I enjoy doing these New Years surveys to reflect on the year that's passed and the year ahead. A little late, but here goes:
1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
So much! The most shocking thing (to me) was that I figured out how to balance chemical equations and then taught it to my seventh graders, all in the span of about 10 minutes one day during science class. (Oh, the joys of being a push-in ESL teacher with almost no time for planning with the mainstream content teachers. This means I'm constantly learning stuff on the fly so I can help my kids figure it out.) Learning chemical equations particularly stands out to me because I remember being SO confused by them as a high school junior, so I was pretty impressed that as a 30-year-old, I finally had enough cognition to figure it out.
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I made specific resolutions last year, other than my Goodreads challenge. I set my goal to read 100 books, and I made it to 74, so this year, I set my goal to read 75 books.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I'm sure many Facebook friends did, but no one close enough to visit any newborn babies last year.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, I don't think so.
5. What countries did you visit?
US, China, Hong Kong
6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
More time to spend with old friends, better Chinese.
7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finishing my master's program.
8. What was your biggest failure?
Not finishing any research projects (which I need to do if I want to apply for PhD programs in a few years).
9. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No, nothing serious.
10. What was the best thing you bought?
I didn't buy it myself, but our school provided me with an iPad since some of my students use iPads in class, and I've liked it a lot more than I thought I would. So convenient.
11. Where did most of your money go?
Maybe food? Grad school payments? We don't keep a specific budget anymore, so I don't know for sure.
12. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Hmm...I'm not a very excitable person. I think I was most excited that they made an Into the Woods movie even though I still haven't been able to see it (it didn't get released in China).
13. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
About the same, maybe a little happier since my master's is finished.
b) thinner or fatter?
About the same, maybe a little fatter since we ate so much good food in Hong Kong last month.
c) richer or poorer?
Definitely richer. New job pays much better than the old job, even if it is a ton of work.
14. What do you wish you'd done more of?
15. What do you wish you'd done less of?
16. What was your favourite TV program?
Best new show I discovered: The 100. Best old shows I still love: The Walking Dead, Grey's Anatomy, The Good Wife, and Dancing with the Stars.
17. What was the best book you read?
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
18. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Um...Hillsong? Not really a discovery, but I did listen to them more last year than in the past.
19. What did you want and get?
A good Chinese teacher.
20. What did you want and not get?
To finish writing at least one research article.
21. What was your favourite film of this year?
I guess I didn't see many films in 2014. I just skimmed through the first few pages of IMDB's list of 2014 movies, and most were totally unfamiliar to me. Of the ones I did see, the only ones that stood out as good were X-Men: Days of Future Past, Maleficent, and Guardians of the Galaxy. But I wouldn't rank any of those as a favorite. If I had seen Into the Woods, I'm sure it would've been the favorite.
22. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I helped give language placement tests at school. It was super busy, so I barely had time to eat, much less do anything fun for my birthday. I think Matt got me a donut from the bakery near our house, but it was such a busy day, I barely remember. Oh, and I turned 30.
23. How did you celebrate Christmas?
Christmas Eve, we hung out with friends from work at the Harley Davidson restaurant near our house & then played games. Christmas Day, we had a big dinner and White Elephant gift exchange with friends from our church.
24. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
25. What kept you sane?
26. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Pretty much the only celebrities I know are from Dancing with the Stars. Last season, I liked Sadie Robertson (from Duck Dynasty) and Alfonso Ribeira (Carlton on The Fresh Prince) the best. They both seemed like such quality, down-to-earth people and are awesome dancers. I was glad they got the top 2 spots in the competition.
27. What political issue stirred you the most?
Always climate change/environmental issues.
28. Who did you miss?
So many people! It does get easier over time to be in another country, but of course, I always miss friends & family from home.
29. Who was the best new person you met?
My coworkers, especially those in my department. My middle school students. Friends from the leadership group at church.
30. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
"You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need."