Thursday, February 28, 2013

SPA13 - An educational mindset: Higher education and the virtual generation

Today I attended a conference during the workday.  The conference was put on by Student Personnel Association (SPA), which I found out about via email a few weeks ago.  Having never attended any sort of professional development for my university job, I asked my boss if I could go and was able to register.

The theme of SPA13 was "An Educational Mindset: Higher Education and the Virtual Generation"



As I got to the main conference room for breakfast, I spotted two people among the crowd that I knew from my College at the University.  To make the most of the event though, I sat down at a table of all unfamiliar faces.  One of the first people I met worked in the study abroad office (awesome!) and did not have a Master's degree! (Which doesn't mean I won't get one eventually, just means it's possible to work somewhere in higher ed without one...).  And soon began the keynote speakers.

Keynote: Tom McBride and Tom Nief of the Beloit College Mindset List

The keynote speakers were Tom McBride and Ron Nief of the Beloit College Mindset List.  I had never heard of the list before, but I guess it's a wellknown thing (their site gets over a million hits per year).  The lists reflect the mindset/world view of entering first year college students, with a list for each year.  The first list was made for the class of 2002, whose members were born in 1980.

Ron began by talking about thongs.  He proposed the question: "Why are thongs bought in pairs of two?"  Bought in pairs of two? I thought, are they really sold in pairs?  I didn't think they were always sold in pairs, so I wasn't really sure what he was trying to get at.  Then he mentioned a college dorm letter (or something) that said all students should be sure to bring thongs for the showers.  (*laugher*)  Said notice had gotten a confused reaction from the students, but then I realized what the speaker had been referring to this whole time: flip flops.  That was his first example of a mindset moment.

Another example of these mindset list items was that "For them, Beethoven is a dog."  Another mindset moment was when an eighth grader asked her mother to sign a permission slip for school and her mother said, "So you want my John Hancock?", the daughter thought her mother had said an obscenity.

The mindset list is now often used by college advisors and school administrators to better serve their students.  Ron and Tom shared with us during the keynote that clergy is another group to often use the mindset list for reference.

I see where the list could be useful for older generations to learn about how younger generations think (and what we have and haven't been exposed to during our lives in comparison to our parents), but I also took a bit of offense to some of the items.  I was one of the youngest people in attendance at this conference, but I know who Beethoven (the musician) is!  I know what a John Hancock is!  I even know that thongs are another word for flip flops, it was just in the back of my mind so I didn't make the connection at first.

Referring to the younger generation as "they" in each of the list items, followed by laughter from the audience made it feel like myself and younger peers were being made fun of by these older men.  "They think this means this.  They don't know what this is used for, etc.  *laugher, laugher*"  Now, I myself did laugh after some of the stories, and I get that making your audience laugh is one way to be positively received.  However, it's my understanding that the list's main purpose is not comical (please correct me if I'm wrong).  I'm under the impression that it's used by many people and organizations as a reference.  Here are a few items from my class's list (2011) with my comments in italics:
1. What Berlin wall?  We know what the Berlin wall is.
4. They never "rolled down" a car window.  Yes I have.
53. Tiananmen Square is a 2008 Olympics venue, not the scene of a massacre.  Didn't know that it was the 2008 Olympics venue, but I'm very aware of the massacre scene.
55. MTV has never featured music videos.  Yes it has.  I spent my mornings post-surgery in high school (2005) watching music videos on MTV and VH1.  I know what the list item is getting at though; the channel is full of reality series now, but I know it used to mainly just show music videos as the channel's name suggests.
So are these lists productive, or do they mock and create further separation between generations?  I feel like if I were to make lists of the mindsets of older generations, it would sound as though I were poking fun  (The first items that come to mind for this list I'm not going to make would be: "They don't know about tabs in browsers" or "They type urls into the google search bar").   Am I being too harsh on the mindset list here?  Do I need to lighten up?  Am I missing the main point?  I'm curious to hear others' opinions, from all generations - please share your thoughts in the comments!

#1: The flexible option: Competency-based education in the UW

After the keynote was finished, I went to a breakout session about the new Flexible Option at UW.  Here's a short video so you get the gist:


If you don't feel like watching, it's an online program that allows students to receive a number of degrees and certificates.  This flexible program is self-paced and consists of various assessments, making the degrees content-based.  So if you already know a lot about a certain topic, you can start with the assessments and pass as many as you can.  Then you use online resources (you find them) and guidance by a faculty member to study the content of the remaining assessments.  When you've mastered all of the assessments, you've earned the degree.

