New Year’s Eve
2012: An epic adventure about a global cataclysm that brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors.
Perhaps the Roland Emmerich mind bogglingly bad summer blockbuster of 2009 isn’t quite spot on for the future year ahead. But I genuinely believe that 2012 will entail an epic adventure for the fair maiden of the ivory tower. For instance, my PhD project is coming along, slowly but surely. However there is a significant chance that I will graduate around the same time as my stipend runs out (read: fall 2012). So by the end of the year, my airplane tickets will read Dr. Ingimundardottir/Hel. Not too shabby, not shabby at all.
I’ve also undertaken a very extravagant new year’s resolution: learning to prepare French cuisine. I thought it appropriate since I’ve started taking up French classes last semester. Which, despite great neglect, I have passed with marks going well beyond expectations. Well technically, one mark is still pending, but the teacher is such a sweetheart and assured me that I should have no worries. The French department is beyond helpful and abiding. I’m not quite sure if I’m going to sign up for any more classes this semester. I might enroll, and drop out. As I said before, I intend to finish my PhD by the end of the year – but I also have teaching coming up this spring semester, which undoubtedly will take a lot of my time. Although, I have promised myself to keep a greater distance between myself and my pupils. My supernatural time management skills seem to have forsaken me. How I managed to finish my Bachelors degree a semester ahead of time, in mathematics no less, is beyond me. Same could be said with my Masters degree, which I magically finished on time. However, that time I spent in Valenciennes on Erasmus was spent mostly exploring north-western Europe and gaining excessive weight on Belgian beers and treacherous Nutella. Not to mention the overlapping of MSc and PhD studies, since I started taking classes for my PhD degree in the fall of 2009, however graduating as an engineer in February 2010. When I write out my CV, this is generally assumed to be a typo. Oh well.
For this upcoming spring, I’m making excessive changes to my teaching methods. I’m will be trying out dividing the course work into two section: The first 10 weeks will be theoretical lectures, with weekly hand outs (which I will also be experimenting with, in order to reduce infamous copying among engineering students). Finishing with a written [final] exam. The following 5 weeks will be entirely devoted to working on a group project. By dividing the work this way, I’m hoping that at least now the group project will be more successful because they will have read the syllabus and thus understand the foundations of operations research prior to starting on a real-world project — instead of learning the bare minimum to finish the project on the fly. At least, that is what I’m hoping. Needless to say, I’m continuing my teaching studies for higher education at the faculty of teacher education. I will be needing all the help I can get to make this somewhat successful. At least it can’t get any worse than last year.
Travelling wise, I’ve not planned 2012 at all. Most likely I will be starting the year off by going to Paris for a week in the middle of January. I still haven’t gotten my travel permit from the University, but my paper was accepted and the registration deadline hasn’t passed yet. This will unveil in the next few days, when everybody have come back from their Christmas vacations. I had intended to go to Brisbane this summer, however there isn’t enough money for the University to send me over there. Thus I’m keeping an eye out for cheaper conference venues, e.g. Italy in September for PPSN 2012. All suggestions are greatly appreciated.
My Polish colleague from Gliwice has recently contacted me. He’s interested in applying again for the FSS mobility project for Polish and Icelandic research collaboration. I wouldn’t mind visiting Poland again. This time, nowhere near Christmas. Their roads are by no means suitable for winter travelling. Oh the horror.
Then again, my brother is likely to entice my mother with a grand voyage around the world, and offer my companionship, which I will enthusiastically agree to. Duh. She has been focusing on Australia of late, but perhaps I can draw her attention to South America, where the wildlife is astounding, and therefore excellent leather goods on the cheap. Wishful thinking? Maybe, but quite likely to come to pass.
What else is likely to happen in 2012? Not quite sure. Move out? When I finish my PhD I will seriously look into that part of growing up. Until then, no comment. Boyfriend? Nah. I’m going to try out reverse physiology this year around. Last year was unsuccessful (to say the least). My dream wedding for next summer is still very much a dream, and will probably continue to be so for quite some time.