Showing posts with label year in review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label year in review. Show all posts

How did 2015 Go?

2014 was quite the year!   So much so that I aimed for an ambitious 2015. Well, how did I end up?  Let's take a look at those goals I set out to pursue:  

Start a Doctoral Program - Mission Accomplished

I have now finished four courses in my doctoral project and am loving it.  It challenges (and at times, frustrates) me, but I can see the growth taking place and appreciate how it is pushing me to think even more broadly than before.  My biggest concern about the doctoral program would be that it wouldn't be rigorous enough.  That may sound a little silly, but there are a good deal of doctoral programs that are less than stellar and it was important to me to find one that would push me and this program definitely does that.  

Break 2 hours on the half-marathon - Mission Accomplished

Watch time:  1:55 for half-marathon
I am so proud of this accomplishment.  Besides struggling for two years to get under the two-hour mark, I thought this was likely a forsaken goal because I had ended up with a hip strain that had me out of running commission for most of July and much of August.  This not only kept from running over the summer but from building up any speed.  However, I bounced back from it and crushed my previous record (2:03) in a half-marathon I ran in September.  I owe a debt of gratitude to my friend, Chuck, who was willing to go for some long runs and had the brilliant idea to run the course about a month before the race to get a full sense of what we were looking at.  This in itself helped me mentally prepare for the race, which advertise itself as the flattest race in the series but had a large hill at the 10.5 mile mark and some inclines in the latter half of the race.  I had hoped to do well, but I didn't think I would do this well.  To the many, running under two hours isn't necessarily a huge feat but for me it best captures my journey on becoming a runner.  It means that I sustained under a 9-minute mile for 13 miles, even though I started in a place where I would run 13-15-minute miles.  Overall, I was happy with my running this year, coming in just over 1270 miles for the year!

1000 Blog Posts - Mission Accomplished

I also achieved this milestone for the year, which I'm quite happy about.  I started blogging without much direction but really just a platform to write miscellaneous things.  In truth, it still serves that purpose pretty regularly.  However, I've also found the blog as a meaningful way to think and reflect, either directly about my life or indirectly.  It's also been a platform to help me further grow, whether through reading a book a day, reading and writing about short stories, or reflecting on photos that I've taken.  Having published over 1000 posts isn't a great accomplishment in itself, but for me it shows me the dedication I have to writing and thinking; it's been clear to me how it has been useful in my day to day life to have this space where I share my thoughts (and people even occasionally respond to them).  Finally, I'm impressed with the traffic.  After several years of blogging, these last two years have showed an upward spike in traffic, averaging just under 10,000 visitors a month.  It's not necessarily huge numbers when contrasted with major blogs, but that's a respectable number for someone just sharing his thoughts.  

Photo a Day - Mission Somewhat Accomplished

Ok, I didn't hit every day.  I came in just about 100 short (which could be conceived as essentially taking weekends off, right?).  I'm fine with not meeting the letter of this goal.  It was more of a guide-post and the bigger goal--to take more photographs, think about them, and write something about them was certainly achieved.  I'm extending this to some degree for 2016 and doing an image of the week to explore.

Publish a Book - Mission In Progress

So besides my 10 Classic Tales of Horror that I published at the end of 2014, this one hasn't quite happened.  But that's ok, I'm in progress with Teaching History with Comics and have an upcoming deadline, so I am hoping to make it happen for 2016.  

Break 4:20 on the marathon - Mission Not Accomplished

This one fell by the wayside after getting the summer injury.  While I was able to build up for the half-marathon, trying to get up to full speed for a full marathon in the fall, just wasn't reasonable going to happen and it didn't.  Again, this is a goal I'm fine with not meeting.  My fall was filled with a many great things and I can just throw this on for next year's goals!

A Book a Week - Mission Not Accomplished

I had hoped to read a physical book a week.  That clearly didn't happen.  I did pass the 220 books mark for 2015, which is always a great accomplishment, but that was a heavy mixture of audiobooks and graphic novels with a handful of books.  Most of my textual reading focused on a lot of articles, which is of no surprise, given my pursuit of the PhD.