This seems like an exciting new development, but to be honest I was shocked at how much they still had to figure out before the fall semester begins.  Aaron Brower's enthusiasm and confidence was reassuring, and Rebecca Karoff did a great job presenting as well.

Some questions posed by the audience at the end of their presentation included:
  • Will students have to pay segregated fees?  If they happen to live near their program's campus, they would probably want to use the libraries and perhaps athletic facilities...
  • How will the faculty have time for students one-on-one?  What will this time look like - emails? phone calls? skype?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Is there a time limit to complete the degree?
The group is still trying to find concrete answers to all of these questions (and more), but in the meantime feel free to check out the Wisconsin Flexible Option website for more information.

#2: First year experience for international students

The second session I attended was called First Year Experience for International Students.  Having been an international student myself in Madrid, and having sought out international students on campus here in Wisconsin (by participating in BRIDGE, for example), I was interested to find out what the UW does for their international students.  Five years ago they created the First Year Experience survey for international students, to get feedback about how to improve international student services.  The information and comments collected during the survey have also proved useful for grant applications.

Most of the survey questions are multiple choice, but a few ask for a brief written response.  One of these such questions asks for surprises about coming to UW-Madison.  A few entertaining answers include:

  • Weather changes every five minutes (exaggerating).  Dunno what to wear for the day.
  • I saw bunnies and squirrels everywhere
  • The drivers are really polite to walking people on the road.
  • I arrived in January and the big problem for me was the cold weather
A big concern (understandably) for most international students is making friends with Americans.  I completely understand the worry and fear.  So everyone please be extra nice to your international classmates -- it's not easy!  

#3: Ready, set, grow: Developmental training strategies for student employees

Between the five options for the third session, nothing really jumped out at me.  Talking with other conference attendees, I found that they felt the same way about this round.  I ended up going to a session about developmental training strategies for student employees.  During my time working as an undergraduate, I never felt that my supervisors attempted to train me in the areas of "identity development, multiculturalism and social justice," as the session's blurb describes.  We also have five student workers in my current office, so I figured anything I could take away from this session would be useful.

There was not time to cover the whole powerpoint during this hour, but everyone had a handout of the slides to read later.  However, many of the slides were completely filled with text, making the font too small to read on the slide handouts.  And I even have young eyes.

There didn't seem to be much continuity in the presentation; I was unsure of the main points and where we were headed.  We jumped from slides about the Johari window to "self-authorship" to "cycles of socialization" to white privilege on campus.  I wasn't sure how everything was supposed to connect, and being a type-a who needs an organized outline, I didn't dig the lack of clarity.  I'm still glad I attended this session; I was exposed to concepts and activities I wouldn't have read/talked about on a regular day, but a better organized (and formatted) presentation would have improved the experience for me.

#4: A lesson on paying it forward: How one graduate student's memoir and the national college advising corps are inspiring the current generation of students to dream, lead, and succeed

My final session of the day began with Megan Morrison, Sun Prairie author of the memoir And Then It Rained: Lessons for Life.  Megan explained why she wrote her book, and that she wanted the book's proceeds to help other students apply to their dream college.  Luckily, Megan found out about the National College Advising Corps (NCAC), whose efforts match those that Megan wanted to support.  Jennie Cox-Bell from the NCAC presented about the organization during the second half of the session. 

When Jennie was talking about NCAC, right away I thought of a similar program I'd read about the previous week.  I couldn't remember the name at the time, but looking it up later it's Strive for College.  (Since there's a Cnn article dated Feb. 21 about the program, I'm assuming I read the news story at the second job that weekend.)  Strive for College was created by Michael J. Carter who graduated from college in 2010.   It sounded very similar, except that NCAC is only open to partnering Universities.  Since there's not an NCAC  partner university in Wisconsin, for example, there are no NCAC counselors serving Wisconsin high schools.  This creates the need for other similar programs, but it seems as though it would be best not to reinvent the wheel - to simply combine forces somehow.

Closing remarks

In summary, I'm very glad I attended this conference.  I learned something in every session, and met people I probably never would have run into on campus.  It got me thinking about what other opportunities exist in higher education, and for a split second I even considered pursuing another higher ed job this fall instead of teaching English in South Korea -- just for a split second.  I was able to publicly live-tweet my first Conference from @RebeWithaClause, preparing myself for the Standards-Based Grading Conference that I'm attending in April.
• • •

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"Good" news: Homeless man returns diamond ring, $95K is raised for him

When the office is slow at my weekend job, my main duty is to man the front desk: answer the phone if it rings, and tend to any walk-ins if there are any.  So when the phone's not ringing and people aren't coming in, it's me and the desk.  And the computer.

