January 2024 was not my favorite month. But despite obstacles, a month usually contains things to celebrate - books read, content listened to, projects worked on, and happy moments to remember. A quick recap helped me realize that despite its setbacks, January 2024 was a month in my life still filled with good things.
I am currently working on a microlearning course for a heritage project. The content is targeted at the staff at a tourism company transporting people to (and around) a World Heritage site. The goal of this project is to convey information to the staff. More importantly, we want to convey information that the staff will then pass on to customers. In the micro-course, I am mulling over how to communicate a numerical fact: the area of the heritage site. I went back to some notes I took last year after reading Making Numbers Count: The art and science of communicating numbers by Chip Heath and Karla Starr. (To see what else I read this year, check out my reading year-in-review). I thought I would share my process. I think many professionals (me included) should spend more time considering how we talk about numbers.
Does inheriting something from the past require us to pass it on to the future in its pristine form? That's a question that bugs those of us who work in natural and cultural heritage preservation. I am not sure I have the answer, but I do have some thoughts on the subject.
In addition to looking back at my year as a whole, I looked back at my reading life as well. This was easy to do, since I keep two reading-related notebooks. The first is a little notebook where I jot down the name and author of books read by month. The second is a bigger notebook for taking notes (particularly when reading non-fiction). The latter is useful when I am looking for an interesting idea while writing or preparing a lecture for one of my classes. The former, however, is what makes it easy to look back at what I read over the course of the year. Here is a little glimpse at my 2023 reading.
December feels like a natural point to stop and reflect. I decided to be more intentional about doing that this year. 2024 is going to be a transition year for me and, like many of life's transitions, I expect to feel overwhelmed, scared, excited...all at the same time. I think writing about this transition would be helpful. Rather than start at a beginning (January), I'm going to start at an end (December) with a year-in-review post. So, here is my 2023 reflection. I hope sharing what has happened will be a good way to launch into the unknown of 2024.