Retrospective: 2011

30 Dec

Well, another year has gone by. I don’t feel that much older or wiser, but 2011 was a doozy of a year for me. In honor of Janus, we’ll have a nice little look back at the year and some hopes for the new year.

2011 Pros:
I graduated from University of Florida after writing the most hellish thesis ever.

I moved to Chengdu to further my studies in Chinese.
I learned how to knit and finished my first pair of socks.
I visited a bunch of cool new places, including Boulder, CO and Hong Kong.
I started (and maintained!) a blog and a regular update schedule.

 

2011 Cons:
I entered a terrible job market. Give me a job?
I moved to Chengdu, that grey-skied city of pandas, which I am not too fond of.
I figured out this year that I am kind of burnt out on Chinese studies and am probably not going to grad school anytime soon.
Crippling depression at inconvenient points.

 

As for 2012, I am pretty much resigned to misinformation about the Mayan calender, more impertinent questions about my job search, and a great quantity of more knitting done. (I bought some more yarn and needles from the Knitting Cove! I also got a cool pattern for fingerless gloves that I’ve been coveting.)

Frankly, I haven’t enjoyed my time in Chengdu all that much. Yes, I know, I’m a crabby, cantankerous bitch. Pandas are great, but the overwhelming boredom and lack of educational direction has poisoned my opinion on the city. Also, the grey skies. What gives? But I don’t like being that kind of crabby bitchy person, so I am going to put a new foot forward. My new year’s resolution for 2011? I am going to travel to one new place a month. At least. I have a list as long as my forearm of places I’d like to see in China. I doubt I’ll be going back anytime soon after my scholarship is over and done with. So – travel. I already have a quick two-day trip to the Leshan Giant Buddha planned for January and a week-long trip to Beijing/Harbin in February. I also want to visit Xi’an, Shanghai, and Kanding. If there’s anyplace you think I should go, let me know. China’s a big place, man, odd’s are I’ve never even heard of that one cool place where Discovery/BBC/NYTimes said you had to visit. I’m young, I’m in China, I should make the most of it.

I’m going to be on a plane for New Year’s, so no champagne for me this year. This was a lovely interlude back to life in America, but it is a short one. I have to be back for a meeting on Wednesday. Not complaining, though. The miracle of modern air travel means I get to China in 13 hours from the US, not three months by ship or three years by caravan, thank Frigg.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year’s!

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One Response to “Retrospective: 2011”

  1. cathi green December 30, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Oh Jane… hang in there… we are all depressed in this dark, cold time of year. Just hang in till the end of February, then week by week thru March, then just maybe the sun will bring some warmth in April and if not, for sure by May. Now don’t you feel better? Ha! My plan is to work my brains out for 2 months. Hey… I heard an interesting blog on NPR this morning that made me think of you.
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2011/12/30/144426549/in-china-finding-a-new-way-to-eat-in-times-of-plenty?ps=cprs
    Check it out. I was thinking about what a great little writer you are and how hopelessly little we Americans know about China. Why don’t you do a little fun blogging/reporting for NPR? See if you can submit stories to them as a freelance journalist. Maybe they will enjoy one of your stories as much as I do and actually publish one. I’d say give it a try! There’s a plan for you.
    I just spent the past few days with Jack & Kim & pals, none of which seem to have a plan or know what they want to do though they keep plugging along as well. We sure did have some fun playing games and laughing though. The best one was called Loaded Questions.
    Good luck, lovie!

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