Academically, 2008 started with great uncertainty about where I should do my fieldwork. That dilemma was solved when I met Sam, who easily convinced me to work at his field site in Ukenzagapia. I received four small grants and a pre-application approval for a grant in the spring, though I was highly disappointed when I didn't receive the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Without the NSF fellowship, I had to teach this summer which restricted my field season to a small window of 5 weeks. During that time I had my first brief research trip to Ukenzagapia, but wasn't able to collect any data because of permitting issues. All in all though, it was a useful and productive trip.
While I was in Ukenzagapia, I applied for and was offered an interdisciplinary fellowship which I accepted. I went to my first big conference and loved it. This fall, I made some progress on my endless review paper and reapplied for the NSF GRF. I did not, however, meet my goal of submitting my review for publication in 2008. I am making progress in my graduate career; I have a committee and a date for my prelims! I'm still enjoying grad school and I'm satisfied with my progress so far.
Personally, the year started off on a bit of a roller coaster. My parents put down our border collie just shy of her 16th birthday. I didn't blog about it at the time, but it was sad to say goodbye to her. Then in March I had appendicitis, and my grandfather passed away in April. Thankfully, my student health insurance covered my appendicitis 100%. Later in April, Jon and I decided to get married after more than 5 years together! From then on things really looked up for the rest of the year.
In August we moved into a new apartment in our building, even though I really thought we wouldn't be moving this year. The apartment is great and we have no regrets. Based on entries in our guest book, we've had 31 different people sleep at our apartment on ~53 separate nights in the past year so it's totally worth it to us to have a more accommodating place (that's counting guests from our smaller apartment too).
Aside from our tiny 1/3 share of Google stock and my IRA dropping in value, we have not been directly affect by the financial crisis (yet). We are thankful for my fellowship and Jon's steady employment.
With respect to my personal goals for 2008, we did buy birthday gifts for all the little kiddos in our lives and we donated more than ever before to worthwhile causes, with the bulk of it going to Obama. Three cheers for his election! I did not do so well at putting money into my IRA. I only managed a few hundred dollars in spite of my raise with the fellowship! I've got to do better next year. I'll post soon about my goals and expectations for 2009.
My blog readership has grown slowly but steadily over the past year. Sometimes I have blog envy, but honestly this is how I want my blog to be. Thank you to all of my readers, known and unknown, new and old, academic and non.
Cheers to a new year, new challenges, and new opportunities.