Many websites are blocked at the weekend job, but the girl who trained me told me that she regularly reads CNN when work is slow.  So I've started to do the same.

While reading CNN on Sunday, I came across this article about a homeless man who returned a diamond ring to a woman who accidentally gave it to him when she dumped the contents of her coin purse into his collection cup.

This is great, to give back things that don't belong to you -- even if they're really nice things that you could never afford -- but this story made the national news.  And then the diamond ring owner started an online fundraiser for the homeless man.  As of Sunday the various donations totalled nearly $95,000, and the fundraiser is scheduled to last 90 days!  At that point they'll give all of the money raised to the man.

Now at first glance, this is a wonderfully good news story.  But I couldn't keep myself from looking further.  Even though I'm a person who focuses on the positive and gives others the benefit of the doubt, I had a different reaction to this story.

The fact that returning something to its owner receives this much praise and attention is worrisome.  The "hero" of the story even said, "What I actually feel like is, 'what has the world come to when a person who returns something that doesn't belong to him and all this happens?'"

People from all around have donated nearly 100K to this man!  What does that suggest?

Is it simply because he's homeless?  I mean, would the same outcome have happened if a middle-class home owner were to have returned a diamond ring to its owner?  If not, then the public is assuming that homeless people have lower morals, so doing the "right" thing in this case has more merit.  This is not a good line-of-thought to follow!  All people can be good; as far as I'm aware, wealth does not correlate with one's morality.

It also rubs me the wrong way because I have friends and family who do good deeds time and time again with no reward.  Deeds and actions that make a greater impact on others' lives than returning a piece of jewelry to its owner.  All of the money involved in this specific case suggests that this man's deed is worth a hundred thousand dollars, though I strongly beg to differ.

And then there's the optimizer in me can't help but to think: Give the money somewhere where it can make the greatest positive effect possible.  Maybe give the man $5,000 or some amount, and then donate the rest to wherever it's needed most within that community.  Save the children!  Feed the hungry!  House the homeless!  Teach people to read!  Educate, educate!

I know, I know: Life is not fair.  It's not fair when bad things happen, nor apparently when good things happen.  I can live with that.   Life right now is letting me read CNN at the weekend job, so I'll take what I can get.  Just as long as the phone's not ringing and walk-ins aren't coming in!

I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this news story.  Am I being too negative?  Or does it rub you the wrong way as well?
• • •

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hey world! Look at me, I'm helpful!

About a month ago I purchased a couple hundred mugs from a company for work.  Said company was great to do business with, and last week they sent me an email asking me to fill out a short survey about my experience.  The survey was indeed short, so I took it since I wanted them to have positive feedback.

And to thank me for taking their survey, they mailed me this reusable bag:

I'm helpful bag
Look at me! I'm so helpful!

I think it's kind of funny actually; it's definitely not my first choice of words to have on a shopping bag.  But I went straight to the grocery store from work last night, so I brought the bag with me.  The woman working at the checkout made a comment about it and thought it was great -- because I am being helpful by bringing my own bag.  I explained that I was actually helpful for having taken this survey for this company... but anyway I'm curious to ask others:

If you saw someone with the above bag, what would you think?  Would you make any quick judgments about the person?
• • •

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday: 2/21/13

[Thankful Thursday is a weekly segment that began 1/10/13 - read why here.  I invite you to join me in practicing gratitude!]


Today I'm thankful for my mother's snail mail.  She's been sending all of us kids weekly letters for a while now, so I'm used to getting at least a letter a week in the mail from her (much more fun than email!).  She also sends cards for all of the holidays, and now she's been making some of her own too.  I send out snail mail often enough, but I'm thankful that I also get to regularly receive it.

Want to brighten someone's day?  Write them a letter and send it in the mail!  Those five minutes and 46 cents will go a long way.


