ananzi: (dancing statue)
[personal profile] ananzi
1. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?

- Shoveled aaaalllll the snow.
- Made and presented my first scientific poster.
- Passed my Ph.D. comprehensive exams.
- Made a cheesecake. Also, multiple pies (cranberry and pumpkin). Also, profiteroles (aka creampuffs). Cinnamon swirl bread. And probably some other baking projects that I forgot about.
- Visited Canada! Twice!
- Saw Niagara Falls.
- Learned how to change a bicycle tire.
- Made my own pulled pork in the oven! I don't cook much meat, but when I do, I go all in.
- Tore my ACL (boo). Got surgery on my knee. Went to physical therapy.
- Taught someone else how to drive a stick-shift (in this case, my boyfriend needed to be able to drive my car when I got knee surgery).
- Wrote a research proposal for a fellowship application.
- Joined a community orchestra in Rochester!

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Didn't make any last year, probably won't make any this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Since I can't remember any, I'm gonna go with probably not.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit?

Canada! (Toronto and Niagara Falls)

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

- An uninjured knee. (Okay, I had that for over half of 2015, but this year I want to recover and then stay uninjured.)
- Better academic focus.

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I am really terrible at exact dates.

early June - my comprehensive exams
October 9 - my knee surgery

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

There were a number of times when I was under a great deal of stress and pressure (comprehensive exams, last-minute NSF GRFP application, knee surgery and scheduling all of the doctor visits that entailed, the week when I had finals + 4 orchestra concerts + fellowship application) - mostly academic, but occasionally other stuff - and I made it through. And generally did a kickass job on everything.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Most of my issues this year (at least, in the latter half of 2015) were academic.

I did almost zero research this semester, although this is partially due to my advisor, my class schedule, and the fact that I was funded partially through a teaching assistantship. So I'm going to count that as mostly not my failing.

In general, though, I have been frustrated by my lack of focus as compared to many of my classmates, and am tired of fighting with myself whenever I try to work on something. Maybe this is the year that I get evaluated for ADHD, although I've been saying this since high school and haven't done anything about it yet.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Tore my ACL, as previously mentioned. Maybe I got sick once or twice, but I don't really remember.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I split the costs for a trip to Toronto to spend time with friends, and that was pretty great. We played board games, ate a lot of food (including poutine), and visited the Royal Ontario Museum.

As far as physical things go, I bought the fat pony plush off of Kate Beaton's online store, and it is also great.



12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My significant other helped me through a lot of stressful times, freakouts, etc.

Lots of friends were very kind and helpful after my knee surgery.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Donald Trump (he is/was a big, loudmouthed bully).
Lawmakers trying to defund Planned Parenthood.
Police officers and others who perpetuated brutality against people of color.
People responsible for burning/attacking black churches.
Every mass shooter, and the system that allowed them to so easily obtain guns.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent and food, probably.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

For the first half of 2015, I was really excited about ultimate frisbee. In playing the summer leagues, I finally got to feel like my practice was paying off (in the form of longer and more accurate throws, better field sense, better cuts, etc.). It's fun to think about how much I've improved since I started playing a couple of years ago, and about how much better I might be in another year or two if I keep playing.

One of my friends had several fun craft projects and invited me to help with all of them! I got to carve pumpkins and paint two different tables (with no real restrictions on what to paint), and it was so much fun!

I was invited to play an extra Christmas concert with a different orchestra than the one I normally play with. In addition to feeling flattered by the invite, I was excited to play the Hallelujah Chorus because I used to play that with my high school orchestra.

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

"Uptown Funk," Bruno Mars

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? Probably about the same.

ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner, surprisingly/unintentionally.

iii. richer or poorer? Richer!

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Playing board games! Hanging out with people! Practicing the viola! Biking!

I don't think that this counts, but after my knee surgery I wanted to do things like running/biking/swimming but was not allowed to for obvious reasons.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Stress! (Mostly academic stress/anxiety, but sometimes social anxiety or health concerns made me unhappy).

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With my immediate family + aunt and grandmother (both on my mom's side). Same as every year. C. came down to Raleigh for a little while before Christmas, though.

21. How will you be spending New Year's Eve?

I went downtown to meet up with a high school friend and watch the acorn drop at midnight. (The acorn is Raleigh's version of the ball.)

22. Did you fall in love in 2015?

Still in the same relationship that I've been in for the past 4 years. I fell in love with a couple of books, movies, television shows, etc., but I'm gonna leave those to the next few questions. ;)

23. How many one-night stands?
No.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

Steven Universe is good, and possibly one of the only shows I watched this year that was actually making episodes this year.

Revolutionary Girl Utena is not even remotely recent, but I watched it all this year for the first time and was super into it.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

I'm not very good at hating people. There are a few people who I think are turds, but I mostly covered that in the "appalling and depressing behavior" question.

26. What was the best book you read this year?

Hmm...maybe the Steerswoman series, by Rosemary Kirstein. Thanks, [personal profile] lorata!

Honorable mentions go to Shelter by Susan Palwick, the Magicians series by Lev Grossman, and Among Others by Jo Walton.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Did I make any musical discoveries this year? I guess I got really into Sydney Lucas's rendition of "Ring of Keys" (from Fun Home).

28. What did you want and get?

A research advisor. A Kindle Paperwhite. An electric mixer.

29. What did you want and not get?

A fully functional body. Actual progress on my research.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

Mad Max: Fury Road was probably my overall fave. Jupiter Ascending (yes, I liked it, and no, I don't care if you didn't) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens were also fun and inspired a lot of worldbuilding-type questions.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 24, and I went to a delicious sushi restaurant with C. (my boyfriend).

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Last semester was kind of boring and unproductive. I'd like to be more engaged with my school/work next year.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

Casual, mostly - jeans and t-shirts. But I made an effort to wear cute skirts (one of them has stars and nebulae all over it!) and dresses occasionally, and am a little bit interested in doing more of that in 2016.

34. What kept you sane?

Boyfriend. Orchestra (because I need to have hobbies outside of school). Friends who invited me to do things with them, because otherwise I might've turned into a hermit.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I...don't remember. Carrie Fisher has been pretty badass recently. I used to not care about Tom Hardy, but after watching Mad Max and reading this bizarre account of a kitten he found in Romania I have a renewed appreciation for him.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Probably abortion restrictions or BlackLivesMatter.

37. Who did you miss?

Some of my high school/undergrad friends who I haven't seen in a while. C., when he was gone.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

Frisbee people from the summer leagues! Ultimate frisbee (in my experience) is a friendly culture.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.

Sometimes things will happen that are out of my control, but there's no use stressing over them. Actually, my logical brain has known this for a long time, but my anxiety brain hasn't figured this one out yet.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

I don't wanna.

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Emily

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