Being that the birth of my son completely overshadowed anything else in 2009, I'll roll with a summary of how things went academically. Starting with the mother of all academic yardsticks:
- Publications: Very happy with the 2009 results in this category - only one publication short of my all-time high. Still, a personal best is there either to reminisce about or to beat, and since I've only just began my academic career, I'll do my very best to beat this number in 2010. We even managed to sneak one manuscript past the nefarious third reviewer in a fairly flashy journal - although that technically happened this year. 2009 is also the year where I surpassed my MSc advisor with respect to number of published articles, and matched her h-index.
- Public speaking: Especially during the Fall semester, I really did my part of public speaking at conferences and such, which I really enjoy. If only it wasn't for the effing going-to-conference part of it, this would be a good full-time profession for me. I enjoy the making of presentations, the talking bit and the discussions, but I abhor the travel, I detest the sitting through of days worth of potentially interesting talks ruined by poor presentation technique, and I loathe the small-talk during lunches like: "So you're in Norway, huh? That's pretty cold, isn't it? And the roads are bad?"
- Presentation technique: Alternatively put; before and after Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds (buy the damn book already). This book really changed my outlook on how to prepare presentations, and I've seen how it can be applied to others as well - this stuff really works. Still; the limitation is how it can be implemented into teaching, seeing as how students expect to have slides available as handouts, which is sort of what Presentation Zen strives to avoid: the presentation as document syndrome. The solution might be to make additional handouts with the material from the slide written out, but that is a project which is going to take time (more time than what I've got available this semester), plus this already exists - it's called the freakin' textbook.
- Funding: Not such a banner year - gov't funding has gone WAY down, especially for fundamental science. Within the fundamental science programs, only about 7-8% of the applications get funded, which is laughable compared to other countries without petroleum reserves and our strong economy. In an effort not to come off as too bitter, I'll cut it short..
Here's to 2010 bringing bigger and better things.