"How easily we get trapped in that which is not essential — in looking good, winning at competition, gathering power and wealth — when simply being alive is the gift beyond measure." 
-Parker J. Palmer
• • •

Monday, February 18, 2013

Lundi links: Youtube clips

Between last week and this week I've been shown a few new youtube treats (well, new to me).  Rather than article links today, enjoy some video clips this Monday:


I learned about the Harlem Shake on Friday.  Most have probably seen it by now.  If not, here's the original:



Maybe next week I'll have one to share from my office at work - fingers crossed.  Here's another:



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I'm not sure how I missed Marcel the Shell back when it originally came out.  Maybe I was in Spain.  In any case, a coworker just showed it to me early last week, and I approve.  If you've stayed in the dark as long as I have, now's the time to watch:




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And here are some goats that sound like humans yelling, courtesy of MK:

 


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This last one's a bit longer, but if you have expat experiences and also dream of living in France (hmm sounds oddly like me....), you'll want to watch this clip - and probably their web series too, once it gets produced!


• • •

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Wisconsin High School Nordic Ski State Championships 2013

On Friday night when I bussed home after work, my bus stayed on the outer square rather than the inner Capitol square.  I wasn't sure why the inner square was off limits, but I was tired and freezing by the time I got off at the stop near my house, so I didn't investigate that night.

On Saturday morning I walked down to a stop on State Street rather than my normal bus stop on the square.  From two blocks away, I could see people skiing around the Capitol.  Yup, that's right: skiing.

When I returned home after work on Saturday evening I was finally able to check out the square up close:


Skiing around Capitol square Madison, WI

They had brought snow up to the square and pressed it down to make a "track".

Skiing around Capitol square Madison, WI

Middle schoolers were racing when I was watching that evening.  It was a relay, so here are some skiers waiting for their teammates to come tag them.

Skiing around Capitol square Madison, WI

An instructor took a lap around the square between races:

Skiing around Capitol square Madison, WI

Turns out the competition was the Wisconsin High School Nordic Ski State Championships, just one of many events this weekend for the Madison Winter Festival.

I know I said that middle schoolers were racing earlier, and I'm fairly certain that was the case Saturday between 5 - 6pm.  I thought it had been announced, and I also think some of those kids were too small to be in high school!  Maybe I'm just getting old and they were actually high school freshmen.

Skis near Capitol square Madison WI

And this little guy is on his way to the finish line:

Skiing around Capitol square Madison, WI
• • •

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day: Sharing the love

I got a bit crafty on Tuesday evening and made valentines for all of the people I would see on Thursday (aka everyone I would see at work).  I had colorful scrap paper with things printed on one side, so I glued the printed sides together, leaving me with a front and back of a solid color.

I ripped the edges to give it that sort of look, then cut and pasted and wrote and drew:

Valentine's Day cards
Homemade Valentine's Day cards

The two best ones with puns are courtesy of the piano brother: "It's heart to be without you" and "There's an underground hive to search for valuable gems...Bee Mine!".  He's very punny.

I don't get bitter about Valentine's Day like some single people do -- I think it's a great excuse to show love for anyone in your life.  My friend Izzy has the same attitude, as she brought in some amazing heart "cake balls" to work today.

They looked incredible and tasted even better.  She's the one who made this Santa cookie over the holidays.

Valentine's Day cake balls
Valentine's Day cake ball hearts
Izzy also got to receive a flower delivery at work... and then deliver it to the graduate student recipient for the flower delivery guy.

Did anything make you smile on Valentine's Day this year?  Or tell me if you've ever had cake balls before!
• • •

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

When a $0 account balance is a good thing, & hawks

Some of the things I'm excited about today:

Consolidation loans: Paid in full!

I paid off my consolidation loan yesterday!  That's my first loan that I've completely paid off (The stafford loan up top with a $0 balance was one of the ones that got consolidated).  That leaves me with three student loans left: my two Stafford loans and the ECSI loan.  My weekend job and my federal tax refund helped me pay this first one quicker than I'd originally planned (as did leaving my 1,000 euro / month job in Spain to move back to Wisconsin).

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Another exciting thing that happened today:

Hawk carrying rabbit

While walking to dinner from work earlier this evening, I noticed a bunch of people stopped ahead of us on the sidewalk.  My friend said something about a "hawk" and we were stopped too.  I thought I misheard, that he had said "hot" something, and then I saw it!  Right in front of us next to the sidewalk was a hawk carrying a whole rabbit.  It flew a few yards over to this staircase, where said friend was able to snap a quick picture, and then it flew across the street to a church.  I've never been that close to a hawk before, let alone a hawk carrying a dead rabbit.


