The Year in Review

It’s the final day of 2006, which means it’s time for me to engage in a bit of reflection. I must admit that I haven’t really prepared for this, and it’s tempting to paste a meme, even though I try to avoid doing that here. But here goes my year in review:


…was a month for new obsessions as I got interested in both Neil Gaiman‘s works and the television show House. I got the new S-S.N design up, and, I’m happy to say that I like it now just as much as I ever did. There are some little changes I’d probably make, but, overall, I’m still pleased, which may be the first time such a thing has happened. My last semester at Case started up, including graduate-level fluids and planning an orbiter mission to Titan.



…I started hearing back from graduate schools. In one week alone, I heard from Duke University, University of Virginia, University of Michigan, and Cornell University. Later that month, I started visiting schools, first by going to Duke and then by heading to UVa for a visit. In fact, if one were to judge by my blog, I did nothing in February that was unrelated to graduate school, but we all know that I was also hard at work on my own projects back at Case.


…saw more graduate school visits–in fact I spent my spring break visiting Cornell and the University of Michigan and did research back at Case in the days between. Kind of a sad way to spend my last spring break, but it was a bit of an introduction to graduate school life. Speaking of introductions, March also included my first trip to the Virtual Worlds Lab at Case, which, combined with some encouragement from my friends, did a pretty good job of convincing me to get an Xbox and some games, much to the chagrin of my parents. And, at the end of the month, to bring the graduate school admissions drama to a close, I sent in my official acceptance papers for Cornell, a decision which I still do not regret.


…was a month for sticking my nose back to the grindstone as I hurried to hammer out all the projects I was working on for class. Amongst my many project presentations, I did a poster for the university’s research symposium and tied for 2nd place in my category for it. It was an exciting month, but also a bit sad because I knew my time at Case was coming to an end, and I didn’t want to say goodbye to my friends there. It was also a month for new music, as I got thoroughly addicted to Josh Ritter’s The Animal Years and Glen Hansard’s The Swell Season. I even made it out to a Josh Ritter concert between work.


…was one of those months that had many moments that will stay with me forever. I finished my classes at Case and then I spent my time trying to spend time with my friends and finish my research. And then there was Commencement weekend, which was both incredibly exciting and rather sad. All in all, I feel like it was a pretty good ending to that part of my life.



Mark came to visit and I got myself a car. Then my family all packed up and headed off to the Caribbean for a week-and-a-half of cruising. I still haven’t put up all of the photos from that trip–nor did I type up all of the journal that I kept of that trip (1, 2), but part of that has to do with, ahem, technically difficulties. Let me assure you that the pictures are fantastic and that the cruise was great. In fact the cruise continued right into…


…which, in addition to the cruise, included a trip up to Ithaca to find my new apartment. I was a bit worried about finding a place but shouldn’t have been. I got lucky. I even had some time to spend just enjoying Ithaca and Cornell, which only made me more excited about getting to move up there in…


The early part of my August was spent packing, but, by mid-August, I was up in Ithaca and getting settled. After spending some time getting familiar with Ithaca, I got officially oriented and started the semester off with the traditional showing of Casablanca. Classes soon ate my existence, but I didn’t let that stop me from enjoying myself.


…could be called the month of hiking. Just about every weekend saw a trip to a new gorge (1, 2, 3). At the end of the month, I celebrated my twenty-first birthday by going out for Mexican and margaritas with many of my new classmates and with Mark, who was kind enough to come up from OH to visit me.


…included a trip to Cleveland for Fall Break. It was great to see so many of my friends and professors again, but, at the same time, that weekend taught me about how much I’d changed in the short time I’d been away. Cleveland no longer felt like home. Ithaca did. Later that month, Greg came up to visit from Pittsburgh, and I spent some time showing off Cornell in the fall and got some lovely photos in the process (said photos appear in a Cornell photo collage I gave my parents for Christmas!) Late in October, Joe and I began dating, and we spent a memorable Halloween together at an organ concert in Sage Chapel.


…I remember as being stressful. I was beginning to worry more about my classes and that lasted through finals in December. I got my NSF application sent in, and I officially got an advisor. I also had a visit from B all the way from Ireland, and I loved that. She got to spend Thanksgiving with me and my family in North Carolina, and I know we all enjoyed that on this end. (In fact, my winter break has been punctuated with frequent mentions of B on the part of my family. They really liked her!)


…started much the same way as November: lots of stress. I finished up classes, took my finals, and started feeling happier and less stressed once I could start researching. I drove down in North Carolina in a single day and have spent two weeks relaxing with my family. There’s been rather a lot of post-Christmas shopping, mostly because my family didn’t really give me any presents, opting instead to buy me things I actually need while I’m around to tell them so. Thus my car will be very full on the way back the day after tomorrow. It’s been a lovely holiday, though.

Having looked back, I suppose I should look forward to next year while I’m at it. I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions, but if I were to have one, it would probably be to a) work harder in my classes and b) set up and stick to an exercise routine. I expect to spend a lot more time on research in the coming year, and I’m ready to welcome that with open arms. I’ve enjoyed it so far. I’m also looking forward to the spring, despite the fact that I have all of winter left to face. I really enjoyed hiking around Ithaca, and I’d like to do more of that (and, hey, that counts as exercise!). It’ll be nice to be back in Ithaca, feeling refreshed from break. I miss hanging out with my friends there (and the rest of you need to come visit!). I’m expecting my little sister to come up in April over her spring break, so I’m excited about that even though there are three months between now and then.

Most of all I’m excited to see where life will take me. Finishing up my undergraduate career and jumping into graduate school made for an eventful year, and even more has happened in that time than I expected. There are a lot of wonderful things happening in my life right now, and I can’t wait to see how things will develop. Happy New Year, everyone!

3 Responses to “The Year in Review”

  • Hey!

    I feel like Gweneth Paltrow – You like me, You really like me!

    I’m glad your family liked me and it was wonderful to spend Thanksgiving with you. Just remember, it’s your turn to cross the Atlantic next time!

  • Or rather, Gwyneth! Forgive me, I’m a little tipsy!

  • That’s awesome. It’s exciting to hear of all you have going on. Never afraid to take the world by storm.

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