My academic career
June marked my official graduation from Northwestern University, and so I now have a math degree. (What I'll do with that I still have yet to decide.) I was pleased as punch that so many of my good friends from college were able to make it to the ceremonies; it really was a treat to celebrate with the people who've stood by me for so many years. Thanks, guys. (Photos and stories will eventually be posted!)
My work career
The holiday rush this year was tempered by the economy, and with an additional year of experience to draw from, I was far less stressed by the holiday season. With 2009 an empty slate before me, I hope to find a new job...or rather, I hope to find a job that could become a career. For over a year I have been thinking about going overseas to teach English in Japan with the JET program, but I decided against applying. Perhaps another opportunity will arise.
Kite-flying and elevator-riding
I threw myself a birthday party this year, and it was spectacular. We played volleyball, flew a kite, jumped and dove off of a big dirt mound...you know what, I'll let you go read the original blog entry. It stands with my graduation as one of the high points of my year.
For me, this election reinforced that I should really invest time to understand the psychology of mob dynamics and fear. Barack Obama really seemed to polarize a lot of people around me. Some of my friends rallied around Obama, looking to him as their savior. Their tongues were ever quick to sing his hosannas, and their teeth were ever ready to gnash detractors. The Onion nailed it with their video "Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are".
Other people I know, however, leveled stupid attacks against Obama. Rarely did they support another candidate; instead, they wrote and talked about how Obama was going to make it illegal to discriminate against homosexuals (God forbid!) and make homeschooling illegal (heavens!). They insinuated with unnecessary inclusions of his middle name, Hussein (just like that one guy that got lynched!), and even noticed that you can hear "Iraq" and "bomb" in his name.
Thus, I hope to read up on fear this coming year.
Overall, this has been a rewarding and memorable year. Happy new year!