Did anything exciting happen during your Wednesday?
• • •

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lundi links: The digital life and U.S. postal service cuts

Here are some posts and articles I've read during the past week that I wanted to share:


My friend B.  shared this article via facebook about the digital life that's consuming many people in first-world countries.
Gizmodo

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After an American woman was murdered in Istanbul two weeks ago, Steph defends female solo travel and explains why it's certainly not to blame in situations like this one.
Twenty Something Travel

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I was surprised and a little saddened to read that the U.S. Postal Service plans to cut Saturday mail delivery come August, 2013.  As a huge proponent of snail mail, I wish some other solution could be found for the USPS's financial problems.
Cnn


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But to end on a happy note, read this post about Nicholas Winton and the hundreds of children that he selflessly saved during World War II.  I'll have to watch the documentary, Nicky's Family, that's referenced in the post.
The Happiness Plunge

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• • •

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday: 2/7/13

[Thankful Thursday is a weekly segment that began 1/10/13 - read why here.  I invite you to join me in practicing gratitude!]



Last night the roommates told me I'd gotten two post cards in the mail.  Woo hoo!  They were both from Hannah and Hermann, from their trip to Munich over New Year's.  The first one I looked at was this:

George IV

I chuckled out loud when I read the back, then had a huge smile on my face, thinking of my wonderful friends and feeling special that they'd thought of me over their holidays.

The second post card looked like this:


And the back was all written in German!  Those two friends combined speak English, Spanish, and French... but they don't speak German. 

Rather than typing things into Google Translate, I brought the post cards with me to work today.  I took it to some German graduate students to translate, but they couldn't make sense of it one bit.  They asked if my friends were drunk when they wrote this.  Hah.  Later that day while Gchatting Hannah, I found out they had merely written all of the German words that they knew!  It was really funny, and I was glad to have had an excuse to meet this semester's German graduate students.

So today I'm very thankful for these friends (you too, Max and Caroline! And others!) over in Europe that I've been able to stay close with, even after moving to the states.  It's normal for me to send snail mail, but to receive some from these two was a delight.  I'm also thankful for the fact that I'm able to Gchat with these friends nearly every day, which has helped our friendships stay strong.  Sure it's not the same as hanging out face to face, but you've got to appreciate what you do have!


“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
-Melody Beattie
• • •

Trader Joe's Vanilla Meringues

To keep up with my new year's resolution of no chocolate at work* (despite there being an always-full bowl of chocolates in the office), I began recording the number of chocolates eaten per day this week.  I made it through Monday and Tuesday without eating any, as I was looking forward to drawing a big fat "0" under the day's name on my post-it.

And then on Wednesday I had to add two tallies.  And today as well.  And I know it's simply a habit I have to break.  If there had been a chocolate jar in the office, I would never be eating so many chocolates for no reason.  Well, my habit routine is that if I'm stressed or hungry, or want a little pick-me-up, I grab a chocolate.  Even though I know this will make me physically feel worse and not better once it gets past my mouth, I still eat them for those glorious few seconds on my tongue.  

I realized today that I'm going to need a chocolate replacement to wean myself off, rather than going cold turkey.  I need something else to pop into my mouth when I'm craving a chocolate treat.

Today at the grocery store, I spotted a small tub of vanilla meringues:

Trader Joe's Vanilla Meringues
Trader Joe's Vanilla Meringues
Image Source

They're gluten free, and only contain sugar, egg whites, and vanilla.  No preservatives, and no artificial colors or flavors.  Perfect.  I bought them, and had one when I got home.  It was quite delicious, so I'm bringing the tub into work tomorrow.  I'll put them in my snack drawer, and am aiming for no more than one per day (in lieu of chocolate).

Let's hope it works!

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*In case anyone's thinking otherwise, the whole reason for my "no chocolates" resolution is because I have a digestive disorder and chocolates are one item that do not help my stomach.  I love chocolate very much so, but my body is much better off without it.
• • •

Monday, February 4, 2013

Lundi links: Miscellaneous Monday reading material

Mondays (lundis in French) sure feel different when you've worked on Saturday and Sunday.  They're a bit less painful, because it's not like you're leaving a break to start working again - it's just a continuation.  It's easier to keep going than to stop and start.  If anyone already has their eyes on Friday, check out some of these articles/posts to give yourself a short break:

For 40 years, this Russian family was cut off from all human contact, unaware of World War II
Smithsonian.com
(Thanks to Hermann for sending me this article!)

