(Eleventh in a series)
1. What did you do in 2017 that you'd never done before?
*Became Director of Undergraduate Studies
*Lived in D.C. for a month
*Started studying German
*Finished two articles
*Added all my elected representatives to speed-dial
2. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes. One friend had a greatly longed for, but complicated and high-risk birth (the baby is still in the NICU, but doing well)
3. Did anyone close to you die?
4. What countries did you visit?
None--but I spent some quality time in Our Nation's Capital!
5. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
Some direction in my nonacademic writing life. Whether the blog survives remains to be seen, but I'm still figuring out the other stuff.
6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I don't know if it's an "achievement," but hot damn, do I love being DUS. I really like fixing things, and advising students--especially transfers and returning students--is consistently rewarding.
(I also like the systems building/efficiency stuff, like revising our curriculum.)
7. What was your biggest failure?
At this particular moment, I feel pretty good about my work life. But as always, I feel keenly my failures of charity and compassion, and the ways I give into envy. And there were at least as many of those this year as any.
8. Did you suffer illness or injury?
A bit, which is unusual for me. I spent a couple of months last spring working with a physical therapist for a back/leg thing; I had some kind of strange eye issue in the fall (extreme dryness and irritation); and I had a couple of very brief but pretty nasty stomach bugs. Welcome to middle age, I guess?
9. What was the best thing you bought?
I'm very happy with my new glasses--the first pair I've had that I've been pleased to wear in public, at least occasionally.
10. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I'm inspired by the number of people I know who have committed themselves to charity work, political action, and community engagement this year.
11. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
That list is very long. But worse than our president would be his craven enablers and apologists.
12. Where did most of your money go?
Books, clothes, meals, events. The usual.
13. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a) Tough call. It's been a grim year in a lot of ways, but it's also been full of family and friends and that's improved my overall happiness level.
b) I think slightly fatter. But as long as my clothes fit, I'm content.
c) Slightly richer.
14. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Written on this-here blog. Or otherwise in a non-academic vein.
15. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Spiraled in and out of writing hysteria. It's actually been a very good and productive writing year, but that's only made me more aware of the emotional patterns I cycle through as I write, and they're. . . not super-functional.
16. What was the best book you read?
At the start: Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer. At the end, Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts.
17. What was your favorite film of the year?
Honestly? Wonder Woman.
18. What was your favorite album of the year?
Oh, crap. Did I even, consciously, hear a new album this year?
19. What was the best play you saw?
Best new play: Straight White Men (Steppenwolf)
Best revival: Uncle Vanya (Goodman)
(It was a pretty great weekend in Chicago!)
20. What kept you sane?
As usual, all the people in my life.
21. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.
Be with those you love, whenever and however you can. Tempus fugit.