So there they are--the hits and the misses.  Regardless of the misses, I feel like it's been another strong year of growth and rising to interesting and exciting challenges.    I'm looking forward to 2016!

How was your 2015?  What kind of goals and accomplishments did you achieve or find challenge with?  What are you thinking about for 2016?

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2014 - HOT DAMN What a Year!

2014 was a pretty spectacular year both professionally and personally.  There was a lot going on and it all went pretty well everything considered.  So let's take a look at what 2014 included:

Professional Accomplishments

I finished and received my diploma for my third Master's Degree.  This was a Masters Degree of Education with a focus on Instructional Design.  This finished what I considered to be the hat-trick of education before moving onto a doctorates.  The final project of the program was a focus on hybrid flexible design, which I actually got to try out this past year and will be running it again this year.  Also, I have started applying for to doctoral programs, which I consider a different type of professional accomplishment in that I'm finally heading that path.  I've only been circling it for nearly a decade.  

I secured another position as a social media strategist.  This time, for NEPCA.  I have also taken over as instructor for a social media course at North Shore Community College's Community Education program.   

I attended and presented at a handful of conferences this past year including several for NERCOMP, Suffolk University Technology Symposium, and Massachusetts Colleges Online.  The topics focused on hybrid flexible design, accessibility and universal design, refreshing online courses, and open educational resources.  
2014 North Shore Community College Excellence in Teaching Award for Adjunct Faculty - Lance Eaton

I also joined the Salem State Alumni Board of Directors, which has been a rewarding and enjoyable experience.  It's been good to reconnect with Salem State University and to be involved in ongoing projects that brings together alumni and students.  

I was involved with a team that has helped to launch an open textbook initiative at North Shore Community College.  It's felt great being part of such a great team of colleagues working to make a significant difference in access for college students.  

Finally, I also received an award for teaching.  I was quite pleasantly surprised by this as it wasn't even on my radar.  But after eight years and over 100 courses, it was powerful to be recognized for my various efforts that I have put in over the years.  

Personal Accomplishments

The monthly breakdown.
I ran over 1250 miles this year (1252 to be exact!).  That's about 500 more than last year and probably (with the subtraction of last year), more than I have cumulatively run in my whole life.  This goal was quite important to me (I think I aimed for 1000 originally) as it helped me keep focus when it was clear that my other running goals were not going to happen.  I also learned to find running on a treadmill agreeable (so long as Netflix is on hand--hahaha). 

Despite getting injured with a herniated disc and pinched nerve in the neck, I was still able to run two marathons this year and even achieve a personal best on a half-marathon with just over 2:03.  I didn't do as well as I would have liked on the marathons but know that I'll do better next year.  Of course, I plan to break the 2 hour mark with the half-marathon and we'll see what my marathon time will be next year.  

I completed my 365 project.  This got a little hairy towards the end and I definitely had trouble keeping up with everything else going on.  However, I logged in 365 short story reflections, which I'm quite proud of.  It has been a learning experience in many ways--not the least of which is having to fully read all of Ambrose Bierce's work, which is pretty cool.  
Lance - Christine - Floral Showhouse Niagara Falls 2014

Of course, the big personal accomplishment of 2014 is that I got married to an amazing and wonderful partner.  I proposed to her in April in Niagara Falls (no, not that Niagara Falls!).  We decided to return there for our wedding in October and it was a fantastic adventure with family and friends.  Planning and executing the wedding itself as it was a different approach than most offered its share of challenges but we made a great pair and everyone had a fantastic time (especially us!).  

Indeed, 2014 has been a fantastic year and I look forward to what 2015 will bring.  Keep an eye out for my forthcoming post about my goals and hopes for 2015.  

How was your 2014?  What kind of goals and accomplishments did you achieve or find challenge with?  What are you thinking about for 2015?

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