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It takes planning, caution to avoid being 'It': Group of men have played game of tag for 23 years; hiding in bushes, cars
Wall Street Journal
(Hermann sent me this one too!)

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Sophie in North Korea (Google site)

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• • •

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Snapshot: Oh I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Weinermobile

Oscar Mayer Weinermobile
Oscar Mayer Weinermobile
Madison, WI 

While walking home from work Friday evening, I spotted an Oscar Mayer Weinermobile parked on the side of the street as it snowed.  It was a nice change to the normal scenery around my neighborhood.

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Edit 2/17/13: In the comments Gregorio reminded me of the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile we saw in Spain at the Parque de Europa, just outside of Madrid.  Here it is:
Oscar Mayer in Spain
Parque de Europa
• • •

Friday, February 1, 2013

Resolutions checkpoint 2013: January

A full month has passed since the start of 2013; we are 1/12 through the year!  Time to check in and see how I'm doing on all of my new year's resolutions I made a month ago.  I'm hoping by revisiting these "resolutions" or goals each month, I'll reach more of them over the course of a year.  This is more for my personal use, but feel free to follow along and see my progress.  If you made any resolutions this year, now would be a good time to revisit those goals as well.

January progress


Books

  • (+)  I've read 5 books of 32, which means I'm 7% ahead of schedule (according to Goodreads).  Many of these books were youth chapter books (childhood favorites) though, so I feel like those should only count as half a book or something.
  • (-)  I have read 0 / 5 books in Spanish.
  • (-)  I have read 0 / 5 books that I own in my apartment.
  • (-)  Have not tackled any French book yet.
Health
  • (-)  Have not bought vitamin B and D yet
  • (+)  I'm taking probiotics when I remember and tracking it on Chains.  I've recorded taking probiotics 14/31 days in January. 
  • (-)  Still waiting to get JJ's info from the health center... cough cough
  • (-)  I am eating chocolate at work like crazy! Not good!
Personal
  • (+)  I wrote in my journal 12 / 31 days this month, and I'm tracking it on Chains.  This has doubled from the 6 times I wrote in December.
  • (-)  The new job is keeping my facebook log ins much lower on the weekends; I'm gone all day and don't have time for it when I come home.  It's still more than once a day some days, but again never for more than a couple minutes.
  • (-)  Need to be more mindful and think about every interaction with people.
  • (+)  I'm focusing on gratitude weekly with Thankful Thursdays on the blog
  • (+)  I took a second job, which I actually was a bit fearful of.  
Fitness
  • (-)  I've maybe only stretched a handful of times this month.
  • (-)  I only did push-ups 6 times this month.
  • (-)  I ran once, on a warm day.  It's been too cold and blizzardy for this!
Guitar
  • (-)  Fail. Haven't touched it!
Languages
  • (-)  Have not been to the French conversation table.
  • (-)  Have not signed up for a continuing studies French course
  • (+)  I've spent some time on Duolingo 11 / 31 days this month, which is around 3x/week.
  • (-)  Have not opened my French grammar book.
Travel
  • (-)  No trip is planned.
  • (-)  Emailed to ask the application deadline for S. Korea.  Have not started application.
  • (-)  Haven't made profile for French au pair website.
Blogs
  • (+)  I did get four posts out in January on Oh No She Madridn't.
  • (+)  I have blogged at least twice a week on Rebe with a Clause.
  • (-)  I didn't have a contest in January.
  • (+)  I definitely commented on more blogs than in December, but I don't think it was two a week.
MOOCs
  • (-)  Have not had time to look at the Statistics class
  • (+)  Began a personal finance MOOC.  Missed the quiz deadline for the second week.
Craft
  • (+)  I scrapbooked one night in January, but didn't complete any pages.
  • (-)  Have not began the inspiration binder.

February Focus

I'm going to pick one item from each category and turn it into an attainable goal for February:

  • Begin one book in Spanish or read a book I own in my apartment
  • Keep a tally of how many chocolates are eaten per day at work -- this should help to focus on it!
  • Write in journal at least 15 days in February.
  • Do push-ups twice a week, just to bring them into my line of sight.
  • Play guitar once per week.
  • Sign up for the continuing studies French course.
  • Begin South Korea teaching English application.
  • Add "Comment on another blog" to my Chains tasks, and do it twice a week.
  • Try to stay on top of the finance MOOC.
  • Set aside two evenings this month to scrapbook.


How is everyone else doing on their new year's resolutions?
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