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Academic life

Reflect: 2019 in the rear view mirror

For academics, December isn’t usually a natural time of year to pause and reflect. Although we often have a break, the looming winter term (or for those of you in warmer climes, spring term) keeps us in busy work mode. Still, there’s something valuable in looking back over a whole year, not just a “school year.” After all, there is life outside of the institutional time frame.

If you’re in the mood to reflect, you can google terms such as “year end reflection questions” to find out what others ask themselves as the new year approaches. Here are a few questions that I like.

Reflection questions

  • If you had to describe your 2019 in 3-5 words, which words would you choose?
  • What were your biggest or most special accomplishments this year?
  • What were your biggest challenges?
  • Which challenges kept re-appearing?
  • What did you try and fail?
  • What lessons did you learn?
  • Which spaces were the most special?
  • Which books, movies, tv shows, music, or art made the biggest impressions?
  • When did you receive and acknowledge help from others?
  • What do you wish you had done more of? Less of?
  • Which relationships mattered most ?
  • If you could change one thing from this year, what would it be?
  • Which personal strengths did you draw on the most?
  • Which weaknesses caused you trouble or frustration?

Finally, think about what you want to take with you into 2020, and what you might want to leave behind.

Highlights from the blog

Before this blog moves forward into 2020, I thought I would round up some of my favourite posts in one place. Happy reading and happy (meaningful!) reflecting.

Conference presentations: 6 ways to make an impact

Tips on accessibility, audience, and making your point on time.

How I wrote my book

A round up of the practical and psychological tools that helped me write Feminist City.

Procrastination: making it work for you

If you’re going to procrastinate, why not harness the energy of that anxiety in a productive way?

Conference networking, or, surviving the terrors of the academic fire swamp

A gentle guide to networking for awkward introverts. 😉

Vulnerability and academic work

Getting real about feelings of vulnerability and rejection in a career based on critique.

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