Groundhog Day 2016 Resolutions: December Check-In & Year-End Review

Here ends my second year of Groundhog Day Resolutions. I feel like I’ve learned so much and done so much this year! In 3 days, I’ll be hopping on a plane to return to the US, and I’ll admit that I’m nowhere near ready. I wish so much I could stay here in Ghana. At the same time, I am very ready to finish my last three terms as a PSU undergrad, and graduate.

Three terms, what? Yep, I’m doing summer, too, because of some really amazing, brilliant news: I was chosen for the 2016 cohort of the McNair Scholars Program! Over the next two terms, I’ll learn skills and make connections that will help me get into a good graduate program and succeed in whatever program I go to. Over summer, I’ll complete a research project and write a journal article to submit for publication. I’m so relieved I got in, and so excited to start!

Getting into the McNair program makes going back a little less scary, and I’m looking forward to seeing and hugging so many people that I’ve missed the last few months. I also look forward to a more varied diet (lots of gluten here, not a lot of gluten-free), though I will miss fresh mango and pineapple.

I didn’t get to travel after my exams, because I couldn’t get the funds together. I also missed my last payment for my payment plan, and now have a registration hold and $100 late fee. If you can help me cover this last $341 of my tuition and fees, and pay for food and toiletries here and during my travels, please donate on Crowdrise.

The review is below the cut.

 


Goals:

  1. Build up my small press
  2. Consciously love and care for myself
  3. Continue learning and expanding my skill set

Month in Review:

What worked? What didn’t?
1) On hiatus.

2) I’ve been sleeping a lot since I finished exams. Trying to eat when I need to, read more, and take it easy, to just soak things up before I have to go back to the US. Finals were a bit hectic, but it’s basically all downtime until I get on the plane and go. I’ve cleaned up the room a bit, and started thinking about who I’m going to give things away to here.

I’ve been doing a lot of leisure reading, which has been nice. Trying to finish up some books I’m really close to done with. I’ve basically turned into a recluse since exams ended. I go out for food, and spend the rest of my time reading in my room. Without funds to travel, I don’t have anywhere to go, so my introvertness has turned out full force: I feel super awkward, so I just hide. Womp womp.

3) On the plus side, I feel like my exams went well. I had 3 exams over four days, writing a 3 page essay for each of them, and spent a lot of time prepping in groups. Now I just have to wait for my grades to come through.

Planning the Next Month:

What am I working on going forward?
1) On hiatus.

2) I need to write some lists and then pack my stuff, so I can stop freaking out about what’s undone. I also need to disconnect from social media more, do laundry, do more thorough clean of my room, and give away the things I’m not taking with me. I also need to rest and relax, because the travel will be gruelling: 7.5 hours from Accra to Dubai, 3 hour layover in Dubai, and then 14.5 hours to Seattle, 3 hours in Seattle, and then 45 minutes to Portland. I can’t sleep sitting up very well, so I won’t be sleeping much, probably.

I need to get some of my things from storage asap when I get back, because I do not have winter clothes with me. There’s been snow and ice in Portland lately, and that makes me nervous about my pain levels and ability to keep warm. I also need to figure out who’s gonna let me couchsurf at their place while I sort things out back in the US. Yikes.

3) I am planning to read research for an essay from a previous class, which I took an incomplete on in the spring. I’m aiming to finish the essay by the end of the month, so I can start next term with nothing hanging over me, and not have to worry about this essay during my next two hectic terms.

I also need to pay off my bill at school so I can adjust next term’s schedule. Since I’m in the McNair Program now, I’m currently registered for 20 credits next term, which: no. I did 18 this term, but it was a semester, some of my classes finished early, and the UG classes are all exam-based, whereas the classes I’ll be in at PSU will require that I write a lot of papers, and that will be way too overwhelming to manage. I need to focus on the necessities, and that means the history classes I need for my minor, the last class for my second major, and the McNair class. I may audit the history class I’m going to have to drop (History of Africa Prior to 1800), because I like the professor and I want the info, even if I can’t take the class for credit, but even that might be too much to handle.

Looking back on 2016:

1) I hosted a poetry workshop for Black survivors of violence. I was invited to feature at a couple of poetry events. I wrote a bunch of new poems. I had several poems published in lit journals (which is less about my press but does help boost it a little bit).

2) I relearned how to cook and eat, after discovering I was gluten intolerant. I sought (and received, mostly) accommodations that helped me out in school. I realized I’m an introvert, and started making time to take care of myself and recover from too much socializing. I played around with bullet journalling to track food, meds, habits, and health stuff.

3) I reassessed my priorities and possibilities, and pushed back grad school apps to next year. I added a second major and a second minor. I learned some basic Swahili. I made a spoken word poetry album to sell on Bandcamp. I worked on my art skills and designed original pieces to sell on stuff in a Zazzle shop. I studied in Ghana for 4 months, and I raised funds to make that happen and navigated all the little fiddly bits, like visas and vaccinations. I did the Kakum Canopy Walk, and visited the Cape Coast Slave Castle. I learned 3 traditional Ghanaian dances. I learned how to make plantains and yam balls and jollof. I learned some basic Twi. I was chosen to be in the 2017 McNair Scholars cohort.

Looking forward to 2017:

McNair! Also, graduation. And grad school applications. I may start a lit journal, though that’ll definitely be in the second half of the year. I’ve made a pretty ambitious blog schedule, which may or may not work out. I’m planning to do GHDR again, tho, so that’ll be one post a month, at least. I have a couple folks interested in publishing with MGP. I want to write more poetry next year. I want to submit more poems. I am, as ever, over ambitious. The future awaits; who knows what will happen?

Have a good December and a happy holiday season. Thanks for taking this GHDR journey with me!

 

 

Support my semester abroad: FundraiserZazzleBookSpoken Word AlbumPatreon

See all of the Groundhog Day Resolutions posts here.

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