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Now that the dissertation has been submitted, my main focus is on getting a job (and securing right to work). However, this is also a good time to assess and consider what I’ve done already and what I want to do in the future. This post will focus on one thing that has been fairly constant in my life: creating.

I honestly think, if I weren’t so brainwashed by the current prestige of academia, I would prefer to be a craftsman, especially one that deals with the physical. However, given I went down the route of the “thinkers” and I know I will have a hard time leaving that behind, I must find a way to satiate my desire to create. Now creating means many things to me, but importantly value must be added to something or someone. This idea has been drilled into me, especially having attended technology-positive universities. Ideally in this world we, as people, would create things that do the most good for the world. However, I will generally settle for creating things (physical and non-physical) that help a community, that bring joy to an individual, that make me happy.

So I want to make some goals for the near future to create things, because I feel that I have not been producing many things. Now, I am conscious that there is the inherent possibility that I will simply add to the clutter of things available for consumption, but I figure that at least I will gain new skills in the process (which will be good for my job searching) and I can choose projects that will have value added for me. The primary difficulty now is deciding what to create! My current list of things to produce in the near future includes the following (some will be more conscious than others):

  • More writing
    • Within this blog — I know I’ve said this before, but what can I say some goals just need to be revived
      • Better understand London culture, and maybe if I’m ambitious wider UK idiosyncrasies (I do not feel like I know Londoners very well given, I’ve spent over a year in the city), and provide an American millennial perspective on London
      • Write about EdTech, never dying goal
      • Document as I take on my tech learning goals (see below)
    • Physically develop a personal stylized script — the aim would be to learn the basics of calligraphy, but I will probably settle on this goal for good penmanship using pens and markers
  • Build a couple of apps using app builders
    • Working on a AR quest using Metaverse right now
    • Maybe I’ll actually try to build out “noteworking” my idea for a note-taking app developed for networking events and continuing professional development
  • Learn the basics of Unity3D and maybe Unreal — so that I can honestly say “I’m not scared” of them in job interviews
  • Sew electronics — make something from the book, since I have all the materials anyway
  • Develop a social media presence
    • Even just being more conscious of sharing things
    • Particularly to develop a bit of an aesthetic eye for cell phone photography — Instagram here I come!
  • Photo post-processing
    • Yes, I’m editing my own wedding photos… I think I’ve gotten the basics of blemish removal and playing with hue saturation, but I still need to learn how to sharpen smartly and understand different filters.
  • Laser cut one of my wedding photos into a piece of wood while I still have access to a laser printer (at least I hope I still have access to the laser printer at the UCL Institute of Making)
  • Yarn crafts
    • Finally finish the knit boot toppers I started earlier this year
    • Continue making octopus soothers for Octopus for a Premie
  • Make-up basics — I think I know how to do the basics, but I just need to work on the execution (perhaps upgrade some of my tools, e.g. I’ve slowly realized the difference that quality brushes can make) and the confidence to strut outside with the make-up on, so I can discover my mistakes and improve.
    • Learn how to color correct
    • Better understand my skin — I think I’ve found some suitable foundations and skin care items, but the seasons are changing, so…
    • Learn how to do a slick chignon
  • Develop new friendships — one of the most wishy washy things on this list but also one of the most important
  • Cook more food, especially Chinese food
  • Redevelop physical strength and endurance — probably not traditionally on a list of creating, but I do feel like it is kind of like sculpting?
    • Arms — I want to get back to at least 5 chin-ups, just enough to be cool and definitely achievable, since I definitely could do 10 on the regular in high school
    • Abdomen — minimize pooch; don’t need distinguishable abs though
    • Flexibility — actually get beyond beginners yoga?
    • Endurance — probably pick up something cardio related, personal preference for non-boutique spinning/cycling
    • Coordination — dancing here I come?

Just so I’m not just making a list of things I haven’t done, I wanted to include a small list of things I’ve recently created:

  • Make-up
    • I think I have a better understanding of eyebrows. This still needs work, but we all have to start somewhere!
    • I can put on false lashes — seems silly, but I think this is an accomplishment, albeit small.
    • I am pretty decent at doing a French twist now.
    • I now know how to produce a clean French tip manicure/pedicure! It’s all in the clean-up brush! Also, the clean edges of a manicure are so easy to produce with a clean-up brush, so now I can do salon clean edges!
  • Photo post-processing
    • I am pretty confident removing blemishes, whitening teeth, and cleaning up stray hairs in GIMP. I think I also understand dodge and burn basics, which is really helpful given the difference in skin tone between Daniel and me — I feel like the difference in our skin makes the camera unhappy.
  • Understanding of VR
    • I think I have a decent understanding of the state of consumer VR, but this is definitely something to be developed further.
  • Wrote my dissertation! I just have to put this on here, since it’s been the major project of the last few months.

I’m sure there are things I’m forgetting on both lists, but that’s okay. This is just a snapshot of what I’m thinking now. Hopefully, I’ll be reporting back with updates soon!