Ahead By A Century

Goal #1: Run the New York City Marathon

January 17, 2010
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Last May, I ran the Long Island Marathon in 4 hours and two minutes. It was probably one of the most difficult things I have done, but crossing the finish line was one of the top two or three moments of my life. Running 26.2 miles was the easy part, though.

The difficulty was in the 420-450 miles leading up to the marathon. Staying dedicated for over 16 weeks straight. Running on a cold and snowy January morning. Squeezing in a five mile run at two in the morning after a long day of class and work. Running 18 miles in 30 mile-an-hour winds. Running 20 miles immediately after getting off a sleepless red-eye flight from California. Those are the most difficult times, but they are also the most fun.

Tomorrow, I start training for the 2010 Long Island Marathon on May 3rd and the 2010 New York City Marathon on November 7th. On top of that, I am going to raise $3000 for the Team For Kids charity. I know it’s going to be difficult and I also know it is going go by extremely fast. So, I am going to do my best to enjoy every minute of it.

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Becoming A Teacher

December 14, 2009
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I’ve seen the above video several times now and it always has a profound impact on me. Today, I found this Q&A with Sir Ken Robinson and I was blown away. He says so many things that I want to say, but he expresses them better than I ever could. He also brings up a lot of fascinating points that I had never even considered before. It is something that I plan on reading over and over again as I get ready to pursue a career in education.

I just finished my first semester of graduate school. In her comments on my final paper for her class, a professor told me that something I wrote should become my new “credo” and I should post it all over my workspace:

“When a child says that school is boring, they are telling us that their creative abilities are being squandered…. Educators need to nurture the inventiveness of each and every one of our students because that is what they are asking us to do. They want to create works of art. They want to explore their world. They want to discover patterns within their world.”

This time next year, I will be getting ready to student teach. I am excited, but seems so far away. I just want to get into the classroom right now. At the same time, I am scared. I am scared I won’t be able to live up to my expectations. I am scared I won’t be able to handle a classroom of 25-30 kids. I’ve heard all the horror stories.

But I think it is good to be afraid. Anything worth doing should come with both fear and excitement. Those are the feelings that let me know I am on the right track.

I think this theme of nurturing each child’s individual creativity is one that I will come back to again and again in this blog. I already have a few concrete ideas for how to do this within my classroom and my assignments. Those will be topics for future posts.

Goal #39: Learn Origami

December 11, 2009
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I figured I would start off with this goal because it’s probably one of the easiest goals on the list. There are a bunch of good websites that can teach you origami. You just have to find the time to sit down and do it.

I made two cranes, a couple of ninja throwing stars, and some weird chomping lizard head. The throwing stars went surprisingly far when thrown. I ended up losing all but one of them.

Here are some pictures:

This is one of my cranes.

Here's all my origami. Notice the lizard about to eat the crane on the left.

The lizard is about to eat the camera!

I am going to go ahead and cross this goal off the list, even though I fully intend to learn more origami in the future! I can make both the crane and the throwing star from memory, and those are the two things I wanted to make most. Maybe someday soon I will learn some more complex origami.

Goal #101: Keep a Blog to Track My Progress

December 5, 2009
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I spent the last couple days making a list of 100 goals I want to achieve by the age of 30, and this blog is where I will keep track of my progress.

Why make a list of 100 goals?

Well, I have always been happiest when chasing some sort of goal. Last May, I ran the Long Island Marathon and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Not just running it, but also training for it. The last few months, I haven’t really had any goals to chase and I haven’t been as happy. So, I figured I should just give myself some new goals.

Why keep a blog about it?

I thought about not keeping a blog or just keeping this private, but I decided to share my goals with anyone who happens to read this for a few reasons:

1.) It will hold me accountable and help motivate me.
2.) Someone may read my goals and see one or two they can help me achieve. And I’ll need all the help I can get!
3.) Maybe, just maybe, I will inspire someone else to make their own list of goals to achieve, particularly if I am successful.

This is stupid. Why would anyone do this?
You’re stupid.

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100 Goals To Accomplish Before The Age of 30

December 5, 2009
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Bold items are “in progress.” Crossed out items are completed.

