Monday, January 02, 2017

2016: year of Wikipedia and Esperanto

My last post was my retrospective on 2015. My part-time job as coordinator of Wikipedia initiatives fulfills my pressing need to write things, so I hardly blogged at all.

Working part-time has helped me have a life outside being a mom/housewife. I joke that my job is like taking a break from being a mom, and it really feels that way most of the time. Finding childcare for Piper was one of the biggest challenges with my job, and I'm so grateful for my friends/neighbors/relatives who helped watch her. I think 2.5 might be easier than 1.5, because Piper can actually tell me what she wants know instead of having a crying fit when I can't figure it out.

In the spring I started bicycling to work as well, and I felt very emotionally and physically healthy--I think my health has been fairly good in 2016. I also generally enjoy my work, which consists of creating and editing pages related to the special collections in the Harold B. Lee library, as well as finding out what articles curators and librarians think I and my two student workers should improve. I've also been doing some promotion of Wikipedia editing within BYU. In October we held a Mormon Foremothers edit-a-thon. We also nominated lots of pages for the Did You Know feature to help new pages get more visibility.

Working with Wikipedia, I've gained a lot of respect for the volunteers who work to maintain Wikipedia. I also have a healthy dose of skepticism for things I read there! I hope that Wikipedia can attract enough to editors to sustain itself.

Favorite videogames this year: Stardew Valley, Life is Strange, Rocksmith 2014, Rhythm Heaven Megamix, Zero Time Dilemma, ABZU, and Pokemon Moon. Oh, and Final Fantasy XV.

other things I remember happening in 2016:
-visited San Diego with my parents and siblings and Piper's cousins. We visited the San Diego zoo and Adam got something called "hell's itch" from a medium sunburn. I wish I had spent more time on the beach!
-visited my parents in California. It's interesting to see different sides of my parents when they interact with Piper.
-vacationed with Adam's family in a cabin by Cottonwood Canyon
-My older brother got married. Exciting!
-I learned Esperanto well enough to read a novella-length book for beginners. It was really motivating, considering that I only studied for a little bit each day in my spare time. I did finish the Duolingo course, which was pretty good.
-I helped plan the yearly stake Relief Society retreat, and even though I didn't do very much, it was still kind of stressful?
-Piper tried to climb out of her high chair and had to get stitches. That was a long night in the ER.
-kept up monthly movie nights thanks to my friends
-Midnight Blues, a mobile RPG project I was working on with my husband and some of his siblings and friends, went on hiatus. I think our group of people working on it was too big, or it was difficult to figure out what needed to be worked on next.
-I bought a guitar and learned chords with Rocksmith 2014 for a few months. Rocksmith 2014 is like the videogame Guitar Hero except you use a real guitar instead of a pretend controller. It was really fun, but I don't think I have time for it now. I have a lot more respect for rock musicians now.
-my parents visited us for Christmas, which was fun.
-Adam felt sick a lot.

Goals for 2016:
Family work:
-keep up with meal plans. It makes me less stressed out about what to make for dinner, even if it does mean sitting down and planning for an half an hour to an hour each week.
-continue to encourage Piper to eat something other than Macaroni and Cheese. Limit "screen time"??

-about four months ago I bought a lifetime subscription to WaniKani, a kanji flashcard system. I studied kanji with it pretty regularly for about two years, but stopped when I got pregnant with Piper. Now that I've been using my mobile phone more, I find it very easy to do 10-20 reviews several times a day when I have a spare minute. I've been learning 10 new kanji/vocab words every day through it. I'm hoping to keep that up!

-Adam bought me some Japanese Skype tutoring for Christmas. We'll see how this goes (i.e., part of me is like "this is scary also what will Piper do"), but I'm hopeful that I can start practicing more spoken Japanese.

-Esperanto is probably going on the back-burner for a while. But I like it.

Creative endevours:
-work has started on Our Personal Space 2 (working title)! It's going to be a stat-raising game where you raise your children on a colony on a foreign planet. My sister is directing the project and I hope that I can write lots of things for it!

-My scripture study was in a stupor. I realized that for so long I have just been reading scriptures because they were "good" for me without reflecting on or really understanding much of what I was reading, with the exception of a few moments of inspiration here and there. So yeah, I took a break from reading scriptures every day, because I had gotten into a bad habit with it. I still read scriptures, but in other contexts that are more meaningful to me. When I prepared my Book of Mormon lessons for Primary, I tried to actually understand what was going on, which was genuinely difficult for me in some parts. One week I read the book of Esther from an NIV study Bible with commentary, and I appreciated the story more than I ever had before.

I know that as Mormons, we want to make the scriptures accessible to anyone, so we don't have any official commentaries on the scriptures (like a study Book of Mormon or something). But I personally find it a lot more meaningful to know the historical and cultural contexts for scriptures. I like reading commentary from scholars, and it helps me appreciate the scriptures more. So my goal is to keep finding religious works that inspire me and help me further understand the scriptures in Mormon canon.

-I feel like I've been keeping up fairly well with getting to know the people in my ward, now that we've lived here a year and a half. If I suddenly got sick and had to stay in the hospital for a week, I'm confident that a few people could help take care of me and my family.

I wish you all a happy new year and I hope that if you make goals that you can find effective ways to incrementally get closer to them.