Thursday, December 16, 2010

5 minutes and 5 pictures of 2010

In 5 minutes, describe 2010, using 5 pictures:
I took my master's comps over the summer, reading over 60 books to prepare for the 2 days of exams. I was very excited to celebrate that victory with my family and friends.
I got to spend more time with my brother, Ryan.
We worked
together during the summer, and because he joined another part of my life that is important to me, got to understand another component of my life. This was the first time we were really able to spend time together outside of Rochester. We're going to be home within 12 hours of each other Friday night/Saturday morning, and I am very excited.
I had the thrill of running Boston. Boston was one of the best days, not just 2010, but of all my life: it was absolutely thrilling.
The support I had from my family and friends propelled me through the day, and after I crossed the finish line, there was also an outpouring of love and support. It gave me an unquenchable thirst for more marathons and more Bostons. I will be back in 2011 in conquer those Newton hills once again.
I got to introduce a friend to marathoning. I felt a tremendous sense of pride as we gallavanted around Saratoga as we trained over the summer, and then finally during the marathon around DC/VA, knowing that I helped a former swimmer turn into a sub-4 marathoner. And in doing so, our friendship blossomed into something more spectacular.
By entering the PhD program, I feel like I've reaffirmed to major things: I love medieval history and I am very excited about the prospect of teaching. I have really enjoyed my first experience at being a TA. I got to give my first lecture. In one of my classes, I got to develop a teaching portfolio, and grew increasingly excited over the prospect of teaching classes such as "Saints and Sinners" and "Teaching through the Ages." My own coursework this semester was fascinating: I got to learn much more about the Carolingians than ever expected. I got to write a fun research paper. And I manage to set up a great schedule for next semester that allows me to work quite intentionally on some interesting subjects: late medieval narrative, early medieval piety/monasticism/sanctity, and Renaissance pedagogy. My professors have been more than willing to support my interests, and I hope to do the same in the future for my own students.
I think in general, I've grown increasingly passionate in 2010: both about running and my graduate work. Consequently, I just have become more willing to put time into both. But it's not just about taking out the books or putting on the shoes: participating in both has allowed me to renew some pretty imporant relationships, both with family and friends. There were many challenges throughout the year, but I have also learned more about how to overcome them. One of my favorites quotes is "A personal peak is a triumph over fear," from Peaks and Valleys. That is how I have grown this year: by looking ahead into the hard parts, and saying, okay, I have the tools and support to go through this. Time to get ready to forge ahead in 2011.

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