Reflections and Resolutions

Reflections

Ah, 2011, you’ve been a good year. I’ve done and learned many new things. Here’s a non-exhaustive summary, in no particular order:

  • I learned to embroider (cross-stitch) and am working on my first piece: poppies.
  • I traveled quite a bit around Ukraine.
  • Also traveled to Venice and Berlin, in the latter of which I met up with my family and extended European family (Fabian & Colette).
  • I am now able to get around by myself in Ukraine and rarely have problems navigating transport and buying train tickets.
  • The above is because my Ukrainian has improved quite a lot in the past year. I still understand more than I can speak (passive vs. active vocabulary!), but I can speak pretty freely with my limited vocabulary and grammar skills.
  • I’ve sung in a Ukrainian choir and thus learned some Ukrainian national folk/religious songs. I even had a shared solo in said choir.
  • I began my career as a teacher. The first semester was a crap-shoot but now I feel comfortable in the classroom and continue to enjoy teaching.
  • I’ve gathered a small-but-consistent following of English Club attendees, pupils and adults.
  • I trained for and finished a marathon — very slowly.
  • Before I decided to run a marathon, I ran a half marathon PR!
  • I made some Ukrainian friends.
  • I finally embraced Ukrainian circle dancing — as I call it — and began to enjoy it.
  • Maybe I began to make a difference in my Ukrainian school and community.
  • I wrote a grant for my school to get multimedia equipment for the English classroom. We still need a little more money before it’s fully funded!
  • I cooked many tasty dishes.
  • I fell in love with Ukraine, and my town of Sniatyn, a little bit.

Resolutions

Or, as my brother puts it, intentions. I like that better. I’m not usually one to make New Year’s Resolutions — they seem sort of stilted — but this year I will put forth a non-exhaustive list of things I’d like to accomplish in 2012. In no particular order:

  • Read more books. I spend a lot of time reading on the computer — news, blogs — but would like to spend at least an hour a day reading something on paper.
  • Improve my Ukrainian. I am lazy when it comes to studying Ukrainian. But with less than a year left here, I’d like to improve my language skills by continuing to communicate in Ukrainian whenever possible (and maybe sit down once in a while to study some vocabulary).
  • Continue to take advantage of opportunities. When someone invites me to do something, say “YES” whether or not I know exactly what the invitation entails.
  • Apply to graduate school. This also involves taking the Literature and general GREs and revising my Oberlin honors thesis. But it must and will be done, step by step!
  • Run the Prague Half Marathon, hopefully with another PR.
  • [this one may or may not be serious] As some Ukrainians in my English club wrote in their resolutions, “meet my future husband” — or maybe I’ve already met him…?
  • Get my counterpart and English teacher colleagues more involved in learning new teaching methodologies.
  • Continue to travel, within and outside of Ukraine, while I live in such a great location for going to new places.
  • Remain happy and healthy by making time to do the things I enjoy most.
  • Successfully complete my Peace Corps service.

…and so many more things.

What are your New Year’s Intentions?

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