#reverb14: victory laps

Victory Laps: What was your biggest accomplishment this year? I'm a big fan of celebrating small victories as well as more significant ones. I feel like as a culture, we don't celebrate the kinds of successes that might be less splashy. We watch awards shows where performances, musical achievements are lauded but rarely have a sense of all that goes into those kinds of successes, the million small acts that occur to make that one big moment possible. I want to acknowledge things that made me happy to accomplish, as minute or silly they might be before I get to the biggest accomplishment.

In the process of growing out my hair, I discovered ways to style it that make it less annoying to have short-ish hair. I embraced the amazing-ness that is the flat iron, which I use to curl, flip and make my hair sleeker. It's made a world of difference of how I feel about and treat my hair. I feel rather accomplished at the various styles I have mastered. Thanks YouTube and Pinterest!

I have been pretty good about not letting laundry and dishes pile up. This is no small thing because I can be very meh about doing laundry but having convenient laundry in my building has helped a lot, as has weekends I spend with M where we do laundry together. Early in our relationship laundry was the bane of our existence. We had, in the past, been known to buy clothes rather than do laundry. So the fact that I consistently do laundry, some weeks obsessively so, is something to cheer about. Admittedly, I could have done a much better job with vacuuming and dusting but that's life. I'll take a win where I can get it.

I'm really excited about a collaboration with a few colleagues that resulted in an article we all worked incredibly hard on being published. It should be out in the next few weeks. I am happy that the article will be published but I'm also happy that I've deepened my connection to some people I think highly of, and been able to get some ideas I feel are important out in the world. Additionally, the work has sparked interests I wasn't sure how to follow up on, and now I feel like I have some momentum for the work I want to continue.

Most significantly though, I feel accomplished in my connections and relationships with students this year. I made a concerted effort both in and outside of class to connect with students, to share personal examples, and to encourage and support them whenever possible. A small group of students in particular utilized office hours, stayed after class, and infused a lively energy into class. Many of the students from previous semesters I see again and they will also be in my class in January. I don't think there's a better gauge of success than students who continually want to work with you. And while this time of year I often feel frustrated as I head into end of semester grading, when I read student reflections or see the way student writing has grown, especially from those students who put in the effort, I'm reminded why I do this. That feels like quite an accomplishment.