Sunday, September 8, 2013

Annual Goals: An Update

For the last few years, I've made 12 goals I strive to complete during the year.  Some are successful, others not so much.  Part of being successful is planning and preparation.  The rest is execution and accountability.  Here is an update on my status for this year's goals.

2013 GOALS:

12. lose 15 kilos  
A little progress- down 4 kilos

11. get my leg strength back from break
Making great progress. Can stand /walk for 2 hours now without problems *most* of the time. Bad weather still hurts.

10. apply for Belgian PhD program
UPDATE: Application rejected because I didn't have a sponsor and they also want a current GRE. Must figure out how the heck to register for GRE over here and go to the campus to meet some possible sponsors.

Application has finally been submitted after all the logon and submission errors plaguing me. Can't tell if the GRE is a requirement or just possible to include, so I guess I will find out soon. If it is, I will have to accomplish it before Christmas. If not, I *think* I am done.

9. improve my French seriously

UPDATE: Registered for community French course.
UPDATE: practicing weekly with a tutor, making modest gains in pronunciation and basic grammar.

My course concluded this week, but I am not comfortable speaking yet. I lack mastery of content and will dedicate time in July to boost and reinforce content. Also looking into taking French for non-native speakers course at a local university for the Fall.

8. improve my Arabic seriously

UPDATE: Reregistering for a course this week. Still taught in French, but perhaps a second go will help.  
Some progress. Faithfully attending class, scored 55% on my first exam (50% was passing). Delighted as the language of instruction is French. I can write better than ever before. Spelling is terrible, but vocabulary is expanding. Now understand some prepositions. My course concluded June 9th. I lack mastery of content and my pronunciation and dictation scores are very low. Feeling discouraged. Also missed two critical grammar presentations (I was present, but my French isn't strong enough to catch her explanations). Must find out how to conjugate simple past verbs, learn possessives, and practice dictation. I have a better understanding than ever before. My handwriting has improved. Still struggling with the different "H' sounds in spelling during dictation. Struggling with precise pronunciation of some letterson't exist in English: غ ع

7. CELTA somehow
UPDATE: Parity has been reached as I successfully concluded my CELTA course today.

6. learn to cook 12 new things 

Some progress. I've learned to cook 6 new things I am comfortable making.  
Roasted Butternut squash & Tahini (with toasted pine nuts, red onions)
Roasted sweet potatoes & figs with basalmic reduction and goat cheese.

Lemony Leek Meatballs

5. read 100 books
Some progress. I've finished 60% of this goal with another 2% currently underway.

4. finish both Master's Degrees
UPDATE: Parity has been reached for both programs. YEY!

3. go see three new countries (France, Turkey, .....????)
Goal parity has been achieved. I visited Paris for the free day at the Louvre, spent just over a week in Izmir/Istanbul, toured Holland. 

2. take 10 really great photos
Some progress. 4 photos down, 6 more to go. Will do some exercises in July to practice different settings and experiment with photo editing, since I have never edited any photos beyond an occasional crop. Will take a lesson or two in editing in Aperture with the base PAO in July.

Winter road in Lens

Turkish water pump in Istanbul
Purple flowers in England

Sweet girl in Belgium

1. spend more time with people i love
Some progress. Skype-dates have really been a great success. Also been making friends the priority over other personal interests or tasks (other than attending classes).

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