Because 2014 Is So Last Year

So it’s 2015. Every year I like to take some time to look back on the various lists that I had developed to review the various goals I had set; a way to measure where I’ve been and how far I’ve come. This year I’ve also opted to look back on some of the unexpected adventures that have come my way – because sometimes life hands you things you never expected. Without a doubt, 2014 was definitely a year like that.

  • Academic
    • The academic year was really productive. I managed to submit more than 5 articles for publication (4 were published, and several are awaiting review still), plus was invited to speak at several different events (the Bigger Picture Series, and GeoSpatial Computing). Already I’m prepping for several invited talks in the new year. Beyond writing and speaking, I also helped organize several hackathons (Open Data Day Hackathon, and the Student Food Waste Hackathon), plus Startup Weekend Guelph, and I was a judge for both DemoCamp and CollabNow.
    • I was really fortunate to work with a bunch of amazing students. My CIS3750 class took on two separate community projects – both dealing with food insecurity and food waste. Both projects will continue in the new year.
    • This coming year is going to be another busy one, with lots of growth and changes in the School, plus more hackathons and the like. I’m pretty stoked to see where things go in the next year. Additionally, I’m hoping to get several articles written that have been sitting on my desk for the past 6 months. I’m also delivering a new course with my colleague Dr. Jacobs this winter that teaches students about Knowledge Translation and Transfer through Community-Engaged Scholarship. All told, it should be a productive yet busy year.
  • Blogging & Social Media
  • Travel
    • Despite the fact that 2014 started off rather weak in terms of travel – and I may or may not have commented to friends how bizarre it was that I’d gone so long without travelling – it ended with a bang. I was truly fortunate to travel to China for the first time in June, spending time teaching at Dalian Nationalities University and wandering the country. Shortly after my return I was booking my trip to Calgary to spend time in the mountains with Rick. And of course, last but definitely not least, I’ve spent the previous weeks trekking through Nepal to Everest Base Camp.
      • China: June 29-July 31
      • Calgary: August 26-September 1
      • Nepal: December 16-January 4
    • One of my Not-So-Bucket-List goals was to travel the circumference of the globe via plane. This year I easily covered that distance. In total I travelled 60,709.78km, or approximately 1.5 times the earth’s circumference. By the numbers, that’s 25404.64km roundtrip to China, 5,419.86km roundtrip to Calgary, and 29,885.28km roundtrip to Nepal.
    • I’m sure this comes as no surprise to Elliot, but I spent a total of 59 days travelling in 2014. That’s approximately ~16% of the year.
    • New countries visited: 2 – China and Nepal.
    • I’m not quite sure where 2015 will take me, but for sure it’s going to be an adventure. Oh, and I guess I’ve already got my first adventure booked. I’ll be heading to NYC with my friend Gerarda, because Hedwig and the Angry Inch isn’t just going to watch itself.
  • Health
    • I had a lot of health goals set up this year, but for various reasons failed miserably. The fall semester completely got away from me, and I didn’t do nearly enough physical activity. Fortunately this didn’t slow me down while trekking at altitude in Nepal on my way to base camp. Regardless, this is an area of my life that is going to get a lot of attention in 2015.
  • Food
    • Remember that time I ate a spider? And a scorpion? And silk worm pupae? Ya, those were good times. This past year has been an interesting one from a culinary point of view. Regardless, I still have several challenges that are outstanding – but have until my 40th birthday to complete them. These include my 40 new scotches, 40 new foods, and eat 40 pies challenges. I’ve already completed my 40 new beers challenge. Also, I still need to accomplish several other goals that have been on my Not-So-Bucket-List list forever. Clearly I have a lot of work to do in 2015.
  • Random
    • While many of the things I do are based on goals that I set, there are many things that happen throughout the year that are beyond my control. These are things that when they happen I often sit back and say Is this real life? Is this really happening? because they are so weird and wonderful, I often think I’m being pranked. In 2014 this started with the School of Computer Science Teaching Award, and followed with a Guelph Forty Under Forty Award. I also won a category prize for the 2014 Guelphonography competition (with that photo up above), and then stepped in front of the camera again to do a fashion shoot for Grey Rock Clothing. If someone told me I’d win prizes for my photos or be modelling, I would have called them the craziest of crazy-pants. Oh, and because it was awesome fun, I was able to speak at IgniteGuelph for a second time. If all goes well, I’ll do some more photo shoots for Grey Rock (because I love their clothing), and will also be presenting another talk for IgniteGuelph.

While I didn’t make all of my planned goals, I have to say that 2014 has been an amazing year. Here’s hoping that 2015 is filled with as many adventures, as many good times with family and friends, as many travels, and as many amazing experiences as 2014.

Happy New Year everyone.

Stay tuned for my new and improved list of goals for 2015.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Beth says:

    “did I mention that I forget everything if I don’t write it down?”

    I knew we were twins!

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