that seem to grind relentlessly. 

Win #5 classes did ok

I mean not amazing but “pandemic good”. I still got everyone, well most everyone, there and over the finish line. Calling that a solid win in pandemic semesters 3 and 4. Students liked the classes too. 

Win #6. Students did ok

I’m working with students on research. Which is going fine amazingly. They are writing their papers and applying for grad schools. I’m in awe they are functioning at all, even thriving as a group. 

Win #7 kids in the swim team

With the pool opening back up, R got them swimming lessons and they got into the (not hypercompetitive) swim team. Get them to move again. Yay. 

Win #8 40th first author paper 

I resubmitted my 40th first author paper days before my 45th birthday. These numbers are converging. That’s a good thing right? I’m happy I got some of my ideas on paper and into journals. 

Win #9 school clicked for Ms C

Transition to middle school amidst a pandemic was weird and stressful but we all stayed with it and c is now enjoying classes and clubs. 

Win #10. The house got better 

New windows installed, kids got their own bedrooms, redid the columns on the front porch, restored the octagonal window out front, basement fully waterproof and outfitted with small gym. Yeah not bad. 

Win #11. The garden grew some food

This is 99% Robin but our chaos gardening approach did seem to yield a lot of tomatoes. More gardening to come. Death to lawns. 

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