Promises for 2011 Checklist

Exactly one year ago, I made this entry of promises to myself for the first year of the second decade of the third millennium. Back in college, I had eight org presidents under my cluster evaluate themselves after an academic year. I did the kontrabida role of grading their year-end survey (YES) reports, taking the pleasure of reducing chunks of points from them every time they commit minor errors (hahaha I kid!). This time I’m doing it for myself, but I still want to do the grading so I’ll grade myself too. Any complains? Good.

How this will work: So, I’ll base my “grade” and how “successful” my 2011 was based on the blog entry I made last year (refer to link above). Let’s call them “success indicators.” Positive notes for my success indicators mean I have obtained my “goals.” At least for 2011. Here we go then. (Note, this is Ateneo/American-style grading, with 0 being the lowest and 4 being the highest).

Physical (20%)

  1. Continue exercising regularly. (3.0/4.0) — I ran almost every night at Ateneo during the first quarter of 2011 and I hit Gold’s Gym regularly during the latter half. I’ve joined a marathon last November too. For the blank exercise areas of my life, they would be months in which academic demands reached an Everest high. So, that’ mostly first semester. Well with my two-year gym membership and the sad fact that I can only make use eight months in it, I’ll be forced to go to Gold’s after classes. Yay. Or hmmm.
  2. Appreciate eating veggies and seafood more. (2.5/4.0) — I was doing good when I was in La Vista, but when I left it went downhill again. Sisig everyday became my lifestyle. Well at least when I eat Japanese food I get to eat fish. Actually, erase that I eat fish more now. I think I need to focus on veggies again.
  3. Sleep a lengthy slumber every evening — six hours SHOULD BE the minimum. (3.5/4.0) — I have been able to strictly observe this one, save for Sunday-crossing-to-Monday sleeps and of course, when academic demand is high.
    AVERAGE: 3.0/4.0

Mental (20%)

  1. GET ENROLLED IN A PhD SCHOOL ABROAD OR DIE TRYING. (3.9/4.0) — Okay, 2011 and the Fulbright Commission have both made me realize that I can’t go to United States yet, but I can on 2012. So yes, I prepared and prepared and prepared. GRE General, TOEFL, statements of purpose, letters of recommendation, and the four schools. And I met a very important person. 🙂 This could’ve been a perfect score if I have accomplished these things earlier. I’m still short with two school applications but I hope to finish those by January 13. Don’t ask why the deadline is such.
  2. Develop more research skills. (4.0/4.0) — While I am giving myself here a perfect score, this does not mean I’m the best scientist in town already. There are still lots of things to learn. I am thankful to the Lord for giving me exposure to research and method development techniques this 2011. Technically speaking, I was able to operate high-end research instruments which i never got to personally handle during my undergraduate education.
  3. Restudy Nihongo. (2.0/4.0) — I am giving myself a just-passing grade because while I haven’t been faithful with reading Genki I and II, at least exposure to Japanese media have made me still N4-fluent. Don’t judge me, Detective Conan is awesome it can melt your brain cells. (But yes, I can understand Conan now without subtitles!)
  4. Read studies on sociology, social psychology. Learn another language. (4.0/4.0) — Okay, medyo may daya rito, because I did NOT really do any effort to study these last 2011. But hey what, I took MS Environmental Science at UP Diliman. That trumps it all. Why? Because environmental science is a discipline of many disciplines! I learned the chemistry of the atmosphere while studying the biology of the evolution and the sociology of the commercialism. So far I have 13 graduate units in my belt. My Plan A is really not to finish my Masters here, but my Plan B is otherwise. Let’s see which I put in action this August. Of course I’m praying it’s gonna be Plan A.
  5. Redevelop leadership techniques. (3.5/4.0) — When with friends and people who matter, I always try to observe this by myself. Could’ve done it with books and professionals in the field though.
    AVERAGE: 3.48/4.0 

Spiritual (20%)

  1. Develop a deeper devotion to Mama Mary. (3.5/4.0) — Sometimes I forget. But when I don’t I am eternally thankful. Please help me deepen my faith more, dear mother.
  2. Be more critical with my faith and all those Catholic/Christian doctrines. (3.25/4.0) — I have all those thoughts but I was unfortunately able to share them to only a few people. I hope to be vocal but not offensive this year.
  3. Find God in simple things. (3.0/4.0) — I still have lots of things to learn with this one. I am so far like that seed thrown on poor soil — when problems come I tend to forget. And 2011 as a whole as not a good year for me. Hope I can do something with this on 2012.
  4. Do more philosophical reflections. (2.5/4.0) — Too busy, haaaay!
    Average: 3.06/4.0

Social (20%)

  1. Expand my network more and more and more. (4.0/4.0) — Hello Masters blockmates! Basically, because of them my network expanded, well at least within the Diliman area. I still have more. Target for 2012: expand my network on a GLOBAL scale.
  2. Strengthen relationships and bonds. (3.5/4.0) — My and my friends’ busy time took away the perfect score. But at least I was able to sneak in some time despite those terribly tight schedules that I, a working student, has.
  3. Show more care for the environment and for Filipino nationalism. (3.75/4.0) — I think that my virtue of taking MS Environmental Science justifies the grade enough. I might need to put more theories into practice though.
  4. Increase my level of independence. (4.0/4.0) — Can I give myself a beyond perfect score here? Seriously, ALL  BILLS MINE while MY SALARY IS LOW, what more can I ask for? Seriously, I think this has been a blessing. I gained lots of maturity here. If you’re earning twice or thrice as much as I am and yet you’re still living under your parents’ roof, with your yaya cooking food for you, I’m sorry but I have to say: shame on you. Okay, that’s harsh. Change that to: Grow up and get your OWN life.
  5. Be more updated with current events. (4.0/4.0) — Thank you Twitter! Actually, you may have overdone things haha.
  6. Travel more! (2.0/4.0) — Once again, the culprit here is my terribly tight schedule. This 2012, I still won’t go on air trips though. I’ll just settle for road trips. ROAD TRIPS ALL AROUND UNITED STATES THAT IS!
  7. Party more! (3.0/4.0) — Somehow successful, especially during the latter part of the year.
  8. Be more thoughtful. (3.5/4.0) — Self-explanatory.
    Average: 3.47/4.0

Economical (20%)

  1. Find a good side job, which is related to teaching or research. (4.0/4.0) — Successfully got a tutoring job! I know teach HS math and science and college chemistry! Or anything by request. So yay! 😀
  2. SAVE LOTS OF MOOLAH. (2.5/4.0) — Okay, was not really able to as most of my money went to 1) my application and test fees for my PhD applications and 2) my three-month security deposit in my condo unit. At least they’re all reimbursible. I’m imagining it as sort of in a bank except that they won’t let my money grow even by a single centavo every century.
  3. Look for good small business collaborations. (2.0/4.0) —  Meh, will just settle to being a student-chemist-tutor.
    Average: 2.83/4.0

GRAND AVERAGE: 3.17/4.0 — Meh, barely made it to the Dean’s List haha.

Well there. 2011 has come and gone. I asked for knowledge through books, I was given wisdom through practical sacrifices. I asked for many travels, I was given miles to walk under the heat of the sun — literally and figuratively. I asked for a comfortable life, I was given a rough one. With all that I asked, I got none. But I was given more than what I need for the next phase of my life.

2011 is my Lent. I am declaring 2012 to be my Easter. Party like it’s the end of the world!

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