At the beginning of 2008 I did what most folks do, I wrote a list of things I’d like to get done during the new year. So, keeping with tradition, here’s this year’s list of resolutions/goals and a short overview of what did and didn’t get done during 2008.
So last year I planned to do the following:
Conclude my Master’s
Unfortunately I haven’t been able to do this due to a number of reasons but I should finish up within the next couple of months. Thesis writing is painfully slow…
Learn a new programming language (or master the one I know…)
I managed to start coding in Python. Although I’m still at a novice level.
Travel to at least 3 different countries
This was a bit of a stretch but I did travel quite a lot in 2008. I moved to Boston, MA, USA in February for a 6 month internship at MIT. I visited family (twice) in Toronto, Canada. Flew to Palo Alto, California for BioBarCamp unconference. Relaxed in the sun and sand of Tunisia.
Took off and landed in various cities, namely Buffulo, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Toronto, Lisbon, Tunis. So I think that resolution was well taken care of.
Read anywhere between 6 and 12 books
2008 was probably the year that I read the most. But not the most books. Since I don’t consider bits and pieces of technical books, scientific papers and online text to be “books”.
However, I did manage to read a few in my spare time:
- Genome by Matt Ridley: Each chapter focusing on a specific gene and the story related to it’s discovery or understanding.
- The Know-It-All by A. J. Jacobs: One odd fellow’s adventure reading the whole Encyclopedia Britannica, from A to Z.
- 21: Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich: I was interning at MIT, and even had the opportunity to see a talk by the folks this book was based upon. So it was a must-read (or not).
- The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins: Good read but took me a while to get through it. Kept putting it aside to read lighter things.
- A Matematica das Coisas by Nuno Crato: Short book focused on how math can be found in everyday activities and some mathematical background about them. (In Portuguese)
- Update: Getting Real by 37signals: I assume everyone has read this. Quick and interesting read.
Move into my own place
Technically it’s not my place. It’s our place. I got married in October (!!!) and we moved into a nice little apartment. Check!
Switch to Ubuntu or OS X
I wasn’t in a position to spend much on a new laptop, so I kept with my 5 year old ASUS laptop and gave Ubuntu a try (dual boot) and used it everyday for roughly 4 months. I ended up moving back to WinXP because it was just too buggy. So, I guess when I get a MBP this year, I’ll finally switch to Mac OS.
Get my driver’s license
Didn’t get my license just yet. However I’m beginning lessons soonish!
Get more (any!) exercise
I’m proud to say that being in Boston made me pick up a good habit. Running. I was the type that wouldn’t even run to catch a bus, but soon after the snow melted I began running around the Charles and it’s been great ever since. Over a year, I went from no running to being able to run 10km!
So, based on last year’s resolutions, for 2009, this is the list of things I’d like to get done:
- Finally finish my Master’s
- Start driving (as soon as I get my driver’s license!)
- Visit at least 3 different countries/cities I’ve never been to.
- Try again to read at least 6 or more books.
- Get into a PhD program related to stem cells, synthetic biology, immunology or any combination of the three.
- Attend a workshop or course in any of the following: Matlab, R, Processing.
- Move abroad. Order of preference: USA, Canada, UK, Germany.
- Purchase a MBP!
So that’s it for now, let’s hope I can achieve these goals and that everything goes smoothly!