Wrapping Up 2010

Happy New YearAnother year has come and gone. Where did all the time go? It seems like 2010 has flown by. But of course, as everyone always seems to do on New Year’s Eve, I’d like to take some time to reflect on the past year.

I guess that for me, 2010 was all about decision-making. I had to make some big decisions, the most important one being about grad school. Do I want to go to grad school? Should I go as soon as I graduate? Where should I apply? These were all questions that I had to answer this year, and I’ve now gone through that entire process. I’ve filled out the applications, done the GREs, sent out transcripts, got letters of reference. And now I wait. 2011 will be the year that I find out what happens.

But beyond that, I don’t know that there was anything really major that happened to me in 2010. I started work on my honours thesis (which will finish in 2011 as well), I finished up my last co-op term and my second-last school term, and I recently was given the position of Lab Manager for the social psychology lab in which I work. These are all exciting things, and the excitement will be continuing on next year! But none of these are really major life events. This year seems to have been more of a stepping stone, or a year for cruise control perhaps. Next year will be the year where I either get into the grad school of my dreams, or have all my hopes burst into flames and disappear into oblivion. (Okay, maybe it won’t be that dramatic.) I’m looking forward to next year, as I graduate with a Bachelor’s degree and look to the next stage of my education, wherever I might end up. But for now, I must wait.

I guess 2010 has brought a change in my own attitudes and personality. I’ve opened up a little bit again, and made some new friends. That was important since most of my close friends graduated this year and left for bigger and better things. By working on my honours thesis, I’ve confirmed that I am indeed fascinated with doing psychological research, which has turned my brain into an obsessive experiment-seeker. I’m constantly wondering, “How could I test whether such-and-such is an effect of this?” and looking for ways to turn parts of my own life into an experiment.1 I’ve noticed an increase in my creativity over the past year. I’ve come up with several ideas for new web projects (one being the development of my personal website, jeffhughes.ca, and another being the redesign of this blog), with some that I’m still tinkering around with to see if they might actually work. I hope this creative streak stays; however, I think my creativity seems to wax and wane over time, so perhaps 2010 just happened to line up with an unusually long burst of creativity.

I’m also pleased to say that I fulfilled my resolutions from last year at this time. I wrote about them in my blog, but briefly, my goals were to reach a conclusion on what economic system I believe to be the best, to figure out what to do after graduation, and to keep  trying to expand my social circle. While I’m not sure I’ve fully “defined” my views on political and economic systems, I’ve nailed down a few pieces that I think are important to have. I lean left, with a strong socialist element, but I think that having a market economy is important. I believe in democracy, with human rights enshrined in a constitution, and a strong orientation toward free trade and open borders. I also think that, at the very least, concepts like worker co-operatives are important for making a more just society, and should be more fully accepted and implemented. So that’s my first goal essentially achieved—though I still have much more to investigate that may alter these views. I’ve already mentioned that I have resolved what to do after graduation, and that I have made strides to expand my social circle and have somewhat of a social life. So I’m pleased that I have pretty much fulfilled my resolutions.

Calvin and Hobbes - New Years ResolutionsSo what do I want to resolve for this year? Well, let me come up with a few:

  1. I will try cooking a new dish at least once a month.
  2. I will update my blog at least once a month, with interesting new content (more than just a description of my boring day, in other words).
  3. I will keep myself busier with new goals and projects, rather than sit around watching old TV shows.

I think these goals are achievable, and I already have some plans for how to complete them. Obviously, for my blog, I have been working on the Contesting Christianity series, for which I have a few more posts to go, and I have a few more things I already have written down to write about. The first goal, about cooking, is something I’ve been trying to do for a while, but my own laziness and my disdain for reading recipes makes it difficult. But, I’ve gotten sick of eating the same things over and over again, so I think that will win over in the end. And as for the third goal, well, let’s just say that I have a few things I’m toying about with, which will at least keep me occupied even if they don’t end up working out.

So, there are my New Year’s resolutions for 2011! I hope you all have a Happy New Year, and may the world be just a bit brighter for you and your own in the coming year!

New Years Fireworks

Notes:

  1. Yes, I understand that this would be poor research, since a sample size of one yields low generalizability. I just want to do it for fun. []

6 responses to “Wrapping Up 2010”

Gandy

Nice one Jeff.

Hey when you mentioned “views on political and economic systems”

I felt keen to ask have you read much about this guy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_von_Mises

Im sure you will have.

Also wondering do you mind ? me using material on your blog for reference etc …If i make sure to always point out who wrote it and where it came from .

Jeff

No, I haven’t read much about him, actually. Looking over the Wikipedia page, though, it seems like I agree with him in some respects. I think he’s completely correct when he says that a market system is essential to a complex economy. The experiments in Russia and Eastern Europe seem to show this pretty well; when the government tries to dictate supply and demand, it ends up with massive surpluses and shortfalls, and thus inefficiency. I advocate “socialism”, but in the mixed economy sense where wealth is redistributed without interfering with pricing. Anyway, I’ll keep him in mind. I’m certainly not as knowledgeable about economics as I’d like to be, but I’ve tried to go over the broad issues and make some preliminary conclusions, and then I will have to work down to more detail as I continue. So thanks for the link!

And yeah, you can definitely use material from the blog. You can just put a link back to the original article and that would be perfectly fine. 🙂

Jeff

Interesting stuff. Yeah, from what it looks like I wouldn’t connect him with anarchism, just with libertarianism. Some people like to treat the two as the same thing (or very similar), but I tend to view them as entirely opposite. Anyway, thanks for pointing me in the direction of von Mises, I’ll have to check it out in more detail when I get the opportunity.

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