1. NYC Marathon
2. Boston Marathon
3. Comrades Marathon
4. Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
5. Become fluent in a 2nd language
6. Learn to Cook
7. Go four (non-consecutive) months without eating out (0/4)
8. Make a Cigar Box Ukulele
9. Get A Master’s Degree in Education
10. Become a teacher
11. Teach Abroad (With Katie Held?)
12. Complete a triathlon
13. Get in touch with a distant relative I have never met
14. Make a Detailed Family Tree
15. Visit my Grandparents/Brother/Aunt in California
16. Go to All 7 Continents (3/7)
17. Go to a Caribbean Island
18. Take a Spontaneous, Last Minute Trip To Somewhere 100+ Miles Away
19. Learn to Draw
20. Learn To Paint
21. Write a book and/or novel
22. Become a Better Photographer
23. 5-minute mile (PR 5:45, several years ago)
24. Gain 15-20lbs of muscle
25. Raise $10,000 for charity (0/10K)
26. Learn to Sail
27. Learn to Dance
28. Make a Wish Come True for Another Person
29. Learn to Play Guitar
30. Perform/Sing a Song on Guitar in front of an Audiance
31. Play and Beat Oregon Trail
32. Take a beautiful picture of a sunrise
33. Meet Rainn Wilson
34. Meet Tim Ferriss
35. Meet Jake and Amir
36. Meet Jon Stewart
37. Meet Stephen Colbert
38. Talk to Strangers
39. Learn Origami Completed–12/10/09
40. Read 200 More Books (1/200)
41. Write a Letter To the President
42. Compliment 10 Random Strangers in One Day
43. Send a secret into Post Secret
44. Complete the 21-Day No-Complaint Experiment
45. Wish upon 10 Shooting Stars (0/10)
46. Write 10 Thank-you Notes to Important People in My Life (0/10)
47. Memorize and Be Able to Recite a Poem
48. Ask a Stranger Out on a Date (And Have Her Say Yes)
49. Go on 5 dates in 5 weekends (Not necessarily with the same girl) (0/5)
50. Have a long-term relationship
51. Grow a Vegetable Garden
52. Catch, clean, and prepare a fish (And eat it!)
53. Go to an Indian Wedding (Multi-day event)
54. Complete 10 NY Times Sunday Crossword Puzzles (Without Cheating) (0/10)
55. Become a street magician
56. Become a pool shark
57. Be able to hold my breath for over 4 minutes (PR ~3:00)
58. Juggle 3 objects lit on fire
59. Make a Box Kite
60. Take a Week-Long Vow of Silence
61. Walk Across a Pit of Hot Coals
62. Make a Ship in a Bottle
63. Brew My Own Beer
64. Learn to Pick Locks
65. Solve a Rubix Cube
66. Do a Backflip
67. Build an Igloo and Spend the Night in it
68. Start a Correspondence with the (Fe)mailman
69. Sleep Under The Stars
70. Learn to Play Poker Well
71. Write and Illustrate a Children’s Book
72. Perform Stand-Up Comedy (Without Being Booed Off Stage)
73. Perform a Hilarious Prank on an Unsuspecting Bystander
74. See the Aurora Borealis
75. Learn to Track Animals
76. Learn How To Wield a Knife
77. Learn How To Defend Myself
78. Go Vegetarian for a Month
79. Build an Amazing Sand Castle
80. Try out Geocaching
81. Go to a Nude Beach
82. Visit 20 Museums (0/20)
83. Go on a picnic with some close friends
84. Do yoga 3 times a week for at least a month
85. Do yoga on top of a mountain
86. Sing Karaoke
87. Eat Caviar, Haggis, Shark, Alligator, Frog Legs, and Escargot
88. Make and Participate in a Scavenger Hunt
89. Spend a night in a haunted house (By Myself)
90. Build a Shelter in the Woods and Sleep in it
91. Start a campfire without matches or a lighter
92. Go Scuba Diving
93. Learn How To Invest Money and Do So
94. Hold a Praying Mantis, Spider, and Snake in my hands (Not at the same time)
95. Try Surfing
96. Play in the Mud (Mudwrestle?)
97. Do Something I am truly afraid of
98. Learn First Aid
99. Create and Bury a Time Capsule
100. Buy/Grow A Bonsai Tree
101. Keep a Blog to Track My Progress

If I complete the whole list, then:
102. Hike The Entire Appalachian Trail (Takes around 6 months)

If I complete goal 102, then:
103. Bring Peace To The Middle East

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