Year in Review, 2016 Edition

Work

On January 4th, I signed the paperwork to become a full time Web Specialist II at the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University. I absolutely love my team, and my supervisor is amazing. I love working for her, and I’ve never felt so supported or so encouraged in an academic setting. Highlights:

  • redid some of our sites to bring them fully WCAG 2.0 AA and almost AAA compliant, except for points such as WCAG 2.0 3.1.6;
  • the sites I redid reduced load times by ~2,000 ms on avg, and I’ll be shaving more off down the line;
  • introduced some new protocols and tech to make my life and my team’s life WAY easier and far more communicative;
  • got to work on a bunch of non-College sites like the Chancellor’s, the Campus Framework, and the University’s first two interstitial splash pages, one welcoming our new Vice Chancellor and Provost, and one celebrating the Gravity Waves announcement;
  • got woken up by a very sleepy and groggy boss at 2:30am because we accidentally launched one of those interstitials a little early :(
  • got a hug for fixing said interstitial the next morning :)
  • received continued support, laughs, and encouragement from my team;
  • hired a coupe of great graduate students with whom I love working;
  • as of a few days ago, welcomed my part time staff member to the office and watched him go full time with me;
  • built my first Wordpress plugin and my first Flask app;

School

In April I took my PhD qualifying exams, failed, and realized how little I cared and how little enjoyment I was getting out of the program. I went to my bar that night, cried a little, took the next day off from work, and went back to work with a renewed passion and joy I haven’t felt in a good couple of years. I had no idea how depressed I was during the program. I still haven’t figured out why no one but three people in the department will talk to me.

Play

With our newfound free time (apparently, when you work 9-5, when you come home from work, you don’t need to keep working; I hadn’t been in this situation since Summer 2009), my wife and I built some shelves.

metal framing with stained wood shelves and undershelf lighting

I also took up golf which has been excellent, and cooked a bunch of food. Next year: buy a house!