How Quickly They Grow Up

If not for the fact that I put almost everything into my calendar, I’d forget even the simplest of things. Like eating, wearing pants, and breathing.

Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch – I wouldn’t forget to wear pants, I’d just opt not to. Regardless, I’m betting that if breathing weren’t an autonomic response, I’d need a reminder to inhale.

I digress.

My point – and I do have one – is that I almost forgot that today is my Ph.D.-versary. My 2nd such –versary to be precise. 

Wow. My wee baby is 2 years old. It is absolutely amazing to me to think that 2 years ago today I was standing in front of a room of learned individuals defending the work that I’d spent so many years deriving, programming, evaluating, analyzing, and writing. And I can’t forget the sweating. There was a lot of sweat.

It’s also amazing to me to think about all of the things that have happened since that fateful day. For one, I’m now on the other side of the table. I’m the guy that grills the students who have spent so much of their time and effort developing something new and exciting. I’m the guy that causes the sweat on the other side of the table. I’m the guy that I dreaded when I was in that situation.

As I did last year on this particular date, I’ve decided to look back and see what I’ve accomplished in the year. Why? Because today is a day that I have set aside to celebrate awesomeness. It’s a day where I have opted to evaluate my successes and failures so that I don’t stagnate, bore myself to tears, or become an old curmudgeonly cranky-pants mcgee who does nothing but chase children off his front lawn while waxing poetic about what things were like in my day. And it’s also a day to figure out what I want to do next, because there should always be something next.

Without further ado – my list-o-things:


  • My brother was hit by a car driven by a distracted driver. He almost died, but didn’t. Because he’s awesome.
  • I had surgery to fix my stupid stomach.
  • I turned 36.
  • My dad turned 70.
  • Elliot and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary.
  • Several friends finished their Ph.D.s (Congrats Dr. Levere and Dr. Gregorio!).
  • Several friends went back to school (Dr. Beth, Kevin, and Rebecca) – because they are huge nerds.


  • 13 trips in one year – including Hawaii, Calgary, Ottawa, New York, Montreal, Chicago, Wolfville, Halifax, and Victoria.
  • Ice climbing and bobsledding in Calgary (February, 2012).
  • Visiting Rick (again) in Calgary (April, 2012).


  • Taught Advanced Methods for Population Modelling, Calculus II, Experimental Design, User Interface Design, and Discrete Optimization.
  • Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Statistical Society of Canada in Wolfville (June, 2011), the GeoMed 2011 Conference in Victoria (October, 2011), and the Joint BioMS Series Colloquium in Guelph (February, 2011).
  • Continued Ecological Risk Analyst for the Saugeen Ojibway First Nations (Fall, 2011).
  • Taught a 3 day course for the Public Health Agency of Canada on SAS (February, 2012).
  • Finished 7 papers, submitted 3, published 1, with the rest awaiting final edits from co-authors.
  • Submitted 1 first author talk, 1 co-authored talk, and 3 co-authored posters to the Annual Meeting of the Statistical Society of Canada.
  • Submitted 1 co-authored poster to the First Symposium on Telomeres and Genome Integrity.
  • Chaired/chairing three committees (one within the School of Computer Science, one for the Province of Ontario, one for the Saugeen Ojibway First Nations). Member of 4 other committees.
  • Took on several graduate students (as a committee member).
  • Hired 3 undergraduate students.
  • Judged an awesome science fair.
  • Finished a lot of grant applications (and working on more).
  • Examined 2 M.Sc. students, and was an examiner for 2 Ph.D. qualifying exams.
  • Finished my first year as an Assistant Professor in the School of Computer Science at the University of Guelph.

Not-So-Bucket-List List Accomplishments

  • Published 3 articles in 1 year (item #3).
  • Saw a ballet with Steph (item #30).
  • Saw Tori Amos in concert (item #35).
  • Saved $500 in change (item #39).
  • Learned to make dairy free banana bread (item #54)/
  • Tried 30 new wines (item #58).
  • Bought a $100 bottle of port (item #59).
  • Bought a new camera (item #60).
  • Bought a new road bike (item #62).
  • Ran 30k Around The Bay (item #75).
  • Biked 60k (item #80).
  • Climbed the CN Tower (item #82).
  • Ran 5k in under 22 minutes (item #103).
  • Ran a marathon (item #105).
  • Traveled to BC (item #127).
  • Traveled to Chicago (item #129).
  • Traveled to visit Arlene (item #130).
  • Traveled to Montreal (item #133).
  • Traveled to Nova Scotia (item #136).
  • Traveled to Vancouver (item #144).
  • Traveled with Rick again (item #170).
  • Went snowshoeing (item #186).
  • Traveled with Rick again, again (item #187).
  • Traveled once per month for 12 months (item #195).
  • Had a brandy tasting night (item #196).
  • Ran 5k in under 21 minutes (item #221).
  • Biked 10k in under 20 minutes (item #223).
  • Biked 20k in under 40 minutes (item #224).
  • Published with Rick (item #232).
  • Went caving (item #236).
  • Went ice-climbing (item #237).
  • Signed up for RunKeeper Elite and broadcast a race (item #250).
  • Went bobsledding (item #255).


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