April 1, 2007: Goals

January 2, 2009 – 2:09 am

I’ve mentioned this list in an earlier post. It’s from April 2007, price from when someone asked me what my goals were, tablets and I realized I hadn’t really written them down, order so I sat down and typed ‘em up. This was a nonchalantly-made list, but it’s still a good one – and it’s neat to see how my priorities have changed. And for the record, I’ve done almost everything in the timeline that I said I wanted to do.

I’m 20 and graduate from college at the end of May. I don’t know what I want to do with my life, but I’ll type what I can anyway.

In 2 months, I want to:

  • have graduated from college with my electrical engineering degree – by a good margin, not just barely. (currently: barely) (2009: Got it.)
  • have developed a stable strategy for dealing with ADHD (currently: denial) and a study plan for bolstering the areas in EE and CS I feel I’m weak on (currently: everything). (2009: These will always be ongoing efforts, but I’m satisfied with progress so far.)
  • be on good parting terms with my professors and classmates – more on my part than theirs; I want to tie up loose ends with people I feel I’ve let down in some way during my four years here. (2009: Yes.)
  • have said thank you everyone who’s touched my life at college. (2009: Yes. And I still thank them.)
  • have an intelligently designed financial and savings infrastructure, including the beginnings of investment for retirement, which is independent from my parents’ finances… and includes a monthly allowance for books. (2009: The monthly books allowance was folded into a general ‘discretionary stuff’ fund, but otherwise, yes.)

In 2 years, I want to:

  • be fluent in at least one non-English language (currently: shaky Japanese and very rudimentary spoken Mandarin). (2009: I’m not quite fluent, but I could shakily read Chinese newspapers at the end of being in Shanghai, and that’s not bad for 2 weeks of grueling study.)
  • have contributed substantially in a technical way to at least one open-source software project. (2009: I’m… pretty sure this has been covered very nicely. I’ve dreamed of contributing to OSS since I was in high school. It just took me many years to get involved.)
  • be living in my own place (probably with roommates), not with my parents or an older relative as is the custom in my family. (2009: Maker House and Yavin IV. Next stop: Who knows?)
  • be a regular practitioner of Tai Chi or some other martial art. (2009: Sanda.)
  • be able to run 2 miles in under 15 minutes and/or do 100 push-ups. (2009: Uh… working on this one.)
  • have developed and released at least one open-source hardware project (probably a circuit design with microcontroller code). (2009: In progress, doing nicely.)
  • have edited at least 100 Wikipedia articles. (2009: No longer actually a goal. I got my wiki kicks on the OLPC wiki.)
  • have gone on a date. (have gotten over my phobia about relationships.) (2009: No longer actually a goal. It’s not a phobia – I actually don’t care about having that kind of a relationship. It’s not because I’m afraid of dates that I don’t go on them. And that’s okay, and I’ll live with the flak I get from it.)
  • have started on my round-the-world trip to learn about engineering education (a long story; ask if you’d like to hear it). (2009: Done for the first round – I want to do it again, more purposefully, now that I see what traveling is like – yay, spiral learning!)
  • be able to go on a solo week-long backpacking trip (currently: have never backpacked) (2009: Must visit Andrew for spring break.)

In 20 years, I want to:

  • have gotten or be en route to my PhD in a technical field (may get a degree in education or design first, though)
  • have started a startup (or joined one very early).
  • have written a book.
  • have gone on at least one cross-country bike trip (currently: have never biked more than 8 miles).
  • have taught a college course. (currently: hope to become a professor)
  • have a treehouse. preferably self-built.
  • have done at least one of the following: bungee jumped, hang glided, gone on the vomit comet, or flown a plane/copter.
  • have worked or lived in a non-US country, preferably a developing country, for at least a year.

When I retire, I want to:

  • not really retire, but have enough financial security to volunteer-work wherever I want.
  • have mentored at least several young people closely
  • be alive, active, and healthy.
  • own a house or building which I’ve built or seriously modified myself, which has living space, a workshop, a great kitchen, studio space, etc. and serves as a locale for informal interdisciplinary classes on all sorts of intellectual subjects.
  • travel, a-la Erdos, visiting friends and colleagues to tinker on random projects.
  • have seen engineering education become a legitimate field of study.
  • have seen design and design education become rigorous, well-known areas of research.
  • have made knowledge more broadly accessible to all people with the desire to learn, somehow.
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