My 2018 in review

I know it’s filler for news orgs, but I like year in review #content, so here’s mine. This is the public portion of a basic internal self-audit I did this year and plan to do again next year.


I successfully executed two large projects as a self-employed IT guy back in my hometown. I set up much of the networking and inventory for a convenience store in collaboration with a gas station technician, the clerks, and the owners. I also set up a two-building enterprise-grade hotel WiFi network in collaboration with management. I left a few other things unfinished when I changed jobs, including one big project for a neighbor, so I had to write refund checks and send some sincere apologies. Still, I’m mostly satisfied with the work I did.

That said, I’m pleased I’m now doing something else. I like my job at Earlham. I work with a group of talented students administering high-performance computing clusters and other campus-scale server systems – a phenomenal way to boost my experience and grow as a member of a community. I’m competent enough now in my technology skills to explore my prospects in software development or system administration after Earlham.

I’m starting out, so I’m experiencing many of the challenges of starting out – but it’s a good start.


I moved!

When I graduated college in December 2016, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, and moving back home was my safety net (I’m fortunate that I had it). After over a year, that had to change. When a job opened at Earlham, I applied and was selected. I moved a few weeks later. Lifestyle, more than any factors in being self-employed, drove me to Earlham.

There’s plenty of criticism of the idea that changing your environment improves happiness over time. I take that point, but for me it has been an important step.

That said, I still don’t get out much socially, and that’s the next major change I need to make in my life.


Like a lot of us, consuming culture takes up a lot of my leisure time. For details see my previous post!

Creativity probably goes in this category as well, and for that see my series on making things and why I think it’s important. I intend to share more creative work in the future.


After a year of stagnation (on net) in 2017, the year 2018 was a transitional year for me. It contained some important moments and provided a lot of clarity, though it was fundamentally about setup, not action.

I like that I took in a lot more culture, which I interpret as one way of participating in our shared experience as a society. I’m also satisfied having learned to run a business, moved, changed jobs, and succeeded at each of those steps. I have a sense of substantial progress over December of last year.

Thanks to the work done in 2018, it’s possible I’ll have a very good year in 2019. Shortly I’ll publish a post looking forward, discussing how I intend to make the most of next year.