Update on Year 1

This blog started as a way of tracking my progress on the “30 before 30” list. It has now been a year since I made that list, and so I felt a check up was needed. I will only comment on the items that have been “exed-off” or that have seen any forward progress.

1. Finish Graduate School.

As perhaps to be expected, there have been many ups and downs in this category this year. I did, however, pass my oral exams in January, officially making me All But Dissertation (ABD). Now I only have to tackle that “thesis” thing.

2. Pay off car loan

Closer. In less than two years over 50% of the loan has been paid. It shall be done.

3. Go to Europe

I got the chance of a lifetime to spend almost two-weeks in Spain in May-June, 2010. It was the most relaxing, most amazing trip of my entire life. Got to stay at a villa with the Mediterranean literally as my back-yard. I slept outside for the first time in my life. I spent multiple afternoons and evenings having a blast in Barcelona and the surrounding area–even went on a wine tour.

I’ll work on uploading pictures, but we have (from T to B): the Roman ruins at Tarragona, the view from the top of Montserrat, and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

6. Make my goal fitness/weight.

Graduate school does horrors to your body. Took a semester of yoga, which was enjoyable but a bit time consuming. Hoping to get back to running this summer when I have more time (it would help me in #11 on the list as well), though I have downloaded (courtesy of Netflix) yoga videos to keep that up.

8. Go to a vineyard

See the comments about Spain. Here are some pictures:


10. Dye my hair.

THIS was an experience. Did it the week before my birthday last year. I chose a deep reddish-brown. I didn’t want to choose something so far away from my natural color (thinking it would be less noticeable in a worst-case scenario); I also didn’t want a color that look completely manufactured. I liked the overall look, but I’m not sure I’d do it again. First, it was very expensive (over $100 with a 50% off coupon!!!)–guess it must have been the length of my hair. Also, it took THREE HOURS!!! Last, and probably most importantly, I didn’t like the way it made my hair feel. For as long as the dye was in my hair was dryer and more brittle–weird, I know. So, not sure if I’ll do it again. But at least I tried.

13. Cook a complete Thanksgiving meal.

This year, I was promoted to side-dishes. My creamed onions and peas were a hit. Also decided to make pumpkin bread for Friday morning–another hit. Still, I’m afraid of this one. My mother makes very good stuffing and gravy–not sure how to tackle “the bird.”

16. Finish every unread or partially read book I own.

Rome was not built in a day. That’s all I can say about this one. Here are the books I got through this year:

  • Eichmann in Jerusalem by Arrendt
  • Poirot Investigates by Christie
  • I Love You, Beth Cooper by Doyle
  • LA Confidential by Ellroy
  • The Beach by Garland
  • Farewell to Arms by Hemingway
  • IV by Klosterman
  • The Prince by Machiavelli
  • Life of Pi by Martel
  • Cesar’s Way by Millan
  • A Beautiful Mind by Nasar
  • Musicophilia by Sacks
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Skloot
  • The Way We Live Now by Trollope
  • The Bureau and the Mole by Vise
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by Wroblewski

Considering I take 12-15 hours a semester, teach one 3-4 hour class a semester, and was working on orals, that’s not too bad, right? If I keep this rate up, I should finish on time.

23. See a Broadway Show on Broadway

This was referenced in another post–best weekend ever!!!

25. Start and maintain a blog.

While this blog has lasted longer than any journal/diary etc I’ve ever had before, I’m not sure how long I need to wait before I say I’ve “maintained.”



So, there’s where I am with the list. What are my goals for the next year?

1. Finish grad school–I do not think I will graduate in the next year; however, I think it is a fair and realistic goal to have a large chunk of my thesis worked out a year from now.

2. Pay back car loan–we’ll shoot for 75% pay-back. More would be great, of course, but we’ll shoot for 75%.

5. Learn to change a tire and my oil–that should definitely be done. It’s embarrassing what I don’t know sometimes.

6. Make fitness goal/weight–if I can stick to a weekly gym regimen for more than 12 weeks, I’ll be impressed. We’ll make that a mini-goal towards this greater one.

7. Learn to drive a stick shift–it would be nice, and considering my boyfriend has a stick shift…hint hint, wink wink, nudge nudge.

15. Set up a healthy retirement/investment account–got some resources to start looking into how to invest and how to save. But I really should just go ahead and open the damn IRA.


21. Pull an all-nighter–this will probably happen sometime in the next year, and I will probably wonder why it was on my list to begin with.

26. Go to a rugby game–while at the gym this morning (yay me, working towards #6!) I looked at the dates and times of the local rugby team matches. This shall be done as well.

29. Donate blood–again, it shall be done. It is a good thing to do, and it will force me to get over what fear of needles I have (AND I get a cookie!)

Of course this sounds like a lot, but I think that’s part of the point of the list. I’ve realized there are so many things I would like to accomplish. I’ve realized how “baby steps” can lead me to a greater goal. And, I’ve realized that I really can accomplish all these things–I just need the motivation.

Till next year!


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