2016 Resolutions Update - July 31

Posted: July 31, 2016

It's hard to believe that I have only one more month left of summer.

I'm at the point now where my focus is on September 1. I'm going to be volunteering with Laurier's Emergency Response Team during Orientation Week, and September 1 is when my training starts. I know it is still important to focus on August and use each day to the fullest, but at the same time I am looking forward to getting back to Laurier, starting a new semester, and reconnecting with everyone. I've written down a list of what I'd like to accomplish this month, and it's important that I use these next 31 days productively.

Here's the July update for my 2016 resolutions.

1. Start learning Italian - (300 day streak on DuoLingo)
Progress is good on this front. I'm up to a 152 day streak on DuoLingo, and looking back I can definitely see progress. When it comes to language learning, I think it's so important to look at the big picture. People will often look back a few weeks or a month and say to themselves, "I don't think I've learned much.". I take a different approach. When I look at Italian, I look back to January 1 of this year, a time when I knew almost nothing. 7 months later, I know pronouns, basic verbs, verb conjugations, a handful of nouns, etc.

Steve Kaufmann, one of the language learners I follow on YouTube, one said, "The one good thing about language learning is we never get worse. We only get better. We may not get better as quickly as we would like, but we never get worse." When I look at my progress in Italian from this point of view, I am very happy with all that I have done so far. I'm hoping to spend even more time focusing on this during August, as I don't know what time will be like once I start back at Laurier. Regardlress, I'm making progress in this area, and that's all that matters.

2. Keep at least a 10.5 GPA across all courses
On hiatus until September.

3. Write an ebook
I've completely changed my thoughts here. 

Previously, my thought was to write a book with chapters, probably something with 50+ pages. My new thought is to write a paper of sorts. Within almost every discipline there are a few unique things that really interest me, and I'd like to pick one, do a lot of focused research, and then publish something similar to an academic paper. I've never written anything of great length before, and I think a smaller piece will be easier to complete and will also be a good foray into writing.

While I might do some research during August, I think that the majority of this goal will be completed during semester 3. For some reason I find it easier to do research while I'm at school - perhaps it's because I'm in a different mindset. If nothing else, the goal for August is to finalize a topic. I have a few ideas: an introduction to optimizing elevators; the relationship between IQ and EQ (if there is one), and the impact this has on team dynamics; something to do with greek or roman mythology; the impact an introductory computer science class has on the way we think and process problems; or the importance of grit and persistence, especially as it relates to life and math problems.

4. Spend semesters 2 & 3 at university getting more involved with everything Laurier offers
On hiatus until September.

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