At work, I helped Clare and Rebecca make a “rewind” video to highlight some of Goddard’s observations, discoveries and milestones in 2016. After designing the little cassette graphic, I felt inspired to do my own 2016 rewind.
A lot of really awful things happened in 2016, both personally and around the world, and I feel like I often focused on the negative things. But a lot of really great things happened too, and so this post is primarily for me to reflect on the good things and look forward to what’s to come in 2016. Here are some of my personal highlights from the year:
Snow day: We missed the whole first week of school and a number of work days too because of a massive snow storm that dumped a few feet of snow. Margaret and I enjoyed walking all over campus in the fresh snow.
Ski trip: Andrew asked me to join him on his company’s ski trip to the Poconos. I hadn’t skied in a few years but fortunately got into the swing of things again pretty quickly.
Valentine’s Day: Date night in DC with Andrew 🙂 He’s currently living in NYC, and I’m still finishing up my degree at UMD, so it’s always great when we can see each other.
HCIM friends: Just sharing a photo some people in my grad cohort took this month. They’re a fun group of people, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know them over the past year or so!
Chicago trip: My family celebrated Easter in Chicago, and we got to hang out with one of our newest baby cousins.
Bitcamp: we survived the 36-hour hackathon! I was technically the director this year, but Anthony, my right-hand man, really made it happen. I still can’t believe we pulled it off, but we did — with 1,100+ hackers!
Earth Day: One of the best parts of my job is being able to talk all about the work we do at NASA (and Goddard more specifically). One highlight was showing off our awesome data visualizations at an Earth Day event at Union Station.
Embassy Open House: Bradley, Ryan and I took a brief trip to Europe…or rather, the European embassies in DC. Sometimes, you have to take a quick break from grad school — and what better way to do that than by exploring a new part of your own backyard?
Bill Nye: This was a pretty special day at work — meeting my childhood hero, Bill Nye the Science Guy. I found out the night before he was going to be coming, and my coworker Laura asked me if I could fill in for one of our photographers. I didn’t want to ask for a picture, but then Laura kindly asked Bill if he’d take a picture with Sarah and me 🙂
Chelsea piers: These are my favorite kind of days — warm weather in a beautiful city. We had a breakfast picnic (bagels, of course) and read books on the piers.
Kayaking: It was an unseasonably chilly day for July, but we still made the most of it by kayaking!
Hilton Head: Neither of my sisters could go to the beach this summer, but my aunt and uncle were able to make it! I loved showing them our favorite places. And then at night, my aunt made us Moscow mules most nights — delicious!
Maine: Andrew and I took a road trip to Maine, stopping in Rhode Island and New Hampshire along the way. It was an absolutely gorgeous drive, and I do hope to make another trip like this one again soon!
Sunflowers: Mom, Laura, Becky and I spent an afternoon wandering around sunflower fields. There were thousands! The fields stretched as far as the eye could see, and they were such a stunning shade of yellow.
Code(Her) Conference: Alex and Rachael from my grad cohort joined me at this tech conference in DC. It was so great to network with some local women in tech, and I really enjoyed spending time with my friends outside of the classroom.
Terps soccer: In grad school, I haven’t had as much time to go to Terps games as I did in undergrad. And I’m a big fan of our Terps! So when Kelsey (who’s now in the iSchool too!) asked if I wanted to go to a soccer game, I couldn’t say no. We even got there early and were rewarded with free scarves!
Homecoming tailgate: I got to meet up with (most of) the old roommates for our homecoming football game. Despite living together for two years, it was our first time all tailgating together. Even with the rain, it was a terrific time.
James Webb: The James Webb Space Telescope is Goddard’s biggest project in development, and sometimes, its gold mirrors are on full display for everyone to see. Occasionally, I’ll have to help with giving tours or escorting media crews, and one perk of that is being able to swing by JWST.
Grace Hopper: I traveled to Houston with about 50 other students from UMD for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. A conference might not sound that exciting, but it was such an incredible experience.
Pumpkin patch: Another escape from grad school! My roommate and I took a break from semester projects by exploring a nearby pumpkin patch with some friends from undergrad. We took some goofy photos and ran through a corn maze.
Hiking: On a perfect fall day, I met up with two of my old roommates for a morning hike along the Billy Goat Trail. I’ve lived outside DC for more than five years, and yet it was my first time hiking the trail. I can’t wait to go more often in the spring.
Technica: Second UMD hackathon of the year, done! I didn’t play much of a role in the organization of Technica this year, but I still helped out where I could. We were unofficially the largest all-women’s hackathon in the world, which was exciting to find out!
Goddard friends: Some of my friends from work got together one night to celebrate our coworker’s successful master’s thesis defense and to toast good riddance to 2016. It’s the people of Goddard who make our office so great, and I’m truly grateful to be part of the team.
Holidays: We got to celebrate with both sides of our family this year — first with my mom’s side of the family, who came to our house, and then with my dad’s side of the family in Bethlehem. A busy but joyful Christmas!