Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: A Personal Reflection

It is basically a New Year's Eve tradition that I try to take a few minutes and reflect on what all has happened over the past year, both positive and negative. A lot happened this year in my personal life that was tough for sure. My grandfather passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer's in July. There were also some tough personal issues in my family, which I will refrain from giving more details. I recently wrapped up my toughest semester of teaching since my first year. I felt myself becoming jaded and disillusioned, and that is not who I am as a teacher. The positive side is that I feel ready and more confident to take on the new semester.

However, 2016 provided some positives that I would like to reflect on.

  • I got to visit two new states and a territory this year: California, Minnesota, and the United States Virgin Islands. So, I am officially over the halfway mark (26 down, 24 to go). 
  • I went to California, and I got to experience some cool stuff while I was there, such as seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time, eating In-N-Out, Hollywood (gross!), the Griffith Observatory, Santa Monica Pier, Disneyland, and the Warner Bros. Studio Tour! 
  • I finally got to go to St. Thomas (not once, but twice) this year! For those of you that may not know, my girlfriend was born and raised there, and her mom still lives there. So, it was nice to finally see where she grew up! I also realized that going to the beach wasn't so bad after all. Now, I guess this means that I have some sort of an aversion to stateside beaches. 
  • I had the opportunity to attend Twitter Math Camp in Minneapolis and make some new friends and finally meet some of my Twitter peoples in person. I also got to see Minnehaha Falls and the Mall of America while I was up there. I also had the opportunity to meet Dan Meyer, who is a rockstar in the world of mathematics education. 
  • My girlfriend was inducted into the Phi Alpha, the National Social Work Honor Society in October at the University of Tennessee. 
  • I was ranked a level 5 for the first time in my career. 
  • Our school finally received some technology in the form of Chromebooks. 
  • We decided on December 30 to adopt a dog from the animal shelter!
So, with that, as much as I hate to admit it, I am ready to see 2016 go and see what 2017 has to offer! I am hoping for more travels, professional growth, and happy times and experiences with the ones I love!! 

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