2010: A Year in Review

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It may seem strange to be reviewing 2010 four days into 2011, but 2010 was such a great year for me that I feel I must acknowledge it in some way.  For one thing, 2010 was the first year that I actually kept a resolution--to be ABD by the end of the year.  I've been absent from the blogosphere for several months, busy teaching and studying for comps, but I can now happily report that I passed my written and oral comps with flying colors and, as my dissertation director says, my life is now my own.  I am in the happy land of research and dissertation writing.

When I wasn't teaching or studying or taking classes last year, though, I did lots of other fun things:

  • I presented at two eighteenth-century conferences (ASECS in Albuquerque and EC-ASECS in Pittsburgh).  
  • I spent the summer teaching and writing in a tiny mountain town in Pennsylvania. 
  • I spent a glorious four-day weekend in New York.  
Me with good ol' Hans Christian Anderson in Central Park.
  • I read tons of amazing books.  (I typed 42 titles into my long-neglected GoodReads account this morning--and those were just the ones I could remember off the top of my head.)  Favorites include Jandy Nelson's The Sky Is Everywhere and Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series (for YA), the Emily the Strange novels (for MG/YA), Kate Morton's The House at Riverton and The Forgotten Garden (contemporary/historical novels), Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth (short story collection), and Frances Brooke's The History of Emily Montague (eighteenth-century epistolary novel).
One of the  most beautiful and moving books I read this year.
  • I listened to a lot of great music.  My favorite albums of the year were Vampire Weekend's Contra, Arcade Fire's The Suburbs, The xx's XX, Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More, and Broken Bells' self-titled debut.  And I got to see She & Him, Silversun Pickups, and Muse in concert.  Seeing Muse was on my bucket list, and it was the most amazing concert I've ever seen.
Ohhh, Matt Bellamy, you can do no wrong in my eyes. ;-)
  • I visited some of the greatest art museums in the world and saw some truly inspiring exhibits.  Favorites were "Picasso in the Metropolitan Museum of Art," Marina Abramovic's "The Artist is Present" at MoMA, "Caricature, Satire, and Comedy of Errors: Works on Paper from the 18th through 20th Centuries" at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, and "Salvador Dali: The Late Works" at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.
Dali's Hallucinogenic Toreador--not part of the exhibit, but my favorite Dali painting nonetheless.
  • I got to celebrate being ABD with a trip to Mexico, and I got to tour Chichen Itza (another bucket list item), climb to the top of Ek Balam, snorkel some amazing reefs, and try snuba for the first time.  I learned a lot about myself on that trip, and I'm sure it will be food for many stories (and maybe even a poem!) to come.
Itty-bitty me and El Castillo at Chichen Itza.
Some of the amazingly well-preserved carvings and statues at Ek Balam.
The gorgeous water at Xel-Ha.
Snorkeling in the reef near Puerto Morelos.
Some of my favorite fish friends at Xel-Ha.
My first (and perhaps last! lol) attempt at SNUBA

I didn't get to travel as much as usual this past year, but I did some calculations, and I spent more than one month living in hotel rooms in 2010.  Add that to the two months I lived in PA and the weeks that I spent visiting friends and family, and I probably only spent eight months in Auburn last year.  2011 promises to be even more eventful, with several trips in the works (Seattle/Vancouver in March, at least a month living in London this summer, and maybe trips to Amsterdam, Paris, and Italy), and I hope to write a little more, read a little more, and just enjoy life even more. :-)


Tawnysha Greene January 5, 2011 at 8:16 AM  

Welcome back to the blogosphere! I missed your posts!

Glad you had such a great year! Love the pics!

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