I see the face of yesterday’s child


I have always liked the image of Janus depicting the demise of one year and the birth of another. I particularly like this image, showing Janus’ two faces, one of them elderly and the other youthful. No need to state the obvious, right?

So this is the first of two New Year’s Eve posts. This is the Old Man Post, otherwise known as 2014 In Review.

Being something of an old man myself (figuratively speaking, of course), I have trouble remembering what I was doing in January by the time December rolls around. And there are any number of tools that I could use to remind myself of what I’ve been doing this year, but I decided to go with my email Sent Mail folder.

So this is what I have learned.

During the month of January this year, I did nothing. Well, I was between semesters, I had just completed two major research papers, one of which was my Economics senior thesis and the other was a special project. (More on that shortly.) So, I spent that month lolling around the apartment on the Hill from Hell (aka Car Killer Hill) trying to get my car back on the road. I also spent a little time working on Children of Chaos. Taking it easy and preparing for my final semester at Hartwick.

By February, I had gotten my car back on the road and was back in classes. I gather I spent most of the month focused on preparing for the economics conference in Boston in which I presented this paper. Lots of practicing of the presentation and managing logistics for all four Hartwick presenters to drive to Boston.

After all that preparation, the actual conference was one of the first things that took place in March. This was an eventful month, actually. This was the month I found out that I was not going to be entering graduate school in the fall, which was a crushing blow. I was so sure I’d get in somewhere but it turns out I didn’t know enough about applying to graduate school. Very different animal from undergrad. On the positive side, this was also the month when I was informed that I’d won best paper in the undergraduate research competition from that conference in Boston.

Publicity for that achievement took me into April, which included a press released distributed by Hartwick that led to an article in The Daily Star. April was also the month I sent a short email message to apply for a job with the outfit I am now working for, having decided to lose no time in finding a job if I wasn’t going to grad school. Oh, and my car died for good.

Of course, May was probably the biggest month of the year for me. And pardon me while I brag: induction into the Hartwick College Honors Society, graduation with College Honors, graduation with Departmental Distinction in both Economics and Anthropology, and Summa Cum Laude. Gina flew in for the occasion, which was a very big deal all by itself. Damion came up, too, bless his little heart. Plus I bought another car and accepted a job offer with the outfit with which I am working now.

After all that, June was pretty quiet. I started working (i.e., embarked once more on grown up life) at the beginning of the month, schlepped back and forth from Unadilla to Oneonta every weekday and packed in my spare time. On the last day of the month, we moved and started July right here where we are now.

To tell you the truth, the whole rest of the year was pretty quiet, now that I stop and think about it. I begin to get the idea that my life is only interesting to me when I’m in school. All the more reason to pursue a career in academia, huh?

But I digress.

Of course, I started blogging in August, so that you know most of what I’ve been doing since then. Sort of. Things were just pretty quiet last summer.

And September came and went in a flash, with the only truly major thing that happened that month was the series of industry roundtables I convened to investigate the state of workforce development in the county. Well, I thought it was interesting anyway. Life at my job was meetings and lots of study and research.

October retains a place in my memory for a variety of reasons. This was the month I had my raison d’etre at my job taken away from me and most of the work I’d done since I had started in June went straight down the toilet — which changed my plans. Late in this month, I started working on my application to graduate school. It was also late in the month when I headed up to Utica to act as a judge in inaugural Mohawk Valley Innovation Challenge at SUNY IT and, in the middle of the event, learned that Mayor Miller had evidently committed suicide. It was a very difficult time for everyone.

I finished my grad school application, submitted it, got my minimum three letters of recommendation and my official GRE scores in, all in November. I also had a major attack of missing my eldest daughter over the Thanksgiving holiday (which largely coincides with her birthday). I always miss er but during that period, I was really missing her … mostly because she was going through a tough time herself.

Which brings us to December, during which I have been preoccupied with the task I had given myself of making a nice Christmas for the kids. I felt like I owed them that after all the lean years when they didn’t complain or anything (well, except for David). I more or less succeeded, too (well, except for David). I also found out this month that I’m going to receive major grant funding for the workforce development program I designed and will spend the first half of the year implementing. It is my hope that I will leave something solid and effective behind me when I go because I don’t intend to be where I am now at this time next year …

… but all that is grist for my next post.